Letters to the Editor: Walter Marshall, Campaign Finance Reform and HBCUs

Letters to the Editor: Walter Marshall, Campaign Finance Reform and HBCUs
March 02
05:20 2017

Ballot measure about elections, rights should be on ballot

To the Editor:

Your readers should know there’s a statewide movement afoot – for the voters to determine who controls our elections.

The question for readers is, do you agree, or disagree, that N.C. voters should have a chance to join with the overwhelming national majority who’ve already approved that:

*A.  Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights.

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

Artificial entities (including PACs, unions, etc.) established by laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

*B. Money is Not Free Speech –not to be used to determine the outcome of elections.

Our intent is to engage enough public support that the legislators in Raleigh will recognize the wisdom in allowing “The People” to vote in November 2018 on a ballot measure.

N.C. residents can participate at various levels: (1) Sign a petition:, (2) Send persuasive emails to their legislators (3) Attend press conferences, (4) Recruit a favorite nonprofit organization to become a co-sponsor with the current 19 sponsoring groups in our coalition.

Lucy Christopher 

Cashiers, N.C. 

County has lost legend in death of Walter Marshall

To the Editor:

Winston-Salem and Forsyth County lost a legend with the passing of Walter Marshall.

Walter was selected to fill the unexpired term of Mazie Woodruff on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners in 1997.

He was a member of six committees: TAC, Piedmont Council of Government (Committee Chairman), Department of Social Services.

He was elected as the first African-American man to serve on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, District A in 1998.

During his five terms as County Commissioner, Walter served as vice president of the N.C. Association of Black County Commissioners and vice chair of NACO Air Quality Steering Committee.

He was well respected by his colleagues, even those with whom he disagreed. A caring leader who put the needs of his community first is what will be missed by many people that knew him well.

Prior to being elected to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, District A, Walter was active in the NAACP and the Forsyth County Democratic Party.

Walter was a fierce advocate for his constituents. I join so many Winston-Salem residences and North Carolinians to salute a longtime friend and public servant.

Walter’s life was very well lived and I pay tribute to his commitment to working tirelessly to make Winston-Salem and Forsyth County better. My deepest condolences go out to his entire family and the many people impacted by Commissioner Walter Marshall’s work.

N.C. Rep. Evelyn Terry 

(D-71, Winston-Salem area)

Raleigh DeVos prints insult in release about HBCUs

To the Editor:

Last night [Feb. 27], the Department of Education published a press release with a quote from Secretary of Education Betsy Devos that is shocking and insulting.

In her statement, Mrs. DeVos says that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were

“started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education,” and that therefore they are “real pioneers when it comes to school choice.”

Let’s be clear: HBCUs were started because of Jim Crow laws. Black students did not “choose” HBCUs over the all-white colleges they were barred from attending due to their race. This statement by Mrs. DeVos reveals either a stunning ignorance of history on the part of the person tasked with overseeing our nation’s education system, or an inability to acknowledge our nation’s shameful history of racial discrimination in education, both public and private.

These statements are not surprising.  Mrs. DeVos’s “work” in Michigan pushing for an education system that increases segregation, improves schools for wealthy students, and destroys choices in minority and underserved communities, should have disqualified her from serving in her current position.   As should the fact that neither she nor her family have ever attended or worked in a public school, and she appears to be wholly ignorant of even the basic principles of either teaching or educational management.

Every day of this administration brings a new level of incompetence and insincerity. Yesterday’s attempt to whitewash the stain of segregation into an argument for privatizing our public schools is perhaps a new low in her current position.  I condemn this misguided statement, and I urge her to continue meeting with the leadership of our nation’s HBCUs to better understand their mission and how the Department can better adopt policies to expand equal access to quality education.

U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. 

(Michigan 14th District) Washington, D.C.

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