Monday, August 27, 2018



            [DURHAM] Officials at Duke University are investigating who wrote a “heinous racial epithet” on a sign to the campus Center for Black Culture. The racial slur, which officials reveal was the n-word, was discovered Saturday on a sign on the Flowers Building on the West Campus. Officials say the vandalized sign will be repainted. Duke University President Vincent Price said,  “Such a cowardly and hateful act has no place on our campus.” 

            [CHAPEL HILL] After a two-hour closed door meeting Tuesday, the UNC Board of Governors mandated that UNC Chancellor Carol Folt and the UNC – Chapel Hill Board of Trustees must have a “lawful and lasting” solution to the future of the controversial Silent Sam Confederate statue that was torn down August 20thby demonstrators, by Nov. 15th. The plan must spell out the “disposition and preservation” of the statue. Folt told reporters afterwards that she is looking at “all options” as to the future of Silent Sam. She indicated, however, that the public safety of students on campus was paramount.

            [CHARLOTTE] President Trump is scheduled to appear at Central Piedmont Community College on Friday to sign an executive order on retirement security, and attend a luncheon for two Republican congressmen. However, if you’re traveling from or two the Queen City area, especially near the airport, expect delays on the road and in the air. Anytime the president of the United States travels to an area, air traffic is halted for at least a mile from the airport, and the route he must travel by motorcade is shutdown to all vehicular traffic. With Friday kicking off the heavy traveled Labor Day weekend, the added delays are going to wreak havoc as long as Trump remains in the area.


                                         REV. DR. WILLIAM BARBER AT "SPEAK OUT RALLY"

