Well, that’s pretty offensive. A liberal Texas real estate agent named Bob McCranie recently launched a service he initially dubbed the “Rainbow Underground Railroad,” which offers (paid) real estate services to help LGBT people relocate from red states where they now are supposedly in danger.
The website for this service, FleeRedStates.com , reads: “As LGBTQIA+ citizens in Red States … many of us feel at risk. Current laws are highly discriminatory against trans youth and their families. Our marriages, our families, and even our safety are at risk. If you feel the need to leave the jurisdiction of a Red State, let us help you sell your property here and connect you with an LGBTQIA+ or ally agent in a better location of your choice. We are licensed in Texas and we have affiliates in all 50 states and several counties.”
Local news outlet KXAN profiled one gay man, Paul Lewis, who recently made use of the service to relocate from Texas to Michigan.
“You should honestly be ashamed with the amount of injustice that you’re bringing into the state of Texas because that’s not my Texas,” Lewis said . “That’s not the Texas I grew up in. My Texas was you are proud to be from here. You helped your neighbor. You were loving and kind, and you’re turning into something else because my Texas doesn’t feel that way anymore. I feel more hate brewing in the state than I have my entire life, and your decisions are making it worse.”
The founder of the so-called “Rainbow Underground Railroad,” McCranie, says that it has helped dozens of Texans relocate, and it is dedicated to “trying to get people out quietly and get them to someplace where they feel safer.”
This is absurd in too many ways to count.
Don’t forget what the actual Underground Railroad was. It was an underground network that helped slaves escape the South, evade “slave catchers,” and reach freedom in the North. And that’s supposed to be viewed similarly to a real estate agent helping gay people move to a new state because they disagree with a few laws being passed?
Remember, no one is stopping LGBT people from moving to new states. That’s … allowed. Meanwhile, slaves faced herculean hurdles and the prospect of being beaten or killed if they tried to flee. So to conflate these two operations, one a for-profit enterprise cashing in on woke people who want to move states and the other a courageous system of defiance where people risked everything to save lives, is offensive and classless, to say the least.
Hence why McCranie faced backlash even from fellow progressives for this unhinged and insensitive rhetoric, prompting him (to his credit) to apologize. Sort of.
He told KXAN he would like to “apologize and acknowledge the harm for the use of the underground railroad in discussing the LGBTQ migration from red states,” adding that “in no way was I trying to equate the slavery based oppression that African Americans experience today with the opportunity the [sic] LGBTQ white people have to escape to a different state or country.”
Of course, that is exactly what he was doing.
Yet even without the controversial “Underground Railroad” rhetoric, this project is incredibly stupid. LGBT Texans who want to relocate do not need a special service or real estate agent to do so. They can just move anywhere they want and use any real estate agent like you would in any other situation. This reality, unmentioned in unduly sympathetic local news coverage, makes it seem like McCranie was simply exploiting a woke bandwagon to rake in some extra business and boost his own pocketbook.
What’s more, there’s no real reason most gay people would even want to “flee” Texas in the first place. Most of the supposedly “anti-LGBT” laws being passed in Texas have no bearing on the life of your typical gay person, instead applying specifically to transgender minors or transgender athletes, a vanishingly small subset of the LGBT community and terrain that, to say the least, is complicated enough that even many gay people might support some of these laws.
Hence why Texas has a population of 30 million people but only “dozens” have reportedly taken advantage of the so-called “Rainbow Underground Railroad.” It’s almost like it was always a cheap, alarmist grift — not an actual solution to a real problem.