w-ed - THE MAY 8TH PRIMARY ELECTIONS
If 2012 is feeling like it’s growing more important, more frantic everyday, don’t worry, ‘cause you haven’t seen anything yet.
This is just the May 8th primaries. Wait until the Democratic National Convention, and then the November presidential elections get here.
This is an historic year, and if you voted for change in 2008, you must, once again, exercise your right to vote, starting with the important May primaries, to keep the state and the nation headed in the right direction.
If you don’t vote for the policies and services that YOU need, then somebody else will vote instead to take what you have.
That’s why it’s so important to us that you have all of the information you need to make informed choices at the polls, starting right now.
Remember, One Stop/Early Voting begins tomorrow, April 27th, at satellite locations in and around New Hanover County, and continues at the County Board of Elections Office (BOE) until May 5th.
There are four One Stop Voting sites:
Government Center Suite 39 (on College Rd. side of the complex) - Mon. thru Friday…9 a.m. to 5 p.m./Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
New Hanover County Senior Resource Center - 2222 S. College Road - Mon thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Main Library (downtown) 201 Chestnut Street - Mon. thru Sat….9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Northeast Regional Library -1241 Military Cutoff Road…Mon. thru Sat. 9 a.m. to
May 1st is the last day for the BOE to receive requests for absentee ballots.
May 5th early voting ends.
May 7th all voted absentee ballots by mail must be in the BOE Office by 5 p.m. for counting on Primary Day.
On May 8th, all polls open at 6:30 a.m., and close at 7:30 p.m. that evening.
Polling place changes include CF06 is moving from Trask Middle School to Northside Baptist Church, 2501 North College Road, Wilmington, 28405.
FP07 is moving from Ashley High School to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 6650 Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington 28412.
H09 is moving from Porters Neck Fire Station to Lutheran Church of the Reconciliation, 7500 Market Street, Wilmington, 28411.
And W18 is moving frm Muni Golf Course Fire Station to First Assembly of God Church, 4927 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington, 28403.
The following are the Wilmington Journal’s recommendations for you to consider when you go to the polls to cast your ballot between now and the May 8th primary. We are only endorsing in the Democratic primary because, once again, try as we might, we could find no merit with the Republican vision for our state or nation.
VOTE AGAINST AMENDMENT ONE
Brought to you by the very same folks who push the absurd ideas that President Obama is a Christian-hatin’ Muslim out to destroy the country; and that so many black people are committing fraud at the voting polls that all of us now should be forced to identify ourselves with picture ID’s. The right-wing wants us to believe that voting for Amendment One will outlaw same-sex marriage in North Carolina.
Wrong! It’s already against the law here. This is a ploy to split the white liberal/black community voting coalition, and lose North Carolina for Pres. Obama this fall.
Spread the word, DON’T FALL FOR THIS! Vote AGAINST, against Amendment One. Don’t allow the right-wing to play our community!
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Have we been always happy with some of the things Pres. Obama has done? No. Can he, and should he, be doing better by our community? Yes! But we’ve come to believe that if given a second term, Pres. Obama will have freer hand to do more than he’s been able to do, because he won’t have another election to worry about. Republican Mitt Romney has already admitted that poor people will not be a priority. Let’s re-elect Pres. Obama, and keep the pressure up on him to do more!
JONATHAN BARFIELD FOR NHC COMMISSIONER
The first four years of Commissioner Barfield’s term showed promise, and we look forward to another term where he can continue to work hard for countywide economic development; improve NHC Public Schools by attracting and retaining quality teachers; and improving the county’s transportation road infrastructure. There’s still a lot to be done, and we believe that Commissioner Jonathan Barfield deserves four more years to get it done right.
KAREN CLAY BEATTY FOR NHC BOARD OF EDUCATION
Please forgive us the informality, but Lord, do we need from fresh, dynamic blood on the NHC School Board, and we need it now! That’s why we’re so thrilled that Karen Clay Beatty has stepped up to the plate, and offered the community her experience, service, and deep commitment to improving education for all of our county’s children.
