New Black Panthers Part II or / Oh come on – racism in Durham, NC?

Let’s very quickly tie together two other little tidbits from the Bull City of Durham, North Carolina – home of Duke University, Mike Nifong and the Duke University lacrosse team. Did you know that there was an organization in Durham called The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People? Would you like to go to a meeting? No problem – unless you are white:

For years, political observers have speculated whether the credibility and influence of the committee is waning due to shrinking membership, diminishing cooperation with other activist groups and infighting. What goes on behind the organization’s closed-door meetings is out of view to many, as it is open only to Durham residents of African-American descent.

Move along folks. Only blacks allowed here. Your water fountain is over there. But there is another little link to our friends named Shabazz:

Recently, several high-profile members of the group questioned the fairness and validity of the committee’s endorsements in last month’s municipal elections, in which Mayor Bill Bell nearly lost its support. The committee also favored City Council candidate Donald Hughes, a recent college graduate with no previous professional experience in public office over two-term incumbent Cora Cole-McFadden. Hughes is the son of committee member Jackie Wagstaff, who ran against Cole-McFadden for City Council in 2001.

Jackie Wagstaff? So what? Well, turns out she was at the NBPP’s little rally at Duke back in 2006:

Black power, black power!” chants echoed throughout the crowd as members explained their cause.


I am here with these brothers because it appears Durham does not want to see the truth,” said Durham school board member Jackie Wagstaff.

School board member Jackie Wagstaff? Did you read that right? Yes you did, and that is the subject of another diary altogether. It is tough being a cracker in Durham sometimes.

One last little thing to complete the trifecta. It is almost too much to bear. From the RNC’s website, verified by my on the ground memory:

In North Carolina, Durham County's Elections Director, Mike Ashe, Has
Asked That Approximately 80 Voter Registration Forms Submitted by ACORN Be
Investigated For Suspicions Of Fraud. "A Durham official is asking state
elections administrators to check approximately 80 voter registration forms
for possible fraud. ... Mike Ashe, Durham County's elections director, said
the forms were among about 4,000 submitted to his office over the past four
to six weeks by a national left-wing group called Acorn ... Ashe's staff
also learned this week of irregularities with a handful of other
registrations. It was not clear who was responsible for these problems. ...
'This is serious, obviously,' Ashe said." (Matthew E. Milliken, "Elections
Chief Asks For Voter Fraud Probe," The Herald [NC] Sun, 9/19/08)

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