Statement from NC NAACP Newly Elected President

Statement from NC NAACP Newly Elected President Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman
October 12, 2017
God has spoken! Let the movement say, Amen. It is with the highest joy emanating from my heart, the deepest love arising from my soul and the sincerest respect anchored in my spirit for the entire membership of the NC NAACP that I pen these words.
If I had to sum up my present state of being in three words, those words would be, “I am grateful.” Grateful that the delegation has voted me into the Presidency; grateful that my predecessor and friend, the Right Reverend William J. Barber II President – Emeritus, has left the state conference in such a good place, spiritually, morally, fiscally; and grateful that so many are responding to the mantra, “Forward Together, Not One Step Back.” This state conference is woke, and we ain’t skerd.
As I campaigned across this state conducting listening sessions as often as I could, I tuned into ways the servant called the State Conference can improve its service to the willing workers that make up her branches. Along with Dr. Terrance Ruth, our Executive Director, one of our goals is to ensure that the branches are nourished and nurtured. This may result in regional meetings that will occur at specified times during the year.

We pray that you would always bear in mind the five-point justice vision that we are fighting to achieve, which includes

  1.  Pro-labor, anti-poverty policies that ensure economic sustainability;
  2. Educational equality that ensures that every child receives a high-quality, well-funded, constitutional, diverse public education;
  3. Healthcare for all by enduring access to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and by providing environmental protection;
  4. Fairness in the criminal justice system by addressing the continuing inequalities in the system for black, brown, and poor white people;
  5. Protect and expand voting rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, and the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law.
God’s Word compels us to fight this battle defending poor, disenfranchised, and needy people. We are obligated to create effective strategies to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all people. As such, we must defeat the forces of race based discrimination and religion based bigotry. Pursuing victories on these battlefields must be the order of each day.
Among other issues, Criminal Justice Reform must remain a priority. This State Conference must prevent entering into a state of rest until Dontae Sharpe is set free. We must be vigilant, even reaching back to pull Glen Edward Chapman and others who have been released but not exonerated, from receding to the margins because their paperwork got bogged down on the desk of the governor’s office since Beverly Perdue’s administration.
We will continue to stand with our Latino sisters and brothers by protecting and expanding immigration rights; stand and push health care reform and stand and deplore ecological devastation.
Forward Together! Not One Step Back.
Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman

NC NAACP Files Brief Requesting Special Election in 2017

NC NAACP Files Brief Requesting Special Election in 2017, Appointment of Special Master to Remedy Racial Gerrymander by Redrawing Constitutional Legislative Maps Immediately, and No Further Action by the Current Illegitimate Legislature

On July 11th, the NC NAACP State Conference, representing more than 100 branches statewide, filed an amicus curiae brief with the 3-Judge Panel overseeing Covington v. North Carolina—the federal court action now weighing how to remedy the aggressive racial gerrymander of 2011 that has infected with racial discrimination six years of governing in the state and three election cycles. The scope of the 2011 gerrymander is extensive: unconstitutional race-based decision-making impacted at least 77 out of North Carolina’s 100 counties and 83 percent of the state’s population.

Click Here for a PDF of the full brief.

“This bad faith, all-white caucus created by racist maps must be stopped,” explained Rev. Dr. William Barber II, State Conference President of the NC NAACP and Convener of the Forward Together Moral Movement. “If the current unaccountable and unrepentant General Assembly is allowed to continue to act in the name of North Carolina, the consequences are dangerous for people of color, for those living in poverty, for women, for immigrant communities, for the LGBT community, for workers, and for our children. There can be no further question about whether this General Assembly is illegitimate. The federal courts have ruled, and last month, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed. North Carolina has violated the Constitution in at least 3 election cycles using illegal maps that segregate voters based on race. As people of integrity and people who understand our history, we cannot allow the severe injury to our state, to our communities, and to our democracy go on any longer. Special Elections in 2017 must be ordered to begin to remedy a six-year stain on our state’s elections and reputation and to restore some order to a state legislature so enamored by its own ill-gotten power that it has forgotten that it is a representative body that derives its power from the people, not from a digitally devised racial redistricting scheme.”

