Tuesday, December 27, 2011


2011 YEAR IN REVIEW- PART THREE (Sept. to December)
by Cash Michaels


            North Carolina joined the nation in commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
            The Democratic National Committee holds a “year-out” rally in Charlotte to mark the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and unveils its new convention logo.
            President Obama is being hammered by members of the Congressional Black Caucus for not doing enough for African-Americans during the economic downturn. He later tells them to “Stop complaining; stop grumbling.”
            North Carolina continues to recover from Hurricane Irene.
            It is announced that comedian Eddie Murphy will host the Academy Awards in February.
            Two black NC House Democrats join the Republican majority in voting to approve a same-sex marriage ban amendment.
            President Obama visits a small technology company in Apex, and then holds a rally at NC State University in Raleigh to promote his $449 billion jobs package.
            State Democrats change the name of the fundraising Vance-Aycock dinner because both North Carolina governors were white supremacists.
            New Hanover County Public Schools join with a private company to apply to the state to convert the closes D.C. Virgo School into a special charter school academy, despite black community opposition.
            Troy Davis, a man many say was wrongly convicted for the 1989 murder of an off-duty Georgia police officer, is executed.
            Rapper Petey Pablo is sentenced to 35 months in federal prison for attempting to sneak a gun on his carry-on luggage at RDU International Airport in 2010.
            New York tops the “Chocolate City list with over 3 million black residents.
            US Dept. of Education’s Civil Rights Division reports a record number of civil rights complaints.
            Candidates for five open seats on the controversial Wake County Public School Board begin their debates.
            Walnut Creek Elementary School, a brand new $25 million high poverty school the Republican-led Wake School Board has opened in Southeast Raleigh, is already more than 50 students above capacity just one month after it opens.
            Republican Wake School Board candidate Venita Peyton refuses to appear to debate District 4 incumbent Keith Sutton in Southeast Raleigh, saying that she doesn’t like how it was scheduled. She is, however, the only GOP candidate to show up for a debate at Martin Street Baptist Church.
            District 3 North Raleigh Republican candidate Heather Losurdo admits to supporting the right-wing Tea Party, and agrees with her husband’s Facebook posting that President Obama is “like a skunk - he’s half-black, half-white, and everything he does stinks.”  Losurdo says if black parents have a problem with that, it’s the way she feels.

An offer by conservative Tea Party financier Art Pope to fund a constitutional law center at the North Carolina Central University School of Law is withdrawn after a firestorm of controversy erupts.
            It is reported that one in 4 children in North Carolina live in poverty.
            Raleigh elects Nancy McFarlane as mayor, only the second woman in history to hold the office, succeeding longtime Mayor Charles Meeker.
            The NCNAACP holds its annual conference in High Point, where Gov. Beverly Perdue rails against the Republican-led NC General Assembly, and Pres. Rev. William Barber says, “We must fight back.”
            GOP state lawmakers claim that despite massive budget cuts, teacher and teacher assistant layoffs will be lower than Democrats claim.
            The nation marks the 100th birthday of the late gospel legend Mahalia Jackson.
            The Washington Post reports that a hunting retreat leased for years by the family Republican presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry is named “Niggerhead.”
            African-Americans react negatively to black Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain saying that two-thirds of blacks are “brainwashed” because they voted for President Barack Obama in 2008.
            Country singer Hank Williams Jr. compares Pres. Obama to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on Fox News, is fired from Monday Night Football by ESPN.
            Republican NC House Speaker Thom Tillis tells a Madison County audience that North Carolina should be drug testing welfare recipients and state employees, adding that he’d like to “divide and conquer” people receiving public assistance so that disable patients would look down upon unwed mothers. Tillis later had to take back his statements.
            Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs dies after a long bout with cancer.
            Civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, whose home was bombed in the 1960’s as he worked closely with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., dies at the age of 89.
            The “Occupy Wall Street Movement” continues to grow all over the nation. 
            President Obama and a host of dignitaries, attend the unveiling of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.
            In an effort to drum up public support for his American Jobs Act, President Barack Obama toured Western North Carolina for two days by bus, telling cheering crowds that Republicans in Congress are blocking his efforts to create jobs and jumpstart the economy. The president spoke from Asheville to Jamestown just outside of Greensboro.
            The first black US Marines who trained at Montford Point in Jacksonville are honored by Congress.
            President Obama announces that America’s involvement in the Iraqi war is over, and US troops will be home for the holidays.
            Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain defends his controversial “9-9-9” economic plan as critics tear it apart as unworkable.
            Democrats win four of five seats on the Wake County Public School Board, with a November runoff scheduled in the District 3 race between Democratic incumbent Kevin Hill, and Republican Tea Party candidate Heather Losurdo. The prospect of outspoken Republican school board Vice Chair John Tedesco becoming chair if Democrats lose the seat becomes a hot issue.
            Republican Wake School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta loses his seat in his GOP-majority District 8 to Democrat Susan Evans. Margiotta warns that if Democrats take back control of the school board, busing for diversity will return and Wake Supt. Tony Tata could be fired, none of which was true.
            District 4 incumbent Keith Sutton defeats Republican challenger Venita Peyton 81 percent to 19 percent.
            Retired Wake Superior Court Judge George Greene, and former Wake County Commissioner Harold Webb and his wife, Lucille, are inducted into the 2011 Raleigh Hall of Fame.


