Op-ed rightfully blasts Mark Robinson’s hypocrisy and “moral fraud”

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson

In case you missed it, be sure to check out the op-ed penned by News & Observer/Charlotte Observer editorial board member, Paige Masten on the latest revelation about North Carolina’s deeply troubled Lt. Governor, Mark Robinson.

As you’ve no doubt heard in recent days, it’s come to light that Robinson — who includes a truly extreme opposition to abortion in all cases on a long list of extreme and often downright hateful positions he embraces on an array of issues (he says it’s “murder”) — paid for a woman to have an abortion as a young man.

Now, as Masten acknowledges, Robinson — just like anyone else — is (or at least ought to be) free to change his mind. But, as she also notes, his mean-spirited and overbearing moralizing on such an intensely personal subject under such circumstances is utterly nauseating. Here’s Masten:

Abortion aside, what Robinson may be guilty of is the political sin of being fake. Robinson’s past was not public knowledge until now, and he doesn’t appear to have mentioned it on the campaign trail. Plenty of people don’t seem to mind — although they should — that he’s a blowhard who regularly disparages those around him. But they might mind that he’s a fraud who neglected to tell voters something very important about himself until somebody else discovered it. Moral fraud, after all, is sometimes the worst kind of fraud.

…Regardless of how he may feel about it now, Robinson benefited from the fundamental right to have an abortion when he needed it, yet he wants to deny the same opportunity to others.

And that — Robinson’s failure to display even a shred of empathy for those who might find themselves in the same predicament he did nearly 30 years ago — is the real problem here. There’s a certain kind of moral hypocrisy involved in condemning others for a choice that you, too, once made.

Masten is absolutely right. She also might have added that if Robinson truly believes that abortion is murder and should be treated by the law as such, then he was, according to his own ridiculous definition, a confessed accessory to a crime for which there is generally no statute of limitations. Of course, if Robinson and his extremist allies ever did succeed in enacting the kind of outrageously draconian law he purports to champion, you can bet that he’d make sure to exempt himself and other like-minded hypocrites from any kind of coverage or consequences.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson: Students who misbehave must be removed from classrooms

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson

Misbehaving students should be turned over to the “proper authorities,” Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson told a House panel looking at ways to improve public schools.

The state must send a stern message that bad behavior will not be tolerated, Robinson said.

“Bad actors should be removed from the classroom and given to the proper authorities whoever that authority might be, whether that be a law enforcement official or a social worker,” said Robinson, a Republican from Greensboro.

Robinson’s statement on Monday came during a meeting of the House Select Committee on an Education System for North Carolina’s Future. The panel has pledged to spend up to two years examining public schools before making recommendations that lead to legislation to improve them. Rep. John Torbett, a Gaston County Republican, is senior chairman of the committee.

Robinson is the state’s first Black lieutenant governor. His call for police involvement in schools comes as some activists demand an end to school resource officers (SROs) programs. Those critical of such programs contend they feed the school-to-prison pipeline through which too many students of color flow.

“They talking about more police for non-violent/non-criminal offenses where Black kids are disproportionately suspended,” James Ford, a member of the State Board of Education, said in a Monday tweet. “The assumption as always is that the problem is Black children and families. But you can’t dare imply that racism is at work?”

Balancing between over-policing schools and allowing disruptive students to keep classmates from learning can be a delicate matter. Ninety-six percent of suspensions are for non-criminal offenses with most stemming from incidents involving unacceptable behaviors.

But Robinson believes that solving school discipline problems isn’t complicated “as long as we stop clogging up the issue and smoke screening the issue with social theories and political ideologies.”

Robinson has been critical of educators he believes are indoctrinating students with progressive political views. He supported GOP-back legislation to control what educators could teach students about America’s racial history. House Bill 324 was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper. Critics said the legislation was an attempt to keep students from learning hard truths about the nation’s past.

Robinson noted that Black males are suspended at a higher rate than their peers, a problem he said Black teachers and principals should be asked about to get to the bottom of why such a disparity exists.

“If I take 20 teachers, 10 white and 10 Black, and put them in a room [together] and ask questions, the answers are going to be much different than if I take 10 white teachers in a room alone and 10 Black teachers and put them in a room alone,” Robinson said. “We all know it, and that’s one of those hard conversations we don’ want to have.”

He wondered if racism can be a factor in the high suspension rate for Blacks if the principal and teachers of a school are all Black and suspensions are being handed down to Black students.

Robinson asked N.C. Department of Public Instruction staffers at a recent State Board of Education meeting whether they had specifically talked to Black principals and teachers about the disparity the suspensions disparity. He was told that principals and teachers of all races are consulted on such matters.

State Board of Education Chairman Eric Davis

State Board of Education Chairman Eric Davis told the panel that anxiety, depression and trauma often lead to bad behavior.

“If we took a broader view and provided and provided the supports that our students need, that would be one big step to freeing our teachers to educate our students,” Davis said.

Rep. Jeff Zenger, a Republican from Forsyth County, said “fatherless homes” are the source of school discipline problems.

“If you track fatherlessness over the last 60 years, I don’t care what race it is, you just track fatherlessness and you look at discipline, they mirror each other,” Zenger said.

Another advocacy group calls for Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson to resign, announces planned demonstration

Saying “we expect our elected officials to represent everybody,” yet another North Carolina advocacy group has added its name to the list of groups and prominent individuals calling for the resignation of Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in the wake of his latest homophobic remarks.

