Curmilus Dancy II, The Political Agitator * * * * Dancy Communications Network (The DCN)

"Making an Impact in the Thinking of the People throughout Eastern North Carolina & Abroad via Internet, Newsletter, Public Forums, Radio & Video = Empowering the People from a Grassroots Perspective" Curmilus Dancy II "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." Albert Einstein

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Dual Role of Communication

by Robin Lee, Rocky Mount NC

Depending on what the goal of your communication is, determines how the information is presented and understood. Fundamentals of good communication requires, a positive message, credibility, honesty, openness, and understandability.

The media has more of an impact on us than peer pressure or parental controls. It seems that whatever sells the most stories must be factual to the extent that people buy it. The more people that buy it, the more factual it becomes. Even though the media is based mostly on exaggeration, people still believe it. The media controls every aspect of our lives. It shows us how to live, how to be a good person, how to view others, what’s right and what’s wrong.

Words, pictures and music can stimulate the mind both intellectually and emotionally. Pictorial stereotypes can injure a culture for a lifetime. The old saying, “ a picture is worth a thousand words” bears a lot of truth.

Stereotypes come from ignorance about the subject matter and can be very harmful to people. They give us a misleading image of people or a group of people and the more these stereotypes are reinforced, the more people begin to accept it as being true.

Negative pictures depict a negative image, and positive pictures depict positive images. The dual ability of communication to spread and stop racism and prejudice will continue to exist, so we must educate ourselves in order to be more open minded and less judgmental to the information being presented. Insufficient information whether good or bad can be devastating to the human race because it leads to prejudice behavior and racist acts upon the undeserving. To avoid this misunderstanding or misconception we need to look for ways of prevention by using tools to address the root cause of misunderstanding. These tools would include: using phrases that sum up the talk, asking questions, paraphrasing, using examples, and telling stories. Be kind, honest, and have a constructive intent.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Edgecombe County Public School System - Planned bond work over budget.


No ground has been broken and no bricks have been laid, but already the school construction and renovation project mapped out under the $12.8 million bond referendum spending plan is over budget.

I am not surprised because I asked the school system to rethink this whole situation but Dr. Stone had it all worked out. This is my plea to the Commissioners and Board of Education members.

August 2, 2004

Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners Public Hearing

School Bond Referendum:

The goal of the referendum is to eliminate overcrowding in 5 schools. Bulluck, Carver, Coker-Wimberly, SouthWest, and Stocks. Perhaps we should table or postpone the referendum and look at another option. Certainly we would like our students to attend more spacious and state of the art structures, but can we afford them? Who is going to pay? Look at the extremely high tax rate that exists in Edgecombe County and to attach additional cents to the tax rate is unthinkable. Look at the economic base here in Edgecombe County. Who would the tax increase hurt the most, the ones least able to pay? A 1 cent to 2 cents tax hike is what we are talking about in addition to the already 2 cents tax hike that this board has already voted on a couple of meetings ago. Now if a building needs to be condemned then I have no problem with replacing them.

Additionally, let's do something we ask our teachers to do all the time, think outside the box. Why can't we look at alternatives to eliminating the crowded conditions at the schools while we re-evaluate this situation? What strategies can we put in place and not jeopardize the educational process in the county?

Also on the subject of teachers, how will this bond referendum address the lack of black teachers at these schools? We need to understand that the building do not teach children and more emphasis need to be on giving all children a sense of belonging and buildings are not going to do that. I have several questions that we can consider:

Why is SouthWest overcrowded? How many students are transported out of the Cloverdale Legget Road area of Rocky Mount to SouthWest?

How are the attendance zones drawn? Are not the students in the Rocky Mount area attending SouthWest closest to North Edgecombe. There was a rumor several months ago about closing down North Edgecombe High School and Phillips Junior High. It has been rumored for several years now about the closing of Roberson Elementary.

Why are we busing students to the southern part of the county when they live in the northern portion? Goal 2: The next goal is to eliminate category 3 facilities (poor condition) Goal 3: Expand pre-kindergarten program at Pattillo.

