Press Release: Rocky Mount NAACP Expresses Concern Over County Line Merger Proposals

Note: For a copy of the original Press Release on the NAACP Letterhead please send email to cdancyii@embarqmail.com

 

                        

 

MEDIA ADVISORY

Immediate Release

April 3, 2015                          

 

Contact:  Rev. Andre’ D. Knight, President, (252) 544-2949

 

Rocky Mount NAACP Expresses Concern Over County Line Merger Proposals

 

 

Rocky Mount, NC – “Publicly funded education has always been at the core of discourse, dialogue, legislation and judicial action in the United States and in the South since Reconstruction,” Rocky Mount Branch President Andre’ Knight stated. “And in Rocky Mount, Edgecombe and Nash counties, this discussion has always incorporated race and racial implications. We know that when the 1992 merger occurred between the three school systems, our region was still struggling openly with race relations, economic growth and prosperity and a need to upgrade the physical structures of schools. Basically, our legislators carried out the will of a broad coalition composed of a diversity of all citizens in the region. Our school merger was Rocky Mount’s statement to North Carolina that we were attempting to move forward and build a world class education system that would help propel our region forward.” 

 

Knight continued, “The NAACP’s question to the Nash County Commissioners is ‘why do you want to split Rocky Mount and separate our two counties when we have been working hard to come together as a region and create a dynamic future together?’ We have outstanding citizens in our region that are working hard to make the Rocky Mount region a great place to live for everybody, regardless of race, ethnicity, orientation or heritage.  This regressive argument to dismantle our system is not even fully bolstered by the County Commissioners own study.  We welcome the opportunity for public dialogue so that we can ask the Nash County Commissioners directly why they feel that the time is now to end our collaboration.”

 

“The greater question that people are wondering throughout all of Rocky Mount, is why do the Nash County Commissioners feel that they are not responsible for the upkeep of public education facilities in the Nash/Rocky Mount system?  They are sitting on a $40 million cash reserve that all citizens in this region have helped to build while they are allowing black, white, brown, red and yellow children to sit in inadequate facilities in Rocky Mount and throughout Nash County. They are forcing the Nash/Rocky Mount School Board to shut down schools in communities and create patchwork facility upgrades to schools throughout the City and the County just because they refuse to fund their responsibility. There are many factors that the NAACP is questioning about the leadership, integrity and intentions of the Nash County Commissioners as it relates to investing resources for all children they are responsible for in our public education system,” Knight said.

 

Knight added that “we will not be intimidated and keep silent about race and economics when we see contemporary elected officials espousing old, destructive ideas and are spewing the same rhetoric of segregationists from another era. County line merger was a bad idea then and is a bad idea now. This proposal is yet another attempt that forces us to fight these old battles of yesteryear instead of working together to move our region forward. County line merger revives the spirit that was pervasive in this region from the defunct Pearsall Plan of the 1950s. Our region has grown, the country has grown and our people have grown beyond old, divisive tactics and solutions that create more problems than they solve. Our Nash/Rocky Mount Schools are performing better than they have in many, many years even in the face of regressionist and shifting state policies and intentionally minimal funding from the Nash County Commissioners.”

 

Knight concluded that “while we might have a difference of opinion on how some decisions have been made concerning the closing of O. R. Pope Elementary School and the recent activities related to the KKK-inspired social media postings, we are supportive of the members of the School Board that want to keep our District in its present form. The leadership of the Rocky Mount NAACP desires to work with Superintendent Jackson and the Nash/Rocky Mount School Board to continue to transform our region into a world class and nationally renowned area.”   

 

The NAACP will continue to follow developments as they occur and inform the public of any meetings or town hall opportunities to learn more as information is released.

 

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NAACP to lead talk on KKK pic – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator response: See comments on the Telegram in comments after the article.

Andre Knight, president of the Rocky Mount NAACP, said the branch is planning to address the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education at the board’s monthly meeting Monday regarding a controversial photo posted on the social 
media app 
Instagram.

