North Carolina Newspapers

Byrd remembered
AUSTIN, Texan - Two dozen protesters Monday marked tfie one
year anniversary of the dragging death of a black man by praying at the
Capitol and demanding a special session of the Legislature to enact a
tougher law against hate crimes.
The James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act. which would have toughened
Texas' hate crimes law, died in the state Senate earlier this year. The
demonstrators were particularly critical of Gov. George W. Bush for not
taking a position on the bill.
White supremacist John William King, 24, was convicted earlier this
year and sentenced to death. The other defendants are awaiting trial. ?
Democratic lawmakers have pointed to Bush's own White House
ambitions as one reason the hate-crimes bill failed.
Bush spokesman Scott McClellan noted that Texas already has a
hate-crimes law and added, "Those who commit violent, heinous crimes
in Texas will be held accountable."
New Hampshire approves King Day
CONCORD, N.H. - The son of Martin Luther King Jr. stood next to
the New Hampshire governor on Monday as she ended the state's dis
tinction as the only one without a holiday named for the slain civil rights
' Martin Luther King III said it was fitting that Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.
New Hampshire's first female governor, was the one to sign the legisla
"My,father believed that democracy ought to be inclusive of every
one. and I think your signature on this bill signifies the progress we've
made," he said.
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day will be officially observed
for the first time in New Hampshire on Jam 17. 2000.
The change, approved by the state House and Senate last month, ends
20 years of attempts to put his name on the holiday, which had been cel
ebrated as Civil Rights Day under a compromise passed in 1991.
Opponents had argued that singling out King would detract from
other American heroes such as George Washington and Abraham Lin
coln. z.,
? m "" '
Clayton introduces Agriculture Credit Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C - Congresswoman Eva M. Clayton, D-N.C.,
recently introduced a bill to relieve a debt forgiveness restriction enacted
by the 1996 Farm Bill. That law made anyone who had ever received any
kind of debt forgiveness ineligible to receive another loan from the Unit
ed States Department of Agriculture.
The proposed bill, the Agriculture Credit Act of 1998, will all6w
farmers to remain eligible for USDA loans in three instances: 1. follow
ing a loan consolidation," rescheduling, reamortization, or deferral of a
, loan; 2. following a loan write-down due to a financial problem related to
a natural disaster orimedical condition of the borrower or an immediate
family member of the borrower; and 3. following a loan write-down pro
vided as a part of a resolution of a discrimination complaint against the
secretary of the USDA.
"The changes made in 1996 placed an unfair and unreasonable bur
' den on farmers who must seek help from the USDA," Clayton said. "This
bill will restore fairness and perhaps help to restore the confidence of
farmers in the USDA loan programs." * ,
? "
CBC urges FCC to link poor schools to Web
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Julia Carson, D-Ind.,
recently joined w ith other members of the Congressional Black Caucus
in strongly urging the Federal Communications Commission to fully
fund the E-rate program.
"Every child in America must have the opportunity to log on to the
information superhighway." Carson said. "The E-rate will ensure that
even schools with tight budgets will be able to afford the basic telecom
munications services needed to link to the Internet."
In response to basic wiring needed by inner city and rural schools to
access the Internet, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 included provi
sions for a discounted E-rate to allow schools and libraries to install
improved telecommunications infrastructure for Internet links.
The E-rate is financed by changes in existing telecommunication reg
ulatory fees. Under the program, eligibly schools and libraries can receive
di^unts ranging from 20 to 90 percent. ?
The FCC recently approved 52.25 billion for the E^fate. nearly $1 bil
lion more than the current funding.
Former Sudanese president to meet with rebel officials
KHARTOUM, Sudan - The former military ruler-?f Sudan. Gaafar
Mohamed Nimeiri. has announced plans to hold talks with Sudanese
combatants in an attempt to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in the
northeast African country that has claimed more-than 2 million lives dur
ing the past 16 years .
Nimeiri returned home from exile on May 22 after spending 14 years
in Cairo. Egypt. r *
"I am ready to risk my life because I was the cause of half the prob
lems in the Sudan." he told supporters recently in the capital of Khar
toum. "I will contact government officials, opposition leaders and the
(Sudan People s Liberation Army) to try to fipd a peaceful solution to the
conflict." Nhial Bol for IPS
Army worm invades Somalia's main crop
NAIROBI, Kenya - Army worms, which since last month have devas
tated parts of East and Central Africa, have now invaded Somalia, wors
ening the precarious food situation in the Horn of African country.
An assessment report says an outbreak of the African army worm, a
Set' Bfwfs on A8
SPORTS 1 _??1
Thia Week In Black History...
June 10,1794 - Richard Allen founds Bethel African
Methodist Episcopal Church, the first AME church in
the UA
June 18, 1971 - The UA Supreme Court upholds the
constitutionality of closing Jackson, Miss., pools
rather than integrating them.
Five years later, Simpson struggles with infamy
son would rather not mark the fifth
anniversary of his ex-wife's slaying,
but he says, "The media won't let it
go." Neither will the American
public, still fascinated by a man
acquitted in court but convicted in
the minds of many. ,
Forget the glory days of his
gridiron triumphs, the Hertz com
mercials and the movies that
endeared him to millions. Now the
defining event in Simpson's life is
the case that many called the Trial
of the Century - a legacy that
leaves him dismayed with both the
media and a public he sees as mor
bidly attached to the crime and its
"Everyone used this as their
cause, and I've learned to live with
it." Simpson said in an interview
with The Associated Press. "It isn't
about me anymore. It's about hav
ing a scapegoat."
