An Urgent Personal and Public Appeal to Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

The DCN response: The following was forwarded to me. I was not aware of the letter going out but I want to go on record saying I would have signed this in support of this appeal. I was in Greensboro in 2005 when Dr. Barber was 1st elected to serve as the President of the NC State Conference of Branches and had to fight to get Dr. Barber elected as I served on the election supervisory committee. I was nominated by Mr. Elizabeth Ohree a member of the Rocky Mount Branch NAACP who is in her early 90’s and a strong supporter of the NAACP. I currently serve as 2nd vice president. We are in a very crucial time in history and I know Dr. Barber is ready to move but I think to move before someone is in position to continue to move us forward will be devastation to the movement of the NAACP which has been the lead of bringing us where we are in the struggle in NC and the nation. I, Curmilus Dancy II am also a member and has been a partner of HKonJ since day one so therefore I definitely do not want to see not only Dr. Barber work to go in vain but also I don’t want to see all of the partners, members and supporters of the NAACP to go in vain as well. We have come too far to turn around. So Dr. Barber I too join in the appeal.

This is a personal and public appeal to Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II to continue as President of the North Carolina NAACP Conference of Branches until a new NAACP State President is elected during its regularly scheduled October 2017 Convention.

As social justice movement elders and as longtime, dedicated members and leaders of the NC NAACP, our primary concern is to make full use of the Great North Carolina Fusion Movement to impact the recent court decision.

On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Berger-Moore leadership of the NC General Assembly to redraw the unconstitutional racially gerrymandered district lines which have been used in the last three election cycles. Several weeks earlier, NC NAACP President William J. Barber had announced he would turn over his President’s gavel to a temporary successor until his permanent successor is elected at the October 2017 Convention.

At the time of his announcement, Dr. Barber did not realize that in early June the Supreme Court would issue the unanimous national decision with great consequences for our democracy in North Carolina, as well as providing strong sanctions against the manipulative tactics used by extremists in NC and other states. Neither was he aware of the possible opportunity for fair, anti-racist legislative districts and a possible new election by November 2017.

It is the urgent duty of the social justice movement, including our NAACP State Conference and its many partners, to work full time on exposing the extremists’ contempt of the Court’s orders. This is the reason for this Personal and Public Appeal to Rev. Dr. Barber.

We are deeply concerned with the inaction of the NC legislature in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s strong decision, blasting the racial gerrymandering it used to gain and retain absolute control of all legislation. We are convinced that the Burger-Moore Caucus will continue to engage in all sorts of maneuvering, manipulation and avoidance tactics to generate confusion and division within the Movement. These tactics must be effectively countered. In addition, we believe maximum pressure should be brought that lifts up the compelling moral urgency to redraw lines quickly with the possibility of 2017 legislative elections.

While the Fusion Movement is much broader than the NC NAACP, as attested to by the involvement of over 200 partners, the NAACP has always been the center piece, the anchor organization, in this movement. And all would agree that Rev. Dr. Barber has been the major moral, unifying voice of the movement. In short, it would be a very inopportune time for him to turn over his gavel to a temporary replacement now.

There are other factors which prompt this unusual letter. We understand that it is possible that the NC NAACP is close to making a decision on bringing on a new Executive Director.

It would be important for Rev. Dr. Barber to be in place to assist with the orientation and transition of a new executive leader. This is especially the case in this period of political uncertainty and possible rapid developments.

We realize and appreciate that plans might be in place that prevent Rev. Dr. Barber from making the commitment we are asking him to make. Still, we want to make this direct appeal to him to remain as President of the NC NAACP through the October Convention. However, if he cannot remain through the Convention, we ask him to give thoughtful and prayerful consideration and remain as long as he can.

We have chosen to make this personal and public appeal because, while it must be a personal decision for Rev. Dr. Barber, it is at the same time a decision deeply linked to the public good. We believe it is helpful for the public–especially the public that loves, respects and supports Rev. Dr. Barber–to be aware of this appeal.

Finally, as signatories to this appeal, whatever decision Rev. Dr. Barber is led to make, we commit to continue working shoulder to shoulder with him and his successor to realize the moral vision that he has so beautifully articulated for our state, and increasingly, for our nation.