A product of the school system that she wants to serve, Beatty retired from NHC Public Schools earlier this year after 30 years. Twenty - one of those years have been as a Licensed School Social Worker, where she served a couple of years as a lead social worker for secondary schools. Prior to that, she was an Educational Diagnostician for the system. She holds a B.A. degree from Shaw University, a BSW from Pembroke State University, and a MSW from East Carolina University.
If elected, Beatty vows to work to increase the graduation rate; develop more mentoring programs; and create a stronger bond between the schools and the community.
We need her experience, her vision and her leadership. Vote for Karen Clay Beatty for the NHC Board of Education.
ELIZABETH REDENBAUGH FOR NHC BOARD OF EDUCATION
When she was a Republican, NHC School Board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh, while excepting the national JFK Courage Award, called her Board of Education, “…the bottom of the political food chain.” Given the courage she displayed fighting the racial bias of her GOP colleagues on the board, we knew there would always be a place in our hearts for this principled leader. It wasn’t long before Redenbaugh kissed the GOP goodbye, and joined the Democrats, hoping to continue to shape policy that honestly spoke to the needs of all children, instead of the racially resegregating redistricting parlor tricks her Republican board colleagues felt perfectly justified in engaging in. She fought to stop the closing of D.C. Virgo. She’s determined to close the racial achievement gap. This is one courageous leader who we must re-elect to the NHC Board of Education. Elizabeth Redenbaugh is a fighter for all children. Let’s keep strong leadership on the job.
EMMA SAUNDERS FOR NHC BOARD OF EDUCATION
Here’s another retired NHC educator with over 30 years elementary school experience, in addition to being an administrator. Emma Saunders brings a wealth of learning experience with her, in addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Florida A&M University, and a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Fayetteville State University. The biggest challenges, beside budget, facing NHC Public Schools, Saunders says, is raising all student achievement, reducing the dropout rate, and raising the graduation rate across the board. Emma Saunders knows what NHC Public Schools need, and that’s why she deserves to be elected to the NHC Board of Education May 8th.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS
17,000 IN NC TO LOSE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS MAY 12
[CHARLOTTE] Because North Carolina’s jobless rate has been going down, approximately 17,000 unemployed North Carolinians will not qualify for extended benefits beyond May 12, officials with the NC Division of Employment Security say. That number is about nine percent of the almost 199,000 in the state who are drawing unemployment checks. Those affected will be notified by mail, DES official say.
OBAMA PUSHED STUDENT LOAN REFORM AT UNC-CHAPEL HILL
[CHAPEL HILL] In an effort to pump some excitement back into his youth base, President Barack Obama Tuesday came to UNC- Chapel Hill, touting what reforms his administration has accomplished on student loans, and what it will continue to do to make college education more accessible and affordable to students. Eight thousand students welcomed the president, and some later attended when Obama taped NBC’s “Jimmy Fallon Show” on campus.
EDWARDS TRIAL BEGINS WITH “POSH LIFE” TESTIMONY
[GREENSBORO] The federal campaign corruption trial of former NC Sen. John Edwards began this week with testimony from Edwards’s former right-hand man about money donated to Edwards 2008 presidential campaign was used to keep his mistress, Rielle Hunter, quiet about her pregnancy. Edwards insists that he did not break federal campaign laws by using campaign funds as hush money.
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS
THREE ARRESTED IN TUESDAY MORNING SHOOTING
Raleigh police have arrested three suspects, all from Rocky Mount, in connection with the fatal shooting Tuesday morning of Daniel Lavon Norris, 26 on Waterbury Road in Raleigh. The three were arrested Wednesday morning and taken to the Wake County jail while the investigation continues. Police ask anyone with information about the crime to contact Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.
WAKE SCHOOL BOARD DELAYS ASSIGNMENT PLAN FIXES AMID PARENT PROTESTS
Angry parents demonstrated in front of Wake Board of Education headquarters Tuesday not, demanding fixes to Supt. Anthony Tata’s school choice plan that, thus far, has created controversy by not delivering what it promised. Critics say the plan is likely to created more racially identifiable high poverty schools. School board members say they will consider strong changes to the plan during their May 1 meeting. Tata says the plan is working for most families with children in the system, and only a small minority has experienced difficulty.