            After the US Justice Dept. preclears the NC General Assembly’s controversial redistricting maps, the NCNAACP joins in coalition with other nonprofit groups in suing Republican leadership in the Legislature, alleging that the maps are unconstitutional because they “stack and pack” the state’s black voters in as few voting districts as possible.
            Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo wins re-election, but City Councilman Ron Sparks loses.
            After a public uproar, Bank of America backs off a plan to charge a $5.00 debit card usage fee.
            The St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series over the Texas Rangers.
            Politico.com reports that Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain allegedly sexually harassed several women while he was president of the National Restaurant Association. Cain, who is leading in the polls, denies it.
            Conservative pundit Ann Coulter tells Fox News’ Sean Hannity, in defense of Herman Cain, “Our blacks are so much better than their (Democrats) blacks.”
            Rapper/actor Heavy D dies of a pulmonary disease days after returning from performing at a Michael Jackson tribute concert in Europe.
            Former heavyweight and Olympics boxing champion “Smokin’ Joe Frazier dies of liver cancer at 67. Frazier’s greatest rival, Muhammad Ali, calls him a great champion and attends the funeral.
            Duke University study shows white kids have more drug problems than black and Asian children.
            Only 34 eugenics forced sterilization victims of the estimated 3,000 survivors are found across the state.
            After years of haggling, black farmers are finally getting payments from a discrimination lawsuit against the US Dept. of Agriculture.
            Fox announces that a new version of the classic black comedy show, “In Living Color” will return.
            Republicans in Congress vote Pres. Obama’s American Jobs Act down, so he fights back in a series of rallies, telling the American people to hold the GOP accountable. The president is also signing Executive Orders to get around Congressional inaction.
            The state’s District Attorneys push for the NC Senate to follow the House and repeal the NC Racial Justice Act.
            Longtime CIAA Commissioner Leon Kerry retires, effective immediately.
            Former NBA basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson commemorates twenty years of living with HIV/AIDS.
            Wilmington State Sen. Thom Goolsby leads the NC Senate in voting to repeal the Racial Justice Act, thus sending the law to Gov. Beverly Perdue for her signature.
            An Atlanta woman claims that she carried on a 13-year affair with GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain, sending his campaign reeling.
            NBA owners and players come to a tentative labor agreement, ending the five-month old player lockout. The delayed season is scheduled to begin Christmas day.
            Pennsylvania authorities probe allegations that young children were the victims of sexual abuse by an assistant Penn State University football coach for years, but Coach Joe Paterno never told police. Paterno and the Penn State University president are fired by the board.
            A police officer in Scotland Neck kills a deaf man with a taser gun.
Democrats have now swept all five Wake School Board seats as Kevin Hill wins re-election to his District 3 seat over Tea Party Republican Heather Losurdo in the runoff. The results make national news.
            Walnut Creek Elementary School in Southeast Raleigh, a $25 million brand new high poverty school, now has a reported 929 students enrolled, well above its assigned 780 capacity, just three months after it’s opened. Under public pressure, the outgoing Republican-led Wake School Board finally votes to cap enrollment at 862.
            Wake School Board Vice Chair John Tedesco announces that he may run for state schools superintendent in 2012 after he gets married.
            Wake Public Schools now 16th largest in the nation.
            The Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association elects Martin Street Baptist Church Pastor Earl Johnson as its news president, replacing Danny Coleman.


            Winston-Salem state Rep. Larry Womble is critically injured after his car collides with another head-on, killing the driver.
            Eugenics victims tell task force that $20,000 in state compensation for forced sterilization is too low.
            Republican NC House Speaker Thom Tillis says expect a new voter ID bill in the spring short session.
            Herman Cain. After speaking with his wife, quits his race for the presidency after allegations that he had an affair with an Atlanta woman.
            The wife of Georgia Bishop Eddie Long files for divorce after allegations that Long sexually abused teenage boys, and Long takes a leave of absence from the pulpit.
            The state rejects New Hanover Public Schools charter school application to turn D.C. Virgo Middle School into a charter academy.
            President Obama and First Lady Michelle go to Fort Bragg to welcome returning troops from Iraq home.
            After meeting with families of murder victims, Gov. Perdue decides to veto the Republican repeal of the NC Racial Justice Act.
            Teen pregnancy is down in North Carolina.
            Convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal no longer faces the death penalty for a cop killing he maintains he did not commit.
            After Herman Cain is forced to leave the GOP race for president, Newt Gingrich surprisingly leads in the polls.
            Convicted murderer, author Michael Peterson, is released from prison pending a new trial after it is determined that blood evidence findings in his case were not accurate.
            Raleigh is now the 43rd largest city in the nation.
            Civil rights attorney Romallus O. Murphy is dead at 83.
            US Justice Dept. rejects South Carolina’s voter ID law, saying that it violates the constitutional rights of black voters.
            Federal court rejects Kinston challenge to 1965 Voting Rights Act provision.
            A Republican congressman from Wisconsin apologizes after criticizing First Lady Michelle Obama’s backside.
             Democrats take over the Wake School Board, electing Kevin Hill as chair and Keith Sutton as vice chair.
            Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, District C Councilman Eugene Weeks and the new Raleigh City Council are sworn-in.
            The world gets ready for 2012.


