Silent Sam, 1913

Silent Sam must go

I graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1993. Even then we questioned why any soldier, not to mention one abstracted from a war that divided the country in an effort to preserve the horrible institution of slavery, should be in such a position of honor for all to see. The purpose of Confederate …

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During University Day 1976, students protested the reallocation of Upendo Lounge in Chase Hall. (The Daily Tar Heel, October 13, 1976.)

Student activism is UNC

I’ve been enjoying this excellent UNC History site with an interactive timeline of the successful student activism that led to the creation of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History that we know and love today. Don’t let Carol Folt or anyone else tell you activism is anathema to The University of …

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An African American woman with her fist in the air looks a white man giving a Nazi salute

What happened in Durham

Like many people, a week ago I was feeling pretty down about the state of racial justice and just basic humanity in the United States. But then something happened.

In response to the hate and violence displayed in Charlottesville, hundreds of Durhamites came together for a huge vigil on Sunday night. Many friends of mine posted pictures and powerful testimonials to the collective love they felt gathered together.

But I also noticed that some activists had less satisfied responses, including frustration that the mostly-white event marginalized voices of color and those with more radical tactics. Much of that frustration fed into the Monday demonstration, which had already been planned to take place in front of Durham’s old courthouse, where there was a confederate monument with an inscription to “the boys who wore gray.”

Many times I have passed that statue and wondered what on earth it was doing there. Until last year, I really didn’t realize how pervasive these were and what drove their creation.

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Detail if gerrymandered NC house districts by districks

Speak up now to restore democracy in North Carolina

If you live in a “swing state” like North Carolina or Texas, or have more than a passing interest in democracy, you are probably aware of how severely Republicans have gerrymandered state and federal electoral districts. Rather than voters being able to pick our representatives, they have drawn lines to pick the voters they want, and packed the rest of us into as few districts as possible. It’s been remarkably effective and has led to passing legislation like HB2 with total impunity since the GOP leaders know their majority can’t be threatened with the current districts, even though our state actually has way more registered Democrats than Republicans.

Don’t believe it? I just looked up the latest stats from the state board of elections, and as of 7/29/17 we had 39% Democrats, 30% Republicans, 30% unaffiliated, and less than 1% Libertarian. (Unaffiliated has been growing rapidly, for good reason. Don’t make the mistake of assuming these are centrist voters.) Meanwhile our NC senate is 68% Republican and our house representatives are 62% Republican.

You might also know that The Supreme Court found that NC’s districts are racially gerrymandered and told the state legislature to redraw them and hold a special election ASAP. I was skeptical that Republicans wouldn’t just redraw them in a way that ensured their majorities but didn’t follow racial lines as closely. But in fact, they haven’t even done that. They have been filing appeals and dragging their feet, as explained in the timeline in this very helpful article by NC Policy Watch, “Republicans silent in wake of court order to draw new maps in one month”.

So the NC house and senate redistricting committees are now taking comments online, and they are meeting tomorrow so it’s a great time to let them know that you value representative democracy.

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Republicans hate democracy, part eleventy million and one

They have tried criminalizing dissent in several other states, and now this “economic terrorism” bill filed today in North Carolina shows once again that Republicans value money and power more than civil rights, the Constitution, or democracy itself.

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Why I’m joining the Moral March on Raleigh

I have lived in North Carolina since I was two years old, and now I’m raising my son here. I have personally been from Murphy to Manteo (not all in one day!) and I truly love this state. I attended the very first HKonJ (Historic Thousands on Jones Street) 11 years ago, and almost all …

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Republcan NC GA leaders Moore & Berger

Republicans hate democracy and fair play, part eleventy million

After closing the emergency #NCGA session for hurricane (and wildfire) relief funding, the Republicans opened a new session in which Democrats are not permitted to submit any bills, and are now proposing surprise legislation to limit the powers of the governor since the people of North Carolina rejected their incompetent leader. They plan to vote TONIGHT.

Please spread the word so they know we see them, and follow these accounts for updates…

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Keep Pounding: how grassroots organizing and popular protest defeated NC’s bathroom governor

Analysis from Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling on how Pat McCrory shoved through unpopular policies (including but very definitely not limited to HB2) and then wasn’t able to hide from the people thanks to the Moral Monday protest movement! Pushing back hard on McCrory worked. The seeds of his final defeat today were very …

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So Long DP, It’s Been Swell

On the question of the whether John Edwards will help or hurt Erskine Bowles. I just posted the following comment at EdCone.com: If Bowles can’t take advantage of the increased Democratic resources flowing into N.C., it’s his own fault. Have you seen his site lately? I’m glad to see it’s been redesigned, but it’s now …

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