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Well, the national political media has descended on North Carolina and thank goodness some local politicos are doing all they can to dispel the impression that our state is home to a large collection of insular, uninformed rednecks.

Take Lee County conservative leader, Charles Staley…please.

According to Mr. Staley, not only is it acceptable for men to batter their wives and drive drunk in Mexico, but there are some very clear and simple explanations for the important shifts that have occurred in southern racial politics over the last several decades. As Staley told to the Los Angeles Times:

“’Lyndon Baines Johnson gets in there, there’s riots in the streets, so they decide, we need to keep these black people in their place,’ Staley said. ‘So, well, one way we can do it is to form this Great Society and make sure everybody gets some money and if they get in trouble, we’ll stop giving them money. That was the foundation of what we call social services. Up unto that point, the black  population voted Republican.’”

Sounds like this guy might be able to help one of the local right-wing groups put just the spin they’re looking for on their next historical reenactment.

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No media outlet in the state has more forcefully and consistently advanced the cause of eugenics victims than the Winston-Salem JournalThis morning’s editorial tells the truth once more about the state’s shameful failure and, in particular, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s pig-headed and mean-spirited stance as THE roadblock to justice.

Hope you’re feeling especially proud this morning, Phil.

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In recent months, there’s been some talk that the combination of the slow economic recovery and the President’s embrace of same sex marriage would somehow depress the support from racial minorities that he and other Democrats would garner in the November election.

Hmmm, maybe.

But as the 2011-2012 biennium of the North Carolina General Assembly has wound down in recent weeks, we’ve been reminded repeatedly why minority voters continue to support the Democrats by huge majorities (and why GOP claims about wanting to be a truly inclusive party when it comes to race) ring hollow for so many of these same voters: It’s about performance in office.

An obvious case in point: Read More

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The mainstream news media and blogs runneth over this morning with stories about the amazingly stupid, offensive and racist post that appeared on the John Locke Foundation’s Charlotte blog for a while this week. Frankly, aside from noting that the “Meck Deck” has included previous instances of hateful speech that unfortunately didn’t arouse much atttention, there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot more to say.

Let’s hope these people have learned an important lesson and that maybe, just maybe, a few people on the far right won’t be so perplexed the next time they advance a policy proposal (like, say mandatory photo ID for voting) that disproportionately impacts people of color and then get questioned about their motives.

 

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The committee he’s appointed is stacked with Racial Justice Act opponents, but it appears that House Speaker Thom Tillis has backed down slightly from his usual m.o. (i.e. “my way or the highway”).

Next Friday, in the aftermath of Tillis’ failed efforts to repeal RJA, the newly established House Select Committee on Racial Discrimination in Capital Cases will meet at the Legislative Building in Raleigh to discuss the matter.

Though it has often not been the case with the conservatives running the General Assembly (see, for example, the kangaroo sessions in which the marriage discrimination amendment was rammed through), let’s hope there’s an actual full and fair hearing.

Perhaps if there is, RJA opponents will be able to explain to all of us exactly just what the great harm is that’s resulting from examinations of compelling data like this one.