Editor’s note: This article was updated. The Rev. William Barber underscores that the boycott is about more than the bathroom bill.
The NAACP called Friday afternoon for an economic boycott of North Carolina over its so-called “bathroom bill” and other discriminatory legislation, and announced the first steps of its strategy.
The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, told NewsOne that the boycott is about far more than the bathroom bill, or HB-2. The boycott also comes in response to racially gerrymandered districts and a voter suppression law, among other grievances.
The NAACP said in a Twitter post that it plans, in addition to the boycott, to “file lawsuits, and engage in nonviolent protest until our 5 demands are met.”
“a) Undo racially gerrymandered districts and create fair election districts;
b) Repeal the entire HB-2 law;
c) Repeal SB-4 law passed in a special session called for another reason that stripped trained civil servants in County and State election Boards from supervising elections;
d) Repeal the requirement that litigants to appeal to the en banc Court of Appeals before they can file an appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court;
e) Repeal legislation that stripped the current governor of powers his predecessor enjoyed.”
As a first step the NAACP will not hold its convention in North Carolina and has urged other organization to also avoid the state when planning events, the Rev. Barber said.
Most of the nation’s focus has been on the bathroom bill, which mandates that people must use public restrooms that correspond with the gender indicated on their birth certificate. An attempt to overturn the measure failed in December.
Passage of the law ignited widespread outrage. Several companies, including Google and Apple, opposed the ban, as well as big-name entertainers and professional sports franchises. Forbes estimated that North Carolina will lose at least $650 million in revenue.
Barber urged the national NAACP in December to join the boycott against North Carolina when the state legislature failed to repeal the law, the Huffington Post reported.
The minister has been at the forefront of an effort to convince Blacks who oppose gay rights that the measure is similar to segregation-era laws, according to the Washington Post.
“This is not about bathrooms,” Barber told the Washington Post. “It’s about whether or not you can codify hate and discrimination into the laws of the state.”