North Carolina Our Case Against Hypocrisy And Why We Fight for Democracy THE NEW NC POLL TAX
naacplogo2We the NAACP, across this nation for 104 years, have and will always stand for the unabridged and unfettered right to vote. Even when white supremacists did everything they could to stop the right to vote through Old South poll taxes, grandfather clauses, literacy tests and violence, we never tried to stop anyone else from voting. Despite these tactics, which Mrs. Rosa Nell, one of our 91 year-old members who will speak later, remembers so well, we simply demanded, fought and died for our right to vote. So we come to this hearing standing on high moral and historic ground. We have fought and continue to fight, as a multiracial organization, for the right to vote for all people - red, yellow, black, white, brown, poor, rich, rural, urban, old, young, uneducated, educated, Democrat and Republican. "We the people" is the way our democracy works best. We come to this hearing demanding more democracy, not less. We want and we will fight for democracy. We call on this body to expand democracy by working towards the following:

 

  • Enforce universal compliance with the 14th, 15th, and 24th Amendments to the Constitution, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • Maintain the best voting laws in the nation: Signature attestation combined with a five-year felony charge for lying.
  • Stop race-based gerrymandering and redistricting which disenfranchises black and minority voters.
  • Enforce the N.C. Constitution's requirement that all elections are free.
  • Improve Early Voting by opening polls on more Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Open countywide voting centers on Election Day with Same Day Registration.
  • Felony enfranchisement after people have paid their debt to society.
  • Release Help American Vote Act (HAVA) funds to allow for smoother elections.
  • Automatic registration on 18th Birthday, like the draft.
  • Make Election Day a State Holiday.
We know and believe this is what democracy looks like. And we want North Carolina to lead the way in participatory democracy. We also know what hypocrisy looks like. Here we are 48 years and five days after bloody Sunday, 145 years after blacks and whites in 1868 guaranteed all men the right to vote in NC, 143 years after the 15th Amendment was passed declaring that the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the Federal Government or by any State, and 48 years after 1965, when a Republican Senator and Democratic Senator introduced the Voting Rights Acts, which says that no federal, state or local government may in any way impede people from registering to vote or voting.

North Carolina has the best election law in the country. It protects access and security. It already keeps them in balance. One of the key features of our law is voter attestation with a felony penalty for lying, which came to pass in 2003 as a bipartisan compromise. Rep. Mickey Micheaux (D) of Durham and Rep. Paul Stam (R) of Apex sponsored the bipartisan legislation with this provision. It says voters have to attest who they are by signing their name when they vote, and there's a felony charge against them if they lie. This simple procedure works. It has been working for a decade. It is not broken.

It is a shameful display of constitutional hypocrisy that this Republican-led legislature or anyone would now try to introduce a New Poll Tax, disguised as a Voter ID, into the veins of NC electoral politics that could effectively disenfranchise over 600,000 North Carolinians of all races, ages, and economic backgrounds, but especially the poor and working poor.

We have had elections for 237 years in NC without a so-called Voter Photo ID - 237 years! Only after the massive turnout of African Americans, Latinos, progressives, whites, students and the elderly - fundamentally changing the electorate here in the South - did the false witness and distortion about fraud begin and the cry for voter poll tax disguised as Voter ID. It is as though those of you pushing this bill are scared of true democracy and scared that your narrow agenda might not get a good hearing in a public square filled with all people.

For the last election cycles since 2004, NC has had the greatest increase in voter participation in the nation. We are a leader! Just last year 70% of African Americans and a record number of Latinos voted, the second highest number of North Carolinians and large numbers of students. But this heterogeneous growth in the electorate must frighten some people and some in this room.

Now, after 237 years you once again want to change the rules because you don't like the potential outcome of the game? This is hypocritical and undemocratic and shameful considering the ugly history of the South. But we know and will fight undemocratic ideals when we see them.

The New Poll Tax Disguised as Voter ID wants to require people without driver's licenses (mainly poor, elderly, and disabled people without cars) to obtain a photo ID. The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits a state from abridging a citizen's right to vote by requiring "any poll tax or other tax" to be qualified to vote.

Experts estimate car-less people would need to spend between $50 to $150 for transportation, time, waiting in line, and gathering related documentation such as a birth certificate. If they want to plead they are too poor, then they have to find a ride to another government office and swear or affirm they are poor. And even if just one or two percentage points of North Carolinians are kept from voting it can fundamentally change the political representation of our state. Requiring voters to show a voter ID would hurt thousands of registered voters in NC who have voted for years but don't have a photo ID. These loyal citizens are disproportionately people of color, seniors, and women who changed their name.

