Opinion: Kami Mueller’s Statement for the Ages
After NCAA withdrawal over HB2, NCGOP spokeswoman reacts ... memorably
Last night, in response to the NCAA’s House Bill 2-fueled decision to move championship events out of North Carolina this academic year, North Carolina Republican Party communications director Kami Mueller released an official statement of such incandescent idiocy that it deserves to be examined closely, annotated, studied in the manner of a finely wrought gem or tractate of Talmud.
I’m serious here. From the mouths and keyboards of North Carolina Republicans in these last few years has emerged a flood of jaw-dropping lunacy. Yet this may be the defining document of their dominance of North Carolina politics since 2010. For brevity, alienation from reality, incoherence, long jumps of illogic, and one particularly bizarre (and offensive as hell) non sequitur, St. Kami’s Epistle to the Cackalackians is worth dissecting in full.
Sentence I: “This is so absurd it’s almost comical.”
Great start. The absurd tends to be comical. That’s a defining characteristic of absurdity. The statement above is akin to, “This stovetop is so hot it almost burns my hand when I touch it.” But that’s semantics.
The true “reveal,” and problem, here is the sentence’s illustration of the panic room the state GOP has locked itself into. From the moment it moved ahead with HB2, allowing discrimination against gay and transgender people to a degree unmatched even by states with “religious objection” laws, the legislature and structure around it wagered that the political benefits to them would justify the resulting economic damage to the state’s cities. With every entity that proves them wrong, they’re in the painful position of having to cast PayPal, the NBA, now the NCAA, and countless others who’ve decided not to do business in North Carolina as deluded, overcome by the P.C. vapors and the “bullying” of the gay juggernaut.
Except, at a certain point, reasonable people have to take stock of the sheer volume and impact of the withdrawals and conclude that they can’t all be crazy, and even if they are, they have money and prestige and oversee Tar Heel basketball, among other things. Portraying your state as the last bulwark of traditional morality can be bracing until the invading armies conclude you’re not worth the bother and move on.
That sound you hear today is that of the invading armies, moving on.
Sentence II: “I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams.”
“Genuinely.” Blinding stupidity here. This is a stance of denial—the refusal to accept even the idea of gender dysphoria or existence of the transgendered—taken to an insane extreme.
House Bill 2, like the Alliance Defending Freedom model legislation that inspired it, deftly solves the problem of the T in LGBT by defining it out of existence. In this calculus, a transgender man is a woman, and vice versa; any attempt to blur that impenetrable and Almighty-ordained line that separates male from female inevitably leads to the elimination of gender distinction itself and therefore girls playing nose guard. Is that what you want, America?
Except … bullshit. If you’re a transgender woman playing women’s soccer for, say, Boston College, and you have to travel to Raleigh to play State, you really shouldn’t be in a position to have to use the men’s bathroom or break the law.
Sentence III: “Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers, and hotel rooms.”
See above. Also, colleges have male cheerleaders.
Sentence IV: “This decision is an assault to [sic] female athletes across the nation.”
No, seriously. I’m trying really hard to grok the thought process that led this communications professional to write that sentence, give it a once-over, then say, “Yeah, that works.” There is no reality in which it makes sense. An assault? Across the nation? I guess if you’re committed to the fiction that allowing transgender people into the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identities enables acts of sexual violence, and that the women’s volleyball team at Oregon State would then be a flock of defenseless sheep, and the NCAA’s decision to pull events out of North Carolina constitutes an “assault” against those delicate flowers of young American ladyhood via interstate hoodoo ….
Screw it. It’s nonsense, and bad English, too.
Sentence V: “If you are unwilling to have women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, how do you have a women’s team?”
Wrong. Allowing transgender women to use the women’s locker room does not mean abolishing gender-specific bathrooms and locker rooms. This is a fiction promulgated by, among others, our lieutenant governor. The courts have recognized this as well. The argument is ridiculous on its face. If all public facilities are unisex, then the whole transgender issue is immaterial.
Sentence VI: “I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor.”
Oh, heavens. Oh, Kami. Kami. Honestly.
You do understand that the NCAA is still investigating Baylor, right, and that the sanction hammer has not yet struck? You do understand that the Baylor coach was fired in disgrace? You realize that these rapes were not theoretical but actual, and that their investigation was the province of law enforcement, not the NCAA?
You realize how ridiculous and insulting it is to equate, in any way, the horrific Baylor rape scandal and cover-up with people being allowed to pee where they choose? You do understand that you just accused intercollegiate athletics’ governing organization with not caring about rape victims at Baylor? You do realize Baylor is in Texas? You recognize by now, surely, that you missed an opportunity to throw Jerry Sandusky into the mix, too?
Sentence VII: “Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking—and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.”
Perhaps the spokesperson for a political party should check herself before accusing anyone of “political peacocking.”
And about that safety concern: Transgender people have more to worry about than anyone. A researcher at UCLA conducted a survey a few years ago of transgender and non-conforming people in Washington, D.C. Roughly 70 percent of respondents reported that they’d been barred, harassed, or physically attacked.
“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said Monday. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”
It seems to me that the NCAA is focusing its energies on making sure athletes are safe; that Mark Emmert’s statement does not constitute “peacocking”; that “assault” means something specific and not a relocation of games; and “so absurd it’s almost comical” is a phrase that will follow Kami Mueller and the North Carolina Republican Party for a very long time, and not for the reasons they want.