Good morning. Burn it all.
1. The KKK in…Oakwood?
The KKK did a literature drop in Oakwood on Sunday. From our story posted last night about it:
The flyers are attributed to the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which calls itself “the most active and biggest Klan in America.” That group’s leader, Chris Barker, told the AP in a recent story that his group has around 3,800 members; the Jewish Anti-Defamation League puts that number closer to 200.
According to the group’s website, the phone number listed on the flier is its “national hotline,” and is registered in the Rockingham County town of Reidsville, about a half an hour north of Greensboro. When we called the number, it went to a full voicemail. On whitepages.com, user reviews for the number dating back to 2014 list it as a KKK number. There have been five reviews of the number since Saturday.
Jones tells the INDY that he wasn’t sure if the drop was targeting him, because of his involvement in a News & Observer series on problems with policing in Harnett County, but ABC 11 reported that flyers were also dropped in the Massey Hill neighborhood of Fayetteville.
Raleigh and Fayetteville aren’t the only places where these flyers have been dropped over the past week, however. The flyers also showed up in Jacksonville, Florida; First Coast News in Jacksonville reported today that flyers listing the same contact showed up over the weekend, with the same group and number listed. And in both San Fransisco, California and Mayfield, Kentucky, similar flyers have been found over the past week.
Jones says he doesn’t remember anything like this happening in Raleigh since Jesse Helms, the late Senator and noted racist, was active in politics. “When it happened, I just started crying,” Jones says. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Go read the whole thing if you want to weep for humanity on a Tuesday morning.
2. This is going to be the worst (best) convention of all time.
Luckily, the first day of the Republican National Convention immediately disproved the KKK’s theory of white supremacy. Where do we even start?
First off, Congressman Steve King, who’s notable for his visceral hatred of immigrants and singing along to a Ted Cruz speech, went full David Duke last night. Try to catch the moment where Chris Hayes dies a little.
Secondly, Melania Trump just straight up plagiarized a Michelle Obama speech. But it wasn’t just some random speech, it was the biggest speech Michelle Obama has ever given: her 2008 DNC speech.
There were several other things: the Republicans trotted out the mother of someone killed in the Benghazi attack to say that Hillary Clinton was to blame, Trump pre-empted his own convention with a phone-in interview on Fox News, and Rudy Giuliani got hopped up on greatness. There were so many dumb things that happened, I’m probably forgetting more than I remember. Follow Barry Yeoman’s stories here as he documents the impending death of Western civilization.
3. North Carolina Republicans aren’t exactly happy with Trump.
WRAL talked to a former NC Supreme Court Justice and the current chairman of the NC GOP, and they had some less-than-great things to say about him.
““I cannot vote for Trump, either for the nomination or in November,” said delegate and former North Carolina Supreme Court justice Bob Orr. “I think he’s singularly unqualified to lead this country.”
Orr, who supports Ohio Gov. John Kasich, wasn’t even on the floor for the rules fight, but his mind was already made up against Trump. He cites what he calls irresponsible talk about everyone from judges to lawmakers for reinforcing the decision. “He’s someone who would be a danger to the country,” Orr said.
“In a perfect world, as chairman of the party, I would love to have 100 percent support for the nominee, Donald Trump. I know that’s not going to happen,” said Robin Hayes, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.
Hayes said he will continue to try to unite the party while Orr said he’s not sure who he will vote for in November, of if he will even vote at all.
4. A federal judge could redraw the Wake County school board and county commissioner maps.
The deadline to redraw the maps has passed. From the N&O:
State election officials raised concerns Monday about their ability to draw new districts for the Wake Board of Commissioners and school board for the Nov. 8 election. But election officials said they’d do so if ordered.
“We’re only prepared to act if nobody else does and if we’re ordered by a court to do so, a federal court having jurisdiction,” said Grant Whitney, chairman of the State Board of Elections. “This is in my opinion the duty of the legislature to take care of this.”
But with the General Assembly not scheduled to return until January, Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore asked Monday that the maps that were declared unconstitutional by a federal appeal courts still be used this fall.
U.S. Chief District Court James C. Dever III had given Berger, Moore and the State Board of Elections until Monday to tell him whether they planned to draw new Wake maps. Dever is charged with carrying out a July 1 federal appeals court ruling that tossed the state legislature’s maps for Wake County.
Dever said in his July 8 court order that he’d draw the new maps if the General Assembly and State Board of Elections didn’t act.
That’s it. Have a good one.