NC NAACP: Death threats made to Barber


May 27, 2011 5:07:33 AM PDT
National NAACP President Benjamin Jealous joined the local chapter of the civil rights organization Thursday to ask authorities to investigate threats sent to the North Carolina chapter's leader."I'm here to call for civility, cooperation, and an end to these threats," said Jealous at a morning press conference.

The NAACP says it perceives the threats - that came in the way of faxes sent to their North Carolina office - as backlash from their protests. They say both faxes were racist in nature, with one making a threat against NC NAACP president Reverand William Barber.

The organization says the threats came earlier this week after Barber and six others were arrested following a disruption at the General Assembly.

Barber has been pressuring state lawmakers on their concerns over budget cuts that they say will harm vulnerable populations.

The fight against budget cuts recently led to a war of words that has played out with certain members of the state legislature.

"I'm deeply disturbed, we have a problem," said Jealous when referring to House Speaker Thom Tillis' comment about the House being "his" house.

The comment was made when Rev. Barber and six others interrupted Tuesday's session of the House of Representatives, chanting things such as "Fund education, not incarceration."

All seven were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and second degree trespassing. On Thursday, Barber said they stand behind their actions.

"What they have done, they've decided they are going to de-fund education, it's a people issue, a North Carolina issue," Barber said.

Tillis has said he feels Barber owes him and other legislators an apology for the interruption.

Meanwhile, a state lawmaker is weighing in on the issue.

Wayne County Representative Stephen LaRoque's latest comments following Barber's arrest include calling Barber a "racist," and LaRoque is refusing to back down from what he said.

The lawmaker is not limiting his criticism to Barber.

"I would expect Benjamin Jealous because he's a racist too," LaRoque said. "I would expect him to stand with William Barber. I mean they're two, two birds of a feather."

He says Baber is lying about his meeting with Tillis.

"The Speaker had a meeting set and Barber canceled it, so the man is lying and disrespecting the citizens of the state," LaRoque added.

Jealous recalls the situation differently says, "Yes, he [Tillis] agreed to reschedule and yes, his scheduler has not taken our calls ever since."

LaRoque sent the NAACP an email earlier Thursday saying, "I have no interest in receiving anything from a racist such as William Barber. He and the NC NAACP represent everything that is wrong with race relations in our state and country. You should be ashamed of yourself for continuing to promote racism, but that is the modern day legacy of the NAACP as a racist organization led by racist individuals who are cowards."

"Yes sir, they are promoting racism," LaRoque went on to say. "They're out there stirring the racial pot for their benefit."

The Representative believes civility is impossible as long as Jealous and Barber use what he calls racist tactics. He believes the next move should come from Barber.

"He owes an apology not only to Speaker Tillis and to every member of the House, but he owes an apology to the citizens of North Carolina for what he did," LaRoque added.

Send pictures | Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts
Most Popular  |  Follow abc11 on Twitter  |  abc11 on Facebook

Load Comments