It is difficult to believe that in the 16th year of the 21st century we are debating bathroom laws in America. Especially as we have much more important problems to solve.
When assigned to write on this issue, my first reaction was thinking we decided this issue once and for all a half century ago.
Apparently we are still trying to figure out new ways to segregate ourselves from a basic biological necessity that all humans share.
North Carolina, and more recently the Texas city of Rockwall, are at the epicenter of the current debate over legislation dictating what bathrooms transgender persons are required to use.
I admit, I’m astonished at the thought we even consider allowing the government to determine where we can use the bathroom.
With the exception of those born with a silver spoon (and a private bathroom), most of us are accustomed to sharing a bathroom – both at home, at work and public places.
And for those making the argument that bathroom laws are needed to protect us from the criminal element, that argument doesn’t hold water. There are already sex crime laws on the books in every state. If a person of either sex is intent on committing a sex crime, passing a law banning transgender persons from using the bathroom of the sex they identify with won’t stop that criminal.
The bottom line: People are people. While we are a diverse and complex species, we are all human beings. And when we have to go, we have to go.
I can only speak for myself, but when I use a public restroom, I’m not there to gawk and socialize. I have one thing and one thing only on my mind.
Beyond that, I’m not looking around. I don’t want to have a conversation. And I don’t want to be in the restroom any longer than I need to be in order to do what I entered the room to do. I would bet most people are the same way when it comes to using a public restroom.
Why then are we even having this debate? Why are we allowing the government to once again find a reason to segregate our nation through fear and intimidation?
Today the target is on transgender persons and where they are permitted to relieve themselves.
History teaches us this affront to liberty didn’t work out too well for America the last time we allowed legislation restricting a basic human need in an effort to segregate a minority class of citizens.
So this begs the question: Are we repeating past mistakes, or is this a convenient means for government officials to divert our attention from the real issues?
Have we forgotten that our nation has been at war for more than a decade with no end in sight; or our country is trillions of dollars in debt; or the fact our children are being crippled by staggering student loan debt? These are all major issues our government can — and should be — addressing.
Yet instead of focusing on any of the critical issues facing our country, our attention has been diverted into yet another divisive debate, this time over crap.
Really? If we want to engage in a national dialogue, let’s talk about bringing our troops home. Let’s talk about scaling back the military industrial complex and its profit-driven need to engage our armed forces in conflicts around the globe. Let’s talk about getting the national debt under control. Let’s debate how we can reign in college tuition costs.
I eagerly and enthusiastically want to debate those issues in hopes of improving and advancing our nation.
To be clear, I don’t care what the person is wearing while using the facilities in the stall next to the one I’m using in a public restroom.
Please, let’s end that discussion once and for all.
Instead, let’s get back on point and address the real problems facing our country.
Neal White is the Editor and General Manager of Waxahachie Media Group. His recent novel, “Crosswinds” published by The Next Chapter Publishing, is available at Amazon.com. Contact Neal at email@example.com or 469-517-1470. Follow Neal on Facebook at Neal White – Waxahachie Newspapers Inc., or on Twitter at wni_nwhite.