Cooper, chief justice accept N.C. NAACP invite

Cooper, chief justice accept N.C. NAACP invite
December 14
04:00 2017

With the stated Dec. 15 deadline to respond looming this week, Republican legislative leaders – Senate Pro tem Phil Berger and House Tim Moore – have yet to acknowledge a Nov. 27 invitation rendered by the N.C. NAACP to meet with the civil rights group to discuss criminal justice reform, and other issues.

“I have not heard from the remaining two, as was expected,” Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the N.C. NAACP told this newspaper Tuesday. “Their patterns are proven and sure.”

It was Nov. 27 in a letter when Dr. Spearman invited the heads of “the three co-equal branches of government” to meet with the N.C.  NAACP.

“Today, while our nation and state are in the midst of great political turbulence, caused at least in part by racist voting and criminal justice policies and practices, there is a great need for honest political leaders to speak directly with each other and listen carefully across the table of civility,” he wrote then.

Thus far, both Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C.  Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin have accepted the invitations issued by Spearman.

“The N.C. Constitution provides these three co-equal branches of our government [executive, legislative and judicial] shall operate independently, providing a system of checks and balances on each other that enhances the ability of our democracy to flourish, even in turbulent periods of change we sometimes experience as we work to create a ‘more perfect union’ since North Carolina was founded, half slave and half-free in 1789,” Dr. Spearman said in a recent statement.  “These meetings will help my new leadership team get its bearings since my October election as president of the N.C. NAACP and help us make plans to move North Carolina forward together toward the 109-year-old purpose of the NAACP – to eliminate racial discrimination and prejudice from our society.”

Spearman continued, “We are delighted the leaders of two branches of the government have accepted our request for a meeting. We will keep the public informed about these historic meetings.  In the spirit of the season, we trust we will be hearing from the legislative branch soon.”

The N.C. NAACP president added that the meetings will occur separately. “We are scheduled to meet with Justice Martin on Jan. 16, 2018,” Dr. Spearman said. “The meeting with the Governor, he has not given us a date yet. “

A reporter’s inquiry was emailed Tuesday to both Republican legislative leaders Berger [R-Rockingham} and Moore (R-Cleveland), asking if they intended to attend the meeting with the N.C. NAACP in the near future, and if not, why not?

There was no answer from either Sen. Berger’s office or Speaker Moore’s office by press time Tuesday. Nor had either Republican leader responded directly to the N.C. NAACP.

“We are hopeful that we will get a response to our letter by the 15th of December, but … you can mark me by this,” Dr. Spearman vowed on Nov. 27th, “… that if we do not receive anything, we are geared up to move forward, as we have been doing, to do rallies, whatever needs to be done, for such a time a this.”

It may not be wise for Dr. Spearman to hold his breath waiting for either Berger or Moore to respond positively, or otherwise.

In 2015, the Cleveland County NAACP blasted Speaker Moore for alleged voter suppression, the denial of Medicaid expansion, and failure to support an increase in the minimum wage for workers.

And in 2014, the N.C. NAACP went after Sen. Berger for creating and airing TV ads that misrepresented voting eligibility at the polls.

Neither Berger nor Moore has ever had a constructive statement about the N.C. NAACP.

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Cash Michaels

Cash Michaels

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