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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Charlotte, NC Boycotted By NAACP & Jesse Jackson Over King's Federal Holiday: I Agree!

Local NAACP Urges Boycott Of Charlotte, NC

At a Martin Luther King Jr. Day protest over school policies, the head of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP Monday announced a campaign to urge the CIAA basketball tournament and other groups to boycott the city.

Pledging to "expose Charlotte for the racist bastion it is," NAACP President Kojo Nantambu announced a drive to keep the CIAA, NCAA, PGA "and any other 'A'" from coming to Charlotte.

He also said his group would ask the National NAACP to consider asking the Democratic Party not to hold its 2012 Convention in Charlotte.

His comments came just before he led about 100 people on a march through uptown to protest the decision by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to hold classes on the King holiday to make up one of three days lost to snow last week.

Carrying signs and chanting "No Justice, no Peace," the group marched to the Levine Museum of the New South and on to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture.

The protest came on a day that many interracial and interfaith groups joined to mark the holiday and honor King's memory. And it came on the heels of other controversies involving schools and the African-American community.

Many in the mainly African-American crowd who gathered in the morning chill outside the government center were fired up over the school's holiday decision.

"We will not sit here and allow you to disrespect not just an American hero but a global hero," NAACP Vice President Dwayne Collins told protesters. Speaking to the crowd, Deshauna McLamb, who brought her two children to the rally, said: "This city has run havoc over this community."

"And today we're saying 'No more, no more.'"

Local School Closings At Root

In November, the NAACP and others protested a school board decision to close eight schools. Officials acknowledged the closings would disproportionately affect minority families. At least seven complaints are pending with the U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights.

"I think there's a lot of deep concern about public education in particular that is perhaps mushrooming into other things," Mayor Anthony Foxx said of the proposed boycott. "A greater level of informed dialog is needed... particularly given all the challenges we're facing in the next six (to) eight months with local governmental budgets."

Nantambu said school officials "never would use the 4th of July or Easter or Christmas as an alternative (school) day." In an interview with the Observer on Sunday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said using the King holiday as a makeup day was "clearly insulting and hits a very raw nerve."

Foxx has said the holiday makeup day was "regrettable." But, he said, "Given the challenges so many young people are facing, it's hard for me to make the argument that if class is in session they shouldn't go."

U.S. Rep Mel Watt, speaking at a Queens University of Charlotte event, said "the mayor's reaction was where I would come down." Watt, who is from Charlotte and represents N.C.'s 12th district, called Nantambu's description of Charlotte as a bastion of racism "probably a little overboard."

The Democratic National Committee is expected to name a site this month for its 2012 convention. Charlotte is one of four finalists. Will Miller, executive director of the group trying to bring the gathering to Charlotte, said Monday he hopes a boycott "wouldn't become an issue."

"I would hope that's not the sentiment of more than a few people, if that's the case," he said.

How many parents kept their children out of school Monday was unclear. A spokeswoman for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools said attendance figures weren't available Monday.

But many African-American parents had no problem sending their kids to school.

"The best way to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King is to have our children in school," said the Rev. John Hicks, a Davidson pastor and member of the Carolinas Public Insight Network, a group of readers who share their knowledge for Observer stories.

"I would seriously doubt that Dr. King would be happy to know that local leaders would prefer having kids stay home and play video games rather than get an education," added Hicks, whose son attends middle school.

"After seeing the test scores for CMS, the NAACP should be the LAST organization in Charlotte to protest any day our children are not in school when the doors open."

Many schools throughout CMS incorporated King in the day's lessons.

At Rocky River High, for example, students in a 9th grade literacy class studied connections between King and Mahatma Gandhi of India. A literature class analyzed King's use of language, including his cadence syntax and his call-and-response technique.

One Rocky River student who missed classes for the uptown protest was 10th-grader Colby Johnson.

"I wanted to do more than read about the dream," he said. "I wanted to live it."

Anthony Foxx Throws Dr. King Under The Bus For Snow & White Voters!

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (a Black Democrat) Publicly Endorses North Carolina's Decision To Use Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Holiday As A Public School Snow Make-Up Day!

In Case You Weren't Aware 2011 Is An Re-election Year For Foxx.

He's Probably Trying To Win Back His Displeased White Voters.

Obviously A Move Straight Out of Pres. Obama's 2012 Centrist Political Playbook


Since its No Secret Anthony Foxx Is Extremely Partisan, Is It Possible He's Taking This Stance Due To Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Political Affiliation?

Dr. King Was A Registered Republican.

Never Thought I'd See The Day When A Black Politician Throws Dr. King Under The Bus!


Were It Not For Courageous, Well-Educated Black Men Like Dr. King, Black Men Like Anthony Foxx Would Never Have Been Afforded The Opportunity To Become Mayors Of Metropolitan Cities.

I Expected Pres. Barack Obama To Throw Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Under The Bus Because Obama Has Never Understood The Black American Struggle.

However Anthony Foxx Whose Ancestors Were Southerners, Former Slaves & Native American Indians, Should Most Certainly Know Better!

Where's YOUR Courage, Gratitude & Respect Mayor Foxx??

Check Out The Articles Below On This Issue.

For Shame!

Mayor Foxx: Kids Should Be In School, King Holiday Or Not

Mayor Anthony Foxx called it regrettable that Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday will be used as a snow make-up day for Charlotte-Mecklenburg students, but said students should be in class.