 He is known as one of the attorneys who helped to bring about the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Civil rights attorney Romallus O. Murphy of Greensboro, who also worked hard to bring more black attorneys into the state’s court system, died last week at age 83. The Houston, Texas native and Howard University alum earned his law degree from the UNC School of Law in 1956, the only African-American there at the time. He later worked in Raleigh with attorney Samuel Mitchell, one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legal counsels. Atty. Murphy later became part of the NAACP Legal Redress Committee, and joined the US Air Force, where he rose to the rank of captain before retirement.

            Del Burns, the former Wake Schools superintendent until he resigned in protest after conservatives backing neighborhood schools took over the school board in 2010, has written a book titled, “Preserving the Public in Public Schools.” In the book, Burns, who spent over 30 years in WCPSS as a teacher and administrator before he left, promotes diversity as a key component of public education, and adds that in order to have a strong nation, there must be a strong public school system. Dr. Burns currently is interim superintendent of the Edgecombe County public schools.

            Now that the Wake School Board is back in Democratic hands, the board majority wants to end the system’s contract with conservative attorney Kieran Shanahan, whose law firm drew up the board’s redistricting map, and has given campaign funding to losing Republican school board candidates. Shanahan’s $25,000 contract ends next June. Meanwhile the board did approve a new contract with Tharrington Smith LLC, with an increase in its rates, to continue to provide legal services for the school system.


            [WILMINGTON] Get ready to pay a lot more at the gas pump starting Sunday, January 1. That’s when both the federal and state taxes on gasoline go up by a combined over eight cents per gallon more, guaranteed to irritate motorists, and hurt the pocketbooks of the drivers who could least afford it. Because the Republican-led Congress allowed the $8 billion federal subsidy on ethanol to expire, the ethanol that is contained in gasoline will jump by 4.5 cents per gallon. And then there’s the Republican-led NC Senate’s failure to cap the gas tax at 35 cents per gallon because it adjourned early in November, leaving the state House the only body to do so. That means the state motor tax, which is raised every six months based on wholesale gas prices, automatically goes up 3.9 cents per gallon, to a high of 38.9 per gallon. No word on whether the Legislature will take up the gas tax during its upcoming short session.

            [COLUMBIA] As North Carolina Republican state lawmakers prepare to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of their voter ID law in the upcoming short session, they’re undoubtedly keep a weary eye on what’s happening in South Carolina where the Obama Administration’s US Justice Dept. last week rejected the Palmetto State’s voter ID measure, saying that it discriminates against voters of color who do not have government-issued identification. Republicans say the law fights against voter fraud, though there’s very little evidence of such. The feds say that minority voters are 20 percent less likely to have IDs, and because South Carolina is governed by the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and must be precleared before any changes to its voting laws take effect, its voter ID law is unconstitutional. SC Gov. Nikki Haley called the ruling “outrageous” and vowed to fight. North Carolina is also a state governed by the 1965 VRA, and if Gov. Perdue’s veto is overridden, the US Justice Dept could also reject the Republican law as well.

            [GREENSBORO] Welcome to one of the fastest growing states in America. According to the US Census, North Carolina added 121,000 residents in a 15-month period, which ended last July, bringing the state’s population just short of 10 million people. North Carolina was the fifth in numerical growth overall for that period, behind Texas, California, Florida and Georgia, and the 11th fastest growing. North Carolina is the tenth most populous state in the nation.


Special to The Carolinian

            The NCNAACP is hailing a decision by the US District Court for the District of Columbia last week, rejecting a challenge to provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) that protected the rights of black voters in Kinston.
            If that case had been successful, it could have crippled the VRA indefinitely.
            "The Court's decision to protect the fundamentals of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a stand for justice and equality," said Rev. Dr. William J Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP. "Voting rights are under attack across the country. Fourteen states have already passed voter suppression laws that limit access to the polls and disproportionately impact minorities, poor people, young people, students and the elderly. Minority voting power is under attack through redistricting plans that marginalize minority voters, packing them into a few segregated districts so their influence is muted. We applaud the Court for recognizing the importance of the Voting Rights Act in protecting the right to vote."
            The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a hard-fought, landmark civil rights law that helps protect African American's and other minorities' right to vote. Under Section 5 of the VRA, certain states with a history of voter suppression must have changes to their election laws approved to ensure they are not discriminatory. Forty counties in North Carolina are protected under Section 5 of the VRA.
            In the case of LaRoque v. Holder, the federal court rejected a challenge by white residents of Kinston, NC to a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that ensures minorities' right to vote.
            Several years ago, Kinston voters elected to change their town council elections from partisan to nonpartisan. But the US Justice Dept, which is responsible for pre-clearing any changes to voting laws in North Carolina per the 1965 VRA, rejected the change, saying that it blurred which candidates were Democrat and which were Republican.
            Since most blacks historically voted Democratic, the Justice Dept. ruled that changing the elections violated Kinston’s African-American voters right to choose their candidates. Blacks outnumber whites in Kinston.
            Several white plaintiffs, led by Republican NC Rep. Stephen LaRoque, filed suit against US Attorney General Eric Holder and the US Justice Dept, challenged the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, saying that it “contravenes the 5th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution by denying Kinston’s citizens their right to hold nonpartisan elections.
            In a statement, the NCNAACP stated, “The Southern Coalition for Social Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union intervened in the case on behalf of the NC NAACP and six minority residents. The challenge by the NC NAACP comes in response to concentrated efforts by ultra-conservative political operatives in North Carolina who are intent upon undermining the voting protections for African-Americans and other racial minorities. They are using race-based, aggressive and ill-advised efforts to prevent minorities from fully participating in the North Carolina political process. As it has for over 102 years, the NAACP is engaged in ongoing efforts to maximize the political power of racial minorities and will never back down to from fighting efforts to destroy the Voting Rights Act and the guarantees of the 15th Amendment.”
             After an appeal an initial decision by a lower court to uphold the VRA, the   federal court ruled for the North Carolina NAACP, finding, “…that Congress had ample evidence to justify enacting the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act with the 2006 amendments.”

