And yet today, in the country and in North Carolina, we see evidence that there is a retreat from progress. Voter I.D. laws are in part an attempt to suppress the votes of the poor and the elderly, two groups likely to vote for more moderate Democrats. School vouchers, using public money to allow people to send their kids to private schools, would drain the public schools of resources and likely hurt poor and minority families who count on public education to fulfill their dreams for their children.
What we're seeing today is evidence, if people were willing to look at it, that the Civil Rights Act and other corrective measures were necessary. And moving backwards on these issues will make our country (and our state) a more dim beacon for freedom for the rest of the world to look at.
The tragic Arizona shootings that left six dead and others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) critically wounded, have sparked debate over an important question: What's the connection between violent political rhetoric and real violence?
It's not a new debate, especially in the South, where the bloody civil rights era forced Southerners and the nation to confront how extremist and violent political messages can have deadly results.
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