Dan Pollitt was a dedicated activist and leader in our community for decades. He passed away this morning after a lifetime dedicated to peace and justice. My heart goes out to his wife Senator Ellie Kinnaird and the rest of his family. But the loss is all of ours. Pollitt was a beacon, lighting the way forward from just a little ahead of the rest of us.
Here's the Independent's profile of him from 10 years ago:
Chapel Hill attorney Bill Massengill nails it: "He's the
aggressive-liberal gentleman. Dan can aggressively press his ideas
without offending people." Even when those ideas are quite hopelessly
out of fashion--as they so very often are.
Take, for example, Pollitt's defense of free association amid Red Scare
panic. Or integration in the Jim Crow South. It took the times some
time to catch up with Pollitt on those two.
Or what about advocating labor unions in a "right-to-work" state? How very
un-20th century. And Pollitt's predilection for the abolishment of
state-sanctioned executions? Next season, maybe, or perhaps the one
Right about now, the Chapel-Hill Carrboro NAACP is holding a press conference/rally at Lincoln Center, the administrative home of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System (CHCCSS). I'm pasting their entire (long!) announcement below as it has a lot of interesting information, including a history of segregation in the school system.
Tapes: Wrestling History with the President
Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Taylor
Branch will speak about his new book "The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the
President," based upon the White House interviews Branch
conducted with Clinton
between 1993 and 2001.
Lecture by author and journalist Taylor Branch
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010
Reception at 5 p.m. | Program at 5:45 p.m.
Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC-Chapel Hill
Free and open to the public
Information: liza_terll(a)unc.edu, (919)
I recently saw Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy give an interesting speech on the problem that everyone seems to think that Chapel Hill was just perfect right about the time they got there. Kevin is not the first person to have observed this, and he won’t be the last, but I thought it might be interesting to share this item I stumbled across while researching an unrelated topic. R. L. Gray wrote an essay on Chapel Hill in the News & Observer (reprinted in NC Journal of Law
, Vol 1, pp 516-518, 1904):
"Let the man have been tarred with the University stick and he will tell you along with his after-dinner cigar that he has a notion of some day building a house at Chapel Hill – and there remaining to the end of the chapter in the one place where he believes he can obtain a large and perfect peace. There men cling to the town and its surroundings with a memory that is both tenacious and jealous of details.
Last Wednesday, Oct 28, Henry Lister did a commentary on WCHL about the upcoming election for Chapel Hill mayor and council. He named no candidates; rather he described the election as a choice. The choice is between our legacy, i.e., two centures of conscious decisions that have resulted in our becoming a world-class center of education and health care, versus those who are primarily concerned with lowering property taxes. I think Henry did a great job. Here is his commentary:
The upcoming election in Chapel Hill is NOT about money. We face a dangerous election next week. Several vocal and well-funded candidates are running platforms promising to reduce homeowner taxes by developing more commercial taxes, some just because they think that’s what voters want to hear. But framing this election about money does us all a dis-service and shifts the focus from our real goal, which is to continue Chapel Hill’s legacy.
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