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Charles Graham, a congressional candidate from North Carolina released a new ad where he told a story about how his home county stood up against members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Graham, a member of the Lumbee Tribe, said that Robeson County was a poor, farming community, adding that his parents were sharecroppers. He noted that 50 Klansmen arrived to attack minority members of the community only to be met by 400 members of his tribe and African Americans.
“Hundreds of normal folks deciding to stand together against ignorance and hate,” Graham said. He noted that the event, known as The Battle of Hayes Pond, is “a piece of forgotten history worth remembering—especially today.”
The ad then shows footage from the January 6 Capitol Insurrection, where he said, “lies turned to violence.” He added that “the biggest lie is that America is at war with itself. That you can’t trust your neighbor, that they want something that’s yours. That you must live in fear of them.”
Graham added that the lesson from the Battle of Hayes Pond is that “human dignity is a human right.”
In the tweet accompanying the release of the ad, Graham wrote, “As a legislator, I don’t play politics. I study, listen, and vote my conscience. Those values are absent in Washington today and it’s tearing us apart. I’m running as a Democrat to represent #NC09 in the U.S. Congress and finally mend our divided spirits.”
Graham, 70, is currently a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, where he represents the 47th District in the state’s House of Representatives. He is the only Native American member of the General Assembly.
Graham is running for the seat in Congress representing the state’s 9th District. That seat is currently held by Rep. Dan Bishop—a Republican who defeated the Democrat Dan McCready in a special election and was unopposed in the 2020 election.
Graham is hoping to return the seat to Democrats in the 2022 election. In announcing his candidacy, according to a site from his county, The Robesonian, Graham said, “Legislation I’ve sponsored and co-sponsored has had a positive impact on the lives of Robeson County citizens economically, educationally and environmentally.”
“Also, I have received recognition by North Carolina Commerce as a ‘Jobs Champion,’ and the North Carolina Sheriffs Association as ‘A Friend of Law Enforcement,’ ” he continued.
The retired special-needs educator added, “I make this announcement not for personal gain, but for duty, service, and commitment to give all citizens a voice and a resource that will be of benefit economically throughout the 9th Congressional District.”
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