Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point June 14 - 20, 2018 triad-city-beat.com
THINGS FALL APART: NC MILITIAâ€™S FEAR OF A MIGRANT, MUSLIM PLANET PAGE 9
Page 8- After the fire
Page 14-Voter ID, again
Page 15- The Bourdain Trail
June 14-20, 2018
G r e e n s b o r o Fa s h i o n W e e k p r e s e n t s
June 23 816 S Elm Street (mill entertainment complex) Doors open at 5pm
He finished up his exams, turned in all his assignments — or enough of them, anyway — took in his awards and accolades, got the by Brian Clarey yearbook, went to the prom. Over the course of a week he turned 18 and graduated high school. He’s laid his plans for the summer — some study, some work, some travel, some romance, hundreds of hours of videogame time (obvs) — and paved his way into a slot at Appalachian State University in the fall, which means that in a couple of months we’ll be bringing him up the mountain and he won’t be coming back down with us. It shocks us in the same way all firstborn children shock their parents when they venture into new territory. But I find this one particularly jarring. I don’t remember my first day of school or my first crap on the toilet. But I sure as hell remember the summer after I graduated high school, so close I can still touch it: my friends, my job, that feeling of being
on the cusp… running out the clock on my childhood so I could start my adult life. My real life. I had no plans other than to move 1,300 miles south in pursuit of a degree in… something — I’d figure that out later — and the sorts of experiences I had been waiting my whole life to have visited upon me. I remember having an unwavering faith in my abilities, though in hindsight I know that I didn’t really have any, and my intellect, which from this distance looks similarly anemic. The things I’ve learned since then have filled hundreds of columns over the years. Those knocks to the psyche are the reasons I don’t envy my son, who is both more together and less experienced than I was in the waning days of youth. I still remember what the hard way feels like. He has no clue. But he’s ready — he knows it even if his mother and I don’t. And when we bring him up to Boone at the end of the summer, we’re the ones who have to come back down. He’ll be on the mountaintop learning, finally, to fly.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
End the Fed. Stop the war crimes against the people of Novorossiya.
— Manuel Luxton, Cover story, page 9
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Casey Becknell (with Confederate decal) and Clyde Bone, part of a combat unit from North Carolina, are forced out of Emancipation Park in Charlottesville after the police declare the Unite the Right rally an unlawful assembly.
TCB IN A FLASH DAILY @ triad-city-beat.com First copy is free, all additional copies are $1. ©2018 Beat Media Inc.
June 14-20, 2018
by Lauren Barber
June 14-20, 2018
CITY LIFE June 14 - 20 Son Volt @ the Ramkat (W-S), 8 p.m. Decades ago, punk outfit Uncle Tupelo broke into Wilco and Son Volt, which ushered in alt-country genre in the mid ’90s with their first album, Trace. Catch up with these pivotal musicians and get to know songwriter Tim Easton, whose most recent album, Paco & The Melodic Polaroids, is a bare-bones celebration of “Paco,” his trusty Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar. Learn more at theramkat.com.
Stargazing @ Kaleideum North (W-S), 9 p.m. Hang out with Kaleideum Planetarium staff and the Forsyth Astronomical Society for some good ol’ parking lot astronomy observation using professional telescopes. Find the event on Facebook. Karon Click & the Hot Licks @ Foothills Brewing (W-S), 10 p.m.
Recycling rodeo @ Revolution Mill (GSO), 8 a.m.
The Holophonics @ On Pop of the World (GSO), 9 p.m. Headliners Holophonics bring reggae and ska alongside Greensboro’s ska septet Corporate Fandango and Lightweight. Find the event on Facebook.
Juneteenth Festival @ Bailey Park & Biotech Place (WS), noon Celebrate the country’s longest-running observance of the abolition of slavery in the Innovation Quarter. Indoors, find historical exhibits, vendors and arts and crafts activities. The afternoon features both a spoken word session and health seminar while performers entertain outdoors and offer dance workshops. Find unique meals from food vendors. Learn more at triadculturalarts.org.
Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles
The City of Greensboro is holding a drop-off event for difficult-to-recycle items until 2 p.m. Dress for Success, which provides local women with professional attire and development they need to achieve economic independence, will be on site accepting clothing, shoes and accessories as well. Learn more about what items to bring at revolutionmillgreensboro.com.
Greensboro City Market @ West Lewis Street, 6 p.m. Local songwriters sing into the sweet summer air as attendees find artisan food producers, handcrafted projects, locally produced clothing, artwork and Que House food truck on the South End of downtown. Market proceeds benefit recipients of the Fresh Food Access Program at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market for those who are food insecure by providing “Double Up” SNAP /EBT benefits. Learn more at gsocitymarket.com. Byron Hill @ Muddy Creek Music Hall (W-S), 8 p.m. Winston-Salem’s Byron Hill is a master songwriter with a catalogue that includes recordings from Ray Charles, George Strait, Kenny Rogers and Reba McEntire. Hill shares the spotlight with Matt Brown, one of the lucky singer/songwriters who made it happen in Nashville. Find the event on Facebook.
Philippine Independence Day Cultural Expo @ Miller Park (W-S), 1 p.m. Join Fil-Am Sangbayan for a family-friendly festival featuring authentic Filipino food, music, performances, games, vendors and workshops. Learn more at sangbayanws.com. Ruben Gonzales @ Sunrise Books (HP), 2 p.m. Gonzales discusses his Cottage on the Bay, an historical drama following a North Carolina coast family’s matriarch. Learn more at sunrisebookshp.indielite.org. Late-night snack attack party @ Krankies (W-S), 9 p.m. Krankies is cooking up something special. Munch on international street foods paired with a cold Mikkeller or glass of Lambrusco, fresh off the boat. The new cocktail menu, too, awaits. Find the event on Facebook.
Jump swing, upbeat blues and soul fill the downtown brewpub. Find the event on Facebook.
Tea time @ High Point Museum, 1 p.m.
All ages are welcome to sample teas popular in the Colonial Era while learning about colonial tea culture and history. Find the event on Facebook. Heart Society @ Listen Speakeasy (GSO), 3 p.m. Teneia Sanders-Eichelberger and Benjamin Eichelberger blend Southern rock and blues in celebration of releasing their first EP Wake the Queens. Find the event on Facebook. Dad joke contest @ Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Company (GSO), 4 p.m. Jokesters of all genders compete before local celebrity guest judges for six titles: Punniest, Best Historic Reference, Best Pop-Culture Reference, Best North Carolina or Greensboro Reference, Most Groan-Inducing Punchline and Best Overall. Learn more and sign up at gibbshundred. com.
June 14-20, 2018
Playing June 15-19
LAWNCHAIR DRIVE-IN: It’s your first chance to see a movie UNDER THE STARS at our New Location! We’re playing Jim Henson’s The Muppets Movie -- the 1979 classic film about a group of colorful weirdoes and misfits in search of a place in the world where they belong. We will be playing it at our new location 2618 Lawndale Drive. FREE ADMISSION WITH DRINK PURCHASE! Bring a lawnchair or rent one from us for $2. Saturday, June 16th.
NCDOT TO HOST A PUBLIC MEETING IN JUNE FOR THE PROPOSED WINSTON SALEM NORTHERN BELTWAY EASTERN SECTION (FUTURE 1-74) PROJECT U-2579AA: BETWEEN U.S. 311 AND I-40 PROJECT U-2579AB: BETWEEN I-40 AND I-40 BUSINESS/U.S. 421 FORSYTH COUNTY
STIP PROJECT NO. U-2579AA AND U-2579AB The N.C. Department of Transportation is proposing to construct the Eastern Section of the Winston Salem Northern Beltway (Future I-74), Projects U-2579AA and U-2579AB.
The public meeting will be held at R. B. Glenn High School located at 1600 Union Cross Road, in Kernersville, on Tuesday, June 19th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to provide interested citizens with information on the project and gather public input on the proposed design.
Beer! Wine! Amazing Coffee! 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro geeksboro.com •
Project U-2579AA would be constructed between U.S. 311 and I-40 Project U-2579AB would be constructed between I-40 and I-40 Business/U.S. 421.