None of the questions I have asked tonight are easy ones. We may need to rethink the whole process. This referendum is going to benefit 5 schools. We must not continue to pretend that there is no high school in the northern part of the county except during football season. Now that there has been a change in the coaching staff there, this may not hold true in the future.

Is there any equity in this plan? It still is the haves vs the have nots. In my closing, with this referendum, we must give 30% of the funds to the Nash-Rocky Mount Schools, with their building boom on the Nash County side, the Edgecombe students attending their schools. I know this is a legislative issue and it is about time that we revisit that issue as well.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on tonight.

The struggle continues,

Curmilus Dancy II

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Edgecombe County Board of Elections meeting Tuesday June 21, 2005

by The Political Agitator

Mr. Matthew Whittle as a longtime active Democratic Party member I have served as the chair, the 1st and 3rd vice chair on the county level and as 3rd vice chair on the precinct level for many years. I have some questions for you concerning your coverage of the board of elections meeting on Tuesday, June 21, 2005.

I really would like to know how you can say so bodly that the Edgecombe County Democratic Party really in a bit of turmoil over its candidates for the Edgecombe County Board of Elections. Is it because Roosevelt Higgs says there is a problem? Have you talked to anymore Democrats here in the county? I would like to know also how you can say so bodly that there is a controversy over the way the names submitted to the state board for final approval? Yes, they are not the names that were originally approved by the local Democrats' executive committee. I believe that nearly all the Democrats in the county were unaware of this until they read the newspaper on Tuesday. This is when I found out about it. Are you assuming that Roosevelt is speaking for all Democrats in the party? Yes, I had received a call that Higgs were calling around telling folks that Gladys Shelton's name had been added to the list but I didn't believe it.

You say the original list, explained the Rev. Roosevelt Higgs, vice chairman of the local Democrat Party, included, in order of preference, incumbent Dorothy Davis, incumbent Charles Rountree and Samuel Branch. At the meeting that Higgs is referring to the chair called out Samuel Branch, Dorothy Davis and Charles Rountree names in that order. A motion was made to accept the names and Higgs was allowed to amend the motion to change the order of the names to Davis, Rountree and Branch but the amended motion was shot down 52 - 39. This means Mr. Whittle that the chair of the party had the authority to send the names in any order she preferred. I have this meeting on video.

You say Rountree and Davis both said they had not yet been contacted by Edgecombe County Democratic Party Chairwoman Genotre Penny-Boone, the state Democratic party or the State Board of Elections. Why do they feel like they suppose to? The State Board of Elections will meet and appoint the people who will serve and they will send the list of names out for the entire state and not just Edgecombe County.

I find it amazing that Rountree being an attorney and has served on the board all these years and he is expecting the new chair to treat this outgoing board different. Rudolph Knight was not reappointed in the early 2000's and he went out in the same fashion that Rountree is going out. Knight and myself reminded Rountree at this meeting.

If it is fine with Rountree that his name is not on the list, it sure did not appear to be in his actions at this meeting. I have a problem with Rountree's comments that Gayle Hudson is the best because everybody is replaceable. To say that if the county loses her then the people on the board should be held accountable and the people who put them on the board should be held accountable. This is just damn ludicrous. It is obvious that Hudson feels a little uncomfortable with the changes that are about to take place because I heard her say within the last 2 months that she may retire soon.

Davis says she is fine that she may not continue to serve on this board but it sure did not appear to be in her actions at this meetng as well. You say "Shelton's name was added once it got to Raleigh probably with the support of Genotre," Higgs said. "And probably it was done by the state headquarters to force racial diversity onto the Edgecombe County Board of Elections, although that could have been done with Dorothy Davis (who is black) and Charles Rountree (who is white) continuing to serve. Again this is not for Higgs to decide but Penny-Boone.