                                       EPA DIRECTOR LISA JACKSON


By Cash Michaels

            GOODBYE, 2011 - Well I, for one, am very happy indeed that 2011 is coming to a close. Talk about a rough year where money was tight and the crazies had seemingly taken over. It was the year that if Barack Obama didn’t learn the hard way what it took to actually be president, he never will learn it, having to deal with both the Tea Party Republicans and killing terrorists right and left, including Osama bin Laden. It was a year where we saw pure politics on the part of the conservatives, who seemingly rather destroy the country than try to work with a black president to help improve the economy.
            We should all be thankful, however, that most of us made it through to live to see another New Year, and I pray that all of you have a great 2012, and that all of your dreams come true.
            Better strap yourselves in, because something tells me that 2012 is going to be a real rough ride.
“THE HELP” - I finally got the chance to see “The Help” over the Christmas holiday. Without a doubt, this film is the hit of 2011, having made over $200 million worldwide to date.
The story of the trials and tribulations of a group of Mississippi black maids in 1961, the controversial film, based on the New York Times bestseller, caused a lot of talk when it came out last August. Many black pundits panned the film because it portrayed black maids with broken English, and asked why was this necessary. Some black groups even condemned the movie, especially when they discovered that it was based on material written by a white woman, Kathyrn Stockett, and directed by a white male, Tate Taylor.
I couldn’t say anything at the time because I hadn’t seen the film.
But I have now, and as far as I’m concerned, the worries were overblown.
Produced by Steven Spielberg’s “Dreamworks” company, “The Help” is a well-made, powerful drama, with riveting performances by Violet Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Cicely Tyson.
Yes the subject matter is rough, but it’s handled with respect for the delicate history it addresses, and both Davis and Spencer, who deserve Academy Award nominations at the very least, perform their roles with dignity.
I understand the concerns of the critics in our community, but I remember once interviewing actress Esther Rolle, who portrayed Florida Evans in the 1970’s TV sitcom “Good Times.”
Folks forget that Rolle’s character first started as a maid on another CBS sitcom, “Maude.” Rolle was proud of her role because she wanted to represent domestic workers as hardworking people who deserved respect.
I thought of Esther Rolle when I watched “The Help.” If she still lived (Rolle died in 1998), I think she would have been pleased.
What I found even more fascinating is that despite what the professional black critics said, average black folks seeing the flick loved it, and were moved by it. What folks didn’t know at the time was that both the author, Kathyrn Stockett, and the director, Tate Taylor, were raised in the South with black nannies, and grew up understanding and appreciating what these women had to do to survive in a white supremacist world.
Folks also don’t realize that it took years before any publisher would touch Stockett’s book, or any studio would option Taylor film.
Today, both are laughing all the way to the bank, and rightfully so.
If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences don’t give “The Help” big props all around, I will personally fly out to Los Angeles and picket the joint until my fingers fall off!
So all due respect to the folks who didn’t like this film, but I thoroughly recommend “The Help.” See it on DVD soon.
NOTABLE DEATHS IN 2011 - Some were famous, one or two were infamous, but all contributed to the world in some form or fashion. These are the notable deaths in Black America in 2011 - heavyweight boxers Joe Frazier and Ron Lyle; former UCLA and US Olympic basketball player Walt Hazzard; rapper/actor Heavy D; Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi; Apple computer creator Steve Jobs; 60’s civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth; singer-songwriter Sylvia ‘Pillow Talk” Robinson; singer-songwriter Nick Ashford of Ashford and Simpson; former NFL defensive back and “Police Academy” film series actor Bubba Smith; saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who played with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band; former Black Panther Geronimo Pratt; actress Clarice Taylor, who played Bill Cosby’s mother on  “The Cosby Show”; rapper Nate Dogg; Mississippi Winn, believed to be the oldest African-American when he died at 113; and singer-songwriter Gil Scott-Heron.
WHAT KILLED HEAVY D - Talented rapper/actor Heavy D, 44, died mysteriously on November 9, cause unknown. No one knew what to make of it at first because D wasn’t known for heavy drug or alcohol use. But now all of the reports are in, and according to the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office, D died of pulmonary embolism in the lungs, caused by deep leg thrombosis. Translation - D died when a blood clot which formed in his leg, traveled to block the arties in one of his lungs.
            Why? Heavy D had just come back from an international flight from Europe, where he performed at a Michael Jackson tribute. Being immobile for the long flight back may have caused to clot to form in his leg.