--OTHER EVENTS & SCREENINGS--
Board Game Night 7 p.m. Friday, June 15th. More than 100 Games FREE TO PLAY Midnight Radio Karaoke Admission is FREE with a drink purchase! The event starts at around 11:15 p.m. Saturday, June 16th. Totally Rad Trivia 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19th $3 Buy-In! Up to Six Player Teams! Dragonball FighterZ Tournament League 5 p.m. Sunday, June 17th $5 Venue Fee! $5 Entry Fee!
Interested citizens may attend at any time between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Please note that there will not be a formal presentation. NCDOT representatives will display maps and be available to answer questions and receive comments. Comments and information received will be taken into consideration as work on the project develops. Written comments or questions can also be submitted at the meeting or later by July 6, 2018. Culture
Project maps are available online at http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings/ For additional information contact Allison White, NCDOT Project Manager, by phone at (919)707-6341 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Aquellas personas que hablan español y no hablan inglés, o tienen limitaciones para leer, hablar o entender inglés, podrían recibir servicios de interpretación si los solicitan antes de la reunión llamando al 1-800-481-6494.
Persons who speak Spanish and do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 1-800-481-6494.
Shot in the Triad
NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this workshop. Anyone requiring special services should contact Diane Wilson, NCDOT Senior Public Involvement Officer by phone at (919) 559-7027 or by email at email@example.com as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.
June 14-20, 2018 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles
International House of Burgers by Brian Clarey GTFO. One of the country’s longest-running and most iconic companies — the blue-roofed restaurants, the bottomless coffee pot, the Rooty Tooty Fresh N Fruity — has made a seismic shift in brand identity. Towards something stupid. Yes, the International House of Pancakes is now the International House of Burgers, according to a full-court press blitz that launched this week to a resounding, “Huh?” from those of us for whom IHOP still has any cachet at all — basically old people and little kids. It’s dumb. Pancakes and burgers are completely different, except that they’re both round and both can be cooked on a griddle, except burgers cooked on a griddle generally suck compared to the open-flame variety. And it makes no sense to shift from one mediocre menu item to another. Let’s be honest: For a place with the word “pancakes” in its name, the product is spectacular only in its ordinariness. And what’s with this “International” crap anyway? Ridiculous. You can call a pancake a crepe all day, but that doesn’t make it so. How, exactly, do they propose to make their burgers “international”? Add a slice of Swiss cheese, perhaps. It’s stupid. Too stupid to be real, I think. The whole thing has got to be a New Cokestyle marketing ploy, plans for its reversal a few months down the line already laid. But it’s too bad. Nobody cares about IHOP anymore, and the brand could use a recharge, even if it’s just a temporary marketing scheme. They should have called me. I would have advised them to go with the International House of Bacon, with a couple of dishes catering to the theme, including one that’s just a pound of bacon on a plate for $12.95. They could have rode that one all through the summer.
No one’s quite sure why Winston-Salem is getting an extra $683,114 from the federal government, but city officials have a pretty good idea of how they want to spend the money.
Up Front News
Shot in the Triad Puzzles
residential units. The plan notes that if adequate CDBG funds are available in future years, a number of projects would qualify for support: a youth-focused homeless shelter; expanded hours at city recreation centers; pre-school and daycare facilities; and “publicly supported grocery or farmers markets to help alleviate the food desert issues in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.” CDGB funds and Emergency Solutions Grants can be used citywide, while HOME funds can be used across the county. But some economic development funding, including the federal Small Business Loan program, can only be used in an area designated by city planners as the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area. Covering 24-square miles, including downtown, the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, and large portions at the north, east and southeast ends of the city, the current Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area includes more than 56,000 people, 45 percent of whom live below poverty level. The population is 57 percent black and 22 percent Latinx. Newman said federal representatives with the US Department of Housing & Urban Development recommended during a monitoring visit in April that Winston-Salem’s Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area be reduced so that it’s better targeted to address poverty. Newman said staff wants input from council members to make sure the new map still encompasses “key neighborhoods.”
Goals either underway or under commitment by an array of players under the 5-year plan include: • Habitat for Humanity will continue purchasing vacant structures and rehabbing them for sale to eligible homeowners in the Cherry Street/ Kimberly and Bowen Park areas; • SG Atkins CDC will continue infill development in the East End Revitalization area; • Drayton Pines, a 44-unit Housing Authority property, is undergoing rehabilitation with CDBG funds; • The city is using 2014 bond funds to rehab the New Hope Manor apartment complex, demolishing units that are beyond repair while bringing the remaining units up to code; • Habitat for Humanity, Liberty East Redevelopment Inc., Mt. Sinai Inc. and the Experiment in Self-Reliance have started to work in Bowen Park/ Dreamland area; • The SG Atkins CDC will continue development in the Ridgewood Place subdivision using HOME funds and bonds approved by Winston-Salem voters in 2014; • Emmanuel Retirement Village, a 42-unit planned senior-housing rental development by Ujima CDC using 2014 bonds, will begin construction in fiscal year 2018-19; and • SG Atkins CDC’s Enterprise Center will install a shared-use, licensed commercial kitchen to be ready for use in fiscal year 2018-19.
HVAC replacement for an agency that prevents and treats child abuse. Councilwoman DD Adams, who chaired a meeting of Winston-Salem City Council general government committee on Tuesday, reiterated a request for additional funding to help pay for renovations to a building off New Walkertown Road that is used by Family Services for a HeadStart program. Adams asked Newman if any of the CDBG funding could be used for that purpose. Newman responded that the funds were already programmed. “We did a series of public meetings and focus groups and the like to get the input from the citizens about what they deemed as priorities,” she said. “So we generally try to take that feedback when we did those public participation sessions to help kind of shape what this plan was like. So that may not have been an area that kind of bubbled up in terms of us doing any kind of direct investment at this point.” The city is the lead entity on a housing consortium that directs federal funding for the city and county, along with a handful of nonprofit housing developers, including Habitat for Humanity and SG Atkins. A draft 2019-23 Consolidated Housing and Community Development Plan prioritizes spending for the next five years. Goals set forth under the 5-year plan include encouraging the location of grocery stores in both downtown and East Winston, and working with private developers to create about 100 downtown
Despite threats from the Trump administration to eliminate the Community Development Block Grant, officials in Winston-Salem have received a pleasant surprise: a 12.2 percent increase in the federal funding stream, which supports homebuyer assistance and a wide range of programs related to neighborhood stabilization and economic development. The increase brings the city’s allocation for fiscal year 2018-19 up to $2.2 million. Meanwhile, funds from the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which also supports local housing investment and is split between the city and Forsyth County, increased by 47.6 percent to $1.4 million. Federal funding from the Emergency Solutions Grants, which largely supports operation and repairs to homeless shelters, is decreasing slightly to $177,701. Taken together, the three streams of federal funding to Winston-Salem increased by 20.8 percent, according to a draft of a 5-year plan prepared by local officials for the federal government. “We were surprised,” Community Development Director Marla Newman said. “It’s not that we applied and then received an award. Maybe our [Congressional] delegation put in a strong word.” An annual plan developed by Newman’s department for the upcoming fiscal year notes that “large increases in CDBG and HOME funds for the first time in several years” provides opportunities for the city to maintain funding for an array of community agencies and continued spending on programs to assist people experiencing homelessness, along with leveraging improved housing market improvements to ramp up construction of single-family homes and homebuyer assistance. As reported last week by Triad City Beat, city staff is also recommending that part of the $683,114 windfall go towards renovations to the emergency shelter operated by the Bethesda Center for the Homeless, renovations to increase capacity of a transitional housing program operated by the YWCA of WinstonSalem and Forsyth County for women recovering from substance abuse; and
Adams said council members would likely want to make sure that the Cleveland Avenue area, East Winston, the Liberty Street corridor, the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive corridor, much of the Southeast Ward and the Boston/ Thurmond neighborhood remain prioritized. The 5-year plan includes a goal to approve four new small business loans leading to job creation and investment in the area.
