News Tip: HB2 Repeal May Not Repair North Carolina’s Image Immediately, Duke Expert Says

A repeal of House Bill 2, which the N.C. General Assembly may vote on this week, won’t immediately improve the state’s image among all who protested the controversial measure.

  • Quote:
    “If I’m disgusted with North Carolina, I want to avoid it,” said Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, a philosophy and ethics professor at Duke University.

    “It’s like if someone used to smell very bad but smells fine now. You don’t want to sit next to them because you remember how they used to smell. So it depends on the basis of your protest. If it’s an emotional reaction, you may just not want to have anything to do with North Carolina again.”

    “Disgust is a natural reaction, but one that gets in the way of progress,” Sinnott-Armstrong said. “If you’re protesting in order to change something, you want to reward -- and not punish -- others for agreeing to change. Emotional reactions get in the way of good policy.”

  • Bio: 
    Sinnott-Armstrong is the Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.
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