PETITIONERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION
SUPPORT WILMINGTON TEN PARDONS
By Cash Michaels
Hundreds of citizens from across the nation are now expressing their support for the pardons campaign for the Wilmington Ten; joining congresspeople, state lawmakers and civil rights leadership in calling for the names of ten falsely convicted activists to be cleared after forty years.
Meanwhile last week, after a presentation by attorney Irving Joyner, co-chair of the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project, the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus voted unanimously to request of Gov. Beverly Perdue that she grant individual pardons of “actual innocence” to the Wilmington Ten, three of whom are deceased.
The NCNAACP, which facilitated that meeting, also spearheaded the effort to have the national NAACP Board of Directors to also unanimously pass a resolution of support.
“It was one of the proudest things I’ve ever done,” Rev. William Barber, president of the NCNAACP, told The Carolinian.
In addition, thousands have visited the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project page on Facebook to see archival photos, watch the videos, read the posts and articles, and click over to the Change.Org petition page, which had amassed nearly three hundred signatures, after only just over a week, by press time Wednesday.
Of course there are the expected in-state signatures of support on the online petition from Durham, Raleigh, Charlotte, and yes, Wilmington. But there are an impressive number of support signatures from places like Fair Oaks, California, Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC, among many more.
And in many of those are comments of outrage that the state of North Carolina, has not seen fit in the past forty years to correct its wrongful convictions of the Wilmington Ten, sentencing them collectively to 282 years in prison on conspiracy charges associated with racial violence in Wilmington in Feb. 1971, and specifically the firebombing of a white-owned grocery store.
I lived in NC from 1965 to 1970, so I followed this case with great concern from its inception. I hadn't realized that the ten hadn't been "completely" pardoned. Please pardon them now,” wrote Ted Cloak of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Rhonda Baird of Silver Spring, Maryland wrote, “As Dr. King stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“It is past time to ring the bells of justice,” wrote Linda Jaramillo of Cleveland, Ohio on the Change.Org petition for the Wilmington Ten pardon petition. “The General Synod of the United Church of Christ stands in solidarity with the Wilmington 10 and appeal to our brothers and sisters of the Church to do the same. We pray for a just and speedy decision by Governor Perdue.”
“Prosecutorial Misconduct,” declared Danita Parker of Rougemont, NC. “The things which were done in the Wilmington 10 case contrasted with the Duke Lacrosse Case makes Nifong appear to be an angel. Let's right the wrong in this situation. Yes NC has a very storied history, so does America. These fellows have lost any real opportunity to live a normal life. Give them peace at this late age. May the Peace of the Lord be with you always!
Scott Douglas of Birmingham, Alabama wrote, “Unfinished human rights business of importance."
From Wilmington, NC, Dr. Bettie Glenn wrote, “People of courage stood their ground, sacrificed life and liberty to bring attention to the inequality in American Society. The Wilmington 10 took bold and historic action to hold America accountable. Democracy is not free; therefore, those wronged in the fight for human rights should be treated justly. Do that which is right, just, and moral!”
A former North Carolina resident, Frank Chadwick of Rantoul, Illinois, wrote directly to Gov. Perdue, saying, “I call on you to make it clear where you stand on the terrible injustice done forty years ago, because on this matter you speak for North Carolina. You cannot undo that injustice, but your actions will tell the world that North Carolina today either abhors the criminal acts of its former prosecutors, or it shrugs and considers them unimportant. Please do not simply shrug.”
From Craftsbury, Vermont, Sonia Dunbar wrote, “As an attorney, a member of the United Church of Christ and a ministerial student, I firmly believe that the correct judicial, moral, ethical, religious and policy-based action to take is to issue a pardon and thereby reaffirm the importance of the First Amendment in North Carolina.
And Latasha Perry of Wilmington, a grandchild of a late Wilmington Ten member Anne Shepard, wrote, “You have no choice but to pardon the innocent. There is no legal justification for withholding a public pardon of the innocent as ruled by our own courts.”
“It is shameful enough that innocent citizens spent time in prison due to wrongful convictions based primarily on the admittedly fictitious testimony of the witnesses the conviction was founded on. Apparently our justice system is so jaded that it is implied that release of the Wilmington 10 should be compensation enough. It is not.”