June 14-20, 2018
City notified of $683,114 federal windfall as 5-year plan begins by Jordan Green
June 14-20, 2018 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles
Safety concerns persist at complex that houses Congolese refugees by Jordan Green Refugees, resettlement agencies and the owners of the Heritage Apartments give conflicting accounts of maintenance efforts in the wake of a deadly fire that took the lives of five children last month. Representatives of two agencies that resettle and support refugees in Greensboro had given lengthy presentations about their menu of services to the group of Congolese refugees packed into a sweltering community room at Heritage Apartments on a recent Saturday. One of the residents, the father of five children who were killed in a fire last month at the apartment complex, asked a pointed question. “We are refugees from Africa,” said the man, who declined to give his name. “We want to know if we have rights.” Many of the residents, who work low-paying and grueling jobs in chicken plants in Wilkes and Lee counties, complained about going to the hospital for treatment and coming home with insurmountable hospital bills. Others complained that their apartments lack air-conditioning units. Earlier in the meeting, Lynn Thompson, outreach director for the New Arrivals Institute, ventured an answer to the question about refugees’ rights, alluding to widespread community concern about the deadly fire and poor conditions at the apartment complex, which is owned and managed by the Agapion family. “We are very concerned about the conditions of the apartments that we’ve seen, like you are,” Thompson said. “If you aren’t sure how to contact the apartment owners, we could help you with that. I want to remind you of something you were probably told when you first came. You have a right to complain. You have a right to file a written grievance. You have a right to talk to people about your concern. Many people in the city of Greensboro are very concerned about what’s happened. But it’s a big problem, and one person can’t solve it. One agency cannot solve it. “We are concerned and we do care,” Thompson continued. “It takes all of us to fix it, and it takes you having a voice.” Thompson addressed the complaint about exorbitant medical bills by urging residents to meet with case workers, emphasizing that each person’s challenges would have to be addressed on an individual basis.
During the meeting, residents fanned themselves with brochures, and several complained about the lack of air conditioning in the complex. “It’s really bad for us,” Anzuruni Juma said through a translator. “When we moved in we didn’t know we only had heating to keep warm in the winter, and nothing to keep cool in the summer. Sometimes we can’t even sleep and have to go to a neighbor’s place to cool off.” Rachel Lee, a program coordinator for African Services Coalition — one of two resettlement agencies, along with Church World Services, responsible for placing refugees at Heritage Apartments — suggested the residents go to Lowes or Walmart to purchase window units for their apartments. The residents said they don’t earn enough money to be able to afford air-conditioning, prompting some talk that the refugee agencies might turn to churches for donations. The meeting drew a number of advocates, including Greensboro International Advisory Committee Vice-Chair Saroj Patnaik, Guilford County Schools social worker Emily Wright, Guilford College Bonner Scholars Student Employment Coordinator Susan May, and Zaynah Afada, a rising senior at Guilford College who provides tutoring for the refugee children. Some of the advocates directed pointed questions, alongside the residents, at the representatives of the two resettlement agencies. “If the gas isn’t working, that’s a concern,” Joelle Begic, with African Services Coalition, told the residents. “And let us know.” “We say we’re a welcoming community, but this is not welcoming,” May interjected. “When one of my clients comes to me about, ‘My thermostat or my gas doesn’t work,’ I contact Arco Realty,” Begic said. “They’re not doing what they need to do.” May shook her head. “This is nothing new,” she said, noting that the family that owns Arco Realty holds a reputation for renting out poorly maintained apartments. “I literally call them every hour of the day,” Begic said. Irene Agapion-Martinez defended Arco Realty’s track record of responding to complaints in a statement to Triad City Beat on behalf of the company.
“Arco is committed to providing safe, affordable housing for its tenants,” she said. “Arco does not object to local officials inspecting properties. Arco fully supports the efforts of the city and other local officials to maintain standards and takes seriously any concerns raised by tenants or city officials.” As to complaints about deficiencies in various units, Agapion-Martinez said the entire complex was renovated 18 months ago, and each unit was inspected by the city and received a certificate of occupancy. She said the tenants at 3100-G, the unit where the children died, were the first to occupy it after its renovation. The fire department determined that the cause and origin of the fire was an unattended cooking fire. AgapionMartinez added that the the fire was not caused by “a maintenance problem with the stove, smoke detectors or a failure to meet any other life safety requirements. “The fire was a tragic accident unrelated to anything Arco did or did not do,” she said. Notwithstanding the Agapions’ defense of their maintenance program, safety concerns persist among the residents and their allies. During the meeting, Kristian Hultgren, the refugee school impact coordinator with New Arrivals Institute, gazed out the window, watching with concern as children ran across busy Summit Avenue, and others rode bicycles through the parking lot for a tire-repair shop as vehicles backed out. He said residents have requested a fence along Summit Avenue and Cone Boulevard to prevent the children from running into the street. “We’re asking the owner for repairs,” Juma said. “The [parking lot] is not in good condition. We’ve asked if they can put up a small fence along the street. When the children are playing the ball can go into the road, and they might chase it. We’ve been asking for those things, and we get nothing in response.” Basil Agapion, one of the family members who owns the complex, said he hadn’t heard anything about a request for a safety fence, adding that the language barrier sometimes impedes communication. “I haven’t heard it from one tenant, much less several tenants,” he said. Five days before the deadly fire swept through 3100-G, setting off a cascade of complaints and demands for im-
provements, residents received a letter from management notifying them that their rent would increase from $500 to $530 per month. The letter justified the increase because of “today’s rising costs of water, materials, labor, and associated maintenance.” Juma noted that the tenants at Heritage Apartments pay for their own water. In a statement to TCB, Arco Realty indicated that the owners are aware that tenants at Heritage Apartments pay for their own water, adding that the communique was a form letter that went out to all tenants receiving rent hikes. “It is common for property managers to increase the monthly rent amount every couple of years to keep up with rising costs of living and maintenance,” the company said.
