I'm surprised that BlueNC passed up two big governor stories from Monday ... or maybe I should just assume that everyone on BlueNC reads Under the Beckwith as well. Either way, Richard Moore is calling on NC Democrats to rename this weekend's Vance-Aycock dinner. From MSNBC:
Moore said Aycock focused his campaign on efforts to disenfranchise black voters, and his victory fostered Jim Crow laws throughout the South.A group of conservative Republicans said last month it planned to protest on Saturday and pay for a television ad to air that night blaming Aycock and his speeches for events leading to the riots in what was then North Carolina's largest city.Last year, a state panel concluded that by murdering and terrorizing blacks, white supremacists were able to overthrow government officials in New Hanover County at gunpoint in the only recorded coup d'etat in U.S. history.
After a summer that included a Journey to Jena that was devoid of presidential candidates and a debate at Howard University that was full of them, I've been thinking about how our conversations and actions on the issue of race fit into the modern Democratic Party. At a time when Latino/a Americans are flocking to our party, I wonder if Democrats are pandering to African-Americans, providing some social welfare, or producing solutions. Of course, it's a mix of the three.
While we do a lot for African-American communities (and don't skip Tavis Smiley's debates), we do a lot of pandering, and I've worked on at least one campaign where the so-called "Black vote" was taken for granted - to the campaign's detriment. On the Internet and liberal blogs, race is a hard thing to see - and that can be a good and a bad thing. But when it comes to the people in our party whom we honor, I think that all of the historical evidence about Wilmington informs us of the right path.
This sort of thing really started to bug me when none of the white consultants or staffers I talked to at the Howard Debate - a debate billed as one about "The Covenant with Black America" - had actually read the book. Too often we think only of the history we learn in school and see through a mirror, dimly. That should change. I don't think this means we should get rid of the "Jefferson" in JJ, but we should send the message that we recognize more than one thread in the tapestry.
From Moore's press release, in his own words:
“I can no longer defend naming a Democratic Party dinner after Gov. Aycock,” concluded Moore. “The tactics Aycock embraced—fear, hatred, and voter intimidation at the hands of a band of ‘red shirts’—must be acknowledged and repudiated. We have so many heroes, like Harvey Gantt, Liston Ramsey and Marie Colton, and they would serve as more appropriate honorees.”
You may disagree, but at the very least the letter stopped the Stompers.