Ms. Perry continued, “ Lives were ruined. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters divided from their families. Years of life lost behind bars. And even after release, many suffered the consequences of being deemed guilty, despite being presumed innocent according to our own laws. For us it is not about monetary compensation, it is about righting a wrong that is long overdue.”
“How can we preserve the rights we are due as citizens, preserve the justice system we are taught to rely on for the enforcement of those rights for "The people," unless we take the steps to make this right? Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat - innocent until proven guilty. Pardon the innocent,” Ms. Perry wrote.
The petition page is located at https://www.change.org/petitions/nc-governor-bev-perdue-pardon-the-wilmington-10.
The Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project is located on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheWilmingtonTenPardonOfInnocenceProject
Editor’s Note - Cash Michaels is the coordinator for the Wilmington Ten Pardons of innocence Project, which is sponsored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
WAKE SUPT. ANTHONY TATA
TATA AT WAR
By Cash Michaels
If retired Brigadier General Anthony Tata expected public school politics in Wake County to be any less stressful, and less challenging than his over 25 years in the US Army, he’s thinking again.
Clearly, after almost a year-and-a-half on the job as superintendent of Wake County Public Schools, and less than five years of any actual experience working in any public school system in any capacity, the veteran military man seems to be holding on for dear life, instead of confidently leading the nation’s 16th largest public school district to greater heights.
Just take Tata’s most recent public complaint, in an ongoing series of complaints and public tirades, ever since a new Democratic-led school board took over six months ago.
At last week’s school board meeting, stung by the growing criticism of the school choice assignment plan that he pressed the previous Republican-led school board to pass last October, Supt. Tata rapped the hands of the current Democratic majority for putting him on notice that they’ve waited long enough for his staff to shake out the plans’ problems.
“The board should be helping us implement this assignment plan so that we can take care of 150,000 students that will be going to school next year,” Tata is quoted as saying, suggesting that the board should be lining up behind him in “one voice.”
“If there was overwhelming disagreement, then the assignment plan should have been voted against or voted upon. But we’re in this netherworld where the new board never voted for or against it.”
And that’s because earlier this year when the new board, with different ideas on how a school choice plan should work took over, Supt. Tata asked them not to do anything except trust that he and his staff would monitor the plan, and deal with whatever problems arise.
“Let’s wait until the choice process plays out,” Tata told reporters on his one year anniversary Jan. 31st, amid parents’ complaints that they were getting a pig in a poke.
“Some parents have been dismayed to find out that their menu of school choices, in reality, is smaller than meets the eye, and they’re not thrilled with their options,” opined a weary News & Observer Feb. 1 editorial three months ago.
Wake County realtors quickly became nonbelievers when they met with the superintendent, telling him to his face, and subsequently to the Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, that without guarantees that Tata’s school choice plan will indeed give families moving to the area the choice of schools they desire, they consider the plan bad for business.
Tata was forced to grasp at the first report of improved home sales in Wake to counter the realtors’ claims, even though earlier, a chagrined Tata promised to increase capacity at schools to make everyone happy.
It didn’t help when parents, encouraged to go online to make their school choices, couldn’t get their results because of some ill-timed computer glitches that the superintendent had to apologize for.
It also didn’t help when Tata, clearly feeling pressure from outside groups like Great Schools in Wake Coalition - who have called for the school choice plan to be dumped, and a new one adopted - accused two Democratic school board members of being connected to GSWIC, and demanded - twice - that they publicly denounce his adversaries.
After being taken to the woodshed by Chairman Kevin Hill, Tata was forced to apologize, and was also duly reminded exactly who works for whom.
The NCNAACP, which still has a federal complaint against Wake County Schools pending with the Civil Rights Division of the US Dept. of Education, and is calling for a return to wake’s former socio-economic diversity policy, hasn’t exactly offered the former military man a shoulder to cry on.
And the school system is being accused of further discrimination against Hispanic children, something Tata vehemently denies.
