Barry Yeoman

Barry Yeoman is a freelance journalist in Durham, North Carolina. He has covered his state’s political landscape for 30 years. Follow him @Barry_Yeoman

Recent Articles

Counter Protests Swamp KKK Celebration in North Carolina

A Ku Klux Klan gathering this weekend both recalled North Carolina’s racially troubled history, and demonstrated the strength and diversity of the state’s civil rights movement today.

Barry Yeoman
Barry Yeoman Anti-KKK protesters rally in Raleigh. I n the end, Saturday’s “Victory Klavalkade”—a celebration of Donald Trump’s presidency by the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan—turned out to be a fleeting sideshow. Outnumbered by protesters and journalists, the Klansmen abandoned their plans to parade through Pelham, a rural community along the state’s northern border where the white supremacist group has its headquarters. Instead, they ended up exulting from the safety of their cars in the old cotton-mill town of Roxboro, 37 miles away. A motorcade of about 30 vehicles barreled through the streets, sporting Confederate flags, as their drivers shouted “white power” to no one in particular. “It is about the size of a funeral procession,” tweeted Burlington Times-News reporter Natalie Janicello. Missing from the parade was a local Klan leader who had been arrested for allegedly stabbing a fellow member the night before. But Saturday was still a big day in...

How To Steal (or Nullify) an Election

North Carolina Republicans are doing their damnedest.

AP Photo/Gerry Broome
AP Photo/Gerry Broome, Pool North Carolina Democratic candidate for governor Roy Cooper and his wife Kristin greet supporters during an election night rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wednesday, November 9, 2016. I n an election that left Democrats with little to crow about, North Carolina offered a handful of bright spots. Mike Morgan, a veteran jurist who in 1964 helped desegregate his local public-school system, flipped the partisan balance of the state Supreme Court by unseating a Republican incumbent. And Attorney General Roy Cooper, who took firm stands against voter suppression and anti-LGBT discrimination, racked up a knife’s-edge lead in the still-undeclared gubernatorial race. With some county results still contested, Cooper is currently 6,470 votes ahead of Republican Governor Pat McCrory, out of almost 4.6 million cast. Now, there’s talk among Republicans of restoring their majority on the Supreme Court by legislative fiat—and concerns that lawmakers might try to...

Democrats Make Gains in North Carolina Against Backdrop of Voter Suppression

Changing demographics, combined with the three-year effort by state Republicans to suppress minority and youth turnout, led to close races.

(Photo: Barry Yeoman)
(Photo: Barry Yeoman) Roy Cooper, North Carolina's likely governor-elect, gives an acceptance speech at the state Democratic Party's election-watch party. B y 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Raleigh ballroom where North Carolina Democrats had earlier been whooping in anticipation of a presidential victory had nearly emptied out. Stragglers were sitting on the floor, eyes fixated on their phones, or yelling back at two large monitors tuned to MSNBC. Earlier, the network had projected a Donald Trump win in North Carolina, a swing state long considered a key to a Hillary Clinton victory. The down-ticket news was equally disheartening. Deborah Ross, the former state ACLU director, had lost her bid to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr. The GOP had seized several statewide posts traditionally held by Democrats, including education chief. And Republicans maintained their supermajority in the state legislature, which over the past few years has restricted voting rights, cut school and...

Equality Becomes a Talking Point in North Carolina Gubernatorial Race

With the state’s demographics and political makeup shifting, backlash against anti-LGBT law may help send Democrat Roy Cooper to the governor's office. 

AP Photo/Gerry Broome, Pool
AP Photo/Gerry Broome, Pool Democratic gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Roy Cooper, left, and North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory participate in a live televised debate at UNC-TV studios in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Tuesday, October 11, 2016. I an Palmquist was running errands last Tuesday when the North Carolina gubernatorial debate came on the air. As the 39-year-old gay activist drove around Raleigh, listening to his car radio, he couldn’t help but feel like something in this most purple of Southern states had shifted. Democrat Roy Cooper, the state’s four-term attorney general, was bludgeoning Republican Governor Pat McCrory for supporting House Bill 2, the law that forces many transgender women into men’s restrooms, and vice versa, in public buildings. The law, passed in a one-day special session last March and signed that night by McCrory, also handcuffs local governments from safeguarding LGBT civil rights and from setting employment standards...

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