NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

Page 2 of 6

Virginia NAACP urges state lawmakers to declare racism a public health crisis

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The head of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP said Friday that the organization is demanding that lawmakers advance measures to reform policing and the state’s criminal justice system and declare “racism as a public health crisis” during next week’s special session.

In a virtual press conference, Robert Barnette, the president of both the Virginia State Conference NAACP and the Hanover County NAACP, called on legislators to address police accountability and racial bias in law enforcement.

“What we’ve witnessed across the nation is an unprecedented response to the killing of George Floyd. His death has awakened in all of us the necessity of now to make lasting and meaning reform to policing and our criminal justice system,” Barnette said in his opening remarks. “That along with the effects of the coronavirus, a historic pandemic, has exposed the institutional and systemic racism pervasive in our systems within our criminal justice system. The Commonwealth of Virginia is not immune to the effects of racism and it must be addressed now.”

Virginia NAACP urges state lawmakers to declare racism a public health crisis

Absentee Ballot Alert

In the last two weeks, many Virginia voters received absentee ballot applications in the mail even though they didn’t request one. This was done by a non-partisan organization whose intent was to increase voter turnout.

The easiest and most secure way to request an absentee ballot is to go online to the Virginia Dept. of Elections website – LINK:

vote.elections.virginia.gov/voterinformation

The Virginia Department of Elections has a dedicated Citizens Portal for all matters related to voting and elections. You can register to vote, update your voter registration information, and verify the correct addresses of your registrar’s office and your polling location. Most importantly, to protect our election, we encourage you to use this secure channel to apply online to vote by mail in the November 3, 2020, General Election.

If you have already applied for an absentee ballot and are wondering why you haven’t received it yet, the first day that absentee ballots will be mailed to voters is September 18, 2020. No need to submit a new application–just track the status of your application using the Citizens Portal.

After you complete your ballot and mail it back to be counted, track the status of your ballot using the Citizens Portal. The return envelope has a tracking label unique to your voter registration information to protect your vote.

While the Virginia Department of Elections has no official affiliation or coordination with any third-party group, it has issued an official statement letting voters know that if you used a third party to mail your application, any applications that arrive in the wrong locality’s office will be forwarded immediately to the correct registrar’s office for processing.

 

Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
1716 E. Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23223

Malfeasance in the handling of the Lenn Park flag issue?

The divisive issue of Confederate imagery saw action in Culpeper County on various fronts this past week, coinciding with a Washington TV station’s exposé that accused local officials of malfeasance in the handling of the Lenn Park flag issue.

NBC’s team interviewed Stevensburg District Supervisor Bill Chase at the end of his farm drive. The news broadcast reported improper procedure and mismanagement by county supervisors and the county in handling the battle-flag issue, as previously reported by the Star-Exponent.

Mistake Allowed Confederate Flag to Fly on County Property for Years

This time, the Alabama state troopers saluted

SELMA — This time, the Alabama state troopers saluted.

The late John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the final time Sunday in a triumphant celebration of his tireless fight for civil rights, often in the face of violent resistance.

Mourners cheered, sang, and cried as a horse-drawn carriage carried Lewis’ flag-draped casket over the Alabama River and toward Montgomery.

DeVos Sued by Public School Parents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 22, 2020

Contacts:

Marc Banks / dbanks@naacpnet.org

Ashley Levett, (334) 296-0084 / ashley.levett@splcenter.org

Sharon Krengel, (973) 624-1815, x24 / skrengel@edlawcenter.org

 

NATIONAL – A rule issued by the U.S. Department of Education this month coerces school districts to use an illegal process to inflate the amount of federal COVID-19 aid they must share with private schools. The rule will drastically diminish the resources available to support public school children and historically underserved student populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a lawsuit filed today by public school parents, districts, and the NAACP. The lawsuit seeks to block the rule.

The lawsuit, NAACP v. DeVos, explains that the rule imposes illegal and harmful requirements on the emergency relief funds allocated to public school districts under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Under the rule, school districts must divert more funding for “equitable services” to private school students than the law requires or face onerous restrictions on the use of those funds in their public schools. Both options violate the clear language and intent of the CARES Act and will undermine district efforts to adequately serve students who desperately need services and supports due to the impacts of the pandemic.

The CARES Act directs public school districts to calculate the amount they must set aside for private schools based on the number of low-income students enrolled in private schools. However, DeVos’ rule forces school districts to comply with one of two illegal options, either: (1) allocate CARES Act funds for private schools based on all students enrolled in private school, which includes students from affluent families, or (2)  allocate these funds based on the number of low-income students at private schools, but face severe restrictions on how the rest of the district’s CARES Act funds can be used, including a prohibition on their use to serve any students who do not attend Title I schools.

The rule was first introduced in April as non-binding guidance from Secretary DeVos and received widespread criticism from education leaders and lawmakers that the guidance violated the CARES Act and would leave districts without resources essential to address the impacts of COVID-19. Several state attorneys general have also filed suit to challenge these new rules.

