BY CASH MICHAELS OF THE WILMINGTON JOURNAL
A veteran White NC Democratic congressman has been publicly accused of leaving a thirty-year legacy “…to little White children…,” by his African-American primary opponent, allegedly at the expense of the Black constituents in his district he’s supposed to have served.
Of North Carolina’s thirteen congressional districts, only three are Democratic – Rep. G. K. Butterfield in the First; David Price in the Fourth; and Rep. Alma Adams in the Twelfth.
Both Reps. Adams and Price face primary opponents in the upcoming May 8 primary, opponents who hope to unseat the district incumbent for a chance on Nov. 6 to face the Republican challenger.
And while Adams and Butterfield are the only two African-Americans in the NC Congressional delegation, Rev. Dr. Michelle Laws, of Chapel Hill, former executive director of the NC NAACP, is vying hard to become the third.
Therefore, she has taken off the gloves in going after Price, who has served in Congress, representing North Carolina, for 29 years, accusing the Fourth District congressman of doing nothing for African-Americans during his tenure in Washington.
The Fourth Congressional District encompasses parts of Wake, Durham, and Orange counties and is comprised of a sizable Black voting population.
“We are at a critical point in our history, where we can’t be fearmongered and fooled into thinking that other people have our best interests at heart,” Rev. Laws said during last Saturday’s Raleigh-Apex NAACP Candidates Forum, where she and Rep. Price appeared.
“Congressman Price will leave a thirty-year legacy…to little White children…basically,” Rev. Laws openly chuckled. “His kids and his grandkids will get to look at him and see a proud legacy that he’s leaving. He will go to his community, that is majority White in Chapel Hill when he retires, never, ever to have to come out and speak to any of us again, if he chooses.”
Rev. Laws continued, “He’ll be surrounded by the people in the community that I grew up in, who think it’s a philanthropic mission to help and provide service to Black people, but when it’s time for real power and the exchange of power and resources, he will do simply what we’ve seen him do, and that is look out for his own …legacy.”
“We’ve got to do better by our children, by the legacy that we’re leaving our children,” Laws admonished the predominately Black audience at the forum. “Everybody was so happy to see the movie, ‘Black Panther’. Well, our children deserve to see their Wakanda heroes too at this point.”
Like Congressman Price, Rev. Laws also focused on important local and national issues facing the Fourth District and the nation, but, unlike Price, who noted the standard fare of affordable housing, jobs and education, in addition to getting Pres. Donald Trump out of office, Rev. Laws also focused on issues primarily affecting the Black community, economic inequality, the school-to-prison pipeline, the need for criminal justice reform, among others, and she laid the blame for governmental inaction on those issues directly at Price’s feet.
If anything, Rev. Laws was representing a growing, vocal youth discontent with what are seen as older, “establishment” Democrats like Congressman Price, who she alleged always come to the black community to speak at churches only at election time, and get select black spokespeople to reliably deliver the African-American vote, but rarely deliver on the election promises made.
Laws made it clear that, during her run for Congress, she was holding David Price both responsible and accountable for what she says are serious festering problems in the Black community per his district.
“I’m not going to respond to accusations that have been thrown around today…” Congressman Price said, while giving his closing statement, “ later adding, “I’m not going to be accused of indifference..,” after countering that he did respond “immediately” after three Muslim students were gunned down in Chapel Hill a few years ago.
“I have worked with this organization (the NAACP) and with this community…all aspects of our community, in as conscientious and as dedicated a way as I know how. Nothing new about that,” Rep. Price concluded, noting that he has worked with the Black community over the years on housing, improving education and “good jobs.”