If Trump won’t fight white supremacist terrorists, these people will

OPINION — “We Support our Muslim Brothers and Sisters.” “Love Will Win, Hate Will Lose.” “Terrorism Has No Religion.” The Charlotte, North Carolina, Muslim community invited all to join in a United for Christchurch, New Zealand, vigil in an uptown park on Sunday afternoon, and encouraged those who came to mourn and stand in solidarity to bring posters with supportive messages.

They did.

People of all races, ages and faiths — several hundred of them — listened to remarks of healing and hope and pleas for understanding from local imams. “Good people of this country, this world, stand with us,” said Sheikh Muhammad Khan of the Islamic Center of Charlotte. All bowed their heads in prayer.

That is America, where domestic terrorist attacks, propelled by white supremacy, are on the rise, where leaders nonetheless ignore the national and global reach of this toxic movement. Unbelievably, shooting up places of worship is now a separate and growing category, from a Sikh temple in Wisconsin to a Christian church in Charleston, South Carolina, to a synagogue in Pittsburgh to mosques in New Zealand — and that doesn’t include all that would qualify.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Panthers May Move HQ To SC; New Candidates For 9th District

The news in the 9th Congressional District continues as candidate filing opened this week in the 9th District’s new race. This comes after the State Election Board ordered a new election because evidence of election fraud was uncovered. We’ll discuss the latest on who is putting their name in the hat.

We’ll also give you an update of the ongoing investigation into the 9th District, including new details from search warrants released this week.

Carolina Panthers Owner David Tepper went across state lines to meet with Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina this week, and McMaster says the state will be working on legislation to help the team to move its corporate headquarters and practice fields to the state. What implications will this have for the future of the team and the stadium in Charlotte, and what is Charlotte’s response?

In addition to a possible move, the Panthers say that Bank of America Stadium is overvalued by as much as $485 million and the value should be cut.

A nationwide college admissions cheating scheme was made public this week when dozens of people were charged with fraud at universities around the country. North Carolina was not immune, as Wake Forest University’s volleyball coach appeared on the list of those in the case.

Charlotte Talks host Mike Collins and a panel of journalists cover those stories and much more on the Local News Roundup.

Guests:

Ely Portillo, reporter for the Charlotte Observer

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

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Steve Harrison, WFAE’s political reporter

How big and little lies, plus cash, prop up the ‘American dream’

OPINION — In the 1944 film “Gaslight,” a greedy Charles Boyer, trying to convince his rich, naive wife Ingrid Bergman that she is insane, dims and brightens the gaslights in their home, while insisting it is a figment of her imagination. Today, the term “gaslighting” has come to mean that same psychological manipulation.

America is being “gaslighted.”

How else could it maintain an unshaken belief in the “American dream,” that if you work long enough and hard enough, you can achieve anything? In order to believe in the triumph of a meritocracy, a country with an even playing field, you must ignore the lobbyists, PR specialists and boatloads of money that smooth out any rocky road for a select few. And your mind must obliterate every bit of this country’s history.

A half-century after Selma, the ‘black friend’ defense is going strong

OPINION — On a “Meet the Press” appearance a few weeks ago, Ohio Democrat and maybe presidential hopeful Sen. Sherrod Brown was commenting on that slam-bang start to Black History Month, Virginia officials in blackface, when he said, “This country hasn’t dealt well with issues of race. We have a president who’s a racist.” That led host Chuck Todd to ask Brown if he believed Donald Trump was a racist “in his heart,” to which Brown answered, “Well, I don’t know what ‘in his heart’ means.”

Exactly.

What’s in someone’s heart matters not at all when there is a long list of well-documented racist acts that have affected the lives of actual human beings. Brown mentioned a few off the top of his head; few sentient beings would have had trouble doing the same.

GOP greets North Carolina election scandal with crickets, excuses and misdirection

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — America might know the name of the next president before voters in North Carolina’s 9th District have a representative in the House.

OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

But one sure thing is that Mark Harris, the Republican who thought he won last fall, attended an orientation for new members of Congress and was picking out an office — won’t be the new congressman. He cited health reasons in taking himself out of the race that has no end in sight.

Why politicians, and everyone, need to think about legacy

OPINION — At least the bill was approved on a voice vote. That was the bill that would make lynching a federal crime, passed in the Senate late last week — in 2019.

Let that sink in. The legislation still must be approved by the Democrat-controlled House, which is expected to happen with no problem, and be signed into law by President Donald Trump. But it would be unwise to take anything for granted since similar legislation has stalled for more than 100 years, held up by elected public servants who felt that taking a stand would be too politically risky.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: BB&T and SunTrust Merge; No New Funds for Cross CLT Trail

Monday night’s City Council meeting brought with it suggestions on how to finish the Cross Charlotte Trail, which has come up $77 million short in funding, but the new plan left council members frustrated. We talk about the proposed solution and council member reactions.

BB&T and SunTrust Bank announced Thursday that the two banks would merge and move their new headquarters to Charlotte. What are the implications of this merger here and around the Southeast?

Charlotte City Council plans to vote next week on whether they’ll start the referendum process to extend their terms from two to four years. We discuss what council members said about the process.

United Way is experiencing budget problems, with plans to cut grants by 25 percent and cutting $1 million from its yearly budget. The reasons for the cuts go back several years.

Governor Cooper calls for the resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam after a racist 1984 yearbook picture surfaced.

Guest host David Boraks from WFAE News and our roundtable of reporters discuss those and other stories.

Guests:

Ann Doss Helms, reporter for the Charlotte Observer

Glenn Burkins, founder and publisher of QCityMetro.com 

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

Steve HarrisonWFAE political reporter

Trump was trying to channel Reagan. He sounded more like Nixon

OPINION  — “The state of our union is strong.” It is the line that is prominently featured in the speech of every president when he (and so far, it’s been a he) stands before Congress for a political ritual that remains impressive. Political theater? Sure, and why not. A country without a monarch craves a little pomp now and again, no matter the partisan sniping that precedes and follows it.

But what does that statement actually mean once the booming chants of “USA, USA” — which are sounding more aggressive than affirming lately — fade?

Trump’s 2019 State of the Union Address

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The president’s State of the Union speech was delayed because of a government shutdown, which said something about the state of the union. President Trumppromised to reach out to make bipartisan deals now that Democrats control the U.S. House, under the leadership of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. So, what was the message of his SOTU speech and the Democrats’ response by rising party star Stacey Abrams. “Visionary” or “American carnage.” On script or off? Compromise or national emergency? Any “You lie” moments? (Mary C. Curtis)

Campaign 2020

CHARLOTTENC — Campaign 2020 Is Up and Running!

So, you want presidential candidates? According to the Federal Election Commission, almost 500 people have registered to run. You probably have not heard of most of them, though at the top spot is Donald Trump, hopeful to repeat his 2016 win. Other contenders see his volatility creating an opening for a challenger. What are the chances of anyone on what looks to be a long and growing list?

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.