On top of all of this, Tata still has to figure out how to accommodate thousands of new students with millions less funding from the Legislature and county commissioners. His plans for opening academy schools next fall are hitting roadblocks. And he’s constantly finding himself either publicly directly at odds with at least two of the Democratic members, or smack dab in the middle between a rhetorical shooting war between a Republican board minority that resents they will have little say for the next four years, and a Democratic majority that is increasingly becoming unimpressed with Tata’s inability to learn quickly enough on the job to fix problems, like the Walnut Creek Elementary School overcrowding debacle.
Pressure is increasing also now from the black community, which, led by Calla Wright’s Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American children, is pressing Tata to pay more attention to student achievement, and less to student assignment.
And then there was this emailed criticism of Wake Supt. Tata sent to The Carolinian by a community advocate who asked to remain nameless for the sake of keeping the peace, that left no doubt that his leadership is definitely in question.
“How much longer can the school board allow Tata to bully them and the public?” the emailer rhetorically asked. “Tata has made our elevated board look incompetent and ineffective to many in the public with his comments and criticisms. He has challenged them over and over again and they have turned the other cheek. I hope they will stop allowing this behavior and make sure that Tata speaks for the board but not against the board.”
“If this is the role Tata desires, then why does he want this job? Is this job just a way to get his credentials so he can move on to a higher position like [former Washington, DC schools Chancellor] Michelle Rhee, or maybe he is getting his stripes to run for office? Who knows? One thing I do know, he is not helping Wake County students/families, and the business community has lost faith in our board, thanks to them trying to work patiently with Tata.”
“All in all, what is the advantage of having this superintendent? Tata clearly has shown us all his tricks. After a year and a half, what has he accomplished for students? He surely has played his best cards and how scary is that? He runs from here to there trying to throw kids and half-baked programs into any space he can find…and has failed miserably. Tata does not know where to lead us because he is truly out of his element. This is serious trouble for us all.”
The emailer concluded, “It is time to speak up and demand a qualified and competent superintendent. A professional who knows his role and has the right motives and knows his trade…educating students, inspiring teachers and leading principals. No matter what you think of the student assignment plan, can you really believe he can lead our school system to academic higher ground? Tata does not understand people, politics or education and his inexperience and super-ego is showing!”
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS
TRIANGLE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS IN APRIL
Mixed news for the Triangle jobless rate for April. Unemployment dropped a tenth of a point from March to 7.7 percent, but the Triangle area still lost over 5800 jobs.
Over the past 12 months, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel hill area created over 18,700 jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Statewide, North Carolina’s jobless rate was 9.4 percent, higher than the nation’s 8.1.
FORMER PRINCIPAL CHARGED WITH SEXUAL BATTERY
The former principal of East Wake Academy charter school has been charged by Zebulon police with sexual battery after complaints from two female staff members that he allegedly touched them inappropriately. Brandon Smith, 57, was fired from the school in March, and subsequently sued both the academy, and his two accusers.
STATE HOUSE APPROPRIATION COMMITTEE APPROVES EUGENICS BILL
Despite apprehension by some Republicans about the ultimate cost, a bill to compensate victims of North Carolina’s now defunct forced sterilization program passed the House Appropriation Committee Tuesday. The $10 million bill would award $50,000 to each surviving victim tax-free. It has already two House committees, and at press time, was due to be debated on the House floor. Republicans are concerned that the bil could ultimately cost $100 million.
The Underemployed Also Struggle to Survive
By Akeya Dickson
NNPA News Service
WASHINGTON (NNPA) – The woman selling you lottery tickets at 7-11 could be an engineer with multiple degrees. The guy bagging your groceries may have earned a six-figure salary in the not-too-distant past. Welcome to underemployment, the new norm in America.
As of April, there are nearly 8 million adults in this country who are underemployed, defined as those working part-time jobs up to 34 hours for economic reasons; more than 1 million of them are Black, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. California and Nevada are the states seeing the highest rates of underemployment, while North Dakota has the lowest.
An increasing number of underemployed people, which combines the percentage of workers who are unemployed with the percentage working part-time but wanting full-time work, are turning to charitable organizations for assistance.
“One of the misconceptions is that people who need food assistance are just the homeless,” said Marian Barton Peele, senior director of partner relations for the Capital Area Food Bank. “There is an unemployment problem in our country. But a bigger problem is actually underemployment, where the job you have doesn’t provide for your needs.”
