Black Lives Matter

Chief Justice Paul Newby

In two rulings, NC Supreme Court finds no racial discrimination in jury selection

BY: - April 10, 2023

The North Carolina Supreme Court last week issued two rulings involving alleged racial discrimination in jury selection. The opinions come after a Democratic-majority state Supreme Court issued landmark rulings on striking Black people from serving on a jury because of their race, known as a Batson violation. In 2020 the justices gave lower courts guidance […]


Hasty passage of “anti-riot” legislation tramples free speech in multiple ways

BY: - February 10, 2023

Of all the protections enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, none stands above the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to speak freely and to dissent. It therefore stands to reason that any effort by elected officials to place curbs on these rights must be viewed with great skepticism and only approached with the utmost caution. […]

FBI to investigate threats made against school board members, teachers

BY: - October 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice has directed the FBI to meet with local governments and law enforcement to discuss strategies for dealing with increasing threats to teachers and school board members spurred by a conservative backlash against discussions of race in public schools. “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter […]

Disturbing school board meeting shows widening racial divide in Alamance County

BY: - May 27, 2021

[“Go Backstage” is an occasional series explaining to readers the process of reporting and writing stories. The purpose of the series is to help readers understand the nuances of journalism and to add transparency to the process. I got to know Patsy Simpson over the telephone in early March while interviewing her for a story […]

Bill seeks to increase penalties for “rioters,” but advocates worry about threat posed to free speech

BY: - May 17, 2021

Biracial.’ ‘Artist.’ ‘Supporter of social justice.’ Nic Cassette could think of many labels describing his identity. ‘Rioter,’ however, was never one of them. An Alamance County prosecutor, however, saw it differently. Cassette was among a group of demonstrators who were charged under the state's rioting statute after a succession of demonstrations in Graham. 


Gene Nichol provides a helpful refresher course on NC’s restrictive body cam law

BY: - May 4, 2021

A lot of North Carolinians have been wondering lately (with much justification) what the deal is with police body camera recordings. If the recordings are made by public employees and paid for with public tax dollars, why in the heck can’t the public see what the videos show? It’s ours, after all. And don’t virtually […]

Day One of trials for Alamance protesters: dismissed charges and/or no penalties

BY: - February 19, 2021

Trials of protesters who demonstrated in Graham last fall in support of the Black Lives Matter movement got underway on Wednesday, with the prosecutor dropping charges against two people, and the judge affirming misdemeanor charges against another individual without imposing a penalty. The Alamance County town was the scene of multiple protests on a variety […]

UNC-Wilmington faculty vote to censure chancellor

BY: - December 9, 2020

The UNC-Wilmington Faculty Senate took the rare step Tuesday of voting to censure Chancellor Jose Sartarelli. The censure, approved by the faculty governing body  in a 51-20 vote, charges that Sartarelli has “egregiously failed” in his obligation to support the school’s values of diversity, community engagement and integrity, and has “violated the trust of the […]


This past weekend’s best editorial

BY: - November 30, 2020

In case you missed it, be sure to check out an especially thoughtful editorial that ran yesterday in Raleigh’s News & Observer entitled “When the pandemic ends, should criminal justice return to ‘normal’? Maybe not.” As the authors explain, the convergence of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement has served to shine a […]

Experts: “There has to be a shift in how society functions” in wake of pandemic recovery, racial justice movements

BY: - July 28, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the U.S. economy — shuttering businesses, eliminating jobs and disrupting everything from education to the nation’s food supply chain. But it has been most devastating to Black Americans, who already face a host of historical economic and social disparities that have been highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement even […]


Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: The perils of “virtue signaling”

BY: - June 13, 2020

Ugh. Virtue signaling. Another thing we must worry about because it’s not as if a pandemic, race riots and the start of hurricane season isn’t enough. I’m so stressed out I’ve forgotten if I’m sheltering in place or under curfew. Is the mask I wear to keep others from my potentially deadly droplets or to […]

ACLU of NC responds to protests, militarized police action

BY: - June 1, 2020

Police across the nation have responded with violence and militarization to ongoing protests against the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police. In North Carolina, protests have taken place throughout the state, with demonstrators and police clashing in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Charlotte. The ACLU of North Carolina is responding. Below is the statement the organization […]