“Today, we have asked the court to take the redistricting process out of the hands of the people who illegally used race to create a legislature that does not represent the state of North Carolina equally or fairly,” Irv Joyner, legal redress chair for the NC NAACP. “The appointment of a Special Master and a judicial remedy will ensure the possibility of a non-discriminatory election in 2017 to start to renew the trust of North Carolinians in our state’s representative democracy.”

“The NC NAACP filed this brief today to provide the court with its’ unique perspective on the extent of the harm experienced by black voters in the state who have been shut out by an anti-democratic, unconstitutional process created by egregious gerrymanders.” Penda Hair, legal director of civil rights organization Forward Justice, representing the NC NAACP. “Due to the Rucho-Lewis racial classification scheme of 2011, millions of voters have been denied equal protection under the law, and, as the NC NAACP argues today to the court, the super-majority general assembly created by these districts has been wholly unresponsive to black voters, persistently pursued a discriminatory agenda once in power, and shown a dangerous disregard for any check on its power. Equity demands immediate special elections and an injunction of special sessions and further legislation by this illegal General Assembly.”

Autopsy Shows Two Shots in the Back

Autopsy Shows Two Shots in the Back: Durham NAACP Statement  on Behalf of Willard Scott’s Family Regarding Today’s Release of Autopsy

July 10, 2017

On Saturday, July 8, the family of Willard Scott had to hold a press conference to publicly mourn, grieve, and demand the release of the autopsy from the Office of the Medical Examiner.  They were joined by people from all across the Durham community.

Today, the autopsy was released – confirming our worst fears.  The autopsy shows that Willard, whom his mother called Junior, was shot in the back – twice, once in the lower back and once in the buttocks.   Willard died on the operating room table.

While today’s autopsy provides us with some answers about what happened the evening that NC Highway Patrolman Jeremy Mathis killed Willard Scott, the answers lead to even more questions.   Today, we re-affirm the demands of the family of Willard Scott:

  • District Attorney Roger Echols and the State Bureau of Investigation must conduct a full, complete, and transparent investigation of Officer Jeremy Mathis’s actions.  This includes releasing any video, audio, or other documentation to the family.

  • District Attorney Roger Echols must prosecute Officer Jeremy Mathis to the fullest extent of the law, as warranted by the investigation.

  • The North Carolina Highway Patrol must implement de-escalation training to ensure that traffic stops do not become death sentences.

  • We must have accountability of the actions of law enforcement officers.   Accountability is the only way to stop these killings all across the country.  As long as officers are being let off the hook in each case, the next officer will think they can get away with it too.

Justice for Willard Scott Demands


  • North Carolina Medical Chief Deborah Radisch must release the autopsy now!
  • District Attorney Roger Echols and the State Bureau of Investigation must conduct a full, complete, transparent, investigation of Officer Jeremy Mathis’s actions.  This includes releasing any video, audio, or other documentation to the family.
  • District Attorney Roger Echols must prosecute Officer Jeremy Mathis to the fullest extent of the law, as warranted by the investigation.
  • The North Carolina Highway Patrol must implement de-escalation training to ensure that traffic stops do not become death sentences.
  • We must have accountability of the actions of law enforcement officers.   Accountability is the only way to stop these killings all across the country.  As long as officers are being let off the hook in each case, the next officer will think they can get away with it too.

News Conference to Demand Justice for Willard Scott

Saturday, July 8, at 3:00 p.m.
Durham County Courthouse, 510 South Dillard Street, Durham, NC 27701

Click here to RSVP on Facebook

The Durham NAACP will join with the family of Willard Scott, a Durham resident who was killed by a NC Highway Patrol on February 12, 2017, on Saturday, July 8th at 3:00 p.m. to hold a news conference at the Durham County Courthouse. Willard Scott’s mother will make a statement about her son and the family will demand justice for the death of their loved one.

It has been nearly five months since Willard’s death. No autopsy has been released by the NC Medical Examiners office. The family seeks answers and justice. Today, they have neither.

All media, Durham city, county, and state elected officials, community members, and lovers of justice are invited to attend.