SIGNED:

Mrs. Mary Degree

Shelby

Rev. Nelson N. Johnson

Greensboro

Rev. Dr. John Mendez

Winston Salem

Rev. Nancy Petty

Raleigh

Ms. Valerea Russ

Fayetteville

Rev. Dr. Cardes H. Brown

Greensboro

Mr. Amos McClorey

Kannapolis

Mrs. Daphne Holmes-Johnson

Winston Salem

Mrs. Joyce H. Johnson

Greensboro

Atty. Al McSurely Chapel Hill

Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler

Charlotte

Ms. Kim Porter

Winston Salem

Ms. O’Linda D. Watkins

Carthage

Mr. Reuben Blackwell Rocky Mount

Ms. Dominique Penny

Greensboro

Ms. Casandra Belcher Tripp

Greenville

My name is not on the original document but if had been notified I would have went on record as a strong supporter.

Curmilus Dancy II
Pinetops NC

Photos/Video: NAACP Town Hall Meeting Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Educate About The History of The KKK

Town Hall meeting held on Monday December 22, 2014 at the OIC Auditorium in Rocky Mount was very informative. Dr. Barber educated the masses about the history of the KKK. Powerful message. Some parents and students Nash Central High School educated the masses about the photo on Instagram that appeared to be similar to KKK activity and how children have been disciplined as it relates to the 6 girls photo however the 7th person who took the photo remains unknown. It was stated that one of the children parents is a school nurse and another girl’s dad is a State Highway Patrol.

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Rocky Mount NC – NAACP Leadership Be It Local Or Statewide The Presidents Carry Out The Mission Of The NAACP As They Are Elected To Do By The Members

Rocky Mount Branch NAACP President Rev. Andre Knight and NC State President/National Board Member Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II  were elected by the members on the local and state levels does a great job speaking out on behalf of the NAACP members in Rocky Mount and across the state of North Carolina. However there are countless others whom are not a member of NAACP whom support the mission because they recognize and understand that if it was not for the NAACP oh were would be. Now mind you some safe Negroes have forgot from whence they came and what their forefathers experienced but they are where they are today whether they are ignant to just how powerful and effective the NAACP is and has been since 1809.

For us and I am speaking for those whom allow me to speak for them and for those whom I have heard say it, the whole mess ain’t all about free speech but how the situation has been handled or not handled from a school system perspective as it relates to them following their own policies and procedures. We just want to make sure that the school system is following their own policies and procedures by distributing disciplinary actions fairly as it relates to all children. So for anyone be they black, brown, white and other whom are not concerned about disciplinary actions being distributed fairly, then they too have some serious issues just like these 6 girls and whomever the 7th person is that took the photo.

The NAACP is following our mission and that is what we will continue to do so for those whom are trying to paint a picture otherwise, so be it. But just because some folks want us to go away for addressing issues that fall within our mission, well either get with the program or get over it because we ain’t goings nowhere.

What tickles the hell out of me is how some folks will go after the President of the NAACP Rev. Andre Knight Rocky Mount Branch and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II State President but ignant to the fact that they represent their membership. So what part of that picture do anyone not understand?

For those who are not familiar with the mission of the NAACP and want to say what the NAACP ought to be doing and that we are troublemakers, well continue to be ignant to what the NAACP is but I stop by to tell you that we are the baddest, the boldest, most feared and the most talked about organization and we are going to continue to fight for equality for all people. Every battle that the NAACP win, all people win so you need to remember that.

Open Letter to Rev. Franklin Graham, CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

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NC NAACP Letterhead

 

THE FOLLOWING IS AN OPEN LETTER TO REV.  FRANKLIN GRAHAM ADDRESSING MORAL VALUES AND GRAHAM’S POLITICAL AD.  THIS LETTER WILL POST ONLINE (www.naacpnc.org) LATER THIS EVENING (10/29/12) ALLOWING OTHER SUPPORTIVE RELIGIOUS  LEADERS TO SIGN AND SUPPORT IN ADDITION TO THOSE LISTED.

 

 AN OPEN LETTER TO REV. FRANKLIN GRAHAM

REGARDING VALUES AND VOTING

 

 

October 29, 2012

 

Rev. Franklin Graham

President and CEO

Billy Graham Evangelical Association

1 Billy Graham Parkway

Charlotte, NC 28201

 

Dear Rev. Graham:

 

            We write you today as a brother in the faith and as a member of God’s human family. This letter comes to you in Christian love but also with great hurt and concern. Earlier this year your acts as the President/CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association compelled us to ask you to examine yourself and to cease arousing unwarranted suspicion regarding President Barack Obama’s Christian faith.