Six female high school students dressed in white and wearing white, cone-shaped hats reminiscent of Ku Klux Klan costumes pointing their fingers in the shape of guns toward the camera.

Nash-Rocky Mount Superintendent Anthony Jackson said in a previous interview that student records are confidential per school policy, and he could not release any information regarding any disciplinary action taken against an individual student. (Source: Read more)

Community needs to open dialogue in wake of tasteless photo – Rocky Mount Telegram

I find the following letter to the editor “Community needs to open dialogue in wake of tasteless photo” to be quite interesting.

First of all Ms. Ward says thanks the Rocky Mount Telegram for the article about the mess but maybe my ignant a . . missed something. I don’t recall reading anything in the Rocky Mount Telegram about the mess until the letter from the NAACP was submitted to them. So if I missed the article that Ms. Ward mentions, then somebody, anybody please send me the link.

I have not heard about a video that an adult posted in retaliation to the mess that these white girls has stirred up. Unlike some folks who wants to make it appear that the NAACP is stirring up mess, not so.

It is funny as hell to me that the letter submitted by Ms. Ward found it’s way to the Rocky Mount Telegram after the letter was submitted from the NAACP President Rev. Andre Knight/Rocky Mount City Councilman. Ms. Ward you say, “I commend the Nash Rocky Mount Schools’ administrators and Dr. Jackson, superintendent, for taking a proactive stance once this community event created a cosmic bowl of animosity at the school level. The incident occurred over the Thanksgiving weekend; it did not happen on any of the campuses of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools.” Really?

Hell if Dr. Jackson wanted to be proactive he would have contacted the NAACP, myself and others in the community who would eventually find out about this mess and would address it. Dr. Jackson knows Rev. Andre Knight and he ought to have known damn well that when he heard about it and I heard it about it, that we would respond. I find it crazy as hell to think that Dr. Jackson and anyone who knew about this mess, would think that the NAACP was not going to address this. Hell I would have a problem if the NAACP did not address this mess because this mess is within the mission of the NAACP.

I found the following to be too damn ignant, “It is up to the community structures of families, churches, Scouting and civic-minded associations, and parents to seize this regrettable incident as a moment to teach our children that diversity, cultural differences and unity are what attract others to our community as a place one desires to live and raise families.” Well how in the hell could all of these structures seize this teachable moment when all of these structures didn’t have a damn clue about this mess until around a week ago.

I found the following to be too damn ignant, “I disagree with City Councilman Andre Knight, whose tone reflects that what these children did should become the burden and responsibility of the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools system. Teachers can’t do it all.” Oh now you have changed his title and addressing him as City Councilman when he addressed the mess as the NAACP President. Well! I strongly agree with my President because he is right on point. I don’t recall reading anywhere nor in my conversations with him that he has put the burden and responsibility on the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools system. Knight contacted Dr. Jackson and after he was not not satisfied, he took it to another level. Again that in case you are ignant to the mission of the NAACP, that is what we as members of the NAACP do, promote our mission. Nope teachers can’t do it all but the NAACP hold all folks accountable for their actions be they systems, organizations, parents, students and other. The concern of Rev. Andre Knight along with the NAACP members and all whom agree with us, we question is the school system following their own policies and procedures or do they have a different standard for children within the system especially black children.

I guess Ms. Ward attempt to have a teachable moment when she stated the following: “Also, there are lines of jurisdiction and demarcation between community events and school events. Legal issues involved might come under the category of one of the following: the Federal Hate Crime Law, Cyber Crime Statutes for North Carolina, the Civil Rights Act that protects all citizens, and parental jurisdiction accountability under the N.C. Division of Juvenile Justice. In addition, if there are local ordinances enforced by policing authorities, those may take precedence over the Nash Rocky Mount school board’s governing procedures, policies and codes of ethics for staff and students on school properties. A student’s actions beyond the boundaries of school are parents’ issues.”

