WASHINGTON, D.C. — MAY 16, 2017 — This morning on News One Now, host and managing editor Roland Martininterviewed Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, about the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear an appeal by the North Carolina state legislature to reinstate its voting rights law that was enacted in 2013. Last summer, the lower court ruled that the law was unconstitutional and unfairly targeted African Americans.
“It’s been a multi-year campaign to overturn this law. It’s been under the cover of the voter ID, which is a very popular slogan, and lots of states have IDs but they also have a lot of backup methods for people who don’t have them. The North Carolina one was very strict and under the cover of this popular slogan “Oh let’s make people show an ID,” they took away provisions that had helped North Carolina come up from the bottom,” says Hall. With the provisions being struck down, individuals had easier access to voting registration and the state saw a surge in voter turnout.
“We were in the bottom 12 states for voter turnout throughout the entire 20th century. And it was only when we started getting early voting, we enacted same day registration during early voting, we allowed people to vote out of precinct on election day if they were in the right county – those things helped to pull us up from the 40th to the 12th. They surgically went after these provisions that actually helped African American turnout, but they helped republicans too…it disproportionately helped people who were transient, who were poor, students, and so on.”
Supreme Court Refuses To Hear North Carolina’s
Appeal On Their Discriminatory Voter ID Law
(courtesy credit: TV One/News One Now)
Martin also spoke with Rev. Dr. William Barber II, who is stepping down as president of the North Carolina NAACP in order to head a new resurgence of the Poor People’s Campaign, which was founded by Dr. Martin Luther King and was in its early stages of development before he was assassinated in 1968. This new resurgence is focused on a modern-day national moral revival.
“Dr. King in ’68 said we needed a revolution of values when it came to racism, poverty, and militarism. We are saying today we need a revival when it comes to the issues of systemic racism that are still very real, the issue of systemic poverty, the war economy, and national morality. Any time that we have a situation in a country where the only thing politicians can think about doing with their power is cutting healthcare and denying education and denying the right to vote and putting more money in war and undermining and under-funding public education, we don’t just merely have a political problem in terms of democrat versus republican, we have a moral problem,” says Barber. “Last year we went through a presidential campaign – not one major debate on systemic racism and voter suppression. Not one debate on the poor. Not one debate on the impact of the war economy. That is a tragedy and we have to shift our moral narrative.”
Barber added that the civil rights group has already started an audit called “The Souls of Poor Folk,” which will study where America stands on the grounds of race, poverty, and militarism since the first Poor People’s Campaign, and then will make plans to execute direct action and civil disobedience in 25 states and Washington D.C. in 2018.
Rev. Barber Talks ‘Poor People’s Campaign’
(courtesy credit: TV One/News One Now)
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