Signs of a Weakening Economy?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Whether it’s a trade dispute with China or increasing consumer doubts, worry is increasing that America’s strong economy is slowing down.  Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses the latest concerns.

A look at the growing disinformation wars

The right has long accused the media of bias, but now some on the left, including Bernie Sanders, are echoing accusations of media bias. New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg says the “Trump era forces us to be a little more aggressive” about the telling the truth because journalists are met with “so much disinformation.”But Roll Call columnist Mary C. Curtis adds that journalists have to be cognizant of their own biases, “every journalist frames their story, and we have to be honest about that.” Adam Serwer and Bari Weiss also join.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: No Charges for CMPD Officer; Racist Letters to CLT Leaders

No charges will be filed for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police officer who shot Danquirs Franklin at a Charlotte Burger King back in March. District Attorney Spencer Merriweather announced on Wednesday that Officer Wende Kerl will not face charges in connection with Franklin’s death.

Many black elected officials in Charlotte- including the mayor- received a racist letter this week that was addressed to city council, the county commission, police, fire and CMS School Board. The letter was directed to black Democrats and said that they should be “tarred and feathered and run out of town.” We’ll talk about reaction to the letter by several local leaders.

New CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston has a 3-year contract, which was announced earlier this month. But this week, school board members clarified that Winston could be fired with 60 days’ notice without giving a reason, making his job security not quite as strong as once thought. We’ll talk about what board chair Mary McCray said about it.

And an update on the push to pass a quarter-cent sales tax vote for the arts in Mecklenburg County.

Guests:

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

Katie Peralta, reporter for Charlotte Agenda

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE 

Jonathan Lowe, reporter for Spectrum News 

Ken Cuccinelli wants to be a poet. First he needs a history lesson

OPINION — It happened like clockwork. Every few weeks, especially in the winter months, when snowbirds traveled to my then-home in Tucson, Arizona, from parts north that included Michigan and Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, a letter to the editor would turn up at the paper where I worked. With slight changes, it would go something like: “I stopped in a store and overheard some people speaking Spanish. Why don’t they speak English?”

It took a little bit of time and a lot of convincing to explain that the families of many of these folks had been on the land the new arrivals so expansively and immediately claimed for generations, in the state since before it was a state, which Arizona didn’t become until 1912. It also has the greatest percentage of its acreage designated as Indian tribal land in the United States. And would it hurt you to know a word or two of Spanish?

Those are facts I was eager to learn — often from those long-timers — when I moved from the East Coast, many miles and a world away. Better late than never.

Will Jeffrey Epstein’s Victims Get Justice?

CHARLOTTE, NC —  There are many questions about how Jeffrey Epstein could take his own life at the federal prison in New York. The justice department is taking action against employees of the prison. The warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York has been temporarily reassigned and two guards who were assigned to his unit at the time of his death are now on administrative leave. What happens next in the case and will his alleged victims get justice?

The lessons of Toni Morrison: Words matter, now more than ever

OPINION — “Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names.”

Of course, that language from Toni Morrison perfectly suits this time, when the names we give the things that scare us hardly seem enough.

It is fitting that in a week when America has been exposed to the words of a white nationalist screed shared before a man filled with hate murdered 22 human beings in El Paso, Texas, we can find some comfort in Morrison’s life and legacy, and in the power of words used masterfully by the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

America’s Way Forward After Mass Shootings

CHARLOTTE, NC — President Trump is heading to El PasoTexas, and DaytonOhio, after shootings left a total of 31 dead. His official message this week decried violence and white supremacy, but many also criticized his own divisive words. The division between politicians and parties continues on the best way forward and the reasons for the carnage. Is it guns, racism, mental illness, video games, or a combination?

The Baltimore that raised me is America too

OPINION — It was one of those Baltimore row houses that have come to define the city, three stories high, with a set of white marble steps out front. I will never forget those steps, the ones I had to scrub weekly, brush in one hand, Bon Ami cleanser in the other. And when I was finished, I had to do the same for older neighbors who needed the help. But those folks did their part, my mother reminded me, watching over the neighborhood from their windows when the block’s men, women and children were away working, running errands or attending school.

That’s what neighbors do for neighbors, all over America. And yes, that includes West Baltimore, about which Donald Trump tweeted: “No human being would want to live there.”

To my fellow Americans, especially those amused by the “antics” of the president of the United States, who buy what he’s selling, imagine how you would feel if those people and places that are in your bones were judged subhuman by the person whose job it is be a leader, your leader.

First Night of Democratic Debate

CHARLOTTE, NC — For the large field of candidates, Democratic debates are crucial. This week’s debates are make-or-break for Democratic presidential hopefuls, especially those polling in single digits. During night one of the debate in Detroit, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were the primary targets of moderates on the stage. Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses how the candidates performed and what to expect for round two.

Is a blue city in a purple state having second thoughts about hosting a red convention?

OPINION — CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When the Democratic National Convention hit town in 2012, the dancing traffic cop made headlines for his smooth moves and entertaining approach to law enforcement. The officer captured the party atmosphere of that event, leading up to the renomination of no-drama President Barack Obama for a second term.

City leaders and residents now look back at that time with nostalgia as they prepare for the Republican National Convention coming to town from Aug. 24-27 next year to renominate a president who is all drama, all the time — as chants of “Send her back” at a Trump rally in Greenville, North Carolina, earlier this month have reminded everyone of exactly what’s at stake.

Anticipating the economic and related benefits for the city after it was chosen by the GOP last year, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority CEO Tom Murray said, “Charlotte has the collaboration, infrastructure and hospitality that will make the 2020 RNC an unforgettable experience for its attendees.”

Now, some are worrying about just how unforgettable the experience will be.