 

  • African Americans are 22% of all active voters, but they are 31% of the registered voters who do not have a NC Photo ID.
  • Seniors are 18% of active voters, but 26% of those without a NC photo ID.
  • Women are 54% of active voters, but 66% of those without a NC photo ID.
Any proposed Voter ID bill will violate this constitutional mandate and should be deemed a New Poll Tax.We invite the media and every legislator and investigate the costs associated with obtaining photo ID's, birth certificates, and other papers the far-right's bill will create for a non driver.

When Gov. Perdue vetoed your New Poll Tax bill twice - in 2011 and 2012 - she said plainly: "This bill will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters. There was a time in North Carolina history when the right to vote was enjoyed only by some citizens rather than by all. That time is past, and we should not revisit it." Her reasoning still holds.

Truth is, the fact that we are even having this debate says that we find ourselves at another Edmund Pettus Bridge today in North Carolina. This time, on our long march to a more democratic, more diverse and more humane society, those of us who picked up the baton from Viola Liuzzo, Jimmie Lee Jackson, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, Mickey Schwerner and the hundreds who died to win the vote and the Voting Rights Act, are facing new barricades trying to block the way to a more perfect union. These barricades include poll taxes disguised as Voter ID, race-based gerrymandering, plans to roll back Early Voting, Same-Day Registration, Sunday voting and attacks on the Voting Rights Act. This is what hypocrisy looks like. The multi-racial, re-emerging Southern Freedom Movement in North Carolina is what democracy looks like.

So we are here today to say don't try to fix it. Don't make it softer or slicker. This New Voter Poll Tax disguised as Voter ID is wrong, unnecessary and unconstitutional. Even the NC Constitution that you swore to uphold says: All elections shall be free (Article I Section 10 of the NC State Constitution).

And since you swore on a Bible, I remind you of the words of prophet Isaiah and lift them here today:

Isaiah 10: 1-3
Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?

And furthermore we do not fall for "We need ID for prescription drugs, to use a credit card, and to fly on a plane, so why not to vote?" Voting is a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. Those are privileges. We as a nation don't provide constitutional rights based on false analysis, polls, or popular thinking. Constitutional rights are given to keep the majority form exercising tyranny over the minority. And they are non-negotiable.

The continued reference to so-called voter fraud is a fraudulent practice in itself. And it is dangerous. There is no factual evidence. None. In fact, empirical evidence says just the opposite - that fraud is not an issue

In order for the Republican Party to keep saying elections are fraudulent now is to indict your own success and suggest that you won the majority through illegal practices. Furthermore, the accusations of fraud are fraudulent itself.

Finally, let me say that the misinformation you are feeding the public by leading our state down this path is dangerous, literally dangerous.

Your constant false assertion that elections recently have been filled with fraud or even that we must protect against fraud, as though we don't already do that, feeds a crazy conspiracy theory. It feeds a crazy conspiracy that claims recent candidates like our President of these United States and others who serve in office, that use to be historically limited to white people, are there because of fraud and cheating. The more you push the lie of fraud you spawn the life of these crazy unfounded theories and incite unstable people.

 


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Emily Cahn | Roll Call 07 Jan 2014 Hits:377 North Carolina

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Jim Morrill | Charlotte Observer 12 Dec 2013 Hits:464 North Carolina

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Taking the Dream Home

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Corporate education forces are on a destructive march throughout the U.S. While busting teachers' unions has been long been an initiative of the GOP and Christian Right, it’s also on the agendas of urban mayors like Chicago Democrat Rahm Emmanuel and New York City independent Michael Bloomberg. And it’s a large component of the regressive agenda that has sparked mass popular uprisings in Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin. Enter the notoriously right-wing North Carolina General Assembly. The NCGA has been on the warpath since 2010, when the Tea Party took the...

Kristin Rawls | AlterNet 06 Aug 2013 Hits:1909 North Carolina

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Brentin Mock | Facing South 10 Jul 2013 Hits:531 North Carolina

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After Two Months, 'Moral Monday' Protests Swell to Largest Yet

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Jon Qually | Common Dreams 25 Jun 2013 Hits:1014 North Carolina

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Movement gathers around 'Moral Monday' protests aimed at fighting off GOP takeover "We’re going to continue our acts of civil disobedience because the General Assembly has made a cruel attack on the most vulnerable people in this state,” declared Rev. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP. A crowd of hundreds assembled outside the state's General Assembly building in Raleigh on Monday evening in a massive act of civil disobedience—the fourth consecutive week of demonstrations dubbed 'Moral Mondays,' spearheaded by the civil rights group. "What started with...

