Category Archives: hate crimes

Fayetteville Coalition Brought SPLC Speaker to Inform and Inspire – 5/15/18

Fayetteville NOW is part of a coalition that brought in Lecia Brooks, outreach director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).  Brooks spoke about the growth of hate groups in the US to a crowd of about 75 people on 5/15/18. Brooks ended with an inspiring message.

SPLC Outreach Director, Lecia Brooks Photo Credit: Umass Amherst

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has been tracking hate-based organizations for years. These include white nationalist and supremacists, black nationalists, anti-semitic groups, anti-Muslim groups and others,” Brooks said.

“The organization lists 32 hate groups in North Carolina,” she said. That includes 3 in Cumberland County.

Read more about the event at “Speaker: Hate crimes continue in United States,” 5/15/18, Fayetteville Observer. 

This event was part of the Fayetteville Community Conversations Coalition series in Fayetteville NC. This was a great turnout, especially considering there were some other events sponsored the same evening. 

Fayetteville Chapter of NOW is one of the co-sponsors of the Community Conversations program. Other sponsors include the Cumberland County Library, Delta Sigma Theta, Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Commission. Fayetteville NAACP also helped bring in this excellent speaker.

The event was announced at Fayetteville NOW Community events (April and May 2018). Thanks to Fayetteville NOW President Sharon Johnson for the update and the newspaper link.

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Events Against Gun Violence – RTP Area

The latest school massacre, which was in Parkland Florida on Valentines Day (2/14/18), may have more of a lasting impact that previous ones. The teen survivors are calling out the blame mongering and refusal of Congress and Trump to do their jobs in protecting children and teachers – and making a concerted effort to pull in others through social media. And they are not putting on a polite front in their speeches or in interviews. For example, teen survivor Emma Gonzalez gave an amazing, heartfelt, passionate speech calling out President Trump, the GOP, and the NRA for enabling the murder of children at an anti-gun rally. 

“How about we stop blaming the victims for something that was the shooter’s fault?” [Emma Gonzalez] demanded, and called out those who do deserve to shoulder that blame.

Emma Gonzalez speaking at anti-gun rally following Parkland Florida High School massacre. Photo Credit: CNN.com

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Why Tillis does not know what to expect at Town Halls

In “Tillis is open to town halls, minus shouting,” 3/6/17, N&O, Senator Thom Tillis alleges that people who go to his town hall meetings shout and call names, so he doesn’t go. In fact, he has not been to a town hall meeting this year (the $25 a head Durham Chamber of Commerce meeting on March 6 does not count, nor does the March 7th phone call he offered with only an hours’ notice on social media). It is natural he does not know what to expect.

Senator Tillis, we have been to two town hall meetings held in your honor, and you’ve got it all wrong.   

First, the people there are not scary or menacing. They look like, well, people. You don’t have to take our word for it though, there are lots of pictures online.

Speakers lined up at this town hall meeting to share their concerns and fears. Respectful pictures of Senators Tillis and Burr at front of room. Photo Credit: Sarah Sydney

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Paliga: Burr and Tillis – “F” for FAIL

I am outraged that Senators Burr and Tillis’ votes for Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos have thrown North Carolina’s children under the bus – the school bus. Senator Tillis even served as PTA President for his daughter’s High School, but that didn’t stop him from putting in office an unqualified – but filthy rich – nominee who many believe is hostile to public education. And let it be made clear this is not proof of supporting women in leadership – both Tillis and Burr have blocked well qualified African-American nominees like Loretta Lynch, Jennifer May Parker and Patricia Timmons-Goodsen.

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DeVos has no personal experience in public education, not as student, parent, teacher or administration. In fact, she has worked to undermine public education, spending more than two decades promoting taxpayer-subsidized vouchers for private and parochial school tuition and promoting publicly funded but privately run charter schools. She also tried to strip teacher unions of their influence. 

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Update on Women’s Marches in DC and around US on 1/21/17

Organizing a national Women’s March on Washington in Washington DC has been an adventure. First, let us recognize that there is a lot of interest in protesting in DC. Asheville NOW filled a bus in less than a week. Charlotte NOW is filling one now. And there are about 20 buses from North Carolina alone. At first the organizers didn’t realize they absolutely needed permits, where to send the buses, etc. Then, when Alice Cohan, of Feminist Majority (formerly of National Organization for Women/NOW) jumped in to help get permits, they found out many groups tried for permits for that date and those places, and they were working through the process. Then things changed and all protesters were being blocked from using normal rally/protest sites like large sections of Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as the Washington Monument, the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial! Now there is an update from that – we finally have a site. But here is some background on the process. Never discount a bunch of angry women!

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Picture from the March for Women’s Lives in 2004. Raleigh NOW delivered 3 buses and Mandy Carter of SONG delivered another from Durham. Our 4 buses traveled together to the national march.

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Moral Monday in June: A Congregation of Citizens

By Zoe Boggs

             Across the street from the North Carolina State Legislative Building, a diverse crowd sat, stood, held signs, and listened intently. People of all ages, races, religions, and sexual orientations celebrated their differences, but most importantly, their common goals. This was June 20, 2016 and we were at a Moral Monday event, held by the NAACP and allies to protest HB2 and remember the Orlando victims and the Charleston 9 victims. The week before, on June 12 in Orlando, FL, a gunman “carried out the worst mass shooting in United States history, leaving 50 people dead and 53 wounded” at a gay nightclub doing its weekly “Upscale Latin Saturdays” party. Then on Jun 18, nine people were murdered at a historic African-American Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where they were doing bible study.

Moral Monday Participant Photo Credit: Elaina Athans

Moral Monday Participant Photo Credit: Elaina Athans

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