Lawmaker likens 2017 N.C. GOP to 1898 white supremacists

Lawmaker likens 2017 N.C. GOP to 1898 white supremacists
November 16
03:00 2017

Nov. 10, 1898 – The day heavily-armed white supremacists in Wilmington attacked the African-American community at the behest of leaders of the North Carolina Democratic Party, killing many, forcing others to flee their homes and businesses, and overthrowing the local city government at gunpoint – the only coup de ta in American history.

The attack ushered in the racist Jim Crow era, not only across the state, but across the South, for almost a century afterward.

Last weekend, 119 years after that fateful, but historic date in North Carolina history, the people of Wilmington, black and white, came together again for their annual 1898 Massacre Observance Program sponsored by the New Hanover Chapter of the National Black Leadership Caucus, this time at Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church.

Among the many speakers was Wilmington native state Rep. Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg), and after giving a historical accounting of how the white supremacists over a century ago used violence and discriminatory laws to cripple the black community, Moore then likened that to what many of his Republican colleagues in the N.C. General Assembly have been doing in recent years with voter suppression, unconstitutional redistricting, and other political tools to hold the African-American community back.

“Even today, brothers and sisters, the spirit of Jim Crow lives in modern day North Carolina,” Rep. Moore said midway through his prepared remarks.

“The white supremacists of the Democratic Party of 1898 have morphed into the North Carolina Grand Old Party of today,” Moore continued. “Today, they use voter suppression schemes like voter ID, cutting early voting days, and trying to make it harder for people of color, the elderly, and our youth to cast their ballots, and exercise their most fundamental right, as citizens of this state and nation – the right to vote.”

Responding to expressions of agreement from the audience, Rep. Moore continued, “They have made a mockery of the electoral gains that African-Americans have made by using a redistricting scheme that has packed and stacked black legislators into majority-minority districts, insuring a permanent minority.”

“They have continued to cut funding for education, refuse to expand Medicaid to cover over 500,000 citizens of the state, who badly need access to affordable [health] care, and lifesaving services,” the Mecklenburg state representative continued.

“They continue to propose regressive tax policies that have the effect of what I call, “Robin Hood in reverse.” They take from the poor and the most vulnerable, and to give tax breaks to the rich and well-to-do in our state.”

“We are living in a modern-day America, where there continues to be unequal justice in our courts. Police brutality against people of color is still being perpetrated in our communities. We give our political loyalty – 96 percent of the time – to one party, while not having a presence in the other to challenge for real change and recognition of the critical issues that face African-Americans, from either side.

“We need to learn the political game so we can start winning. We are not players because we do not understand the rules. This is unacceptable in 2017. It’s time to wake up. Time is truly running out!”

Then Rep. Moore switched gears, and asked what are African-Americans doing to support each other in Wilmington, and elsewhere?

“Are you supporting opportunities for black businesses to flourish in our cities?” he asked rhetorically. “Are we actually participating in the public policy debates in our cities that shape and structure our lives on a day-to-day basis?”

Stressing the importance of local elections, like city council and school board elections, Rep. Moore urged the African-American community to get more involved, and make more of a difference in their present and future.

“We have to be inspired to go out [and vote] every election cycle,” Rep. Moore said. “It’s time to wake up. It’s time to wake up.”

Rep. Evelyn Terry, Democrat from Winston-Salem, saw a video of colleague Rodney Moore’s Wilmington remarks, and concurred with what she saw and heard.

Regarding the N.C. Democratic Party’s white supremacist drive to stop black progress in Wilmington at the time, Rep. Terry said, “This is largely something not too dissimilar to today, except in N.C., we seem to have some of the other race that still have a bit more mean-spirited DNA inherited by those choosing to conduct the massacre.

“…[P]olitical and economic power among Blacks was clearly something that disturbed white folks, especially the militant slave-owner class,” Rep. Terry continued. “Much like today, clothed more discretely, the beat goes on— [the] divide and conquer rule is alive and well.”


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Cash Michaels

Cash Michaels

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