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.

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