The following release was distributed this morning by the North Carolina chapter of the National Organization for Women:

North Carolina National Organization for Women (NC NOW) joins the chorus calling for the resignation of North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson since he is unable to respectfully represent all North Carolinians. Lt. Governor Mark Robinson has been called out for remarks he made regarding the LGBTQIA community in June, when he referred to homosexuality and transgenderism as “filth”. Robinson made similar comments on September 30 at another event, and he added new offensive comments at a church in Winston-Salem on November 14. NC NOW adopted a resolution denouncing Robinson’s remarks at their recent state conference. Many groups and individuals have marched and rallied and gone from trying to reason with Lt. Gov. Robinson, to asking him to apologize, to telling him to resign. There will be another protest at the Lt. Governor’s Office at 310 N Blount St, in Raleigh this Friday, Dec 3, at 4:30pm.

NC NOW supports the dignity and rights of everybody, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. We believe that everybody deserves respect and support. The Lt. Governor’s remarks are ignorant and hurtful to members of the LGBTQIA community, family, supporters and friends. In addition, his comments are discriminatory, inflammatory and potentially dangerous.

Lt. Governor Robinson is actively working to shame and ostracize LGBTQIA students. Our schools need to be places where all students are protected and supported. However, Robinson’s comments are in no way limited to books and schools as he sometimes claims. He is making them at churches and conservative events around the state, where he is billed as North Carolina’s Lt. Governor. Meanwhile, his claims are getting more offensive and outrageous. At a church in Winston-Salem on Nov 14, he “made clear that he believes homosexuals are inferior to heterosexuals, saying they serve no purpose.

We expect our elected officials to represent everybody. Lt. Governor Robinson’s remarks have shown that he cannot respect all of his constituents.  These discriminatory attitudes from an elected official, especially from the second highest officer in the state, underscore the need for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections in North Carolina. We call on Lt. Governor Robinson to resign his position since he is unable to respectfully represent all North Carolinians.

If it’s Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson must be embarrassing the state again

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson

It’s always a little risky to try and psychoanalyze or diagnose the mental well-being of a public figure from a distance, but one thing is undeniable about North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson: the man has a serious case of homophobia — what Merriam Webster defines as “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or gay people.”

What’s more, Robinson likes to share his affliction publicly.

The latest of what now seem like umpteen incidents involving this deeply troubled man engaging in utterly outrageous and hurtful behavior took place yesterday afternoon, when he publicly confronted and attempted to bully a state lawmaker who courageously spoke in defense of human rights for all people.

This is from a story on WRAL.com:

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson confronted a Democratic lawmaker on Monday afternoon following her speech calling out elected officials who speak out against minorities.

Sen. Julie Mayfield, D-Buncombe, gave a speech that did not name Robinson, but said elected officials should have respect for all their constituents. Senate rules forbid members from criticizing other members by name on the chamber floor.

“My comments were absolutely in response to his very hateful statements against LGBTQ individuals,” Mayfield told WRAL News on Monday night.

After the session, Robinson told … Mayfield…”next time, before you get ready to say something on that floor, come see me.”

The confrontation appeared to be in response to Mayfield’s speech Monday, according to a tweet by Sen. Natasha Marcus, D-Mecklenburg…..

“As elected leaders, we have a responsibility to serve all of our constituents. Not just those who look like us, think like us or worship at the same church as us. We are here to serve everyone, even if we may not understand them and even if they didn’t – and never will – vote for us. And yes, even if they love differently from us,” Mayfield told fellow state lawmakers.

Mayfield went on to say that it was “folly” for elected officials to think they could speak in public and separate themselves from their elected office.

Sen. Julie Mayfield

Click here to explore the full story, which contains some video of the confrontation that Marcus captured.

The bottom line: Hardly a day goes by now in which Robinson doesn’t embarrass our state and cause pain and harm to good people. Meanwhile, as is noted in today’s edition of the Weekly Briefing, cowardly Republican leaders who know better stand by in cynical silence and allow this cruelty to continue.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says Tillis, Berger and Moore should be “voted out of office” (video)

Lt. Gov. Robinson speaking at an event earlier this year.

The highest-ranking Republican in North Carolina state government is irresponsibly endangering human lives and needs to stop. That’s the only conclusion one can draw from a speech (see the video below) that Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson recently delivered in which he said that any politician who encourages people to get a COVID-19 vaccine should “be voted out of office.”

Robinson, a political novice who has made outrageous and offensive comments his stock-in-trade since arising from obscurity in a fluky GOP primary last spring and riding Donald Trump’s coattails to victory in November, appears to have made the comment, which has been shared widely on social media, in a recent speech to a conservative group (presumably the Wake County Taxpayers Association) at NC State’s McKimmon Center.

In a remarkably uninformed rant, Robinson said it’s not the job of elected leaders to try and convince people to become vaccinated – only to make the vaccine available. He then offered a rambling diatribe in which he falsely challenged the efficacy of the vaccines and told of unnamed health professionals he knows who are declining to become vaccinated.

Of course, one of the great ironies here is the fact that most responsible Republican leaders in the state – U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, state Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and state House Speaker Tim Moore to name three – have responsibly promoted vaccination as the lifesaving tool it is. As Tillis noted in a recent public statement, vaccination is “safe and effective, and our best tool at beating this virus.”

One can only hope that the Lt. Governor’s preposterous statement that they should be voted out of office for promoting vaccination will, finally and once and for all, convince all three men to loudly and publicly repudiate Robinson’s false claims and outrageous behavior.