WHAT WE BLACKS NEED TO DO
PROBLEM: The extreme conservatives developed a master plan to water down the constitutional rights of blacks, poor whites, young people, women, LGBT and other minorities.
Their strategy was to throw three of the most devastating knock-out punches a heavy weight boxer had in his/ her repertoire.
PUNCH: The first punch, a left hook to the rib cage was gentrification. Gentrification is a scholarly sounding word that means poor and lower middle class property owners move out while the upper middle class and rich people are welcomed to their renovated brick streets, concrete sidewalks well-lit new neighborhoods. The greedy investors, with the help from some of our equally greedy elected officers take the houses or land by any means necessary. They condemn or report your properties for condemnation, buy you out when you fall behind on your mortgage, over evaluate, raise your taxes, demand you do repairs that are not demanded in other areas, force you to hire an attorney to protect your rights and finally foreclose on your property. Gentrification has had many other names we Blacks remember over the years, including redlining, blockbusting and today it is called the “historic district or overlay”. The new owners enjoy special tax breaks and around the clock police patrols.
The second punch, an overhand right to the eye, sliding down to the nose, lips chin and into the collarbone was gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is another big word that simply means dividing voters into strangely drawn districts. It is the same way the Board of Education draw school lines to create majority white schools they call “good” and majority Black schools they call “failing. “The city or county school board call it re-districting students and the State legislators draw snake-like lines sometime reaching into three or more counties that put about 76% of Republican voters in districts to control the election.
The third punch, an uppercut was voter suppression. Voter Suppression means make it harder for non-Republicans to vote. Change the voting place, cut back on the number of voting places, cut back on early voting, make us show an ID card and use any other dirty trick to slow down or keep us 2nd class citizens from voting.
#NOTE: William Shakespeare said “a rose by any other name is still a rose”. Gentrification, gerrymandering, re-districting and so-called voter protection was pure discrimination in 1953 and still is today under the “shameful leadership” of Governor Pat McCrory and our equally inept U. S. Senator Richard Burr.
COUNTERPUNCH: We took their punches then threw powerful counter punches.
We with legal help from the state NAACP, League of Women Voters, the U.S. Justice Department and other progressive organizations sued the state of North Carolina. Federal judges ruled that North Carolina violated the equal protection provision of the U.S. Constitution. They ordered the state to re-draw the district lines for districts 1 and 12. This counter punch knocked Governor Pat McCrory off his feet, he got back up, then the referee gave him the mandatory standing eight count.
The 56-page voter(ID) suppression law passed and signed by Governor Pat McCrory is now in the hands of a federal appeals court. Second (2nd) time in federal court Governor Pat McCrory.
The United States Justice Department said that House Bill 2 (better known as the bathroom bill) signed by Governor Pat McCrory violates the Civil Rights Act, and this is it’s third time in federal court.
To date the Governor has wasted over eight (8) million dollars of our tax money defending obviously discriminatory laws in state and federal court. In addition to the money our Governor is spending on out of state lawyers, it is estimated the law would cost us over eight (8) billion dollars each year and thousands of good paying jobs.
We all can and must throw, the final knock-out punch, an upper-cut, by registering, voting by absentee ballot or voting early. Our one vote is good, but encouraging or taking at least three others with us is like eating our favorite four course dinner at home or at a 5-star restaurant.
To keep up with the truth, as North Carolina turns, we need to support and read the Black press. The local daily papers put a truncated version of these stories on page A- 9. The Black press prints these stories on the front page with full details.
Galatians 5:1 (Paraphrased) “Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery”.
James J. Hankins graduated from all Black Williston Senior High School, spent three years in the Army stationed in Germany, North Carolina A&T State University alumnus, retired vocational education teacher, past president of the New Hanover County NAACP, seven years as a construction manager at Youth Build Wilmington, charter member of Friends of Abraham Galloway and author of the book “What We Blacks Need To Do”. Go to www.jhankinsrealty.com for contact information. •