Up & Coming Weekly

May 30, 2023

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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6 UCW MAY 31 - JUNE 6, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM If you've engaged in political activity or debate for longer than, say, a week, chances are someone thinks you're an extremist. If your activity occurs or draws attention on social media, chances are someone has called you an extremist. And guess what: you probably are! Very few individuals hold only views shared by a large majority of other people. Human beings are more complicated — and interesting — than that. You may have "mainstream" views on economic matters, for ex- ample, but take a decidedly minority position on abortion. Or you might mix popular views on gun control with unpopular views on foreign policy. By someone's definition, you might well be an extremist. In recent weeks, left-wing activists have been hurling the "extremist" ac- cusation at the Republicans who hold majorities in North Carolina's General Assembly, Council of State, appellate courts, and county governments. I hope these activists don't slip on the glass stairs of their glass houses. For example, most of them favor the continued use of race-conscious admissions at the University of North Carolina and other institutions of higher education. is is a deeply unpopular position. A 2022 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 74% of Americans — including 68% of Hispanics, 63% of Asians, and 59% of African-Americans — oppose any use of race or ethnicity in college admis- sions. About a quarter of Americans, in other words, take UNC's side in its years-long legal dispute with Students for Fair Admissions. Does that make them extremists? I don't know. Soon we can just call them disappointed, as the U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to declare an end to racial discrimina- tion in admissions. About the same percentage of North Carolinians oppose a requirement that citizens present a photo ID in order to vote. ey argue ID requirements rep- resent a significant and racially biased impediment to electoral participation. I think the critics are mistaken, and most North Carolinians agree. Two- thirds or more express support for voter ID, depending on how the ques- tion is worded, and a solid majority voted in 2018 to add the requirement to the state constitution. How about parental choice in education? Measures to expand North Carolina's Opportunity Scholarship program and streamline the approval of new charter schools have attracted bitter scorn from the Left. But which are the mainstream and extreme posi- tions here? Parental choice is broadly popular. In a Civitas Poll earlier this year, only 22% of North Carolina voters said they were opposed to Opportu- nity Scholarships and charter schools. Finally, progressives say it would be "extreme" for the General Assembly to prohibit the use of surgery, hormones, or puberty-blockers to treat gender dysphoria in children, or to protect biological females from having to compete against transgender females in sports. Whatever you think of these measures, they reflect the majority view. A recent Washington Post poll found that 68% of Americans oppose access to puberty-blocking drugs for children ages 10-14 and 58% oppose access to hormonal treatments for those aged 15 to 17. Most also take the side of biological girls and women who say allowing biological males into their sports is unfair and potentially dangerous. I wouldn't have spent most of my life in opinion journalism if I thought political issues can or should be set- tled simply by taking polls. Arguments matter! Opinions change! Plenty of noxious views were once mainstream but are now relegated to the fringe, thank goodness. Similarly, much good has come from a few lonely dissent- ers — be they in business, science, art, or politics — who braved public scorn only to be proven right later on. What I object to is the modern im- pulse to label as "extreme" an opinion merely because it differs from your own. It devalues the meaning of the term. It removes the sting. ere really are political extremists who deserve our scorn, those who resort to violence and intimidation rather than follow- ing the rules of democratic discourse. Let's reserve the label for them. Who are you calling an extremist? by JOHN HOOD OPINION kids in america Gates open: 5:30 Food By: kids in america 7:30-10:00 Food, Soft Drinks, dancing, Fun door Prizes! All American Homes FREE CONCERT! june 2 nd At the pavilion Presents 2023 Westwood • Fort Liberty • Hope Mills B r i n g y o u r l a w n c h a i r s - V I P Ta b l e s A v a i l a b l e *VIP Pavilion Table Seating is Available: - $40 pp. Includes Meal and Preferred Table seating - $75 pp. Includes Meal, Preferred VIP seating, Healy Beer & Wine - $575 Table of 8 Includes Meal, Preferred VIP seating, Healy Beer & Wine Tickets: www.fayettevilledinnertheatre.com Full-Service indoor bar available with all ABC permits, Patio seating, and Indoor Restrooms chef bear of on after/h8ters JOHN HOOD, Board Member, John Locke Foundation. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200

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