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Documentary highlights NC political inequality

The screening will take place at the Hayti Heritage Center at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a panel of representatives from organizations including the NAACP and Democracy N.C.

The film is part of a documentary series called “America Divided,” which examines the types of inequality present in different states in the country. “Democracy for Sale” focuses specifically on the deepening political divide in North Carolina and depicts the effects of money and gerrymandering on the state government.

“It’s really important to highlight for people the types of specific issues that we have with our political process that prevent people from having confidence in their government and political system,” said Jennifer Frye, panelist and associate director of Democracy N.C.

She said gerrymandering has a significant impact on which candidates voters can elect.

“Dividing up the lines in ways that advantage or disadvantage one political party over the other loses the voice of voters and the impact that voters actually have,” Frye said.

The influence of money on politics is also highlighted in the film — Galifianakis investigates allegations that the state government is guided by monetary interests.

“The problem is not so much that individuals are corrupt — it’s that we have a systemic corruption of the political system,” said Michael Curtis, professor in the School of Law at Wake Forest University.

He said the issues of racial gerrymandering and monetary influence in politics are not getting attention.

“No one is talking that much about it,” Curtis said. “There are things that are getting a lot of attention, such as House Bill 2, which is really the product of the political system.”

Frye said coming up with a system of campaign finance reform would help to eliminate some of the influences money can have.

Molly Murphy, co-director of Working Films, which is sponsoring the screening, said she hopes the film motivates people to get involved in advocating for accessible democratic processes in the state.

Frye said she hopes the documentary gives people a sense of what they can do to reform the process.

“I would like for people to walk away with a better understanding of what barriers exist to full political participation,” she said. “The idea of one person one vote, that my vote matters just as much as your vote does and that you and I as voters have the opportunity to select people who represent us.”


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