Up & Coming Weekly

May 24, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 5 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MAY 25 - 31, 2022 UCW 5 "I'm a Tar Heel born, and a Tar Heel bred, and when I die, I'm a Tar Heel dead." ose fight song lyrics have been sung by generations of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, fiercely fought athletic contests, pep rallies and parties and quietly in their own hearts. Increasingly, though, we are not a state of "born and bred" North Caro- linians, much less of individuals who attended UNC-CH. According to researchers at UNC- CH, 44% of us are not North Carolina natives, and that percentage is grow- ing. North Carolina is what demog- raphers term "in migration" over the last decade, nearly 10%. And North Carolina is now the ninth largest state in the nation, with an additional seat in Congress to show the strength of our growth. ose of us who are "born and bred" take pride in and love to share our Tar Heel culture with newcomers — our barbecue with its competing east- ern and western factions, our music encompassing both James Taylor and Nina Simone and why we are a "vale of humility between two mountains of conceit." (A modest and independent colony and early state between the wealthy and aris- tocratic cultures of Virginia and South Carolina.) Sadly, we also have aspects of 21st-century culture that are far less attractive and appealing and have embarrassed us before the rest of the country and beyond. ink the so-called "bathroom bill" passed by homophobic legislators in Raleigh and ridiculed on late-night talk shows. ink the more than a decade of extreme gerrymandering that guarantees legislative and Con- gressional seats to the party in power. ink the war on public schools that has seen teachers fleeing classrooms across the state. ink the racism and venom aimed at "the other" that stained us in conflagrations over "Black Lives Matter" and improper law enforcement actions. A recent opin- ion piece in e News & Observer caught my atten- tion. Sara Pequeno is apparently North Carolina "born and bred" but writes that she once wanted to leave our state, consider- ing it "boring" and "backwoods." Instead, she attended UNC-CH and decided to stay in North Carolina as a journalist. She sees our growth and its potential, and she also sees our warts and scars, many stemming from the past and rarely addressed because they are so en- trenched and so painful. Couple our past as a "vale of humil- ity" with our current reality of highly educated and booming metropolitan areas and less educated and economi- cally challenged rural areas. e resentment of folks who feel left behind is clear and understandable. ere is an element of "how ya keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Paree?" at work here. Families and communities want their young people to stay where they grew up, but career opportunities and cul- tural amenities draw them elsewhere. North Carolina now falls squarely into the narrative of "the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer," both as indi- viduals and as communities. at said, we are an original state with an old, rich and deep culture with strong traditions, families who have been here for generations and enthusiastic newcomers, and an economy that is strong and growing in certain sectors. In other words, North Carolina has a lot going for her and us. Sara Pequeno put it this way: "North Carolina is home to people who want this state to be better, who have been fighting the good fight for decades. It's home to people who love this state, in spite of its flaws, because they see the place it could be. We've been working on our own to make this state better for decades, even though there is still work to be done." OPINION MARGARET DICKSON, Columnist. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Calling North Carolina home by MARGARET DICKSON Photo courtesy of Pexels Life is anything but expected We provide benets that your employees want for those unexpected moments in life, whether that's an accident, illness or injury. Colonial Life. Keep Unexpecting® Insurance products are underwritten by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, Columbia, SC. Ⓒ2020 Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company. All rights reserved. Colonial Life is a registered trademark and marketing brand of Colonial life & Accident Insurance Company. 8-20 | NS-369880 Injury | Illness | Dental | Vision | Life steven.grimes@coloniallifesales.com 910-916-7191 That's why we're here. 2022 VOTING STARTS 06•08•22 VOTING STARTS 06•08•22

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