Joint Statement to NCAA Opposing the Shameful HB2 Compromise

Today, the North Carolina NAACP, Freedom Center for Social Justice, Southerners on New Ground (SONG), Many Voices, Equality North Carolina, the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a joint statement following North Carolina's shameful new legislation that is falsely being called a “repeal” of the discriminatory HB2 law. 

“We call on the NCAA to oppose this shameful HB 2.0 bill in North Carolina, and not to reward lawmakers who have passed this so-called ‘deal’ which is an affront to the values we all hold. This bill is still anti-worker and anti-LGBTQ. It violates all basic principles of diversity, inclusion and basic civil rights. Fundamentally, any moratorium on civil rights is not a compromise, it is a contradiction with the principle of equal protection under the law and our moral values.”

This statement was cosigned by: Dr. William Barber, North Carolina NAACP President; Bishop Tonyia Rawls, Freedom Center for Social Justice Co-Director, Paulina Hernandez, Southerners on New Ground Co-Director, Melissa McQueen, NC State Faith Organizer for Many Voices, Chris Sgro, Equality NC Executive Director; Amanda Barbee, Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, Chair; Mara Keisling, NCTE Executive Director; and Chad Griffin, HRC President.   

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Compromised HB2 Repeal is an Insult to Civil Rights

Statement by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
President, North Carolina NAACP
March 30, 2017

HB2 must be repealed in full. This bill is anti-worker, anti-access to the courts, and anti-LGBTQ. It is shameful for Tim Moore and Phil Berger to demand a discriminatory compromise on a bill that should have never been passed in the first place. Setting a moratorium on local governments ability to pass anti-discrimination ordinances and to regulate private employment practices is another sweeping act of hubris by the legislature and takes power from officials elected by the people to serve the rights of the people. This is a bait and switch. We fought against this tactic when this same legislature sought to strip power from the Governor--disregarding their constitutional obligations in an effort to silence the voice of the voters. We will continue to fight against retaliatory voter suppression, anti-worker legislation, and any backroom efforts to enshrine discrimination in our laws. Above all, any moratorium on civil rights is not a compromise, it is a contradiction with the principle of equal protection under the law and our moral values.  We call on all those who stand for justice to vote no on compromise and pass a clean, full repeal of HB2.

Repeal HB2 In Its Entirety Now!

Statement by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
President, North Carolina NAACP

Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger committed to repealing House Bill 2 in its entirety, as promised to Governor-elect Cooper and as confirmed by Governor McCrory, during the special session held today. Instead, they spent nine hours at the NC General Assembly playing political games with the constitutional rights of North Carolinians.

The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is clear: equal protection for all is the law of the land. House Bill 2 undermines equal protection for workers who need a living wage, citizens in North Carolina who need access to state courts for employment discrimination complaints and the LGBTQ community who have the right to live free from fear of discrimination in schools and at work.

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A Statement On the Surprise Special Session

December 15, 2016
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
President, NC NAACP

The avalanche of anti-voter surprise bills introduced yesterday by the extremist leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly in a constitutionally suspect "extra session" is an insult to the democratic values held by all people of goodwill in this state. 

These changes represent deep violations of the Democratic process, and the faith that voters place in the elected process. To these legislators, who were elected under racially discriminatory redistricting plans, we say that this madness must end now and the people's vote must be respected.

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Federal Judge Issues Order Blocking Mass Purge of Voters from NC Rolls

Ruling Comes in NAACP Suit Charging State Illegally Suppressed Right to Vote of Thousands of Black Residents
In At Least Three Counties, Voters Declared Ineligible Following Bogus Change- in-Residence Claims; Violates National Voting Registration Act 
DURHAM—A federal judge Thursday issued a restraining order blocking state and county boards of elections from illegally canceling the registrations of thousands of voters who are being targeted in a coordinated effort right out of the GOP playbook to suppress the black vote in the state. 
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed Monday by the North Carolina NAACP, which charged that in Beaufort, Moore and Cumberland counties, boards of elections have cancelled registrations of thousands of voters solely on the basis of a challenge process triggered by individuals who produced single mailings returned as undeliverable, purporting to show a change in residence—without written confirmation from the affected voters or compliance with federal voter registration laws.
“There is little question that the County Boards’ process of allowing third parties to challenge hundreds and, in Cumberland County, thousands of voters within 90 days before the 2016 General Election constitutes the type of “systematic” removal prohibited by the National Voter Registration Act,” U.S. District Judge Loretta C. Biggs wrote.
Facts produced in the lawsuit confirmed that several other counties have likely committed similar illegal purges. 
“This emergency injunction will help make sure not a single voters’ voice is unlawfully taken away,” said the Rev. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP. “The NAACP is defending rights of all North Carolinians to participate in this election and we will not back down and allow this suppression to continue. This is our Selma.”
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Voting Rights Victory in the 4th Circuit Court

Court of Appeals Rejects Governor McCrory’s Efforts to Suppress the Right to Vote for Minority and Other Voters in North Carolina; Permanently Blocks Voter ID and Other Extremist Tactics to Keep Black and Brown Voters from Exercising the Right to Vote

- A Statement from the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP -

WASHINGTON – The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that unconstitutional racial intent motivated North Carolina's 2013 voter suppression law and ordered that the law's elimination of same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and pre-registration, the imposition of an onerous photo ID requirement and the reduction of early voting be permanently enjoined. The three-judge appellate panel reversed the district court and ruled in favor of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and other individual plaintiffs who filed suit on the day the law was signed and have fought tirelessly to expose the unconstitutional intent and effect of this law and block its implementation. The NC NAACP group of plaintiffs is represented by attorneys Penda D. Hair, Caitlin Swain, Adam Stein and Irving Joyner as well as the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

“We are happy today that the 4th Circuit’s Court of Appeals' decision exposed the racist intent of the extremist element of our government in North Carolina," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. "In 2013, this government took our voting system — which was a model for the nation in encouraging people to vote, not discouraging them — and they made it into the worst voter suppression act in the country. Today the 4th Circuit’s decision gives North Carolinians back an electoral system that allows the people of North Carolina to vote freely this fall."

