Jeff Bryant lives in North Carolina and is a close observer of the recent political coup. Before the new governor, Roy Cooper, took office, the legislature rushed through bills to reduce his power and his appointments. Not content to have gerrymandered the state to put themselves in a supermajority in both houses of the General Assembly, they acted swiftly, without hearings, to diminish the role of the governor.

 

Bryant contends that education is at the heart of the coup, as it has long been in North Carolina. He interviews a historian of the state who explains the efforts by racist whites to disenfranchise blacks. Literacy tests were key to maintaining control of state government. When it turned out that large numbers of whites were illiterate, that gave impetus to improving white schools.

 

It is especially sad to see North Carolina on the path of racism, reaction, and hostility to public education, because it was once recognized as the most progressive state in the South.