“Fifty-four years after the Greensboro Four, here we are, fighting like hell against each other again.”
Michael Graff, executive editor of Charlotte magazine, offers a well-written, poignant look at a politically divided North Carolina in Politico Magazine this week. His story focuses on the continuing Moral Monday marches, but goes much deeper. The state isn’t just politically at odds, the class system reaches both far ends of the spectrum.
Take 15 minutes and give it a read. Here’s an excerpt …
Look at us, this beautiful state: On the eastern side, where hog farms and sweet potato fields stretch for miles, the towns are predominantly black, and the election maps are all blue. On the western side, where hills reach toward the heavens and the Cherokee Indians once were the primary landowners, the people are now mostly white, and the map red.
The lines that divide us are clear: In Charlotte, a child born poor is less likely to advance out of poverty than in any other city in the country, according to a study published in January by the National Bureau of Economic Research. But in the same city, we have enough wealth to support 10 craft breweries, a heap of new high-end restaurants, an NFL football team and a brand-new Bentley dealership on Independence Avenue.
Divides become clearer as you drive deeper into the prettier parts of the state. In Moore County, Pinehurst will host not one but two U.S. Open championships this June. The three counties bordering Moore to the west and south all have poverty rates above 20 percent, and nearby Robeson County is home of Lumberton, the poorest city in the country—all within an hour’s drive of a famous resort that just underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to make the grounds look more natural.