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A 2 part Series
June 14-20, 2018
Things Fall Apart
Part 1: North Carolina militia activists take up Trump’s fear of a migrant, Muslim planet
NewsUp Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad
man Empire by Russia in the late 18th Century, then became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic under the Soviet Union and remained part of independent Ukraine after the Cold War. Before Luxton could expand on his sympathetic view toward Russia’s expansionist aims, someone caught Passmore’s eyes. He would say later that though he wasn’t sure whether it was an FBI agent or Secret Service, he thought it was a federal agent. “Ports, forts and 10 square miles, you son of a bitch!” Passmore yelled. For far-right militia activists, this phrase is Manuel Luxton (with “Invade” sign), Hunter Smith (with whiteboard), Casey Becknell DANIEL (in military fatigues) and Zach Smiley (with Gadsden cape) participated in an “antiHOSTERMAN foundational doctrine. sharia” rally in Raleigh in June 2017. The Constitution grants agement of “globalists” resonates with this pernicious Congress the power “to alt-right view of Jews as a powerful, manipulative force exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over shaping the course of history to undermine the white, such district (not exceeding 10 miles square) as may, Christian homeland. Fear of Muslims, refugees and by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of migrants coupled with resentment of a supposed globalCongress, become the seat of government of the United ist elite would build the foundation of Trumpism, and States. The Tenth Amendment, reserving “all powers supply themes that would reverberate back and forth not delegated to the United States by the Constitution” between the future president and a right-wing militia to the states, in turn, invalidates the authority of the FBI movement already prone to conspiratorial views of and other federal agencies, according to the logic of farfederal government. right constitutionalists. “Anything else is violation of the Three days after the Trump rally, Passmore posted a US Constitution, and is a tyrannical act of the federal photo of himself on Facebook with Luxton and other government,” Passmore said, pausing briefly to catch his friends outside the Greensboro Coliseum, writing, “This breath. “And, uh, it should be dealt with appropriately.” will be the start of something great.” He elaborated in As the militia activists took leave of the filmmaker, a separate comment: “GCM (Guilford County Militia). Passmore, a former military contractor in Afghanistan, How does that sound to everyone?” issued a parting shot at a cluster of protesters who had been arguing against Trump’s harsh stance toward Syrkaleidoscope of extremism in the ian refugees. militia movement. “Muslims don’t coexist,” Passmore shouted. With Trump’s election, the aspirations A debate ensued, drawing the militia activists back of newly emboldened white nationalists into the fray. Luxton fell into a rant stitched out of antitransitioning from internet trolls to street fighters would Semitic conspiracy theories. soon collide with a re-energized antifascist resistance, “They’re trying to start a war against Russia, who’s culminating in fierce clashes and a deadly car-ramming never done anything against us, despite numerous attack allegedly committed by James A. Fields Jr. after provocations,” he said. “Despite US and London bankthe Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. ers backing the non-Russian Bolsheviks, who murdered The new “alt-right” shares an activist ecosystem with more than a hundred million Russians, mostly Christhe older far-right militia movement, which emerged in tians, that’s just swept under the rug of history.” the early 1990s in response to federal agencies’ heavyTrump’s paeans to “the forgotten people” and dispar-
by Jordan Green lease, a little less winning’ Inside the Greensboro Coliseum on June 14, 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump unleashed one of his more memorably over-the-top campaign promises: “We are going to start winning again. We’re gonna win at every single level. We’re gonna win so much that you’re gonna beg me: ‘Please, Mr. President, we’re winning so much. We cannot stand it. Please, a little less winning, Mr. President.’” The speech, coming two days after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, dripped with menace. The candidate veered abruptly from his theme — jobs and trade — to read from a Washington Times report connecting shooter Omar Mateen and violent Islamic extremism in Afghanistan. Later, Trump read a poem called “The Snake,” which he used as an allegory for treacherous outsiders who exploit the kindness of a generous and naïve benefactors. “Now, you have to think of this in terms of Islamic terror. You have to think of it in terms of our border,” he explained. “You have to think of it in terms of all the people that are crossing, that are criminals, that are killing people and hurting people.” Outside the coliseum, protesters held signs reading, “Trump makes America hate again,” and, “A vote for Trump is a vote for fear, bigotry, racism and fascism,” while supporters waved Confederate and Gadsden flags. Right-wing militias interposed themselves between Trump supporters and protesters, and hundreds of police officers stood ready in case of a disturbance. A dozen protesters were arrested, both for disrupting the rally inside and misdemeanors like disorderly conduct and impeding traffic outside, although the event remained largely peaceful. As the rally was winding down, Rod Webber, a documentary filmmaker from Boston, intercepted Jason Passmore, a militia activist from Browns Summit. A video of the encounter posted on YouTube begins with Passmore giving a perfunctory after-report. “We’re happy it turned out peaceful, and no violence as of yet, so hopefully we can all go home and see our families,” says Passmore, sunglasses propped on the camouflage bill of his hat. “And that’s all that matters.” Passmore’s friend, Manuel Luxton, with wraparound shades and a walrus moustache, stood on the sidewalk holding a Gadsden flag. “You got anything?” Webber asked Luxton. “End the Fed,” Luxton responded. “Stop the war crimes against the people of Novorossiya.” Trump’s seeming admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of many threads in the campaign, but the term Novorossiya is still unfamiliar to most Americans. Mostly that’s because it’s not a real country, but rather a relic of imperial Russia. Situated north of the Black Sea, the territory was seized from the Otto-
June 14-20, 2018
Cast of Characters:
Cody Beachy — Active with Guilford County Militia; present at June 2016 Trump rally in Greensboro and June 2017 Raleigh “anti-sharia” rally but did not go to Charlottesville; Facebook posts demonstrate admiration for Adolf Hitler, and hostility towards migrants; lives in northeast Greensboro Casey Becknell — Civil War reenactor and self-proclaimed Three Percenter; joined NC Shield Guard at Charlottesville, and also attended May 2017 Confederate Memorial Day rally in Graham and June 2017 “anti-sharia” rally in Raleigh; lives in Lexington Clyde Bone — Framing carpenter in Gaston County; attended Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as part of NC Shield Guard
Nikita Bone — Davidson County resident; joined NC Shield Guard in Charlottesville; Facebook posts reveal an admiration for fascist philosopher Julius Evola, and hostility towards migrants FACEBOOK
James Campbell — Active with Guilford County Militia and went to Charlottesville as part of NC Shield Guard; also June 2016 Trump rally in Greensboro, May 2017 Confederate Memorial Day rally in Graham and June 2017 “anti-sharia” rally in Raleigh; primarily identifies as a Constitutionalist and Second Amendment activists and denies being a white nationalist, but maintains a friendship with Manuel Luxton; lives in Browns Summit
Manuel Luxton — Self-avowed “national socialist,” or nazi, who is a sympathetic to Russia, also a flat-earther; longtime friend of Jason Passmore and James Campbell; active with Guilford County Militia and went to Charlottesville as part of NC Shield Guard; also June 2016 Trump rally in Greensboro, May 2017 Confederate Memorial Day rally in Graham and June 2017 “anti-sharia” rally in Raleigh; residence unknown, although he likely lives in Guilford County considering that he maintains Facebook and Gab social media accounts under the name “Guilford News Network”; Social media posts show extreme hostility towards Jews and migrants, and a casual celebration of violence; his identification with perpetrators of racist violence include celebrating the vehicle allegedly used by James A. Fields Jr. to murder Heather Heyer, and recently adopting a photo of an Italian man accused of shooting migrants as his Facebook profile photo
Jason Passmore — Former military contractor who founded Guilford County Militia; now lives in Stokes County and is a member of the Stokes County Militia; attended June 2016 Trump rally in Greensboro and May 2017 Confederate Memorial Day in Graham, but did not go to Charlottesville; espouses an extreme libertarian philosophy and supports racial separatism, although his children from a previous marriage are biracial; while he denies being a white nationalist, he makes no apology for conducting firearms training with Manuel Luxton and Cody Beachy; social media posts display an eagerness for confrontation with the federal government and “antifa”
Shot in the Triad
Zach Smiley — Joined the NC Shield Guard in Charlottesville, while also appearing at the June 2017 “anti-sharia” rally in Raleigh; his Facebook page indicates he’s from Davidson County
Hunter Smith — Civil War reenactor and avowed white nationalist; carried a shield displaying the number “14” representing a popular white nationalist slogan in the NC Shield Guard in Charlottesville while also participating in May 2017 Confederate Memorial Day rally in Graham and June 2017 “anti-sharia” rally in Raleigh; Facebook comments have expressed admiration for the Unabomber; interested in self-sufficiency and living off the grid; currently lives in Denton FACEBOOK
handed enforcement actions at Ruby Ridge in a remote corner of northern Idaho, and then later against the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. From an ideological standpoint, militia activists identify as patriots, constitutionalists — an interpretation that views the county sheriff as the highest law enforcement official in the land, and empowers everyman with a firearm to enforce his view of the Constitution — and Three Percenters — an allusion to the idea that only a select few colonists took up arms to overthrow British rule. The militia movement, while avowedly open to all without regard to race, has often provided a haven for violent white nationalists. Though not monolithic, many militia groups have embraced the same causes as white nationalists, including veneration of Confederate monuments and hostility toward Muslims. They also tend to share with white nationalists a hostility towards antifascists, which is more often than not repackaged in the more palatable rhetoric of anticommunism. But other militia groups have taken a more conciliatory position, disavowing white nationalism while opening dialogue with more moderate factions of the antifascist movement in hopes of maintaining public safety, protecting property, and upholding the First Amendment. Passmore and his associates have formed a relatively cohesive action set, with many of the same individuals showing up at the 2016 Trump rally, and then going on to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville more than a year later, as well as other events focused on preserving the legacy of the Confederacy and promoting Islamophobia. The group’s use of different names and insignia — Guilford County Militia on one hand, and matching shields inscribed with the letters “NC” in Charlottesville on the other — provides some plausible deniability for members challenged on their radical beliefs and participation in extremist events. The recent history of activism by Passmore and his associates also shows how far-right activists acting in concert may choose from a buffet of ideologies and esoteric interests — neo-Confederate, anti-Muslim, anti-migrant, anti-Semitic, conspiratorial anti-globalist, extreme libertarian, Second Amendment absolutist, flat-earth, anti-modernity, male chauvinist — that every member may not share. Many of these views, particularly neo-Confederate and anti-Muslim, share a common currency with the patriot
Members of the Guilford County Militia joined fellow 2017. The rally was organized by Alamance County T
movement. For that reason, patriot activists may no be willfully blind to the markers of white nationalism allowing white nationalists to organize and recruit fr far-right universe with relative ease.
