FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2014
It is ridiculous, but typical, that the primary Republican response to Saturday's Moral March on Raleigh has been to once again deflect from the issues and to distort the Forward Together Moral Movement. Rather than debating us on their regressive public policies - policies that activated upwards of 80,000 North Carolinians to unite at the state capitol last weekend in continued mass protest - extremists in the legislature are instead trying to divert attention by misrepresenting a standard event flyer.
Throughout the North Carolina NAACP's long history of peaceful, nonviolent direct action, people who are opposed to our principles have often challenged our demonstrations with violence and other disruptions. To prepare participants, we have always recommended various security measures, including looking out for the elderly, remaining calm in the face of any altercation and bringing a photo ID for safety reasons. Photo ID is not required to participate in marches or other direct actions, and event officials have never checked for ID. To suggest otherwise is more of the same smoke and mirrors from lawmakers who pass vicious, unconstitutional policies that they simply cannot defend.
What is in fact hypocritical is for extremists in the General Assembly to lie about widespread voter fraud, which does not exist in the state of North Carolina, in order to pass a monster law that suppresses the right to vote at every level of the democratic process. This law not only implements a strict voter ID requirement; among other provisions, it also cuts a week from early voting, bans same-day registration and eliminates the pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds - all successful programs that had dramatically increased voter participation in the state. And as an August 2013 Public Policy Poll shows, the people of North Carolina decidedly oppose these attacks on democracy, with just 39 percent of voters supporting thevoter suppression bill.
Furthermore, this legislature has also raised taxes on poor and working people, denied the expansion of Medicaid to half a million sick North Carolinians, made draconian funding cuts to public education and drastically restricted access to women's health - all after having sworn to legislate for the good of the whole. To claim to have moral convictions and then ram through policies that hurt the sick, the poor, and our children is among the pinnacle of hypocrisy.
As the enormous turnout and indestructible resolve at the Moral March on Raleigh showed this weekend, North Carolina will continue to fight back against this harmful, extreme agenda. We are here to stay; we will not give up; and no amount of distortions, distractions and deflections will stop us from moving our great state forward together.