You see it is not the 1st vice chair of the party that has the authority here but the chair of the party who just happens to be Mrs. Geontre Penny-Boone. I first met Mrs. Penny-Boone several months ago at a Debutante in Rocky Mount. I don't know Penny-Boone but I feel strongly that she has been straightforward since she has been serving in the county chair's position. She is correct the committee agreed on the names but she said the order was up to her.

Training is nothing new and both Rountree and Davis had to go to the training so therefore the new members can do the same.

You say of those names on the lists, Hudson said that Shelton does have election experience in various precincts for the Democrats. I would like to add that Samuel Branch is in his second term as a precinct chair however that does not matter because he is capable and willing to learn the job and he will do well.

Mr. Whittle as I stated at the meeting I reminded Rountree and Davis that they disrespected the past chair during the last election when Mrs. Celestine Lyons dropped off her information to Gayle Hudson and Lyons told her that she did not want any names added to or removed from the list simply because Higgs had been harassing her about some names he wanted to add. I protested the change that Rountree, Davis and Harrell voted on even after I pleaded with them to not allow Higgs names to be used. I also reminded Rountree that the same thing that is happening to him happened to Rudolph Knight when he was removed from this board. I told the board that this is a much bigger picture because Mrs. Penny-Boone is new, the state chair Jerry Meeks is new and there are changes going on across the state so this is not just about Edgecombe County. I said some other counties had sent in two new names whereby Edgecombe only sent in one new name. I also told Rountree that I felt that his spill at this meeting concerning he did not receive a courtesy call from the county chair Penny-Boone was a powerplay for the newspapers. I said that it is the newspapers who are promoting the negativity about the workings of the party because they are listening to Roosevelt Higgs. It is obvious that other black folks in the Democratic Party that attend the meetings means nothing to the papers because they have not confided in any of us who were present on Tuesday and other meetings since April when the new chair took over the party.

"The Struggle Continues .... Speaking Truth To Power"

by The Political Agitator

This was the theme for the 32nd Annual Rocky Mount Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet that was held on Friday, June 10, 2005 7:00 PM at the R.T. McCarter Center Rocky Mount NC.

The Master of Ceremony was 3rd Vice Chair George Cooper. The Presentation of the Colors were done by the Rocky Mount Police Department followed by the Invocation by President Emeritus Rev. Elbert Lee former President of the branch followed by the welcome by Mary Hedgepeth Secretary.

Curmilus Dancy II 2nd Vice President gave the occasion for the evening by letting everyone know that the purpose of the fundraiser was to celebrate, recognize and to appreciate individuals and all other groups that fall in the categories chosen by this branch who have played a role in keeping hope alive through the mission of the NAACP.

A solo followed by Rachael Howard accompanied by her mother followed by the blessing of the dinner by Rev. Lee.

After the dinner followed by a solo by Stephanie Frinks President Andre' Knight came forward and presented the humanitarian Award to Joyce Dickens President and CEO Rocky Mount Edgecombe Community Development Corp. for her work with Economic Development in Rocky Mount. Andre also awarded Mattie Mozzell for being the mother of the community in South Rocky Mount and her boldness for speaking out against the injustices. He also awarded her granddaughter Tekyia Mozzell for her hard work inspite of her illness at such a young age. Teykia is a student at East Carolina University. Andre completed his awards presentation by honoring Teresa Hinton the banquet coordinator for her hard work with making the banquet a success.

M.C. George Cooper did the honor of awarding Meadow Brook Meat Company (MBM Corp.) with the business of the year award. He also talked about how the employees talked so highly of their employer. It is evident of how they treat their employees because the very 1st employee a black male still works with the company and was in attendance at the banquet.

Mattie Hinton 1st Vice President recognized the Rocky Mount NAACP 2005 mother of the year Precilla Brown of North End Missionary Baptist Church.

Councilman Reuben Blackwell introduced the speaker of the hour the Rev. Charles Lee White, Jr., Director for the Southeast Region of the NAACP which includes 7 states, the NAACP's largest region. He is the founder of the Brothers United for Change of Hollywood and Clover South Carolina, a ministry dedicated to "Saving Black Boys: One at a Time." This ministry has gained national attention and annually sponsors the Black Male Conference, which attracts over 1,500 participants each year.

