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NC Rep. Violates Affirmative Action Taboo, Corporate Opposition to Abortion Ban, Wake GOP Dissension
No. 20 — May 14-20, 2023
NC legislator violates affirmative action taboo on House floor
For over 50 years, “Affirmative Action” programs at institutions across the country have been lowering the standards for certain minorities in an attempt to achieve “equity” in demographic distributions. However, it is very much taboo to suggest that any particular minority individual may have been a beneficiary of these lowered standards. However, this is exactly what Rep. Jeff McNeely (R-Iredell) did on the floor of the house on Wednesday, when asking Rep. Abe Jones (D-Wake) a question about his opposition to a school choice bill. Although McNeely (as well as several of his Republican colleagues) subsequently apologized to Jones, here’s a transcript of the full exchange, so you can decide exactly how offensive you deem his question to be:
McNeely: Mr. Speaker, can I ask the representative a question?
Speaker Tim Moore: Representative Jones, does the gentleman yield to a question from the gentleman from Iredell, Representative McNeely?
Jones: I absolutely will yield, yes sir.
Moore: He yields
McNeely: Representative Jones, I want to ask you the question: I understand you went into the public school, and you went to Harvard and Harvard Law, and the question, I guess, is: would you have been able to maybe achieve this if you were not an athlete, or a minority? Or any of these things, but you were student, trapped in a school that the slowest…you know, in the wild, we’ll say the slowest gazelle does not survive, but yet the herd moves at that pace. So the brightest child, sometimes, is held back, and don’t we feel…
Rep. Robert T. Reives, II (D-Chatham) [interrupting]: Mr. Speaker, point of order
Moore: Gentleman may state his point of order
Reives: Okay, I’m hoping I wasn’t the only one that got shocked by that comment, that the only reason you went to Harvard is because you were black and an athlete?
McNeely: No, I did not say that! I said, did that end up being one of the reasons? I do not know that! I asked him this…
Moore: Okay, alright; [gavel] okay, alright
Jones: I don’t mind answering
Moore: The gentleman doesn’t answer the question. I’m sorry, I was reading a note here…
McNeely: I apologize, and I’ll reframe.
Moore: The gentleman from Iredell is no longer recognized. For what purpose does the lady from Wake, Representative Gill rise? Representative Jones, you still have the floor, sir, to debate…
Jones: I was trying to wrap up
Moore: Gentleman has the floor to wrap up his remarks
Jones: I just want to say that…I’m just going to say one thing: Harvard had five rankings for their students, one, two, three, four, five. And when I graduated from Harvard, I was in rank two. So I earned my place, and I did well.
source: video from house floor published by News & Observer
Local businesses encourage lawmakers to keep veto of new NC abortion bill - WRAL
Although I’m sure there are many who are hoping for the same corporation/local government/media complex pressure that followed the passing of HB2 back in 2016, I’m skeptical that we will see a similar response to the abortion restrictions which were passed into law by the North Carolina legislature this week (over Governor Cooper’s veto). For one thing, NC is not close to being alone in passing or implementing laws restricting abortion since the overturning of Roe v. Wade last June. For another, the past seven years has seen conservatives developing awareness of the enormous power corporations have been using to support progressive politics, as well a willingness and effective strategies to fight back.
The Triangle is home to four of NC’s fourteen abortion clinics: I’ll be watching to see a) whether significant pro-abortion corporate opposition shapes up and b) whether this law will eliminate NC as an “abortion destination” for the Southeast.
Dissension in the ranks of the Wake GOP? - More to the Story by A.P. Dillon
There’s two ways to achieve unity after a contentious power struggle: by extending grace to the defeated, or by grinding dissenters into the dust with an iron-clad heel. Although Steve Bergstrom won the Wake GOP Chairman position this year with a “Unite Wake” platform, the county party is still facing significant division. This week, the president of the East Wake Republican Club, Duane Cutlip, announced that the club would be disaffiliating with the Wake GOP party over new policies proposed by Bergstrom. In addition to a new Code of Conduct which Cutlip took issue with, Bergstrom had proposed a new criteria for affiliated Wake County Republican clubs which would require them to have 75+ dues paying members, turn over membership rolls to the Wake GOP, and allow the Wake GOP Chair or Vice Chair five minutes to speak at any club meeting.
I’ll be watching to see a) how the division in the Wake GOP shakes out and b) whether this affects the party’s ability to win local elections
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