Tuesday, June 26, 2012



First, on behalf of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the national Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project, the Project’s Local Advisory Committee, and the New Hanover County NAACP, we want to say “Thank you so much,” community, for making Tuesday’s first Faith Community Rally at St. Stephen’s A.M.E. Church, supporting pardons of innocence for the Wilmington Ten, such a success.
The special event was well attended, well coordinated by the local groups, and certainly made it very clear to all of North Carolina, if not the world, that we, here, in Wilmington, even after forty years of injustice, still stand strong with the Wilmington Ten.
The keynote speaker for the occasion was the extraordinary Rev. Dr. William Barber Jr., president of the NC NAACP.
Many came to St. Stephen’s Tuesday evening not only to support the Wilmington Teen, but to see this fiery, defiant leader of the state NAACP they have always heard much about, but had never seen in action, in person.
If those folks were bowling pins, Rev. Barber knocked them all down for sure.
Rev. Barber said that God has been with the Wilmington Ten throughout, seeing them through the fire, just like He did with biblical heroes Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who walked through the fiery furnace unharmed because the Lord was with them too.
Forty years was long enough for the state of North Carolina to correct its sinful wrong in falsely convicting the Wilmington Ten, Rev. Barber proclaimed, and if anyone should lead to effort, under the auspices of the Pardon Project, it should be Wilmington.
Our history of struggle and strife - from 1898, through the 1971 post-civil rights movement strife and 1972’s false convictions, right through to today’s  effort to secure ten individual pardons of innocence - enable our port city to push this state towards justice.
So we should be proud, community. Tuesday night’s Faith Rally proved that the spirit of justice is still alive in well here in Wilmington. We still care about a quality, equal education that challenges all students in our school system to be their very best.
And we care about a criminal justice system that no longer holds a person’s race or politics against them.
These are the values taught to us by the examples set forth for us by the Wilmington Ten. Values that we can, should teach our children.
But many of us must learn them first.
And that’s what’s so exciting about the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project. It forces us to learn about what is right for our community, and then activating working hard to make it so.
So Wilmington, if you haven’t done so already, contact our Wilmington Journal office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays so that you can volunteer to collect signature petitions for the cause. Your spirit, devotion and dedication to freedom and justice are all that is needed.
That, and our ability to stand strong…TOGETHER!
Because if the saga of the Wilmington Ten taught all of us anything, it taught us the power of working together, and being every hungry for the truth in all things.
So let’s lock arms, and indeed, work together to get our target 100,000 signatures for the Wilmington Ten.
Call our Journal office for more information at 910-762-5502.

REV. BARBER PREACHING FOR "THE TEN' - Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, speaking at St. Stephen's A.M.E. church Tuesday night, calling for the state of North Carolina to pardon the Wilmington Ten {John Davis photo]

By Cash Michaels

            [WILMINGTON] Saying that it was it was ordained by God that the Wilmington Ten be finally granted pardons of innocence by the state of North Carolina for crimes they were falsely convicted of forty years ago, Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP urged supporters of the ten activists to stand strong for justice on their behalf.
            "The NAACP is proud to stand by this effort for the pardons of innocence for the Wilmington Ten," Rev. Barber, the keynote speaker, told the cheering audience at St. Stephen’s A.M.E. Church Tuesday night, during the first “Faith Community Rally” for the Wilmington Ten pardon effort.
            Meanwhile organizers began organizing volunteers locally for a petition drive to collect upwards of 100,000 signatures to support the Wilmington Ten. Interested persons from across the state were urged to call The Wilmington Journal office at 910-762-5502 to find out how they can be involved.
            Co-sponsored by the local advisory committee of the national Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project - an outreach effort of the National Newspaper Publishers Association - and the New Hanover County NAACP, the rally served as the kickoff for the national petition drive to urge Governor Beverly Perdue to grant individual pardons of innocence on the seven surviving members of the Wilmington Ten, and the three deceased members.
            With Wilmington native Rev. Kojo Nantambu, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP as the master of ceremonies, the program was a mixture of expressed support for the cause from the Wilmington/New Hanover County community, and inspirational singing from the Rev. Dr. J. Allen Kirk Youth Choir.
            Over 200 people, many of whom were old enough to remember the controversy over forty years ago when black students in Wilmington, angry because the New Hanover Public School System had closed their all-black Williston High School without notice, demonstrated, demanding educational equality.
            Rev. Benjamin Chavis was sent by the United Church of Christ to peacefully and constructive lead the protests in February 1971. But shortly after, violence broke out, with white supremacists driving through the black community, shooting indiscriminately.
            A white-owned grocery store was firebombed, and a year later, police arrested several of the black students protestors, a white female community activist, and Rev. Chavis, falsely charging them with conspiracy in the crime.
            The ‘Wilmington ten,” as they were eventually called, were falsely convicted in 1972 in Pender County, and collective sentenced to 282 years in prison.
            They all served some of that time before years later, all of the witnesses that testified against them recanted their testimony.
            And in 1980, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals - an appellate court Rev. Barber made note had no African-Americans on it, and was, in fact, approved of by powerful US Senator Jesse Helms, the archconservative from North Carolina - overturned all of the Wilmington Ten convictions.
            But for the past 32 years, Rev. Barber added, the state of North Carolina has refused to “repent” from the false convictions, and rightfully pardon the Ten.
            The same, he added, as the state has recently failed to “repent” by compensating the poor black and white mostly female victims of North Carolina’s forced sterilization program.
            Prior to Rev. Barber’s keynote address, Willie Earl Vereen, who, along with other Wilmington Ten members Connie Tindall, Marvin ‘Chili” Patrick and James McKoy, attended Tuesday’s faith rally, told the congregation that the African-American must learn how to stand up for what is right again, instead of just accepting injustice.
            He thanked the Wilmington community for its support.           
 Dr. Benjamin Chavis, leader of the Wilmington Ten, could not attend Tuesday’s Faith Rally at St. Stephen’s. But he did send a statement to be read to the congregation:
          Dear Brothers and Sisters:
          On behalf of the Wilmington Ten and all members of our families, we express to you our profound gratitude for your presence tonight. We are grateful to St. Stephen's A.M.E. Church for welcoming and hosting this important rally for justice and equality.  We thank the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and in particular we thank Mary Alice Jervay Thatch and the Wilmington Journal for their long standing support and leadership. 
          We especially salute the outstanding and courageous leadership of the Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II and the NAACP.  As the tremendously effective President of the NC State Conference of the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the nation, we are so honored that Dr. Barber will bless this occasion with the eloquence of his commitment as a renown freedom fighter and preacher of the Gospel.
          40 years is a long time.  Yet we acknowledge with a renewed sense of faith in the God of freedom and justice that the Lord is always on time and that the pursuit of freedom, justice and equality is a constant struggle from generation to the next. 
          Our faith remains strong.  Our commitment to equal justice remains high and our determination make our world a better place remains secure.  The campaign to attain a Pardon of Innocence for the Wilmington Ten is a moral campaign.  Governor Perdue's decision will go beyond mere politics or calculated political risk assessment.  This campaign is gaining momentum because it is morally right and theological sound. The Wilmington Ten 40 years ago stood up for the civil rights of all the children in the New Hanover County Public School system.  Inside Gregory Church there on Nun Street we prayed on our knees and then we stood to organized our peaceful movement for the equal education of all of God's children in Wilmington.   
              Tonight our prayers and faith continues.  Even though progress has been made over the past 40 years, we must not permit the strong head winds of racial discrimination that appear to be gaining some force in North Carolina blow us off course.  A pardon of innocence for the Wilmington Ten is a pardon of repentance for NC.  Justice for the Wilmington Ten will be justice for all.  May God bless this Faith Rally.
Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.