RALEIGH POLICE CHIEF’S DAUGHTER IS CHARGED IN FIGHT
Lauren Dolan, the 25-year-old daughter of Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan, was charged this week with three counts of simple assault following a fight Monday with another woman. Chief Dolan, in a statement, said, “[Monday] afternoon, my adult daughter became intoxicated and was involved in an altercation. She must now confront the resulting charges. We are working as a family to get my daughter the help she needs.”
NC JUDGE RULES RACIAL BIAS INFLUENCED DEATH PENALTY SENTENCING
Special to the NNPA by The Defenders Online
In an historic decision, a North Carolina judge Friday reduced an inmate’s death sentence to life without the possibility of parole because the prosecutor had deliberately excluded black potential jurors during the jury-selection phase of the inmate’s trial.
Judge Gregory A. Weeks, of Cumberland County Superior Court, said in his decision that race played a “persistent, pervasive and distorting role” in the selection of the jury that in 1994 convicted Marcus Robinson, who is African-American, of murder and that it was clear “prosecutors have intentionally discriminated” against defendants in capital murder trials across the state by purposely limiting the number of blacks chosen to serve on juries.
The judge heard the case without a jury.
The decision in the closely-watched case, which prosecutors said will be appealed, is the first under the state’s controversial Racial Justice Act.
That law, passed by the state legislature in 2009, allows death-row inmates or defendants facing a sentence of death to contest their sentence by using statistics and other evidence to show that racism influenced prosecutorial actions in selecting the jury or deciding to seek the death penalty.
More than 150 other inmates on North Carolina’s death row have declared their intent to challenge their sentences as well.
Robinson was convicted at age 18 of the murder of a 17-year-old white youth he knew from high school. The jury in his trial was made up of nine whites, two African Americans and one American Indian. His attorneys asserted that prosecutors excluded half of the qualified black jurors compared to just 15 percent of those who were not black.
John Dickson, now a judge on the North Carolina District Court, was the lead prosecutor in the Robinson trial. During the hearings on the case in February and March he sharply denied that racial bias played any role in his conduct of the case.
The state’s prosecutors have bitterly opposed the racial justice law from its inception, claiming that most often there are a complex combination of reasons why prosecutors exclude prospective jurors.
Judge Weeks’ ruling was grounded in a study of prosecutorial actions in the death-penalty proceedings of all 160 of the state’s death-row inmates that was released in December. The study, done by two members of the Michigan State University law school, found that over the last two decades North Carolina state prosecutors have excluded black potential jurors from capital murder juries more than twice as often as they did non-blacks. Prosecutors excluded nearly 53 percent of the black potential jurors they questioned compared to about 26 percent of the non-black ones.
The disparities persist, the report states, even when other factors that might lead to a potential juror not being considered – such as being ambivalent about the death penalty, or having been previously accused of a crime – are taken into account. Further, the disparities “were even greater in cases involving black defendants.”
The NC Racial Justice Act was passed in August 2009 along party lines, An attempt by Republican legislators earlier this year to repeal it failed to overcome Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto.
Kentucky is the only other state with such a law, but it apparently has been used only one, during the jury selection stage of a 2003 murder trail. The defendant in that case was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
DR. PATRICK L. WOODEN SR.
FOR AMENDMENT ONE: PASTOR PATRICK WOODEN SR.
By Cash Michaels
For Dr. Patrick l. Wooden Sr., longtime pastor of Raleigh’s Upper Room Church of God in Christ, anyone who tries to apply liberal politics to the question of whether same-sex marriages should be banned in North Carolina is “demagoging.”
An admitted political conservative who, years ago, railed right along with Fox News commentator Bill O’ Reilly about the liberals trying to, “… take Christ out of Christmas,” Dr. Wooden sees the battle over the Amendment One Marriage amendment (Wooden insists on only referring to it as “The Marriage Amendment”) as what God, through the Bible, has commanded should be.
“Homosexuality is a sin,” Pastor Wooden insists.
Never mind what the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution says about equal protection under the law. Dr. Wooden believes that gay people are already constitutionally protected like any other American citizen, despite instances of assaults, beating and murders in recent years, episodes that Wooden insists he certainly does not condone.