"The Circuit Court’s ruling today is a people’s victory and a victory that sends a message to the nation,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. “The court found— under the sensitive inquiry required by law -- that how the law was enacted and its impact made crystal clear that discriminatory intent impermissibly motivated this General Assembly. Under our constitution, and under the core principles and dictates of the Voting Rights Act, these provisions have no legitimacy under the law."

“Based on the ruling today," Barber explained, "North Carolina voters will not have to show a discriminatorily motived voter ID in the state of North Carolina in November or in any future election. North Carolinians will enjoy the full scope of early voting opportunities previously available, and will not be denied needed safeguards to protect the ability to exercise the right to vote including the option of same day registration. We know that this decision is a step closer to a freer, fairer electoral system in our state and in the nation. It is our duty to continue this fight until barriers based on race are swept away as ancient history.”

  “The Court’s decision reinforces that race-based decision-making in the electoral system will not stand,” said Penda D. Hair, lead attorney for the NC NAACP. “We know that voters of color rely most heavily on these voting measures, and that, without this decision, they would have borne the brunt of the burden this November. Today’s decision is the culmination of a long and grueling fight to fully restore the rights of North Carolina voters and renew the integrity of democracy in the state. We believe the plaintiffs' fight for justice received vindication today.”

The Immoral and Misleading Politics Hidden Beneath the Surface of House Bill 2

The NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement will continue exposing what extremist legislators have politically promoted as the "gay and transsexual restroom bill" - also known as House Bill 2.

The legislation has very little to do with restrooms and much to do with our need to prevent this immoral attempt to legislate a wide array of unconstitutional discrimination and hatred which we find when we read the fine print beneath these homophobic scare tactics. 

The NC NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement stands in solidarity with civil rights leaders, labor leaders and hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians who are organizing and taking action in various areas of the state against House Bill 2.  We refer to it more appropriately as "Hate Bill 2." 

It is sad that certain so called Christian leaders are supporting this bill and participating in this political ploy.  Jesus made his primary focus caring for the poor, the sick and least of these.  Where are these leaders when health care, living wages, and voting rights are being denied and public education is being undercut? They are strangely silent. 

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US Supreme Court Blocks Racially Gerrymandered Redistricting Plan

March 26, 2016

Yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion in the Alabama redistricting case supports the argument that the North Carolina State Conference of Branches of the NAACP has been making against North Carolina’s racially gerrymandered districts since they were first proposed in 2011. The Court held that packing black voters to meet a specific racial quota is constitutionally suspect, as was done in Alabama and in North Carolina. The Court remanded the case to the lower court for application of strict scrutiny. “The principles of law announced by the Court yesterday apply with equal force to North Carolina, mandating a reversal of the redistricting plans adopted here,” said Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II. 

When the North Carolina redistricting proposal was introduced and enacted, the NC NAACP, through its lawyers and partners, provided legislators with legal opinions which track yesterday's Supreme Court decision. "As a result, they knew or should have known that their redistricting proposal violated the Voting Rights Act and the federal constitution," said Irving Joyner, NC NAACP Legal Redress Chair and Professor at NCCU School of Law. "Despite this information, these legislators chose to ignore the law, as it existed at that point, for the sole purpose of undermining the political voice of African-Americans and other racial minorities. Their redistricting plans, which involved the State Senate, House of Representatives, and Congress, were a part of the same national political agenda and strategy which extremist legislators have sought to impose in other States as occurred in North Carolina and Alabama. The imposition of this extremist agenda has resulted in the illegal elections of legislative officials who have eagerly sought to impose other extremists political policies upon North Carolina citizens. The NC NAACP will continue to fight against these actions in the courts, the legislative parlors and in the streets."

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The NC NAACP Stands Against Hypocrisy and Immorality of the NCGA Made Clear by the Passage of HB2

The constitutional rights of North Carolinians to equal protection under the law in the state and federal constitutions are under attack. 

An estimated 7 people die preventable deaths daily in North Carolina, including veterans, healthcare workers and other working poor people, because the NC General Assembly did not pass Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Tens of thousands of voters have been disenfranchised or burdened by voter suppression laws and the inconsistent implementation of them across the state. 

Hundreds of thousands of working poor North Carolinians are locked into poverty by a minimum wage that doesn't allow them to feed their families and care for their loved ones.

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Open Letter: "The Prosecutor Ought to Be a Minister of Justice; Not Merely Seek Convictions.”

March 24, 2016
Attorney General Roy Cooper
Old Education Building
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
Dear Attorney General Cooper:
Today, Maundy Thursday, is a day in the Christian Tradition associated with repentance.  It commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus, just before he was betrayed, wrongfully arrested and prosecuted, and then executed. This horrific act of injustice led to Easter morning, when hundreds of millions of people celebrate the reversal of the wrongful conviction and the resurrection of the innocent Jesus.
So it is fitting and proper that today we call on your office to do justice in the cases of Dontae Sharpe and Kalvin Michael Smith, two men who have spent over half their lives imprisoned unjustly.  It is in the power of the Office of the Attorney General to show leadership in these cases.  As officers of the court, you and your staff have the ethical responsibility of ministers of justice and not simply that of an advocate; your duty is to seek justice, not merely to convict.
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