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            [CHAPEL HILL]  Lauding the demonstrators Saturday who five days earlier pulled down the controversial Confederate monument of “Silent Sam” on UNC – Chapel Hill campus, Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of Repairers of the Breach, and co-chairman of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Revival,” insisted that that was not enough.
            He urged those same protesters, and indeed the UNC students who support their actions, to also register to vote, and then “…if you’re going to pull a statue down, you better pull a voting lever in November” during the upcoming midterm elections.
            “It’s not just about statues, but about the statutes,” Dr. Barber added during a “Speak Out” rally in front of First Baptist Church on W. Rosemary Street.
            As he spoke, some of the 200 anti-white supremacy protesters and a few dozen pro-Silent Sam  supporters carrying Confederate flags, clashed where the statue once stood off Franklin Street a half mile away. Police arrested seven people on various charges, including assault. Barricades were erected, along with stationed police officers, to protect the base where Silent Sam once stood.
            Protesters defended that the 103-year-old statue had to come down because it was really a monument to white supremacy, not to the South’s Civil War dead, as supporters maintain.
            A Durham attorney indicted that he has prepared a lawsuit against the state if the UNC Board attempts to put the statue back up, alleging that it’s very presence creates a “hostile” atmosphere, especially for UNC students of color who have to walk by it every day.
            Barber then warned that if the UNC Board of Governors did put the Silent Sam statue back up in 90 days, as prescribed by law, that that then becomes a “political question.”
            “Because they are appointed by legislators and the governor, so if you want a more progressive board of [UNC] governors, we better have a massive turnout to the polls in November.”
            Barber, the former president of the NCNAACP, said that fighting racism as to be about more than “…somebody calling you the n-word. I’m more concerned about the folk who don’t call me the n-word, but then they vote to suppress the vote, or vote to deny or dismantle health care in poor minority communities. These are the kind of issues [we must fight]…policy-based racism!”
            “You can’t change policy-based racism by merely changing language. You have to change laws. And you can’t change laws if you’re not engaged in the electoral process!”
Rev. Barber was in Chapel Hill and Stokes County Saturday promoting the Poor People’s Campaign’s “massive” voter registration, canvassing and mobilization of poor and low-wealth communities there, and in 26 states across the nation. Barber said the campaign now has coordinating committees in 41 states and Washington, D.C.
The estimated two million poor people in North Carolina, alone, could make a huge difference in the direction of this state’s government, Barber assured.
He announced that the campaign will be registering and canvassing people to vote from now until the November 6thelections, and every month thereafter, presumably towards the 2020 presidential election.
“This is not about Trump alone,” Dr. Barber insisted. “Now Trump is a problem, but our moral political analysis is extremists who call themselves Republicans, and Democrats who too often act as if they are scared when they have power, created a context to allow a Trump to be elected.”
            That “context” was the deliberate splintering of various groups from each other by the very same politicians nationally and in state legislatures who are scurrying to distance themselves from the embattled president now that several federal investigations and court cases are zeroing on past alleged crimes.
            “Extremists, under the guise as Republicans, who got in office, and attacked voting laws, and suppressed the vote, and denied health care, or attacked immigrants…and denied living wages,” Dr. Barber continued. “Our movement is saying, ‘No longer will we be divided. We’re going to be together.”
            “We can change America!”
By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            Republican NC legislative leaders are petitioning the US Supreme Court to stay an order from a three-judge federal court Monday that ruled the state’s congressional districts unconstitutional, and that new redistricting maps be drawn.
            The 2-1 ruling in the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, found that the congressional districts were skewed because of partisan gerrymandering, and cannot be used beyond the 2018 midterm elections.
            In fact, the judges offered a choice – either draw new redistricting maps before the November elections, or hold primaries in November based on new maps, and hold elections in January just before the new Congress is sworn-in.
            According to the court decision, led by Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge James A. Wynn, Jr., the Republican-led NC General Assembly deliberately used “political data” from past elections when it drew its 2016 redistricting maps “…  specifying whether, and to what extent, particular voting precincts had favored Republican or Democratic candidates, and therefore were likely to do so in the future — to draw a districting plan that would ensure Republican candidates would prevail in the vast majority of the State’s congressional districts, and would continue to do so in future elections.”
            The result, the court said were thirteen North Carolina congressional districts – ten of which elected Republicans, three Democrats, in a state where Democrat and Republican numbers are virtually even.
            Irving Joyner, chair of the NCNAACP Legal Redress Committee, and law professor at North Carolina Central University School of Law, applauded the court ruling.
This is a great consideration and determination by the Court which demonstrate, once again, how extreme this General Assembly has been in its misguided efforts to illegally retain political power for ultra-right wing zealots in our legislature,” Joyner said in a statement. “The Court recognized the unconstitutionality of what the General Assembly did with this partisan restricting and, once again, the people of North Carolina have had to suffer for this misconduct. At the same time, this General Assembly continues to do everything possible to corrupt and diminish the separation of powers in this State and it requires resort to the Court to resist this uncontrolled quest for power by this group of legislators.
The nonpartisan group, Common Cause of North Carolina, a litigant in the case, also hailed the ruling.
“We are pleased that a North Carolina federal court has once again state what we hve long believed, that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional,” said Bob Phillips, Common Cause NC executive director.
“This is an historic win for voters, and a significant step towards finally ending gerrymandering.”
On January 9thearlier this year, the federal court initially struck down the 2016 maps drawn by the NC legislature as unconstitutional. Republicans filed an emergency stay after the court ruled then that remedial maps should be drawn, hoping that the uS Supreme Court would take up the matter. But the High Court didn’t. The case was eventually remanded to the District Court.
At press time, NC Republican lawmakers asked the US Supreme Court to stay the federal court order, saying what was being mandated was “simply impossible.”


Monday, August 20, 2018



                                                        REV. DR. SPEARMAN

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            Calling it “wild west maneuvering,” the president of the NCNAACP blasted reports that that the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party “…proposed the impeachment of N.C. Supreme Court justices, in the event they agree with some of our challenges…” to the four of the Republican-led General Assembly’s “ill-advised” six constitutional amendments to be placed on ballots this November.
            Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NCNAACP, said in a statement that the civil rights group is currently in litigation, having filed suit against the legislature, challenging four of the amendments, “…including a constitutional amendment to require photo voter ID, on grounds that they have been proposed by an unconstitutional legislature that came to power through one of the largest-scale illegal racially-gerrymanders in recent history, and that the amendments themselves are so misleading as to deny voters an opportunity to fairly vote on them.”
            In an August 17, 2018 story published by The Raleigh News and Observer, NC Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse made his proposal during an event at a Free Enterprise Foundation.
            Later that afternoon, Woodhouse issued a statement on Facebook saying in part, “Today I suggested that should the democrats on the NC Supreme Court block citizens from voting on constitutional amendments, a Constitutional crisis would be upon us. I believe there will be a very visceral reaction from voters and our activists to having their right to vote on amendments blocked. That reaction could be re-amending the Constitution, censure, adding positions to the court and/or impeachment. I did state this morning (a Constitutional fact)That it takes 61 in the house to impeach and 33 to remove in the Senate. Nobody wants that.” 
             Most political observers interpret Woodhouse's remarks to be directed towards the High Court's Democratic majority, which consists of two African-Americans - Associate Justices Michael Morgan and Cheri Beasley.
            Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the NC Democratic Party, was at that same Free Enterprise Foundation event, and immediately took Woodhouse to task for his remarks, saying what he proposed was “offensive and wrong and improper.”
            Rev. Spearman of the NCNAACP, agreed.
            “This threat of punitive actions against the judiciary by the [executive director] of the North Carolina Republican Party is wild west maneuvering that demonstrates this party’s continued willingness to go to any lengths to consolidate and maintain political power in this State –without regard to the will of the people— and represents the erosion of fundamental principles of our democracy,” Rev. Spearman said in a terse statement. “To shoot from the hip with a blatant attempt to intimidate a panel of supreme court justices is a mockery of justice and overreach of political power.”
            “The courts serve as an independent arbiter of justifiable legal concerns,” the NCNAACP president continued. “That judicial independence, for all people of good will, is morally and constitutionally sacrosanct. The people must not stand for these intimidation tactics.” 
“ The NC NAACP has stood with integrity for 109 years,” Spearman concluded. “Whatever the outcome, we will continue to use our well tested methods of litigation, legislation, direct action and political action to resist in power and succeed over adversity.”