Wooden can quote numerous biblical passages from the top of his head not only about God’s prohibition against homosexuality, but guidance for men and women that their role on Earth is to, “…be fruitful and multiply.”
“Gay people” (a term that Wooden does not agree with) cannot multiply in same -sex unions, Dr. Wooden insists, which is why an amendment to North Carolina’s Constitution banning same-sex marriages in the state, is required beyond the state laws already on the books that Wooden and other conservatives fear can be overturned by an “activist” judge who will, “…overrule the will of the people.”
“The only reason why this amendment is necessary is because of recent trends that have taken place,” Wooden says, referring to what has happened in states like New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, where same-sex marriage licenses are issued and are perfectly legal.
Washington, DC is also onboard. The states of Washington and Maryland began granting licenses this year, but that could change with respective voter referendums this fall.
Indeed, Wooden points to legal claims he says are already filed in Asheville and Greensboro challenging North Carolina’s laws defining marriage, and banning same-sex unions, as evidence.
In contrast, twelve states ban same sex marriage by law, and 29 by state constitution.
On the federal level, the Defense of Marriage of Act of 1996 defines marriage as between one man and one woman. It allows states not to recognize same-sex marriages of other states.
Here in North Carolina, top Democratic Party leaders like Gov. Beverly Perdue and Sen. Kay Hagan are against Amendment One, while the state Republican Party is solidly for it.
As a traditional institution, marriage has been here long the United States of America and the state of North Carolina were established hundreds of years ago, Dr. Wooden insists. The original framers of the US Constitution saw no need to recognize gay marriage, Wooden notes, even though he also admits that the framers saw no need to recognize black people as citizens either, let alone as human beings.
One of the reasons gays were not considered to have any legal standing, historians counter, is because homosexuality was considered taboo, something that gays hid from the general populace for fear of castigation, and violence.
Dr. Wooden argues that no religion in the world recognizes same-sex marriages. But yet, in the countries of the Netherlands, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa and Sweden, which have allowed the practice since 2001, religious services are held.
Even in the six states in the US where same-sex marriage is legal.
Wooden also rejects likening the constitutional struggles of African-Americans with those of gay citizens, saying that it’s not the same.
Dr. Wooden says his position against same-sex marriage is commanded by God, and shared by Jesus Christ, and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
But one of Dr. King’s closest friends and allies was Bayard Rustin, a key civil rights leader of the 1960’s civil rights movement who many credit with organizing the massive 1963 March on Washington.
Rustin was a well-known homosexual, and in fact was arrested for a “homosexual act” in 1953, given that homosexually was criminalized in many states until 2003. He was gay during a time where such a reputation would shun others, and yet Dr. King and others worked closely with him.
Dr. Wooden does not believe in homosexually, and says certain types of discrimination are justified. If that makes him a “bigot and homophobe,” Wooden insists.
“What motivates me is the written word of God,” Pastor Wooden maintains.
“We should pass the Marriage Amendment.”
REV WILLIAM BARBER
AGAINST AMENDMENT ONE: THE NCNAACP
By Cash Michaels
For Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, the question is simple. Anything that compromises the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantee that “No state shall …deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” has no place in North Carolina’s Constitution, or anywhere else.
That is especially true of the NC Republican Party’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages, on the May 8th primary ballot as a public referendum.
The constitutional amendment is not needed, opponents like the NCNAACP say, because North Carolina state law already bans same-sex marriages, and legally defines marriage in the state as being between “one man and one woman.”
That’s why the NCNAACP is mounting a full-throated campaign against the measure, buying ads in black newspapers and on black radio stations statewide, producing position videos for You Tube, and traveling to town meetings and college campuses across the statewide, drumming up awareness, and building a steady opposition to the amendment.
“Equal protection under the law is provided to every citizen regardless of race, income, age, gender or sexual orientation,” Rev. Barber told The Carolinian.
“That’s been fundamental since 1868.”
Regardless of the constitutional ground that Rev. Barber and the NCNAACP firmly stand on in opposing what is more commonly known as “Amendment One - the Marriage Amendment,” he still realizes that, in the African-American community as least, he is walking a fine line.
The black community, because of its deep, traditional “fire and brimstone” Christian faith, has always been adversarial to the idea of homosexuality. They point to the Bible admonition against same-sex relationships, believing that it is not natural from God.
