Curmilus Dancy

More than half a year ago, the status of a Pinetops resident being on the Rocky Mount Human Relations Commission when a panelist must be a city resident came up at a City Council work session.

Councilman Andre Knight on Friday told the Telegram the plan still is for the local NAACP to replace Curmilus Dancy on the commission.

“We had a member who wanted to do it, but then they could not due to some personal matters. And so we’re just going to have to come back and convene,” Knight said.

As for an estimated time for making the appointment, Knight said, “Probably as soon as possible.”

Knight is the local leader of the civil rights organization and Dancy is second vice chairman of the local NAACP.

The Human Relations Commission, which was created in 1968, is supposed to consist of 13 members, including a member of the local NAACP.

The subject of Dancy being on the commission came up at the City Council’s April 8 work session, apparently because there had been a bit of an administrative oversight in the nomination of Dancy.

Dancy was appointed to the commission in February 2018, but the nomination never reached the council for formal approval.

And the municipal regulations also make clear a member of the commission must be a resident of the city.

City Clerk Pamela Casey at the April 8 work session said the Human Relations Commission is different because there are positions appointed by other agencies and said in the past there have been appointments relayed by phone by agencies to her office.

And Casey said what has happened is such appointments have not happened at the same time the council members make appointments to boards and commissions.

The council decided Dancy would continue serving until next month to give the local NAACP time to bring forward a new representative to serve on the Human Relations Commission.

Dancy on Friday told the Telegram he is going to be glad when he is replaced because he dislikes having titles and serving on panels.

“I like working from the outside,” Dancy said.

Dancy, who is a blogger and a videographer, said he intends to continue attending and recording commission meetings and giving his input.

Dancy again became a focus of news coverage in the aftermath of a Sept. 11 commission meeting, which Dancy videoed and posted on the YouTube website.

During the meeting, the commissioners present voted to recommend the council remove fellow Commissioner Steve Stevenson as a voting member.

The commissioners present acted after Commissioner Nehemiah Smith cited Stevenson having gone on Facebook supporting a posting by Rocky Mount native and local businessman Randy Adcox that Smith considered racially insensitive.

Dancy, while standing behind his camera, participated in the discussion.

Stevenson later told the Telegram he did not attend the meeting because he did not want to fall into an ambush.

The commission meeting not only provoked controversy and raised questions about how the matter of Stevenson was handled, the meeting brought back to light Dancy still serving on the commission despite his not being a Rocky Mount resident.

There also have been questions about how Dancy can serve on the commission given the commission’s mission of promoting harmony and his own comments on the internet.

Dancy on his blog has stated he is known as “The Political Agitator” and he also has called whites he rebuts “Special C’s.”

Dancy told the Telegram if one reads every article he has posted, “I am responding to them. They start out calling us monkeys and all that.”

Dancy said he came up with the term “Special C’s” and said there were whites who said they believed the “C” was a reference to crackers. The word “cracker” generally is used to insult poor white Southerners.

He said the “C” is a reference to caucasians.

“So they are the ones that create the mess,” he said. “If you go back and look at all my stories and my videos, you’ll see I don’t start anything. I come behind them.

“I do not get on social media and just call out folk for no reason.”

And he argued he is blocked by critics from posting comments on their social media sites because he stands up to them.

“But when folks send it to me, I post it on my page because I know they’re going to follow me,” he said.

He said he was given the political agitator term by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield out of admiration.

Stevenson had been on the Human Relations Commission since August 2007, as a representative from City Council Ward 4.

Stevenson’s four-year term on the commission expired in June.

During the council’s Oct. 14 work session, Ward 4 Councilwoman Lois Watkins successfully nominated Lorenzo Ellis to serve on the commission.

As for Stevenson not being reappointed to the commission, Dancy told the Telegram on Friday, “I really don’t have any thoughts about it.”

“We had our challenges,” Dancy said. “I would challenge him on the commission, but other than that, I mean, I don’t care whether he stays up there or not.”