Tune in to this episode of The Laura Flanders Show on public television and radio, YouTube and podcast platforms beginning this Sunday, December 3 at 11:30 am ET. Check your local listings at lauraflanders.org, or join the episode premiere and live chat on YouTube. Prefer to listen? Subscribe to The Laura Flanders Show on your favorite podcast platform to receive this week’s episode in your feed.
Visit The Nation for Laura’s report, “What Made the Lights Go Out in Moore County?”.
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On December 3, 2022, an attack on two electrical substations in Moore County, North Carolina left 45,000 households and businesses without power for up to five days. It was the biggest domestic terrorist attack on the electricity grid in U.S. history, but one year later, no arrests have been made and authorities have named no suspects other than to say that whoever did this “knew what they were doing.” In this installment of The Laura Flanders Show’s investigation into the local roots of the January 6 insurrection in one state, North Carolina, Laura speaks with the North Carolinians who were at a drag show in Moore County when the lights went out. “Downtown Divas” had been harassed for months by anti-LGBTQ leaders — did the sabotage attack have anything to do with that harassment or the drag performance scheduled that night? As legislators and local leaders continue to roll back LGBTQ rights, they remain largely silent about the real threats facing North Carolinians and the nation from domestic terrorists with their sights set on U.S. power grids. Why? This episode also looks at how the LGBTQ community in North Carolina is standing up to hate and creating safety — with Drag operatics — for all.
“When the lights went out, it didn’t matter who was Black, who was Latino, who was Asian, who was a person of color . . . It didn’t matter if you were Catholic, if you were Baptist, if you were Christian. We were all in the same space, all in the same boat, which was that we didn’t have any power.” – Naomi Dix
“ I remember thinking, I have to start speaking more . . . I have to start sticking up for myself and the trans community more, because that’s what prevents things like this.” – Alex Lafferty
“We aren’t the villains in this situation. We have a right to exist and be performing and what I love about drag is the joy that we bring not only to LGBT people, but the whole community.” – Tori Grace Nichols
“We are talking about a great harm that happened here in North Carolina, but this is a national problem and not a new one . . . This is a domestic terrorist threat that people really need to be paying attention to.” – Serena Sebring
“. . . That show and that incident brought out two different sets of people. It brought out the lovers and it brought out the haters . . . Those haters have found a way to attack our youth through the school board and our communities.” – Erica Street
Correction: Sheriff Ronnie Fields is the former mayor of Carthage, not Southern Pines as stated at 1:00. The Laura Flanders Show deeply regrets the error.
- Naomi Dix: Drag Artist, Activist & Member of Durham NC BIPOC Operated House of Coxx; Co-Chair, Pride: Durham, NC
- Alex Lafferty: Daughter of Erica Street, High School Student & Youth Activist
- Tori Grace Nichols: Drag Artist & Cultural Organizer
- Serena Sebring: Executive Director, Blueprint North Carolina
- Erica Street: Mother of Alex Lafferty; Co-founder, PFLAG Southern Pines
Related Episodes, Articles and More
Head to our Patreon for a list of related episodes and articles (available Wednesday, December 6). Watch the full award-winning series on the NC roots of the January 6th insurrection, growing threats to democracy, increased extremism and building community safety in a time of insurrection.
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