Indeed, the most recent polling shows African-Americans supporting the Republican-sponsored Amendment One by 2 to 1, even though the constitutional measure is being pushed by the same political party that is working mightily to deny President Barack Obama - the nation’s first African-American president - an historic re-election later this year.
Indeed Pres. Obama himself, who is on record as favoring civil unions, as opposed to same-sex marriages, made the unusual step weeks ago of getting involved in a state issue by publicly opposing Amendment One.
So the issue, probably more than most, is politically and religiously volatile here in North Carolina. The NCNAACP, as the premier civil rights organization in the state, has to cautiously thread the needle on this one, making sure that its position against Amendment One is not misinterpreted as being for homosexuality, but rather against discrimination of any kind.
Being a man of God, in addition to a prominent leader in the NAACP, the line being walked here is even thinner for Rev. Barber.
“The NAACP has never taken a personal, moral or religious position on same-sex marriage. We believe that is a matter of people’s personal conscience, or their religion,” Barber says.
And yet, he continues, Rev. Barber’s driving force is not only to stand strong against what he sees as discrimination, but also expose it for what he believes it really is.
“We surely take a stance that any attempt to place discrimination into our constitutional documents, is fundamentally wrong. We’ve opposed that for 103 years, and we will continue to oppose it,” Rev. Barber said. “We oppose the so-called Amendment One on those grounds.”
There’s no question in Rev. Barber’s mind that the reason why the Republican-led NC General Assembly put the same-sex marriage ban on the May 8th primary ballot was not only to assure a large turnout of conservative voters during this, a presidential election year, but also help further fracture the progressive Democratic Party base, made up primarily of liberal whites and African-Americans.
The gay and African-American communities are already polarized because of the November 2008 Proposition 8 vote in California. That ballot proposition established a ban on same-sex marriages in California’s state constitution, and over 70 percent of all black votes cast were for the amendment.
In 2010, a federal judge overturned Proposition 8, ruling that it denied gay couple equal protection under the 14th Amendment. A federal appeals court has upheld that ruling, and the case may eventually go to the US Supreme Court.
Meanwhile recently it was revealed in documents released by a federal court in Maine that the right-wing National Organization for Marriage has been plotting since the 2008 election of Pres. Barack Obama to drive a wedge between the black and gay communities, in a effort to stop Obama’s re-election’s bid.
The documents revealed that black ministers were being enticed to be vocal against any so-called “gay rights” efforts in key battleground states, including North Carolina.
NCNAACP President William Barber says the Republican push for the Amendment One same-sex marriage ban is nothing than a thinly disguised extension of what the right-wing is trying to pull during this crucial election year.
Barber wonders why African-Americans, or anyone else, would trust the anti-same-sex marriage musings of the same political party that is trying to allegedly suppress the black vote through voter ID laws and gerrymandered redistricting that restricts the black vote statewide; trying to gut the NC Racial Act; and are four-square by the Stand Your Ground laws across the nation and here in North Carolina - the same law that contributed to the shooting death of young Trayvon Martin.
He adds that those who say state law against same sex marriage is not enough, because it can be overturned by any “activist” state judge, are wrong. Not only would any judicial decision, as such, have to be reviewed by the state appellate, and perhaps the state Supreme Court, but ultimately the US Supreme Court.
And Rev. Barber warns African-Americans that the right-wing, are not only exploiting black Christian religious beliefs to “codify discrimination” against gay citizens in the NC Constitution (so much so that even several black House Democrats, who happen to be ministers, voted with the Republicans), but the GOP is using the same strategy the segregationists used years ago by declaring that states’ rights trumped the US Constitutional rights of black citizens.
The African-American community cannot allow what happened to them, historically, happen to anyone else, Rev. Barber says, and they certainly shouldn’t vote for it.
“We should vote against Amendment One,” Rev. Barber says.