“But given the challenges so many young people are facing,” Foxx said Saturday morning, “it’s hard for me to make the argument that if class is in session they shouldn’t go.”

Foxx spoke briefly to reporters following a wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of King in Marshall Park uptown.

During the ceremony, Foxx urged Charlotteans to use Monday as a time “to reflect on our children and what kind of future we as a community want for them.”

Gov. Bev Perdue Says MLK School Day Decision Is Not A State Issue

Governor Bev Perdue says it is a local decision to open schools as a make-up day or keep them closed on the holiday set aside to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Speaking in Charlotte, where schools will be kept open Monday, the Perdue said, "It is my hope that we can all honor the Martin Luther King Day holiday."

She also said it is not a decision that should be made by state government.

The Reverend Kojo Nantambu, who is the head of the local chapter of the NAACP, called on parents to keep students home on Monday saying it is the only holiday set aside to honor an African-American.

"We do not want to miss an opportunity for our children to experience that or to celebrate that," said Nantambu, "I think it is unfair."

Eric Davis the chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board said students would spend part of the day Monday learning about the history and importance of what Dr. King did for the country.

"We will honor him by educating students," said Davis.

Parents dropping off their children at Elizabeth Traditional Elementary in Charlotte had differing opinions of the decision to keep schools open.

"I think it would take away some of what it represents," said Latasha Harris. Harris said she had not yet decided if she would keep her child home.

“I think that it is fine," said Roger Stowe.

"I think the spirit of Martin Luther King should rest in your heart,” Stowe said. “You should really celebrate him wherever you are."

For Some Students In The South, A King Day Lacking That ‘Holiday’ Feature

Put yourself in the shoes of Michael Murray, the associate superintendent of a small school district in the North Carolina foothills.

He has to provide 180 days of education for his 6,000 students by June 10. This past week of unusually brutal ice and snow in the South put the district behind schedule, and he suspects that more snow days are coming.

By state law, the only holiday he cannot cancel is Veterans Day. His solution? Make children go to school on Monday, the day when most of the nation’s schools are closed to observe Martin Luther King’s Birthday.

In the South, where establishing an official holiday for Dr. King was long in coming, that kind of move can be particularly controversial. But administrators in a handful of districts in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina say they have no choice.

That is not going over well with some parents and politicians.

“It always seems like Martin Luther King day is the first one they are willing to give up,” said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton have also weighed in. “We’re urging people to keep their kids home,” Mr. Sharpton said. “It’s un-American not to observe the holiday.”

In South Carolina, the 17,400 students in the Rock Hill School District, 20 miles south of Charlotte, N.C., will be in school on Monday. Making up for snow days will also put them in school on Presidents’ Day and Memorial Day.

“There’s no intention on our part to dishonor Martin Luther King in any way,” said a district spokeswoman, Elaine Baker. She said that even black families had contacted the district to support the move and that Dr. King would not have had a problem with students learning on his holiday.

That is not good enough for State Representative John R. King, whose district includes Rock Hill.

“The amount of snow has nothing to do with it; this is a state holiday,” he said. “I think it’s blatant. I think it’s disrespectful. As the only African-American legislator in my area, it’s a slap in my face and in the faces of people who look like me.”

The move has Mr. King so concerned that he plans to introduce a bill next week that would require the entire state to close schools on the King holiday.

In North Carolina and South Carolina in particular, the holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has long been a sensitive topic. Senators John P. East and Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republicans, provided stiff opposition in a battle to have the day declared a national holiday, which Congress did through legislation that President Ronald Reagan signed in 1983. At the time, only 27 states and Washington observed it as a holiday.

South Carolina became the last state to do so, in 2000, the same year the Legislature voted to remove the familiar Confederate battle flag that flew atop the Statehouse. The state now flies a smaller version of the battle flag in front of the Statehouse, and it will be the target of a rally on the King holiday.

But school administrators are pleading for mercy. Students can have excused absences that day, if they like. In some schools, the curriculum will be based on Dr. King’s story and the history of civil rights.

Mr. Murray, of the McDowell County public schools in North Carolina, said that other holidays were likely to become school days before the year is out.

And he has one more piece of bad news for students: they have to go to school this Saturday, too.

NAACP Calls For Protest Of CMS Holding Classes On MLK Day

The NAACP held a press conference Friday morning, protesting the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ decision to have classes on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Chapter president Kojo Nantambu said the decision to use the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as a snow make-up day is disrespectful to the memory of Dr. King.

Nantambu called for a protest at the Government Center on Monday at 10 a.m. and urged parents to keep their children out of school and bring them to the protest.

He said after the protest, the children will be taken to the Levine Museum of the South and to the Harvey Gantt Center where they would learn about the legacy of Dr. King.

“We are appalled that of all the days they would choose – that the Board of Education of Charlotte-Mecklenburg would choose to use the Martin Luther King birthday as a make-up day for snow, “ Nantambu said.

On Thursday, CMS board chairman Eric Davis said there will be special programs in the schools on Monday to let students learn more about Dr. King.

The calendar of make-up days was written two years ago and the board recently agreed that in 2012, no matter what, Martin Luther King Jr. Day would not be used as a make-up day.

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Sources:, McClatchy Newspapers, NAACP, NY Times, WCNC, Wikipedia, Youtube, Google Maps

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