February is an extraordinary month. I planned to write for you today to celebrate the 61st anniversary of the day where three friends and I boldly went and sat at the Woolworth counter in Greensboro, NC. As Black men, we didn't know how we would be leaving that restaurant. Some of us feared we would be beaten or even killed. That sit-in sparked similar sit-ins across the nation leading to significant social change in the United States.
Sadly, while the anniversary day should have been a day to celebrate how far we've come, we see firsthand how the liberal news media is viciously attacking independent thinking Black men.
Last week WRAL published a political cartoon that depicted my good friend, Mark Robinson, as a Klansman simply because he refuses to rubber-stamp the leftist agenda promoted by their liberal organization. Amazingly, this is only a few days after the Democrat-controlled school board scheduled a meeting that they knew Lt. Governor Robinson could not attend. It's heartbreaking how, even after 61 years, we're still having to fight to have a Black man protect his seat at the table.
As we celebrate Black History Month, we should be promoting, not silencing, voices like Mark Robinson's, our state's first Black Lieutenant Governor!
Like Mark, I will not be silenced! I plan to continue the fight. Through our efforts with the NC Faith and Freedom Coalition and the Frederick Douglass Foundation to educate and engage conservative-minded minorities, we will work even harder to combat these disgraceful attacks from the left. Will you stand with us? Let's send a message that we will not let them intimidate us! That's the best way to celebrate Black History and making history.
Pictured above: On the second day of the 1960 Greensboro sit-in, Clarence Henderson (far right) joins (front left to right) Joseph A. McNeil, Franklin E. McCain and William Smith at the Woolworth lunch counter.
(Courtesy of Greensboro News and Record)
Editor's Note: In a press conference, Lt. Gov. Robinson reacted to the cartoon: "On the second day of Black History Month, the first Black lieutenant governor of North Carolina has been portrayed as [racist]," he said. "That you would portray a Black man, just because he's in the GOP, as a Klansman ... the hypocrisy is mind-numbing, folks."
In a statement from Capitol Broadcasting Company, Opinion Editor Seth Effron said: “Editorial cartoons are creative and provocative, using hyperbole and satire. No one believes Republicans on the State Board of Education are members of the Ku Klux Klan. The editorial cartoon by Dennis Draughon is meant to point out that these members of the State Board are trying to wipe out from the social studies curriculum the record of racism which includes the Klan and the segregationist practices that were imposed in our state and nation’s history.”
Clarence Henderson was a student at N.C. A&T State University when he sat down at the lunch counter at the Greensboro, Woolworth in the winter of 1960. The purpose was to protest racial segregation. He was 18 years of age. He wanted to change the system then, and now 61 years later, he is still working hard to change the system. This Black History Month and every month, we want to honor men like Mr. Henderson for their dedication and perseverance to obtaining fair and equal rights for all. Thank you for all your contributions. — Bill Bowman, Publisher