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BOA Abandons U.S. Employee Wrongly Convicted in Hong Kong

In acquiescence to creeping authoritarianism, one of Charlotte’s premier corporate citizens recently bailed on an American employee wrongly convicted and imprisoned abroad. In May 2021, Charlotte-based Bank of America ended its eleven-year employment relationship with Samuel Bickett, a 37-year-old attorney who worked in Hong Kong for the bank’s Merrill Lynch operation. The move came a […]

CMPD Targets People of Color

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department detains, searches, and inflicts violence on people of color at higher rates than it does white people, according to a city-funded study. The report, which was completed by the research and analytics firm RAND Corporation as part of the city’s efforts to “reimagine” law enforcement, was presented to City Council this week. […]

N.C. Chief Justice Casts Suspicion on Black Men With Their Hands Up

Bryan Xavier Johnson immediately put his hands up when the cops pulled him over. Johnson, a Black man, was driving down Central Avenue in East Charlotte in the late-night hours of January 14, 2017, when the police pulled him over because his license plate didn’t match the vehicle he was operating. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Officer […]

COVID, Science, and Democracy

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a tension animating the work of self-government in our technologically complex society. We fancy ourselves believers in democracy — for present purposes, rule by lay people — but safely, successfully navigating the world in which we live requires no small amount of specialized, technical know-how. In such a world, how […]

In Charlotte, Democracy Struggles Against Bureaucracy

The mayor pleaded powerlessness. With the delta variant of COVID-19 tearing through our community, several reporters asked at a recent press conference if Mayor Vi Lyles intended to impose a new municipal mask mandate in Charlotte. “I’ve been really, really consistent that we should follow the science,” she responded without answering the question. The science, […]

Charlotte Embraces Cheap, Performative Progress With Gay Rights Push

Gay rights are coming to Charlotte, and to my own surprise, the prospect fills me with near-perfect ambivalence. City Council will soon enact a prohibition banning discrimination in employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation — with virtual unanimity among Council members as to the appropriateness of such a regulation, though with […]

Atrium Health to Workers: Drop Dead

Businesses showered symbolic gratitude on front-line workers during the worst days of the pandemic while simultaneously campaigning to deny wage and medical benefits to those who got sick or died while working. That’s the take-away from a recent article in the Charlotte Observer describing the difficulty employees face getting workers’ compensation benefits if they contract […]

Billionaire Launches Latest Salvo in Campaign of Civic Extortion

Billionaire David Tepper threatened Charlotte last week in his latest play to extort hundreds of millions of public dollars from the city. The setting was a seemingly eleemosynary one: Tepper, who owns the Carolina Panthers, and his wife, Nicole, were in Rock Hill to announce a $500,000 donation to Miracle Park, a fifteen-acre playground for […]

Inside Job: Top City Official Seeks to Gut Charlotte’s Equity Efforts

Developers and realtors seeking to derail Charlotte’s promotion of equitable, inclusionary growth and development have found a helpful ally: one of their own who was installed several years ago atop the city’s bureaucracy. Tracy Dodson, who serves as assistant city manager and director of economic development, recently wrote a three-page memo to Taiwo Jaiyeoba, who […]

The Hypocrite’s Refrain: Violence Isn’t the Answer to Deadly Racism

Andrew Brown, Jr.’s killers — lethal bullies hiding behind badges, groomed under America’s toxic regime of law enforcement — will go unpunished, and protests will again fill the streets. In addition to the militarized police officers charged with the duty of maintaining the racial order, protesters will be accompanied by a familiar refrain from those […]

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