North Carolina Citizens and NAACP Fights Corporate Owned Government

ethics

Many transplants from all over the country come to North Carolina because it’s a state with both mountains and beautiful beaches. North Carolina’s natural resources accounts for the biggest draw to the state in addition to being a fast growing progressive metropolis. These qualities keep many of us from leaving, and it has convinced many others to make North Carolina their home. Now, these same reasons are activating many North Carolinians to fight for our beloved state as evidenced by Saturday’s Moral March when approximately 100,000 people marched on the State Capitol.

Led by Rev. William Barber and the NC-NAACP, they have assembled a coalition of advocacy groups with different focuses who have come together for the singular purpose of taking back North Carolina from the extremist wing of the Republican Party. After the AP reported yesterday on the coal ash lawsuits environmental groups tried to bring against Duke Energy, it revealed that Duke Energy was actually protected by the State of North Carolina instead of regulated. North Carolinians are starting to look at Moral March and the efforts of advocacy groups with fresh new eyes because without them who is looking out for the interest of North Carolina citizens?

With the environmental debacle in West Virginia, North Carolinians are not having to stretch the imagination in order to envision what environmental damage and loose regulations can do to the water tables in our State. As an employee of Duke Energy for 28 years, Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to fine Duke Energy $99,000 dollars which equates to a parking ticket prior to the massive coal ash spill in the Dan River comes as no surprise. How many examples of less regulation is needed before one decides the GOP is not looking out for our interests rather than making money for their own pocket?

The NC Republican led legislature’s decision to move aggressively towards Fracking with Senate Bill 76 also planned to eliminate a 40 year old provision banning underground chemical disposal.  Current legislation and government practices appear to be in line with developing policies that are beneficial to Duke Energy and not North Carolina citizens.

According to the News and Observer,

The bill was highly controversial because the only geology in the state that would have allowed pumping waste into deep wells is in tourism-dependent coastal counties, some 150 miles away from the inland areas where shale gas would be drilled. At least 14 county and town governments, along with the U.S. Marine Corps, have adopted resolutions or position papers opposing deep-well injection as a threat to the region’s underground drinking water. Read Full Article

Without steep opposition, we would also have Fracking and underground chemical disposal going into effect in 2015 after being banned for 40 years. Nothing appears to be off the table for this GOP controlled government when it comes to protecting corporate profits, yet what policies have they put in effect to make your life better? Despite Moral Monday critics and detractors, Moral March serves as a strong rebuke of Governor McCrory and GOP policies as well as foreshadow of whats to come leading into the 2014 mid-term elections.

GOP Hunger Games: SNAP Benefits Cut for Millions of Americans

katniss-everdeen-the-hunger-games
The Hunger Games

Americans have been forced to endure the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, sequestration which sliced funding for important government programs, and a government shutdown that cost 24 Billion dollars. As of today, the bill expanding SNAP benefits to help Americans through the economic recovery has expired. After a failed attempt by Republicans to end the SNAP program earlier this year, there was no expectation Republicans would take any measure to prevent these cuts to SNAP from happening. It seems the GOP is hell bent on balancing the national debt on the backs of the poor, and the #GOPHungerGames hashtag is evidence to support this belief.

In case you have never seen the hit movie, Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, the movie is about the rich using poverty and starvation to control rebellion within their society. In the movie, the Hunger Games is a competition devised by the powers to be to entertain the rich, but it is also used to control and give hope to the poor communities. Among the prizes for the winner of the Hunger Games competition is a monthly food allowance which sounds strangely familiar to SNAP benefits.

According to CBS News,

The USDA said the cuts to food stamps will leave people on food stamps an average of $1.40 to spend on each meal. But the cuts that went into effect Friday may not be the end of the misery for those on SNAP.

The House of Representatives wants to cut up to an additional $40 billion from the food stamp program as part of the pending farm bill. House and Senate negotiators have to meet later this year to try to come to an agreement on just how deep the cuts will be for SNAP.

Food stamps are the government’s biggest nutrition-assistance program for low-income people and, along with federal unemployment benefits, a key support system for the most vulnerable Americans.

What will happen to the children and families being affected by the current cuts and potential future cuts? According to current studies, 1 out of every 7 Americans will be affected. Why is there such a focus on cutting social welfare programs, but corporate welfare remains untouched?


You Know That We Can Hear You Right: Interview with Don Yelton

Don Yelton

Once again, comedians have accidentally exposed extremists within the Republican party. In this case, the Daily Show interviewed Don Yelton who is the current North Carolina GOP leader for the Buncombe County precinct, or at least until this interview aired. This video captures the essence of the current state of American politics. If you were ever concerned that voter restriction laws were being used to disenfranchise minorities, this video confirms that you were wrong.