Hunger in America 2010, a comprehensive study of domestic hunger by nonprofit organization Feeding America, conducted 61,000 interviews and surveyed 37,000 feeding agencies. The study found that 36 percent of the households they serve have at least one person working. The organization, which delivers food through its nationwide network of member food banks, has seen a 46 percent increase in the number of people they feed. That translates to 37 million people, or one in eight Americans relying on Feeding America for food and groceries.
“The underemployed have a low salary, don’t have health insurance. That’s why people are working two or three jobs, just to make ends meet at the end of the month,” said Peele, who coordinates food distribution to more than 700 nonprofit partner organizations that provide food for those at risk of hunger in the Washington Metropolitan area.
Shabach Ministries’ Emergency Empowerment Center in Landover, Md., is affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Glenarden and is a partner agency with the Capital Area Food Bank.
Gwen Pope, the center’s manager, said that she is definitely seeing an increase in underemployed people needing assistance from outside agencies to put food on the table and clothes on their families’ backs. First noticing an uptick as far back as seven years ago, she said that she feels like underemployment is actually the new norm for now as companies lay off people or close down altogether.
“These are people who had these jobs for 15 or 20 years. These people were making $80,000 to $100,000,” she said. “They are educated, have graduate degrees, but knew that they had to go out into the marketplace and find jobs. They were living in those $500,000 to $600,000 houses. These people have had to downsize because they couldn’t afford it any longer.”
Last year, the center served more than 12,000 households and more than 35,000 people. In addition to providing groceries that will last a family from three weeks to a month, the center supplies clothing and house ware.
“Because we’re a small place, we’re blessed to still be open as so many other pantries and places are growing,” she said. “We’re still growing because the need is growing. When they come through the doors, they are really stressed. And we try to motivate them.”
Pope dismisses altogether the stereotype that some have that people who ask for assistance are lazy and taking advantage of these services.
“I find that the percentage is just so minute, it’s not worth mentioning,” she explained. “When it comes to the underemployed, these are people who have challenges asking for help. Everyone is treated with dignity and respect. They’re running from job to job, working four hours here and there. It’s affecting their morale, their home life and the amount of time they get to spend with their family.”
Underemployment was up 19 percent in mid-February from 18.7 percent in January, according to a Gallup poll. Administrators of the poll noted, “Regardless of what the government reports, Gallup’s unemployment and underemployment measures show a sharp deterioration in job market conditions since mid-January.”
And while much attention has been paid to recent college graduates being jobless or underemployed, Pope said that it’s a real problem for people who are mid-career professionals with families.
“I’m not talking about people who are just coming out of college looking for jobs. What is disturbing is these are people who are 45 years old and older,” she said. “The jobs that are available are normally the jobs that they’re kids would be taking. They’re in direct competition with them. That’s a real reality check.”
Nonprofit organizations such as Suited for Change specializes in helping low-income women secure professional employment, are adept at dealing with the chronically unemployed and sees about 1,000 women each year through 71 referral agencies in the community.
“I think underemployment has always been an issue with our clients. Most of our residents in the District come from Ward 8, and I think it has the highest unemployment in the city,” said Sharon Flynn, director of the Washington, D.C.-based agency that provides job training and suits for women looking for jobs. “Some of those who are underemployed may have childcare jobs and want to get better-paying jobs with better stability. Some of them will get computer skills or go into the nursing field.”
Underemployment is not expected to end soon.
It’s going to be years before we see us coming out of this,” Pope said. “For some people who thought this was going to be a temporary situation, it’s going to be a permanent situation. Taking these piecemeal jobs, it actually erodes your resume. There’s really no place for you to grow in these part-time jobs.”
By Freddie Allen
NNPA News Service
WASHINGTON (NNPA) – On October 24, 1974 an unidentified man robbed and raped a pregnant Wayne State University student in a bathroom on campus. The student later picked 19 year-old Edward George Carter, out of a photo lineup that contained multiple pictures of the Black teen.
