NAACP GATEWOOD HEARING SET
By Cash Michaels
Any final determination of Rev. Curtis Gatewood’s suspended NAACP membership will most likely not come before February 2020, according to two sources confirming what was decided last weekend during the NAACP Board of Directors’ meeting in Atlantic City, N.J. last weekend.
As reported exclusively last week, according to the NAACP Constitution and Bylaws, after Gatewood was sent his copy of the Article 10 complaint against him for alleged sexual harassment, the board ordered a hearing by an appointed panel, which would convene within 60 days.
For the record, Rev. Gatewood has denied all allegations of sexual harassment, even though a second young female NAACP member also alleges that he sexually harassed her in 2014 when she was just an intern.
Gatewood and others testifying, should receive official notice of the hearing date, and it’s location, by the end of the week.
Because of the nature of the complaint, the hearing, in this case, will be comprised of three attorneys. That panel will receive a copy of the five-month investigative report ordered by then NC NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber in 2017 after Gatewood was accused of sexually harassing Jazmyne Childs, the NC NAACP Youth Director. Gatewood resigned prior to the report’s conclusion.
Rev. Gatewood will be called before the panel to testify, as will Ms. Childs and any supporting witnesses on a date still not made public. The hearing process may take one or two days.
According to sources, a national NAACP committee is scheduled to meet in December to consider all evidence and testimony, and then to make a determination to the national NAACP Board. The board, in turn, will render it’s final determination of the Article 10 complaint against Rev. Curtis Gatewood at it’s next scheduled meeting in February.
Given that timeline, any new election for state NAACP president will not occur before February. Gatewood was a candidate opposing the re-election of current Pres. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, but his membership was suspended a week before the state NAACP convention in Winston-Salem, and the election of state officers, thus disqualifying him.
Sources say if the hearing panel adopts the NCNAACP 2017 report as fact, along with any testimony by opposing witnesses to Gatewood’s defense, then he will most likely not be reinstated. Thus, if there is a new NC NAACP presidential election, he will not be a candidate.
When asked, Rev. Gatewood has already stated that he will no longer be making any comments regarding his NAACP suspension. He referred all questions to Derrick Johnson, president/CEO of the national NAACP.
A spokesperson for Mr. Johnson, Marc Banks, responding to an email request for comment sent to the NAACP president, replied, “Due to the ongoing investigation and internal status of this matter, we are unable to give comment at this time.”
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD)
NC MOURNS DEATH OF
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS
By Cash Michaels
On one of his many trips to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate against injustice, Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of Repairers of the Breach, and co-convener of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival, recalls walking the halls of Congress one day, when suddenly someone called out to him.
It was Congressman Elijah Cummings.
“He said, ‘Don’t stop fighting for what is right,” Rev. Barber recalls. “His words to me was his life….he never stopped fighting for what was right, just and good. We can only honor him by imitating his commitment to justice for all.”
Indeed, since his unexpected death Oct. 17th in Maryland, the tributes for the 7th District, twelve-term Baltimore native have been pouring in, especially from North Carolinians, and his congressional colleagues, like House Speaker and fellow Baltimore native Nancy Pelosi, who called her longtime friend “…a voice of unsurpassed moral clarity and truth.”
Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) fondly recalled how Rep. Cummings, 68, “…was looked up to,” she told WGHP-TV in High Point.
“He was iconic, but yet he took time to show the care and sincerity that he had for youth and really wanting them to succeed,” she said. “He took a personal interest in my grandson who is now a freshman at Howard [University] and he wrote him a wonderful letter of recommendation. He talked to him, encouraged him, that was very impressive to me.”
Another congressional colleague from North Carolina, Rep. G. K. Butterfield, called his late friend, “A powerful and compassionate voice for the voiceless…”
“…[W]e have lost a giant and true champion of the people. I have been proud to serve in Congress alongside my colleague Elijah Cummings and honored to call him friend. This is a devastating loss for the city of Baltimore, the state of Maryland, for the nation and for Congress.”
Congressman Butterfield continued, “Elijah Cummings was the epitome of a servant leader, a resolute civil rights icon, a strong voting rights advocate and a relentless advocate for justice and equality. The presence and leadership of Congressman Cummings will be deeply missed, but his example and charge to us all continues to fuel our fire to protect our democracy and the American people. My sincerest condolences to the family, friends, staff and loved ones of Congressman Elijah Cummings during this difficult time.”
Another close friend and colleague, civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), also paid deep tribute.
“The American people have lost a great leader at a time of crisis in our democracy. Chairman Elijah Cummings gave all he had. He dedicated his entire life to serving the public good. When this nation needed him most, he became a moral voice “crying in the wilderness,” and his words and actions called a reluctant nation to conscience.”
“He was a defining and commanding chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee who was not afraid to use the power vested in him to inquire, investigate, and demand the answers the American people deserve,” Rep. Lewis continued. “He led us to the place where we, as a nation, finally understood government reform was urgently required. His passion, his vigor, and his example were a master class in leadership demonstrating how we must all dig in to defend and preserve our democracy. His passing is a tremendous blow to the struggle to build a fair and just society in America.”
Cummings resided in his hometown of Baltimore- a place he vigorously defended when President Donald Trump attacked it earlier this summer.
According to his official bio, Congressman Cummings “…obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Howard University, serving as Student Government President and graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and then graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law. Congressman Cummings has also received 13 honorary doctoral degrees from Universities throughout the nation.”
“He began his career of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years and became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem. Since 1996, Congressman Cummings has proudly represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
His body will lie in state at the US Capitol on Oct. 24th.
Funeral services for Rep. Cummings are scheduled for Oct. 25th at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, where he worshipped for most 40 years.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 10-24-19
BLACK INFANTS DIE TWICE AS MUCH AS WHITE, SAYS REPORT
[RALEIGH] According to the just released 2018 NC Infant Mortality Report, the death rate for infants in North Carolina dropped from 7.1 per 1,000 in 2017, to 6.8 per 1,000 in 2018 - the lowest in 30 years. But when it comes to black infants, they are more than twice as likely to die before completing year one of life than their white counterpart. White infants, for the third year in a row, have had a mortality rate of 5.0 per 1,000. Black infants, however, die at a rate of 12.2 per 1,000. Gov. Cooper’s office says the key to addressing the discrepancy is expanding Medicaid to more poor families across the state.
DIXIE CLASSIC FAIR NAME CHANGED BECAUSE OF RACIAL HISTORY
[WINSTON-SALEM] The Dixie Classic Fair is no more. As of 2020, the annual event that has been 135 years in the making will be called the “Carolina Classic Fair.” The Winston-Salem City Council voted in August to change the name because prior to 1963, the Classic was not racially integrated. Back then, the Carolina Fair was considered the black fair. Changing the name now sends the message that it is now a more inclusive event, with a shared history. The Carolina Classic Fair will be held Oct. 2 - 11, 2020.
AG STEIN OPPOSES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HOUSING DISCRIMINATION POLICY
[RALEIGH] NC Attorney General Josh Stein has joined over 20 other state attorneys general to oppose the Trump Administration’s proposed policy to weaken fair housing laws, which would ultimately make it much harder to prove housing discrimination when people try to rent or purchase or home. “Fighting discrimination and ensuring everyone is treated equally is central to building stable, successful communities in North Carolina,” Stein said in a statement . “The existing rule helps ensure equal housing opportunities for everyone – I urge the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to abandon its proposed weakening of these critical protections.”