Many of us remember the five famous words from the movie Apollo 13 “Huston we have a problem”. Looking at the extreme conservatives on our County Boards of Education on up to the majority in the General Assembly, I must make an obvious statement. “North Carolina, we have too many problems.” Let us take a look at a few serious problems from our state legislative leaders:
Educate, organize and mobilize -- Again, if you’re not already registered you cannot vote in this year’s General Election. If you follow the news, you already know that the National and North Carolina Republican Parties are engaged in the most massive voter suppression campaign in 100 years. They’ve won several court victories that allow them to block the votes of millions of citizens nationwide. Today, we’re playing and losing the game of catch-up in our efforts to defeat voter suppression. To avoid losing this election cycle we need a massive voter turn-out and we need all of our readers to be a part of it. In addition to voting and volunteering to help a party or candidate over the next two weeks please email all of your contacts and do a Facebook post on your timeline asking all of your friend to do as you have done.
Educate, organize and mobilize -- If you’re not already registered you cannot vote in this year’s General Election. The reality is that, that is one of the objectives of the 2013 North Carolina voter suppressions laws. In elections of the past a person could register and vote up through Election Day. There are other voter suppression laws that await the unsuspecting and some of these laws will also prevent citizens from voting. Another major roadblock to voting will be going to the wrong precinct to vote. Voters can no longer cast out of precinct ballots.
Educate, organize and mobilize -- Recent news reports addressing the November 4th North Carolina, General Election are important but should not be viewed in any way that would cause Black voters to do anything but promote a massive voter turnout. On October 1, the 4th U S Circuit Court of Appeals voted to allow same day registration and out-of-precinct voting in this year’s election. Other major voter suppression laws remain in effect and the Republicans have appealed the Court’s decision. They are still trying to block same day registration and out-of-precinct voting. They rightfully fear the power of a massive Black voter turnout and we need to deliver one to them.
Educate, organize and mobilize -- Around 30 days and counting, this election season is in the home stretch. The highest profile race is for US Senate between Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis. Although most polls show Senator Hagan with a slight lead, without a massive turnout of Black voters and wall to wall Election Day coverage of Black precincts, voter suppression will win the day. If we don’t turnout, Tillis will win and Republicans will have succeeded in disenfranchising Black voters.
Educate, organize and mobilize -- This year, as a part of an effort to mobilize Black Voters to vote in November, the Legislative Black Caucus and other leadership organizations invited predominately Black Churches to make Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014 into Freedom Sunday, a celebration of citizen rights in the United States and a day to kick off non-partisan congregational voter registration and education programs. The movement is concentrating especially on congregations that are predominantly African American, where the memories of the Freedom Summer of 1964 are more likely to be widely remembered. That was the summer when Freedom Riders of many races came to the American South to help African Americans register to vote. Their work helped lead to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – and reaction against their work caused the martyrdom of Freedom Riders Michael Schwerner, 24, of New York, James Chaney, 21, from Mississippi, and Andrew Goodman, 20, of New York, who disappeared near Philadelphia, Miss., June 21, 1964. Their bodies were later found buried in an earthen dam. http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2014/09/freedom_summer_sunday.html
Amid stagnant wages, nagging underemployment and unemployment, many families continue to struggle with their finances. Some may even have wondered: ‘Will we ever make financial head way?’ On September 10, a Capitol Hill briefing was held to unveil a new policy "http://diversity.berkeley.edu/inequality-policy-brief" brief that examined America’s shrinking middle class. Responding to Rising Inequality: Policy Interventions to Ensure Opportunity for All was developed and published by the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California at Berkeley. According to the brief, “Income polarization is growing and the middle class is shrinking.”
Educate, organize and mobilize -- We’re now in the final stage of our campaign to defeat voter suppression. Therefore, as we count-down to November 4, 2014, I am providing actionable information and deadlines for our readers. This week our title and mantra have been lifted directly from the Moral Monday Movement because it appears to be the most dynamic and focused initiative that has the potential for success in November.
Here I go again. Since November 2013, I’ve been writing commentaries designed to spark enough interest in Black Voters to cause them to vote in November 2014. So far I’ve failed. This week I’m going to introduce another rationale for voting in November and in every election thereafter. Recently, a friend emailed me the publisher’s commentary written in May by Earl G. Graves, Sr., Publisher of Black Enterprise. The title of his article was "Wake Up! Re-engage in the Battle for Opportunity."
Educate, organize and mobilize: We’re now in the mobilization phase of our campaign to defeat voter suppression. Therefore, as we count down to November 4, 2014, I will provide actionable information and deadlines for our readers. Two important issues that voters need to decide immediately are that they’re going to help defeat voter suppression by voting and by helping to get others to do the same. Recently the Wilmington Star News recommended the following action items for individuals that desire to help voters overcome barriers that have been implemented that make it harder for people of color and others to vote in the United States.
- Voter Suppression: JUDGES MATTER Mobilize! Mobilize! Mobilize!
- Winning a Dead Heat: Black Elected Officials Mobilize, Mobilize and Mobilize
- Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs
- Tight North Carolina Race Could Determine Control of U.S. Senate
- Voter Suppression: The Countdown to Showdown
- Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy
- Voter Suppression: The Players Are Mobilizing
- Voter Suppression: The Lines Are Drawn and The Fight Is On
- Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time
- Voter Suppression: The Mississippi Lesson