Robinson's promises

Published June 6, 2024

By Cash Michaels

So there he was…NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in all of his gory…I mean glory.

Bellowing to the faithful at the annual NC GOP Convention in his hometown of Greensboro, Memorial Day weekend. Must have been a great, triumphant feeling to be embraced by a room full of folks who less than ten years ago, wouldn’t have let him through the front door unless he was setting up tables for dinner or emptying the trash.

Kind of harsh, you say? Robinson addressed a plethora of amped up, predominately white Republicans from across the state who are committed to turning the clock back in North Carolina as far as they can, and plan to have Robbie be their frontman governor as they do it. Especially Republican lawmakers, who have no, and I mean absolutely NO intention of giving a “Governor” Robinson any more power than they see fit.

Given reports about his remarks before that sterling gathering (which we’ll get to in a moment), Robinson was in full “command” - playing the role of dutiful political stooge exactly as the NC Republican Party would have him play it.

OK, let’s cut to the quick here. Everybody who is convinced that big, black, loudmouthed culture warrior Mark Robinson is his own man, raise your hand. That he hasn’t been led by the nose since being plucked out of obscurity back in 2018 to run for the second highest office in this state. That he isn’t the product of a conservative right-wing that saw a guy, down on his luck, who was the perfect color to effectively fight liberals, and beat their perceived strongest card - racism - out of existence.

I mean, let’s face it. Conservatives here feel that North Carolina has every right to be the Number One deep red state in the nation, ahead of Texas or Florida. And if they can do it with a Trump-endorsed, take-no-prisoners, tough-talking’ Boss Hog sycophant who, by the way, just happens to be black, they calculate they’ll break the back of the Democratic Party’s most loyal base of voters.

“And nothin’ would be finer, than to win North Carolina, with a phonnn-ny!”

Thus, conservative candidate for governor, Mark Robinson, ladies and gentleman, is the perfect man for the job.

First of all, despite his obvious appearance, Robbie has made it known on more than one occasion that he’s not African American. (“I ain’t no African American”). And he barely thinks of himself as being black. His less than endearing thoughts about the ’60’s Civil Rights Movement confirm that.

Conservatives couldn’t be happier.

Second, given his remarks and promises at the NC GOP confab, if elected governor, he plans to dismantle, or support the dismantling of anything that smacks of “fair” treatment, or teaching the truth about America’s racial history.

Never mind making sure that the streets are safe or that jobs and opportunities are plentiful for our citizens as priorities.

Oh sure, he gave lip-service during his remarks about North Carolina having a stronger economy.

“Economies are built on pillars,” “Professor” Robinson blathered. ”Those pillars are public safety, public education, health care, infrastructure, and housing. If you don’t have those things, and those things aren’t healthy, your economy will not be healthy.”

But then the mighty “professor,” after rhetorically applauding Republican lawmakers for building a strong North Carolina economy after 13 years in power, told the GOP crowd, “North Carolina is literally on the cusp of exploding economically. It is time to direct that explosion in the right way and cause this state to be something even better than it already is.”

And what, exactly, are this plastic man’s political skills to accomplish this? I’ve never seen nor heard of them. Have you?

In fact, a May poll conducted by conservative publication Carolina Journal showed 58%…over half of the state’s registered Republicans “…thought that North Carolina is on the “wrong track,” compared with 42% of registered Democrats and 52% of registered unaffiliated voters.”

Now if Republican legislative leaders, not Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, have been driving the state’s “successful” economic train for the past thirteen years through cutting income tax rates for the rich, and reducing or eliminating business and environmental regulations for corporations, according to Robinson, then why aren’t they getting the credit from the party rank-in-file for at least improving the state’s economy?

I mean, 58% of likely NC Republicans voters aren’t buying it!

And get this - Robbie also had the unmitigated gall to applaud Republican legislative knuckleheads for passing the divisive and discriminatory HB2 “bathroom bill” years ago, which cost our state literally hundreds of millions of dollars in lost business, opportunities and jobs.

Republican Party handlers, better pull your boy to the side and tell him that promising folks to build a better state economy, and then applauding an idiotic anti-transsexual political move that nearly crushed our economy, is not the way to run for governor.

Oh, but the foolishness didn’t stop there.

Robbie also promised the NCGOP crowd that if elected governor, he would eliminate all DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) policies from state government. Apparently he’s in awe of what the UNC Board of Trustees just pulled.