A former Wake District Court judge, a Raleigh attorney and a legal assistance have all been indicted by a Wake grand jury for alleged improper mishandling of at least a dozen DWI cases. Former Judge Kristin Ruth, who stepped down from the bench several weeks ago when first accused, along with attorney James Crouch and the legal assistant, will all face trial now. Ruth has said she was duped by Crouch into signing court orders that manipulated the dates on DWI cases that had been appealed, cases that were not legally Judge Ruth’s. Doing so effectively limited the punishment in those cases.

       A former member of the Durham Board of County Commissioners has been chosen to fill out the term of Commissioner Joe Bowser, who stepped down last month after losing re-election. Rev. Phillip Cousin, who has served previously, will takeover Bowser’s seat until this December. The choice is in contradiction to that of the Durham Democratic Party, which had chosen Fred Foster. Foster’s nomination ran into trouble because of old allegations about his dismissal 21 years ago from the Dept. of Social Services.

One of the most popular veteran radio personalities in the Triangle area is being funeralized today. Alvin Stowe, who helped to put urban stations Foxy 107FM/104FM on the air in the late 1980s, died Saturday in Winston-Salem after his family had his life support discontinued. Stowe, who was a Shaw University alum, was reportedly suffering from Hodgkin’s disease when he died. Before Foxy, Stowe programmed 1490 WDUR-AM in Durham. In recent years, Stowe changed his radio moniker to “A.C. Stone” and worked for radio stations in Charlotte and Greensboro. Stowe was known for always working in the community.


            [WILMINGTON]  Apparently the most popular superhero on the big screen right now likes his seafood cooked “down home” style. Robert Downey, Jr., who portrays Iron Man in “The Avengers,” as well as in two previous Iron Man movies, and is in Wilmington filming “Iron Man 3” right now, reportedly liked the seafood at black-owned restaurant “Catch” so much, that he highly recommended it to costars Gwyneth Paltrow and Jon Faveau, who directed the first two Iron man movies. “Catch” is owned by chef Keith Rhodes and his wife, Angela. Paltrow reportedly had ceviche and sweet potato salad.
            [RALEIGH] Today the remnants of St. Agnes Hospital are still there sitting next to the campus of St. Augustine’s College in the Oakwood community. Long closed, St. Agnes once served as a hospital that African-Americans could go to during the segregation period of the early 1900s to the civil rights era. It also trained hundreds of black nurses. Now, there are announced plans to rebuild St. Agnes as a community medical center. Rex Healthcare, in partnership with developer Billie Redmond, say the center will provide primary and urgent care service to the community when opened.

            [RALEIGH]  A downtown Raleigh bar is fighting allegations of racism after a black man accused the general manager of putting him in a headlock and throwing him out. Jonathan Wall, 21, alleges that he was manhandled at the Downtown Sports Bar and Grill on Glenwood Avenue recently after he went there with white friends. Wall maintains that he did nothing wrong. The attorney for the bar says Wall was not kicked out because of his race, adding that the place is a private club. But others blacks who have heard Wall’s account say the same thing has happened to them in the past a well.

By Cash Michaels

            The first line of the News and Observer’s Wake Ed Blog June 20, the day the Wake School Board voted 5-4 to reincorporate diversity in student assignment, said it all - Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata literally played the good soldier at today’s press conference as he didn’t criticize the school board’s call to develop a base school assignment plan.
            Indeed, even though Tata, after the Democrat-led board gave him new marching orders to scrap his floundering school choice plan, maintained that it was beginning to bare fruit after a rocky start with a “high satisfaction rate” among a majority of Wake County parents, he reluctantly conceded that he and his staff, “…work at the direction of the board.”
            More specifically, a Democratic board majority with which Tata, a conservative Tea Party sympathizer who sources say has US senatorial aspirations in a few years, has had several very public nasty fights with in the six months they’ve been in charge.
            With his heart really not into establishing a base school model with aspects of choice, and elements of stability, proximity, student achievement and diversity, will Tata drag his feet in meeting the 2013-14 school year deadline, or will the retired US Army brigadier general be the “good soldier,” and follow the directive?
            No matter what Tata’s personal feelings, some community leaders expect him too, beginning with his boss.
            “I’ve talked with Supt. Tata a little bit about this,” Wake School Board Chairman Kevin Hill told The Carolinian last week. :”I think he’s a professional. My expectation, as chairman…is as superintendent, you take our direction from the Board of Education, and whatever direction the Board of Education points Wake County in, I need you to enthusiastically and wholeheartedly work to make that happen, and he understands that, that’s his intention.”
But Chairman Hill also added a cautionary note to Tata’s “intention.”
“I’m going to take him at his word, and look to partner with him, again with the caveat that somewhere along the line, every superintendent has to make a decision if they’re comfortable with what the board is directing them to do or not,” Hill said, reminding of Tata’s predecessor in the job, Del Burns, who resigned shortly after a Republican-led majority on the board, with intentions of scrapping diversity and instituting racially segregated neighborhood schools, took over in 2010.
That board majority hired Tata, who had no classroom experience, and only 18 months of any school administration experience, to run the nation’s 16th largest public school system.
Chairman Hill seemed to suggest that he wouldn’t be surprised if Tata, now given the change in board majority leadership, had a change of heart.
“I compare superintendents to major league baseball managers - they kind of come and go,” Hill told The Carolinian. “I respect Tony, I respect the service that he has given to our country, I like him an individual, and want to take him at his word that he will work in the best interests of the children of Wake County.”
Even Tata’s staunchest critics expressed the belief that the “good soldier,” no matter what his personal beliefs, will get the new directive done.
“It would be my thought that he understands that [in] the governance process that the board dictates what [is done]… and as an employee of the Wake County Public Schools, I’m sure he understands…the protocol of what that demand means,” said Calla Wright, president of Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children. 
Yevonne Brannon, chair of Great Schools in Wake Coalition - a frequent adversary of Supt. Tata and his school choice plan - agrees that it is his job to now come up with a workable base assignment plan that connects student addresses to particular schools.
That’s Tata’s job, but she’s not so sure he’s going to do it!
“I don’t know, because I don’t know Mr. Tata,” Brannon told The Carolinian. “He seems to be more interested in following his own beliefs, his own interests. His personal will seems to be stronger than listening to the board’s will. So I’m not so sure that he’s good at following direction and following orders. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know him personally.”
But Brannon added, “ I would say, I hope so. I hope that he has taken an oath as superintendent that serves the best interests of the Board of Education…and I hope he will do what he can to make [WCPSS] successful.”

