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NC NAACP vows to fight ‘racist’ bills
 
Published Tuesday, June 12, 2018
by Maria Magher, Correspondent

RALEIGH – “It will not succeed. We call on the nation to stand with us as we reject this succession bill,” the Rev. T. Anthony Spearman told a crowd gathered at the North Carolina NAACP State Office in Raleigh Monday, referring to the latest bill attempting to require an ID to vote.

Spearman called the current legislative session of the N.C. General Assembly a “suppression session,” and he specifically highlighted two bills that are being considered: HB1092, a proposed amendment to the N.C. constitution that would require people to have an ID to vote, and House Bill 514/S.L. 2018-3, which would allow towns in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system to have charter schools. Many believe the bill would further segregate the school system, which is the second largest in the state and is predominantly minority.

“The politics of exclusion is not new,” said Spearman, the president of the North Carolina NAACP. “This is reminiscent of schools created in the 1950s…. These are schools that will put their students at a disadvantage in the world they encounter.”

Critics of charter schools have argued that they promote segregation because white families are the ones to predominantly enroll in them. “Clearly, this is an effort to go back to the 1900s with Jim Crow, where these enclaves for whites are being allowed to be set up,” said Professor Irv Joyner, an attorney and the Legal Redress chair for the N.C. NAACP.

NAACP officials highlighted earlier attempts to institute a voter ID law when they discussed the proposed constitutional amendment. “The court has already spoken that requiring ID to vote is illegal,” Joyner said. “The intent has not changed. The only thing that has changed is the time. It’s not 2013; it’s 2018, but it’s the same old song.”

A federal appeals court said that the 2013 voter ID law was designed to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision” and was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of that decision, leaving the law overturned.

Spearman called the new voter ID proposal “a threat to justice,” and Joyner said, “It seems clear that the legislature is intent on promoting additional legislation in the state of North Carolina.”

“The NAACP has no choice but to fight,” Joyner said. “They have made their intent clear. We have no reason to believe that intent has changed or that racial animus has changed.”

Joyner said the NAACP is studying the legal issues and is prepared to fight accordingly, including filing a lawsuit to challenge both actions.

“They’ve spent millions and millions of dollars to try to defend their voter suppression tactics,” said Derick Smith, the political action chair for the N.C. NAACP. He called the actions of the General Assembly “despicable.”

Smith said the NAACP will pursue every legal action to fight these tactics, and it will lead a vigorous get-out-the-vote effort.

“If that doesn’t get people voting, nothing will,” he said.

 

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