25 May 2013 Hits:595 North Carolina

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Update: Barbara Parramore was taken into police custody Monday evening. Today I am participating in a non-violent and peaceful protest called Moral Mondays. I join ministers, students, teachers, and other concerned citizens at the state capitol in Raleigh because I am deeply concerned about the legislation of this session of the North Carolina General Assembly. In my judgment, many laws and pending laws that will guide public policy and practice are not in the public interest, and in many instances, will have a negative effect on the future of our state....

Barbara Parramore | AlterNet 20 May 2013 Hits:736 North Carolina

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North Carolina: A Banana Republic for Dirty Energy Interests?

Clean energy opponents turned to dirty tactics this week at the North Carolina legislature to advance a bill repealing the state's groundbreaking renewable power program. In a contested vote that led to an outcry from Democrats, the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday advanced a measure to roll back the 2007 state law requiring electric utilities to generate a modest amount of energy from renewable sources including solar, wind, and livestock methane -- 12.5 percent of total retail sales by 2021 and thereafter. The vote brought back to life a bill that appeared...

Sue Sturgis | Facing South 06 May 2013 Hits:554 North Carolina

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NC House of Representatives Passes Voter Suppression Bill

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Rev. Dr. William J. Barber | North Carolina NAACP 26 Apr 2013 Hits:696 North Carolina

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ALEC-Sponsored Bill to Repeal North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Standard Narrowly Passes O…

ALEC-Sponsored Bill to Repeal North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Standard Narrowly Passes Out of Committee

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It's almost as if they've never heard of separation of church and state. So this is what it's come to. A state known for 300 years of southern-style progressivism has been taken over by wing-nuts who are determined to decimate education, increase income inequality, and basically turn the state into the Mississippi of the Mid-Atlantic. A gerrymandering strategy succeeded in overriding the will of the people in the last election, giving the GOP control of both chambers of the legislature. Appallingly, discount-store mogul Art Pope, a longtime GOP donor and champion...

Lynn Stuard Parramore | AlterNet 04 Apr 2013 Hits:565 North Carolina

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Our Case Against Hypocrisy And Why We Fight for Democracy THE NEW NC POLL TAX

Our Case Against Hypocrisy And Why We Fight for Democracy  THE NEW NC POLL TAX

We the NAACP, across this nation for 104 years, have and will always stand for the unabridged and unfettered right to vote. Even when white supremacists did everything they could to stop the right to vote through Old South poll taxes, grandfather clauses, literacy tests and violence, we never tried to stop anyone else from voting. Despite these tactics, which Mrs. Rosa Nell, one of our 91 year-old members who will speak later, remembers so well, we simply demanded, fought and died for our right to vote. So we come...

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber | North Carolina NAACP 12 Mar 2013 Hits:642 North Carolina

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North Carolina Governor Signs ‘Unprecedented’ Gutting Of Unemployment Insurance

North Carolina Governor Signs ‘Unprecedented’ Gutting Of Unemployment Insurance

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) today signed a law that imposes severe cuts to his state’s unemployment insurance program, a change that will also cost jobless workers in the state access to the federal unemployment compensation program. McCrory’s signature earned him a rebuke from the National Employment Law Project, which said in a release that the law will result in “the most severe cutsto both state and federal unemployment insurance of any state in the nation”: These heartless cuts, in the state with the fifth-highest jobless rate in the nation, at 9.2 percent,...

Travis Waldron | Think Progress 19 Feb 2013 Hits:1643 North Carolina

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Gov. Perdue Signs Historic Pardon of Innocence for the Wilmington 10

Gov. Perdue Signs Historic Pardon of Innocence for the Wilmington 10

RALEIGH - "Today the spirit of justice was awakened in the Capitol of North Carolina," said Rev. Barber. "Governor Beverly Perdue has signed a Pardon of Innocence for nine men and one woman known as 'The Wilmington 10.' These young people were non-violent protestors fighting for educational equality. They were framed, wrongfully convicted and incarcerated in connection to a fire bombing in Wilmington, NC over 40 years ago. These unjust convictions were due to racist manipulation of the court system and extraordinary and blatant racially motivated prosecutorial misconduct. A Federal...

