Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Progressive Voices Top Story

NC pastor: The legislature’s plan to expand school vouchers must be rejected

While the attention of most North Carolina parents and educators remains focused on getting children back inside classrooms as safely and quickly as possible, the General Assembly is, unfortunately, trying to push through yet another expansion of the Opportunity Scholarship school voucher program.

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HB 2 redux? NC lawmakers again buck science, human rights advocates and corporate America with attacks on transgender rights

It’s been almost four years now since North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders capitulated to global economic pressure and effectively admitted the error of their ways by agreeing to repeal the infamous anti-transgender law known as HB 2.. And while the agreement that Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore cut with Gov. Roy Cooper at the time was far from complete or satisfactory...

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North Carolina’s incredible shrinking state budget

Cooper’s modest spending proposal illustrates how far we’ve fallen Gov. Roy Cooper proposed a new two-year state budget a couple of weeks back and, as is almost invariably the case, critics and politicians on the right quickly issued statements of criticism and condemnation.

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If you like being vaccinated, thank the U.S. government

In his response to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s recent State of the State address, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said we have former President Donald Trump to thank for the rapid deployment and distribution of vaccines that are saving us from the pandemic.  Although it seems appalling to give credit to the 45th president, whose reckless disregard for human life was evident throughout his presidency, Gazelka isn’t wrong exactly. 

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Virginia just abolished its deeply racist death penalty; North Carolina must follow suit

Last week, Virginia became the first southern state to abolish the death penalty. At the signing ceremony, Gov. Ralph Northam and other speakers repeatedly referenced the racist history of the Virginia death penalty as a prime reason for its abolition. It is not a coincidence that Virginia, the birthplace of American slavery and the capital of the Confederacy, has been at the forefront of the American death penalty.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Trans Day of Visibility offers chance for community to stand in solidarity and support

Visibility within the transgender community is often a Catch-22, especially for trans people of color, or those living in rural, conservative areas. Hiding one’s identity can be a damaging experience and increase feelings of isolation, stigma and shame. But standing out as a trans person can make someone a target for discrimination or violence.

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Election fraud? Trans athletes? Term limits? Rudderless GOP flails wildly in search of issues

Say what you will about Donald Trump, but there was a cynical, P.T. Barnum-like genius to his brief and catastrophic run at the apex of American politics. The man obviously has no deeply held beliefs or political philosophy beyond a commitment to self-promotion and personal enrichment, but like so many other skilled con men throughout history, he could sell stuff – most notably lies and half-truths designed to manipulate audiences.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

GOP senators push absentee ballot bill to address their top fear: Too many votes

With Republican lawmakers throughout the land making “election integrity” a favorite cause and rallying cry, it likely was just a matter of time before some of their North Carolina counterparts got on board. Lo and behold, along came the sterling piece of legislative statesmanship known as Senate Bill 326, filed on March 18 and entitled the "Election Integrity Act."

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Violence against AAPI community highlights five hard truths about racism and how we should respond

These are especially difficult times in the United States when it comes to matters of race and ethnicity. Thanks in part to former President Trump’s disgraceful and cynical tolerance and encouragement of white supremacists, race-based hate crimes have spiked in recent years. Attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific islanders in particular – like the horrific murders that rocked Atlanta last week – are up dramatically.

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Must read: Education reform advocates respond to state’s proposed plan to comply with the Leandro mandate for NC public schools

News item:  Yesterday, the state defendants in the long running Leandro school finance case submitted a comprehensive plan to Judge David Lee that details how North Carolina proposes, at long last, to comply with the state Supreme Court’s 1997 ruling that every student in the state has a constitutional right to a “sound basic education.”

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America needs to make it easier for everyone to vote. NC can and should help

It comes as little surprise that politicians have long generally favored voting rules that they have perceived as being beneficial to themselves and their allies. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, racist white Democrats in the South concocted convoluted rules to suppress the votes of African Americans who generally favored Republicans – the party of Abraham Lincoln.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

It’s time to end gerrymandering for good in North Carolina

RALEIGH – It was 209 years ago this month that “gerrymandering” was coined, and our nation has paid the price ever since. In 1812, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry soiled his reputation by approving a ploy to redraw the state’s voting districts to unfairly favor his party in that year’s election.

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