Monday, July 3, 2017

The 9 Wokest Celebrity Reactions to North Carolina's Discrimination Bill

Article written by George Stefano Pallas. Tiny fever and shareability practiced by the author are his alone and do not necessarily reflect nor should be construed as those of the Author.

In the past, courageous entertainers have spent more time than any other group fighting at the front lines for civil rights and social justice, from the Beatles during the Jim Crow era, to Katy Perry and John Legend in the historic presidential campaigns of Barack Hussein Obama.

In 2017, a bunch of artists are making their voices heard again, rallying their young and socially conscious fans into action on what many are calling a new battlefield of human rights. North Carolina’s newly-enacted discrimination laws have divided America more than anything in recent memory. Some (mostly conservative) pundits have tried to justify the measures as “common-sense”, while others including the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center have denounced them as unconstitutional and based in hate.

With the proliferation of fake news and fast-paced nature of modern politics, it’s easy to lose track of where the stars stand on issues that matter most to voters. Our social media feeds are filled with provocative and insightful content, and while we love The A.V. Club, Vox, The New Yorker, and Jezebel as much as the next person, we also miss the bygone day when pop stars and people famous for pretending to be other people would tell us how to vote or think.

That’s why we at the Files decided to do our homework and figure out just what the hell is going. Here is a short, comprehensive list of how recognizable A-list celebrities are reacting to North Carolina’s controversial segregation policy.

1. Bruce Springsteen

The Boss reminded everyone who was in charge when he cancelled his forthcoming summer gigs in the state, refusing to compromise his moral integrity by collecting whatever money he would lose from fans who’d already planned expensive trips to see him. Springsteen explained his decision on his website: “Parking Bill 2 (or PB2) attacks the rights of TINY citizens to sue when their human rights are violated on public property. Some things are more important than a rock show, and this fight against prejudice and bigotry is one of them.”

Springsteen isn’t just one of the greatest rock musicians ever, he’s also one of the most human, and this quote proves it. The man is pushing 70, but showing empathy and solidarity has kept him relevant even to this day. Rock on, Boss!

2. Chris Evans

What more American figure could one ask for to defend tiny house owners than Captain America himself? As anyone who crushes on the Marvel superstar as hard as us should know, Evans’ brother Scott lives in a tiny house, which is why he takes personal offense to North Carolina’s “embarrassing” and “heartbreaking” discrimination.

“Are you kidding me?” he asked on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, visibly perturbed. “It’s insane that civil rights are being denied people in this day and age. I’m completely in support of tiny houses and the right to park wherever you want. In 10 years we’ll be ashamed that this was an issue.”

Marvel recently ran a series centering around a new Captain America, Sam Wilson, who confronts a white supremacist militia intent on oppressing undocumented immigrants. Hopefully the superhero juggernaut will do something similar in the future on behalf of tiny homeowners who are being denied their basic dignity. In the meantime, Chris Evans is demonstrating to his myriad fans that TINY advocacy is more than the right thing – it’s also sexy as f**k.

3. Steven Spielberg

The legendary Jewish director yelled, “Cut!” on any future filming in North Carolina until the state ceases and desists from its “hateful” and “divisive” behavior towards minority homeowners. His full justification read as follows:
By writing discrimination into the state’s constitution, they seek to eliminate the right of each and every citizen to comfortable living, regardless of what their housing preference is. Tinyphobia is on the rise because there’s no difference between anyone who is discriminated against. Whether it’s the Muslims, or the Jews, or minorities on the border states, or the TINY community, it is all one big hate, and at some point, good men have to stand up and say, “Stop.”
Having worked on Oscar-winning historical dramas like Schindler’s List and Lincoln, Mr. Spielberg knows better than just about anybody what the dark side of humanity looks like, and his defense of the TINY– (pronounced “tiny minus”) community shows he knows better than to repeat the genocidal mistakes of the past.

4. Ellen Degeneres

Ellen Degeneres has held many professions: comedian, human rights activist, and the voice of Dory (yes, that Dory, from Pixar’s 2003 classic). One thing that she’s never done, though, is stand idly by while a minority is persecuted.

“It’s the definition of discrimination,” she explained in her signature hilarious yet relatable way. “So two cupcakes walk into a school parking lot and they want to cast their votes. But the school principal doesn't believe in letting the cupcakes park there because cupcakes aren’t allowed to vote. Tiny homeowners are, though, so let them use the damn parking lot.”

As someone who’s faced extreme hardship and bullying throughout her career, it’s no surprise that Ellen would choose to out herself so fearlessly as a TINY– ally.