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            Since the death last week of the “undisputed Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin at the age of 76, the glowing, heartfelt tributes have come from all over the world.
            But here in North Carolina, the Rev. Dr. William Barber, former president of the NCNAACP, and currently president of Repairers of the Breach, and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival,” has a special memory of the music icon.
            “I will never forget receiving a call from Aretha after I had spoken at the Democratic National Convention [in 2016],” he recalled. “Thinking that it was a joke or prank, I asked, “Is this really Aretha Franklin?”
            “She asked, ‘Is this really Rev. Barber?’
            “When I realized that it was her, I shouted like a kid!’ Dr. Barber said. “She asked , ‘Will you come and preach for a community service that I’m having at my father’s church?’
Immediately my answer was, ‘Yes!’
            Dr. Barber adds that from time to time, he had the opportunity to call her and send texts, and recorded messages of encouragement and prayer. “Every call began with , ‘Is this really Aretha Franklin?,” [and she’d respond,] ‘is this really Rev. Barber?,’ “…a playful exchange that occurred as though we had known each other a long time when in actuality, we had only recently met.”
            “Our deep prayers and love are with the family as Sister Aretha sings and dances on the rhythms of grace, into the Glory of God’s presence, where she joins the heavenly choir,” Rev. Barber concluded.
            Ms. Franklin’s funeral will be held August 31stin Detroit, the hometown that she loved deeply and would not move from, according to her publicist.
            A service for family and friends will be held at 10 a.m. that morning at Greater Grace Temple.
            Public viewings will be held August 28 and 29 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. 
Franklin will be entombed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.


         [RALEIGH] A three-judge panel has ruled in favor of Gov. Roy Cooper’s argument that two of six constitutional amendments that Republican lawmakers voted to have placed on the November ballots, are so poorly written, that voters could not accurately determine their meaning. The two amendments in question would roll back gubernatorial powers. Cooper contended that because they were written “deceptively,” they did not conform with state statute requiring them to be fair and nondiscriminatory. Republican legislative leaders are expected to appeal the ruling.

         [CHAPEL HILL] Officials with UNC – Chapel Hill, and the UNC System Board of Governors say they will investigate how demonstrators Monday night were able to yank down the confederate statue of “Silent Sam” from its pedestal, especially while the structure was being guarded. Protesters had long decried what they called a symbol of white supremacy on the UNC campus, and had repeated demanded of the school to remove it, to no avail. Many UNC students say they are glad to see Silent Sam gone, adding that it should not have been eected in the first place.

         [RALEIGH] Tom Hofeller, the Republican redistricting maker responsible for the racially gerrymandered voting maps in 2011 that were ultimately ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, has died. He was 75.
         Hofeller’s maps helped NC Republicans maintain their majority in the state legislature, as well as their NC congressional majority.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