The NAACP understands the lines of jurisdiction and demarcation between community events and school events. Rev. Andre Knight is not ignant to such either because I know him on a personal note. And on top of that the NAACP have numerous lawyers and other resources at our disposal. The NAACP understand that actions beyond the boundaries of the school are parent issues, however that is a half-truth because some of the school policies speak to students behavior on the school’s campus and off.

The following is very troubling to me coming from Ms. Ward and anyone who thinks like her about this mess. Ms. Ward said, “This incident provides the opportunity to teach parents and students about acceptance, tolerance, cultural diversity, racial biases and what discrimination in every form feels like – including for those students who are blind or have mental or physical disabilities. Our families and communities must teach our children that there is one aspect of superiority for everyone that emanates through acquired knowledge, skilled and precise abilities, coupled with a positive, open, tolerant mental attitude. It is frightening to know that the Internet assumes no responsibilities for what is posted to it, but we have an obligation to our children and communities to outwardly disdain any “hits” that demean the quality of life and equality for all people living in our area and the United States.”

So obviously the school system has not been proactive because if they had, then I don’t believe we would be having this conversation. If the real things in life such as the state of the affairs of what is going on in the real world as it pertains to Michael Brown, Eric Garner, gang activity and other were being shared with the students about it is not acceptable then the girls would have thought about what they done. But since there has not been a real discussion about the mess, one could question if the girls knew what they were doing but didn’t give a damn because of who they are.

Ms. Ward said, “An open dialogue is what is needed more than an open apology. With that said, Mr. Knight, the young man who made that degrading video owes an apology to everyone because he does not speak for me and probably not for most people regardless of race. I am assuming that out of his pain came a type of grief we don’t need to relive or recant.”

I beg the differ an open dialogue and an apology is needed equally. The students need to be able to talk open and freely about this versus now being told they can’t talk about it and to shut the hell up and sit down because the school system is handling it. To say that the girls should not apologize to their fellow students should be a teachable moment. How in the hell can the healing process begin without both? I can’t speak to the video Ms. Ward is talking about because I am unfamiliar with such.

We are dealing with two very important issues here. One we are dealing with students and two is we are dealing with a system. The students need to be taught by the system however the system need to be consistent in how they teach the children be it academically and/or distributing disciplinary actions.

When Dr. Jackson, the Nash-Rocky Mount School system, the students, the parents, the NAACP and the community have a dialogue and determine that we can move forward trusting and believing that all concerned feel that the students are being disciplined fairly, then and only then can this be a teachable moment. But for Dr. Jackson and the school system to respond after they have been questioned by a national organization the NAACP local branch whereby Rev. Andre Knight just happens to be the President, in my opinion is far from being proactive.

I am Curmilus Dancy II The Political Agitator a professional. I am 2nd vice president of the NAACP Rocky Mount branch and I have been an advocate for education since the early 90’s. I have received certificates of graduation for participating in the yearly (PESP) Parent Education Studies Program through the NC Justice and Community Development Center Education Leadership Institute at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill NC on June 14, 2002 and again on May 30, 2003 at the Holiday Inn Gateway Center in Rocky Mount NC. I have served in different capacities such as on the PTO, School Improvement Team, Edgecombe County Board of Education Advisory Committee, former NAACP Education Chair and past vice chair of the North Carolina Rural Education Working Group (NCREWG) where I am currently on the board of directors. I have attended school board meetings faithfully over the years so I am very much familiar with school policies and procedures.

Note: Maybe Ms. Ward is talking about the following, from the Rocky Mount Telegram “We can paint a better picture than that.” Again this came after the NAACP statement was submitted to the Rocky Mount Telegram. I totally agree we can paint a better picture and with open dialogue about this mess, the healing process can begin.