hooting and training for a fight’ Jason Passmore’s fluid stance on white that can often be found among the m riors of the militia movement. Parado of biracial children, Passmore embrac enclaves, while professing a willingness to fight alon Duke and Louis Farrakhan against what he conside government.” Despite his disavowal of racism, Passmore has lite white nationalism by conducting firearms training w white racialist activists, including Luxton, who calls socialist, and Cody Beachy, who has publicly expres Adolf Hitler and Philippines president Rodrigo Dut
Shot in the Triad Puzzles
erally weaponized with a collection of himself a national ssed admiration for terte, whose bloody
’ e nationalism is one more hardened waroxically, as the father ces a vision of racial ngside both David ers a “tyrannical
war on drugs has claimed more than 12,000 lives. And Passmore has insinuated that he would be willing to use violence against federal authorities. Five days before 2016 Trump rally, he posted on Facebook: “Anyone that feels we should just talk on Facebook and have meetings without shooting and training for a fight is not on my sheet of music.… When it comes to a fight, we will stop the blood or shoot the people that shoot at you. So anyone who wants to train, learn, shoot, camp. Or breach, bang and clear.” The latter sequence references a tactic used by the US military to forcibly enter a building, disorient an adversary with a flashbang, and then clear the room. Beachy, who could not be reached for comment for this story, responded, “I got your six. Passmore says that shortly after the Trump rally, he received a visit from a Joint Terrorism Task Force comprised of elements of the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. (Passmore’s Facebook history actually indicates that the visit occurred on June 7, a full week before Trump’s visit.) “They knocked on my door and wanted to talk, accused me of being
ot recognize or may m within their ranks, rom within the larger
w Three Percenters for a “Confederate Memorial Day” rally in Graham in May Taking Back Alamance County, a pro-Confederate group.
estoring the Confederacy and demonizing Muslims After Trump’s election, the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan drew international headlines with a pledge to hold a “victory parade.” When the appointed date of Dec. 3 arrived, upward of 100 mostly masked far-left antifascists from the Triangle were waiting at the anticipated parade route in rural Caswell County, armed with aluminum baseball bats. The Loyal White Knights finally mustered a motorcade around 3 p.m., but surfaced two counties away in Roxboro. Encouraged by their success, the Triangle antifascists turned their attention to a Confederate Memorial Day rally event organized by Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County, or ACTBAC, on May 20, 2017. Passmore, Campbell, and Luxton from the Guilford County Militia joined the Alamance Regulators militia and ACTBAC to defend the Confederate monument in downtown Graham. With them
ing firearms training with four to seven Three Percenters from across the state at the time. He had met Luxton four years prior at a training with a group of North Carolina Three Percenters and invited him to join him for rifle practice. Passmore says he met Beachy after the Trump rally. Following a background check to ensure that he wasn’t an undercover agent, Passmore says Beachy joined the Guilford County Militia for a couple trainings. On June 30, 2016, Passmore posted a call for “open recruiting” for GCM on his Facebook page. The post indicated the group was open to all, regardless of “age, sex, creed, color, religion.” The newly minted militia appropriated the Guilford Courthouse flag, the banner flown by patriots during the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781. On Independence Day 2016, Passmore posted a photo of himself and his crew practicing riflery from a shed roof, commenting, “God, please grant us the strength and protection we will soon need. Please grant us and protect our family from the storm they will surely be exposed to. We know this fight is righteous. Please keep us brave in the face of evil. May our bullets fly true and our friends keep us well supplied.” Casey Becknell, a 43-year-old Civil War re-enactor from Lexington, commented, “And may God bless Dixie thru it all,” ending with a text symbol to represent the Three Percenter movement.
June 14-20, 2018
a terrorist,” Passmore recalls. “They asked me if I would turn in anyone who tried to coerce me or involve me in a terrorist act. I politely told them no, I wouldn’t because they don’t have no jurisdiction.” Passmore says he was radicalized by the Ruby Ridge siege, a 1992 incident that unfolded when US marshals scouted the homestead of a loner named Randy Weaver, who was wanted on gun charges in a remote corner of northern Idaho. A deadly shootout between the marshals and one of Weaver’s sons set in motion an 11-day siege on the Weavers’ house that resulted in the death of Weaver’s wife by FBI sniper fire. Passmore’s friend and fellow militia member James Campbell says he watched the standoff on television as an 8-year-old. He recalls family members talking about what an injustice the siege was. Later, as a teenager, he had the opportunity to meet Weaver. “A lot of what was told about him wasn’t true,” Campbell says. “They spun him as this Nazi, this Aryan race Nazi. He wasn’t a nationalist so much as a separatist. He didn’t like people.” Like Campbell, Passmore said his “anti-tyrannical government” stance grew out of his awareness of Ruby Ridge, along with the heavy-handed police repression of protesters at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999. Passmore, now 33, met Weaver at the age of 15, joining the militia movement around the same time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Passmore has an inherent distrust of US foreign policy. He believes the 9/11 attacks were an inside job. And, even though he went to Afghanistan as a contractor — he did so strictly for financial reasons, he says, as his business struggled when the recession hit — he believes the military has no business in the Middle East. He even marched in Greensboro to protest the impending invasion of Iraq. “I protested the war before I went to Afghanistan,” Passmore said. “I don’t think we should be in Afghanistan or Iraq. It’s a waste of money and lives. We shouldn’t be involved in Israel or Syria. I can say firsthand I’ve seen our government play both sides.” By the time of the June 2016 Trump rally, Passmore’s experience as a military contractor coupled with his longstanding constitutionalist beliefs had congealed into an isolationist stance, opposed to both American military intervention and a liberal policy on refugee resettlement. Luxton shared the same view. Passmore says he’d been conduct-
June 14-20, 2018 Up Front News Opinion Puzzles
Shot in the Triad
Casey Becknell unfurls a Gadsden flag at the June 2017 “anti-sharia” rally. Behind him are Zach Smiley, Hunter Smith and Manuel Luxton. All four would later show up for the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville equipped with matching shields, as well as sticks and helmets.
were Becknell, the re-enactor and Three Percenter, and Hunter Smith, a 30-year-old Denton resident who was also involved in the Civil War re-enactment scene. A video posted by Ruptly — a Berlin-based video news agency that is part of the Russia-slanted RT network — captures the ideological tension as the two sides traded insults. While leftists chanted, “Fuck your flag,” Passmore, Campbell, Luxton, Becknell and Smith stood in a throng of right-wing activists waving Confederate, Gadsden and Three Percenter flags. Passmore carried the Guilford Courthouse battle flag. “We live in a country where the most successful demographic is Asian men,” Smith shouted. “White supremacy! The most successful demographic in this country is a minority.” Luxton, meanwhile, accused the leftists of harboring an Israeli intelligence agent agitating for war with Syria. Campbell, Luxton, Smith, Becknell and Beachy, though not Passmore, showed up three weeks later at a rally in Raleigh organized by ACT for America, a national group that promotes a defamatory view of Islam as a treacherous religion full of stealth jihadists. Zach Smiley of Davidson County also joined the ad hoc group. Luxton wore a T-shirt that said, “Deus vult,” a battle cry of the Crusades. He carried a sign reading, “Invade the world, invite the world is not sustainable.” Later, on Facebook, he acknowledged the white nationalist group Identity Evropa as the inspiration for the sign.