By Cash Michaels
Special to the NNPA

            [CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.] To say that Charlottesville, Va. held its collective breath on August 12th– the first anniversary of the deadly “Unite the Right” white supremacist violence a year ago that tragically took the life of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old white anti-racist protestor, is an understatement.
            Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, and Charlottesville city officials, declared a state of emergency, mobilizing every available police officer and state trooper in an unyielding show of force, to preempt the kind of street clashes that infamously marked the Ku Klux Klan and skinhead demonstrations in August 2017.         
Stung by withering criticism that law enforcement did little to stop the onslaught then, officials virtually shut down the core Charlottesville downtown area for the August 10 – 12thweekend to vehicular traffic, and screened pedestrians for weapons.
            Indeed, the “over-policing” this year, many residents complained, actually raised tensions, especially since the “Unite the Right” rally organizers moved their demonstration to Washington, D.C. 
Anti-racism protestors – most of whom were students from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville (UVA), bristled when a phalanx of state troopers, local police, hovering helicopters, and at one point, National Guardsmen with rifles and armored vehicles, flooded the corner of Fourth and Water streets downtown – the corner where Heather Heyer was fatally struck by the car allegedly driven by a neo-Nazi – interfering with their group memorial.
            There were intense verbal confrontations, and four arrests, but ultimately, no violence.
            “Yes, there are some inconveniences, but we’d rather err on the side of safety this year, said Councilman Wes Bellamy, who helped to calm tensions between demonstrators and police.
            A tense weekend in Charlottesville, but while church and civic groups sponsored numerous events to promote racial and spiritual harmony during the tragic August 12thanniversary, some residents were resentful, saying that Ms. Heyer may have been the only protestor killed last year, but there were many other victims of white supremacist violence then, as well, who are rarely spoken of.
            “I think that there’s a universal acceptance that what happened here was disgraceful, civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton told reporters after preaching Sunday morning service at First Zion African Baptist Church. “But they do not want this to be representative of their city, and they want to move forward.”
            And then there are the everyday challenges that many say are more important than removing confederate statues.
            Charlottesville is suffering many of the same struggles as other growing small and mid-size metropolitan areas, and those who consider themselves the working poor here say that not much is being done in the area of raising low wages, creating economic opportunities, or developing enough affordable housing stock for struggling families.
            “They’re building all of the new homes and apartments for folks making six-figures,” said “Lloyd,” an independent cab driver who had to change professions in order to make ends meet.
            For the first time in its history, Charlottesville has two African-Americans on its City Council – Mayor Nikuyah Walker and Councilman Bellamy -  both of whom were elected on the promise of improving the quality of life. 
            But talk with residents, like cab drivers who find themselves having to work seven-days a-week just to keep up with a spiraling cost of living in housing costs alone, and you get a sense of abandonment against the backdrop of the “haves” getting what they want, because they have those “six-figure salaries.”
            To many black residents, the racial history of Charlottesville strongly lends itself to a sense of oppression. Even Mayor Walker, during an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday.
            The issue is this deep-seated racism that- that we have here,” Mayor Walker said. “And that's the challenge. And that's a lot of work.”
And it doesn’t help that many believe the white power structure in Charlottesville, the home os Thomas Jefferson, caters to UVA – arguably the largest employer in the city next to the hospital system.
And also an institution historically built on the backs of slaves. 
Leaders like Councilman Bellamy, insist that progress is being made when it comes to planning for affordable housing, economic development, and even the hiring of more black police officers (few were seen on patrol during the state of emergency).
But until that progress is seen, and felt, residents say the hard feelings surrounding race, and lack of forward mobility for the average working person in Charlottesville, will remain tragic anniversary after anniversary.
A makeshift memorial commemorating Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old white woman killed allegedly by a Neo-Nazi, marks the place where she died on Fourth Street in downtown Charlottesville [Cash Michaels Photo] 

Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton is greeted by well-wishers at First Zion African Baptist Church in Charlottesville after he preached Sunday morning [Cash Michaels Photo]

