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North Carolina, a Laboratory for Trickle-down Economics

During North Carolina's 2013 legislative session, a fierce debate took place over how to change the state tax code. Because Republicans had won a super majority in the General Assembly as well as the governor's race in 2012, the real tug-of-war centered around an aggressively conservative tax reform package championed by State Senator Bob Rucho, Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. A less aggressive proposal was preferred by House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is likely to be the Republican nominee to challenge US Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat.   Continue reading

Rev. Barber's most compelling 7 minutes

This is an excerpt from Rev. Dr. William Barber's speech at Binkley Baptist Church in Durham, NC on June 30, 2013 — four days after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of The Voting Rights Act of 1965. Continue reading

Three Incidents from My Father's Life

My father's life-long work was with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as Senior Trial Examiner and a Civil Rights Attorney. He established the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) for the southern sector with headquarters in Atlanta during the war years.   Continue reading

"Jesse" a story about love and racism in America

Author Joy Boothe and I felt that this short story about love and racism in America would be a fitting way to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King on his actual birthday. 11 years younger than Nelson Mandela, Dr. King would by 85 today. Continue reading

Rainy Moral Monday Dec. 23, 2013

Below is the full event, and links to two of the highlights: remarks by the Republican Mayor of Belhaven, NC Adam O'Neal, and Rev. Barber's 2014 closing statement in which he announced plans for 2014. See Mayor O'Neal's comments |  See Rev. Barber's announcement of plans for 2014 The rally was followed by a march to the state capitol:

North Carolina Conservatives Questions Education Cuts

Notes by Eric Byler written on the day this interview was recorded in Aug. 2013. Release of this video was delayed due to a tense political climate in the mountains of western North Carolina. Continue reading

L A T E S T videos

Moral Monday in Burlington, NC Oct. 28, 2013: Moral Monday spreads to Wilmington, NC: Continue reading

Catching up with Moral Monday in North Carolina

The videos above are the first three in a list which I call, "Catching up with North Carolina."  Click on the bold letters to see videos. Continue reading

Sen. Josh Stein Debates NC Voting Restrictions

Sen. Josh Stein, Democrat from Wake County, is considered a rising star in the Democratic party. His debate with Sen. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) on the legality, fairness, and the necessity of voting restrictions in North Carolina spanned the final three days of the Senate's 2013 session, culminating in the passage of the most restrictive voting law in the United States, HB 589, which awaits a signature by Gov. Pat McCrory (R). McCrory has said he has not read the legislation but intends to sign it. Continue reading

"We are not enemies, but friends."

Let's remember that it's okay if we disagree. We are not meant to create uniformity in America. Diversity makes us strong.   Continue reading

Voting Restrictions in North Carolina — 6 Arrested

11:32 pm July 25:  The North Carolina House voted to accept the changes made by the Senate to HB 589, originally a Voter ID bill. The vote was on party line, with every Republican voting for it and every Democrat voting against it.   Continue reading

"Thankful Tuesday" rally - GOP response to Moral Monday

On July 16, 2013, the Republican party of North Carolina and the Moccasin Creek Minutemen hosted a rally to respond to the ongoing Moral Monday protests, and, to thank Republican lawmakers for many of the same policies that Moral Monday participants gather to criticize.   Continue reading

Epic Debate in NC Senate on Sharia Law/Abortion Bill 7/3/13

Note: There are two videos about what happened Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at the NC General Assembly when the Senate voted on HB 695 "Faith, Family and Freedom Protection Act": One documenting what happened inside the Senate chamber and one documenting what happened outside the Senate chamber after the vote.    Continue reading

NC Sen. Bob Rucho calls out lobbyists and breaks with fellow Republican leaders over taxes

The Republican leaders in North Carolina are currently engaged in a power struggle over taxes and budget with one conservative leader resigning from a powerful leadership position while calling out corruption.  Continue reading

3 arrested, Media Expelled from NC Governor's Office

The Raleigh State Capitol police expelled the media from the capitol dome on Wed. June 26, prior to arresting 3 men who refused to leave, and after Gov. Pat McCrory chose not to meet with a group of 50 North Carolina residents asking him to veto a slate of bills they see as mean-spirited and extreme. Continue reading

Healing in the Heart of the Divide

Eric Byler and I have been traveling around America with the goal of trying to understand why Washington is so gridlocked and the people apparently divided 50 years after the March on Washington. In Alabama, we encountered some dramatic expressions of that division. We also found people showing great leadership and working towards reconciliation such as Chief Kevin Murphy, the Montgomery Police Chief. Continue reading

Reporter Jailed for "Unlawful Assembly" During Protest at North Carolina Capitol

Tim Funk is the Faith and Values Reporter for The Charlotte Observer. He was assigned to cover "Moral Monday" on June 10, when members of the clergy led hundreds of people into the North Carolina General Assembly to protest voting restrictions and other policies they say will adversely affect the poor, children, the working class, and the middle class. Continue reading

Moral Monday arrestee sees the need to become the bridge to improve race relations

I caught up with Nancy Brown at 3 am at the Wake County Detention Center. She had been released hours earlier, but the person with whom she was riding home had not yet been released. She recounted her experience of being arrested by Capitol Police as part of the "Moral Mondays" civil disobedience campaign led by Rev. Dr. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP. Annabel Park and I then visited Nancy's home six days later. Continue reading

Duke University Historians Arrested in Voting Rights Demonstration

If the North Carolina General Assembly is concerned about its place in history, it looks like they've got something to worry about. Several of the world's top historians, three of whom appear in the video below, have been arrested in recent days protesting what Rev. Dr. William Barber II called an "avalanche of extremist policies that threaten health care, education, voting rights."   Continue reading