Skip to main content

Hello everyone.

Thank you all for the encouraging words of support and solidarity for those working for freedom and fairness in North Carolina.  And deep gratitude to Reverend Barber and the North Carolina NAACP for their masterful management of Mega Moral Monday.  This is a report on what happened, and why, from one man’s perspective. Another excellent diary on the event is here.


What happened

There are times in life when business as usual won’t get the job done, when the best of intentions and hard work are not enough.  This is one of those times.  Extreme overreaching by Republicans in our General Assembly has triggered a backlash of epic proportions. Freedom and fairness are at grave risk.  Extraordinary action is required.

That’s why more than 1500 people marched yesterday, with 151 people being arrested in the North Carolina General Assembly. At the end of a very long day, we were charged with three specific misdemeanors:  disorderly conduct, singing songs and carrying signs, and failure to disperse.  

As one of the 151, I was moved and humbled by the experience. And it was anything but disorderly.  We marched two-by-two into the People's House and spent an hour of singing, praying and talking about the need for integrity to be restored to our government.  Here's what the procession looked like from the top of the legislative building. My friend Alan Britt and I are in the bright orange t-shirts. I'm wearing the pork-pie hat.  The second photo shows what the arresting process looked like.  That's either Alan or me on the left being cuffed.  

I didn't see any black officers until we got to the detention center.  In the legislative building itself, the only black people were protesters and elderly door men.

Zip-tie handcuffs hurt like hell, especially when your hands are cuffed behind your back for four hours. Some people were able to coax friendly officers to switch their cuffs to the front. The three officers I asked more or less said, "If you didn't want to be in pain, you shouldn't have gotten arrested."

One hundred and fifty-one people create a serious logjam in the criminal justice bureaucracy, and no one was in a hurry to get us out of there.  At the same time, most officers were cordial and professional.

I spent a good deal of time sitting next to an ex-state Senator who believes the arresting process was contrived to be punitive.  He argued there we no reason to arrest, cuff, and process everyone ... that the Capitol police could have simply issued citations. I don't know the law, but officers I talked with in the detention center seemed to agree that they whole ordeal with another example of Republican shenanigans.  Doesn't matter, though. We were there to get arrested and we paid the price.

From my view, the price was a small one, well worth paying to challenge our illegitimate government.  Through extreme and illegal gerrymandering, our General Assembly in no way reflects the people who voted in the 2012 elections.  That's why many of us are focused on three key words.  Redraw. Resign. Restore.

My last half hour of incarceration was the most valuable time I spent. I was sitting next to an 18-year-old man who had been arrested for marijuana possession. He was a gentle  and scared young person whose life will now be upended for doing something that millions of other people do every day with impunity.  But because Duane is black, he's just one more sad statistic in America's insane war on drugs.

One of my first initiatives as governor of North Carolina will to end our service in the war on drugs. I will push to regulate marijuana as 13 other states have already done.  

Thank you again for the support you've shown for those of us laboring under the burden of the Tarheel Taliban.

Peace.

Originally posted to Zinc on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 01:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community and Hellraisers Journal.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site