State News

NAACP wants budget revised, threat investigated

Posted May 26, 2011

— The NAACP's national president came to Raleigh on Thursday to show support for North Carolina members working to derail a legislative budget-cutting plan they say is disproportionately harmful to minorities, the poor and children.

Benjamin Jealous told The Associated Press in an interview prior to a news conference that he was deeply disturbed by the proposed budget cuts, as well as by the legislature's apparent attempts to block NAACP backers from airing their concerns to the General Assembly.

"We are fighting an agenda that is anti-family, unfair and would move the state backward," Jealous said. "Children, the mentally ill and the unemployed did not cause the state's budget gap. Making them suffer to close it is unfair and unwise."

Jealous' visit came one day after state NAACP leader the Rev. William Barber and six others were released from jail. The seven were arrested Tuesday for disrupting the General Assembly during a protest in the House gallery. The NAACP and affiliated groups are critical of proposed cuts in education, Medicare, mental health and social programs.

Jealous also called on state and federal officials to aggressively pursue an investigation into a death threat made against Barber.

"We take these threats seriously and we expect investigators to take these threats seriously," Jealous said.

He decried what he views as increased hostility between conservative and liberal factions in North Carolina and other places across the country.

"It's incumbent on all of us to put our heads together and figure out how we get to a better place, a more productive place," he said.

Jealous said he believes the election of President Barack Obama prompted a backlash of political activity by ultra-conservatives, who won large numbers of statehouse seats in 2010 during an election with low voter turnout.

"Now, they are seeking to aggressively curtail the electorate to ensure they maintain the majority," he said, in reference to a series of proposed voting law changes.

The changes would require all voters to show a photo ID, ban voting on Sundays and narrow the window for voters to cast ballots in advance of an election.

"Our leaders should be making it easier for working people to vote, not harder," he said.

Republican leaders were not immediately available to comment on the proposed legislation.

Barber said he and the six were arrested at the House were not read their Miranda rights.

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver said the protesters weren't read those rights because they weren't interrogated or interviewed by police.

They were only being processed for arrest, Weaver said, so the reading wasn't required.

Barber and the other six also received trespass warnings Tuesday, preventing them from returning to the Legislative Building until their judicial cases were resolved.

Weaver said Barber received a call this morning lifting that warning, and is now free to return.

He said no decision has yet been made about the lifting that warning for the other six.

61 Comments

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  • jtd1969 May 27, 6:18 p.m.

    These posts are so filled with hate... Terrible.

  • crouch1010 May 27, 5:35 p.m.

    And it doesn't make sense for the politicians to want to shorten the voting days. Oh, I know what it is, the more people that vote in elections, that usually means a loss for Republicans. The majority of the people do not want to be obligated to an anti social government that only caters to the wealthy. So shortening the dates to hijack the people does make sense on their part. But since they shortened it, can we still expect the same as usual voter fraud claims, that mostly come from Republicans?

  • tpmcarolinagirl May 27, 5:20 p.m.

    Hummm are ministers "Tax Exempt"?

  • roberttt42 May 27, 2:40 p.m.

    "Barber and the other six also received trespass warnings Tuesday, preventing them from returning to the Legislative Building until their judicial cases were resolved.

    Weaver said Barber received a call this morning lifting that warning, and is now free to return."
    IT IS CUSTOMARY PRACTICE THAT ANYONE INVOLVED WITH A TRESPASS CASE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO THE PROPERTY IN QUESTION UNTIL THE CASE IS HEARD. WHY IS BARBER ALLOWED TO RETURN? THIS OPENS A FLOODGATE OF DOORS TO ALL TRESPASS CASES.

  • roberttt42 May 27, 2:18 p.m.

    "We are fighting an agenda that is anti-family, unfair and would move the state backward," Jealous said. "Children, the mentally ill and the unemployed did not cause the state's budget gap. Making them suffer to close it is unfair and unwise."

    GET REAL Mr. Jealous and the rest of you NAACP cronies. THE ONLY CONCERN YOU HAVE IS THAT YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THE FREE MONEY FOR THE FREE-LOADERS WILL STILL BE THERE. Mr Jealous - GO BACK TO WHERE EVER YOU CAME FROM. MR. BARBER PLEASE REFRAIN FROM DISRUPTING NC LEGISLATURE. I THINK YOU SHOULD BE SEWED BY THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA FOR ALL THE TIME AND ADDED EXPENSE YOU CAUSE.

  • ljohnson247 May 27, 1:41 p.m.

    If the Dems were doing this, would Mr. Jealous have come to town? These problems did not occur overnight, was not the Dems in control for the past 140 years!!!

  • chevybelair57sd May 27, 1:20 p.m.

    The NAACP is not elected by the people and has not right to demand anything outside the law. Wether you're liberal like Nancy or pay taxes like me the majority rules in the US so get out and vote your pleasure.

  • chivegas May 27, 11:45 a.m.

    The only death threat to Barber is cardiovascular disease...

  • Nancy May 27, 10:18 a.m.

    "Please keep the pressure on the hate-filled and ignorant right wingers, NAACP! Lots of folks are on your side. We will not tolerate death threats from the ignorant and hate-filled right wingers." - geosol

    Your post is a fine example of what you complain about.

  • kjackson47 May 27, 9:29 a.m.

    Naacp = trouble
    so tired of this man and his demands

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