Gov. Bev Perdue Will Propose $10.3 million in
This Year’s Budget for Eugenics-Related Efforts
This Year’s Budget for Eugenics-Related Efforts
RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that she will include $10.3 million in her budget proposal this year for Eugenics-related efforts. The funds will go towards two main purposes. First, they will support $50,000 payments to verified victims of the state’s former Eugenics Board program, which involuntarily sterilized North Carolinians during the 20th century. Funds will also ensure continued operations of the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation, which provides ongoing outreach and clearinghouse services to assist Eugenics victims.
“We cannot change the terrible things that happened to so many of our most vulnerable citizens, but we can take responsibility for our state’s mistakes and show that we do not tolerate violations of basic human rights,” Gov. Perdue said. “We must provide meaningful assistance to victims, so I am including this funding in my budget.”
Gov. Perdue’s request for this appropriation is based upon the recommendations of the Eugenics Compensation Task Force, which issued its final report in January. Notably, it called for a tax-free, lump sum payment of $50,000 to living victims and those who were alive when verified by the Sterilization Victims Foundation. Gov. Perdue is advocating a fiscally responsible approach that provides $10.3 million this year, with the understanding that future appropriations may be required if additional victims are identified and verified.
The Task Force examined the actions and impacts of the N.C. Eugenics Board, which implemented a program of involuntary sterilization that took place in all 100 counties between 1929 and 1974.
The N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation today confirmed another increase in the number of verified victims sterilized by the state’s former N.C. Eugenics Board program. To date, 132 people in 51 counties have been matched to state program records.
Legislators who have been outspoken in their support of victim compensation and continued operation of the Sterilization Victims Foundation today endorsed the Governor’s proposal.
“Gov. Perdue’s budget includes a thoughtful and fiscally smart approach to righting the legacy of this shameful stain on North Carolina’s history,” said Rep. Earline Parmon. “A recurring appropriation spread over several years will allow citizens time to come forward while the state sets up processes to adequately search for victims.”
“I highly commend the Governor for taking the experiences of victims to heart while developing a package that can produce bipartisan support,” said Rep. Larry Womble. “This has dragged on too long. It is essential that the General Assembly heed the Governor’s call for compensation this session.”
“I’m gratified that Gov. Perdue has made this issue a priority of her budget package. Compensation is long overdue,” said Sen. Floyd McKissick. “We will work with the leadership of both houses to get this passed before the end of this fiscal year. Passage this year is vital not only to compensate victims, but also to continue the work of the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation.”
The Sterilization Victims Foundation logged more than 1,900 phone inquiries in the first three months of 2012 as it continues to receive verification inquiries from people who feel that they were impacted by the state’s former Eugenics Board program. If you believe you are or know someone who may have been affected by the program, call the toll-free hotline 877-550-6013 (or 919-807-4270) for information, or visit the Foundation’s website: www.sterilizationvictims.nc.gov/
CASH IN THE APPLE
By Cash Michaels
COMING SOON - We can’t spill the beans now because things are still in the formative stage, but in a few short weeks (GOD willing and the creek don’t rise) we should be announcing some very important and historic national news.
Yes, I did say “historic national news,” meaning that while what we’re about to announce have everything to do with the state of North Carolina, the nation will certainly play a role in it.
All I can say right now is that this announcement, most likely to take place in May or June, deals with justice, what’s right, and what should have happened a long time ago.
This news will be exciting, because we’re sure that many people, of all stripes, will agree that after many, many years, it is long overdue.
Not much more we can say without blowing the whole thing (though we are inching to tell you), but when it happens, I think you’ll agree that it is overdue, but well worth the wait.
So stayed tuned.
DICK CLARK - He was one of the most prolific entertainment producers in television history. He was also known as the “oldest teenager in America.”
Indeed there was a time where you had to wonder just how old the man was.
So when word came last week that Dick Clark, the host of American Bandstand, had died of heart failure, there was real sadness.
Pop music had a real friend in Dick Clark every Saturday afternoon on his Bandstand program on ABC. From the late 1950’s to the early 1990’s, “AB,” as it was affectionately known, was the place where all of the top acts in popular music stopped by to lip-synch their greatest hits.
And, beyond the old Ed Sullivan show on CBS, it was also one of the few places that all Americans could see the best in black music. Keep in mind that Don Cornelius would later crack Clark’s monopoly on showcasing black artists like The Jackson Five and Diana Ross by putting “Soul Train” on the air in syndication.
