A Special Juneteenth Town Hall Conversation – “Generations in the Making: A Reckoning with America’s History” – Video

ASMP pre-empted our regularly scheduled Friday Town Hall in recognition of Juneteenth. Our distinguished guest is award-winning journalist, educator, speaker and editor Mary C. Curtis.

The current American moment is not only about George Floyd. It’s not only about law enforcement. It’s about the systemic racism that has been present in our society and culture since before the country’s founding. It affects every facet of American life. “Unless we consider that history, it is impossible to understand what’s happening today,” says Curtis. “It’s rooted in the soil of American history.”

ASMP members have a unique ability to frame how others see the world. We must educate ourselves so we can use our gifts to build a just and equitable country.

 

‘There are no degrees of separation’ — How the Charleston church shooting looms over the current racial justice debate

It’s been five years since the deadly, racist-motivated shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina But the scars are still present in the current debate over racial justice, Black Lives Matter and the legacy of white supremacist ideology.

CQ Roll Call columnist Mary C. Curtis talks to Political Theater about how the tragedy in Charleston still resonates as the United States grapples with its ugly history.

Will cries of justice resonate with Trump voters of faith?

For so long, the Supreme Court was the deal-maker and -breaker for white evangelicals and, to a lesser extent, white Catholics and their unshakable partnership with the Republican Party. The GOP knew it in ways the Democratic Party never did, to its peril come election time. In 2016, with a narrow victory, President Donald Trump won the right to transform the federal judiciary and, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s help, has delivered.

But with the court’s decision this week protecting the rights of gay and transgender workers, written by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, Trump’s prime-time appointee, some of those voters were a little shook. This would not be the only reason to wonder if Trump is losing his grip, if only a bit, on his most faithful (no pun intended) voting base.

While there is no reason to think that those guided by socially conservative beliefs will turn en masse to the Democrats and Joe Biden — better the thrice-married devil you know — a few in that group may be considering issues of life and rights in more nuanced ways. You can see it in the sometimes clumsy but also heartfelt reflections on the growing protests proclaiming “Black Lives Matter” and demanding police reform.

How open are faith leaders to the cries for justice from their flock and from “the least of these”? And if actions to eliminate inequality matter, will the Trump administration be evaluated and found wanting? Not that it would trigger a seismic shift away from a candidate and a man who is transactional in all the ways that matter. But might it initiate a conversation centered on the words of that good book Trump brandished but never bothered to open in his infamous photo op in front of St. John’s Church?

Mary C. Curtis: Lawmakers Work On Police Reform Legislation

CHARLOTTE, NC — WCCB political contributor Mary C. Curtis talks police reform as lawmakers of both parties work on a legislation.

A mercurial Trump foils Charlotte’s best-laid RNC plans, probably

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, especially for a city that wants to be world class. Charlotte would join that list of cities to have hosted both Democratic and Republican national conventions. Its hotels and restaurants and streets would be bustling. Its arena would be filled with crowds, greeting the acceptance speech of repeat GOP standard-bearer Donald Trump, guaranteed grabber of headlines (and other things, as the Access Hollywood video attests).

And the world would be watching.

Well, the world is watching, all right, as what was a somewhat grudging but eventually accommodating relationship has deteriorated into sniping and bickering, with a nasty split on the horizon.

As usual, the catalyst for the acrimony was Trump himself.

Mary C. Curtis: Calls for Police Reform

CHARLOTTE, NC — Calls for police reform continue to grow in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis two weeks ago.

WCCB political contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses the changes happening on the local level and across the country.

Dateline Awards for work published, broadcast in 2019 announced online in historic first for SPJ DC Chapter

The ceremony was virtual — no big dinner at the National Press Club. But great news nonetheless: I won the SPJ DC Dateline Award for Online columns for my work at CQ/Roll Call. Announced Tuesday night.

POLITICAL WRAP: CMPD & Chemical Agents; Protest Reaction Worldwide

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Monday night, Charlotte City Council will talk about the use of chemical agents on protesters.

It comes as the SBI is looking into tactics officers used on Tuesday night.

Also, how protests for racial justice across the country are now getting worldwide attention.

Click above for more with WCCB Charlotte Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis.

How Do We Bridge the Political and Racial Divide in America? with Mary C. Curtis

Racial tensions are also stoked again thanks to the untimely death of George Floyd. Which brought to surface the work which still needs to be done to bridge the gap of racial division in the country. How will all these issues play in an election year? How do we heal a broken nation?

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Charlotte Protests, CMPD Response; RNC May Leave Charlotte

Charlotte has faced several days of protests, both peaceful and violent, after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. The protests have involved clashes with CMPD and many complaints about how the police have handled the protesters, but several police officers hope to have constructive conversation with the protesters. Thousands have hit the streets of Charlotte to protest, from Beatties Ford Road to uptown to Myers Park. We’ll talk through the demonstrations, the protesters, the chaos and the police response.

President Trump and the Republican National Committee are exploring other cities to hold the RNC this year, after Trump said this week that he’d move the convention out of Charlotte. We’ll talk about Gov. Roy Cooper’s negotiations with the RNC about having a safe convention in the midst of the pandemic and what options there still are to hold a part of the convention in the city.

We’ll give the latest on the coronavirus, as officials worry that the protests in Charlotte and the recent Phase 2 opening will result in a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Plus, we’ll have an update on the Mecklenburg County budget, which was approved this week, forcing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. We’ll have more on the discussions at that meeting as well.

Guests:

Erik Spanberg, managing editor at the Charlotte Business Journal

Glenn Burkins, founder and publisher of QCityMetro.com 

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB 

Ann Doss HelmsWFAE education reporter