The old white boys in the North Carolina General Assembly have never been quiet about their disdain for the poor or sick in our state. Our state has destroyed unemployment benefits, cut food stamps and refused to expand Medicaid. Right now in our state 24% of families live in poverty.
One in every four families in North Carolina live in poverty. One in four of the folks you see at the gas station. In the carpool lane. At Walmart or Aldi’s or Dollar Store.
But the boys are getting a little nervous now. #HB2 brought tremendous scrutiny to the state, businesses hate it, so they need to be sneakier about their messaging.
Attacking UNC Chapel Hill
Gene Nicol is a Boyd Tinsley distinguished professor of law at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He was the director of the UNC Chapel Hill Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.
He is also an outspoken critic of the Republican led General Assembly.
In March 2015, the UNC Board of Directors (coincidentally appointed by the legislature) shut down the Poverty Center. Nothing to do with Nicol’s of course. It wasn’t sustainable. This raised a number of concerns from academics and other universities, who perhaps weren’t as naive as the Board and NCGA had hoped.
Two stories released today show that Trump isn’t the only one with thin skin, as Republicans strike out at Nicol’s again. Two separate stories (unconnected by WRAL) indicate the redneck rodeo in Raleigh is out for blood.
First Up: Those Pesky Poor People Again
Once again using the Board of Governors to do the dirty work, a proposal is being floated to shut down pro-bono legal services for the poor provided by UNC Chapel Hill Law School. You know, that school where Gene Nichols is a professor…?
Though the Center receives no taxpayer funds, evidently Mr. Knott thinks it’s inappropriate for law students to get practical experience…particularly by providing services to indigent people. God knows what that might mean. Poor people in North Carolina might realize they have rights.
Next: Take $3 Million from Law School’s Budget
The boys are handling this one themselves. During all those backroom, good-ole-boys budget meetings, they figured out a “righteous way” to fuck over Nicol AND the law students. And then of course, they forgot to mention it….
No one wants to argue that MAHEC should get more funding. But what an amazing coincidence that the best place to get that from is the law school where Gene Nicol works. And shockingly, didn’t share that information until the last minute.
The North Carolina Republican party has consistently shown that it will go to any lengths to maintain it’s grip on our state. Racial gerrymandering, dark outside money, voter suppression, Phil Berger changing the law to get his son on the court. (It’s also interesting to note that once Berger’s boy was elected, none of the rulings carry signatures – which let you know who voted for what.)
It’s time to get the GOP out of office in North Carolina. Their ends do not in the least justify the means they will go to keep their grip on power.
The power to keep our children hungry, our sick unattended and our rural communities impoverished. They need to go.