“Amid a national health crisis, Education Secretary Besty DeVos is robbing public school children of desperately needed relief and diverting it to private schools,” said Derrick Johnson, president, and CEO, NAACP. “This is a new low, even for an administration intent on promoting inequality in education. Children and families across the nation are facing unprecedented risks to their safety and educational opportunities. COVID-19 has magnified the hardships for children from low-income households and diminished access to quality instruction, digital technology, nutrition, social development, and other vital resources. These are consequences that will last a lifetime.”

“Forcing districts to spend even more funding on private schools exacerbates existing inequities in Arizona,” said Beth Lewis, Title I school parent and teacher in the Tempe Elementary School District and co-founder of grassroots advocacy group Save Our Schools Arizona. “Our public schools have been defunded for decades and already lose hundreds of millions of dollars to private schools via vouchers every single year. Secretary DeVos’s binding rule forces our neighborhood schools to give desperately needed federal aid to private schools that have already accepted small business bailouts. Meanwhile, Title I public schools like mine have to rely on local charities and donors to help us feed students and stock classrooms. This rule will harm the students and families who need resources the most.”

The coronavirus pandemic has focused the nation’s attention on the essential role public schools play in the lives of families and communities. Since closing buildings in March, public schools across the country have worked tirelessly to maintain instruction and provide students with meals, access to technology, health services, and social and emotional supports. Public schools now need more – not fewer – resources. Yet, Secretary DeVos continues to exploit the pandemic to promote her political agenda of funneling taxpayer dollars to private schools.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are represented pro bono by the law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP, as well as Education Law Center (ELC) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The organizations collaborate on Public Funds Public Schools (PFPS), a national campaign to ensure public funds are used exclusively to maintain, support, and strengthen the nation’s public schools.

###

About NAACP

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

The NAACP is a c4 organization (contributions are not tax-deductible), and we have a partner c3 organization known as NAACP Empowerment Programs (contributions are fully tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS).

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.

 

About PFPS 

Public Funds Public Schools (PFPS) is a national campaign that works to ensure public funds for education are used exclusively to maintain, support, and strengthen our nation’s public schools.  The campaign is supported by the Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC Action Fund, Education Law Center, and Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. For more information, visit www.pfps.org.

The post DeVos Sued by Public School Parents, NAACP, and School Districts to Block Illegal Rule That Diverts Critical COVID-19 Aid from Public Schools to Private Schools appeared first on NAACP.

Anti-racism Resoultion Passes in Madison

The Madison County School Board passed this resolution on a 5-0 vote at their July virtual meeting. Since then, we’ve been informed that Culpeper has adopted it and that Rappahannock is in the process of building support to do the same. A anti-racism task force is being convened to begin the work of turning the resolution into official policy.


Resolution condemning racism and affirming the division’s commitment to an inclusive school environment for all.

Whereas, the Madison County School Board has, in the initial section of its policies entitled “Foundation and Basic Commitment,” affirmed its commitment to nondiscrimination and noted that that this commitment “prevails in all of its policies and practices concerning staff, students, educational programs and services, and individuals and entities with whom the Board does business.”

Whereas, there is ample anecdotal evidence that this commitment, particularly with respect to race, has been more of an aspiration than one we have steadily and fully accomplished,

WHEREAS, members of the Madison County School Board, as well as the Madison County Public Schools staff, are saddened and outraged by recent events that demonstrate the prejudice and injustice that persists in our country;

WHEREAS, racism and hate have no place in our schools or our society, and we must protect the Constitutional rights of every person who lives, works and learns in our community;

WHEREAS, recent events and realities require us to LISTEN  to those who have endured discrimination and to LEARN through a deeper engagement with our community in meaningful and honest conversation about racial inequality.

WHEREAS, because of these events and realities we cannot be silent. We must act urgently to stop the racial injustice that harms and anguishes black people, who are our family, friends, neighbors, students, staff members and fellow Americans;

WHEREAS, we must lead. Each of us, individually and collectively, is responsible for creating and nurturing an anti-racist learning environment where every child is respected and valued for who they are, regardless of their skin color. We must actively acknowledge, address and prevent racial bias that occurs as a result of division policies, practices and actions; and WHEREAS, we must do better. Our school division can be and will be a sanctuary of safety in our community and a beacon of light for the world, as we build and strengthen trust with those we serve, and we model the acceptance of all people.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, members of the Madison County School Board, stand steadfast in our commitment to foster an inclusive educational environment where every student, teacher, support professional, parent and community member is treated with dignity and respect, as well as our commitment to continue fighting for racial justice and human and civil rights for all.

FURTHER, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we fully support the Madison County Public School Administration’s commitment to confronting racial injustice and making equity central to our work. This will involve continuing to take a closer look at our policies, our curriculum, and our daily interactions.

FURTHER, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we fully support the Madison County Public School’s formation of an Equity Task Force involving concerned students, parents, staff, and community members to help us fulfill our commitment to nondiscrimination.

Approved by the Madison County School Board this 13th  day of July  2020.

Signed:

Karen Allen
Vice Chair
kallen@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Nita Collier
School Board Member
nitacollier@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Angela Eichelberger
School Board Member
aeichelberger@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Arthur Greene
School Board Member
agreene@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Barry Penn Hollar
Chairman of the Board
bpennhollar@madisonschools.k12.va.us

This Congressman is attacking Black Lives Matter with white nationalist talking points. These companies are supporting him.