By Cash Michaels

            LEBRON’S THE MAN - It is very good to see someone finally get the monkey off his back. So it was great seeing Lebron James dancing, waving and smiling wide like a kid when the embattled Miami Heat the NBA World Championship by defeating the awesome Kevin Durant - Russell Westbrook OKC Thunder last week, sweeping the last four of five games in a best of seven series.
            I had originally picked the Heat to win the title last year, only to watch Lebron, Dwyane Wade and the boys get trounced by the “chumpian” Dallas Mavericks (who had no business winning the title, as proven by their failure to make it back).
            I stayed with the Heat again this year, and was rewarded with gutsy plays, and more “attack” basketball, meaning that Lebron worked hard on his game so that he could dominate the action.
            And he has, taking the ball to the hole more times than not. He still shoots a crazy three-pointer now and then, but at least he doesn’t live at half-court anymore, like he did last year.
            And what about D. Wade? Even with bad knees, Wade is still one of the most exciting basketball players on the planet today, penetrating defenses and scoring at will.
            No doubt this was one of the most NBA playoff and finals season in the history of the game, and the Heat kept you on the edge of your seat.
            So the Miami Heat are the world’s new NBA champs. But the Thunder made a loud and clear statement too. They will be back, and they will stand in the champions’ circle one day.
            That’s for certain.
            JOHN AND RIELLE - So let me get this straight, after super mistress Rielle Hunter released her tell-all book last week about the “true” story of her relationship with former Sen. John Edwards, he dumped her and the daughter that he fathered. In her words, they’re a “family” (they aren’t married), but not a “couple” anymore.
            Ya think?!!!
            Edwards got the best attorneys in the nation to steer the federal corruption case against him into the dumper, and now he’s hoping against hope to rebuild his very tarnished public image so he can get back into the political game again.
            Who knows, “Edwards for president in 2016”?
            But whatever big time mistakes Edwards has made, nothing…absolutely nothing tops getting involved with Rielle Hunter during the 2008 presidential campaign.
            Plus the man got her pregnant.
            And thought that he could still run for president, and deal with the fallout.
            There should be a special rock for the man to crawl under, never to be seen again.
            There should be.
            For real.
            GOODBYE, ALVIN - Today, a good friend and outstanding veteran radio personality, Alvin Stowe, was laid to rest.
            Alvin and I were crosstown rivals when I first got to the Durham market in 1981. Al was at WDUR-AM, and I was at WSRC-AM. A few months after I got to town, my late wife then, Felicia Ledesma, followed me from New York, getting a job at country station WTIK in Durham. She later went to WDUR to do news, and when Foxy 107/104 FM was born, she was among the first on the air. Al’s late wife, Cathy Stowe, did the public affairs TV show "Reflections" on WTVD, and would always recruit me to do the UNCF telethon, along with her hubby. Al was always cool.
            He went on to work in Charlotte and Greensboro, creating a new radio persona, “A.C. Stone.” In the latter years, he and I communicated a lot on Facebook.
            Al was an alum of Shaw University, and he always had the community at heart. He leaves behind a wife and four children. The prayers and condolences of  my family are with his.
SUPPORT THE W-10 PARDON PROJECT - It has been an exhilarating week for those of us working on the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project since the Faith Community Rally at St. Stephen’s A.M.E Church on Tuesday. A big thanks to all who came out and enjoyed.
An extra big salute to the Local Advisory Committee of the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project and the New Hanover NAACP, both of whom worked closely together to make the Faith Rally such a success.
And a super extra big thank you to NC NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber for firing us all up with his exceptional keynote address.
For the record, I am the coordinator for the project, which is sponsored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association of Washington, D.C. Support is building, and more people are signing on, asking Gov. Beverly Perdue to declare all ten of the Wilmington Ten actually innocent of the charges they were falsely convicted of forty years ago.
One of the things we’re working on is our online presence. The first is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheWilmingtonTenPardonOfInnocenceProject. There you get history, pictures, videos, comments and links connecting you further to the Wilmington Ten case.
Then there is the online petition that was setup by Susie Kenney Edwards of Cary for the cause. It allows you to add your name to others, urging Gov. Beverly Perdue to “pardon the Wilmington Ten” - https://www.change.org/petitions/nc-governor-bev-perdue-pardon-the-wilmington-10.
Thus far, we have over 390 signatures. We are working towards 100,000, if not more.
Please visit these sites, join the team, and let’s all stand for justice. Forty years is too long for injustice to reign.
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.

Monday, June 18, 2012


By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            During the over 25 years that Anthony Tata served in the US Army, defeat, or failure to complete his mission, was not an option.
But not even two years into leading Wake County Public Schools, Supt. Tony Tata is seeing more than his share of operational breakdowns that have caused many in the community to question his ability to properly steer the 16th largest school system in the nation back to the success it once had.
This week, Tata saw his biggest.
Early Wednesday morning, Tata’s bosses, the Wake School Board, after hours of debate, voted 5-4 along party lines to alter the new school choice plan that the rookie superintendent has worked so hard to implement.
“The Wake County Board of Education voted Wednesday to ask WCPSS staff to revise the district’s student assignment plan,” a terse news release from Tata’s administration stated afterwards. “Board members have directed WCPSS staff to create an addressed-based plan that would go into effect in the 2013-14 school year.”
The release added, “Tuesday’s vote by the board does not affect school assignments or transportation for the 2012-13 school year.”
That means that despite assurances from Tata that the overwhelming majority of families with children in the 150,000-pupil school system are happy with his new school choice plan, the Democratic majority on the school board didn’t believe him - even after giving Tata six months to straighten out any problems the plan would present - and ordered him and his staff to come up with a new strategy that incorporates diversity and student achievement in student assignments.
To the Republican minority on the school board - members who came in in 2009 on a mission to discard Wake’s previously much-hailed socioeconomic student diversity plan in favor of neighborhood schools - the change by the Democratic board majority bordered on not only an affront to Supt. Tata, who the Republicans hired in December 2010, but a sacrilege against the cherished changes they bulldozered into policy shortly after taking office.
Wake School Board Chairman Kevin Hill, along with Vice Chair Keith Sutton, both Democrats, patiently listened as GOP members Chris Malone, Deborah Prickett, John Tedesco and Debra Goldman relentlessly tried to stop any vote on the directive, approved by the board’s Executive Committee, that would cut the throat of their school choice plan.
Their arguments ranged from “Our plan hasn’t had enough time to work,” to “You’re only doing this because your political backers told you too.”
At one point, after one in a series of blistering attacks by Goldman, Hill calmly replied, "Thanks for sharing."
There were warnings of hurting parents who will now have choice unfairly taken from them, and will be at the mercy of a school system telling them where they will send their children, like years before, the Republicans alleged.
Republican board member John Tedesco of District 2, who actively conspired with former Wake School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta to get rid of the system’s diversity policy immediately after taking office in 2009 without any review, ironically begged the Democratic majority now not to make the same mistake he now admits the Republicans made three years ago.
He even asked how much would scrapping the choice plan for a base assignment plan would cost, even though three years ago, when Chairman Hill, part of the then Democratic minority, posed the same question to the Republican majority about the costs of high poverty schools that a neighborhood schools plan would create, he was ignored by Tedesco and GOP company, who voted Hill's motion down.
In an exclusive interview with The Carolinian, Chairman Hill confirmed that he has seen convincing data that Tata’s school choice plan currently in place, would create more high poverty schools with over 50 percent of the school population categorized as underachievers.
The expense in terms of dollars and personnel turnover was simply not worth the risk, Hill said. If a change of course was to happen in time for the 2013-14 school year, the board had to act now, even though the school choice really hadn’t had a chance to become fully operational.
            Despite assurances by Supt. Tata that his staff was dealing with minor drawbacks, there had been complaints from real estate agents that they couldn’t assure newcomers to Wake of what schools their children would attend.
            While those with children already in the school system pretty much  got the choices they wanted, newcomers were left with schools they didn’t want, because popular schools were filled to capacity.
            And projections about the creation of more high poverty schools, based on projections of what schools were being chosen, were daunting.
The move, Hill assured, had to be made now.
The pressing question is, will Tata indeed carry out this new directive? Hill says he was assured by Tata that he will, and the chairman expects the former military man to be as good as his word.
“Tony is a professional,” Chairman Hill told The Carolinian.
But Hill also made it clear that, in the final analysis, it is Supt. Tata’s decision to carry out the change that has been directed, and to be a part of it, pointing out how former Wake Supt. Del Burns resigned two years ago when he decided he couldn’t be a part of the Republican-led board’s drive for racially segregated neighborhood schools.
Tata, at press time, has made no public comment as to what he intends to do.

