Gene Nichol

They screwed with the wrong guy

IN the wake of the legislature's misguided shut-down of the Poverty Center at UNC, Gene Nichol has pushed back hard. Not only is his work alive and well, it is now more well-funded, more visible, and more protected from political interference than it has ever been. Plus, Gene isn't taking any crap from Art Pope's minions at the John Locke Foundation:

Discrimination vs. destruction

Gene Nichol's letter to the editor today (N&O) is an important read. Some excerpts follow.

First, the array of possible claims in the name of religious freedom is, literally, boundless. The Supreme Court has entertained cases asserting faith-based commands to engage in polygamy, discriminate on the basis of race, smoke peyote and conduct live animal slaughter or to refuse to enter the draft, pay taxes, contribute to Social Security, obtain a photo ID, go to school past the eighth grade and wear the prescribed military uniform while on duty.

Gene Nichol responds to the asses on the UNC Board of Governors

I have been repeatedly informed, even officially, that my opinion pieces have “caused great ire and dismay” among state officials and that, unless I stopped publishing in The News & Observer, “external forces might combine in the months ahead” to force my dismissal. Today those threats are brought to fruition. The Board of Governors’ tedious, expensive and supremely dishonest review process yields the result it sought all along – closing the Poverty Center. This charade, and the censorship it triggers, demeans the board, the university, academic freedom and the Constitution. It’s also mildly ironic that the university now abolishes the center for the same work that led it to give me the Thomas Jefferson Award a year ago.

The Poverty Center runs on an annual budget of about $120,000. None comes from the state. Grant funding has been secured through 2016. These private dollars will now be returned. UNC will have fewer resources, not more. Two terrific young lawyers will lose their jobs. Student education, employment and publication opportunities will be constricted. Most importantly, North Carolina’s understanding of the challenges of poverty will be weakened. These are significant costs to pay for politicians’ thin skin.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/18/4565101_gene-nichols-response-to-recommendation.html?rh=1#sto...

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