None of the physical evidence – fingerprints, semen and seminal fluid – collected from the scene connected Carter to the crime. Still, he was still arrested and charged with sodomy, armed robbery and assault in the Recorder’s Court for the City of Detroit.
Carter’s lawyer was a court-appointed public defender with the ink barely dry on her law school degree. She allowed Carter waive his right to a jury trial, permitted the prosecutor to submit the photo lineup as evidence and raised no objections to the prosecution’s theory about why the semen and seminal fluid didn’t match Carter’s blood type. There is no record that she requested fingerprints from the scene from the police department.
The young attorney, just 18 months into her career, met with Carter just twice, once at his preliminary hearing and again the day before his trial, when she learned that he had a 17-year-old girl as an alibi witness. By then it was too late. In 1975, Carter was sentenced to life in prison.
Three decades later, still professing his innocence, Carter reached out to a non-profit group specializing in exonerating wrongfully convicted inmates through the use of DNA. That evidence was lost, but a curious police officer found the fingerprints from the crime scene and ran them through the FBI database. The prints matched another man, a habitual sex offender convicted of two armed rapes committed on the Wayne State campus among other charges. Ironically, another group of young attorneys working with the University of Michigan Clinical Law Program helped to free Carter. A judge vacated his conviction two years ago.
By then, Edward George Carter had served 35 years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit.
Carter’s story was just one of the nearly 900 cases chronicled in the National Registry of Exonerations, a database that tracks cases of men and women in the U.S. who were later freed after faulty convictions.
University of Michigan law professor Samuel Gross, editor of the registry, said: “In most cases we never learn about them,” Gross said. “The defendants serve their time and try to put it behind them or die in prison. In those cases that we do we find out about years after the fact, sometimes decades after the fact, it’s very hard to go back and figure out what happened.”
The Registry, a collaborative effort between the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University, has been 10 years in the making. Its report this month on 873 exonerations listed as of March 1, 2012.
University of Michigan law professor Samuel Gross and editor of the registry said that it’s likely that many more cases of exonerated defendants exist that they just don’t know about.
In 2008, 38 percent of state and federal prisoners were Black compared to 34 percent of Whites. Yet, Blacks accounted for 50 percent of the exonerations while Whites accounted for 38 percent of the false convictions.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t surprise me,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project. “We know that African-Americans are over-represented in the justice system.”
“When it comes to the exonerations, what we’re seeing to a certain extent, is an overlap between issues of race and class,” Mauer said.
According to the National Poverty Center, 27.4 percent of Blacks and 9.9 percent of Whites were poor in 2010.
“Low-income people frequently don’t have good legal representation or access to expert witnesses or investigations on their cases,” Mauer said.
These factors make it more likely that poor people face the chance of being falsely convicted.
According to Gross there is no official record keeping system for exonerations in the U.S. Researchers rely on the known cases to piece together the tragic picture of lifetimes lost and unsolved crimes
Gross found that mistaken eyewitness identifications played a significant role in false convictions, including 80 percent of all sexual assault exonerations. Blacks accounted for 25 percent of the sexual assault convictions compared to 32 percent for Whites. Although interracial rape is rare, sexual assault convictions involving Black defendants and White victims made up 53 percent of all sexual assault cases with mistaken eyewitness identifications.
Gross said that cross-racial identification is an obvious problem that not only threatens the accuracy of eyewitness evidence, but the entire American criminal justice system.
In “They All Look Alike: the Inaccuracy of Cross-racial Identifications” April 2001 article published in the American Journal of Criminal Law, John Pr. Rutledge wrote:
“A cross-racial ID occurs when an eyewitness of one race is asked to identify a particular individual of another race. The last half-century’s empirical study of cross-racial IDs has shown that eyewitnesses have difficulty identifying members of another race, though the degree to which this difficulty affects the accuracy of an eyewitness ID is not certain. Likewise, it is unclear whether all races are affected.
“Known as the ‘own-race’ effect or ‘own-race’ bias, eyewitnesses experience the ‘cross-racial impairment’ when attempting to identify individuals of another race. The ‘own-race effect’ is ‘strongest when white witnesses attempt to recognize black subjects,’ and apparently less influential to black witnesses.”
