Archives for August 2014

Obama visit adds heat to contentious and crucial North Carolina Senate race

About the only thing that’s certain about North Carolina’s crucial Senate race is that it’s close. Polls show a tight contest, with Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and her Republican opponent Thom Tillis exchanging slim leads. It’s not even clear what the November midterm will be about.

Is it a nationalized election, with Hagan tied to a president with low approval numbers? Will Tillis, speaker of the North Carolina House, be weighed down with dissatisfaction over a sometimes dysfunctional state legislature? Will the economy be the ruling issue or will education, health care and the environment, major North Carolina concerns, rise in importance? What role will social issues — abortion and same-sex marriage — play in turning out the base in both parties?

If this past week was an indication, the answer is maybe – or perhaps, all of the above.

How the President’s Visit Impacts the N.C. Senate Race

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Obama brings executive orders to Charlotte for veterans. His visit comes as a heated Senate race brews in North Carolina. Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan are wooing the state’s large veteran population. WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis looks at how closely the president’s message will impact the race.

Obama’s Reaction To Ferguson Raises Questions About President’s Role

Ferguson, Mo., has seen nearly two weeks of protests after an unarmed 18-year-old African-American man was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. This week, a black leader stepped in to help defuse tensions. But it wasn’t a civil rights spokesman or the first African-American president. It was Attorney General Eric Holder.

Some political observers are asking why Obama can’t seem to speak for himself on race. Many observers argue that Holder often talks frankly about race when the president can’t or won’t.

Could What Happened In Ferguson, Happen In Charlotte?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The riots and protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the death over unarmed teen Michael Brown by a police officer are resonating far beyond the St. Louis suburban city.

WCCB’s Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis looks at if the events in Ferguson could happen here in Charlotte.

So, black teens who aren’t angels deserve whatever they get?

CHARLOTTE — While playing with my 2½ -year-old great-nephew was a joyous distraction from the events of Ferguson, Mo., this past week, it was also a reminder that the shelf life for innocence is short when you are a black male — and there is no room for error.

Everywhere the family went with my adorable toddling guest — touring a transportation museum and riding the train there, playing in the kiddie pool at the Y, taking a walk down the street — we were greeted with smiles. Even when he tried to plunge into the fountain reserved for pennies and wishes, his indiscretion elicited smiles, not stern glances.

I wondered how long he would get the benefit of the doubt and not the side eye. It was a question on my mind when I raised my now-grown son – a good man but no saint. He played by the rules and still had his unwarranted traffic stop that resulted in a ticket he fought because he was just that angry. He thankfully controlled his frustration in his interaction with official authority, a lesson I taught reluctantly, figuring a bit of damage to his spirit was preferable to any other sort.

What African American parents tell sons to keep them safe

Concern and Compassion After Missionaries in Contact With Ebola Return

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mixed emotion this morning after missionaries directly exposed to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia returned.

They’re being quarantined at an RV camp on SIM USA’s campus. Mary C. Curtis says even though they’re not showing any signs of the virus, there’s still some concern.

Black Female Candidates Face Different Challenges—Some of Them From Black Voters

Black women are often the backbone of political campaigns—making calls, managing offices and registering voters. And we show up at the polls. In the last two presidential elections, the turnout percentage of African-American women was greater than all other demographic groups. In Virginia, for instance, Gov. Terry McAuliffe owes black women, in particular, for his win in a year when President Barack Obama was not on the ballot. Yet the numbers, in terms of black women in elected positions, don’t reflect black women’s passionate political activism.

Is it a matter of cultural stereotypes? Is it harder to raise the money crucial to any successful campaign? Is reluctance of black voters to support black women an unexpected hurdle?

From Ebola crisis to children at the border, does charity have limits?

“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” or so says the lesson in the Gospel of John in the New Testament. It is a simple message that is now being tested by several modern-day crises, with complications that range from compassion overload to an instinct to protect loved ones close to home.

Charlotte, where I live, waits with support, careful interest and some apprehension after news that missionaries, some of whom have worked with and around patients with the Ebola virus, will be returning to the city. Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA, the Charlotte-based mission organization, said in a statement Sunday that while no staff member is sick or has symptoms, “SIM USA has been working closely with international, national, state and local public health officials since this most recent outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa began.” He said, “We will continue to cooperate and collaborate with them and adhere strictly to their guidelines in the return of our missionaries to the United States.”

North Carolina voting law a topic and controversy across borders

North Carolina’s Voter ID Law is becoming a hot topic across state borders. Whether they’re for or against it, many people are weighing in. WCCB’s Political Columnist Mary C. Curtis dissects the issue.