Rtp. J.C. Watts
GOP attempts to convert black Democrats
by Herbert L. White*
THE CHARLOTTE POST
Karen Woods is the kind of
Democrat Republicans covet.
Woods, pastor of New Creation
Christian Church and owner of a
Charlotte insurance agency, is a lifelong
Democrat. But she's considering a switch
to the GOP, which articulates self-suffi
"I will be changing my party,"
Woods, 47, said. "The time is out where
the Democratic Party can just count on
our vote. I have not seen one way or the
other for them to have my vote."
A letter from Oklahoma Rep. J.C.
Watts was mailed to African-American
voters last week seeking their contribu
tions and support for Black America's
Political Action Committee, a GOP
backed group. The organization's goal is
simple: turn African Americans to the
Republican side. At stake is the balance
of power in national and local politics in
the 21st century.
"I feel this black-led organization has
the potential to help make the GOP the
dominant political force in America for
decades to come," Watt wrote.
The GOP's strategy makes sense, says
Ted Arrington, chairman of UNC
Charlotte's political science department.
The difficulty is in convincing blacks.
who typically back Democratic presiden
tial nominees with 90 percent of their
votes, that switching parties is in their
"There has been an increase, but it's
not a lot of people," he said. "But cer
tainly, the Republicans know if they can
make a dent in the solid Democratic
base, they can seal the Democrats up"
and become America's dominant party.
Local returns on the GOP's efforts
aren't encouraging. As of Oct. 10, 3,723
Mecklenburg County blacks are regis
tered Republicans compared to 79,119
Democrats. In fact, unaffiliated African
See OOP on A4
75 cents WINSTON-SALEM GREENSBORO HlGH POINT Vol. XXIV No. 13
Tup rVrpoM ? P
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The Choice for African-American News and Information from this library website address:
N c ROOM T-SORT* *C0*. 2
?"ston salem*N? .
6y DENNIS PATTERSON
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
RALEIGH (AP) ? The
Legislature's budget-writers will
consider whether historically black
universities were unfairly denied
extra money given to other cam
puses that an outside study indi
cated were underfunded.
"Some expressed surprise that
the historically black colleges
appeared to be above-average (in
operating funds)," Kent Caruthers,
the consultant who did the 1995
study for the UNC system, told
Based on the study, legislators
this year gave $21 million in extra
funding to UNC-Greensboro,
Appalachian State, East Carolina,
UNC-Charlotte and UNC
The spending was challenged
by black legislators who said the
grants ignored long-term under
funding and needs of historically
See Funding on A3
By SHARON BROOKS HODGE
THE CHRONICLE editor
The Historic Properties
Commission will recommend
that Winston-Salem's aldermen
grant landmark status to Davis
Garage over objections from
Constance Johnson, one of the
three black members of the
Officially, the structure is
Union Station. It opened to the
public in 1926. For decades it
was Winston-Salem's trans
portation hub. By the mid 1970s,
however, the facility closed. In
the years that followed, the site
attracted vagrants as well as
Despite its deteriorated con
dition, city employees reviewing
the application for landmark
status said that "the building
and site retain a high degree of
historical and architectural
Johnson is not disputing that
the former train station holds
-historical significance. Instead,
'.she question's the timing of the
r*. "Is there any particular rea
son that you are applying for the
landmark designation at this
[particular time?" Johnson asked
;Karvey Davis at a public hearing
iop the application.
- Davis replied that he had
See Gorog* on A3
(? likjsiceflsiU 1
Klanshouts as others remain silent
BY SHARON BROOKS HODGE
THE CHRONICLE Editor
There was no violence at the Ku Klux
Klan rally in downtown Winston-Salem
last Saturday, but that doesn't necessarily
mean no one was injured.
As hooded white supremacists bel
lowed racial epithets from the steps of the
Hall of Justice, a little boy sat on the curb
and listened. The forlorn expression on
his face left little doubt regarding the
impact of the words that assaulted his
young ears. He was hurt.