Although ACT for America had publicly distanced itself from white nationalism and disavowed an “antisharia” rally in Arkansas organized by neo-Nazi Billy Roper, members of Identity Evropa filled out a significant portion of the relatively small event in Raleigh. Appealing to young white men on college campuses, Identity Evropa proclaims a “demand that we, people of European heritage, retain demographic supermajorities in our homelands.” Trading on anti-Semitic tropes, the organization’s website charges that a “globalist elite… has relentlessly pushed for open borders and mass immigration” in “an attempt to import a new people, who are seen as more politically malleable than Americans — particularly those of European descent.” Orry Von Diez, at the time an Identity Evropa leader from Yadkin County, warned during a speech at the rally: “We will not stand by while our women are draped in scarves, while our children are mutilated and while our men are emasculated before our very people. This is not what our Western civilization is all about.” Luxton and Campbell chatted idly with von Diez and other Identity Evropa members. One admired Campbell’s whiteboard, which read, “Free helicopter rides for commies.” The helicopter ride meme, which entered wide currency in far-right circles beginning in 2016, is a none too subtle reference to a practice by the Chilean and Argentine military dictatorships in the 1970s of summarily executing left-wing activists by dropping them from helicopters into the ocean. The meme was also adopted by the group Anti-Communist Action, or
Anticom. When asked about his promotion of the “helicopter ride” meme, Campbell acknowledged it was “extreme,” but pleaded, “Just because I held up a sign, I’m never going to act on it.” He seemed unwilling to consider the possibility that it might be an incitement that could prompt an unstable person to commit an act of violence. Von Diez deleted his Facebook page after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and has since dropped off the radar, Campbell says, but a Google Hangouts video conversation — made public as part of a leak of the server used by Anticom that was publicly archived by the nonprofit news organization Unicorn Riot — offers a window into his worldview. (Anticom announced plans for a rally in Charlotte as a sequel to Unite the Right, but then canceled after celebrity white nationalist Richard Spencer withdrew.) In the video, an unidentified member asks, “Do you want to bring up the group specifically that was disproportionately present in the formation of early communism?” Von Diez, sitting at a desk surrounded by maps and stacks of old books, responds, “That’s an easy one, considering that Marx himself was a Jew. I have no qualms with calling them out.” He turns for a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious anti-Semitic forgery frequently cited by neo-Nazis that purports to expose a Jewish plot for world domination. “In fact,” von Diez says, “I have this
the lügenpresse.” The German word, which translates as “lying press,” was widely used in Nazi Germany. Von Diez responded lightheartedly with a phrase that echoed Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich propagandist: “Our patience has run out.”
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June 14-20, 2018
always with me.” Later, as the group discusses the liability of James A. Fields Jr.’s alleged car-ramming attack, von Diez opines, “The only way to control the hysterics is to control the means of producing the hysterics, and that is through the media sensationalism that is put out into the direct palms of every individual.” Another Anticom leader quips, “So what you’re saying is, ‘We should hang
Shot in the Triad
Elsewhere – 606 South Elm Street Jerusalem Market on Elm – 310 South Elm Street Koshary Mediterranean Restaurant – 200 South Elm Street Liberty Oak – 100 West Washington Street Scuppernong Books – 304 South Elm Street Triad Stage – 232 South Elm Street
Shot in the Triad
June 14-20, 2018
GOP pushes on voter ID, again In the world of politics — at least from a media perspective — more knowledge can often be gained by watching what elected officials do, as opposed to listening to what they say. For example: We can infer from Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s actions — a farcical play to disqualify the first real challenger he’s had for his Rockingham County seat, Jen Mangrum, by pretending she doesn’t live in the district — that perhaps he has some concerns over the safety of his position in the impending election. The actions of his Every effort the cronies in the NC General Assembly in these state has exwaning days of the sespended to impose sion, however, require a little more unpacking. a voter ID law has As has been their been thwarted usual custom, House and Senate Republicans repeatedly by the have been cutting and courts. pasting last-minute bills and tucking in extraneous amendments in relative isolation from their Democratic counterparts: judicial redistricting (in committee), a controversial farm bill (passed), addressing almost 10,000 backlogged rape kits at the State Crime Lab (a system has been created, but the backlog will have to wait). Like that. The latest ploy to come down the pike is a bill that adds a voter ID clause to the state constitution. This is something that absolutely cannot be taken at face value. Every effort the state has expended to impose a voter ID law has been thwarted repeatedly by the courts — most recently in May 2017, when the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal filed by state Republicans. This is settled law, and even Supreme Court justices have limits on their patience when it comes to hearing the same case over and over again. Smart money says it’s a move to increase voter turnout among the deplorables in this election cycle — those who might have been energized by the dumpster fire that is Donald Trump but who might not make it out this November to extend the reign of legacy Republicans like Berger and his ilk… unless it’s going to really piss off liberals and others who understand the world better than they do. Unlike their repeated efforts at actually passing a voter ID bill, this tactic actually works sometimes.
Before the midterms, Dems impotent against Trump
Feeling good about the 2018 mid-term elections? (Maybe the more operative question is: Are you even aware that there are elections this year?) If you answered yes to the first question, think about how you felt by Jordan Green around this time in 2016. Democrats and progressives were gloating that GOP primary voters could be so monumentally idiotic as to nominate a candidate with so much baggage. The Trump campaign was widely regarded as a trainwreck. Republican operatives were supposedly trying to figure out how to contain the damage so the party’s standard-bearer wouldn’t pull down the rest of the ticket. Even Republican Sen. Richard Burr’s re-election bid was thought to be in jeopardy, and with it Republican control of the Senate. Hillary Clinton couldn’t lose because the polling data said so, and she might even win the White House in a landslide. The Democratic Party’s conventional wisdom barely skipped a beat after Trump’s 2016 upset win. It went from The voters will be so repulsed by Trump that they’ll flock to the Democratic ticket to After two years of Trump, the backlash will generate a huge blue wave to elect Democrats where they’ve never been elected before. In its search for persuadable voters who are turned off by Trump’s flagrant dishonesty, corruption and misogyny, the Democratic Party has naturally turned to upscale suburbs, where higher educational attainment supposedly makes people more sensible and virtuous, and less susceptible to emotionalism. And to be fair, last year’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, not to mention the surprise election of Doug Jones in Alabama’s special Senate race, lend some credence to this strategy. Unfortunately, the suburban strategy won’t be enough for Democrats to flip either chamber of Congress or retake the White House. This approach amounts to settling for scraps from the meal that Trump has already consumed. Love him or hate him, Trump built a cross-class coalition of white people and even some non-white people who aspire to whiteness, anxious about a perceived loss of status to immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people and women, and persuaded them that they make up the vital center of a resurgent American nation family. Trump is resorting to the age-old playbook for demagogues whose countries are beginning to slip from their great-power status: Appealing to a supposedly idealized path while manufacturing a mythological foreign threat — in his case, the bogeyman is the vaguely anti-Semitic globalist bureaucrat — to rally people against. A worthy opposition party would need take on the big issues in a manner that was as compelling and enthralling as the Trump show. The first challenge is to address the ugly forces of social division — white supremacy, Christian
chauvinism, anti-LGBTQ bigotry and hatred of immigrants — of which Trump is both symptom and cause. But the opposition party can’t tackle the social issues without also addressing the rapid growth of wealth inequality, and the sobering implications of automation and the gig economy on workers’ ability to make ends meet. Doing something bold and imaginative about economic hardship, whether it’s in healthcare, student-loan relief, family support or earlychildhood education, offers the only hope for cementing a new rural-urban coalition that might overcome the cultural divisions that Trump has so skillfully exploited. Trump may or may not succeed at his domestic and international objectives. According to the narrative he’s set in motion, even if he fails he still succeeds. Even if he’s inherited a relatively strong economy, he can still wreck it with ill-advised trade wars. All the better to rally his followers against the myth of a shadowy globalist puppetmaster manipulating hordes of migrants and Islamic jihadists to undermine America. Imagine the kind of uncertainty, fear and resentment that Trump could harness if another recession on the order of the 2007 meltdown takes place. Unfortunately, even if the Democratic Party leadership had the will to attempt reform, the party faces significant structural impediments that make it difficult to command majority support. As Lily Geismer and Matthew D. Lassiter write in the Sunday New York Times, “The party has paid insufficient attention to the substantial policy costs of turning moderate and affluent suburbs blue. Democrats cannot cater to white swing voters in affluent suburbs and also promote policies that fundamentally challenge income inequality, exclusionary zoning, housing segregation, school inequality, police brutality and mass incarceration. “The political culture of upscale suburbs revolves around resource hoarding of children’s educational advantages, pervasive opposition to economic integration and affordable housing, and the consistent defense of homeownership privileges and taxpayer rights,” the authors continue. “Indeed, unlike traditional blue-collar Democrats, whitecollar professionals across the ideological spectrum — for example, in the high-tech enclaves of California and northern Virginia, which combined contain 15 of the most highly educated Congressional districts in the nation — generally endorse tough-on-crime policies, express little interest in protections for unions and sympathize with the economic agenda of Wall Street and Silicon Valley.” Sorry to break the news, but old political rules don’t apply anymore. The pendulum is not going to swing back on its own accord, with voters deciding they’ve had enough Trump crazy and would like to try some normalcy for a change. The only road back for the Democratic Party is to embrace a radical overhaul with a new social contract. Is the party ready to make the journey?