MRS. WILLIE E. JERVAY, PAST PUBLISHER OF THE WILMINGTON JOURNAL, PASSES - Mrs. Jervay, seated, surrounded by her family (l to r) Kitty Jervay Tate; Mary Alice Thatch; Shawn Thatch; Johanna Thatch-Briggs and Robin Thatch Johnson [Photo courtesy of the Wilmington Journal]

By Cash Michaels

            [WILMINGTON] They came to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Tuesday, to say goodbye to a champion for equal rights, devoted mother and community leader.
            Mrs. Willie Etha DeVane Jervay, the publisher emeritus of the Wilmington Journal - the port city’s long time African-American newspaper - was being funeralized. Her interment was at Greenlawn Memorial Park.
            Mrs. Jervay died Saturday, June 16th at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, after a long illness.
            On June 27h, she would have been 91-years-old.
            In a church service filled with family, friends and admirers, Mrs. Jervay, a St. Mark’s member, was fondly remembered by Reverend Canon Victor Fredereriksen as a quiet, yet courageous leader in the community who loyally worked at the side of her pioneering husband, Thomas Jervay, Sr., founder and publisher of the Wilmington Journal, until his death in the mid-1990s.
            Mr. Jervay was also the older brother of the late Paul Jervay Sr., founder and publisher of The Carolinian Newspaper in Raleigh.
            During those early years, Mrs. Jervay worked in the business office of the Journal, in circulation and advertising. After her husband’s death, she took over the leadership of the paper, maintaining its stated purpose of giving voice to Wilmington’s African-American community.
She also took time to donate her time and energies towards helping the needy, especially those living in the Brooklyn section of Wilmington.
            As a diligent wife and mother, Mrs. Jervay raised three children - Kitty, Mary Alice, and Thomas “Tommy”, Jr., who has preceded her in death.
            Mrs. Jervay’s obituary states that she was the daughter of Maggie DeVane Herring.
            She was born in Harrells, NC, located in Sampson County, on June 27th, 1921.
            Willie Jervay attended the public schools of Sampson County, and, upon completion of her education, married Thomas C. Jervay Sr. in 1942.
            At a very early age, Willie Jervay gave her life to the Lord, joining Ward’s Chapel Baptist Church in Harrells as a child, and later joining St. Mark’s Episcopal Church as an adult upon moving to Wilmington.
            For years, Willie Jervay was a member of Eastern Star, and a charter member of the Business and Professional Business Women’s Club. She gave many hours of service as a “foot solder,” soliciting door-to-door for various charitable organizations.
Mrs. Jervay was a charter member of the Wilmington Chapter of Jack and Jill, Inc., and held a life membership in the NAACP.
            During the 1960’s civil rights movement, Willie Jervay was a vibrant voice against social and economic injustice. She made sure student demonstrators were well fed, and supported her own children as they were arrested for their role in demonstrations, picketing downtown businesses for job opportunities for black.
            She also had several hobbies - gardening, reading, fishing, cooking, sewing and traveling extensively.
            “[My mother] loved the Lord, and she loved people,” Mary Alice Thatch, publisher of the Wilmington Journal said. “She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.
            Mrs. Willie E. Jervay leaves behind a loving family consisting of two daughters, Mary Alice Thatch and Kitty Jervay Tate, along with their spouses; six grandchildren, Robin Thatch Johnson; Lacy Tate, Jr.; Mona Jervay; Shawn Thatch; Robert Tate and Johanna Thatch-Briggs, twenty-one great grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.


            [RALEIGH] Craigain L. Gray is looking for new work this week, ever since he was fired Tuesday as the state’s director of the Division of Medical Assistance, in charge of the troubled Medicaid program. According to Gray, who had headed up the program since 2009, North Carolina ‘s Medicaid program may show a budget shortfall of over $400 million for this year. Gray was shown the door by State Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Al Delia. Gray has been replaced by current DHHS Chief Deputy Secretary Michael Watson.

            [RALEIGH] In a letter dated June 19, 2012, the NCNAACP and the HKonJ Coalition has asked NC Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, leader of the Senate Republican majority, to, “…match the NC House's budget appropriation to provide compensation to the living victims of forced sterilization by the State of North Carolina through 1974.” Last week, the $10 million bill passed in the state House to compensation victims of North Carolina’s forced sterilization program was not included in the Senate’s proposed budget. Senate leaders, in fact, said that the bill will not be taken up by the Senate this year.
            “Our taxes were quietly used to sterilize men and women because they were poor,” wrote Rev. William Barber, president of the NCNAACP to Sen. Berger. “Now we have the chance to give them a modest payment for the pain the state caused them.”
            At presstime Wednesday, Republican leaders in the state House and Senate released a proposed $20.2 billion budget plan, that may be voted on  Friday, that did not include compensation for eugenics victims. Senate leader Berger said Republicans in his chamber did not support it. House Speaker Thom Tillis, who passed the measure first, and tried to save it during budget negotiations, called the deletion of the bill from the budget "a personal failure" that he will continue to trty and have passed in a future session.

            [RALEIGH]  Citizens who oppose the merger of Progress Energy and Duke Energy may be allowed to sound off Monday during a special hearing in Raleigh of the NC Utilities Commission. But only those from the group NC Waste Awareness and Reduction Network will be allowed to speak. Concerns have been raised about the cost of electricity of Progress Energy and Duke Energy become one company.



By Cash Michaels

            Among the seventy-seven resolutions adopted at the NC Democratic Party State Convention last weekend in Raleigh was one calling for Governor Beverly Perdue to grant pardons of innocence to the Wilmington Ten.

            This resolution is the first for any political party, and comes on the heels of the national NAACP Board of Directors, which unanimously adopted a similar resolution on May 19 support pardons for the ten civil rights activists who were falsely charged and convicted with conspiracy forty years ago in connection to racial violence in Wilmington.

            It also comes just over a week before the “Faith Community Rally Supporting the Wilmington Ten,” scheduled for Tuesday, June 26th, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at a new location - St. Stephen's A.M.E. Church, 501 Red Cross Street in Wilmington.

            The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the NC NAACP, is the featured keynote speaker.

