By the Rev. Dr. William Barber II
The North Carolina NAACP has intervened against a mysterious lawsuit that tries to disenfranchise Black voters. Here is my statement at a press conference in Raleigh on January 15, 2008.
In 1898, the enemies of Black-White fusion in Wilmington shot down scores of Black people in cold blood, exiled at least 50 Black and White fusionist leaders and destroyed Alex Manly’s (the son of a former Governor and one of his slaves) newspaper which had supported the fusion movement.
It has taken us more than 100 years to identify and expose those forces. Now a new group of mysterious forces are trying to use our courts to prevent a new kind of fusion politics.
This group has filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina House and Senate Districts that include 40-50% Black citizens of voting age which cross county lines—Districts that have chosen Representatives who are responsive to the interests of the Black community and to its white voting allies.
We will not allow this to happen without a fight. The Federal Court recently allowed the North Carolina Conference of the NAACP to intervene against the mysterious group, represented by Robert Hunter, a well-known conservative activist. We have not been able to ascertain Mr. Hunter’s financial backing for the lawsuit as of yet.