Justice for Willard Scott Call-In Campaign June 26 – June 30

On February 12, 2017, Willard Scott, a Durham native and resident, was killed by an officer with the North Carolina Highway Patrol.  The officer shot Willard following a traffic stop.   The family of Willard Scott has no more answers today about why or how Willard died than they did four months ago.   This is unacceptable.    

Today, we are calling on the communities help to demand answers to the famiy’s questions.  Specifically, no autopsy for Willard has been released by the NC Office of Medical Examiners.  This is unacceptable.  Based on the Durham NAACP’s involvement with other cases, we know it is possible to release the

The autopsy will provide information, like how many times Willard was shot and where?

Every day, Willard’s mother goes to the mailbox, checking to see if the answers that the autopsy would provide. What is the Medical Examiner’s office hiding?  Why won’t they release the autopsy?  This is unacceptable.

To get justice for Willard Scott, the Durham NAACP is calling for all people in the City of Durham, including our elected officials, to call NC’s Chief Medical Examiner Deborah Radisch to demand the release of Willard’s autopsy. 

Everyday that goes by is another day in which the family is unable to move forward to getting answers to how their beloved son, brother, cousin, and more died at the hands of law enforcement.

Here is how you can you can help get Justice for Willard Scott

THIS WEEK:  CALL THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER DEBORAH RADISCH: Demand the release of Willard’s autopsy now. 

HERE IS THE NUMBER:  919-743-9000 (NOTE: this number is the switchboard)


Hello, my name is [    ].  I am calling to speak with Deborah Radisch.   I am calling to demand the release of the autopsy of Willard Scott.  He was killed by NC Highway Patrol on Feb. 12, 2017.  It is unacceptable that the family still has no answers.   What is the Medical Examiner’s office hiding?  If there is nothing to hide, then release the autopsy to the family this week.   They deserve answers and justice. 

Voter Suppression Hacked Our Democracy

By Mary Claire Blakeman, New America MediaFriday, June 16, 2017

Although alleged Kremlin connections may ultimately sink Trump’s Presidency, Rev. William Barber II contends that homegrown voter suppression poses a greater threat to US democracy than Russian election tampering.

“Voter suppression hacked our democracy long before any Russian agents meddled in America’s elections,” said Barber, who has gained national interest through his vocal opposition to restrictive voting laws.

In fact, Barber recently announced that he will step down as president of the North Carolina NAACP this month to assume a new role as president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and will co-lead the Poor People’s Campaign. That campaign — to reignite the one begun by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., almost 50 years ago — seeks to reorder national priorities to address systemic poverty, racism and the war economy.

Bolstering the effort are recent US Supreme Court decisions that rejected Republican redistricting plans aimed at illegal racial gerrymandering.

Click here to read more.

NC NAACP Statement on Recent Voting Rights Victories

Fourth Straight Supreme Court Victory for the Fusion Electorate of North Carolina 
By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the NC NAACP

 Today, for the fourth time in the past few weeks, the highest court in the land has found racial motives and impacts in the actions of the Berger-Tillis-Moore leadership of the NC General Assembly.  In a case based on evidence developed in the NC NAACP’s ground breaking racial gerrymandering case challenging the Berger-Tillis maps, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the August 2016 US District Court decision which detailed the conscious racial gerrymandering tactics of the Berger-Tillis leadership. These challenged maps consciously minimized the opportunities for the growing fusion electorate, while maximizing white voting power.

“These egregious injuries to the NAACP’s and its co-plaintiffs efforts to eliminate racial discrimination from the voting rolls and practices of North Carolina call for tough, well-crafted remedies” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II,  President of the NC NAACP. “The U.S. District Court’s three judge panel, which reviewed the strong evidence of racial discrimination and racial impact which was presented in this case, had ordered the State to redraw its legislative districts and to hold new elections by November 2017. That order represented a tough, well-crafted remedy which is now necessary in order to immediately remove the present illegally constituted General Assembly” said Irv Joyner, Legal Redress Chair of the NC NAACP. The NC NAACP has been demanding for four years new Districts that are constitutional, and other injunctive relief including ruling on all the bills passed by the illegally constituted General Assembly.