News Opinion Culture
corner of the world. And there’s a karaoke bar right inside the building. While in Greensboro, Bourdain also might want to visit Van Loi II on Gate City Boulevard. Billing itself as a Vietnamese restaurant with Chinese barbecue, it’s actually a tribute to pan-Asian carnivore cuisine — think whole roasted ducks hanging from hooks behind glass — with a noodle and sandwich shop attached. Then he might cap it off with a stop at Mercadito No. 1 on Muirs Chapel Road, where he could eat the freshest tacos in town and, if he liked, a sheet of deep-fried pork rind as big as a body pillow. Bourdain would have wanted to stop in High Point, as interesting in its own way as any of the Third World countries and provincial villages he’s visited. And if he asked around, the locals would lead him to the Biscuit Factory, where for 50 years they have been making biscuits in the true El Mercadito/Anthony Bordain ERIC GINSBURG /WIKICOMMONS Southern style, fine enough to turn even those who profess not to like before insisting upon seeing the kitchen. biscuits. A visit to Mary’s Gourmet Diner would be mandatory, if To that end, Bourdain would not be able to leave without just for the opportunity for him to meet Mary Haglund, but sampling some North Carolina barbecue. Mr. Barbecue in also to see that it is still possible to run a restaurant without Winston-Salem fits the bill. One of the few barbecue joints in compromise. And, of course, to taste the food. the Triad cities that cooks with wood, on premises, Mr. BarHe might end up his gastronomic walkabout at the Library becue has been using the same recipes for 50 years. Bourdain Bar at Spring House Grill. Remember that Bourdain worked in loved that sort of thing. French restaurants before becoming known as a culinary adHe would also need to try a genuine, Winston-Salem-style venturer, so he’d feel more or less at ease in Chef Tim Grandihotdog. PB’s, Kermit’s, Pulliam’s… he would have found netti’s flagship joint in the old historic home. And considering something to love about each of them. how it all ended for Bourdain, it might have been helpful to Bourdain would likely have appreciated the juxtaposition of remind him just how much fun the restaurant business can be. soul food and fine dining evident at Sweet Potatoes, where it’s possible he might just order every single thing on the menu
nthony Bourdain never made it to the North Carolina Piedmont Triad as far as I know. Totally understandable: We are not now nor have we ever been a boldfaced name in the culinary world, even at the street level, where Bourdain did his best work. But he would have liked it here, and not just because we offer the type of obscurity on which his show “Parts Unknown” relied. We also have authentic examples of regional and international fare all over the place — enough to craft a Bourdain trail celebrating diversity of palates, food as folk art and the hidden corners — culinary and otherwise — that can be discovered if one is willing to venture off the beaten path. Bourdain’s journey would begin at Saigon Banh Mi Bakery in Greensboro, the Triad’s most perfect expression of the banh mi sandwich — that improbable concoction of French tradition and Indochine adaptability. Though the baguettes are not made from rice flour in the true Vietnamese tradition, the seasoned meats, pickled vegetables and seaweed desserts pass muster. Bourdain would have liked that the sandwich comes wrapped in plain white paper, with a rubberband around it. And that they ask just $3 for it. After the snack, Bourdain would need to see the Super G supermarket on West Market Street. The Super G is as close as one can get around here to the open-air markets Bourdain favored on television: live fish, goat heads, durian, nine types of yams and packaged goods from every
June 14-20, 2018
CULTURE The Triad’s Bourdain trail
by Brian Clarey
Shot in the Triad Puzzles
June 14-20, 2018 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles
CULTURE Jojo Abot sends away the rain
by Jordan Green
know you’re going through a lot,” the Ghanaian singer and performance artist Jojo Abot was saying to the crowd at LeBauer Park in downtown Greensboro. “Your healing lies within you, if you can access it. Learn to love yourself, and then you can love others. “Pay yourself to do that healing work,” she continued. “Would you pay yourself 10 dollars an hour? Twenty? Thirty? Peace is worth more than gold.” Abot’s musing on what has value, what constitutes payment and whether something that’s free has worth might have gone past some in the noncommittal audience for the free concert at Greensboro’s LeBauer Park on June 9. All they had to do was show up, and even though the sky had cleared by the 7:30 p.m. start time, the field was only sparsely filled, with many people apparently deterred by a sudden downpour about an hour earlier. Abot puts on a show: Dressed in a midriff- and back-baring top with loose blue pants adorned with gold epaulettes at the hips, pelvis and ankles, blue eye makeup and a red ribbon tossed into flowing dreadlocks, she pounded a floor tom and prowled the stage while punctuating the swells of her magnificent vocal instrument with playful shrieks. Abot’s musical accomplices, two men dressed in flowing red robes, respectively on drums and keyboards, built a mighty groove machine behind the singer — an electroclash-Afrobeat hybrid that she calls “Afro-hypno-sonic.” Maybe the audience should have been required to monetize the experience to put some skin in the game. But whatever the circumstances, Abot was determined to throw a soul-transporting dance party that they wouldn’t forget in her allotted hour on stage. For the first two numbers, she ignored the audience’s lethargy, tending to her own fire, then gradually began to coax them into a communal energy force. “The weather has been a wonder and unpredictable,” Abot said in a soft voice that belied her gale-force vocals. “The rain gave us a blessing, and said, ‘Let’s give these people a good time.’ If you feel like grooving, feel free to stand up and take up space, and heal together, to be you with us.” A handful of people took her up on the offer, including a mom chaperoning three small girls.
Jojo Abot’s shamanistic, Ghanian vibe gave energy to a small crowd at a free concert at LeBauer Park.
