The skies over North Carolina are filled with two-faced twitters and bullets. The sounds from deceit and stupidity are deafening.
When Joe.My.God discovered the tweet concerning a "violent" attack on an elderly woman because of her "Yes on Amendment One" yard sign, people thought it was a repeat of an overblown Prop 8 incident.* They just didn't know how much of a lie it was..
or how it would spawn a series of supportive anti-marriage equality tweets. The tweets from virulently homophobic pastor DL ("Down Low") Forster and NOM (National Organization for Marriage - of Maggie Gallagher fame) are noteworthy.
Notice the shoddy rumor-reporting of NOM: it was not reported on Facebook. Then a subsequent tweet from VoteForMarriageNC stated that the man "approached the woman and demanded she take down her #4MarriageNC yard sign. When she refused, he used her car door to beat her." The imagery of a man unhinging a car door, then bashing an old lady with it was not lost on most: "Did he ask her to stand there while he took the door apart?" said one commenter. Yet another tweet said the man was in custody.
According to Detective Branch, the woman in question was not in her own yard, as was implied by Vote For Marriage NC, she was at another house "looking for her sister." Branch told me that there the woman had argued with a man about a yard sign, but Branch didn't know where that sign may have been located or for which side of the marriage issue it advocated. It's possible that she was complaining about the other man's own yard sign.
Robeson County officers advised the woman that if she wanted to pursue charges about having her car door slammed on her as she left the man's house, she could file for a misdemeanor charge of simple battery. Branch said no such claim was yet on record.
The plot thinned: Joe.My.God. was blocked from the VoteForMarriageNC site, but subsequently obtained this:
Certainly not a confession to a lie.
Meanwhile, in another part of the state, a man in Konnopolis, N.C. (80 miles from Charlotte) filmed himself shooting a neighbor's "NO on Amendment One" yard sign. The problem: Konnopolis police informed Joe.My.God that if the gun was fired onto a residential property, a crime may have been committed. And although the video was removed from YouTube by the user, copies were made before the removal [see below]. He also introduced himself with his full name: Alex Wiles. Not bright.
"That's how we do it around here."
As we've seen in past studies of bigotry, most bigots really do have lower I.Q.s ( Hate Ascending To The Heavens ), and the machinations of these people push the I.Q. level of North Carolina down to the sub-cretin level: "If You Post It - They Will Come ... After You." Posting a lie or aggressive action thinking that it will only reach a certain few is, in this day and age, the dumbest mistake of a lifetime. They never seem to think that a Chamber of Commerce might react strenuously to their actions. Think of what Fred Phelps did to Topeka: living him down has never been easy for the poor beleaguered city.
Were the tweets an act of desperation? Hardly! Considering North Carolina's proximity to Tennessee (now the capital of embarrassing legislation**) Amendment One may still pass. Remember that the Carolinas, not Georgia, were Newt Gingrich's real territory, and the Southern Baptist Convention holds sway over "good ole boy" politics.
So the lies, stupidity, threats and shows of violence will continue. We just can't stop the moralists from doing the devil's work.