GOP members to protest Democratic event named after racist governor
Some conservative Republicans in western North Carolina plan to protest an annual state Democratic Party dinner next month because the event is named for a governor who preached white supremacy.
The Carolina Stompers, a group comprised of Asheville-area Republicans, will demonstrate Oct. 6 as the Vance-Aycock Dinner is held in Asheville, said group president Chad Nesbitt, adding that the protest may help win black support for the GOP.
Gov. Charles Aycock, who served as governor from 1901 to 1905, was known for his fiery speeches at the turn of the century that historians said fanned the flames of racism and helped Democrats retake political power from Republicans and Populists.
"I would have thought the Democrats would have had enough sense to change the name to something else," Nesbitt said. "It's just a slap in the face to minorities."
The group also plans to pay for a television ad to air the night of the protest blaming Aycock and his speeches for events leading to the 1898 race riot in Wilmington that left up to 60 people dead. Historians describe the event as the only recorded coup d'etat in U.S. history.
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William Mandel - 9/29/2007
In 1951, when in Richmond, Virginia, in an unsuccessful effort to save the lives of seven Black men sntenced to death for the alleged rape of a white woman, I met a Black woman, Ms. Senora Lawson, who was born in the swamps outside Wilmington, N.C., when its Blacks fled there for safety because of what the HNN post describes as the only coup d'etat in US history. The sixty dead were, as far as I know, all Black. Because of the events of her birth, the Wilmington Massacre was a most intimate part of her family history, and had been related to her in detail, which she transmitted to me.