Gross, editor of the online registry, observed: “African-Americans are a minority so African-Americans deal with Caucasians much more than Caucasians deal with African-Americans. Many White people have very few dealings with African-Americans and don’t learn to distinguish them from each other. African-Americans can’t afford that.”
The most common causes of false convictions were perjury (51 percent), mistaken eyewitness identification, (43 percent), and official misconduct (42 percent). As more cases continue to come to light, Gross said that researchers will better understand the causes of false convictions and learn how to prevent them.
“I hope the vast majority of the time that people are convicted are guilty,” Gross said. “But we make mistakes and we should keep that in mind when we consider cases after the fact when someone is able to present evidence that they may be innocent.”
Mauer agreed, adding that the Registry should help call attention to the need for greater safeguards and oversight in the criminal justice system.
“There are evolving new standards for how we use eyewitness identification, which has been a significant problem,” Mauer said. “There’s a need for more vigorous DNA testing in appropriate cases and ultimately better resources for the court systems and particularly defense attorneys.”
STATE NEWS BRIEFS
REP. WOMBLE CHARGED IN DECEMBER AUTO ACCIDENT
[WINSTON-SALEM] Rep. Larry Womble’s triumphant return to the NC General Assembly, where he received a standing ovation after recovering from a near-fatal December automobile accident, was short-lived. Winston-Salem police, after a five-month investigation, charged Womble with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. His car allegedly crossed the centerline, colliding head-on with another vehicle, killing the driver.
Womble has been in recovery since that time. He was taken from the Legislature to the Forsyth County magistrate’s office in a wheel chair to be arraigned. Womble, 70, has a court date July 18.
UNC - CHAPEL HILL TRUSTEES OUTRAGED OVER ACADEMIC FRAUD CHARGES
[CHAPEL HILL] Trustees of the UNC - Chapel Hill Board expressed serious concerns over allegations of academic fraud in the African and Afro-American Studies there. An internal probe alleged, “major indiscretions that raise serious questions of unprofessional and unethical conduct.” At least 54 classes were not conducted though the instructor got credit for them; grades were allegedly changed and the signatures of faculty members forged. The Orange County DA is officially looking into the matter. Meanwhile, new precautions have been put in place to prevent abuses in the future.
FORMER STAFFER MAY SURE NC DEMOCRATIC PARTY
[RALEIGH] With the Democratic National Convention less than three months away in Charlotte, North Carolina Democrats are bracing themselves for still more drama in the aftermath of the alleged sex scandal that rocked the state Democratic Party, forcing its executive director to resign, and its party chairman to fight off ouster. Published reports say Adriadn Ortega, the young party staffer who alleged that Director Jay Parmley sexually harassed him, is now threatening to sue the state party, and Chairman David Parker, for defamation, and breach of contract. Ortega reached a monetary agreement with Parker to keep quiet, but Parker has since alleged that Ortega had not been truthful.
CASH IN THE APPLE
By Cash Michaels
TRAPS FOR OBAMA - Pay no attention to the polls or controversies in the 2012 presidential elections right now. Most of that stuff is made up anyway. Major newspapers, which are dying right before our eyes right now, are desperately trying to pump up their circulations.
Cable TV networks like Fox, MSNBC, and Lord have mercy CNN, which is posting its lowest ratings in 20 years, are even more desperately trying to jump their ratings with every little story they can drain every bit of controversy out of.
So all of this business between Pres. Obama and former Gov. Romney right now means little. It’s summer time. Most people are not paying attention to politics, no matter how much the media would like them to.
And that’s why the Obama campaign has to pay close attention to what not to respond to. Romney and the Republicans are setting traps all over for the Democratic president to walk into, and if he does, Obama will inadvertently give his adversaries ammunition to keep the controversies alive until the fall, when summertime people will then be paying attention.
That’s the only way President Obama can lose this re-election - if he gives the GOP the tools they need to dismember his campaign, and legacy.
Mind you, even if the president didn’t give his enemies anything, they would make it up anyway.
That’s the reason why these GOP folks are still trying to bring the fiery Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor, back onto the scene. They so desperately want to lure the president towards the one flame he can’t handle….race.