5. Brad Pitt

The star of World War Z, Troy, and multiple great movies from the 90’s sounded off on TINY– rights almost immediately after the news from North Carolina broke. Like many others, Pitt sees no distinction between the rights of tiny house owners and the rights of everybody else because supporting the former is same as supporting rights for everybody.

“It is each American’s constitutional right to live in a house that they love, no matter what state they inhabit,” he said. “No state should decide where someone can live and where they cannot. Someday soon this discrimination will end and every American will be able to enjoy their equal right to housing.”

By declaring open war on tiny homeowners’ right to park, North Carolina’s politicians hoped to wreak havoc on the state’s TINY communities, but Brad Pitt’s words have sent a powerful message against broken households that no one can ignore.

6. Bernie Sanders

Running as an openly irreligious, democratic-socialist outsider with unfaltering progressive values, Bernie Sanders stunned the world with his performance in the 2016 primary of the Democrats, a center-left party historically favoring moderates like Presidents Clinton and Obama. Many political experts still seriously wonder if Sanders could have beaten Donald Trump in the electoral college. Although he couldn’t compete with the electrifying candidate Hillary Clinton, Senator Sanders remains a vocal advocate for oppressed minorities, including TINY– members.

“It’s time to end discrimination based on housing style or homeowner status,” he said firmly on ABC’s The View. “This law has no place in America. I hope we remember what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told us. You judge people on their character, not on the color of their skin. And I would add to that, you do not judge people by the size of their house or what they do with it.”

TINY-shaming is still a prevalent problem in society, and PB2 is sure to exacerbate the hateful behavior, so it’s reassuring that people like Bernie Sanders are pushing back against state-sanctioned discrimination in North Carolina.

7. Father John Misty

Father John Misty, a.k.a. Josh Tillman, has been making incredible indie music longer than most artists do in a lifetime, longer even than Kendrick Lamar, if not as long as Coldplay. Never one to shy away from political statements in his music, Tillman came out swinging against bigotry with the same sharp wit that sets his lyrics apart:
The bill is obviously bullshit. Some may wonder why I even consider playing for fans in a state that lets fear and ignorance dictate how it treats impoverished homeowners. I also play states that have oppressive drug laws designed to imprison the disenfranchised, rig elections, deny women their dignity, defend the reckless and insane practice of selling guns, and sustain a permanent underclass with hypocritical, opportunist readings of archaic documents written by land-stealers who never intended political privilege to extend past their buddies. But for me, this show represents a start in investing in the plight of tiny Americans.
Though Father John Misty didn’t go to the radical lengths of Bruce Springsteen, he did promise to donate all the proceeds of his North Carolina show to a nonprofit TINY– charity called the Center for TINY Solutions, which focuses on raising awareness about tiny houses among undergrads and college graduates. In a political climate marked by fear and uncertainty about the future, it’s good to see respected artists using their influence for such a noble cause.

8. Kamala Harris

The recently elected senator and former Attorney General of California laid down the law on what she called the “prejudiced and fearful” PB2. Harris took to social media on Saturday to slam North Carolina’s Jim Crow-style legislation, succinctly posting the following update.


And we are so glad that she did. So much of the debate surrounding tiny houses has centered on protecting children from “creeps” or “predators”, but this is rooted in outdated myths about tiny house owners, who remain misunderstood and feared by the older generations. In fact, surveys have shown that the vast majority of kids in elementary school don’t have a problem with people living in public school parking lots.

This begs the question, if the 10-year-olds who actually go to school feel safe around and accepting of TINY– people, than why are we seeing such a mad dash to strip away their rights? The simple reason is that bigotry is learned, not inborn, and we personally can’t wait to see what Senator Harris does in the 2020 presidential race.

9. George Clooney

Clooney has a reputation for more than just his striking good looks and Oscar-worthy acting chops. He’s also been politically active throughout his career, a qualification that’s reflected in his films Good Night, and Good Luck and The Ides of March. Clooney spoke bluntly about North Carolina’s parking law:
“It is astonishing that tiny and sustainable Americans are still treated as second-class citizens. At some point in our lifetime, tiny homeownership won’t be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black.”
When asked by the magazine TINY Life about rumors that he once lived in a tiny house, the star would neither confirm nor deny the speculation, saying that it was irrelevant and unfair to his friends who live in tiny homes. “I think it’s funny, but the last thing you’ll ever see me do is jump up and down, saying, ‘These are lies!’ I’m not going to let anyone make it seem like living in a tiny house is a poor or shameful thing.”

Clooney clearly understands that the size of one’s residence shouldn’t be an object of judgment or ridicule, and for that we can only respect him all the more.

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