NC State Board of Education member links “white moderates” to “white supremacy” in tweet

By Lindsay Marchello

Raleigh, NC – State Board of Education member James Ford tied “swing voters” and “white moderates” to “white supremacy” in a late-night tweet Monday, Aug. 17.

The tweet was a response to the Democratic National Convention, which opened its virtual nominating convention Monday. Tuesday night, Democrats formally nominated former Vice President Joe Biden as the party’s presidential nominee. 

Tweet posted by State Board of Education member James E. Ford Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 (Twitter screenshot)

Ford called out the DNC for “playing to swing voters” and “white moderates,” which he then connected to “white supremacy.” 

Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, appointed Ford to the state education board in 2018 to fill a vacancy for the southwest region. Because Ford filled a vacancy, the General Assembly wasn’t required to confirm his appointment. 

Cooper didn’t respond to an email from Carolina Journal asking whether he felt the statement was appropriate for a board member to make. 

Before serving on the state education board, Ford was a program director at the Public School Forum of North Carolina, and was the N.C. State Teacher of the Year during 2014-2015. 

Ford is also the principal at Filling the Gap Education Consultants, LLC, a consulting firm providing equity-based educational solutions to districts and schools. He is the executive director of the Center for Racial Equity in Education.

Ford’s bio on the Center for Racial Equity in Education describes him as an “equity warrior” who has written about race and education in Education Post, EdWeek, Charlotte Magazine, Charlotte Agenda and EducationNC.

CJ sent an email to Ford asking if he stood by his tweet. He didn’t immediately respond. 

Neither SBE Chair Eric Davis nor SBE Vice Chair Alan Duncan responded to CJ’s email asking whether they thought Ford’s tweet was appropriate.