Grassroots Politics: The AAC-NCDP Taking a Step Back in Time

by June 29, 2017 0 comments

Sometimes, in order to make progress, it is necessary to take a step back. The November election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has put the brakes on over 50 years of Civil Rights progress. As we did during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, we must engage in massive voter registration and focused economic persuasion must be central to an organized response to the relentless attacks on Black people, democracy and voting rights.

The result of our past presidential election served as a wake-up call to many people and groups that view President Trump’s election as a clear and present danger. Black people are one of the groups that has been shocked by Donald Trump and the threat he represents to Black communities. From “white supremacists” in the White House and Department of Justice to those in the streets, there is a concerted effort to turn back the clock on Black progress to the days of grave danger, oppression and economic exploitation.

Voting rights, the “crown jewel” of the Civil Rights Movement and economic persuasion, are the most important tools to use in a coordinated response to the threats. They defined the Movement of the 1960s. The denial of our right to vote and big money in politics are the greatest threats to the well-being of Black people.

I continue to write about Black leadership that is on the ground and resisting the various threats to Black people. Of course, the best known and most respected leadership comes from the NAACP. However, lesser known leadership organizations are equally important in the historic fight for voting rights and economic justice.

One such organization that is vital in the fight for voting rights and economic justice is the African-American Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party (AAC NCDP). The Caucus is an auxiliary of the NC Democratic Party and is presently led by Linda Wilkins-Daniels, of Goldsboro.

I recently sat down with Mrs. Wilkins-Daniels and discussed her history, the fight for justice and equality for historically underserved communities. She thanks her husband for allowing her to respond to God’s call to observe, and listen to the needs of those that have been alienated, afflicted and forgotten. She thanks former AAC-NCDP President, Willie Fleming for allowing her to serve as his 1st Vice President.

Linda expressed much gratitude to the AAC-NCDP members for entrusting her with the responsibility of serving as their President.

Linda retired from the Air Force while stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC after serving 22 years. She and her family settled in Goldsboro where she observed the struggles of people of color in public housing, court houses, jails and prisons and she asked herself “how do you walk away from suffering and injustices?” Clearly, she didn’t walk away. She took action. She described how late afternoons after work she would grab her briefcase full of voter registration forms, and hit the streets, registering people to vote.

While canvassing neighborhoods in the inner city, she found many people that were stuck in the trenches and forgotten. She said she was reminded of Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the widow’s call.”

She found herself praying the lyrics of a song by the gospel group, Among Thorns, Start a fire in me. That song reminded her of agony and torture Fannie Lou Hamer, famed Civil Rights leader endured while organizing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. (See link #1 below).

She recalled her belief that change comes with time, patience and persistence. And related how on February 8, 2003, thirty-African Americans with specific concerns gathered at the NC Democratic Convention to organize the AAC NCDP. The purpose and objective of the organization was to seek full representation of African-Americans at all levels and in all activities of the Democratic Party.

Mrs. Wilkins-Daniels reflected on the objective of ensuring that issues of concern of the African American community are made known to the Democratic Party and that the Party’s positions on these issues are clearly communicated to the AAC NCDP members. “Differing points of view should direct us to a more fruitful discussion rather than misdirect us toward unfruitful dissent.”

We discussed how back in the summer of 2013, after the Supreme Court gutted the 1985 Voter Rights Act and the NC legislature’s passage of the “Monster Law” a/k/a, the NC voter suppression law, legally known as, the Voter Information Verification Act of 2013. Current voter suppression laws represent the most serious threat to the progress Black people have made since the Civil Rights Movement.

She was elated that recently the Supreme Court declined to overturn a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals judge’s ruling striking down the controversial NC 2013 voter suppression law. In the lower court ruling, a judge found that North Carolina’s ballot restrictions targeted black voters “with almost surgical precision.” The Fourth Circuit ruling said that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation that restricted voting and registration in five ways, all which disproportionately affected black voters.

 

Under Linda’s dedicated leadership we can expect that she and the AAC NCDP members will take a step back and employ many tactics of the 1960s as she lends her support to the struggles of the exploited and disenfranchised of today. Under Linda’s dedicated leadership we can expect that she and the AAC NCDP members will take a step back and employ many tactics of the 1960s as she lends her support to the struggles of the exploited and disenfranchised of today.

Greater Diversity covers news that is vital to social justice, unrepresented and underserved communities.  We need your financial support to help us remain viable. Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on political, social and economic justice.  To support our efforts, unite our politics and economics, please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/greaterdiversitynews, “Share” our articles and post your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our website www.GreaterDiversity.com. He is available for radio commentaries upon request. Follow Peter on twitter @gdnunites.  Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to like and follow our page.  Link:1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fannie_Lou_Hamer

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