Hagedorn’s Facebook post is not an anomaly. He has a history of racist, sexist, and homophobic screeds going back decades. Yet, major corporations that publicly champion racial justice, equality, and inclusion – including UnitedHealth Group, U.S. Bank, Intel, and Best Buy – have donated thousands of dollars to Hagedorn’s reelection campaign.

In response to a homophobic ad run against GOP candidate Mike Taylor, Hagedorn wrote, “[T]he ad really bent Taylor over with rage and caused him to go straight to the bar and get lubricated.” He derided the Supreme Court decision of Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated laws making sex between two consenting adults illegal, as “Lone Star Sodomites v. God and Country,” calling it “an abomination on par with the deviancy it attempted to condone.”

Despite this, companies that claim to be committed to racial and social justice are bankrolling Hagedorn’s campaign.

 

When “Heritage” Means Hate

Many statues like the one next to the Culpeper courthouse were built across the South during the Jim Crow era (from 1877 to the 1950s) to intimidate Blacks, send a message about white supremacy and sentimentalize Confederate soldiers, according to historians.

Inside Facebook’s dysfunctional approach to civil rights

This audit has laid bare what we already know — Facebook is a platform plagued by civil rights shortcomings. Facebook has an enormous impact on our civil rights — by facilitating hate speech and violence, voter and census disinformation, and algorithmic bias, and by shortchanging diversity and inclusion. This audit has exposed Facebook’s vulnerabilities and provides important recommendations that they must take up swiftly.

Washington, Douglass Commonwealth

Times change — or rather, times are changed. Prompted by the historic, inspiring, powerful nationwide Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd — and Trump’s appalling use of the military to occupy Washington D.C. in response — Democratic leaders in the House moved forward on the D.C. statehood bill. Last week, for the first time in history, the House passed a bill that would make Washington, D.C. the 51st state in the union. The new state would be admitted as the state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth — named after famed abolitionist and civil rights leader Frederick Douglass.

Why is D.C. statehood a response at all to nationwide Black Lives Matter protests? To answer that question, you’ve got to ask another: why does a geographic area in America with more residents than two states, and that pays more federal taxes than 22 states, lack any voting representation in Congress?

The answer to that question goes back long before that first D.C. state constitution draft. You could of course go all the way back to the founding of the country, but let’s jump to 1890. In that year, a southern conservative Senator gave a speech to explain why Congress chose to disenfranchise D.C. residents at the precise moment that the Black population was becoming a political force in the District. The full quote is worth a read:

“Now, the historical fact is simply this, that the negroes came into this District from Virginia and Maryland and from other places…they came in here and they took possession of a certain part of the political power of this District…and there was but one way to get out…and that was to deny the right of suffrage entirely to every human being in the District and have every office here controlled by appointment instead of by election…in order to get rid of this load of negro suffrage that was flooded in upon them. This is the true statement. History cannot be reversed. No man can misunderstand it.”

Those are the words written into the congressional record. No one can misunderstand it.

Fast forward 130 years.

After the House passed the D.C. statehood bill last week, another southern Senator took the floor of the U.S. Senate to discuss voting rights for D.C. residents. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas explained why Wyoming’s overwhelmingly white population of 578,000 should have two senators, while D.C.’s majority Black and brown population of 705,000 should have zero senators. Wyoming, he pointed out, “has three times as many workers in mining, logging, and construction.”

Huh? But it wasn’t just the lack of lumberjacks in D.C. that bothered Cotton. He went on to call into question the competence of two Black D.C. mayors: “Would you trust Mayor Bowser to keep Washington safe if she were given the powers of a governor? Would you trust Marion Barry?”

This isn’t subtle. Cotton’s message was loud and clear. No one should misunderstand it.

Now, Tom Cotton’s speech was mostly just bombast and bluster. He didn’t need to even give the speech, because he knows perfectly well that as long as Mitch McConnell serves as Senate Majority Leader, D.C. statehood will never even come to a vote in the Senate. Last year McConnell took to the Senate floor to describe D.C. statehood as “full-bore socialism.”

This isn’t complicated. Trump tweets videos of his supporters shouting “white power” and his supporters in the Senate block enfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Black voters.

D.C.’s statehood may have felt like a far-away dream even a few months ago. But the Democratic House has now signaled its support. The Democratic senators have signaled their support. Joe Biden has signaled his support. If we build a Democratic trifecta this November, we could be welcoming D.C. to the Union as soon as next year. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s long — like a hundred years plus — overdue.

In solidarity,
Ezra & Leah
Co-founders & Co-Executive Directors, Indivisible

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2020 NAACP Culpeper #7058

Design and Hosting by ren@localcause.netUp ↑

Support the fight for racial justice. VOTE!

We are living in a moment unlike any we have seen before. During this time, the fight to defend our civil and human rights has never been more critical.

The last day to vote early in-person is Saturday, October 31st from 9-5. After that, you will vote at your usual polling place. Enter your home address below, and we’ll show you your choices.