            Under the title of  “Civil Rights,” the 43rd resolution adopted June 16th by the NC Democratic Party Convention reads:

            WHEREAS, a group of ten civil rights activists were charged with inciting the violent Wilmington race riots in 1971; and WHEREAS, the racist organizations, the Ku Klux Klan and the Rights of White People, were the primary perpetrators of the violence during the race riots; and

         WHEREAS, the Wilmington Ten case is one of the most glaring travesties of justice in North Carolina history; and WHEREAS, the Wilmington Ten were convicted as the result of a highly controversial trial held in Burgaw, North Carolina; and

         WHEREAS, the State produced three eyewitnesses at the trial who testified to the guilt of the Wilmington Ten; and WHEREAS, two of the State’s witnesses were coerced and coached into presenting perjured testimony at secret meetings held at the private residence of the Grand Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan; and
         WHEREAS, the prosecuting attorney bribed State’s witnesses to coerce perjured testimony; and WHEREAS, the Trial Judge prevented certain crucial facts from being placed before the jury; and WHEREAS, Amnesty International declared the Wilmington Ten to be political prisoners in 1978; and WHEREAS, all three State’s witnesses recanted their testimonies; and
         WHEREAS, the Wilmington Ten served considerable time in prison; and WHEREAS, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of the Wilmington Ten citing “prosecutorial misconduct;” and WHEREAS, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals discovered that the misconduct of the prosecutor was aided and abetted by the Trial Judge; and
         WHEREAS, the impact of prosecutorial misconduct aided by the miscreant Trial Judge resulted in wrongful convictions for the Wilmington Ten; and WHEREAS, distinguished civil rights attorneys have filed a petition for pardon for the Wilmington Ten; and
WHEREAS, the Wilmington Ten have presented their petition for pardon to Governor Beverly Perdue; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we, the North Carolina Democratic Party, call upon Governor Beverly Perdue to grant pardons for the Wilmington 10 in advance of the 40th anniversary of the original conviction in September 2012.
In a statement, the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project thanked the NC Democratic Party for its support.


            The Raleigh City Council Monday  passed a $681 million budget that maintains basic city services and invests in new capital projects, while still supporting the arts and nonprofit causes. City employees get a $1000 merit pay bonus. Residents get increased fees for sewer and solid waste, and a 0.91-cent property increase. And city councilors receive a $5.000 per year raise, spread over five years.

            When five members of the Cary YMCA Superskippers appeared on the “Live! With Kelly” TV recently, they had no idea that they would be sharing the stage with First Lady Michelle Obama. Taped May 30th and aired nationwide last Monday, the SuperSkippers - Nick Higgins, Morgan Adams, Nicole Enright, Graham Boothe and Matthew Russell - were surprised to see that Mrs. Obama needed no lessons, and already knew a few double-dutch tricks of her own. The Cary YMCA Superskippers are nationally known, and tied for second place in last year’s USA Jump Rope Nationals.
            If a survey on a health and wellness website is any indication, the Triangle area is the six best place in the nation for wedded bliss. According to RealAge website, Raleigh-Durham is sixth among the top ten cities in the nation for a happy marriage. Charlotte ranked fifth, and Salt Lake City was Number One. Raleigh-Durham was cited for a “vibrant, academic spirit and high employment level,” factors which, RealAge says, “…go a long way in avoiding marriage troubles.”

By Cash Michaels

            GOODBYE, MRS. JERVAY - The black newspaper world has lost a champion, and dear friend.
            The publisher emeritus of this newspaper, Mrs. Willy E. Jervay, passed last weekend here in the port city of a prolonged illness.
            Mrs. Jervay was a woman of courage, dignity, commitment and strength. After the passing of her beloved husband, Wilmington Journal founder and publisher Thomas Jervay Sr. in the 1990’s, Mrs. Jervay guided the Journal during turbulent times, as the paper became a target of more and more adversaries determined to stop any effort to speak truth to power.
            It takes a special kind of leader to stand strong for her community no matter what the cost. That love of community, and determination to challenge any and all who would do her community harm, is what made Willy E. Jervay so special, and so cherished.
            On behalf of black journalists everywhere, our prayers, condolences and best wishes go out to Mrs. Jervay’s family, and Journal Publisher Mary Alice Thatch. Mrs. Jervay will be, just like her husband, remembered as one of the greatest African-American publishing legends in our history.
            RODNEY KING - What can be said about the untimely death of Rodney King, the black man whose 1991 videotaped beating at the hands of LAPD spawned major reforms in police and black community relations.
            King, 47, was not perfect, and never claimed to be. But over 20 years ago, his brutal beating at the hands of Los Angeles police symbolized the racist treatment people of color received at the hands of law enforcement in most major American cities.
            And when King partially recovered from his injuries, and asked the world, “Can we all just get along?” it was a simple, yet insightful request of a society that, quite frankly, was well invested in keeping police brutality its dirty little secret.
            Rodney King didn’t like being a symbol. It was a hard standard to keep up with. He wallowed in alcohol and drugs, having subsequent run-ins with the police over the years. He was broke, couldn’t keep a job, and unhappiness was his closest companion.
            Last weekend, he was found dead in a pool at a home he shared with his fiancée’ in Rialto, CA.
An autopsy, at presstime, had not determined the cause of death.
Those who knew King say he was looking forward to getting married and welcoming a new grandchild into the world. But he was also looking for peace.
They say now, only in death, has Rodney King found real peace.
May GOD, indeed, give him rest and comfort.
DIRESPECTING THE PRESIDENT - The moron’s name is Neil Munro and he is a blogger with the Daily Caller, a right-wing online rag directed by Tucker Carlson, another moron you’ve seen on MSNBC and Fox News who talks a lot of right-wing crud, and wears a bowtie as if he’s someone special.
If my words seem to have an edge, you are very correct.
Munro, you see, broke all rules of decency and decorum last Friday during Pres. Obama ‘s Rose Garden address about his new immigration policy.
Let’s put aside whether you agree or disagree with the policy for a moment.
What Munro did, namely rudely interrupt the president while he was still speaking with a stupid question, when no questions were being asked or answered, is the obscenity here.
Even those mongrels at Fox News had to blast Munro for that nonsense. Be my guest in not liking Pres. Obama. Heck, that comes with the office.
But ALL of us are taught to respect the office of the presidency, meaning we all stand when the president enters a room, we don’t interrupt him while he is making remarks, we always refer to him when addressing him as “Mr. President,” and we stand again as he leaves the room.
That demonstrates civility, that no matter what our political differences are, we have a common interest in respecting our institutions, and the leaders we’ve elected to serve in them.
By Munro rudely and deliberately interrupting the president as he made remarks to the nation, he showed a complete disregard for even the pretense of respect.
Why, why would Munro do this? And why would his boss, Tucker Carlson, defend him saying something stupid like, “Reporters are supposed to ask questions,”?
Let the record show that analysts and pundits all agree on the following - Pres. Obama’s skin color is the reason.
There is just no question that there are some people who just can’t bring themselves to accept a black family in the White House. They just can’t stand it that a black man is commander-in-chief.
Indeed, they are so filled with rage over it, they do the unthinkable, feeling that it is their patriotic duty to disrespect Obama.
Just like in 2009 during the State of the Union address, when Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, a Tea Party Republican, screamed out, “You lie” during the course of the address.
This is why this is going to be an exceptionally rough presidential campaign year. We are going to see and hear things that not only make no sense, primarily because they’re damnable lies. So keep your blood pressure handy. There is more disrespect for the president, and for us, on the way.
So pray for us all.
THANK YOU - This is a special shout out to my friends at First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church in Raleigh, where the esteemed Dr. W. B. Lewis is the longtime pastor.
I was honored to deliver the Annual Men’s Day message on Father’s Day last Sunday, and I had a ball “preachin’” the Word of GOD along the theme of “Men of Valor.”
In a nutshell, I preached that, just like in the Holy Bible, it will take black “men of valor” who are first steeped in GOD, moral strength and courage, to save our dying community. We own little, our children are killing each other, and we are disrespected the world over. If they can treat our president like dirt, then you know what they think of us. So we must fight hard to save our families and communities, but we must first ask the Lord for guidance, blessings and salvation in order to see the mission through.
Folks at First Cosmopolitan say they enjoyed the message.
I enjoyed delivering it, and I wish my church family there nothing but peace and GOD’s goodness.
 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.





