Raleigh City Council Member Racially Targeted

Councilwoman Mary Black attacked during Zoom meeting.

Councilwoman Mary Black
Councilwoman Mary Black
By Cash Michaels –

New safeguards are being put in place after a first-term African American Raleigh City Council member became the target of hateful, racist slurs during an April 22, 2024 Zoom meeting of the Midtown Citizens Advisory Council (CAC).

CACs are Council-sanctioned neighborhood groups that meet and discuss various issues, which they then communicate with the Raleigh City Council about.

According to published reports, the CAC meeting was being held both virtually and in-person at the Millbrook Exchange Community Center in North Raleigh, and was Zoom-bombed by unseen trolls who went after District A Councilwoman Mary Black, calling her the N-word and B-words, among other slurs. The trolls, who had their cameras off, also flung invective towards Jews and the police.

The episode shocked the young councilwoman, who believed that Raleigh was a great example of a city that prided itself for its growing post-racial diversity. But there are signs that amidst that diversity, racism is still ever-present. A Black bookstore for children, the Liberation Station, was recently forced to leave its downtown Raleigh location after receiving racially tinged phone calls and death threats. Raleigh Police have not determined who is responsible.

In an interview with ABC-11, Councillor Black shared how shaken she was after the racial attack over Zoom, apparently for no reason other than the color of her skin.

“It was pretty vicious. They were calling me names: the N word and B word. They were telling me to go back to Africa—[that] I don’t belong here, and making monkey noises,” Black told the TV station. “When the call ended my hands were shaking and I burst into tears.”

After the hijacked Zoom meeting, Black said she and a friend cried together. She did not, however, file a police report, but did tell Raleigh City Council staff and other members. Councilmember Black is one of three African Americans currently serving on the eight-member Raleigh City Council.

 

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