Thursday, May 16, 2013

NC NAACP Pleased With Recent Ruling to Hold Evidentiary Hearing in Two Year Old Lawsuit against Race-Based Voting Districts


16 May 2013

For More Information:           Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, President, 919-394-8137

      Mrs. Amina J. Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700

Atty. Jamie Phillips, Public Policy Coordinator, 919-682-4700


"We are pleased the court has ordered an evidentiary hearing in our long-running lawsuit against racial gerrymandering by the extremists who took over our legislature in 2010," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of the NC Conference of over 120 NAACP Branches.  Dr. Barber, speaking from Jackson, Mississippi, said, "I am here in the heart of the Old South.  Our National NAACP Board chose to meet here to honor the late NAACP leader, Medgar Evers, who was assassinated while building a fusion coalition to win the vote for black people here.  Medgar was elected by the courageous members who were open NAACP members to lead the State Conference of Branches during the height of KKK and other extremists in the days of violent murders and court house cover-ups --to terrorize black citizens who tried to vote.  Medgar was 38 years old when he was killed, 50 years ago on June 12, 1963."

"This good news from the Court brings a glimmer of hope in our struggle against the extremist's agenda, to strip our voting rights, and to gerrymander our voting districts." Barber said.  The extremists spent our taxpayer money to hire a computer expert, Thomas Hofeller, to use his race-based voting data to maximize race-against-race voting," Barber said. "The NAACP has worked for over 100 years to repair the breach of race in our society - based on the Constitution and our faith. We believe the human race can learn to live together, to work together, and to vote together across racial lines. Mr. Hofeller's maps, however,  are based on the opposite racial premise. We believe the courts will hold that basing voting districts on racial voting patterns is unconstitutional, and leads to re-segregation of voting."

Last Monday the court ordered evidence taken to determine whether North Carolina taxpayers paid Hofeller to increase race-against-race voting by preparing race based maps which stack and pack minorities into fewer districts, diluting the impact of the minority vote.  

The NC NAACP, which has helped to organize the growing grass roots "Forward Together" movement to draw the public's attention to the regressive policies promoted by the legislature elected in 2012 based on Hofeller's maps, is represented in the law suit by Attorney Anita Earls, the Director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Other plaintiffs include Democracy NC, the League of Women Voters, NC A. Philip Randolph Institute and 44 individual voters.

"The maps are unfair to all voters in this state. We believe after this focused hearing, a favorable ruling will be issued. It is time to return the legislature to the hands of voters in fair districts that promote representations of all views, not distorted districts that segregate voters by race," said Attorney Earls.

"The NAACP and all people who stand for justice and democracy in North Carolina are indebted to the Southern Coalition for Social Justice," said NCCU Law Professor Irving Joyner. Joyner is the Legal Redress Chair for the NC NAACP. "Attorney Earls and her colleagues have been tireless in their efforts to ensure voting rights of all North Carolinians."


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. 


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