 

            In February 2012, you expressed your doubts about his faith on national television, partly because he had tried to engage Muslim nations and leaders in a dialogue about the world’s future. North Carolina evangelicals and prophetic ministers, steeped in the African American church, asked you to cease arousing unwarranted suspicion about the President’s faith. At that time a group of Christian clergy and scholars from North Carolina wrote to you in private as the scriptures first demands. Among many things in our pastoral and prophetic critique we said to you, March 5, 2012:

 

"…It seems to us that your apology is helpful and yet narrow and almost grudging.  And we feel a reluctant confidence that you and many other Evangelicals will continue to disparage President Obama and the faith of other Christians through a critique that pushes him and many of us outside the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith.   

 

It is not your inclination to criticize that concerns us.  Like you, we believe that our Christian faith calls us to critique the powers and policies of our society through the lens of Christian ethics. Many of the things for which you and other Evangelicals have assailed the President for doing are not anti-Christian; they are at the very heart of Christ’s work among us!

 

President Obama’s faith was formed in a prophetic Christian tradition that certainly resonates with our own traditions, experiences and Scriptural readings.  In Dreams from My Father, he writes of the first stirrings of his Christian faith: "…at the foot of that cross… I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharoah, the Christians in the lion’s den, Ezekiel’s field of dry bones.  Those stories of survival and freedom and hope became our story, my story… at once unique and universal, black and more than black…

 

If you would extend to your brothers and sisters in Christ the benefit of the doubt for a moment, does it surprise you that we experience these constant attacks on our president’s faith not just as assaults on President Obama but as an assault on the fundamental Christian faith that has helped to shape the moral conscience of our nation?  This faith tradition has historically helped America address issues such as slavery, lynching, segregation and discrimination, economic injustice, and caring for the material needs of the poor.

 

…The biblical prophets and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ viewed injustice, poverty and the absence of social consciousness as the greatest moral concern of the faith…"

 

 Click here to read 03/05/12 letter to Graham in its entirety

 

You were apparently unmoved by our criticism. Last week, as the CEO of the non-profit, tax-exempt Billy Graham Evangelical Association, you used the Association’s funds to buy expensive full page ads in major newspapers in North Carolina and other parts of the country to further arouse unwarranted suspicion about the President’s personal faith. The paid advertisement contained transparent insinuations about "support for the nation of Israel", the "sanctity of life" and the "biblical definition of marriage," with a photo of your father and his signature. Your ad implied he wrote the text of what was a clear endorsement of the President’s opponent because he was more of a Christian than the President. The political endorsement was particularly ironic, since the non-profit you preside over has, until a couple of weeks ago, questioned whether Mormonism is part of the Christian faith.

 

            We are intrigued by the challenge of Dr. William C. Martin, of Rice University, who wrote a glowing biography about your father called "A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story" when he saw copies of the ad you authorized over your Association’s name. Dr. Martin said that your father, "after realizing that he’d been cynically manipulated by Richard Nixon, . . . resisted joining the Religious Right… he [Billy Graham] warned religious leaders ‘to be wary of exercising political influence’ lest they lose their spiritual impact." Dr. Martin suggested that you "steered" your father to make this statement, since Billy Graham’s interest in homosexuality was "never central" to his ministry. To test his suspicion, he suggested a small group of reporters meet with Billy Graham to hear directly his comments on the assertions made in the statement you authorized to be published.

 

            If Billy Graham has indeed changed, and has decided to join the Religious Right in cynically promoting these divisive issues for our Christian faith community, which wants to restore the closed, exclusive society of the past, historians should hear it from him first hand, since his legacy is one of openness and inclusivity. We were brought up on stories of Billy Graham tearing down the ropes of Jim Crow at his crusade, and his invitation to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to preach with him at a crusade. It is a radical departure for Billy Graham to now exclude from the souls he might reach in his ministry for a clearly partisan and theologically narrow critique.

 

Although you told the media "If you want to think I’m behind all of it, I don’t care," we respectfully ask you to reconsider this flippant remark. Your father’s historical legacy is at stake.

 

We have major differences with those who today call themselves ‘conservatives,’ while resisting and ignoring so much of God’s character. They say so much about what God says so little, and so little about what God says so much. True bibliocentric conservatism would not do this.

 

            This sort of cherry-picking easy parts of Christianity is not a new practice. During slavery there were those who claimed deep adherence to scripture in their support of slavery and racism. They pulled out a few texts to build a whole system of injustice, while ignoring the multiplicity of texts that condemned human oppression. Though claiming to be Biblicists, they ignored as much of the Bible as they could, as though a half-reading of the Bible justified slavery.