“I’m going to go through every document in North Carolina’s government, all of them," he said to wild applause. "When I find DEI, I’m going scratch them out — with a red pen.”

Boy, that must have been music to the ears of that conservative crowd. 

Imagine, a black guy, promising to shut the door of opportunity behind him to qualified folks of color who look something like him, if he’s elected our next governor.

And of course Robbie “should”  do that, right-wingers would say. After all, he wasn’t chosen to run for the second highest office, then the highest office in our state, solely because he holds conservative principles (whatever the hell they are). And he certainly wasn’t chosen to lead after a long, impressive legislative history of serving the citizens of North Carolina.

Robbie is in the fix of his life right now solely because he’s black, and is being weaponized as a political tool to crush the liberal NC Democratic Party to dust, by taking black voters away from it, and bolstering the spirits of white conservatives who so desperately need to see that happen. 

And when Mark Robinson tells you he hates public education in North Carolina, believe the man. During his diatribe, Robbie accused “all-powerful bureaucrats” of feeding our children “…a steady diet of Communism and pornography.”

See any third-graders running around with lipstick in their red underwear with a hammer and sickle emblazoned on the front lately? Ever?

He’s all for expanding the school voucher program too, which is slowly, but surely, siphoning away vital dollars from our public education system, and sadly, he knows it.  

And of course, Robbie threw red meat out to the NC GOP Convention crowd when he called Critical Race Theory “garbage” and “absolutely sickening,” saying that instead, North Carolina public school students should exclusively focus on “classical education” like math, English and grammar.

First of all, CRT is NOT taught in any of North Carolina’s primary or secondary public education classrooms (it’s a law school or college course about systemic racism).

Secondly, you notice how he left history off of his classical education list? Maybe because Robbie knows real American history is replete with unavoidable racial history, like the 1898 Wilmington Race Massacre, where angry white supremacists slaughtered innocent black citizens in the port city. 

That piece of Americana makes conservatives sweat with excuses..

Currently, 1898 is only taught in this state where teachers want to teach it, which is a shame. It should be mandatory in every school district, for every student taking social science.

It’s their North Carolina history. They’re entitled to learn it, and learn from it, so it doesn’t happen again!

But of course, Robbie and his merry band of MAGA Republicans don’t want that.

Shamefully, it would be way too much for governor-wannabe Robinson to promise to help those who are working as hard as possible in life to catch a break to feed their families,… you know, folks in his old neighborhood, for example. Promising a better economy doesn’t automatically promise better opportunities for those who are trying hard to break the cycle of poverty they’re trapped in, and have been trying without success to get out of, for years.

Advocating for a higher, more sensible minimum wage would help. But that would be sacrilegious to the Republican conservative brand, wouldn’t it?

As Robinson well knows, and loves to share with everybody now that it suits his purposes, he grew up in a “rat-infested house in Greensboro with an alcoholic father.” He later joined the Army, and worked in a furniture factory to help provide for his family.

I have to respect that, seriously!

But Robbie also visited the dark side, experiencing several bankruptcies, lost a home to foreclosure, and got charged for writing bad checks, charges that were subsequently dropped.

So the real Mark Robinson knows what it’s like to come up on the rough side of the mountain. Doesn’t stop him from talking smack about po’ folks though, who look like him, and struggled like him, whose only crime was not sharing his politics.

But now, like the Bible says, “Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor (Proverbs 14:21). If politician Mark Robinson can’t find a way to even pledge to help those who are presently in the condition he once came from, then he truly is the phony that I believe him to be.

And apparently GOD agrees with me.

Especially after reports of he and his wife making out like fat rats with their own government-funded poverty program that allegedly made money hand-over-fist feeding poor children. Yet, on the campaign trail, all Robbie can say about the subject is to call government safety-net spending “a plantation of welfare and victimhood” that has mired generations of Black people in “dependency and poverty.” 

Politically it sounds good, as long as you’re not cashing the federal checks!

Now, Robinson’s wife is being investigated by the state for allegedly not keeping her books straight, a big no-no. We should be hearing more about this any day now.

So no, as far as I’m concerned, Mark Robinson doesn’t have the class nor  character to become the next governor of the great state of North Carolina. Not because he’s a Republican, but because he’s a Trump-stooge who has allowed people to use him for nefarious purposes.

Mark Robinson conveniently forgets from where he comes, who he is, and what he is. All to win an office, he definitely does NOT deserve.

GOD help us. His kind of promises, we don’t need, and certainly can’t live with.