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Comparing today's voting restrictions to those of the past

Each time there has been a demographic shift in America that threatens the existing balance of power, new election laws have appeared to try to insulate the electorate from the emerging population. The most obvious demographic shift threatening the balance of power was emancipation. With it came the right to vote for African American men, which was decisive in Southern states where former slaves far outnumbered whites. This was considered unacceptable, and, starting in 1874, a wave of political violence and terrorism (until recently, celebrated as heroic terrorism) overthrew democratically elected governments and rigged elections in order to install voting restrictions and other practices which barred African Americans from voting in the South for 80 years.   Continue reading

Why should we talk to each other?

Since I began my journey advocating for civil and informed dialogue, many people have made dismissive comments about the idea of dialogue and deliberation. I want to state again why dialogue is so important. First of all, dialogue is always necessary for peacefully resolving any conflict.    Continue reading

My Journey into America's Divide

For most of 2010 through 2012, I was trying to figure out answers to these questions: Why are the American people so divided, and hostile to one another? How will we meet the many challenges we face when there is conflict among the people and gridlock in Washington?   Continue reading

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