Rev. White began his speech with, "If you can't stand the heat, you need to get out of the kitchen." He greeted the audience in the name of all those such as Megar Evers, Malcolm, Martin and all those who gave their blood, sweat and tears just for us to gather here on tonight. He said we came from a noble group of people who had to do what they had to do in order for us to survive.

White said say what you want to about the NAACP but if white folks mess with you there are 2 people they are going to call on and that is Jesus and the NAACP. He said he was tickled to death to be in Rocky Mount to the esteem president Andre Knight and Knight is a jewel in our midst. White said Knight is not afraid to take a stand and by doing so he is an easy target because he is out front but we must circle the wagon and build an intelation around him so that when the enemy raises its ugly head you can say the devil is a liar.

White also recognized Yolanda Thigpen president of the Edgecombe County Branch for being the youngest president across the nation.

White thanked the vice president Mattie Hinton for her detail of getting in Rocky Mount along with the executive committee. He thanked the corporate sponsors because he said without them the banquet would not be a success. He thanked the other supporters, friends and rest of the people who all of them were not present for the good of everybody.

White said we are gathered here tonight under the civil rights banner and he understood that that this is not everybody's calling because some do not want to get down with civil rights movement. He thanked them for coming and paying their money. He said if you can't get with us then don't try to hinder us.

White said we are in a serious time when we are not just fighting against flesh and blood but against wickedness in very high places. He said we must declare we are not going backwards. He said that the public school system is more racially and economically segregated now since Brown vs Board of Edcuation. The recruiting grounds are not for education but for sending young black men to prison. White said that even the black church that used to be the most sacred institution in our community is looking for hand outs from the government. He said was it not Jesus who said to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and to shelter the homeless and etc.

White said some of us want to do away with social programs because many got caught up in the last election thinking it was about gay marriages and abortions. He touched on Social Security and said if Bush want to overhaul something he need to overhaul health care. He said as soon as they do away with Social Security and make it an investment thing, white men are going to get rich.

White said the country is at war and everyone need to understand that black folks have always fought in wars dating back to the Battle of Lexington. He said we were the Tuskegee Airman in World War II and over represented in the Vietnam War. He said we are fighting the War on Drugs in the black community which is racial profiling. He said we have chosen cell blocks over classrooms.

White said he was asked the question during the banquet what is the number one problem facing the black community and he said it was literally the problem of the endangered species of the African American Male. He said it is a conspiracy. He said but black men have a responsibility to their community. He said we need to stop talking about our kids like they don't exist. He said they are not lost and we need to stop and help them. He said that some Negroes roll up their windows and lock their doors but they are our responsibility and we have got to reach back and do something for them. He said black men have got to look the young black boys in the eyes and tell them I care whether you live or die. He said they need to be told that manhood is measured from the hips up and not the waste down. He said what makes a man is when you he takes care of his children, respect the women and what they give back to their community. He said the problem is we have so many overgrown men walking around. He said that if cats can take care of their kittens and dogs can take care of their pups he don't understand why black men can't take care of their children.

White told the women that he was not going to let them off the hook. He said you are walking around here talking about you can't find a good man. He said the women are raising their daughter and do not make the boys cook nor clean. He said women won't make the boys go to church. He said this was not allowed in his house. White said that his mom was a single parent and raised 18 other siblings after he and his siblings left home. He said his mom didn't have her children out of wedlock, his daddy just left home. He said his mom recognized that she needed a man to help out so therefore his uncles were always at their house. He told the women in the room that yes you can do a good job but still there is something missing because it is some things that the boys need to hear coming from a man. He said that the women need to stop acting like teenagae pregnancy is something new but if the truth be known some of the women in the room had a child when they were a teenager. He said instead of talking about the little girls they need to talk to them and tell them I know you made a mistake but look at me I made it in spite of. He said tell them they talked about them in the church but it is okay. He told the women that it is best to have your own than to put up with a sorry man.