The North Carolina Republican led legislature recently passed one of the most restrictive voter id laws in the country. Many civil rights advocates believe the implementation of these laws across Red States are designed to prevent vulnerable populations from voting. However, Don Yelton makes it very clear that voter id laws were not designed to eliminate voters based on race, creed, color, age, sex, or religion. The real reason voter id laws were created is to deter all Democrats from voting.

After this interview aired, it went viral which led to the GOP asking for Yelton’s resignation. According to Business Insiders,

A North Carolina county precinct GOP chair resigned on Thursday after an offensive interview that aired on “The Daily Show” Wednesday, in which he said “lazy black people” want “the government to give them everything.”

“Yes, he has resigned,” said Nathan West, a spokesman for the Buncombe County Republican Party. The party had asked for Don Yelton’s resignation in direct response to the interview, West said.

The interview, conducted by correspondent Aasif Mandvi, was on the topic of North Carolina’s new voter ID law, over which the Justice Department has sued the state. On “The Daily Show,” Yelton argued that the law wasn’t racist, though he added that he’s “been called a bigot before.” Read more

This is an example of the GOP leading our government, and it will also serve as good evidence when the US Department of Justice takes North Carolina to court over its restrictive voter id laws.

Backward in Values: North Carolina Rolls Back Needed Programs

NC Rolling Back Needed Programs

What happened to the progressive state we once knew here in North Carolina?  This state of ours, which was once on its way to becoming progressive, has turned completely bizarre in its direction.  There is a plethora of policies in our current legislature that discriminates against many of our vulnerable populations. Here are just a few of them:

  • North Carolina GOP Files Arizona-Style ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Bill
  • NC lawmaker equates Islamic prayer with terrorism
  • Lawmakers Pass Bill To Resume Executions In North Carolina
  • North Carolina has power to establish official religion, resolution says
  • North Carolina Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Penalize Parents Of College Student Voters
  • Corporate tax breaks rolled out in Senate committee
  • ALEC-Sponsored Bill To Repeal North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Standard Narrowly Passes Out Of Committee
  • North Carolina ‘Healthy Marriage Act’ Would Set Two-Year Waiting Period For Divorce, Require Counseling
  • N.C. House passes cursive handwriting bill
  • Top North Carolina Republican Introduces Florida-Style Voter Suppression Bill
  • Eleven North Carolina Republicans Sponsor Resolution Saying Their State Can Ignore The Constitution
  • North Carolina Is Going Out Of Its Mind

This has flourished many advocacy efforts throughout the state. With lobby days already scattered out at the Capital such as, Women’s Advocacy Day , Equality NC Lobby Day and Momsrising Chutes and Latters event, there are many more rallies and citizens advocating all of the madness that is going on at the legislature this session.

These policies are going backward in time for our state. Our laws should protect our freedoms and stop discrimination. If you don’t agree with these policies, please contact your representative.

Scalia Calls Voting Rights Act of 1965 A Racial Entitlement

by Deona Hooper, MSW

State of the Union
Desiline Victors at the Presidential State of the Union 2013

After opening arguments at the US Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it appears the landmark civil rights legislation is in trouble. Justice Antonin Scalia called the Voting Rights Act a “racial entitlement” which drew large criticism from onlookers as well as other Supreme Court Justices. This statement is especially polarizing after Desiline Victor, the 102 year old African-American woman,  who was in line for six hours to vote in the presidential election 2012. Many Americans, both white and of color, were outraged at the voter restriction legislation put in place by Republican led legislatures in order to reduce democratic turnout in battleground states. Democratic voters of all ages and color went out in record numbers to vote with a vengeance. President Obama won 11 out of 12 battleground states with the exception of North Carolina which was lost with less than 100,000 votes.

Despite a popular vote win with 2.6 million votes over Mitt Romney, many state legislatures retained Republican control or gained a Republican super-majority which means the House, Senate, and Governor are controlled by the GOP. Did the massive lines single to Republicans that the American people will not stand for voter restrictions laws? No, it only singled to them that their plan is working which may bring them the desired effect in another 10 years which is a gerrymandered federal election. The GOP has utilized think tanks for decades planning not only for the next four to 8 years. They were planning for the next forty years to return this country back to the status quo of whites only making decisions and running all levels of government as well as the private sector.

The civil rights movement occurred because it was a joint effort between whites and people of color, and the GOP did not plan for another mass exodus of White Americans in Election 2012 who have embraced equality and diversity for all in this great country.  It’s time for progressives to do more than sign petitions and starting strategically planning for the next couple of decades to restore a balance of power back to our local governments and state legislatures. Will the US Supreme Court seek retribution for the right after upholding the Affordable Health Care Act as constitutional? Stay tuned for the summer block buster for diversity and equality with both DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and Voter’s Rights Act of 1965 before the Supreme Court.

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