Letters to the Editor: Senate Bill 2, Greensboro redistricting plan, NBTF

Letters to the Editor: Senate Bill 2, Greensboro redistricting plan, NBTF
June 18
00:00 2015

Override of veto
of Senate Bill 2
draws disgust

To the Editor:

Senate Bill 2 is unconstitutional, and will undoubtedly be challenged in court. This bill, which will now become law, is discriminatory and treats gay and lesbian couples as second class citizens. We are more determined than ever to achieve full equality for LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered] people in North Carolina and to ensure that LGBT youth know that they are not alone.

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
Executive Director
Campaign for Southern Equality

This law is nothing more than state sanctioned discrimination. It is a terribly misguided attempt to rewrite what equal protection under the law means. Equality and fairness are not principles that are decided on a case-by-case basis, dependent upon who happens to be working the counter on a particular day. Neither the United States Constitution nor the North Carolina Constitution permit any such thing. It is terribly unfortunate that this many elected officials don’t understand that.

Jake Sussman
Tin Fulton Walker & Owen

Governor vows
to uphold respect
for public office

To the Editor:

Regarding Senate Bill 2: It’s a disappointing day for the rule of law and the process of passing legislation in North Carolina. I will continue to stand up for conservative principles that respect and obey the oath of office for public officials across our state and nation.

While some people inside the beltline are focusing on symbolic issues, I remain focused on the issues that are going to have the greatest impact on the next generation such as creating jobs, building roads, strengthening education and improving our quality of life.

N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory

plan tramples

To the Editor:

Sen. Bob Rucho’s Senate Redistricting Committee took a rushed, hushed vote on Wednesday [June 10], setting the stage for a major fight with the people of Greensboro. It presently has three at-large City Council seats and five single district Council seats. The Greensboro mayor votes on every issue and elections for City Council are hotly contested, since there is no run-off.

Apparently, some of the anti-democracy faction on Jones Street in Raleigh think they know how to govern Greensboro better than its own citizens. This faction wants to make it harder for minorities and working people to have influence with their votes, and Senator Rucho appears to be their front man in Raleigh. He wants a Senate Bill that matches House Bill 263 that would eliminate at-large seats and establish seven single-member districts; limit the power of the mayor, allowing her/him to vote only in case of ties; establish a run-off election, creating incentives for back-room deals.

The N.C .NAACP, in consultation with our legal team, supports the people of Greensboro, who strongly oppose these anti-democracy steps to dilute the minority vote. One person’s vote is equal to another’s.

By opening the way for new districts, Rucho and his race-based computer map-maker can draw maps to divide and dilute minority voters. They have already split the campus of North Carolina A&T University into different districts. Soon minorities and other vulnerable voters will have no say in how their city is governed. If Rucho’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering can get the Anti-Democracy in Greensboro bill passed, it is likely other large cities with sizable minority populations will be targeted.

Senator Rucho ran rough-shod over his own colleagues in his Committee hearings. Perhaps he is upset that the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled against race-based redistricting maneuvers by some of his counterparts in the Alabama legislature. They packed black voters in certain areas, and diluted the voting powers of others, snatching their present ability to vote for a candidate of their choice. The U.S. Supreme Court found race-based redistricting schemes unlawful.

At any rate, he would not permit his colleagues — elected members of the House and Senate — to even comment. He cut off fellow senators from commenting and debating his race-based bill. Cities in North Carolina do not like it when someone down on Jones Street starts to take away their local powers. And people of color clearly don’t like it when the voting rights our grandparents fought and died for are suddenly snatched from us with parliamentary tricks.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
President, N.C .NAACP

Don’t miss NBTF
and experiences
it brings to area

To the Editor:

For the sake of full disclosure, I have been associated with the National Black Theatre Festival since 1991, two years after it was founded by the late Larry Leon Hamlin.  I have participated as a theatre-goer, a member of the fundraising committee, a member of the Marvtastic Society and a member of the NCBRC board of directors.

My memory bank is full to overflowing with experiences I owe solely to the fact that the Festival comes to Winston-Salem every other year.  I rode in an elevator with a very friendly Denzel Washington and his family; I sat mesmerized as Chester Gregory recreated the life of Jackie Wilson; I chatted with the lovely and accomplished Vanessa Bell Calloway at a celebrity reception; I was transported back in time by the musical stylings of the Soul Crooners; and I found myself dining in the same local restaurant with Sydney Poitier.

Thousands of local residents have shared similar experiences, but many others have not.  If you have not attended the National Black Theatre Festival, mark your calendar for August 3-8.  You can get information about the many plays that will be performed, times, locations, ticket prices and more at

We are extremely fortunate to have an event of international scope in our community.  The Festival would not be possible without dozens of financial supporters – civic, corporate, city, county and individual.  To all of you, thank you for believing in Larry’s vision and Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin’s hard work to keep it alive. 

Do yourself a favor: Don’t let another year pass without taking advantage of this incredible opportunity.
John Singleton

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