National and State NAACP Leaders Speak Out on Oppressive North Carolina AgendaApril 24, 2013
(WASHINGTON)—The NAACP President and CEO, North Carolina State Conference, and Rabbi David Saperstein, NAACP Board Member and Chair of the National Committee on Religious Affairs, released the following statement in response to recent action and newly introduced legislation in the North Carolina state legislature. The policies and bills increase voter restrictions and target healthcare expansion, unemployment benefits, education reform, and tax credits for the poor.
Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP:
“Extremist lawmakers in North Carolina are trying to use voter suppression to advance their retrogressive political agenda,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “We support the North Carolina NAACP, the People’s Coalition, and their allies in the clergy as they encourage lawmakers to promote the welfare of all citizens. We cannot allow our democracy to be compromised by politicians who would rather stop some voters from voting than do the hard work of convincing those voters to vote for them.”
Rabbi David Saperstein, NAACP Board Member and Chair of the National Committee on Religious Affairs:
“According to the North Carolina State Constitution, all political power is vested in the people and derives from their will,” stated Rabbi Saperstein. “Right now that vision is under attack on multiple fronts. Lawmakers are attempting to impose their agenda by suppressing the vote, in a way that will severely hurt the most vulnerable people in the state. Their plan will only further marginalize communities that already struggle with the legacy of poverty and segregation. Those whose abiding commitment to equal rights derives from their core religious beliefs cannot and will not ‘stand idly by’.”
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, President of the NAACP North Carolina State Conference:
“Our legislature is launching an attack on education, voting rights, the poor and the sick,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, President of the NAACP North Carolina State Conference. “This attack comes from the policies of the old south which requires a clear moral response, in the deepest tradition of the nonviolent movement to inspire public outcry and protest. When legislatures work to limit the voices in one group for political gain it is bad for our communities, North Carolina, and our country. It is a moral imperative that our elected officials act in the best interest of all constituencies. We encourage leaders in the faith community to engage their members and implore those officials to act as one for the sake of all. Just one person without a voice or influence is a detriment to his or her state.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.