News

STATEMENT FROM THE NC JUSTICE CENTER: It is immoral, irrational, and unacceptable to hold our nation hostage over building a border wall

RALEIGH (January 8, 2019) – President Trump’s speech tonight sought to further hold our nation hostage over the building of a useless, massively expensive, and politically fabricated border wall – one that few want, security experts agree wastes our time and resources, and further divides our country before construction even begins. The government shutdown over this immoral and irrational political stunt has now led to hundreds of thousands of federal employees missing paychecks and halted vital services, affecting families and children across the United States.

The only crisis at the border is the one that was caused by the Trump administration’s cruel policies towards children and families—policies that actually jeopardize, rather than enhance, our security. Any crisis here was politically manufactured by the President.

It is further unacceptable to negotiate new immigration policies while the government is shut down. Calling for “compromise” creates a false equivalency between thoughtful discourse over reasonable, pragmatic policy options and the demands of a chaotic White House administration using a ransom note to dictate the way forward.

There is no ransom here to be paid; no bargaining to be done. Holding the nation, innocent federal employees, and lawmakers hostage in the name of a divisive, archaic border wall is harmful not only to our democracy, but in concrete ways, to millions of families and local economies across the nation. We are better than that as a people.

The vast majority of Americans oppose the wall and want the government reopened immediately. The Justice Center urges our North Carolina lawmakers to support bipartisan government funding bills that will end this reckless shutdown.

Commentary, Trump Administration

President Trump’s proposal to “improve” border security and enforcement attacks the immigrant community

President Donald Trump took immediate and counterproductive steps on Day 6 of his administration to appease the hateful, anti-immigrant faction among his supporters by announcing immediate and rapid changes to U.S. border security and immigration enforcement.

Expanding the use of local law enforcement as a tool for mass deportations of immigrants runs counter to our nation’s highest ideals and eviscerates the trust local law enforcement has cultivated and needs to keep our communities safe. North Carolina has seen this picture before, and it ends in racial profiling and violation of civil rights.

The President’s announcement of the immediate construction of a costly, ineffective, and unnecessary wall for our southern border is a sledgehammer to the Statue of Liberty and an affront to our core principles of protecting those who are fleeing unspeakable violence and persecution. This wall invites ridicule from the rest of the world as well as long-lasting animosity from our allies.

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Policing

Statement from the NC Justice Center on the shootings and protests in Charlotte

Our hearts remain heavy in the wake of the shootings and protests in our state one week ago. There are still many things we don’t know about the tragic events in Charlotte. What we do know is that — regardless of specifics — the deaths of Keith Lamont Scott, Terence Crutcher, Tyre King, and countless others are too often a consequence of systemic racism, which results in racial disparities and inequities that frequently lead to communities of color being policed differently and denied both due process of law and full protections of the legal system.

At the NC Justice Center, we are committed to justice for all people in our state. Acknowledgment of the existence of community inequities and difference in treatment for people of color – not just in the criminal justice system – is the first step to reducing those racial inequities, whether they are in:

    • Education, where a disproportionate number of African-American children face expulsion and attend high-poverty schools;
    • Housing, whether it be historic redlining, segregated public housing, or other discriminatory practices;
    • Our economy, wherein an African-American male with an associate’s degree has around the same chance of getting a job as a white male with just a high school diploma;
    • Health, as people of color are more likely to go without health care due to cost and face higher uninsured rates;
    • And, indeed, North Carolina’s own criminal justice system where African-American men compose more than 50 percent of the state’s prison population.

Conversations about inequities are difficult and complicated, but that’s exactly why we need to have them. Allowing these destructive and divisive disparities to continue, as well as any discriminatory systems that encourage or condone these continued inequities, erodes public trust. That is why we feel it is important for us, and like-minded organizations, to use our voice and our resources to combat racial injustice and lift up equitable policies in our state.

Commentary

Gov. McCrory’s Executive Order does little to correct the multiple harmful impacts of HB2

Statement from Rick Glazier, Executive Director of the NC Justice Center

Gov. McCrory called on lawmakers yesterday to reverse part of House Bill 2, but unfortunately his Executive Order fails to fix or recommend fixing most of the extremely damaging provisions of this toxic legislation. It is essentially a “do nothing” order.

Because of House Bill 2, local governments still may not adopt ordinances or policies that go beyond state anti-discrimination law to provide protection to LGBTQ individuals or other classes of people, either in public accommodations or private employment, or by businesses that contract with local governments. They also still cannot help protect workers by adopting ordinances or policies regarding wages, benefits, hours, payment of earned wages, benefits, leave, or the well-being of minors in the workforce by their contractors. In short, it takes away the right and duty of these local governments to spend their money in a way that promotes good public policy and benefits its community members.

Not only does the order fail to reverse HB2’s hateful statute requiring public agencies and schools to discriminate against transgender individuals in bathrooms and changing facilities, the anti-discrimination provisions in the NC Equal Employment Practices Act are still weaker than before HB2 was enacted because of the addition of “biological” to the definition of sex discrimination.

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Commentary

Discriminatory HB2 is a shameful, restrictive mark on North Carolina’s history that will hurt our state’s residents and economy

Statement from Rick Glazier, Executive Director of the NC Justice Center

Yesterday will go down as a shameful day in North Carolina’s history, as lawmakers prioritized misguided discrimination above the freedoms of our local government, safety of residents, and very decency that until recently has guided our state’s success.

In less than 12 hours, the General Assembly’s special session – held without transparency or serious public input – left the state with a bill that assaults the freedom of our communities to govern themselves, and one that will almost certainly damage the state’s economy. Read more