Playing the role of workshop leader for Shamanic Concert Experience 101, Abot continued, “As you give me energy, I give you more energy. As you give each other love, we become family and I give you even more love.” Later, she pleaded, “I was in South Africa a week ago. I’ve traveled far to be here. Give some love. Radiate some love.” Eventually, the standoffish crowd did converge into a communal centrifuge and reflect back a small portion of the energy from the stage, although to Abot’s disappointment, they allowed a smudge stick of sage incense to burn out before the end of the concert. A welter of different ages, races, genders, sexual orientations and abilities united under one groove, the dance circle finally achieved the heightened focus that Abot sought. Drawing from her two recent EPs — the more ambient Fyfa Woto from 2015 and the more aggro Ngiwunkulunkulu from 2017 — the vibe Abot projected most during her family-oriented Greensboro show was healing. In a time of multiplying traumas, from the routine killing of unarmed black people at the hands of the police to immigrant families ripped apart by ICE, using art as a tool of healing seems unexpectedly subversive, or at least a suitable starting point. In an essay for Ngiwunkulunkulu, which means “I am God,” Abot reflects on her awakening black consciousness as a native of Ghana — which became the first African country to gain independence from British colonial rule in 1957 — moving to South Africa, which remained under the apartheid rule of a white minority until the early 1990s. “Controlled by fear of losing what was not theirs to begin
with, a minority chose hatred and separation as a pathway to maintaining control and wealth,” Abot writes. “Operating off apathy to other humans, cruelty was normalized just as we see it being done today. Separation creates isolated experience which in turn dulls empathy for those outside of our immediate world.” With a more willing partnership from the audience at the free concert in Greensboro, the provocative, radical challenge — a flipside to healing in the duality of her cosmology — might have emerged more fully. As Abot writes: “Standing firmly on the strength of ancestral bonds and powers of beings who walked this earth with dignity, unimaginable spiritual strength and immense intellect unique to who we are yet connected to cultures worldwide, we must rediscover the self with love, compassion and purpose as an entry point to being able to extend that to life around us. Gracefully letting go of the weight of our past in order to levitate and fly free. No longer shackled in mind, body or spirit.” Near the end of the concert, Abot thanked a woman for breast-feeding her child and then turned to the larger audience. “Your laughter makes me so happy,” she said. “I’m crushing on all of you. This is our first date, so it’s totally awkward.” Then, as her band projected a sonic boom of synth-wave and trap-set syncopation, Abot made a gesture that seemed poised on the knife’s edge between authenticity and professionalism: She worked her way through the audience, hugging concertgoers like old friends.
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a girl protagonist stands her ground in the forefront while the outline of a male figure sits apathetically watching her make the moves, wondering, Will I be invited? “She’s maybe lost but she looks determined,” Preston-Brame muses. “I’m an immigrant, I defected when I was a young person. So, I know that sense of loneliness, that What am I going to do? And the person next to me just as puzzled.” Her paintbrush LAUREN Preston-Brame in front of merely outlines BARBER “Where Are We Going?” (2018) the paper-selling pauper character in “Salesman.” Is he physically present, or a foggy memory? Whose? Is he a shell of a man in his own eyes, or simply invisible to others? Like the many subtle archways appearing throughout her work allude to her travels across Spain, the salesman is a specter of train stations in the Eastern Europe. Travel is a common motif in her work, best represented in a black-and-white series of vignettes of airport experiences: a missed flight; the huddled masses at baggage claim. Every once in a while, though, she knows exactly where a scene or feeling derives. To that, she will only say, “It’s a long story. A long life.”
hey say if you want to know ics are dispatches from days in the life that she interprets what mood you are in, you best through the prism of her emotional experience, intuition and start singing,” she says. “Whatspontaneity. Because she creates from memory, she offers her ever song comes out of you, it subconscious to us and, save the often-ironic titles, meanwill tell you.” ing is ambiguous. Foggy-bordered human forms heighten the This is one of Agnes Preston-Brame’s viewer’s sense that a glimpse into distant remembrance hangs firmly held beliefs, and for her it holds before them. true for the colors on her painter’s “When you don’t do realistic work… then you have freepalette. dom,” she says. “It’s like writing a poem; it doesn’t necessarily Born in Budapest, she defected from sound like a sentence.” Soviet-controlled Hungary and immiSome pieces are more abstract than others: A pollen-yellow grated to the United States, where she river surges forth from and becomes the whole of a woman’s felt she could become the artist she bending figure — is this a spiritual transformation or a gown? wanted to be without the threat of state All it takes is a bright streak of congealed red paint to confirm censorship. She earned her fine-arts combative electricity between two people. Yet, “They, Too, degree from New York University in 1971 Have Their Story” is a straightforward lunchbreak-on-a-citybefore moving to Greensboro in 1986. park-bench scene that reveals masculine tenderness, perhaps When she’s not traveling the world, a nod to an aspirational relationship between humankind and she splits time between her interior nature. design firm, Metamorphosis Design, and Preston-Brame isn’t out to make a statement, though. painting in her home studio. Her latest “Life is serious enough,” she says. “I don’t pretend to do exhibit, figurEtively speaking, which is any social comments or political comments or ecological on view in the comments, but I do want Central Gallery at to depict the human spirit, Revolution Mill, thoughts, happiness, joke. Learn more at paintingsbyapb.com and features her most It’s all coming from the visit the exhibition at 1150 Revolution recent works. inside. When I start working “What I do is on a painting, I really don’t Mill (GSO) through July 1. depict emotions, have a preconceived idea. I attitudes,” she don’t know what I’m gonna says. “Often, do. As I put colors down, I I have done paintings without facial maybe put an area that looks like a person, I develop it from character that people recognize as their there and it often depicts the mood I am in.” daughter or someone. So, it’s a characIn “Wish You Hadn’t Told Me,” all that is clear is that someter of the body, the human form that thing was said. The seated woman comes off as less forlorn interests me.” given the cheerful color theme, perhaps not a situation as Preston-Brame draws from her days in morose as the title indicates. But maybe she is glum in spite New York City’s abstract-expressionist of a figuratively sunny environment. We cannot know but for art scene of the ’60s and ’70s. Her acrylourselves, and the same goes for “Where Are We Going?” as
June 14-20, 2018
CULTURE Agnes Preston-Brame leaves an impression at Revolution Mill
by Lauren Barber
Shot in the Triad Puzzles
June 14-20, 2018
Charter Place, Greensboro
Shot in the Triad
SHOT IN THE TRIAD
Tuesday night in June.
CAROLYN DE BERRY
by Matt Jones
53 Easy swimming target, slangily 56 Word before paper or metal 57 Charismatic glow 58 Reverberation 59 City between Jacksonville and Tampa 60 Seasonal employee 61 Put a halt to 62 Pied ___ (“Silicon Valley” company)
38 Alveolus, e.g. 41 Pays off 42 Undeserved reputation 43 “Hurry up!,” in Spanish 44 He brought the frankincense 46 Startled sound 48 Storyteller with morals 49 Italian lawn bowling 50 Make a present presentable? 51 “___! Cherry-O” (kids’ board game) 52 Corvette roof option 53 Took a load off 54 Shade 55 Robotic factory piece
Answers from previous publication.
Down 1 Sky-blue shades 2 Hub traffic circle 3 Eye-related 4 Tender spots 5 Basement apartment resident at 123 Sesame Street 6 “No ___ luck!” 7 Backside before a fall? ©2018 Jonesin’ Crosswords (firstname.lastname@example.org) 8 Having as a goal 9 Airport runway 26 ___ it up 10 “___ or it didn’t happen!” 29 Show starter 11 Altar-ed statement? 30 Water nymph, in mythology 12 Part of MPG 31 Yew, for example 13 ___ Jacinto 32 Mind 19 -y, pluralized 33 Philosopher’s suffix 21 Bobby Flay’s milieu 34 Midpoint, for short 24 Exclamation often misspelled with the second 35 Group in the pit letter at the end 36 Carmaker Ransom 25 Be nomadic 37 Intuition
Across 1 Came up 6 Minor argument 10 Die spots 14 Cholesterol drug with the generic version Simvastatin 15 Animal in two constellations 16 Mental concoction 17 One-eighty 18 Boxing Day baby, astrologically 20 Defunct newspaper from North Carolina’s state capital 22 Pencil end 23 ___ el hanout (North African spice mix) 24 Distorted 27 Leb. neighbor 28 Greek column style 31 You, to Shakespeare 32 Crankcase component for engine fluids 34 Get a little froggy? 35 Certain Winter Olympics squad, as spelled in some countries 38 City with a Witch Museum 39 The great outdoors 40 “Toy Story” kid 41 Try to buy 42 Work at a grocery store, perhaps 45 Music collection often stored in a tower 46 Directional suffix 47 Place to change before swimming 50 Compare pros and cons
June 14-20, 2018
CROSSWORD “Triple 8”--fittingly for the 888th.
Shot in the Triad
©2018 Jonesin’ Crosswords (email@example.com)
Answers from previous publication.
Tuesday the 9th mitch hayes and matty sheets Tuesday, June 26th Andrew Kassab Saturday, June 22nd pretty, pretty, ugly Sunday, June 23rd juju guru
602 S Elam Ave • Greensboro
The NC Militia's fear of a migrant, Muslim planet