N.C. NAACP women blast Sen. Burr on his record

N.C. NAACP women blast Sen. Burr on his record
October 15
00:00 2015

By Cash Michaels

For The Chronicle

Female members of NAACP chapters from across North Carolina expressed concerns about the legislative record of Sen. Richard Burr last week, charging that the North Carolina Republican, who is up for reelection in 2016, has a record that shows “a disregard and disrespect for the value of women in North Carolina.”

Flanked by N.C. NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber II, members of the organization WIN (Women In the NAACP) and other members attending the three-day state convention in Winston-Salem on Friday, Oct. 9, Executive Director Rev. Michelle Laws charged that Sen. Burr has repeatedly stood in the way of women’s issues.

“You’ve got a hard head, Sen. Burr,” Laws exclaimed, as the women around her cheered.

She warned that Burr could face the wrath of the female ballot next year, saying that, “When women vote, the politics and the policies look differently.”

Laws recounted how in 2009, Burr first recommended federal prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker, chief of the Appellate Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District in North Carolina, to fill one of over 80 open U.S. District Court seats in the federal judiciary.

If confirmed, May-Parker would have become the first black female federal judge in the history of the Eastern District.

But once President Obama nominated her in 2013, Burr then inexplicably flipped, taking steps to block May–Parker’s nomination, denying her a committee hearing, and ultimately forcing it to die after approximately 300 days.

Newspapers across the state blasted Sen. Burr for not only blocking the nomination, but also never explaining why he did it.

“As a result, the vast majority of African-Americans who reside in the Eastern District of North Carolina will not have the opportunity to be represented by the highly qualified, and more than capable attorney Jennifer May-Parker,” Laws said.

Laws recalled that Sen. Burr also joined other Senate Republicans earlier this year in actively opposing the Senate confirmation of U.S. Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch, stalling it for over five months. Burr opposed the immensely qualified home state nominee last February, saying that if confirmed, Lynch, then a U.S. attorney in New York, would challenge North Carolina’s restrictive voter ID law.

“I’m in the right on this one,” Burr told a Raleigh television station.

But after mounting national and statewide pressure, Lynch was finally confirmed as the first black woman ever to become general in history, in April.

Still, the conservative senator’s opposition proved that he had “a head as hard as a rock,” Rev. Laws said.

“We are concerned not only about the judicial appointments, the pattern of simple disregard and disrespect for the value of women, for the quality of life and well-being of the women in North Carolina,” the NCNAACP executive director continued. “Simply put, [Burr’s] record speaks volumes, and we know that women in North Carolina make up over 53 percent of registered voters.”

Noting that the men of the N.C. NAACP stand strongly by the women and their demands for justice and equality, state NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. Barber echoed concerns about Burr, saying that just like arch-conservative Sen. Jesse Helms, Burr’s voting record on women’s issues, civil rights and voting rights “has been atrocious.”

“The NAACP has given him an F,” Barber added. “A on smiling; F on policy. A for dressing right; F for voting wrong.”





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