What kind of a future does North Carolina have?
Right now, it looks rough.
In the last couple of years, the Old North State has passed some of the most extreme elements of the GOP agenda, including an increase on sales taxes that hits low income workers, attacks on worker's rights, and the most extreme voting restriction in the country.
Governor Pat McCrory has also signed laws cutting unemployment benefits, repealed the state's racial justice act, and passed unnecessary restrictions on abortion clinics, forcing a number of women's health centers to close.
But -- Governor McCrory is not the future.
Madison Kimrey is.
The 12-year-old girl has stood out at protests against the new state policies -- and she's been posting videos on YouTube, especially targeting the new state policy not to pre-register 16- and 17-year-olds to vote anymore. Gee. I wonder why the Republican leaders stopped doing that.
Of course, like other protesters, Madison hasn't gotten much respect from governor McCrory. He appeared on WWNC Radio last August saying he would not grant Kimrey's request to meet with him, adding, “This is all very liberal groups using children as, I think, props to push a very far-left agenda. And I don't agree with conservatives doing that. Nor do I agree with liberals doing that."
Oh governor -- you know, it's not nice to call people names.
Kimrey responded to those remarks in a speech to a “Moral Mondays” protest at the state capitol in Raleigh on Oct. 28.
“He called my request to meet with him ridiculous, and called me a prop for liberal groups,” she said. “This is not leadership. The young people of North Carolina deserve better. I am not a prop. I am part of the new generation of suffragettes.”
That's right, suffragette. North Carolina is forcing young people to start fighting for their voting rights early: College I.D.s are prohibited as voter identification. People can be challenged more easily at the polls. Same-day voter registration is eliminated. But you know -- nothing makes voting more hip than when someone tries to take it away.
As Madison told my colleague Rev. Al Sharpton, on Wednesday, “All of my friends are just, like, ‘Madison, this is so cool.’ and a lot of them don't have the same views as I do, but they're still like, ‘Madison, this is so cool. We support you in whatever you do.’ "
Ladies and gentlemen -- the governor of North Carolina is fighting a 12-year-old. And he's losing. For that, Madison Kimrey is our Disrupter of the Week.