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Forsyth groups denounce wave of GOP-led laws | #schoolsaftey

Members of four local activist groups denounced several Republican-sponsored laws on Saturday — the day they took effect.

Some of the new legislation restricts abortion and makes it easier to carry a gun. That’s in addition to recent laws targeting how history is taught in public schools and LGBTQ+ rights.

“There is no way to ensure an equitable future for our state without looking at our past and reckoning with it,” said P.G. Hazard, a member of Winston-Salem Democratic Socialists of America. “Now is the time for North Carolinians to take back our state and ensure safety, dignity, respect and equity for everyone.”

Republicans in North Carolina and state legislatures across the nation are pushing forward a wave of bills that seek to regulate the nuances of racism and sexuality among other issues. It’s contributed to what’s become a culture war dividing the country.

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Over the past week alone, North Carolina’s GOP-dominated legislature has sent a number of bills affecting LGBTQ+ youth to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk, where they’re likely to be vetoed. One measure would prohibit any medical professional from providing hormone therapy, puberty blockers and surgical gender transition procedures to anyone under 18. Another would prohibit transgender girls from playing in middle school, high school and college sports designated for girls.

With Democrats in many places lacking the power to effect change, a variety of groups are pushing back the only way they can.

Enter Hazard, who spoke to about 30 people gathered on a muggy day at the Other Suns Coffee Shop.

Miranda Jones, an organizer with Hate Out of Winston, was concerned that she and fellow teachers are barred from using words like “white supremacy” during history discussions. Jones, a teacher at Andrews High School in High Point, said she will continue to teach about sensitive topics involving race in her classroom.

“It’s possible that fragile white men and white women in Raleigh are afraid of the truth?” asked Jones, a former teacher at North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem.

The Rev. Lia Scholl, the pastor at First Friends Meeting, a Quaker church in Greensboro, said Republican-sponsored bills “are violence and requires our protest.”

Some may feel that Republican legislators and their supporters are winning with their legislation, said Hazel Mack, the owner of Other Suns Coffee Shop and a local activist, “but change is coming.”

African Americans overcame slavery and Jim Crow discrimination, Mack explained. Blacks and other people can overcome the Republican agenda.

“We could have given up (a) long time ago,” Mack said. “But that’s not the nature of who we are.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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