White closed out with a story about a dog named Rex. Rex had been chained for so long that he did not realize that he had been freed. He asked the question is your name Rex? He said when you go home tonight and close your blinds ask yourself is your name Rex? He said when you go on your job and you are required to accept things just as they are, ask yourself is your name Rex? He said when you go around others and they accuse you of being too black, ask yourself is your name Rex? He said when we are around people and they dare to ask us questions because it deals with race, does our name become Rex? He said do you dare to speak truth to power and let the chips fall where they lay or does your name become Rex? He said are you more concerned about your social status and being in good graces with the good ole boys and girls or does your name become Rex? He said some here tonight are living just like Rex and some have bonded together and formed a group called the Rexettes. He said there are some of you who have memberships in the NAACP who will come to a Freedom Fund Dinner and will not show up at a City Council meeting because your name is Rex. He said as long as the fraternities and other organizations stay social you will attend but when they decide they want to take a stand, does your name becomes Rex. He said that from the last time some of us are living in this bondage because we remember we tried to speak up and the pain from the chain keep on holding us. We must speak truth to power.

Hubert D. Pope of H.D. Pope Funeral Home Inc. delivered a powerful charge to the community pointing out key issues in the Rocky Mount area. He said that the people in Rocky Mount is paying two mortgages the first being their true mortgage and the second being their utility bills that are more than their mortgage. He said that people used to use lead bullets to kill but now they use lead pencils as they print things in the paper on a personal level such as how they are always targetting our president trying to discredit him.

Evelyn Wilson Membership Chair said the banquet is not only a fundraiser but gives you an opportunity to join the NAACP. She said we don't want to have anyone in this meeting tonight to be named Rex. She said ask yourself when you get home is your name Rex and if it is not to give her a call.

Andre Knight President of the Rocky Mount Branch thanked everyone for sitting during the duration of the banquet. He said he see quite a few Rexes in the room but his name is not Rex. He said we have heard the word tonight. He said you have the opportunity tonight to change your name and to join the NAACP. He said let us all take the challenge back to our homes and do what is right.

President Emeritus Rev. Elbert Lee closed out the evening with the benediction after sharing some senior moments about his tenure of serving as president of the Rocky Mount Branch for 28 years.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Politics in the 1st Congressional District

Edgecombe Dems spar over election board nominees - The Democratic candidates' names for appointment to the Edgecombe County Board of Elections have been released, surprising some members of the county party. Gary Bartlett, executive director of the N.C. State Board of Elections, said the names submitted to him in order of preference are Samuel Branch, Gladys Shelton and incumbent Dorothy Davis. Incumbent Charles Rountree is not on the list.
The Political Agitator - I was totally shocked to read the paper on yesterday to see that Gladys Shelton's name has been submitted to the State Board of Elections. I am glad that the whole board makeup will possibly change because I was not pleased with Dorothy Davis performance on this board. The local party should have submitted all new names anyway. Here we go again. Rev. Roosevelt Higgs complained that he was concerned about the make up of this board should be one white and one black. Now the names reflect such and he is still complaining. As I stated in my email to Amanda during her first story that she wanted to do a big story and that I felt that in the end this would be a big story because I felt this would backfire on Higgs. I say I was right because Shelton was involved with the mess that Higgs started and other mess that he has created and now it appears she has betrayed him and Attorney Charles Rountree. I remember clearly the night of the Democratic Party meeting concerning the appointment of the board members that Shelton and Rountree were huddled up outside after the meeting discussing that his name was going to be submitted as the third person. I am not pleased at all that Shelton's name has been submitted but it is beyond my control. When it is all over I expect our State Chair to come to Edgecombe County to address the local party to bring some closure to all of this mess. Stay tuned for what happened at the local Board of Elections meeting on yesterday. I found it strange that no reporter from the Rocky Mount Telegram attended yesterday's meeting after breaking this story on the day of the meeting, however The Daily Southerner had a reporter Matthew Whittle present.