We are committed to educating our community and advocating policy on peaceful, non-violent protests, where there is no place for riotous behavior or injury to person or property.
Our Mission: To achieve equity, political rights, and social inclusion by advancing policies and practices that expand human rights, eliminate discrimination, and accelerate well-being, education, and economic security of Black people and all persons of color.
Our Vision: We envision an inclusive community rooted in liberation where all persons can exercise their civil and human rights without discrimination.
HB 40 is aimed at criminalizing protests and stifling free speech by imposing harsh criminal penalties on our State’s already vague and problematic “riot” laws. It is being sold as a means for protecting communities, but the coded message of this excessive measure is clear “stay in line or pay the price.” HB 40 perpetrates the divisiveness which fuels the political environment not only statewide, but nationally. The right to lawful assembly is embedded in our constitution and should be respected by our state lawmakers.
HB 40 would increase penalties for “riot”- related bodily injury or property damage and lead to misrepresenting protests as a violent or dangerous act. Felony charges could be brought against anyone who gathers and meets the definition of “inciting a riot,“ even if no physical harm or property damage occurs. HB 40 would also require a judge to set bail for a person charged with rioting or looting. An individual may be held up to 48 hours before seeing a judge when only a handful of charges, including, murder, is treated this way. Research shows, Black people and people of color continue to be disproportionately representative of the highest number of felony convictions in North Carolina. HB 40 is racially motivated, without merit or necessity and targets a demographic violated by proven disparity.
NOW is the time for North Carolina to step up and say “NO” to this excessive and unnecessary bill. WE ask our Legislature to Stop ~ Look ~ Listen. Each community can work together to educate, elevate, and equate attitudes and behaviors that drive mutual respect and dignity of all ~ “This is the solution.” “HB 40 is not.” Please visit our website www.naacphighpoint.org for more information.
Dr. Elma Hairston, President