It’s called accountability, but only for some

OPINION — When I was a little girl growing up in West Baltimore, my parents (especially my mom) gave me some truth along with the love. “You will have to work twice as hard to get half as far,” they told their working-class African American child, schooled as they had been in life’s challenges. They also warned about what everyone on my side of town knew: There was little to no room for error because folks like us seldom got the benefit of the doubt.

This was not to discourage me — far from it. It was to prepare me. Better to know what the deal was upfront.

They did not live to observe the spectacle of the president of the United States and members of his family get away — for now, at least — with all sorts of dishonest doings, things an African American president and his family would have been marched across the White House lawn in cuffs and shackles for. Things anyone in my neighborhood would have been tossed under the jail for even thinking about doing.

To Impeach or Not to Impeach

CHARLOTTE, NC — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is urging amid the divide in her own party over whether to impeach President Trump. Pelosi says the party should continue to push for the entire Mueller Report instead of the redacted version released last week.

The Mueller report said the president of the United States did not commit crimes; but it expressly refused to exonerate him on possible obstruction of justice.

Democrats and Republicans face risks and rewards as they choose what to do next. And the process is happening a year and a half before the 2020 presidential election.

When a hate crimes hearing goes very wrong, something’s not right in America

OPINION — When people are being threatened, intimidated and murdered, you would think that partisan bickering would take a back seat. But this is the U.S. Congress we’re talking about. Instead, what was supposed to be an examination of white nationalism and the rise of hate crimes on Tuesday devolved into what Americans have wearily begun to expect from their elected representatives. The House Judiciary Committee members inhabited different parties and different planets.

When what’s at stake is this serious, that’s pretty frightening.

Does the ‘content of their character’ still matter in the 2020 race?

OPINION — “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” It might be the only quote by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that many Americans can recite by heart.

There is good reason for that, as political partisans have twisted a 1963 speech to suit their 2019 conservative agendas, despite the fact that those who now embrace him as one of their own would be horrified by King’s belief in extensive change in the system.

That quote can mean whatever you want it to, dressed up as approval of an American hero whose luster has only grown as his often revolutionary work fades into memory. That short snippet expresses a sentiment judged far more benign than others from that same speech, as when the Nobel Peace Prize winner said: “We’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: NC Gerrymandering At SCOTUS; Deadly CMPD Shooting; CMS Budget

Charlotte grapples with another deadly police shooting. A CMPD officer shot and killed a man outside a Beatties Ford Road restaurant Monday morning. Police say the man had a gun and posed a threat, but protestors paint a different story.

The long-awaited Mueller report has been handed over. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham says it removes a cloud over the president, and now he wants to investigate the FBI for possible anti-Trump bias.

The U.S. Supreme Court once again sounds reluctant to take a stance on partisan gerrymandering as the justices hear arguments over North Carolina’s congressional map.

An official in the Charlotte Catholic Diocese resigned following an allegation of sexual misconduct.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools superintendent Clayton Wilcox seeks a big increase in county funding for the school system, with a focus on teacher pay and the district’s racial disparities.

Also this week, wheels are in motion in the South Carolina legislature to lure the Carolina Panthers headquarters across the state line. Lawmakers gave an initial okay for millions in tax breaks.

Those stories and more on this week’s Local News Roundup.

Guests

Mary C Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

Jonathan Lowe, reporter for Spectrum News

Steve Harrison, WFAE’s political reporter

Glenn Burkins, editor and publisher of Q City Metro

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.