Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
March 24
00:00 2016

Free Dontae Sharpe, Kalvin Michael Smith, Attorney General Cooper

To the Editor:

On Thursday, March 24 (today), members of the N.C. NAACP will gather with representatives of the statewide and national “Free Dontae Sharpe” & “Free Kalvin Smith” movement, to deliver a statement to the media and a letter to the Attorney General (Roy Cooper), demanding the release of two black men wrong-fully imprisoned for almost half their lives.

The gathering will begin at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Raleigh and takes place less than a week after the funeral of Darryl Hunt, another black man wrongfully imprisoned in North  Carolina, for a crime he did not commit. Darryl Hunt committed his life to bringing about justice in the names of those ensnared in an unjust Criminal System. The event is scheduled for Maundy Thursday, a day in the Christian Tradition associated with repentance and commemorating the Last Supper of Jesus before he was betrayed, unjustly arrested, and put to death.

On this day leading up to Easter Sunday, when many of our elected officials will celebrate the resurrection of a wrongfully convicted victim of prosecutorial misconduct, we call on them to do justice in the cases of Dontae Sharpe and Kalvin Smith.

The NAACP has long known that Black Lives Do Not Matter in the criminal “justice” system in the Old and New Jim Crow South. Prosecutors, police, and even our elected officials are humans. It is hard for any of us to admit “I messed up. I’m sorry. I repent.” It seems almost impossible for a prosecutor to admit “I was a prisoner of my own racial stereotypes.”

When principled young black men refuse to lie and prosecutors and police resort to procuring convictions with unethical tactics, the court system breaks down. The innocent man’s only hope is hard-working media; lawyers and investigators who believe in justice over fees; and the man’s own family and network of friends. The NC NAACP stands with these men and we will not allow this injustice to continue unaddressed for a moment longer.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

President of the N.C. NAACP

“Forward Together Moral Movement”

Fusion Coalition from Raleigh

The American People deserve better than GOP obstruction

To the Editor:

[Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairman G. K. Butterfield released a statement today in response to Sen. Mitch McConnell asserting the Senate Republicans plan to move on with other legislative business, continuing the obstructionist rhetoric that has characterized the Supreme Court nomination dialogue:]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell restated his shortsighted and reckless plan to not hold hearings or even so much as meet with the U.S. Supreme Court candidate.

President Obama has fulfilled his duty by nominating Chief Judge Garland, who is a highly qualified candidate.

We call on Senate Republicans to do their job and give Judge Garland full and fair consideration.

For the sake of our nation, the Republican obstructionist agenda must stop.  The American people deserve better.

U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield

(D-NC), Chairman

Congressional Black Caucus

Washington, DC

We stand shoulder to shoulder with Belgium after attacks

To the Editor:

My heart breaks for all those affected by the acts of terror in Brussels [on Tuesday, March 22]. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Belgium today during this horrific tragedy.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families.

In the face of this deadly threat, we must stand as united and determined as ever to defeat terrorism. But we must not turn our backs on our democratic values.

We here in the U.S. and our international community must remain united and vigilant in com-bating extremism and terrorism wherever it occurs. We must continue to strengthen our intelligence gathering capabilities and increase intelligence sharing with our allies to destroy terror safe havens abroad and increase security and awareness here at home.

U.S. Rep. Alma S. Adams (NC-12)

Washington, DC

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