Pres. Obama has tried awfully hard to stay away from the topic of race, primarily because, thanks to the Tea Party uprising, there is no way it can be discussed sensibly in today’s atmosphere. First sensible word he says about it, he gets attacked.
There are so many right-wing haters out there who are so totally invested in turning the history of racism in this nation inside-out. They want to turn the notion of “equal rights” on its ear, suggesting that black people, like Pres. Obama, don’t represent “real Americans.”
Just recently, there was a Republican Colorado congressman who was recorded telling his constituents that Pres. Obama was not a “real American in his heart.”
The list of potent cuss words I have for that man is thankfully too long for me to exhibit on this page.
And of course, that congressman, once he was outed, took the coward’s way out, saying in a statement that he really didn’t mean what he was recorded saying.
Now multiply that idiot by the countless number of GOP, and even some Democratic politicians across the country, who want the nation’s first black president out of office so bad they can taste it.
You get the picture. This president has to battle foolishness on all fronts, not only because of his policies, which are fair game in this and any presidential election, but his race as well.
Take, for example, what Romney will NOT do.
Despite the fact that millionaire loudmouth Donald Trump is still harping on this crazy “Barack Obama wasn’t born here” junk - which has long since been embarrassing for anyone who dares to broach the topic - Romney will not denounce the Donald. Why? Because even though Romney knows that Trump is the business side of a big donkey with cavity problems, he realizes that there are enough voters in the nation that hate Obama so much, they subscribe to that nonsense.
And Romney has made no secret that crazy or not, he wants their vote.
You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in. But I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people,” the GOP nominee is quoted a telling the press earlier this week.
Now suppose Barack Obama decided not to repudiate his beloved pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, back in 2008 when he first ran for the presidency. Incendiary videos of Rev. Wright preaching were all over the TV and internet; pundits were going crazy blasting the man, and asking how Obama could have spent 20 years in his church. Former NC Gov. Jim Hunt told me exclusively for my film, “Obama in NC: The Path to History” that he personally told the Obama campaign to do something about Wright, or forget winning the presidency.
Obama reluctantly repudiated the man who was like a father to him.
Donald Trump, on the otherhand, is nowhere near as close to Mitt Romney personally or otherwise. But he admittedly won’t lift a finger to criticize the man for continuing his public campaign to personally diminish the president of the United States.
So we see clear evidence that Romney will say and do whatever it takes to not only defeat this president, but destroy him.
That means they’re more than willing to start trouble for him now, hoping that Obama will stay entangled in it until the fall, when the real fireworks begin.
Don’t fall into the trap, Mr. President. You are a lot smarter than these people, and certainly a lot more principled.
NCLBC FOUNDATION - The North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (NCLBCF) will hold its annual Education Scholarship Event on June 15, 2012 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The event focuses on topics that impact the citizens of North Carolina and provides scholarships to students attending the state’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The event is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. with two “Critical Issues” sessions and will end with the annual signature fundraising event, the NCLBCF Education Scholarship Dinner, where United States Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, from Ohio’s 11th District, will serve as keynote speaker. The dinner is scheduled at 7 p.m.
Among the issues that will be covered during the event are the impact of budget cuts on education, and voter ID laws and their effect on minority participation. The group also will discuss health care reform, and the importance of an informed electorate.
Session A, titled “The Impact of Budget Cuts on Education,” will be moderated by: Senator Gladys Robinson – Senate District 28 – Guilford County. Panel members and presenters include: Representative Rick Glaizer – House District 45 Cumberland County, and Representative Earline Parmon – House District 72 – Forsyth County
Session B, titled “Protecting One’s Right to Vote,” will be moderated by: Senator Edward Jones – Senate District 4 – Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton, Perquimans Counties. Panel Members. Presenters include Representative Larry Hall – House District 29 – Durham County and Professor Irving L. Joyner, North Carolina Central University School of Law.
The NCLBCF has provided support to higher education in North Carolina for more than 25 years by awarding need based scholarships to students attending one of the 10 participating Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in North Carolina. “We must work together to make sure a college education is possible for all students,” says Rep. Alma Adams, chair of the NCLBF. “Everyone benefits from this important investment in education.
Go to www.nclbcf.org, or call 919-833-6394 for more information.
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.