Local News

NAACP to hold vigil in Johnston County

Posted September 26, 2008

— The North Carolina NAACP will hold a prayer vigil in Johnston County this weekend to challenge intolerance.

The vigil will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Smithfield courthouse.

Earlier this month, Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell made controversial comments to a reporter for The News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh.

In a Sept. 7 article in which Bizzell talked about his frustration with the changing face of the county where he grew up, he called Mexicans "trashy" and said the growing Latino population in his county was "breeding like rabbits."

"Everywhere you look, it's like little Mexico around here," he said in the article.

Bizzell later apologized for the remarks, saying his comments were targeted at illegal immigrants and not all Latinos.

Twenty-six civil rights organizations sent a letter to commissioners last week calling for Bizzell’s resignation. Hispanic media group Que Pasa has also called for Bizzell to resign.


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  • lorivalentine1 Sep 26, 2008

    Sheriff's comments may have been out of line to say but his actions and those of every other official trying to get rid of illegals (no specific race, all inclusive works for me as illegal is illegal) from this country are well justified.. They are ILLEGAL and should not be here. Thus they have been breakingthe law by being here. Not sure why some of you feel the need to defend any one who is breaking the law. I am not saying traet them poorly just get rid of them and be done with it!

  • durhamfred23 Sep 26, 2008

    The guy is out of line-- way out. He's gotta go. Johnston Cty. is one of the fastest-growing in NC....and no company will locate in a county with an elected official making these kinds of racist remarks.

  • Clarity Sep 26, 2008

    I praise NAACP for supporting the Latino community under such racist and bias tattck. Let's stop the instutionalized racism that exist against any minority group... people open your eyes!!!

  • Halyard Sep 26, 2008

    If anyone sees Sheriff Bizzell, pls give him my kindest regards!


  • mhopkins Sep 26, 2008

    Help me out here. I'm really puzzled. I am new to this group, and I read the guidelines. Among things that are said not to be approved for posting: "Any generalizations about a specific group of people"

    So far as I can tell 80% of what is posted here should be pulled on that basis. I see people saying unkind things about Hispanics (no, Mexican is not the correct general term), the NAACP --- Does nobody have anything positive to say?

    Sounds to me like a prayer vigil is exactly what's needed. Sheriff apologized for his comments -- which were indeed way out of line for a public servant. So why are y'all so busy trying to revive them? Better you should all go pray for some patience and some kindness. I sure don't hear much of either here.

  • cragan Sep 26, 2008

    There are 26 org that have nothing better to do than write letters to johnston county. They should get a job and maybe be part of a soultion rather than part of the problem

  • NCSUDem Sep 26, 2008

    For those of you who are having trouble understanding why the NAACP is involved, let me help you out:

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

    I think most would agree that Hispanics are "colored."

  • justwondering2 Sep 26, 2008

    An naacp coming to JOCO will be futile.

  • NCSUDem Sep 26, 2008

    Familiarize yourself with federal immigration law, camm. In order for local law enforcement to act as ICE officials, your county has to be a member of the 287g program set up by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

    Six counties and one city in NC have these privileges. Johnston County is not one of them.

    The last time I checked, federal law takes precedence over any oath of office.

  • news4u Sep 26, 2008


    Mr. Barber - I think you are on the wrong side - Aren't you repping the NAACP? Remember? National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "40% of the decline in employment of black men is due to illegal immigration. And while Americans from all backgrounds are being harmed, lower to middle income African American workers are being disproportionately affected." – - -Dr. Frank Morris, former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; February 2008.