Needless to say, when Soul Train became a national hit, Dick Clark was none too pleased, starting his own black music only show to compete with the all-black show.
That effort failed (the loyalty to “Soul Train” was too strong), so Clark had to give it up.
Clark, as a television producer, was into so many things. His “Dick Clark Productions” gave us game shows like “The 25,000 Pyramid;” annual specials like the American Music Awards and the Golden Globes, and TV movies like the one in 1979 about Elvis Presley starring Kurt Russell, and the 1985 theatrical big screen adventure flick, “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.”
In 1980, Dick Clark even produced the UNCF Lou Rawls Parade of Stars telethon.
Clark also gave us the always popular “Bloopers and Practical Jokes,” wisely joining forces with Ed McMahon of the Tonight Show.
But probably Clark’s most enduring show, second only to “AB,” is Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which Clark hosted almost every New Year’s Eve since 1973.
A few years ago, when Clark suffered a debilitating stroke, Ryan Seacrest of “American Idol,” perhaps this generation’s most Dick Clark-like talent, filled in. When Clark made his dramatic comeback the following year with Seacrest at his side, it was like father and son.
You knew that the torch was automatically being passed when Clark, who because of his stroke, struggled to speak clearly, could no longer appear.
Last New Year’s Eve, Clark brought in 2012.
It was the last time the tradition would hold.
I hope ABC will still title next year’s show with the Dick Clark moniker, in tribute to the great man who meant so much to America’s music.
Boy, we really are losing a generation of great talents - Don Cornelius, Andy Rooney, Mike Wallace, and now Dick Clark.
A page is definitely turning. We are losing the true greats.
AMENDMENT ONE - The debate is hot and heavy about Amendment One here in North Carolina. This is Republican-proposed amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would outlaw same-sex marriages in North Carolina, we’re told, and reinforce the notion that marriage legally is between one man and one woman.
The problem is North Carolina already has two laws on the books that already accomplish those things. Same-sex marriage is already against the law in this state, and has been for at least 15 years.
And marriage has long legally been defined as between “one man and one woman” in North Carolina state statutes.
So why are the right-wing pushing so hard for this amendment to pass?
There’s no question it’s a political effort to help fracture President Obama’s voting base of liberal whites and traditional blacks - two voting blocks that strongly supported the president in 2008. With the latest polls showing blacks supporting the amendment 2 to 1, and liberal whites opposing it overwhelmingly, keep your eye on what happens if it passes politically.
The split that conservatives seek may well take hold, and hurt Democrat candidates. And Lord knows Democrats in North Carolina are all ready in plenty of trouble.
At any rate, track the debate on our front pages.
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.myWAUG.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.
NCCU Mourns Passing of Chancellor Emeritus Dr. LeRoy T. Walker
by Ayana D. Hernandez, NCCU Director of Public Relations
DURHAM, N.C. — North Carolina Central University (NCCU) is saddened by the passing of Chancellor Emeritus Dr. LeRoy T. Walker today, April 23, at the age of 93.
Walker was the first black president of the United States Olympic Committee. He began coaching at the North Carolina College for Negroes in 1945 and coached more than 100 All-Americans. Walker also served NCCU as chairman of the Department of Physical Education and Recreation and vice chancellor for university relations. He was the United States’ head track and field coach at the 1976 Olympic games and was a key administrator in the early years of the U.S. Peace Corps. Walker served as chancellor for the university from 1983-1986. The UNC Board of Governors conferred the titles of permanent chancellor and chancellor emeritus following his tenure as chancellor. He was a member of 17 Halls of Fame, including NCCU’s Alex Rivera Hall of Fame. The LeRoy T. Walker Physical Education and Recreation Complex on the campus of NCCU is named in his honor.
“Chancellor Emeritus Walker was an accomplished figure in athletics and a treasured leader who will be greatly missed,” said Charlie Nelms, chancellor of NCCU. “He leaves a rich legacy that will continue to live on at NCCU. Our entire university community will keep his daughter, Dr. Carolyn Walker Hopp, and son, LeRoy T. Walker Jr., along with the rest of family in our thoughts and prayers.”
He is preceded in death by his wife, Katherine.