A person holds a T-shirt asking "Can you hear us now Pat?"

Pat McCrory: ‘Shame’ Protest Prompts Anti-Free Speech Bill

A protest aimed at former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, while he was in Washington, D.C. to attend President Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, has resulted in calls for a new law that would “make it a crime to threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against a present or former North Carolina official in the course of, on account of, the performance of his or her duties,” as reported by Salon.

The demonstrators chanted “shame” and called “bigot” at McCrory in protest of, something he had already lost his governorship over, a controversial bill dictating discriminatory rules about bathroom use that was reported to cause a perception of a drop in business activity among voters, enough to see him lose, according to Cenk Uygur with The Young Turks.

Uygur called the protest and accompanying video footage “super fun.” However, the level of discomfort the former governor felt when cornered by the group chanting “shame” loudly was enough to prompt North Carolina Senator Dan Bishop to announce plans for a new bill that would place restrictions on freedom of speech. Bishop was reported as a backer of the controversial bathroom bill.

Bishop feels that the behavior exhibited by the demonstrators, who he was reported to variously describe as “ubiquitous leftist rioters” and “a chanting mob,” warrants a prison sentence of five years.

The North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement with regard to making light of the shortcomings of politicians “whether in a newspaper, at a meeting, or on a public street — is the very heart of the First Amendment.” The ACLU drew a line between the actions of the protesters in the video and violent acts; the group underlined the difference between “protection from violence” and being shielded from criticism. Criminalizing the United States’ “proud tradition of free speech for all” would violate the Constitution, the group explained.

North Carolina Senator Dan Bishop.
North Carolina Senator Dan Bishop. [Image by State of North Carolina | Wikimedia Commons | Cropped & Resized | CC0 Public Domain]

Cenk Uygur contrasted the actions of the Pat McCrory protesters with those who were said to have punched white supremacist Richard Spencer in the face, as previously featured by the Inquisitr, imploring viewers “don’t do that.”

“On the other hand, voicing your opinion is as American as apple pie,” Uygur continued.

A video shows that once police arrived at the McCrory demonstration in Washington, the protesters, continuing to chant “shame,” slowly disbanded and left the area.

“You’re protecting the homophobes and the bigots!” one protester yelled emphatically.

The TYT co-founder said that the story was a jovial one until it took the “twist” of the new anti-free speech bill purposed by Dan Bishop. Uygur expressed the opinion that the actions of Bishop show that he feels that he is “above the law.”

Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory with President Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump stands on as former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory speaks at Wilmington International Airport. [Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

“What do you think you are, an American?” Cenk Uygur mocked someone who might support the purposed anti-free speech legislation. He went on to find irony in the fact that Bishop and McCrory are “constitutionalists.”

With regard to Bishop’s assertions that the McCrory protesters were rioting and a chanting mob, Uygur contrasted Tea Party gatherings and Donald Trump campaign rallies, where thousands chanted “lock her up” and “build a wall” in unison. The TYT host offered that chanting “lock her up” may be more threatening than the actions of the Washington protesters, including their chants. He also made note of the fact that after Pat McCrory, a Republican, lost to Democrat Roy Cooper that many of the powers associated with the governorship were “stripped.”

“The Republicans in North Carolina don’t believe in democracy,” Uygur stated.

He held up the “mandate” of the voters that elected the Democrat being ignored by a Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature. Uygur explained that the proposed anti-free speech legislation does not mesh with traditional conservative ideology, nor does it mesh with any American ideology. Cenk Uygur called the proposed anti-free speech bill one of the “worst” of his recollection.

[Featured Image by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images]

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