 

During the Civil Rights Movement there were many who found ways to dismiss the biblical call for justice and righteousness. Many of them were so liberal in their dispelling of God’s demands that they criticized Dr. King; they said he was not acting like a preacher. And he had to remind them that if you read and accept the whole counsel of the tribune of God…you must challenge the evils of racism, classism (poverty) and militarism.

 

We must remind ourselves to hold on to a faith that will not shrink and declare that with God some things never change. When Micah an 8th century B.C. prophet from the village of Moresheth in Judah was called, he raised the question that everyone must ask when there are attempts to hi-jack the moral and righteous standards of our faith to serve the petty schemes of men. ‘What doth the Lord require?’ Micah asked. What never changes, from age to age with God? What is always God’s primary focus for his people? What transcends our labels? Our political alliances? Our situational ethics? What is greater than who has the political majority at any moment?  Do justice, Love mercy! Walk humbly before your God!

           

            When Jesus came he said in Luke’s gospel: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised and to declare the acceptable year of the Lord"

 

            We hear so much clamoring about values especially from you and our colleagues who claim to conserve the tenets of the Christian faith and moral values. Why is that which you seek to conserve so narrow. You would do well to remember that in the deepest traditions of our faith, of our values, of our sense of morality and righteousness, is the requirement that we as a society as a government remember that our responsibility to the poor, vulnerable, those on the margins is at the top of God’s agenda.

 

            Lest we be hypocritical and potentially heretical, lest we lead political leaders to be guilty of perjury when they place their hands on the Bible to be sworn into public office, should we not make it clear that the sacred text of both the Hebrew faith and the Christian faith contains more than 300 verses on the issue of justice and poverty, God’s deep concern for both as the priority of Gods agenda.

            Except for the sin of worshipping false gods of money, greed, and selfishness, there is no other sin more denounced by our holy scriptures than social injustice and refusing to make the playing field fair for all.  Justice, love, grace and forgiveness are at the heart of our holy faith. Have you not heard or read the following:

 

Deuteronomy 15:7. "If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother;"

 

Proverbs 31:8. [Commandment to kings.] "Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy."

 

Isaiah 10:1-3. "Woe to those who enact evil statutes, and to those who continually record unjust decisions, so as to deprive the needy of justice, and rob the poor of My people of their rights… Now what will you do in the day of punishment, and in the devastation which will come from afar?"

 

Isaiah 58. "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear;"

 

James 5:1-6. "Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. …Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, thar you have withheld, cries out against you;"

 

Matthew 25:35-36. "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."

 

            These texts are so primary in our faith tradition and yet secondary in your critique and call for a focus on moral values.  Excluding this focus makes any claim to concerns for Christian values hollow at best and hypocritical and heretical at worst. Not only in your call for Americans to vote their values did you not maintain a focus on the centerpieces of the scriptures you did not focus on even the centerpiece of our nation’s priorities.

 

            Do you not remember what Jonathan Winthrop said years ago about this nation’s moral focus in his "City on a Hill Sermon"?

 

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with… For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill.

 

            Furthermore, are not the values we hold dear expressed clearly in the preamble of this nation’s Constitution?

 

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

            It seems strange that the notions of justice, unity, tranquility and even welfare are lifted up as values in our founding documents, but are often spoken of despairingly by those who claim to represent conservative Christian values. The selective and narrow nature of your "values" critique when held in the light of our deepest traditions and weighed in the balance seem deeply suspect of a true concern for values and more like a partisan push for a political purpose. The NAACP and many of our faith partners have joined together and listed the following critical issues that face this nation regardless of political party: 1) economic sustainability – addressing systemic poverty, full employment, living wages and labor rights, 2) educational equality for all students and children, 3) healthcare for all and ensuring access to Medicare and Medicaid, 4) addressing the continuing inequalities in the criminal justice system for black, brown and poor white people, 5) protecting, defending and expanding voting rights for all people.