            D’s death has been ruled as because of natural causes.
            TYRESE IS MY HERO - Singer/actor Tyrese, star of such films as “Fast and Furious” and “Baby Boy,” and of the Transformers series, is rarely on my radar for anything. Nothing personal, I just don’t pay that much attention to him…until now.
            According to published reports, Tyrese was at a FM radio station in Delaware a couple of weeks ago promoting his about his new album.
            During the course of the interview, Tyrese commented that liquor stores should not be located near elementary schools in the black community.
            Nothing wrong with that. Anyone with any sense would agree with that.
            That is, unless, of course, you happen to be the station manager of the radio station Tyrese just made the remark on.
            Reportedly, the SM came out of his office, having heard what the actor just said on his air, and allegedly told Tyrese to leave the building because he was “disrespecting” the Delaware community.
            Tyrese dutifully tweeted about the incident.
            So let me get this straight - if Tyrese came on the talking about sex, drugs, drinking and violence, homeboy station manager wouldn’t have had a problem, because that’s all those stupid, money-grubbing FM stations do anyway - promote corrupt behavior in our youth, especially in the black community.
            But if a high-profile black celebrity talks about protecting our community, and particularly our school children from the undue influence of alcohol, he has just “insulted” the community.
            To be frank, we in the black community have allowed beer and wine companies to get away with exploiting our neighborhoods and radio stations for too long. I know this personally because I started my career in black radio.
            I remember when a local beer distributor made a deal with the radio station I did morning drive at back in the 1980’s to give away six-packs of beer to callers.
            Why were they being so generous? Because the beer had expired dates on them. They didn’t come from the factory, they came from the stores, which would otherwise throw them out.
            So here we were, giving away six-packs of stale beer to the ninth caller, on the air, while parents driving their children to school had the radio on so that their kids to hear.
            I refused to do it, and the beer distributor, a major sponsor at the radio station, threatened to have me fired. I didn’t give a damn, and told them so to their faces.
            My boss, the station manager, had a problem - keep a good account, but lose a good morning man and community figure; or find a compromise. So a meeting was called. The rep for the distributor (a money grubbing negro) and I had it out in front of our respective bosses, but I pulled the trump card.
            Our station played R&B, but we started each day with gospel, and I reminded everyone that if this had gotten out to the churches in the community, everybody BUT me would have a bigger problem on their hands than just giving away stale beer.
            They knew I was right.
            Just so that the station would lose a major advertiser, I recommended that we could give the beer away between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., when the kids were safely in school. Certainly we would skip the 12 noon gospel hour.
            But I demanded that it be fresh beer, which the distributor could afford.
            All agreed, and while I still didn’t like doing it, at least children weren’t around to hear it.
            So what Tyrese did struck a chord in me, and I salute him. I just wish our entire community would pressure these radio stations to stop peddling sex and alcohol to our kids.
            It has to stop.
            Good Job, Tyrese. You’re in the club now.
            HATIN’ ON WILL SMITH - Ever wonder what ever happened to the “first” Aunt Vivian Banks from the hit Will Smith show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”? That would be Janet Hubert, who left the show in a huff in 1993 after a contract dispute with NBC. Reportedly, Hubert didn’t particularly get along with cast members either, and specifically series star Will Smith. In a recent interview with TMZ.com, Hubert said she will “never” take part in a reunion show, if there is one, for “The Fresh Prince,” and then called Smith the a-word. Hubert says she’s due an apology from Smith, calling him “an egomaniac” who “has not grown up.”
            Apparently the feeling is still mutual. At the time when Hubert was being replaced by Daphine Maxwell Reid on the show in 1993, Smith got on an Atlanta radio station and was quoted as saying, “I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be |The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air Show' because I know she is going to dog me in the press ... She has basically gone from a quarter of a million dollars a year to nothing. She's mad now but she's been mad all along. She said once, |I've been in the business for 10 years and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.' No matter what, to her I'm just the AntiChrist."
            Almost twenty years later and these two are still at it.
            Oh well!
            Happy New Year!
            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 www.Power750.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.