Rev. Dr. William Barber | NAACP 31 Dec 2012 Hits:915 North Carolina

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Gov-Elect McCrory and NC NAACP President Barber Meet in Raleigh Friday, Dec. 28th

Gov-Elect McCrory and NC NAACP President Barber    Meet in Raleigh Friday, Dec. 28th

Governor-Elect Pat McCrory and Rev. Dr. William Barber, President of the NC NAACP, exchanged views and hopes on Friday. The two leaders were joined by Ms. Carolyn Coleman, First Vice President of the NC NAACP from Greensboro, and Ms. Sylvia Barnes, State Secretary of the NC NAACP. Thomas Stith, Governor-Elect McCrory's Chief of Staff, arranged the meeting. The Governor-Elect expressed his concerns about jobs, the economy, and education. Dr. Barber and Ms. Coleman, members of the National Board of the NAACP, talked about the national and state NAACP's commitment to protecting...

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber | NC NAACP 30 Dec 2012 Hits:1080 North Carolina

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Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre defeats Republican David Rouzer in North Carolina

Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre defeats Republican David Rouzer in North Carolina

The final unresolved 2012 House race between a Democrat and a Republican has reached its conclusion, with Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) winning reelection in North Carolina’s 7th District following Republican state Sen. David Rouzer’s concession. “Now that the recount has been completed and the tally of votes is official, we can move forward satisfied that each vote was counted properly and accurately,” Rouzer said in a statement released late Tuesday. “I have called Congressman McIntyre to congratulate him on a hard-fought victory, and I...

Sean Sullivan | The Washington Post 29 Nov 2012 Hits:929 North Carolina

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Big Money plays big role in North Carolina elections

Big Money plays big role in North Carolina elections

When asked how he won the race for North Carolina governor in 2012, Republican Pat McCrory has repeatedly boasted to the national media that it's because he ran a "clean" campaign. As McCrory told MSNBC, he "did not run one negative TV or radio ad against our opponent." Of course, McCrory didn't have to run negative ads; super PACs and outside attack groups did it for him. In 2012, super PACs and other outside spending groups -- those not officially tied to a candidate or party -- spent more than $14...

Facing South 15 Nov 2012 Hits:1009 North Carolina

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NC NAACP Continues "Million Voters March III Campaign" With GOTV Tour Across North Carolin…

NC NAACP Continues

DURHAM - The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP will continue its "Million Voters March III Campaign" with a tour around the state in a lead up to Election Day. The campaign was launched during the NC NAACP State Convention earlier this month and will include tour stops by NC NAACP State Conference President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II. With the tour, the NC NAACP plans to: 1) Inspire one million African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, other minorities, progressive Whites, and friends in...

NAACP North Carolina 25 Oct 2012 Hits:1030 North Carolina

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VIDEO: Undocumented Protesters Arrested Outside Democratic Convention

VIDEO: Undocumented Protesters Arrested Outside Democratic Convention

Ten undocumented protesters from Arizona were arrested late Tuesday afternoon outside of the Time Warner Arena in uptown Charlotte, as Democratic National Convention delegates watched. Chanting in Spanish and English, the protesters -- surrounded by media and conventioneers with smart phone cameras -- quickly marched toward the arena where First Lady Michelle Obama was scheduled to speak. As throngs of convention delegates bustled down the sidewalk, the small band of Latinos laid a large yellow mat decorated with butterflies in the middle of the intersection and...

Pamela Powers Hannley and Krzysztof Piotrowski | Huffington Post 05 Sep 2012 Hits:996 North Carolina

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Wall Street South March on the DNC: Good Cop, Bad Cop

Wall Street South March on the DNC: Good Cop, Bad Cop

I was initially surprised at the demeanor of the police in Charlotte during the Wall Street South March on the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Even though I lived in North Carolina for 14 years, I always relish the cordiality when I return. But friendliness by cops at a protest? Last fall I had witnessed aggressive Oakland police in full riot gear during countless occupy marches, club-bearing University of California-Berkeley police attacking students, and I was even arrested by nervous and edgy mall cops while videotaping a Black...