Tuesday, June 12, 2012


WILMINGTON TEN AND THEIR FAMILIES - Members of the Wilmington Ten, led by Dr. Benjamin Chavis (center), and their families, posed for pictures recently in Wilmington. A faith community rally for the Ten will be held there on June 26th. See story [Cash Michaels video clip]

By Cash Michaels

            Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, will be the keynote speaker during a faith community rally in support of the Wilmington Ten pardons of innocence effort, scheduled for Tuesday, June 26th, 7 until 8:30 p.m. at Gregory Congregational United Church of Christ at 609 Nun Street in Wilmington.
            The event, still being planned at presstime, is a joint effort of the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Pardon Project, the New Hanover County NAACP chapter, the Local Advisory Committee of the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project, and the NC NAACP.
            Rev. Barber, along with attorney Al McSurely of Chapel Hill, and national NAACP Board member Carolyn Q. Coleman of Greensboro, was instrumental is securing a May 19th unanimous resolution from the national NAACP Board of Directors in support of a petition for ten individual pardons of actual innocence for the Wilmington Ten that was filed with Governor Beverly Perdue’s office last month.
            Letters of support have already come in from three North Carolina congresspeople, several members of the NC General Assembly, and others.
            An online petition at Change.Org has already netted over 350 signatures from as far away as Canada.
            During the June 26th event, beyond Rev. Barber’s keynote, there will be gospel singing, and remarks from members of the Wilmington Ten, their families and supporters.
            Gregory Congregational UCC is historically significant because is was the only black church in Wilmington in 1971 that would allow demonstrating black students who were protesting racial bias in the New Hanover County Public Schools to meet, and coordinate their protest efforts during the height of racial tensions there.
            Authorities would later allege that after a white-owned grocery store down the block had been firebombed, snipers from the roof of Gregory Church fired upon firefighters. In 1972, several of the black students, a white female community worker, and their leader, UCC minister Rev. Benjamin F. Chavis, were arrested and charged with conspiracy in connection to the firebombing.
            When they went to trial forty years ago, they became know as the Wilmington Ten. They were falsely convicted, and sentenced to a total of 282 years in prison. Individually, they served between four and six years in prison before an early release by then Gov. Jim Hunt.
 These convictions and sentencing sparked national protests and gained international attention and condemnation. In 1977, the three State’s witnesses, who testified against the Ten, recanted their testimonies in court. The CBS News’ program “60 Minutes” then exposed the State’s evidence as “fabricated” by prosecutors, and in 1980, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions based upon that Court’s independent determinations that the Prosecutor and the Trial Judge allowed the introduction of perjured testimony and with-held critical evidence which defense attorneys were entitled to receive.
For the past forty years, the Wilmington Ten have had to live with a cloud over their heads. The state of North Carolina has never declared them innocent.
For more information about the Wilmington ten case, go to https://www.change.org/petitions/nc-governor-bev-perdue-pardon-the-wilmington-ten.

By Cash Michaels

            Calling the Republican-led state House vote this week “shameful” for effectively gutting the 2009 NC Racial Justice Act, NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber, in a fiery statement issued Wednesday, goes on to charge that the vote, “…is a refusal to deal with the systemic racism and racial disparities that have already been proven by the court of law to exist in our judicial system as it relates to the application of the death penalty.”
            The current Racial Justice Act (RJA), signed into law by Gov. Beverly Perdue three years ago, allowed North Carolina death row inmates to challenge their convictions or sentencing in court if they could prove that there was prosecutorial racial bias during their trial.
            When the GOP-led NC Legislature tried to repeal the 2009 RJA last year, Gov. Perdue vetoed their attempt, and the House didn’t have the votes to override.
            This week, after modifying their new attempt to repeal RJA, Republican House leaders were able to convince five conservative Democrats - Jim Crawford of Oxford, Bill Owens of Elizabeth City, William Brisson of Bladen County, Dewey Hill of Columbus County and Timothy Spear of Washington County - to join House Republicans in the 72-47 vote Tuesday, in effect, making the new version veto-proof.
            At presstime Wednesday, the House was scheduled to vote on it once more as a procedural requirement. Afterwards, the measure goes to the GOP-led state Senate, where it assured to be passed, and become law with or without Gov. Perdue’s signature.
            The new version limits the NC statistical evidence of prosecutorial racial bias from statewide, to just that crime in that county where the crime took place.
            Joyner said it is standard to use statewide data in a variety of legal matters to establish for the court “pattern and practice.” Without that, a defendant has no chance of proving their case.
            The new RJA also imposes a two-year window for a racial bias claim to be made. Again, Joyner says, another barrier, since evidence of bias in death penalty cases usually isn’t available for eight or nine years after the case has been adjudicated.
            And finally, the new RJA will also require more evidence of prosecutorial racial misconduct than is currently required.
            “As amended now, basically they’ve killed any effort by anyone to raise these claims of racial discrimination in the jury selection process that resulted in the imposition of the death penalty,” said attorney Irving Joyner, law professor at North Carolina Central University School of Law.
            “So the name (of the RJA) is on the books, but there is no real force and effect…that would allow an effective appeal of these convictions,” Joyner added, saying that the constitutionality of the new law could be challenged in the state Supreme Court.
            NC NAACP Pres. Rev. Barber is clearly not pleased with the new RJA.
“We know the evidence of this racial disparity is true from
history, we know it's true from certified studies and we know it's true because two judges have ruled in favor of the legislation,” he wrote Wednesday.  “The death penalty cannot be reversed, and everyone should want to be sure as possible that there is absolutely no bias in its application. That is why proponents and opponents of the Death Penalty supported the RJA in its current format.”
            Rev. Barber continued, “The only conclusion one can come to when you have legislators gut a bill that has already been used in the courts to prove systemic racism exists, is that those legislators do not care about, nor do they want to address, the reality of racial bias in our current legal system. And a refusal to use every tool necessary to root out the racist application of the death penalty is to in fact participate in the injustice itself.”
            “We live in a state where seven men have been exonerated from death row, who would have been murdered by the state if the system had only worked faster. Five are black, one is Latino and one is white. ALL were charged with the murders of white victims. Also, support for the Racial Justice Act is not an endorsement of violence or a sign that anyone is "soft on crime." Criminal justice enforcement is only strengthened when the system confronts racial bias directly and attempts to rid it from its practices,” Rev. Barber continued.
            “All the evidence shows that the death penalty system is flawed with racial bias. It is bizarre and unthinkable that legislators are striving to maintain the status quo of racism in the death penalty system and steal a tool from the courts to address this abomination. We hope legislators will wake up and hear their humanity calling on them to change their mind and vote against this bill when it comes up for a final vote.”
            Finally,” Rev. Barber continued, “We have to ask: If the facts were in the other direction, how would legislators supporting this bill feel about repealing a law that was attempting to address a death penalty system that was 2-3 times more likely to put white defendants to death than their black counterparts? Would they fight to maintain a racially biased system if it was their family members, or members of their community who were being racially targeted for the death penalty? Within constitutional and American principles, as a necessary rationale for our pursuit of justice, we should not excuse or allow to exist patterns of systemic racism and discrimination. To do so is both unconstitutional and immoral.”
            “We have to ask: If it had been proven in court that the law was constitutional, if the courts affirmed the significance of a study that showed white jurors are dismissed from jury pools at over twice the rate of their black counterparts, if 31 of the defendants on death row were convicted by all black jurors and another 38 with only one white person on the jury and if the research showed wealthy people were more likely than poor people to receive the death penalty, where would the ultra right extreme leadership stand then?”
Rev. Barber continued, “We must note that not one African American legislator supported this legislative trickery. Every African American legislator supported the Racial Justice Act in its current form. Every legislator who voted for the repeal bill, which removes tools needed by the courts to root out racial disparity, is white. This alone should cause the legislators voting to repeal the Racial Justice Act to pause and rethink their vote.”
“The governor should veto this bill and the five Democratic legislators should sustain their Governor's veto and respect the many African Americans and other North Carolinians of good will who supported them,” Rev. Barber said.
“And even if they override the veto,” Rev. Barber continues, “we will work with our attorneys in the NAACP and in our coalition to make sure all the provisions in our current law are provided to all death row defendants based on the principles of equal protection under the law.”