courtesy of Wikipedia
     Kwanzaa, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1st,  celebrates what its founder, Ron Karenga  called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba—the seven principles of African Heritage), which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy," consisting of what Karenga called "the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world." These seven principles comprise *Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves stand up.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Kwanzaa symbols include a decorative mat on which other symbols are placed, corn and other crops, a candle holder with seven candles, called a kinara, a communal cup for pouring libations, gifts, a poster of the seven principles, and a black, red, and green flag. The symbols were designed to convey the seven principles.[8]

Thursday, December 15, 2011


NEW FIRST FAMILY PORTRAIT - Taken Sunday, December 11, the White House last week released this brand new family portrait of President Obama and First Lady Michelle, along with their two daughters,  Malia (2nd from left), 13; and Sasha (right), 10. [WHITE HOSUE PHOTO]

By Cash Michaels

             MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY KWANZAA - We’re actually writing this on Dec. 16th because the staff has Christmas week off (thanks boss). So allow us to wish your family a very Merry and Blessed Christmas, and a peaceful and thought-provoking Kwanzaa.
            All of us deserve a period of peace, a chance to refuel for the coming new year, and beyond. So we hope and pray that GOD continues to covet your family and loved ones during this holiday season.
            CONDOLENCES TO BYRON - About two years ago, I was just about to leave the old Wal-Mart in Cary when I heard a lady’s voice call out, “Hello, Mr. Michaels.”
            I looked over, and saw this lovely lady old enough to be my mother, sitting on a bench near the inside entrance, smiling at me. So I went over, and as I got closer, the lady introduced herself as Byron Pitts’ mother.
            That’s Emmy Award winning Byron Pitts of CBS News, and “60 Minutes.”
            Clarice Pitts had recognized me from 2008 when her son introduced us at a Triangle Association of Black Journalists banquet where Byron was the keynote speaker.
            Byron and I knew each other from 2007, when he came to my home in Cary to interview me for the CBS Evening News in the aftermath of the Duke Lacrosse alleged rape controversy. That interview never aired (wonder why?), but Byron and I had a good conversation.
            And on the night that I met his mother at the TABJ banquet, he mentioned in his speech how he used to work for The Carolinian Newspaper. I remember writing about that in this column the following week.
            So seeing Mrs. Pitts again was a pleasant surprise, and we had a nice chat before wishing each other well, and I proceeding to my car in the lot.
            That was the last time I saw Mrs. Pitts.
            So when I got word this morning (Dec. 16th) that Byron’s mother had died, I was naturally saddened. She was a very nice lady, but more than that, she was a strong and committed black mother.
            Just so that there’s no misunderstanding, the difference between regular moms and many African-American mothers is that black mothers have to do all of the expected things any mother is expected to do for their children, but also have to prepare them for the reality of racism in the world, and fight like hell for them when that racism targets their child.
            The battle to build the self-esteem of a black child in a world that is so, so ready to snatch it away, is the province of strong black mothers and fathers. Those of us who had them, know what I’m talking about.
            And those of us who love and care for our children, know what our parents went through.
            In Byron’s case, if you read his 2009 autobiography, “Step Out On Nothing,” you’ll discover that after his parents separated when he was twelve, Clarice Pitts had to work two jobs in Baltimore to support her son.
            But she also had to help her son overcome debilitating stuttering, and being functionally illiterate.
            Byron couldn’t read, but Mrs. Pitts got him through by insisting that if he wanted to play football in school, he had to get at least a B in all of his subjects.
            Byron did, went on to college, and in 1998, he joined CBS News.
            Byron’s mother saved his life. Of this, there can be no doubt.
            That’s why Clarice Pitts is more than a great mom. She is a champion, a symbol of good strong black mothers everywhere who stood by and guided her child to success, and  the very top of the news business.
            Her story reminds me so much of my mother, and her courage.
            I was proud to meet Byron’s mother. On behalf of my family, and I’m sure all of his colleagues, I offer our condolences to Byron’s family during this time of grief.
            FINALLY - Now that the Republican Presidential Debates are over with (thank goodness), I’m thoroughly convinced that the GOP are in serious trouble when it comes to locking in a candidate. If Romney, Gingrich, Paul, Bachmann, Huntsman and Santorum can’t handle each other, them how are they going to handled someone skilled like Barack Obama. Even the most recent polls show the president beating each one of them handily.
            Don’t get me wrong, the president is in a weak ditch right now, and will pretty much stay there as long as the economy is in the tank. But at least he’s in fighting mode now, and calling the Republicans out for their scare tactics.
            As 2011 draws to a close, and an exciting 2012 beckons, there can be no doubt that when the smoke clears, next year’s presidential election will be a nailbiter, and ultimate war.
            I hope you’re ready!
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 www.Power750.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.

by Cash Michaels

            It was a year of great loss, and great political showdowns. And as it draws to a close, the nation, and the African-American community are left to wonder what it all means for the future of the nation, and the world.
In this second of three parts, we look back at 2011, the highs and lows that impacted all of us through a black perspective, to see what it all means as we also look ahead to what promises to be an extraordinary and historic year in 2012, when North Carolina becomes the first and only state ever to host the re-nomination of an African-American as president of the United States.

On Sunday evening, May 1, President Obama shocks the world by announcing that US Navy Seals have captured and killed Al Queda terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden in a compound in Pakistan. Americans celebrate in the streets, while Bush Administration officials, who failed in seven years to even locate bin Laden, try to take credit.
The NC Legislative Black Caucus and the NCNAACP decry the massive budget cuts to education and social services by the GOP-led General Assembly. Durham Rep. H. M. Mickey Michaux accuses the Republicans of “the total destruction of public education.”
Days later, saying that North Carolina is a “state in emergency,” Rev. Barber and other NCNAACP members are arrested at the General Assembly building for disrupting the state House while it was in session.
Weeks after tornadoes ripped the campus of Shaw University, classes have been cancelled for the remainder of the Spring Semester, and hundreds of volunteers assist in massive cleanup efforts. Classes at hard-hit St. Augustine’s College have not been cancelled, as cleanup efforts proceed there as well.
President Obama, under fire for not doing enough to alleviate high unemployment in the African-American community, meets with members of the Congressional Black Caucus at the White House.
The Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation announces plans for the Wash., D.C. dedication for August 28.
After 25 years, Oprah Winfrey ends her groundbreaking syndicated TV talk show, now devoting full time to her OWN cable channel.
Garner’s Scotty McCreery wins “American Idol.”
Reports say that federal officials will seek indictments against former Sen. John Edwards for using funds from his 2008 presidential campaign to pay off his mistress, Rielle Hunter, who was pregnant with his child.
The GOP-led New Hanover County Public School Board votes 5-2 to close D. C. Virgo Middle School, and make application to convert it into a charter school academy.
D.D. Garrett, long time Pitt County NAACP leader, dies at age 96.
Shaw University students begin summer session classes five weeks after tornadoes tear up their campus.
Princeton University Professor Cornel West calls Pres. Obama “a black mascot” and “black puppet” of the rich.
Members of the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association say they want President Dan Coleman out.
US Postal officials want to close the Century Post Office in downtown Raleigh to save money, but are urged to reconsider.
Parents tell officials with the US Dept. of Education’s Office of Civil Rights during a hearing at Martin Street Baptist Church that they fear the Republican majority of the Wake School Board will create new high poverty schools with their neighborhood schools policy.
District 4 Wake School Board member Keith Sutton says he wants the Democrats to take back control of the board during the October elections, adding that it would return “civility” to that body. Meanwhile the board votes 6-2 to cut 174 clerical positions in the system to save $5.4 million.
District 3 school board member Kevin Hill announces he’ll seek a second term.
Meanwhile Wake Supt. Tata allows the public to weigh in on the incomplete “green” and “blue” student assignment plans. Tata says he prefers the blue school choice plan, though it’s far from finished.

