Pass the Vance, Hold the Aycock

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.


You're right

It's a broad post on a broader topic.

Maybe I should have posed the question earlier, but I'll do it now: How does BlueNC feel about keeping the Aycock in Vance-Aycock (or the Vance for that matter)? I hate to bring up this dichotomy, but is it heritage, hate, or a little of both? Am I completely wrong?

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

I've never liked using old white men as our models

in a world the discriminated against everyone else.

However, I read the quotes at the state capital statues for these guys (can't find where I wrote them down) and they stood for pretty good stuff.

It's hard to know. Should we judge the past by current "norms"?

I've heard that schools are now getting named for physical features because it's so controversial to pick an actual person. North Garden Elementary. Hot Springs. Seven Oaks. Not a bad idea. but that leaves all the things named for dead white men, a few blacks and women and no Latinos, Latinas or Asians.

For nine years I lived on a mountain named for a Native American who had been a traitor to his people. HIs aid to local Europeans (or their descendants) resulted in a massacre of his people. Then again, his relatives had been killing local whites. Then again, the local whites were living on what they considered to be Cherokee territory. What did Cherokees care about a line drawn by a European governor from the east? One man's hero is another's traitor.

News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

I'm passing on governor stories for awhile

Until there's something substantive to write about, I'm keeping my head down. I almost posted about this piece of news but decided against it. Glad you did.

Well, as DQ alluded to

This is more than a Governor story. Maybe I used the wrong hook.

When we think about endorsing campaigns or giving to them, I think race is a discussion that should come up. While we deal with it on a fairly regular basis through different frames (poverty, education, perception, social welfare and justice), it is an issue all its own that isn't represented enough on the blogs.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

They said they're not protesting anymore

Due to Moore's letter ... sorry if that was unclear, I was rushing to get out the door to pick up a friend from the airport.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Here's the best take I've found on the Chad Nesbitt Nazis

In this (Stompers) video, you will see a self-proclaimed vigilante against illegal drugs (and democrats, liberals, RINO, et. al.) misrepresent a homeless man (who might just as well be a close relative of Chad, if not Chad himself someday) as a drug addict. You will see a classic white, emasculated, southern, redneck desperate to exercise some power, any power he can, over a harmless, innocent, fellow American in the name of Christianity. (see if you can spot the Christian values)

Chad Nesbitt is the manifestation of what Karl Rove has beset upon this nation. Chad Nesbitt is our national shame. Chad Nesbitt is an embarrassment to America. And saddest of all, Chad Nesbitt is a victim of the very people he supports.

From a blogger in Utah.

For what it's worth,

I think it's healthy to examine the behavior and motivations of historical figures we've chosen to lionize. Some say it's unfair to use contemporary values as a method to measure the relative "goodness" of those from a different time, and there may be some merit to that.

But if we choose to continue using these people as symbols or icons of American achievement, we need to be keenly aware of the message that may send to young people (of all colors). And for those who would prefer silence in place of honor lost, you can't lose something if it was never there in the first place.

Very well reasoned and written, Sam.

It's about time we stopped honoring folks just because they're well known, and looked at the actions they took in light of our own values today. I honestly don't know much about Aycock, but I've made my feelings about Jackson known. It's time to move forward. Tradition doesn't mean much if it's wrapped in something that smells bad.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

It's increasing hard to find a hero

when we can look into the tinyist part of a human being. People are just flawed. We can only aspire to greatness so maybe we should honor accomplishments more than the person.

.Have you called to support H. Res 333 Impeach Cheney Today? call 202-224-3121 & ask for your Congress member by name

It's the impurities that give color to a diamond

...right? I think I remember that from some ancient science lesson. I know it's the dust in the air that make the light visible. Everyone is flawed in some way. Part of our political problems today is that campaigns emphasize the flaw, search out and destroy all impurities, and ignore the accomplishments. Then we're left with only the uncannily self-motivated candidates who persist through the flak.

And if an event must be named after a prominent Democrat, and a prominent North Carolina Democrat, at that, the pool of choice becomes VERY shallow. After all, in the 19th century, Democrats were not covering themselves with a lot of glory in the South. The abolitionists, the Underground Railroad activists, the pro-industrial entrepreneurs, the railroad and city builders-- they were almost all Whigs and Quakers. When is our dinner to honor THEM?

I don't think we have enough

I don't think we have enough space on BlueNC to cover the entire subject of white supremacists and their actions. It is important we realize we all live together on the same little planet.
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