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            The state NAACP is applauding two recent major federal court decisions that it says “protects the lives….” and voting rights of African-Americans across the state.
Last week, a federal District Court judge issued an order instructing officials in Beaufort, Moore and Cumberland counties to stop purging  primarily black voters from official registration lists of eligible voters “…in elections for federal office….when those challenges are based on change of residency, and the State has neither received written confirmation from the voter of a change of residency outside of the county, nor complied with the NVRA’s (National Voter Registration Act) prior notice requirement and two-election cycle waiting period. 
According to the US Dept. of Justice, “Congress enacted the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (also known as the "NVRA" and the "Motor Voter Act"), to enhance voting opportunities for every American. The Act has made it easier for all Americans to register to vote and to maintain their registration.”
Thus, those counties cited in the court order were sued for violating the NVRA by purging black voters off their respective eligible voter registration lists, without properly  following NVRA guidelines.
The Federal Court order also restricted election officials in those counties from “…using the challenge procedure set forth in [state law] to remove voters from the rolls without individualized inquiry as to the circumstances of each voter in the 90 days preceding a federal election in the absence of a request of the registrant, necessity under State law by reason of criminal conviction or mental incapacity, or the death of the registrant; and holding hearings or taking any other action(s) to process challenges filed under those provisions in the circumstances identified above. “
Finally, the court ordered that Kim Strach, the executive director of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement “…shall take all reasonable and necessary steps to ensure statewide compliance with the NVRA, consistent with this [court order].”
According to Irving Joyner, NCNAACP Legal Redress Committee chairman, “This order now covers every county in the State. Another great victory for African Americans and racial minority voters.”
Another “great victory” for the NCNAACP and its legal coalition came this week, when Federal District Court Judge Loretta Biggs denied a motion by Duke Energy to dismiss some of the claims in the Clean Water Act citizen suit against the utility giant’s coal ash pollution at Belews Creek.
“The judge rejected Duke Energy’s arguments—mostly rehashed versions of its unsuccessful arguments in other coal ash cases—that DEQ was diligently prosecuting some of the same violations in its state enforcement actions, that Duke Energy’s permit “shielded” it from citizen enforcement of the Clean Water Act, and that [plaintiffs] did not spell out facts in [their] complaint that would show Duke Energy violated its permit,” said attorney Joyner in a statement.
Joyner continued, “This litigation is very important to the NC NAACP because the coal ash dumping by Duke Energy has resulted in the deaths and long-term cancer conditions for hundreds of African Americans who live in and around Walnut Cove, NC. Duke Energy has not evidenced any concerns for the lives of people who live in the Walnut Cove (Stokes County) communities by taking reasonable and appropriate steps to clean up the environmental mess that the Company's operations have caused.
“The NC NAACP is elated with Judge Biggs' legal determination that Duke Energy can be held to account for its environmental misdeeds,” atty Joyner concluded.



            [RALEIGH] Motorists who’ve gone to their local Division of Motor Vehicles office recently have had to wait hours for service, especially for drivers licenses. Well help is on the way, DMV officials say, but more help has to be hired, and reassigned first. More license examiners will be employed, and available staff will be reassigned to help cut the long lines that have been forming across the state. All to fill 80 current vacancies, with an addition of 20 more. Plus, at least 14 examiners who work from mobile offices will be reassigned as well. Part of the reason for the long lines? The new REAL ID that people have been urged to get now. DMV apparently was not prepared for the enormous response.

            [RALEIGH] It looks like Chris Anglin’s party affiliation will appear on this November’s election ballots after all. And so will Rebecca Edwards’ name as well. A Wake Superior Court judge ruled last week that a new law the Republican-led legislature passed in an extra special session was out of order and should not have removed the party affiliations of Anglin and Edwards from the ballot retroactively because it denied them of due process. This week, the judge added that the law further denied the candidates their constitutional rights, and struck it down off the books. 
Anglin was a Democrat who switched over to run for the state Supreme Court as a Republican right before the filing deadline. State Republicans, calling him “the enemy,” didn’t like it, suspecting he was a plant to hurt the reelection of incumbent GOP candidate Associate Justice Barbara Jackson, so they passed a law mandating that candidates must be members of a party at least 90 days prior to running for office, and made it retroactive. That affected Ms. Edwards too, who is running as a Democrat for Wake district court judge.
Republican legislative can appeal the ruling.

            [DURHAM] A year ago, Durham activists toppled a statute of a confederate soldier from in front of the old Durham Courthouse. Eight people were charged in the incident, but those charges were later dropped. Now, a 12-person Durham County committee is taking comments from Durham residents about the future of other confederate monuments in the area, and whether they should remain, or be removed. Charmaine McKissick-Melton, daughter of late civil rights attorney Floyd McKissick, is the co-chairwoman of the committee. She says the committee exists to promote community discussion about the issue. The first priority, however, is to discuss whether the downed statue from last year should be returned to its original space.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018



            [RALEIGH] A Wake Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that a three-judge panel should decide whether four proposed constitutional amendments passed by the Republican-led General Assembly should be kept off the Nov. 6thballot. Judge Paul Ridgeway heard arguments from attorneys for the NCNAACP and Clean Air Carolina suing against the amendments, one of which would re-establish photo voter ID. Attorneys for Gov. Roy Cooper also argued against two amendments that would strip the governor of appointment powers to state boards and judicial vacancies. Ridgeway said he would urge the state Supreme Court Chief Justice to appoint a three-judge panel to decide the cases, but retained the right to make a decision is needed.