"Stop the madness," read the sign he
held. The madness, however, continued
On one side of the street, members of
the Klan filled the air with the sound of
hatred, calling for blacks ? and others ?
to be put to death. Black and white anti
Klan demonstrators, who assembled on
the other'side of the street, tried to sing
loud enough to drown out the cries of
Since President Bill Clinton appointed
a commission on race relations, the coun
try has participated in an ongoing discus
sion on the subject. But that conversation
was reduced to a shouting match on
Saturday. In the tense days that both pre
ceded and" followed the rally, elected offi
cials have been quiet on the matter of race
relations in this city. At least one elected
official now looks back and wonders why
no one stepped forward to ease the ten
State Rep. Michael Decker, who repre
sents Forsyth County in the North
Carolina General Assembly, says he didn't
know about the rally in advance.
See Klan on A2
?_ ? ^ # Photos by
Conference trains white
churches to deal with racism
by Felicia P. McMillan
Special to The Chronicle
The burning of dozens of Southern
black churches over the past (bur years
illustrates the destructive force of racism
in American society. A program designed
to help white churches respond to racism
was held in Kansas City Oct. 30 through
Nov. 2 at St. Paul of the Theology in
Kansas City, Mo.
Called "Reframing the Dialogue on
Racism," the program trained white cler
gy serving white congregations so that
their congregations might more effective
ly address the pattern of racism. An
undertaking of the Burned Churches
Project of the National Council of the
Churches of Christ, the conference was
not a typical "racial sensitivity" or "diver
sity" training session, according to the
Revs. John Mendez and Lynn Rhodes,
two local pastors who participated.
Mendez, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist
Church, was one of the organizers and
presenters for the conference.
Rhodes said the conference was a
transforming experience for her and many
other white clergy who attended. '
"Reframing the dialogue is like building
the structure anew, uncovering the untold
stories and naming the pain, injustice.
Sec Church** oil A2 I
Bluesman claims cigarette maker stole his image
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) ? Bo knows
And Bo Diddley, the legendary bluesman,
says R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. used his like
ness in an advertising campaign to promote
Winston cigarettes without his permission.
The tobacco company denies it but quit run
ning the ad anyway after Diddley's lawyer
threatened to sue.
The ad, which ran from July through
September in magazines such as People, said in
part: "My blues are real, just like my smokes"
.and featured a photograph of a guitarist who
Diddley and his attorneys say resembles Bo.
Diddley, who lives in Florida, has not sued
Reynolds but has threatened to do so in several
letters to the company.
"The ad features a photograph of a Bo
Diddley 'look-alike1 together with a selection of
props, poses and expressions intentionally
designed to evoke our client's image and per
sona," attorneys for Diddley wrote in a letter to
Reynolds. "Our client considers any association
of his celebrity with cigarette smoking ? an
activity that he does not condone ? to be par
ticularly distasteful and patently misleading."
Reynolds says it hasn't misappropriated
Diddley's likeness. But it pulled the ads after
Diddley's lawyer faxed a letter Aug. 29 threat
The company filed suit last week in feder
al court asking for a declaration that Diddley
? whose real name is Ellas McDaniel ? can
not collect any damages or further complain
about the ads.
In its complaint filed in U.S. District Court
in Greensboro, Reynolds and its ad agency
Long Haymes Carr Inc. of Winston-Salem said
the blues ad was part of a larger campaign to
introduce the newly formulated, additive-free
The ads used "ordinary people" engaging in
"real" activities ranging from fishing to drink
ing to playing guitar. The ad in dispute used a
"generic blues guitarist," lawyers for Reynolds
say, who isn't intended to look like Diddley.
Diddley, 68, has recorded more than 40
albums and performed concerts for Queen
Elizabeth and President John F. Kennedy. His
hits include "Who Do You Love" and "I'm a