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NAACP weighs in on possible hate-crimes policy for UNC system

Posted January 26, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— The head of the state NAACP chapter said Monday that he wants a panel studying hate crimes on University of North Carolina campuses to recommend a specific policy for how to investigate such crimes.

At a meeting of the UNC Study Commission to Review Student Codes of Conduct as They Relate to Hate Crimes, Rev. William Barber said he also supports diversity training and changes in curriculum.

"What we need is a clear policy on how we investigate, a clear policy on what the penalties are, and we need a clear curriculum that truly teaches us more about how we must interface and be one community," Barber said.

The commission, which includes students, staff and faculty from 10 UNC campuses, is looking into whether the 16-campus UNC system should adopt a policy on the matter in the wake of four North Carolina State University students' spray-painting racist graffiti in the campus' Free Expression Tunnel the night after President Barack Obama was elected.

Barber, president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, called for the students to be expelled, but N.C. State officials said they had no grounds to do that.

NAACP wants hate-crime policy NAACP wants hate-crime policy

Barber said the message painted in the tunnel was specific in context of historical threats made against blacks.

"This language that has deep historical roots in 'terroristic' history is not free speech," Barber said.

Wake County's district attorney said the messages did not warrant a hate crime charge, and some groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, argue that the speech is protected under the First Amendment.

At a public-input meeting earlier this month, most in attendance supported the idea of a hate-crimes policy. But the majority of the dozens of e-mails sent to the commission in recent weeks have opposed it.

The commission, which is studying similar policies in other states, including Texas, California and Minnesota, is expected to make a recommendation to UNC President Erskine Bowles by the end of March.


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  • Aussielady Jan 27, 2009

    I find it amazing how the ones to continually beat the racist cards, seem to be a racist themselves. They live for the opportunity of becoming the new facist of the world, for in thier eyes if you do not agree with them, then you are the problem. Is the NAACP trying to create a forth riech?

  • nobama Jan 27, 2009

    I agree "racism is very much alive and well within the African American community."

  • beachboater Jan 27, 2009

    First, how the heck did William Barber get INTO the MEETING????? And second, why is it only a hate crime is a black is the victim? I have to guess that Mr. Barber might read about himself on this site.

    How about if a white is the victim? The UNC class president last year, who was white but was murdered by two black youths. The NCACPA claims to support ALL people. Why were they not up in arms about hate crime with that murder?

    Barber is nothing but a racist mouthpiece. Much like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They will never let racism die because they would have to look for a real job!!

  • shep8851 Jan 27, 2009

    People of color cannot be racists because they have no power? Might interesting to research how much racism exists within the African-American community--directed by African Americans toward other African-Americans...very famous civil rights case down in Atlanta--one African American female ( federal govt. employee) sued another African American female ( federal govt. employee) on the grounds of racial discrimination. So yes, racism is very much alive and well within the African American community.

  • affirmativediversity Jan 27, 2009

    Personally I think the naacp should be considered a racist organization just like the kkk. Never have I heard either organization say anything that is not hate filled and unrepresentative of the majority.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 27, 2009

    Fact is they will kill more blacks in the next 6 months than the KKK did in it's history.

    I totally agree with you. Black are killing black every months. Just watch the news and get the facts.

  • sweetsea Jan 27, 2009

    Jesse Jackson on public video threatened now President Obama. What he said was, "I'd like to cut his n-ts out for talking down to black people". Barber said the students should be expelled from State. Seems I have not heard Barber recommend that Jesse Jackson be removed as head of the Rainbow Coalition. Jackson's speech was hateful and castration is pretty serious business. So do we hold Jackson to the same standard as the students or give him a free pass? Were he and the students serious or joking? Explain the difference Reverend. I'd love to hear you try. The Secret Service and police didn't think the students were serious because they have the brains to differentiate. Graffitti and paper nooses don't kill but there is a serious crime problem among young black males which Barber never mentions. Fact is they will kill more blacks in the next 6 months than the KKK did in it's history. Check the facts. Martin and Bowles are spineless panderers and should put a stop to this fiasco.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 27, 2009

    The first thing the NAACP should weigh in on is getting a new president.

  • jsanders Jan 27, 2009

    The Free Expression Tunnel has shown students at NC State for years how to deal with free expression they don't like: respond to it, make fun of it, or just paint over it.

    Crying and throwing a huge tantrum and trying to expel kids and institute Orwellian speech codes, no, that's new and rock-stupid: http://www.carolinajournal.com/jhdailyjournal/display_jhdailyjournal.html?id=5205

  • Boogalooboy Jan 27, 2009

    Barber is a scammer. He couldn't answer be straight with the Lord himself. That was obvious in the ask 10 questions blog.

    What he wants is anything that the NAACP or he doesn't like should be changed and should necessarily be right for everyone...They should find a real leader....