            For the second time in three years, the Wake County Public School System has been accused of racial discrimination in a federal complaint, this time against Hispanic students. The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Advocates for Children’s Services, two advocacy groups, filed a complaint with the US Dept. of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) this week, alleging that WCPSS is violating the rights of Hispanic families by not providing proper translation services for them. The groups want WCPSS to provide printed information in Spanish to Hispanic families with limited English skills about policies concerning special education and suspensions. Prior to the complaint, WCPSS officials counter that the system does provide special services for Hispanic children.

            A stern notice from an attorney apparently threatening legal action has forced a former staffer with the NC Democratic Party to apologize for calling Jay Parmley, the former executive director of the state party, a “predator.” Sallie Leslie told the media that she ,”… could not be a part of any organization that protected a predator,” when she resigned from party headquarters after news broke that Parmley had been accused of sexually harassing a male staffer. Parmley has steadfastly denied the allegation, and resigned from his post.  Parmley’s attorney, Woody Webb, now says that Ms. Leslie’s written apology now settles the matter. Leslie wrote that she apologized, “…for my unfortunate and unsubstantiated use of the word “predator” to describe your client to the media.”

          They called him the “Green Goblin” because he wore  the character’s mask when he allegedly committed eight robberies between May 8 and June1. Durham firefighter Damon Quick, 35, faces 43 charges after he was arrested Tuesday night during a robbery on Guess Road. Those charges include 19 counts of second-degree kidnapping, 11 counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, seven counts of assault by pointing a gun, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of communicating threats. Quick is in the Durham County jail in lieu of a  $9 million bond.


            [RALEIGH] With adjournment of the NC General Assembly’s short session perhaps two weeks away, it became clear this week that the Republican-led NC Senate isn’t interested in taking up the House-passed bill that sets aside $10 million to compensate victims of the state’s forced sterilization program. GOP Senate budgetwriters failed to include it in their budget proposal, and the latest word is that the measure is stuck in a Senate Appropriations Committee. During a hearing Tuesday morning, Mark Bold, of the  Justice for Sterilization Victims Project, asked Senate lawmakers to include the House eugenics compensation bill in their budget. As of press time Wednesday, nothing has changed.

            [RALEIGH] The Republican-led state House, by a 72-47 vote Tuesday and finalized on Wednesday, significantly weakened the 2009 Racial Justice Act, which allowed death row inmates to use statewide statistics of prosecutorial racial bias to earn life in prison without parole. The new, weaker version now limits those stats to the county where the crime took place, provides a short window for when the bias claim could be made in court, and requires further evidence beyond racial bias, to justify the claim. Five conservative Democrats in the House voted to make it veto-proof. The bill now goes to the state Senate, which will certainly pass it, making it law.
            When that happens, it will undermine a Superior Court judge’s recent ruling in Fayetteville that a defendant had made valid claims of racial bias under the current law.
            Sarah Poston, Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said, ““This effort is a direct attack on the entire Racial Justice Act, a nationally recognized civil rights law that would be gutted by this bill. In the first case ever heard under the Racial Justice Act, state Superior Court Judge Gregory Weeks found overwhelming evidence of racial bias in North Carolina’s capital punishment system. This bill is an attempt to sweep that evidence under the rug by allowing the state to ignore mountains of statistics pointing to the pervasive and disturbing role that race plays in jury selection and sentencing. We cannot turn our backs on such evidence, as this bill seeks to do. If we are truly dedicated to giving every North Carolinian fair and equal treatment under the law, we must confront that evidence head on and seek ways to reform our system. This bill is a giant step in the wrong direction.”