            [WINSTON-SALEM] Three months before his possible re-election, state House Rep. Ed Hanes (D-Forsyth), announced Tuesday that he was resigning his seat effective immediately. Reportedly, Hanes, a two-term Democrat, is leaving to take advantage of an “opportunity” he considers to be important. He has asked that Winston-Salem City Councilman Derwin Montgomery be named to replace Hanes. The county Democratic Party and Gov. Cooper must confirm that appointment. Montgomery is currently co-owner of the Winston-Salem Chronicle.

            [RALEIGH] A Republican state Supreme court candidate who GOP lawmakers passed a law to keep his party designation off the November ballot because he was recently a Democrat, has sued, and gotten a Wake Superior Court judge to grant him a partial victory in getting his party affiliation returned to the three-candidate ballot. However, Chris Anglin will have to return to court Monday to hear what the judge says about striking down the law in its entirety. Republican lawmakers overrode Gov. Cooper’s veto of the law mandating that candidates had to be registered with the party they run on 90-days before they file for office. But the law clearly was directed at Anglin. The judge said because it was retroactive, it denied him his due process rights.
                                                 STATE SEN. ERICA SMITH (D- BERTIE)

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            When it comes to “…disenfranchising African-American voters primarily, [Republicans] are definitely up to no good,” said state Sen. Erica Smith (D – Bertie), chair of the NC Legislative Black Caucus, in a recent phone interview. 
The main target of her ire – the constitutional amendment, passed during a recent special session of the Republican-led General Assembly, that would ask voters via ballot referendum this fall whether they favor a voter ID law in North Carolina.
As recently as Monday, lawsuits against that, and at least three other of the six proposed constitutional amendment referendum questions, were filed against the legislature by the NC NAACP and Clean Air Carolina, alleging that the proposed amendments were an  “…unprecedented effort to take state powers from the people, the Governor, and the courts.”
A Wake Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that a three-judge panel hear the case as soon as possible.
As to the proposed voter ID amendment, Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NCNAACP said in a statement, “Misleading voters to seize power and deny access to the ballot through discriminatory photo voter ID is not only a dangerous threat to our state’s future, it is also illegal.” 
“The U.S. Supreme Court limited the powers of this unconstitutional, gerrymandered legislature, and so the legislature must be stopped from carrying out this extraordinary attack. NC NAACP will not rest until we ensure that the voices of the people who have been directly affected by egregious discrimination by this NCGA are present in the courtrooms, in the streets, and at the ballot box.” 
Sen. Smith, a two-term Democrat, couldn’t agree more.
“The [US] Supreme Court in 2016, July, ruled that the [2013 voter photo ID law] was unconstitutional,…so now the Republican-led General Assembly is attempting to legislate and put discrimination into our [state] Constitution by suppressing the black vote,” Smith maintained.
For their part, Republican legislative leaders hold to the premise that they are not trying to suppress anyone’s vote, only trying to ensure the “integrity” of the voting process in North Carolina, and try to prevent, what they believe is “rampant” voter fraud that heretofore, has gone undetected.
Indeed, study after study has concluded that after millions of votes cast in the most recent statewide elections going back to presidential year 2008, there have been but a handful of fraudulent votes, and very few of those were cast in person.
Sen. Smith points to what happened during the March 2016 primaries to show how 80,000 voters across the state were “ineligible” to cast ballots because the 2013 voter ID law had not yet been overturned.
“Those voters that should have been eligible did not have photo ID,” she said. “African-Americans comprised 31 percent of the votes cast, but they were 40 percent of the votes cast out. They were good votes, but because of that voter ID law which we had on the books in March 2016, their votes were not counted.”
The NCLBC chair continued, “We know that provisions like tend to have a desperate impact of people of color, because a lot of people who don’t have photo IDs are elderly [and] low-income.”
“So I believe that this is an attack [designed] to suppressing that vote.”
Sen. Smith urged black voters to defeat the voter ID and other proposed constitutional amendments by indeed showing up at the polls on Nov. 6th, and voting “No.”
“Despite how the amendments are worded on the ballot, look behind the wording and between the lines for what is not being said, because this will have a very negative impact on representation of all communities in North Carolina,” she said.