Saturday News: It's never too late


UNC CHANCELLOR CAROL FOLT ISSUES APOLOGY FOR SLAVERY: “As chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I offer our university’s deepest apology for the profound injustices of slavery, our full acknowledgment of the strength of enslaved peoples in the face of their suffering, and our respect and indebtedness to them,” Folt said. “And I reaffirm our university’s commitment to facing squarely and working to right the wrongs of history so they are never again inflicted.” She said the university must continue to reconcile its past with its present. The university also announced earlier this month that it will change the name on a plaque at Kenan Memorial Stadium to distance the university from William Rand Kenan Sr., who was involved in the Wilmington racial violence of 1898. The plaque on the stadium will be altered to honor William Rand Kenan Jr., Kenan Sr.’s son.

LIST OF ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO OPPOSE ALL SIX AMENDMENTS GROWS: More than three dozen local elected officials have signed on to a letter urging voters to defeat the six constitutional amendments placed by Republican lawmakers on the ballot next month. Several, all Democrats, gathered in downtown Raleigh Friday morning to explain their concerns. Danielle Adams, soil and water conservation supervisor for Durham County, said the hunting and fishing amendment is vague, unnecessary and could prevent local officials from restricting hunting in urban and suburban areas. "Hunting and fishing has never been endangered here in North Carolina," Adams said. "The majority in the legislature are looking to distract North Carolinians from the fact that they have eased up on environmental and agricultural regulations and haven’t been doing their jobs to protect and preserve our environment."

COLEMAN VS. HOLDING IS MOVING INTO A "COULD GO EITHER WAY" RACE: Coleman is a former teacher, former Wake County commissioner, former state House member and former state personnel director under Gov. Bev Perdue. She twice was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. The district, which includes Franklin, Harnett and Nash and parts of Wake, Johnston, and Wilson counties, is Republican leaning. Holding won the seat by 13.4 points last time and Trump carried the district by 9.6 points. Holding and the GOP are attacking Coleman as a tax-raising career politician, who is late in paying her own taxes. Holding has been attacked for taking money from the pharmaceutical industry and for not supporting the Affordable Care Act. Several polls show the race evenly split. Independent analysts have this seat leaning or tilting Republican.

20 YEARS AFTER HIS BRUTAL SLAYING, MATTHEW SHEPHERD'S HOMETOWN STILL IN DENIAL: As recently as Tuesday, days before the anniversary of Shepard's death, about 200 people attended a forum in Laramie questioning the prevailing view that he was murdered because of his sexual orientation. Wyoming Equality protested by holding a dance at a civic center down the street, using the slogan "When They Go Low ... We Go Dance." The acrimony over Shepard's legacy runs high here, just as it did when anti-gay and gay-rights protesters squared off at his funeral in Casper. Even now, people associate Laramie with the murder. "Once people find out I'm from Laramie, Wyoming, they still zero in on this hate crime," said Trudy McCraken, who spoke at the forum and was Laramie's mayor at the time of the slaying. Wyoming remains "deeply defensive" about the idea that Shepard was targeted because he was gay, Burlingame said.

VERMONT'S ONLY BLACK FEMALE LAWMAKER QUITS AFTER THREATS AND HARASSMENT: After she won the Democratic primary for re-election to the state legislature in 2016, someone tweeted a cartoon caricature of a black person at her, along with a vulgar phrase rendered in ebonics. The tweeter threatened to come to rallies and stalk her, Morris said. She won a protective order against him but once that expired, the harassment continued, she said. The harassment escalated into a break-in while the family was home, vandalism and death threats seen by her young son. Even after she announced she wouldn’t seek re-election, despite running unopposed, a group of youths pounded on her windows and doors at night, forcing her and her husband, convalescing after heart surgery, to leave town. Finally, in late September, she resigned. “There’s obviously online harassment that can happen, and that’s a part of our social media world right now, but then when things started happening in everyday life, that’s when it becomes really worrisome and terrifying,” she said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.



Everything you needed to know about Wyoming ...

... is in this other story in the news about Matthew Shepard.

Shepard's ashes will be interred in the National Cathedral in Washington, DC later this month. His parents spent the last twenty years looking for a place where his remains would be safe - they feared that the gravesite would be desecrated.

We also shouldn't forget that Virginia Foxx, in an April 2009 debate in Congress over hate crimes legislation, called Shepard's murder a "hoax". (After an uproar, she meekly said she had used a "poor choice of words".)