 

            We believe your father is rooted in a much broader and deeper perspective more akin to the grander traditions of our faith and moral values of our nation. We believe you have gone astray, seduced by the sirens of money and power. Again, in Christian love, we renew our challenge to you. If we are wrong, and your father in his latter years has changed his view of a more democratic, a more inclusive, a more loving world, let him tell us directly. Moreover, join us in ensuring that the values expressed on behalf of the Christian faith are more representative of the essential issue of justice rather than the wedge issues of a particular political agenda attempting to consecrate itself with the covering of Christian faith.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

  

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President

North Carolina NAACP

 

/s/

Rev. Dr. Cardes H. Brown, Jr., Chair

NC NAACP State Religious Affairs Committee

 

/s/

Rev. Dr. Gregory Moss, President

Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention

Immediate Past President, General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

 

/s/

Dr. Rodney Sadler, Professor

Union Presbyterian Seminary

 

/s/

Bishop Tonya Rawls,

NC Council of Churches

 

/s/

Rev. Leslie Oliver,

NC Council of Churches

 

/s/

Dr. Frederick A. Wilson, Pastor

Life Baptist Church

 

/s/

Dr. Thomas W. Samuels, President

NC-VA Primitive Baptist State Convention

 

/s/

Rev. Dwayne Walker, Pastor

Little Rock AME Zion Church

 

/s/

Rev. Elvin Sadler, Pastor

Steele Creek AME Zion Church

 

/s/

Rev. Mack McRae, Pastor,

Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church

 

/s/

Elder Timothy Lyons,

St. John’s Church, Primitive Baptist

 

/s/

Rev. Dr. John Mendez, Pastor

Emanuel Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, NC

 

/s/

Rev. Sheldon Shipman, Pastor

Greenville Memorial AME Zion Church of Charlotte, NC

 

/s/

Rev. Dr. Fred Gibson, Pastor

Greater Providence Baptist Church of Charlotte, NC

 

/s/

Rev. Dr. Peter Wherry, Moderator

United Missionary Baptist Association of Charlotte, NC

 

/s/

Rev. Bobby Houze, Pastor

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church of Charlotte, NC

 

 

 

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

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NAACP Makes its Case Before UN Council

NC NAACP Letterhead
Click for Article Online

"We are asking the United Nations for two things," the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, president of the NAACP’s North Carolina State Conference, said in a statement Wednesday hailing the Geneva trip. "First, to investigate the attacks on voting rights by multiple state governments across the United States, and second, to ensure that the global community understands issues surrounding the attack on voting rights, and to help safeguard against these sorts of laws being replicated in other countries."

NAACP Makes its Case Before UN Council
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 5:54 am

By: Frederick Cosby, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com

America’s oldest civil rights organization told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Switzerland Wednesday that changes in voting laws approved in several states threaten human and civil rights and is a direct response to President Barack Obama’s election in 2008.

A delegation from the NAACP went before the council in Geneva and presented the argument that a spate of new laws passed in more than a dozen mostly Republican-controlled states is an effort to suppress the votes of minorities and others after they turned out in record numbers in 2008 to help elect America’s first black president.

"These restrictions on the right to vote are a direct response to two developments: Unprecedented levels of political participation of black voters in the United States in 2008, and a reaction to the significant growth of communities of color as reflected in the 2010 Census," the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund’s Ryan Haygood told the council.

NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous told the council that voters of color are under siege in the United States.

"We are here today because in the past 12 months, more U.S. states have passed more laws pushing more U.S. citizens out of the ballot box than in any year in the past century," he said. "Historically, when people have come after our right to vote, they have done so to make it easier to come after so many of our rights that we hold dear."

Roslyn M. Brock, the NAACP’s national board chairman, told the international panel that as of December 2011, some 14 states have passed 25 measures "designed to restrict or limit ballot access of voters of color, threatening to disenfranchise millions of eligible Americans."

"Furthermore, since January 2012, additional states have introduced measures that, if enacted, would result in the disenfranchisement of even more racial and ethnic minorities," she said.

Some of the measures either approved or under consideration by states require people to show some form of government-approved photo ID or provide proof of citizenship in order to register or vote.

Other changes include limiting third-party voter registration drives, shortening or eliminating early voting, ending same-day voter registration and permanently forbidding convicted felons who’ve served their time from voting.

Some states added unique provisions to their new voting laws. In Texas, photo ID from public, state-funded higher education institutions is insufficient for voting, but a state concealed gun license is okay. The Justice Department Monday blocked Texas from implementing its photo ID voting law, asserting that it discriminated against Hispanics.

In Florida, the GOP-run state legislature decided to end voting on the last Sunday before Election Day. A bulk of the state’s black voters cast their ballots on that final Sunday in 2008 as part of a "Souls to the Polls" drive run by black churches.