Jen Schradie | Common Dreams 04 Sep 2012 Hits:802 North Carolina

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The Secret of the Sauce: What Democrats Need to Know About North Carolina's Kick-Ass Popul…

The Secret of the Sauce: What Democrats Need to Know About North Carolina's Kick-Ass Populism

Stretching past scrubby pines and open fields where tobacco once grew, Highway 70 East guides you to a low-slung, red-roofed building where the scent of smoldering oakwood hangs thickly in the air. You have reached Wilber’s, the High Church of old-school barbecue, where whole hogs are slow-cooked over coals, doused with red-pepper vinegar and served to locals with tar-thick accents. On the wall hangs a shrine to a beloved politician, whose death has erased neither his legacy nor the fond feelings of the...

Lynn Parramore | AlterNet 30 Aug 2012 Hits:939 North Carolina

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Progressive Central - The People's Convention

Progressive Central - The People's Convention

Join John Nichols (Nation Magazine, MSNBC), Governor Mike Dukakis, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congress members John Conyers, Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison, Jim McGovern, Barbara Lee* and Alan Grayson, plus several other progressive leaders (see below). Tuesday, September 4 in Charlotte, NC. Purchase Tickets  Download Flyer | Download Program | Transportation in Charlotte If you can't attend: Please donate to support Progressive Central We will come together at the time of the Democratic National Convention to plan a more progressive future. We will discuss ways to build the “inside/outside” movement for: Medicare...

Mike Hersh | PDA Communications Coordinator 17 Aug 2012 Hits:2399 North Carolina

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Protesters gather at Mitt Romney fundraiser, give "checks" to donors

Protesters gather at Mitt Romney fundraiser, give

Mitt Romney is returned to Charlotte Wednesday for the second time in less than a week. The presumptive Republican nominee attended a private fundraiser at the Duke Mansion on Hermitage Road in Myers Park. Protesters from Action North Carolina started to march at about 12:30 p.m. and had cleared by 2 p.m. Romney arrived shortly afterwards. Protesters told WBTV they are greeting the "rich attendees" of the fundraiser by handing them fake checks made out for $250,000. Action North Carolina said the fake checks "signify the average annual...

17 Aug 2012 Hits:957 North Carolina

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VOICES: Why expanding Medicaid ought to be a no-brainer

VOICES: Why expanding Medicaid ought to be a no-brainer

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, North Carolina is uniquely positioned to move forward with implementing this expansion of coverage for the 1.5 million of our citizens who lack health insurance. Thanks to the hard, behind-the-scenes work of many health leaders, from hospital directors to consumer advocates, the N.C. Institute of Medicine has developed a plan to make reform work for North Carolinians (see www.nciom.org), easing the way for tax credits so families and businesses can purchase coverage,...

Adam Searing, NC Policy Watch 17 Aug 2012 Hits:760 North Carolina

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New super PAC gets involved in Supreme Court race to back Newby

New super PAC gets involved in Supreme Court race to back Newby

One of the most consequential elections in North Carolina this year has received little attention so far: the lone seat on the N.C. Supreme Court that is up for a vote, held by Justice Paul M. Newby. But the campaign pitting Newby against Democratic challenger Sam Ervin IV, a judge on the state Court of Appeals, should start drawing more attention as plans for a new super PAC begin ramping up fundraising on behalf of the incumbent. Key conservatives have formed the N.C. Judicial Coalition,...

Craig Jarvis | News Observer 04 Jun 2012 Hits:1063 North Carolina

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The facts, not follies, about another extremist week in Raleigh

The facts, not follies, about another extremist week in Raleigh

This week's follies aren't really follies at all, just a partial list of what happened in yet another extremist week at the General Assembly. The House voted to cripple the state's air toxics program that protects North Carolinians from chemicals spewed into the air that physicians say cause serious health problems for seniors, pregnant women, and children. The Senate Finance Committee passed legislation to make it easier for multi-state corporations to hide their profits from the Department of Revenue so they won't have to pay the taxes they owe the state, the...

Chris Fitzsimon | NC Policy Watch 01 Jun 2012 Hits:880 North Carolina

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NC NAACP Statement on Uptick in KKK Activity in North Carolina

NC NAACP Statement on Uptick in KKK Activity in North Carolina

The NC NAACP stands with many citizens of our state, White, Black, Latino, Native American and of different creeds and religions, to denounce the call for White-Only Ku Klux Klan rallies here in North Carolina. We join citizens in rejecting the KKK's White Supremacist philosophy and history of domestic terrorism. We applaud our local leadership, NAACP Branch President Skip McCall and the growing diversity of citizens in Iredell County that have already stepped forward and rejected this philosophy. Loving and right-thinking citizens of this state know that on Memorial weekend...

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber | NAACP North Carolina 27 May 2012 Hits:1197 North Carolina

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