The NY Times reports that North Carolina is just one of many states under Republican legislatures trying to implement voter ID laws that will restrict black voting rights.
After weeks of speculation, NY Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner finally admits that he conducting inappropriate relationships online with women for three years - both before and after his marriage. It all blew up in Weiner’s face when a picture of a man’s bulging shorts was sent from his Twitter account, and he began lying to the media about whether it was him, and whether he actually sent the picture. Weiner, a staunch liberal, soon stepped down.
The NC House passes a resolution honoring the life and memory of former State Auditor Ralph Campbell Jr.
Former imprisoned Black Panther Geronimo Pratt dies at 63.
A defiant GOP General Assembly passes a $19.7 billion budget, complete with steep cuts in education, and defies Gov. Perdue to veto it.
President Obama visits Durham’s Cree, Inc., says US economy will recover.
Veteran civil rights activist Benjamin Chavis, one of the original Wilmington Ten, says he may move back to Granville County to challenge conservative Democrat Rep. Jim Crawford in the 2012 elections.
The Dallas Mavericks defeat LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals to win the championship.
Conservative GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, who has already raised eyebrows saying that he would not appoint a Muslim to his Cabinet if elected, refuses to be referred to as an African-American, saying he preferred, “American.”
Former MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann moved his popular “Countdown” program to Current TV.
Several victims and victims’ relatives went before the Governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force, telling their heartfelt stories of being sterilized by the state when they were children.
First Lady Michelle Obama, on a trip to South Africa, visits former South African President Nelson Mandela.
NCSU Wolfpack basketball great Lorenzo Charles, who tipped in the basketball to win the 1983 NCAA Championship, died when the charter bus that he drove crashed on I-40. He was 47.
Gov. Perdue vetoes the Republican-backed voter ID and abortion laws, saying that they would take North Carolina backwards.
The General Assembly releases its redistricting maps, which “stacks-and-packs” black voters into a few minority-majority districts, thus leaving Democrats vulnerable to Republican defeat for the next decade.
Wake Supt. Tata calls for then hiring of more black teachers for a system where just over 50 percent of the enrolled 143,000 students are nonwhite.
Education Week magazine reports that of the fifty largest public school systems in the nation, Wake County had the third best graduation rate in the nation at 78.2 percent, while Charlotte-Mecklenburg had the 30th best.
Democratic Wake School Board members Dr. Carolyn Morrison and Dr. Anne McLaurin announce that they will not seek reelection to their respective seats.
Former interim Wake Schools Supt. Donna Hargens is hired to lead the Louisville, Kentucky public schools, despite doubts about her expressed by the local NAACP there.

State Democrats and the NCNAACP blast the Republican redistricting maps, and promise litigation.
Winston-Salem State University cuts eleven full-time employees due to mandated state budget cuts. Others schools in the UNC System also trim their workforce and cancel programs.
Amid national anger, the jury in the Casey Anthony renders not guilty verdict in the murder of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee.
The Republican-dominated US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia sent a previous Kinston, NC 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 a three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court reinstated the lawsuit, sending it back to federal court.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which owns Fox News, closes its British newspaper, “The News of the World,” after it is alleged that reporters for the paper hacked into the private cellphone records of citizens, celebrities, murder and kidnap victims, and their families. The British government opened an investigation.
Wake Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. rules that the Republican-led General Assembly denied 67,000 poor, at-risk pre-kindergarten children their Constitutional right to a “sound, basic education” by cutting education funding to their program.
Former US Sen. John Edwards is 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. He is set to stand trial in October.
The Republican majority NC Senate overrides six of Gov. Perdue’s vetoes. The GOP in the state House fall short in their efforts to override Perdue’s veto of their voter ID law.
St. Augustine College is sued by a student who alleges he wasn’t allowed to graduate because he criticized the school on Facebook for not canceling classes in the aftermath of the April tornadoes.
President Obama is repeatedly rejected in his efforts to reach a budget deal with Republicans in Congress to stave off defaulting on the national debt ceiling before August 2.
The Pew Research Center releases a startling report 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.
The NCNAACP meets with Wake Supt. Anthony Tata about the emerging student assignment plan, urging that diversity be a factor.
The Carolinian is the first to report that black Republican Venita Peyton may challenge District 4 Democrat Keith Sutton for his Southeast Raleigh Wake School Board seat as the candidate filing period begins.