"People need something to
argue about," he says. "I listen to
these talk shows and 1 think our
country is bored. How else can
they keep these stories going for so
long? I guess we can't deal with our
lives, so we sit arqund talking
about someone else's life."
In a moment of reflection,
Simpson adds, "The O.J. case evi
dently has become part of people's
On June 12,1994, Simpson's ex
wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, was
slashed to death along with a
friend, Ronald Goldman. Their
bodies were found in a river of
blood outside her Brentwood con
dominium. Simpson, tried for the
murders, was acquitted in 1995 and
released from jail to begin his life
anew amid a backlash from those
who believed he got away with
murder. j
Both victims' families sued him
in civil court and won judgments of
$33.5 million in damages in 1997
from a jury which held him liable
under a different standard of
proof. That verdict is still on
appeal. v>
Afterward, Simpson successful
ly challenged paying the award and
lives well today on a hefty pension
plan he set up when he was making
millions. Such pensions are exempt
from civil court judgments,
although any money Simpson
earns would be seized immediately
by the court.
His life today is shaped by those
boundaries. But Simpson, who
exudes a cheerful personality, has a
different take: He refuses to -
acknowledge that his life is not the
life he would
have chosen,
"My , pre
mature retire
ment is not as
bad as it's
cracked up to
be," he says.
But the years
of his super
stardom are a
dim memory.
"I play
golf. I raise
two kids. I don t go out. I live the
simplest, most regulated life, not
the life I imagined for myself. But I
find it rewarding," he says. "I have
two terrific kids. I have friends."
There is a girlfriend named
Christie, but he avoids discussing
the relationship. His priority now,
he says, is caring for Justin, 10, and
Sydney, 13. He drives them to and
from school and attends their ath
letic events. The children live with
him while his in-laws, Lou and
Juditha Brown, battle for custody.
"Recent reports have indicated an
amicable settlement is near,;but nei
ther side wants to comment.
Simpson, whose Brentwood
home was sold in foreclosure and
torn down by the buyer, rents a
Pacific Palisades home for $6,000 a
month, drawing $25,000 a month
on his $4 million pension. In
another spectacle last February,
lawyers for the Goldmans and
Browns auctioned personal proper
ty seized from the home, garnering
$430,000, more than half of it from
a man who bought Simpson's Heis
man trophy to impress his girl
His older children, Jason and
Arnelle, visit frequently and his sis
ter, Shirley Baker, spends large
amounts of time with him and the
children. His longtime housekeeper
and secretary remain loyal employ
Simpson adamantly maintains
he did not kill .his ex-wife and her
friend, and he insists that the case
will be solved eventually.
Asked about the likelihood of
someone else being arrested, Simp
son says, "I have no doubt it's
going to happen."
A few private detectives are
working on their own time, he says,
following leads which they occa
sionally bring to him.
"If one day there's a new D.A.,
my goal is to take this stuff to him
and tell him to look into it," Simp
son says.
"If tomorrow I was able to
solve this case, I wouldn't spend
one day at the trial of those peo
ple," he adds. "They (messed) up
my life, but I don't feel the disgust
people displayed toward me."
Those public displays have
become rare, he says, part of what
Simpson believes is the potential
for a normal life. He was able to
take his children to see the "Star
Wars" prequel at a local theater.
"I signed about 100 auto
graphs," he says. "People were hug
ging me. They very nice except for
one guy who yelled something. I
know if the media was there that's
all they would have reported."
A golfing enthusiast, Simpson
is forced to play on public courses
because the exclusive country clubs
See Simpson on A9
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OJ.Simpioa vm*m, laJMdtyd?rfdWiwmMwHtwIafcyMtidiihiHbCwfcunJ^wwfcaihiifciiM, I
not gudhy in the rent ational murder trial of hit wMmandhm hhndtenaWflotAiwn. In the Hvm)*mt tohnwpq<i?d\j
sine* the double murder, Simpson toy* he hoe become a "tcapegoat." 1
As a former teacher, ift no
surprise LozelK'De Luz, Ph.D.,
helps prepare neighborhood
students tor college Although
she owns three McDonald's in
Wilmington. Delaware, she alsb
finds time to get involvec in the
community on a state and
national level Lozelle mentors
minority student athletes for
college and helps to feed the
homeless through annual
programs she helped establish
as External Vice Presided of the
National Black McDonald's
Operators Association Her faith
in the potential of every person \'
makes a difference in the lives
of everyone Lozelle touches
Reggie Webb makes a world
of difference in people's lives
everyday As Presidenf of the
National Black McDonald's
Operators Association, he
helps get minority vendors
into the McDonald's system,
helping African-American
businesses to succeed.
Owning five McDonald's in
southern California keeps
Reggie busy too. but he*
never too busy to help
someone else achieve
their dream ot success
I McDonald's*is an equal opportunity harxaiisor by choiceFor information. call Harry Coaxum, Asst VP. at 888/800-7257. r-mnMninonn ?
? ? * * .

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