Local Politics

Lack of diversity on Perdue's team criticized

Posted November 13, 2008

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— The NAACP on Thursday questioned the lack of minorities among Governor-elect Beverly Perdue's initial appointments.

Perdue campaigned as a change candidate who would shake up state government, but the three people she selected to handle the transition to her administration – Norris Tolson, Don Hobart, and Zach Ambrose – are politically connected white men.

"We're not against these individuals as bad people, but it's problematic. It doesn't look like one North Carolina. It doesn't say, 'I'm ready to include everyone,'" said the Rev. William Barber, president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Barber noted that record turnout among black voters statewide helped not only Barack Obama win the presidency but also Perdue defeat Republican Pat McCrory in the gubernatorial race. Many of those voters now wonder if they'll be represented, he said.

"Certainly, if you're going to move forward, then you ought to have African-Americans at the leadership table," he said.

State Rep. Alma Adams, the chairwoman of the Legislative Black Caucus, also expressed concern about the lack of diversity on the transition team. But the Guilford County Democrat said she knows Perdue to be fair-minded and said she was hopeful the administration would eventually be more inclusive.

Hobart downplayed any significance to the first three appointments and urged people to be patient.

"We're basically here to do nothing more than to get the wheels rolling," he said. "I think you'll see an administration that reflects the presence of women as well as the minority community."

Still, Chris Fitzsimon, director of the liberal-leaning government watchdog group NC Policy Watch, said Perdue needs to understand that signals matter, especially from someone who promised to change the status quo.

"She hasn't started, but she's setting the tone of her administration by the people she appoints to put it together," Fitzsimon said. "We need to send messages that this is an inclusive administration, (that) it's a new day in North Carolina, that different voices will be putting this administration together."

Perdue's team promises that will happen, Hobart said.

"She wants to make sure that she builds a staff that reflects North Carolina from the mountains to the coast and in all it's diversity," he said.

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  • TUAlpha93 Nov 14, 2008

    "With the vitory of Barack Obama, affirmative action as we know it, should come to a complete halt! No one can claim that an opportunity is denied in the U.S. based on race!" - Tell that to all of those black assistant football coaches who still can't seem to get a head coaching job.

  • WRALSUCKS Nov 14, 2008

    "I guess the silver lining in this is that the NAACP is showing itself for what it is and is not"

    ....Again!

  • trunkmonkee1971 Nov 14, 2008

    I am prepared for alot of adversity from Perdue's "team".

  • whatelseisnew Nov 14, 2008

    This story cracked me up; the First Female Governor-elect of this state and she is told her team lacks diversity. Now that is some funny stuff.

  • davidgnews Nov 14, 2008

    With the vitory of Barack Obama, affirmative action as we know it, should come to a complete halt! No one can claim that an opportunity is denied in the U.S. based on race! Conservative

    I agree. It has no further purpose.

  • Garnerwolf1 Nov 14, 2008

    Alert5: no I'm not saying there are no qualified blacks. What I am saying is that these are only 3 people. I'm not even sure these are paid positions. They're definitely short-term. Why can't she pick who she wants instead of having to meet some quota, or diversity goal as determined by someone (Barber) who is obviously racist himself. And if Dems treat blacks as you say, why the heck do they keep voting for them, hmmm?

  • Conservative Nov 14, 2008

    With the vitory of Barack Obama, affirmative action as we know it, should come to a complete halt! No one can claim that an opportunity is denied in the U.S. based on race!

  • tgw Nov 14, 2008

    Hay Rev. Barber, instead of whinning about NC State and our Governor elect's first 3 appointees, why don't you worry about cleaning up the streets of Durham, Chapel Hill, and Southeast Raleigh or Greensboro and Charlotte? I'll bet Eve Carson's family would agree with that-or the family of the young Duke student killed last January. But instead, you've got to whine about what whites are threatening to do to President elect (Comrade) Obama.

    Well guess what Rev Barber, it's time to get off of your pompus posterior and clean up your own people's act. What does the Bible say about splinters and boards in the eye?? You're a Reverend!! You are so busy looking at white people's splinters that you cannot see your people's boards!! Hummmmmmmmmm.

  • Angel67 Nov 14, 2008

    barber is like jesse and al. HE WANTS TO BE SEEN ON TV......

  • WhatIsTheDrama Nov 14, 2008

    "I'm sorry I left out the part where the NAACP is only for equal rights for the African Americans".

    ~NO NO NO... Not African Americans!! Their title indicated Advancement of COLORED PEOPLE!!

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