 

 

Photos/Video: Raleigh NC – Rev. Andre Knight Mayor Pro-tem Rocky Mount City Council/President Rocky Mount NAACP Receives The Charles McLean Award During The NC NAACP 30th Annual Humanitarian Award

What a fitting moment as Mayor Pro-tem Knight has been recently targeted by Fighting Crime and Cleaning Up Rocky Mount Instigated by WHIG-TV by starting a petition asking Knight to step down as city councilman. They are asking for signatures to attempt to remove him but their ignant asses do not understand how the process works.

Click on photo to view more photos.

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Click on photo to watch video.

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See related:

Ignant Column: Fighting Crime And Cleaning Up Rocky Mount Petition To Remove Rocky Mount Mayor Pro-tem Andre Knight Is Too Ignant! 

Black Folks You Say You Are Concerned About The Children? If So How Do You Allow Folks To Attack Your Leaders Who Are Adults?

More

Rocky Mount NC – NEWS ALERT: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II & State Convention Announce A Call on the Governor to Call a Special Redemptive Legislative Session

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

11 October 2013

 

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

                                        Atty. Irving Joyner, Legal Redress Chair, 919-682-4700

 

For Media Assistance:      Laurel Ashton, Field Secretary, 828-713-3864

 

ROCKY MOUNT: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II will announce next steps of the Moral Monday-Forward Together Movement at the annual State of Civil Rights in North Carolina address, tomorrow, 12 October 2013, at 9:30 AM on the final day of the NC NAACP State Convention at the Gateway Convention Center, 101 Gateway Blvd. Rocky Mount, NC 27804. The event can be viewed live online HERE.

 

Actions:

 

1. Ask Gov. McCrory to call a Special Redemptive Legislative Session to resend the stripping of unemployment, insurance, benefits to 100,00 families and medicaid health benefits to 500,000 families which takes effect on New Year’s Day 2014: 

 

2. Public education campaign to expose the State Budget Director’s ethical conflict between his propaganda/financial networks and his role as a powerful state employee who writes the take from the poor and gives to the rich state budget.

 

3. Enforcing the North Carolina Constitutional guarantee that all children enjoy the right to a sound, basic education. The NC NAACP will join with other civil rights organizations to file legal action to challenge the cuts to public education as unconstitutional. 

 

4. Wage a spirited fight against the monster voter suppression law in the court houses, at the polls, and in the streets to have it declared unconstitutional by the 2014 elections.

 

5. All Roads Lead to Jones Street on February 8th, 2014, when we will bring together the largest People’s Assembly in Raleigh in the state’s history.  

 

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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. The NC Conference of NAACP Branches is 70 years old this year and is made up of over 100 Adult, Youth and College NAACP units across the state, convenes the more the 150 members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Peoples Assembly Coalition, and is the architect of the Moral Monday & Forward Together Movement.  

 

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Rocky Mount NC – Begin Today Thursday October 10, 2013 – Saturday October 12, 2013 NAACP NC State Conference of Branches Convention

 

 

Rocky Mount NC – Rocky Mount Utility Money: Transfer of funds started decades ago

This is a damn good article. It is past time that truth be made known. Blackwell said “I’d rather have a (property) tax bill increase by $40 or $80 a year than a utility bill increase by $100 a month.” So obviously those such as Councilwoman Chris Miller and the other council members who do not support a tax increase can’t be thinking about the best interest of the citizens.

This article is a confirmation that Blackwell and Knight try to promote  what is in the best interest of the citizens and the city. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

Over the past five years, the city of Rocky Mount has allocated $17.4 million from electric and natural gas revenues to city programs and services that have nothing to do with the utilities.

The money from customer’s utility bills has been spent on everything from police and fire services to the public school system to administrative expenses for the Carolinas Gateway Partnership. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Wilson NC – NAACP request sets racial progress back

I would like to respond to Friday’s article, “NAACP wants black D.A.” When I hear names like Andre Knight and William Barber spearheading agendas that reflect the epitome of prejudice, it makes me wonder why they are allowed to do so. There are laws that prevent individuals and organizations from promoting prejudice of any shape, form or fashion. (Wilson Times)

See related:

Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance