Monday, July 25, 2011



        Omegas Mark Centennial in Wash. D.C.

         Kappas Mark Centennial in Indiana

         Will Black Unemployment Hurt Obama Re-election?

         Black Farmers Still Facing Hurdles:


         Why the Debt Crisis is Important to Black America

          AVERTING A CRISIS - Pres. Obama checks with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and other economic advisers on how best to avert an August 2 economic crisis if Congress fails to raise the federal debt limit [White House photo]

By Cash Michaels

            If there is one thing President Barack Obama shares with the African-American community this week besides racial heritage, is the bad news that has come with it.
            Here in North Carolina, outraged black Democratic lawmakers stood shoulder-to-shoulder battling Republican redistricting plans that they say “stacks and packs” black voters into majority-minority districts, thus assuring GOP domination in both houses of the NC General Assembly for at least the next decade.
            “Instead of trying to amass a district or districts that are going to put you into power for the next decade, we ought to try to be more fair and more competitive,” State Rep. H. M. Mickey Michaux [D-Durham] angrily said during debate Tuesday, adding that the Republican plans were “unfair, unjust, and unconstitutional.”
            Rep. Joe Hackney [D-Orange], House Minority leader, joined Michaux in blasting the GOP.
            “This bill moves us backward in social progress, in racial progress, in North Carolina, and I think you’re doing that for partisan political purposes,” Hackney said. “And I think you know exactly what you’re doing, and I think you know exactly why you’re doing it, and I think it’s reprehensible.”
            The Republican redistricting maps for the House, Senate and Congress all passed despite Democratic lobbying, thanks to the GOP’s majorities in both state houses.
            That was not the case in the state House when Republicans tried to override Gov. Perdue’s veto of their voter ID law. Despite their majority, the GOP wasn’t able to attract the 72 votes needed. But they strategically kept the bill alive to try again.
            Critics have called voter ID legislation an attempt to suppress the Democratic-leaning black and Hispanic votes before the 2012 elections.
            For African-Americans nationally, a startling report from the Pew Research Center documenting US Census data showing how the wealth gap between whites and blacks has widened to “an historic high,” writes the Washington Post, with whites holding a net worth 20 times larger than that of African-Americans.
            Since 2005, while the median net worth of whites has declined only 16 percent because of the recession which officially ended in 2009, blacks were hard hit with a 54 percent decline.
            Black families fell from a median net worth of $12,124, to a shocking $5,677.
            In contrast, white families only dropped to $113,149 from a high of $134,992.
            It’s the biggest decline since 1984, when data was first collected.
            Pew researchers say the housing bubble burst during the recession forced many blacks to lose their homes, their main wealth asset. Indeed, housing equity accounts for 59 percent of African-American net worth, in contrast to just 44 percent for whites, who are more likely to diversify their net worth with stocks and bonds.
            Ironically, the wealth gap between whites and blacks has exploded, while the income gap has decidedly narrowed, researchers say.
            That sobering news didn’t go down any better with the new reports showing that the rich in America, despite hard economic times are getting richer at the expense of the poor. According to the Washington Post, in 2008, “…the wealthiest 10 percent earned almost the same amount as the rest of the country combined.” Their wealth rose to 56 percent form 49 percent.
            Even within the African-American community, the gap between the richest and poorest blacks widened, the report said.
            Meanwhile, because of a tough, prolonged economy and severe dearth of jobs, the president’s support among African-Americans has taken a sharp tumble. After his historic election in 2008, Obama’s black support was well over 90 percent. But because many are questioning his economic policies’ failure to create more jobs, what was 77 percent black support last October, is now “…just over half of those surveyed,” according to the least Washington Post-ABC News poll.
            Obama’s problems aren’t softened at all by the continuing wrangling with House Republicans over meeting the August 2 deadline next week to raise the federal debt ceiling to avert economic default. Because of the House Republican Tea Party faction’s recalcitrance in agreeing to any deal with Obama and the Democrats that also increases tax revenues while cutting trillions from the federal budget, the standoff is seen as another partisan tactic to hurt the black president politically before the 2012 re-election campaign.
            But Tea Party members aren’t the only people dissatisfied with the president’s performance. White liberals in the Democratic Party, fuming because Obama is willing to sacrifice cutting entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security to appease his GOP adversaries, want him challenged in a primary.
            Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, nonetheless gave voice to the frustration of many progressives when he told the Los Angeles Times, “ I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition.”
            Indeed the Washington Post - ABC New Poll showed liberal support for Pres. Obama’s economic policies, once at 53 percent, have plunged another 22 percent. As Obama ramps up for the 2012 elections, he had a lot to overcome even within his own base, if he is to be victorious.
            If that’s not bad enough, Pew researchers had even more bad new for the president. According to their polls, the Republican Party is making big gains among young whites, and the poor.
            Among whites, the GOP now has a 13-point lead over Democrats, as opposed to just a 2-point edge in 2008. Democrats once had a seven-point lead among whites below age 30 in 2008. Today, the Republicans have an 11-point edge in that same demographic.
            And even among whites earning less than $30,000 annually, the GOP leads by four points. Democrats once owned that group by a whopping 15 percentage points.

By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            Though there have been rumors, thus far, only incumbent District 4 Wake School Board member Keith Sutton has filed to run to represent Southeast Raleigh in the October elections. Though the names of at least two community activists have been bandied about to challenge Sutton, an incumbent who was appointed by the board in 2009, thus far none have emerged. Doing so would be difficult, given the thousands in campaign funding that would have to be raised, and tremendous dedication in time and energy required just to run between now an October.
            Sutton, a black Democrat, has a strong headstart in organization and fundraising, plus the backing of the Wake County Democratic Party, even though the school board race is officially nonpartisan.
            But there is one intriguing possibility that political observers are watching, and her name is Venita Peyton.
            What’s so intriguing about Peyton? She’s a former Democrat turned black conservative Republican who has expressed undying support for the Republican-majority on the Wake School Board, and has bashed Wake’s previous socioeconomic diversity policy on her blog, “Outside the Box.”
            There’s no question that if the Wake County Republican Party, which is backing incumbent Ron Margiotta in District 8; Heather Losurdo in District 3 and Cynthia Matson in District 5, wanted to put an exclamation point on its mission to have a super-majority on the school board, then defeating the board’s only African-American with a black Republican would definitely do the trick.
            All Peyton, Southeast Raleigh’s most visible and vocal black Republican, would have to do is say the word, and file for office before August 12th, and the race is on. And unlike Sutton, who has never run for public office before despite working on many political campaigns in the past, Peyton is well experienced in asking folks to elect her.
            On several occasions, however, they never did.
            Peyton, a Virginia native, has unsuccessfully run for Raleigh mayor, Raleigh City Council, state House District 33, and Wake County commissioner since the late 1980’s. In the past, she has garnered the support of conservative groups like Called2Action, WakeCares and the NC Education Forum.
            The July 17 entry on her blog titled “Raleigh NC 2011: Where Political Parties Fail,” shows that Peyton is still very much interested in local politics. Based on her past experience of several unsuccessful campaigns, Peyton gives an insightful tutorial to would-be and wannabe candidates on what to consider before making the important, life-changing announcement.
            “We admonish people to vote without realizing that many don't vote because of the candidates,” she writes. “They view that no matter who wins, that their lives won't change. Sometimes the nonvoters have been right.”
            Why would Peyton fit right in with Chairman Margiotta and the GOP school board majority? For starters, she apparently can’t stand Rev. William Barber, president of the NCNAACP. Barber, because of his tough opposition to the GOP’s neighborhood schools policy and NAACP federal bias complaint against the Wake School Board, is consider public enemy #1 by the Republican majority.
            Peyton agrees.
            “It’s obvious now. NC NAACP Pres. William Barber is not concerned with the children in the Wake County Public School System,” Peyton wrote in a factually erroneous diatribe on her blog June 19.
            “He constantly proclaims problems with reassignment, yet has not offered any data to support his theory of re-segregation,” Peyton continued, ignoring the numerous reports warning about the prospect of more under-resourced high poverty schools under a neighborhood schools policy.
Peyton later added, “Is William Barber’s agenda about advancing minorities, the NCNAACP or just William Barber?”
Other blog entries that solidify Peyton’s conservative credential include, “What Liberals Won’t Say About Education”; “Baby/Voter ID in Raleigh (Peyton supports Voter ID)”; and “Tata Won’t be Whipping Boy in Raleigh NC,” where Peyton expressed her unbridled support for Wake Supt. Anthony Tata.
            Peyton’s occupation is listed as a real estate broker and owner of Greater Raleigh Real Estate Inc.. She is also the former chairwoman of the east Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council.
            Peyton has a BS in public administration from Shaw University, and a Master’s Degree in public administration from NC State University.
            Interestingly, as part of her 2008 bio when she ran for Wake County commissioner, Peyton said one way she would change government would be to “…seek legislation allowing county school boards to be appointed rather than elected,” though she didn’t specify what body or public official would do the appointing.
            She may not hold that same belief now, given that the Republicans currently have the majority on the Wake School Board.
NC Board of Elections records show her address in the Southeast Raleigh 27610 zip code. Observers say if Peyton runs at all, she might wait until the very last day, August 12, to file.
The Carolinian emailed Venita Peyton Tuesday via her blogsite requesting an interview. She had not responded by press time.


             Raleigh police have arrested and charged a couple with the murder of a mother of two who was allegedly killed and dismembered in Wake County, and whose body parts were placed in coolers and transported in a rented U-Haul and dumped in a creek near Houston, Texas. Grant Ruffin Hayes, 32, and his wife, Amanda, 39, were arrested in Kinston and charged with the murder of Laura Jean Ackerson, 27. Authorities believe Ackerson was murdered because of a bitter custody battle over the two children she and ex-boyfriend Grant Hayes had.

            After a tumultuous end to the spring semester, Shaw University is starting the new school year off on a high note. On Wednesday the historically black university in Raleigh received to substantial donations, one for $24,700 for scholarships from Mack Sowell Jr., the other for $25,000 for tornado disaster recovery from the West Raleigh Rotary Club. Shaw officials say recovery efforts since a tornado tore through the campus last April have been going well, and classes are expected to start for the fall semester on time. 

            From now until Aug. 12th, candidates for the Wake County School Board, Raleigh City Council and other races are filing for office. On Monday, the first day of filing, District 4 school board member Keith Sutton joined his District 3 colleague Kevin Hill signed up to run in the Oct. 11th elections. Also filing, District 8 candidates incumbent Ron Margiotta, and challenger Susan Evans. In District 5, Jim Martin and Cynthia Matson; and in District 6, Christine Kushner and George Morgan. Heather Losurdo filed for District 3 to oppose Hill on Tuesday.
            For Raleigh City Council, Nancy McFarlane filed for mayor, Russ Stephenson for re-election to at-large, and District C’s Eugene Weeks also filed. Weeks will see opposition from Lent Carr.


            [WASH., D.C.] After President Obama urged Americans Monday night to call their members of Congress and lobby for a resolution to the partisan standoff over raising the federal debt ceiling by August 2, the phones rang off the hook at the offices of North Carolina Republicans representatives Renee Elmers, Walter Jones and Sue Myrick. Thousands of emails also crashed congressional websites. Constituents are angered that GOP Tea Party members of Congress like Elmers are vowing not to raise the federal debt ceiling unless Pres. Obama agrees to trillions in budget cuts with tax increases.

            [FAYETTEVILLE] Long time Fayetteville civil rights activist Lula Crenshaw died early Wednesday morning, according to published reports. Ms. Crenshaw was the past president of the Cumberland County Democratic Party, and helped lead the fight to establish a park in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Blue Street. Hse is remembered as someone always willing to help others.

            [RALEIGH] An administrative law judge ruled this week that the Macon County Public School System can start the school year early on August 4. Judge Joe Webster granted the system a waiver from the North Carolina law mandating a 10-week summer vacation because it wanted to start a weekend reading program three-weeks early. Doing so allows Macon County Schools to schedule weeklong remedial reading programs later in the school year. On Monday, Ashe, Avery and Madison county school systems also start early. Most of North Carolina’s 115 school districts start their year on August 25.

            [GREENVILLE] As goes the nation, so goes North Carolina when it comes to an ever-rising unemployment rate. The state jobless figures jumped to 9.9 percent in June from May’s 9.7 percent, according the NC Employment Security Commission. Part of that is due to state and local government layoffs in June. Employers in the private sector, afraid of economic uncertainty, are also proving to be reluctant to hire, officials say.


By Cash Michaels

HONORING MS. MURRAY - If there is one person, apart from my own family, that I simply love and adore without question, it has to be Mrs. Margaret Rose Murray, who has been a stalwart of our community for virtually half a century. Ms. Murray is still going strong with her Vital Link is Crosslink schools, community volunteerism, and her weekly community affairs radio program, “ Traces of Faces and Places” heard every Saturday morning from 9-a.m. until 11 a.m. on WSHA-88.9 FM.
            That’s why on Saturday, August 6th, the community will come together to honor Ms. Murray, and her invaluable half century of work in this community, during her 80th Birthday Gala and Community Appreciation Banquet, The Grand Ballroom of the Raleigh Convention & Civic Center, 6 p.m. in Downtown Raleigh. Renowned jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal will provide the evening’s entertainment, and proceeds go to help Ms. Murray’s nonprofit culinary school. For more information, contact Bruce Lightner at 919-833-1676.
            THE PRESIDENT’S PROBLEM - As this is being written Tuesday of this week, President Barack Obama is walking a political tightrope that could cost him his presidency.
            And it’s just what the Republican Party wants.
            With less than a week to go, the possibility of the United States government defaulting on its bills, because Tea Party members of the GOP majority in the US House won’t allow the federal debt ceiling to be raised, is very real.
            Their “reasoning” (if you want to call it that)? Runaway government spending has to stop once and for all, they say. Tea Party candidates were elected to Congress last November with that expressed mission, in addition to doing all they could to stop President Obama’s so-called “socialist” agenda.
            So to make sure they got EVERYBODY’s attention, the Tea Party in Congress pulls this stunt - threatening NOT to raise the debt ceiling unless they get their way on cutting trillions from the federal budget without raising any additional revenue.
            And just why are they acting this way? Because, according to the Tea Party and their minions, Obama is not only a socialist, but a terrorist sympathizer, as far as they’re.
            In short, he is NOT an “American,” however they define that.
            So that’s what’s driving this willingness to kick our nation’s economy off the cliff deliberately, provoking credit agencies and bond markets to downgrade our nation’s AAA rating.
            Here’s the problem with this Tea Party cowboy attitude - it’s as phony as a three-dollar bill.
            If Pres. Obama is a “socialist” - meaning expecting government to do everything for everybody - then so is every Tea Party member on Medicare and Medicaid, government-run programs. And while it’s true that Medicare must be restructured in order to be sustained for future generations, that does not mean it should be ended just because a crazy group of Paul Revere-wannabes says so.
            Truth be told, Obama has been telling the truth (those these folks have been calling him liar). Runaway spending saw the light of day in recent years during George Bush’s eight tumultuous years - two wars, Medicare B prescription drug law and the Bush tax cuts - all established on borrowed money.
            Truth be told, in the eight years that Dubya was in office, and his tax cuts were in force, the American economy produced a scant 3 million jobs (per the Wall Street Journal - And many of those were federal government jobs.
            Even in a struggling economy, Obama has created and/or saved at least 2 million jobs since he took office in 2009.
            Truth be told, the only reason why Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package hasn’t had more positive impact on the US economy is because, according to most economists, it wasn’t big enough to do the job (a third of it was just tax cuts).
            But imagine what the Tea Party howls would be like if that package was bigger.
            And, of course, the Tea Party folks despise Obama’s health care reform law, which they see as more runaway spending that must be stopped.
            While I don’t agree with them in anyway, I do believe (and I’ve said this before) that the president’s biggest mistake thus far has been pushing health care reform while most Americans were still struggling with a falling economy. In my opinion, he needed to put greater focus on growing jobs and fixing the economy, all the while passing incremental changes to healthcare.
            Obama’s mission on health care cost him Congress in the November 2010 midterms, I believe, and look what’s come of that now. I know many will disagree with me, but I’m convinced that if the president stayed with rebuilding the economy, he would still have a Democratic majority in the US House.
            I think he also underestimated just how cold and calculating the Tea Party and GOP would be.
            So Pres. Barack Obama has to some way save the nation in the face of right-wing intransigence. And he has to do so in a way that restores that “hope” he campaigned on. With his re-election just over a year from now, Obama can expect his enemies on the right to risk everything to destroy him. They’ve already pulled out the playbook on voter ID and other voter suppression methods, so it is definitely “all hands on deck” when it comes to the GOP mission to stop Barack Obama.
            Then add insult to injury - the president’s base is none to happy with his willingness to deal away federal entitlements, and wanting to find peace with the Republicans, knowing that none is possible.
            A Washington Post - ABC News poll this week found deep fissures in the president’s base of Democratic support. Liberals and blacks - the party’s most loyal voters - have softened considerably when it comes to approving of Pres. Obama’s leadership.
            That’s not good. When 2012 rolls around, those base supporters will stay home if they are that dissatisfied with the president.
            Obama’s only way out, besides standing strong against the Tea Party, is getting this economy back on track so that the private sector jobs can start flowing again. That is going to be an impossible task between now and November 2012, but Obama is tough enough to meet the challenge.
            Obviously whether he wins or loses has a lot to do not only with where the country is economically, but which Republican he faces for re-election, and how much the GOP-led Congress ties his hands legislatively so that he can’t claim any election year victories.
            So Pres. Obama has some real trouble and challenges on his hands.
            As we black folk always say when a “brotha” is fighting as hard as he can, “Pray for him!”
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” ( I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, by Cash Michaels, honored this year as well by NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian your life. Bye, bye.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


By Cash Michaels
Staff writer

            While legislative GOP leaders scoff, progressive groups like the NCNAACP, and even Gov. Beverly Perdue, are hailing a Wake Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr.’s ruling this week that blasts the Republican-led General Assembly for denying 67,000 poor, at-risk pre-kindergarten children their Constitutional right to a “sound, basic education.”
            "This case is about the individual right of every child to have the equal opportunity to obtain a sound basic education," Judge Manning wrote in his court order. "The constitutional right belongs to the child, not to the adults. Each at-risk four-year-old that appears at the doors of the…program this fall is a defenseless, fragile child whose background of poverty or disability places the child at-risk of subsequent academic failure.”
            "Judge Howard Manning's ruling …that the state budget, passed by ultra-conservative extremists in the NC Legislature, violates the constitutional rights of our most precious and vulnerable pre-kindergarten children, is a confirmation of what the NC NAACP and other progressive organizations have argued all along: the people running the NC General Assembly are breaking the law," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the NCNAACP.
            Last June, the Republicans overrode a veto of their $19.7 billion budget that slashed funding for education, including the state’s More at Four pre-school program, by 20 percent, requiring the parents of students to copay at least 10 percent of their income to enroll their children.
            Republican lawmakers changed the name of the program; moved it out of the NC Dept. of Public Instruction and to the NC Dept. of Health and Human Resources; and also limited the enrollment of at risk children in the program to 20 percent. Judge Manning, a conservative Republican, said that was unconstitutional, and to close the program off to qualified students denied them their educational rights.
            "If the present plan is implemented as set out in the budget bill, several thousand at-risk four-year-olds who are eligible to attend…will not be provided with slots because of the limitations on their participation to 20 percent," Manning wrote in his order Monday.
            Gov. Perdue, still peeved by the stringent cuts to education by Republican lawmakers, applauded Judge Manning’s order, and then challenged state lawmakers to rework their budget to fix the problem.
            "The legislature must provide the at-risk children of North Carolina with the educational programs that will ensure they get off to the right start — and give them a real chance at success," said Perdue, a Democrat, in a statement.
            GOP leaders in the Legislature weren’t pleased, hinting that they may defy Judge Manning’s order, and keep the budget the way it is.
            "I am disappointed in today's order from Judge Manning,” said House Speaker Thom Tillis (R- Mecklenburg). “The court's ruling is unclear in key places and may be incorrect as a matter of law."
            But educational and progressive leaders agreed with Judge Manning.
            “Judge Manning’s order demonstrates that North Carolina’s at-risk pre-schoolers are more than just lines in a ledger sheet,” noted Chris Hill, Director of the NC Education and Law Project. “They deserve better than harsh cuts and an uncertain future.”
            "The frontal attack on public education waged by the current majority in the General Assembly passed an illegal budget in June of this year,” says NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Barber. “Judge Manning's ruling leaves no doubt that the General Assembly's adoption of the draconian budget not only broke the constitutional law but violated a higher moral law that promises all children the right to a sound, basic education no matter what race or socio-economic status they may be."


            [WINSTON-SALEM] The federal trial for former US Senator John Edwards has now been set for October. Edwards was indicted for alleged felony campaign finance violations in connection with payoffs from Edwards 2008 presidential campaign to his mistress, Rielle Hunter after she gave birth to his child. Judge Carlton Tilley says the case has been moving too slowly. He is willing to push the trial back to January if prosecutors are slow in turning over evidence to Edwards’ defense attorneys.

            [RALEIGH, NC] In less than one hour, the NC Senate last week, as promised, voted six times to override six vetoes by Gov. Beverly Perdue. At press time, the state House had yet to take up the same votes. While the Senate has a solid majority for the overrides, the state House has to count on at least three of the five conservative Democrats to join the Republican majority to do so. One of the bills Gov. Perdue vetoed that the GOP wants to override is the voter I.D. law.

            [DURHAM] For many, it was a blessing. Members of Greater Joy International Ministries of Chapel Hill Road, shocked drivers by giving away $6,000 worth of free gasoline Saturday morning. Approximately 400 drivers got $25.00 in free gas when they pulled up to one of the church sponsored gas stations. Drivers were also invited to join church members for a free breakfast at a biscuit restaurant. Members say this was their way of bringing their ministry beyond the walls of the church.


            For the second time in as many months, a Raleigh man has been arrested and charged for child pornography and molesting a child. Daniel Louis Jenkins, 46, is charged with taking indecent liberties with a child, in addition to first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and disseminating obscene material to a minor under age 16. Jenkins allegedly had a child undress during a poker game, and took pictures. He is also accused of touching the child, and giving her pornography. Jenkins was arrested on June 22 for third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor which allegedly took place between August 2008 and June 2009.

With just 170 days of water left, Durham residents are being urged to conserve what they can as high temperatures continue to pound the Triangle area. More than 5 million gallons-a-day were used last month, officials say, over 18 percent higher than in June 2010. Residents are being asked to limit water usage for lawns and outdoor plants. June, July and August are considered the heaviest water usage months.

            A student who graduated St. Augustine’s College last spring is now suing the historically black college because he was not allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies. Roman Caple made national news when he was not allowed to march in the ceremony. In his July 8 lawsuit, Caple alleges the school blocked him because of negative remarks he reportedly made on Facebook about how school officials handled the April tornado emergency. The school says Caple hurt the college’s reputation with his remarks. Caple wants monetary damages, and the commencement ceremony he says he deserves.

By Cash Michaels

BIGOTED CAIN - I’ve deliberately held my fire when it comes to the GOP slate of presidential candidates, primarily because I don’t have anything good to say about ANY of them. Is that political bias on my part? No, just good hearing. I’ve been listening to these clowns, and other presidential wannabe clowns like Sarah Palin, and all I’m hearing is some of the craziest, most laughable right-wing nonsense that’s come down the pike in years.
But the Republican presidential candidate I’ve been paying particular close attention to, for obvious reasons, is Tea Party favorite, conservative radio host  and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain.
First of all, let’s be clear….when it comes to business, Cain has proven himself, so I have little argument with his record there. Whether you can successfully apply his business acumen to government, since those are two different animals, is debatable, but that’s what presidential campaigns are for - open debate.
But what presidential contests should NOT be about is bigotry of ANY sort, and on this, Herman Cain fall way, way sort.
As you know (or should know if you’ve been paying attention), Cain has gotten himself into hot water for saying if elected president (and it should be noted that will happen when pigs fly), he would NOT have any Muslims on his White House Cabinet.
Now to be fair, Cain, a “black man” as he likes to tout himself (and I’ll get to the relevancy of that in a moment) has tried to clarify his outlandish remark, saying that he did not say what I postulated about.
So he’s been running around trying to make what he meant clearer…without much success. For example, consider this moment from a recent BBC interview:
BBC: You said you wouldn’t have a Muslim in your cabinet two weeks ago. Is that still your position?
CAIN: That wasn’t a statement I made. Let’s get it right. I was asked if I would be comfortable, and my response was I would not be comfortable with a terrorist in my cabinet. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but a lot of the terrorists are Muslims, so I just have to be real careful about who I put in my cabinet.                                                                                                                       
So if I read Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain correctly, just because a person is a Muslim, means that person is most likely to be a terrorist. That’s as stupid as saying because a person is white, he or she is most likely to be a racist. Or because a person is black, he’s most likely to play basketball.
For the record, and this is common sense, the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the nation, and in the world, are NOT terrorists. They are decent, hardworking, GOD fearing people. Only a tiny number in a handful of countries misinterpret, and consequently misuse the Islamic faith for their terrorist deeds.
Just like in Kansas where there are a handful of so-called “Christian” believers who threaten and murder abortion providers. These nuts believe they’re doing GOD’s work, just like the Ku Klux Klan believed they were too.
            And yet, as a nation we’ve learned NOT to broadbrush whole religions because of the selfish and evil acts of a few. And we’ve been proven right.
            Proven right to everyone but Herman Cain, and apparently the small cadre of right-wing Tea Party morons he’s desperately trying to cater to.
            But Cain’s ignorance, and yes religious bigotry, has reached new heights this week.
            Apparently there’s a Muslim community in Murfreesboro, Tennessee that wants to build a new mosque. The townspeople oppose it. When asked about on Fox News Sunday,  Cain said he agreed with the townspeople, he opposes the building of a new mosque as well. Why? Because he says he wants to prevent the establishment of Sharia Law there.
            For the record again (with Republicans, you always have to find a place to work in the fact because Lord knows these folks are slim on any) Sharia Law is foundational to to Islamic religion, but so is the Holy Qu’ran. Nothing evil about it. It sets out a set of religious principles for living that helps followers be better servants of GOD.
            Guess what, we Christians have the same thing. It’s called the Ten Commandments.
            But what zealots like Cain are pushing is that Muslims are threatening to establish Sharia Law as part of American law in the United States. That’s a lie, plain and simple. But it’s also an effective political scare tactic to make folks believe that just because people of another religion live and worship in their city or town, that the rules governing their faith will be pushed to govern everyone’s lives.
            Here, read some of the claptrap Herman Cain said on Fox News Sunday.
            “Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state. "Islam combines church and state. They're using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it."
            And in Murfreesboro last week, Cain said, “"It is another example of why I believe in American laws and American courts," Cain said. "This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Sharia law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that.”
            This is fearmongering, plain and simple. It’s a bigoted, defensive tactic to divide people for political, if not personal ends. And it is disgraceful. It is even more demeaning because a so-called “black man” (Cain says he’s “blacker” than Pres. Obama, and that the president is afraid to face  a “real” black man” in 2012) is uttering these asinine beliefs.
            I get it that people will always be leary of the unknown, or things they do not understand. And yes, we should all be vigilant in an age where there are real terrorists who look to indiscriminately harm and kill anyone and everyone American.
            I get that.
            Problem is we can’t discriminate against an entire religion just because we’re afraid of what a few outlanders could do. Despite the ignorance of the Herman Cains of the world, we do have the constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Religion in this nation, and we’re better for it.
            And we also have the constitutional protections to make sure that no one religion wields undue influence over the nation (though it might not seem that way at times).
            So beyond being ignorant about a host of other issues (the Middle East, governance, etc.) the last thing American needs is a loudmouth ignoramus who thinks his bossy, know-nothing tone is going to get him to the White House.
            If Herman Cain is EVER elected president of the United States, I will lick the ground from here to Washington, D.C. PROMISE!
            Something tells both the ground, and my tongue, are more than safe.
            HONORING MS. MURRAY - If there is one person, apart from my own family, that I simply love and adore without question, it has to be Mrs. Margaret Rose Murray, who has been a stalwart of our community for virtually half a century. Ms. Murray is still going strong with her Vital Link is Crosslink schools, community volunteerism, and her weekly community affairs radio program, “ Traces of Faces and Places” heard every Saturday morning from 9-a.m. until 11 a.m. on WSHA-88.9 FM.
            That’s why on Saturday, August 6th, the community will come together to honor Ms. Murray, and her invaluable half century of work in this community, during her 80th Birthday Gala and Community Appreciation Banquet, The Grand Ballroom of the Raleigh Convention & Civic Center, 7 p.m. in Downtown Raleigh. Renowned jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal will provide the evening’s entertainment, and proceeds go to help Ms. Murray’s nonprofit culinary school. For more information, contact Bruce Lightner at 919-833-1676.
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” ( I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, by Cash Michaels, honored this year as well by NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian your life. Bye, bye.

By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            If there was any question as to the Republican Party’s intent to not only maintain, but increase its dominance on the Wake County School Board in the coming October elections, state House Majority Leader Paul Stam blew it away recently when he wrote,” …this election represents a national litmus test in education reform. From the New York Times to the Washington Post, the Wake County School Board elections will be analyzed on a national scale.”
            Stam made those remarks in a June 21 fundraising letter for fellow Republican Ron Margiotta, chair of the GOP-led school board since they took over in December 2009. Stam hosted a fundraiser for Margiotta in Apex last week.
            While the Republicans are targeting at least three of the four open Democratic seats on the school board, it is Margiotta’s Apex-Holly Springs-Cary District 8 seat that is considered the most crucial. If the Dems hold onto their four open seats, and are able, somehow, to defeat Margiotta in his upper middle-class, predominately conservative District 8, then they regain majority control of the nine-member school board.
            The question is how much help will they get from both the Wake County Democratic Party, as well as the NC Democratic Party. By all accounts, neither one flexed a lot of muscle, or raised a lot money, during the disastrous 2009 school board race, when four rookie GOP candidates swept their races, joining Margiotta in taking over, and discarding the previous socioeconomic student diversity policy for their preferred neighborhood schools policy.
            Even though the school board elections are officially nonpartisan, that didn’t stop the Wake County Republican Party from raising money, and giving campaign guidance.
            After she was sworn in, Deborah Pritckett, one of the GOP victors, made sure she publicly thanked then Wake Republican Chair Claude Pope for all of his support and assistance.
            Pope has since stepped down, but his successor, Susan Bryant, has made it very clear that any true-red Republicans running this fall in Districts 3, 4, 5, 6 and Chairman Margiotta in the Eighth, can expect the same level of support in this campaign.
            “New Republicans are stepping up to run for school board positions this fall,” Bryant wrote in a recent edition of the county GOP’s newsletter, “Elephant Express.”  “Chair Ron Margiotta runs for re-election. More Republicans on the board will mean better schools.”
            Bryant urged readers to support Margiotta, and Heather Losurdo, running to unseat former board chairman Kevin Hill in District 3.
            Last week, Cynthia Matson, an anti-diversity Republican who headed up Assignment By Choice to oppose Wake’s busing for diversity policy ten years ago, announced last week that she will run for the District 5 seat currently held by Dr. Anne McLaurin, who is stepping down
            The announced Democrat for District 5 is NCSU Professor Jim Martin.
            Will Prof. Martin, along with District 4 Southeast Raleigh incumbent Keith Sutton; incumbent Hill in District 3; Democrat Christine Kushner running in District 6 to replace retiring incumbent Dr. Carolyn Morrison; and Democrat Susan Evans, who will oppose Margiotta in District 8, get the requisite fundraising support from the county and state Democratic parties?
            Published reports say they are, with Kushner reported doing quite well.
            The question is, how well is “well” given what happened in 2009, when the Republicans took control, and vowed to keep it?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


                                                    w-ed-THE GAP IN THE GAP

            Right now they’re having an interesting debate in Wake County.
            The new schools superintendent there, Anthony Tata, realizing that something is wrong when over 50 percent of the over 143,000 student population is black and Hispanic, but over 85 percent of the teaching force is white, with the overwhelming majority of that being female, announced that he is actively seeking to hire more teachers of color to fill the ranks.
            According to Tata’s thinking, it makes little sense to want the best teachers in the nation in your school system, but not have that school system representative of either the county you serve, or a good deal of the children in it. How else will they see themselves, and the possibility of personal success in their futures, if there is no one who looks like them to take part in their growth and learning?
            Good point, Supt. Tata.
            So good, in fact, that it got us thinking about what’s going on right here in New Hanover County Public Schools. What does our teaching and administrative personnel picture look like? And would black students here do better if we had more teachers in the system who looked like them?
            First the numbers - with a total student population in New Hanover County Public Schools of 23,944, according to information from the system, African-American students comprise 22 percent of that total. Whites over 63 percent.
            So when it comes to teachers, what’s the racial breakdown?
            In elementary school, where 11,574 students (not including Pre-K), over 92 percent of teachers are white, while 62 percent of elementary students are white.
            For black elementary teachers, only 6 percent are in the schools, while black children make up a healthy 22 percent of the elementary student population.
            At the secondary level in NHC Public Schools, white students are a whopping 65 percent of the total secondary student population. When it comes to the teaching staff, an even more amazing 90.4 percent are white.
            Already you see a disturbing pattern. While 24 percent of NHCPS high school and middle school students are black, a miniscule 6.7 percent are also black.
            And given that most studies conclude that one of the most effective ways not only to close the racial achievement gap, but curb the high rate of high school dropouts, is to have more black male teachers in the classroom, the following about NHCPS isn’t encouraging.
            At the elementary level, there are only five black male teachers throughout the system, less than one percent, while black male elementary students comprise eleven percent.
            At the secondary level the figures are not that much better, with only ten African-American male instructors making up 2.9 percent of the total teaching staff, while black male high schoolers and middle schoolers comprising 12 percent.
            If anything, the numbers are more encouraging for the school system’s teacher’s aides. Of NHCPS’s 412 teacher aides, 27 percent are black female, and only four percent are black male.
            We could go on about the rest of staffing at NHCPS, but we think you get the picture.
            So what do we, as a community, do with this information?
            First of all, before telling our school system what it should do, we need to commit to what we’re going to do to save our children.
            Too many are being lost to the streets and meaningless pursuits. Too many have undiscovered talents that go wasted because we do nothing, as a community, to re-engage them, listen to their needs, and give them the leadership that guides them to fruitful and meaningful careers.
            And far, far too many of our young people are not given the chance to prove their worth, or act on their visions and talents, so they give up.
            As a community, we need to institutionally address the needs of our young people so that they can discover themselves, and determine their own paths.
            That’s why every church, every civic and community organization, every institution in our community must constructively come together for this effort.
            So let’s get started.
            As for NHCPS, clearly the numbers show that a lot of work has to be done in order to attract more black teachers, and especially black male teachers, to the classroom. It is clear that if our children see more teachers and administrators who look like them in the schools, they will feel more of a connection.
            Let’s face it, how would you feel, coming from the black community if you attended school every day, and the entire place - from classroom to bathroom - was being run by white females? What would that tell your young mind about the world they’re supposedly educating you for?
            Answer - if it’s important, black people don’t count.
            What a horrible message for the school system to send to our children. We urge the system to follow Wake County’s lead, and mount a strong effort to recruit black teachers, and especially black male teachers, to come work in NHCPS.
            If we’re going to have neighborhood schools like our conservative school board seems so inclined to make happen, then give us black teachers who know how to reach our children, and role model for them, and help them discover their dreams.
            Truth be told, by having black teachers in our neighborhood schools, that will help promote teaching to our young people, and many of them will want to teach as a profession. One of the reasons why we have so few black teachers in the profession today is because there are so few in the classroom leading by example.
            So we challenge NHCPS to make the recruitment of black teachers a priority so that our youth have a real chance of learning and growing.
            And we also challenge the leaders of our community to lobby our superintendent and school board to make this happen.
            We can’t keep doing the same old things and expect anything but the same old results.
            More black teachers are what we need, and we’re standing strong to get them!

NCNAACP MEETS WITH TATA - Saying that Wake Supt. Anthony Tata's proposed school choice student assignment plan is finished so it's hard to judge if the end result means more high poverty segregated schools at this point, NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber, seen here with member Mary E. Perry speaking with a reporter, told the press after meeting with Tata last week that he maintains that Wake Public Schools must be diverse in order to assure a constitutionally protected education [Cash Michaels Photo]

By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            Uncertain how many high poverty schools his proposed school choice student assignment plan could create, and sensitive to suggestions that it could create any at all, Wake Supt. Anthony Tata last week blasted those who say the previous socioeconomic diversity policy “…prevented high poverty schools.”
            Problem is, no one in Wake ever said high poverty schools would be “prevented.”
            Only that they would not become “unhealthy.”
            And they didn’t.
            Tata, on the job just over five months now, became prickly with reporters last week after meeting with the NCNAACP at Wake school system headquarters in Raleigh when asked, regarding his still evolving school choice plan, “Can you say with any certainty whether or not there will be absolutely no segregated schools or all-black schools or all-high poverty schools?”
            “Well right now we have sixty schools that are high poverty schools that are above 40 percent,” Tata began his response, referring to the set goal of a 40 percent or below free-and-reduced-lunch (F&R) student population per school, established by the school board years ago to prevent high poverty status.
            “So this notion that the old plan prevented high poverty schools is a myth,” a defensive Tata continued. “Right now we have schools over forty percent, all the way up to eighty percent.” 
            He failed to mention, however, that the one school that is 81 percent F&R and 52 percent under-performing, Walnut Creek Elementary School in Southeast Raleigh, is a $25 million high poverty school that his current bosses, the Republican-led Wake School Board, recently created via their neighborhood schools policy after ditching the “old” diversity plan Tata criticized. It formally opens next month.
            Why Tata assumes that anyone ever said the previous student diversity plan “prevented” the creation of high poverty schools is puzzling, because there’s no record of that ever been said.
            Indeed, as frequent readers of The Carolinian know, the reverse is true.
            Last February, the first of a series of Carolinian articles examining the opening of Walnut Creek Elementary School titled, “Southeast Raleigh’s Newest School: The High Poverty Gamble” (found online at revealed exactly how the student diversity policy, since it’s inception in 2000, addressed the issue of high poverty schools.
            The very first two paragraphs of that story read, “Ten years ago, when Wake Schools Supt. Bill McNeal was faced with a handful of what he called “unhealthy” system schools that exceeded the forty-percent threshold in free-and-reduced lunch student population, his plan was simple.”
            “Supply those schools - designated in other school districts as “high poverty” - not only with the tools, but unqualified support and attention needed to give low-income, low-achieving students every chance to learn, and grow, he told The Carolinian last October.”
            The story goes on to tell how McNeal, who from 2000 to 2005 led Wake Public Schools to its greatest academic success with his socioeconomic diversity student assignment plan, made keeping the system’s high poverty schools as “healthy” as possible.
            He knew from experience that if he didn’t, those schools would become expensive, bottomless pits of under-achievement, and failure.
             “We made very certain that we chose the right leadership for that school - a strong, effective principal,” McNeal told The Carolinian last October, regarding how he handled each of the then five high poverty schools in Wake. “We made very certain that we had the caliber and quality of teachers that we considered to be very effective, and then we put the support dollars there in order to make sure that the children had the equipment; that we had the after-school programs and the before-school programs.”
 “We tried to extend learning for the children to make sure that we made up for what we deemed to be some of the deficiencies that existed in the schools,” McNeal added.
Because of the explosion in student population between 2000 and 2005, it was inevitable that more high poverty schools with high concentrations of poor black and Hispanic students would come on line, McNeal said. Despite Wake’s busing for diversity policy, the school system couldn’t build schools fast enough to meet the pressing need.
Since the school system couldn’t “prevent,” as Supt. Tata puts it, more high poverty schools, it did what it could, under McNeal’s leadership, to make sure that they were not failing “unhealthy” schools, and for a time, the system was very successful. Teacher and principal turnover at Wake’s high poverty schools was relatively low in contrast to other public school systems that routinely experience high turnover in unhealthy schools.
More importantly, Wake’s F&R students were learning.
A comparison of high poverty schools (many that were as high 60 percent F&R) in Wake, versus rival Charlotte-Mecklenburg at the time, was virtually no contest. In 2005, while black and Hispanic students in Wake were performing very well on the state’s end-of-grade tests, Wake Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. was condemning the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School System (CMS) of “academic genocide” for allowing so many of its low-achieving students to languish in failure.
He threatened to close 19 CMS schools if they didn’t straighten up.
Even today, while CMS still has several low-performing schools, Wake has never had even one performing below standard, thanks to McNeal, and later his successor, Supt. Del Burns.
Supt. Tata says his proposed school choice student assignment plan - which he hopes to have completed and presented to the Wake School Board sometime this fall - is still a work in progress, so he couldn’t tell the NCNAACP during their meeting last Thursday if more high poverty schools will be created as a result.
So instead, when pressed during his remarks to reporters after that meeting about more being created, Tata defensively tried to assure that every student in Wake County will attend a good school that will enhance academic achievement, regardless of its status.
But when asked by The Carolinian whether the high poverty schools created by his new plan will get the requisite resources to keep them from becoming “unhealthy” as in the Bill McNeal days, Tata became prickly again.
“We are focused on providing resources to all of our schools and, right now we get $31 million in Title 1 funding that go to those schools with the highest free-and-reduced-lunch populations. So I guess it depends on what your definition of “unhealthy” is,” Tata said curtly to The Carolinian. “If a school is 78 percent F&R population, and you’re saying that’s not unhealthy, we probably ought to have a conversation.”
Actually, it’s Wake Public Schools, not The Carolinian, that deemed that having a high poverty student population alone does not make a school “unhealthy.”
If Supt. Tata checked his own school system’s website, he would find the final report of Wake’s Healthy Schools Task Force ( of over seven years ago.
“The Board of Education created the Healthy Schools Task Force (HSTF) to examine and discuss a variety of issues that impact the ongoing health and stability of public education in Wake County,” the Task Force webpage says, adding that the 28-member panel was created in October 2002.
Among those committee members then, future Wake School Board members Lori Millberg, Roxie Cash, and Keith Sutton, who currently represents Southeast Raleigh’s District 4.
During the HSTF’s 2003 tenure, according to the committee’s February 2004 Final Report, end-of-grade testing for Wake grades 3-8 “surpassed 90 percent” and the racial achievement gap was reduced. Wake led the state and nation in high Scholastic Aptitude Test scores with 80% of it students actually taking the test, compared to lesser percentages per the state and nation.
A higher percentage of Wake graduates attended UNC schools, the report continued, and a higher percentage of Wake graduates at UNC institutions “…earn higher GPAs in their freshman year…, take more advanced courses, and require a lower percentage of remedial courses.”
So what helped to produce these noteworthy results?
The HSTF determined that the characteristics of a Wake County healthy school, per system efforts and board policy, included  - high academic achievement by all students; strong parental support and commitment; strong community support and commitment; highly trained and effective staff; attractive and appropriate learning facilities; a safe, orderly and inviting learning climate; strong and effective leadership, and a diverse student body.
And in that report, “diversity” was defined, “…to include two factors: (a) the mix of students at a school representing varied socioeconomic levels, and (b) the mix of students at a school representing varied academic achievement levels.”
Supt. Anthony Tata apparently never read the full HSTF 59-page report, or its much shorter Executive Summary.
When reminded at last Thursday’s press conference that, per the Wake School System’s definition under Bill McNeal, that “unhealthy schools” meant schools not just with high F&R populations, but poor leadership, a lack of resources, no special programs and uninspiring teaching staffs, Tata backed up his rhetoric a bit. Especially when he was reminded that he promised to provide high poverty Walnut Creek Elementary with whatever it needed in optimum resources, staffing and leadership to deal with its special list of challenges.
“We are resourcing the schools as best we can with federal, state and local money,” Supt. Tata replied. “And we think the student assignment plan is focused on providing the right academic environment for all of our students.”
Ironically, in an earlier press conference in front of Wake School System headquarters in Raleigh just before Tata spoke to reporters, it was apparent that NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber had read the seven-year-old HSTF report, and understood what “healthy schools” meant in Wake County.
“We must remind ourselves what was the philosophy of the [old student diversity] plan that received national attention, “ Rev. Barber told reporters. “That was the goal of creating healthy schools, and one part of the definition of healthy schools - it wasn’t the only part - that we would have a goal, even if we didn’t meet it all the time, of no more than 40 percent poor children in any one school, and no more than 25 percent underperforming.”
Barber added that it was the intention of the NCNAACP, beyond helping to attract more black and Hispanic teachers to the Wake school system, to make sure that Supt. Tata holds to that standard.
Now that Tata’s challenge is to apply that standard, not only to the new high poverty school his own school board has created, and not only to the other 59 high poverty schools already in force, but also the ones, if any, that his new school choice student assignment plan creates.
Keeping them all “healthy” as the Wake Public School budget continues to shrink in per pupil spending, will be the former Brigadier general’s new, and perhaps most perplexing mission.


            [WASH., DC] The Republican-dominated US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has sent a previous Kinston lawsuit challenging Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act back to Federal District Court in North Carolina, ruling that plaintiffs have the right to challenge the constitutionality of the VRA. The case, titled LaRoque v Holder, evolved from the US Justice Dept. not approving a 2009 Kinston voter referendum to change from partisan to nonpartisan city elections for City Council, saying that doing so harmed the rights of black voters. Several plaintiffs sued the Justice Dept., but a federal judge dismissed it, citing lack of standing and cause of action. But last week, a three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court reinstated the lawsuit, sending it back to federal court. The NCNAACP warns that if the lawsuit is successful, it could severely cripple the VRA’s protection of black citizens’ right to vote.

            [RALEIGH] Leaders in the Republican-led NC General Assembly released completed redistricting maps for state House and Senate legislative seats this week. The maps, which still have to be ratified by both the chambers, are drawn to maintain Republican dominance of the Legislature for the next decade. The state Senate reconvened Wednesday to take up the maps. Per the Congressional redistricting maps, the NCNAACP and other groups vowed to fight them in federal court, alleging that black voters were being “stacked and packed” to help Republicans defeat white Democrats. Public hearings on the maps will be held Monday from 3 - 8 p.m. at locations across the state, including the NC Museum of History in Raleigh.

            [RALEIGH] Now that state lawmakers are back in town for their special redistricting session, expect House Republicans, who hold the majority, to try and override Governor Perdue’s veto of their voter ID and other bills.  The GOP will once again need several of the five conservative Democrats who voted with them to pass the budget, to go along with the override votes. Perdue said she wished the Republicans would work to improve the bills first.



            The owners of a Garner daycare decided to close it after county health inspectors found peeling lead paint on the premises. Ridoutt’s Nursery and Kindergarten on St. Mary’s Street was shuttered after lab tests confirmed that paint chips from the over 20 year-old building contained lead. State law prohibits lead paint in child facilities because of the danger of brain damage if children consume it. The owners were given the option of removing the health hazard, but they reportedly declined.

            Cynthia Matson, the founder of Assignment By Choice (ABC) - an old neighborhood schools group that opposed Wake student socioeconomic diversity policy a decade ago - has announced she will run for the Wake School Board District 5 seat this fall being vacated by incumbent Dr. Anne McLaurin. NCSU Prof. Jim Martin, a Democrat, has also announced his candidacy for that seat. Meanwhile in District 8, GOP incumbent Chairman Ron Margiotta is now being challenged by Democrat Susan Evans, a parent with two children who graduated from Wake Public Schools. Filing for the Oct. 11 school board elections begins July 25.

            After a wave of residential outcry, federal authorities have decided against leasing an old supermarket site for an illegal immigration enforcement office in West Cary. The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) was planned for in a shopping center at NC 55 and High House Road, but because it bordered a residential area, it ran afoul of homeowners, businesses and public officials like Fourth District Congressman David Price, who asked the General Services Administration to cross the site of its list.


By Cash Michaels

            SCANDAL OF THE WORLD - Do news reporters sometimes bend the rules a little to get to the bottom of a good story. Yes. Sometimes there’s no other way to make sure that what you’re about to report is standing on solid ground.
            But does that mean we should break the law, or make stuff up, or throw all professional ethics and decency to the wind?
            Absolutely not, because at the end of the day, when we publish our stories, and put our names and bylines to them, we’re certifying to our readers and the general public that at the time, we did our best, and we did it honestly, with some modicum of integrity.
            You may find this hard to believe, but most reporters I know operate this way. That’s not to say reporters don’t have their share of personal bias (I know that I do). But the really good ones acknowledge that, and work hard to keep as much of it out of their reporting as possible.
            And that’s why the mega-scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (which owns the conservative Fox News and 20th Century Fox movie studio, among other media properties) and it’s now defunct British newspaper “The News of the World (NOTW),” is so breathtaking.
            Before Murdoch closed the over century-old tabloid down last Sunday, there were official charges that reporters for NOTW secretly hacked into the private cellphone message accounts of murder and kidnap victims, including victims of terrorist attacks, in order to secure exclusive information for headline stories. Reporters allegedly bribed police and government officials for information, and even illegally obtained medical records.
            All of this just to sell newspapers.
            As I said, while I know many, many reporters who work their butts off to get solid, exclusive details for explosive stories involving government officials, or even controversial celebrities, I know of NONE, this one included, who would EVER go to the CRIMINAL extent that those blimies allegedly did in jolly ole England.
            Clearly this kind of criminal behavior was sanctioned by the editors of NOTW, and ultimately the publisher, Rupert Murdoch, who had to know, and sign off on those criminal tactics because it made him a continent full of money. Murdoch is a powerful figure in Great Britain, and normally the powers that be would be running interference for him. But invading the privacy of murder victims and their families, or even hacking in the messages of a kidnapped little girl who was ultimately found dead…THAT’S  bridge too far for most decent human beings.
            So Murdoch and him empire is in serious do-do overseas. Stockholders in his company are now raising a ruckus as News Corp’s. stock has dropped like a rock.
            But what about over here in the US? Is there any blowback on the Murdoch scandal in Great Britain here across the pond?
            Could be. Murdoch owns the controversial New York Post (where there are several lawsuits pending alleging racial and sexual bias), the Fox Network, and the Fox News Channel - known for being a major mouthpiece for the conservative movement and Republican Party.
            There are stories circulating that some of that message hacking went on on these shores. If that is true at all, then Murdoch may be cooked. Make no mistake, with the Republicans in charge in the US House, and given how much money Murdoch gives to the GOP, he may skate a little depending on how serious it gets. The Republicans need him, especially with the 2012 elections just a stone’s throw away.
            But if it gets REAL serious, Murdoch may find his FCC licenses challenged. Remember that one of the requirements of having an Federal Communications Commission license to own and operate broadcast entities is to be of sound moral character.
            Right now, that seems very much in doubt for Rupert Murdoch.
            Very much!
            KINSTON HOMETOWN HERO - Mark this date down, Saturday, July 23rd. That’s when the Goldsboro community celebrates Kinston’s Carl Long and Goldsboro’s Hubert “Daddy” Wooten - two Negro baseball League hometown heroes. From 11 a.m. to 12 noon, there will be a meet and greet of the players at Rebuilding Broken Places in Goldsboro, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. a community Cookout at Fairview Park. Then at 7 p.m., an honors program at Herman Park Center. For more information, call “Take Your Base” at 919-344-2761. It’s all free.
            For the record, from Wikipedia:
            Carl Long (born May 9, 1935 in Rock Hill, South Carolina) is a former outfielder in Negro league and minor league baseball who, along with Frank Washington, broke the color barrier in the Carolina League city of Kinston, North Carolina. Long made his debut for the Kinston Eagles on April 17, 1956. During the year, he hit .291 with 18 home runs and 111 runs batted in. The Carolina League itself had been integrated in 1951 by Percy Miller Jr. of the Danville Leafs. The 111 RBI tallied by Long in 1956 has been equaled but never surpassed by any subsequent Kinston players.
            Long's professional debut came with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League in 1952. He stayed with Birmingham through the 1953 season. In 1954, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates and was sent to their minor league team, the St. Jean Canadians of the Provincial League. During 1955, Long played for the Billings Mustangs in the Pioneer League and also saw some action for Phoenix in the Arizona-Mexico League. After playing for the Eagles in 1956, Long played for the Beaumont Pirates of the Big State League and Mexico City in 1957. A shoulder injury curtailed his career, and he left baseball to live in Kinston.
            Long continued to break barriers after his baseball career was over. He became Kinston's first black bus driver as well as Lenoir County's first black Deputy Sheriff and black detective within the sheriff's department.
            NBA AND NFL STRIKES - Looks like college sports will rule this fall and next spring, and that’s because the owners and players in both the National Football League and the National Basketball League are so far apart in their respective contract talks, that it’s not likely they’ll come to terms in time to play full seasons.
            Obviously all of this whittles down to money and who will control what in the future. The owners don’t want to pay players tens of millions just to sit on a bench. And the players don’t want to lose money when they know the owners are running to the bank with those big fat TV contracts.
            So don’t expect any football or b-ball anytime soon.  It’s a shame, for sure, but that’s the way America is right now.
            HONORING MS. MURRAY - If there is one person, apart from my own family, that I simply love and adore without question, it has to be Mrs. Margaret Rose Murray, who has been a stalwart of our community for virtually half a century. Ms. Murray is still going strong with her Vital Link is Crosslink schools, community volunteerism, and her weekly community affairs radio program, “ Traces of Faces and Places” heard every Saturday morning from 9-a.m. until 11 a.m. on WSHA-88.9 FM.
            That’s why on Saturday, August 6th, the community will come together to honor Ms. Murray, and her invaluable half century of work in this community, during her 80th Birthday Gala and Community Appreciation Banquet, The Grand Ballroom of the Raleigh Convention & Civic Center, 7 p.m. in Downtown Raleigh. Renowned jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal will provide the evening’s entertainment, and proceeds go to help Ms. Murray’s nonprofit culinary school. For more information, contact Bruce Lightner at 919-833-1676.
              TRIAL TRAVESTY - OK, OK, I’ve calmed down from the legal travesty otherwise known as the Casey Anthony murder trial. Last week, a jury of 12 DUMMIES (13 if you count the ignorant alternate who was the first to run his mouth on TV) decided after six weeks of testimony and evidence that they couldn’t, or wouldn’t hold Casey Anthony responsible for the death of her two-year child, Caylee.
            Some folks have suggested that the state failed to prove its case. For first-degree murder, which calls for details that all 12 jurors must agree to, I’ll buy that.
            But aggravated manslaughter and child abuse - two counts that were among the seven that Casey Anthony faced - ABSOLUTELY she should have been convicted. There is no way the woman could be convicted of four counts of lying to the police unless you ask yourself, “What was she lying about and why?” If the logical answer is, “ She was lying about not knowing where her child was because she knew her daughter was dead,” then the very fact that  she tried to interfere with police finding out IS abusive, and indicative that she had something, if not EVERYTHING to do with it.
            Where I come from, that’s called connecting the dots.
            Apparently the Casey Anthony jury - DUMMIES ALL - don’t even know what a dot is, let alone what to do with it.
            So as a result, a two-year-old child is dead, no one is held account, and her party-hardy mommy will be released from prison for time served on the cop-lying charges.
            What will happen next is not clear. The world is very angry at Casey Anthony, so making a living is going to be very hard on her part.
            Her mother, Cindy, could be hit with a perjury charge for lying in court about looking up  chloroform on the house computer in an effort to save her daughter.
            A TV station has asked for the release of  December 2008jailhouse videotape that shows Casey Anthony’s reaction to news that her daughter’s skeleton had been found
            And investigators also say they’re looking into a possible case of witness tampering during the trial.
            So the drama of Casey Anthony is far from over. But make no mistake, GOD is NOT finished with this woman yet!
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” ( I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, by Cash Michaels, honored this year as well by NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian your life. Bye, bye.