Democratic state Sen. Jeff Jackson released a statement saying that “There’s no debate here. This is open discrimination. It is completely unacceptable. Mark Robinson should resign.” State Sen. Jackson also warned that North Carolina’s Republican Party has been “clearing a path for him to be their gubernatorial nominee in 2024. If he runs, he’s all but certain to be the Republican nominee. He is immensely popular within his party – and I imagine he still will be, even after this.”
”The last thing our state needs is open discrimination from someone in high office. It tells a lot of wonderful people – our friends, family, neighbors – that someone who represents them thinks they’re all beneath basic dignity. No one should find that remotely acceptable.”
—State Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-NC)
Robinson is adamant about his ambitions though, telling WRAL, “We will not be intimidated. We will not back down. We will not change our language. The language I used, I am not ashamed of it. I will use it in the future because, again, it is time for parents in this state to take a strong stand for their children.”
Of course, when ABC11 asked him how gay and lesbian and transgender folks and their parents and their parents’ parents are not supposed to take his comments to mean that they, themselves are “filth,” “filthy,” or “dirty,” Robinson did his best impression of an ambitious GOP coward, saying, “If they take it that way I sincerely apologize, but I don’t back off of my words.” He went on to explain that the concept of bringing up the concepts of LBGTQ existence with children was “filthy.” Okaaaaay? Let’s think about this “apology” for one minute, because it’s so goddamned insincere and meaningless.
He apologizes if you take his words to mean what words mean but he also is saying he didn’t mean those words to mean the things that those words mean. But also he stands by his words because he doesn’t “back off of” them, even when by his own admission they’re ignorant or, at the very least, were spoken so poorly and in such a way as to need a very large level of rearticulation. Gotcha!
When asked about his comments on Spectrum later the same day, using the same Zoom camera, wearing the same outfit, and sitting in the same room, Robinson added a touch of the self-aggrandizing persecution complex to his response: telling the news outlet that he would be adding himself to the massive crucifix the GOP has nailed itself to, that the “left” is making an effort to silence people like him—and people that threaten the lives of school board members. Doubling down on his double down, he said, “It doesn’t matter to me what the definition of hate speech is. I said what I said, and I believe what I said, and many people across the state feel the exact same way.”
NBC News reports that this isn’t Robinson’s first anti-trans rodeo. A few months ago, Robinson spoke to the Upper Room Church of God in Christ and had this to say in a long-winded speech: “There ain’t but two genders. Ain’t nothing but men and women … You can go to the doctor and get cut up. You can go down to the dress shop and get made up. You can go down there and get drugged up, but at the end of the day, you’re just a drugged up, dressed up, made up, cut up, man or woman. You ain’t changed what God put in you—that DNA. You can’t transcend God’s creation.” He reportedly added this touch of conservative Christian hatred: “If there is a movement in this country that is demonic, and that is full of the spirit of antichrist, it is the transgender movement.”
As Daily Kos community member ShowerCap pointed out, there’s a good chance this kind of viral bigotry is just the kind of thing Mark Robinson needs to get shot into the top echelon of the Republican Party’s leadership these days.