NAACP leaders from many counties here in Eastern North Carolina met in front of the federal courthouse in Greenville Monday to discuss what they call the lack of diversity in the judicial system. In the history of our state there has never been an African American judge appointed to the federal district courts. There are only 2 people in the state with the power to diversify the court system through recommendations to the president, Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr.
"The NAACP was founded by blacks and whites. Diversity is not our weakness as a country, diversity is our strength as a country. Diversity is our strength as a state. Diversity is our strength as a community, and we want to see the federal judiciary integrated and there's only two people that can push to make sure that happens," said Dr. William Barber, President, N.C. NAACP.
"Not only is it Burr and Hagan that need to be pushed, it's also your local city councils, county commissioners and everything. That's who they listen to," said Al McSurely, NAACP.
The last African American to be appointed to the middle district courts was 14 years ago, Judge James Beatty who's set to retire soon. Judges can only be appointed to the federal district courts. No elections are held for those positions.