After nailbiting battles with Congressional Republicans, President Obama signs a $2.1 trillion deficit reduction deal on August 2, thus allowing the national debt ceiling to be raised, and averting a crisis of the federal government not paying its bills.
Gov. Perdue’s Eugenics Task Force recommends in a preliminary report that the surviving victims of North Carolina’s forced sterilization program be compensated and provided mental health care. A final report is due next February. An estimated 3,000 victims out of the original 7600 are still alive.
Charter schools in North Carolina must provide their own funding for buildings and classrooms, and are not entitled to public capital funding that goes to public schools, ruled NC’s Court of Appeals.
After a year of controversy and an NCAA investigation, UNC - Chapel Hill fired Tar Heel head Football Coach Butch Davis, and hired as interim Coach Everett Withers, who was serving as UNC’s defensive coordinator. Withers thus becomes the first African-American head coach in UNC history.
After just eleven months on the job, Shaw University President Dr. Irma McClaurin is asked by the Shaw Trustee Board to step down. Reports say her leadership style didn’t match the university.
Rev. Lent C. Carr II, one of six candidates for Raleigh City Council District C seat, is taken off the ballot by the Wake Board of elections after he is sentenced in federal court to seven months in prison for violating the terms of his parole per a 2000 fraud conviction.
As predicted by The Carolinian, black Republican Venita Peyton does file to run against District 4 Democratic Wake School Board member Keith Sutton. Other Democrats who’ve also filed for Wake School Board include Christine Kusher, Prof. Jim Martin, Susan Evans and incumbent Kevin Hill. Board Chairman Ron Margiotta, who is opposed by Evans, is the only incumbent Republican running.
California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, during a town hall meeting in her district, tells the Republican Tea Party to “…go straight to hell!”
Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton is named host of “PoliticsNation” on MSNBC.
Singer/songwriter Nick Ashford of popular duo “Ashford and Simpson,” dies of cancer in New York.
The controversial film, “The Help,” about black maids in a Southern town during the 1960’s, stuns critics by reaching number one at the box office, grossing as of December 2011 an astounding $169, 224, 625 domestically, with an additional $30,100,00 in foreign markets.
The dedication of the MLK Memorial is Wash., D.C. is postponed to October due to Hurricane Irene.
Hurricane Irene hits North Carolina’s Outer Banks and parts of the east hard, with over 1100 homes destroyed, and tens of millions in damaged across the region.
Libyan leader Col. Moammar Khadafi is overthrown by rebel forces, and is on the run.
Enrollment in Wake Public Schools shoots to 146, 657, 3,368 more than last year.

NNPA STORIES -  Philly to host Urban League Convention in 2013


            [WASH., DC] Sen. Kay Hagan [D-NC]  hailed the awarding of a $70 million federal grant to North Carolina to improve the state’s early childhood education programs. We have long understood in North Carolina that our investments in education cannot wait until kindergarten or first grade,” said Hagan in a statement. “This grant will allow our state to continue the remarkable progress we’ve seen through programs such as Smart Start and More at Four.” $500 million in grant money from the US Education Dept. and US Dept. of Health and Human Services went to nine states, including North Carolina.

            [DURHAM] Based on court testimony that a SBI agent allegedly gave “false testimony” in his case, novelist Michael Peterson was granted a new trial , and released from prison on bond last week after eight years. Peterson was convicted in the 2003 for the Dec. 2001 murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson, who was found dead in their Durham home at the bottom of a staircase. Peterson has always denied he killed her, and no murder weapon was ever found. Questions raised about blood evidence in Peterson’s case led to questions about his conviction.

            [GREENSBORO] Thanks to a dramatic reduction in infant mortality, the 2010 death rate for children in North Carolina was the lowest on record, according to state Child Fatality Task Force. There were 58 deaths per 100,000 children in the state (ages 17 and younger), compared to 67 child deaths per 100,000 in 2009. The lower number of child fatalities due to auto accident and suicide also contributed to the low rate, officials say. Infants younger than one year comprised two-thirds of the deaths in 2010, state figures show.



            You can tell by the increased number of cars on the road that North Carolina’s capital city is growing, and now the US Census confirms it. Raleigh is now the 43rd largest city in the nation, beating out Miami, Fla.  Raleigh’s population grew by 46.2 percent since 2000, making it 403, 892 in 2010. Raleigh beats out Miami, FL; Cleveland, OH; Tulsa, OK and Oakland, CA.

            When PNC Financial Services Group purchased RBC Bank earlier this year, it also claimed the right to replace the name on the RBC Center in West Raleigh. As of March 2012, the home of the NC Wolfpack and Carolina Hurricanes becomes the PNC Center. The Centennial Authority approved the name change last week. The arena, which opened in 1999, holds 19,000 seats, averages 150 events annually, and attracts an estimated 1.5 million people a year with sporting events, shows and conventions.

            Another sign that North Carolina’s economy could be improving. Homes sales in the Raleigh-Durham market were up by 11 percent in November over this time last year. Almost 1170 homes were sold, according to Triangle Multiple Listing Services. Experts credit a continued trend in growing homes sales since last year was due to the federal homebuyer tax credits, which ended in June. Prices, however, are 11 percent lower than a year ago.