"These forms of disenfranchisement prevent those most in need of an advocate from the ability to elect someone who will represent their concerns: The need for a decent public education, for a health care system that addresses their specific demographic needs, as well as the creation of decent jobs, a functional criminal justice system and other basic human needs," Hilary Shelton, the NAACP’s senior vice president for advocacy, told the Human Rights Council.

The NAACP delegation took two living examples with them to Geneva – U.S. citizens who told the panel how they would be adversely impacted by the new laws.

"I struggle with the fact that as of today, I cannot vote in Virginia because this is where my offense occurred," said Kemba Smith Pradia, an author and lecturer who was sentenced to 24-1/2 years in prison on a first-time crack cocaine charge. After serving ….. six years behind bars, she was granted clemency by then-President Bill Clinton. "But in other states I wouldn’t have to deal with this issue. It is as if other states understand the need for forgiveness and the right of citizens not to be isolated from the rest of the population because they have been denied this human right."

Austin Alex, a student at Texas Christian University, spoke to the Human Rights Council on behalf of America’s college students, who face the prospect of having a tough time voting in 2012 because of photo ID laws and the move by some states to scale back on the number of absentee ballots they mail out.

"Other states have passed similar laws that no longer allow student ID to be acceptable form of voter identification," Alex said of Texas’ law. "I am concerned about the impact this will have on the right of students like me to vote."

Established in 2006, the UN Human Rights Council consists of 47 members representing 13 countries from Africa, 13 from Asia, eight from Latin America and the Caribbean, seven from Western Europe and other states, and six Eastern European nations.

The council has no direct power to change U.S. law or laws in any other nation. But with the weight of the United Nations behind it, it does have the ability to facilitate change indirectly through the international court of public opinion.

"We are asking the United Nations for two things," the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, president of the NAACP’s North Carolina State Conference, said in a statement Wednesday hailing the Geneva trip. "First, to investigate the attacks on voting rights by multiple state governments across the United States, and second, to ensure that the global community understands issues surrounding the attack on voting rights, and to help safeguard against these sorts of laws being replicated in other countries."

 

###

 

See related:

NAACP

News Release: NC NAACP, Democracy NC, LWV and Randolph Institute to Sue Over Redistricting Maps

Stationary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 2, 2011

For More Information: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President, 919-394-8137

Mrs. Amina Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700

Atty. Jennifer Marsh, Legal Redress Coordinator, 919-682-4700

Atty. Irv Joyner, Legal Redress Chair, 919-530-6293

Atty. Al McSurely, Communications Chair, lawyers@mcsurely.com

DURHAM – Yesterday, after it spent 60 days looking at a cleverly designed scheme to resegregate voters in North Carolina, the U.S. Department of Justice informed us that the U.S. Attorney General did not "interpose any objection" to the scheme. The next sentence in the letter said, "However, we note that Section 5 expressly provides that the failure of the Attorney General to object [to a redistricting scheme] does not bar subsequent litigation (our emphasis) to enjoin the enforcement of the changes."

That’s exactly what we shall do this Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. in Wake County Superior Court.  We are honored to be co-plaintiffs with the League of Women Voters, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and Democracy, NC — organizations that have had their hands on the Plow of Democracy for a long time — as we file a lawsuit asking our North Carolina courts to stop this cleverly disguised race-based scheme.

We shall sue the leaders of the NC House and Senate, Thom Tillis and Phil Berger.  They paid good taxpayer money to outside consultants to develop a scheme to resegregate minority voters and dilute our voting power.

These consultants know that blatant Jim Crow acts are illegal, so they came up with their James Crow schemes instead. Jim Crow used blunt tools. James Crow uses surgical tools to cut out the heart of black political power. James Crow uses high-tech, clever consultants to pick apart black communities block by block and increase the prosperity of a few Americans by trying to divide, segregate, and fool the rest of us.

We also name the State of North Carolina and the State Board of Elections as defendants in our lawsuit, since they are charged with carrying out this race-based plan.

We welcome the media to join us at the Wake County Courthouse at 10:00 a.m., Friday morning, November 4, 2011, where our attorneys from Southern Coalition for Social Justice will distribute copies of our filed complaint. A news conference will follow.

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Redistricting

N.C. NAACP to contest ban on school lunch data – Sources: News & Observer

RALEIGH — The state NAACP is contesting a federal agency’s determination that Wake County can’t use subsidized lunch data to assign students to schools. (Read more) Note: See article and comments.

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Wake County Public Schools