By Cash Michaels

            HAPPY FATHER’S DAY - The best blessings in the world that I have beyond my fading health and hair, are my two daughters, Tiffany and KaLa - born twenty years apart - two extraordinarily beautiful young ladies I am immensely proud of.
            Both are hopelessly crazy, but tremendously lovable and extraordinarily intelligent. Though one is nine and the other twenty-nine, they share so much in common it’s a great joy seeing them together when Tiff comes back home to visit from Washington.
            When I say both are smart, I’m not kidding. Tiff, a 2005 college graduate, has also earned her Master’s of Business Administration.
            And KaLa just got through acing her EOGs, and has been accepted into fourth grade academically gifted and talented classes.
            I proudly go one about my two girls because being a father is one of the most frightening jobs on the face of the planet. We are wired to, of course, love our children, but also provide for them, and protect them. It’s that last part that is always upper most in my mind and heart. Are they always safe when they’re out of my sight?
            Tiff is an adult who lives in another city, so I can’t be there at all. So my only constant way to watch over her is to keep up with her posts on Facebook.
            It’s not perfect, but sure beats the days before Facebook.
            And of course, my youngest, KaLa.
            Protecting her isn’t just about keeping her safe, but watching what she pays attention to by way music, movies and TV shows. Monitoring those forces and influences that would shape and mold her attitudes. Having to put my foot down when I know something isn’t right for her, all in the interest of doing all I can to make sure that KaLa grows up to be a wholesome, decent, God-fearing, productive human being.
            Like I said, being a Dad isn’t easy, and can be downright scary.
            But at the end of the day, after you watch your children make their growing up mistakes (the same ones you made when you were young and thought you knew everything), and then come back and make you proud, it is all worth while.
            That’s why my most important job on Earth is being dear-old (KaLa keeps reminding me about the “old” part) Dad.
            And I love it.
            So Happy Fathers Day to all of you men who know what I’m talking about, and love every minute it.
            OH. BY THE WAY - I am honored to say that I will be the Annual Men’s Day Program speaker at First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church, 1515 Cross Link Road, Raleigh, for this Sunday, June 17th 11 a.m. service.
            The theme this year is "Men of Valor" with the background scripture coming from Joshua 8:3:
So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against A-i; and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valor, and sent them away by night.
I look forward to sharing part of my Father’s Day with my old friend, Pastor W. B. Lewis, and the rest of the church family there.
For more information call First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church at 919-833-3283, or go to http://www.firstcosmopolitan.org/
Pray for me!
HOW DID WHITNEY’S DEATH AFFECT THE GRAMMYS? - Last February when troubled superstar Whitney Houston died in a Beverly Hills hotel, it was Grammy Awards weekend. All of the biggest stars in the music industry were in L.A. for the next day telecast, and producers were immediately scrambling to figure out a way to pay tribute to the fallen songstress in a tasteful, dignified manner.
We’ve all heard about it, but now we can see it in the new documentary, “ A Death in the Family: The Show Must Go On.” This is a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to make that memorable Grammy Awards show happen, and it features interviews with Grammy host LL Cool J, singer Jennifer Hudson, Bruce Springsteen and an bevy of other great stars.
You have to watch it online at http://www.grammy.com/news/a-death-in-the-family-reveals-how-the-grammy-show-went-on. It’s 25 minutes long, but it’s worth it. Check it out.
PASTOR DOLLAR - First the community is divided over same-sex marriage (please, PLEASE let’s not talk about that again).
Now it’s the controversy between TV Pastor Creflo Dollar and his two daughters.
By now you know the story - Dollar’s 15-year-old daughter was going out to a party last weekend when her father confronted her, telling her she wasn’t going anywhere because her grades were lousy. The daughter gets upset and walks away. Dollar follows, and the next thing we know, and this is all alleged, and all denied by Rev. Dollar, he then follows his teenage daughter, and somehow begins beating and choking her, even using his shoe at some point.
As we indicated, Dollar has denied it all, but his 19-year-old daughter backs his 15-year-old up.
The police are called to the Fayette County home in Georgia, talking Rev. Dollar away, charging him with choking his daughter.
So here we have a family in tatters, a TV preacher denying he assaulted his child, and more stuff to shake our collective heads over.
Older folks take Dollar’s side. They are appalled that the cops were called for a family squabble, saying that would never have happened back in the day.
Young people say no parent has the right to choke or beat their children.
Black feminists say no man has any business putting his hands on any female, period.
You see where this is going.
The fact of the matter is, none of us outside the Dollar home actually knows what went on, and why. So we have no choice but to allow the criminal justice system to figure it out, and for that, I am truly sorry.
But I hope there is at least a lesson here for all of us. All of us need to get our family situations in order. We read in the newspapers how Joseph Kennedy accused his wife of abusing him. Next thing you know, she hangs herself, and everybody is angry with him.
Domestic stuff is the messiest stuff of all. Any cop will tell you that.
So let’s straighten it out, y’all!
PRAYERS TO ROBIN ROBERTS - Once again ABC-TV “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts is facing a great personal health challenge. Roberts, who beat cancer two years ago, now has been diagnosed with a blood disorder, requiring a bone marrow transplant. Fortunately, her sister, also a TV anchor, will be the donor, and thus, a match.
All of us wish Robin Roberts the best. She has made us all proud with her class, courage and professionalism. She is one of the greats in the TV business. Our prayers are with her.
WILMINGTON TEN PARDON PROJECT - The Wilmington Ten were nine young African-American males, led by the Rev. Benjamin Chavis, and one white female community worker, who stood up to racism in the New Hanover County Public School System in 1971 amid racial violence in Wilmington, NC. The following year, all of them were arrested and falsely charged, convicted and sentenced to a total of 282 years in prison for conspiracy in connection to the firebombing of a white-owned grocery store.
By 1977, the state's witnesses all confessed in court that they lied, and were paid by prosecutors. CBS' "60 Minutes" uncovered that most of the evidence used to convict the Wilmington Ten had been fabricated.
And in Dec. 1980, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned all ten convictions.
But the state of North Carolina has never pardoned the Wilmington Ten.
On May 17th, 2012, attorneys for the Ten filed papers for pardons of innocence for the seven surviving members, and the three deceased, with NC Gov. Beverly Perdue's office, asking her to grant them.
Please join the national campaign to ask Gov. Perdue to grant justice, after forty years, to the Wilmington Ten. Please go to the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheWilmingtonTenPardonOfInnocenceProject) to learn more, and please sign our petition at https://www.change.org/petitions/nc-governor-bev-perdue-pardon-the-wilmington-10
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.

Teen Pregnancies, Dangers on the Rise
By Zach Burgess
Special to the NNPA from The Philadelphia Tribune

After more than a decade in decline, the United States teen pregnancy has been rising in recent years.
According to momlogic.com, the estimated public cost for teen pregnancy in the United States is between $6 and $9 billion a year. Eighty percent of teen moms are on some form of public assistance. Seven out of 10 teen mothers are unlikely to receive prenatal care, which of course has great negative health impacts for their children. Aside from the health risks, kids born to teen mothers are at greater risk for emotional and physical abuse, especially if there is no family support.
“It really is a public health issue,” said Bill Albert, chief program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “This administration and this Congress have made a historic investment in preventing teen pregnancy. In our view, this investment could not be more timely… given the fact that the teen pregnancy rate in the United States is on the rise. I think one might say, without hyperbole…that one of the nation’s great success stories of the past two decades may be in danger of unraveling. So, this investment is right on for content and right on for timeliness.”
Teenage mothers are also at higher risk of having emotional and academic problems later in life. Another startling statistic: baby boys of teen mothers are at an increased risk for incarceration later in their lives, while girls born to teens are more likely to become teen moms themselves.
In the beginning of 2009, President Barack Obama signed an appropriations bill that ended federal funding for existing abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and put a new teenage pregnancy prevention initiative in the newly funded Office of Adolescent Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was supported with more than $114 million in federal funds.
The prevention initiative was being hailed by health advocates for its focus on the evidence. Of the $114 million, $75 million will go toward replicating pregnancy prevention programs that had been thoroughly evaluated and provided the strongest evidence of success, while $25 million went to programs that show promise and innovation. There are roughly 400,000 teen births every year in the United States, with about $9 billion in associated public costs.
While the nation’s teen pregnancy rate declined about 40 percent between 1990 and 2005, data released by the Guttmacher Institute in January 2010 showed that the rate rose three percent in 2006. According to the institute, the new data is “especially noteworthy because they provide the first documentation of what experts have suspected for several years, based on trends in teens’ contraceptive use — that the overall teen pregnancy rate would increase in the mid-2000s following steep declines in the 1990s and a subsequent plateau in the early 2000s.”
And like many other health issues, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate is checkered with disparities. In 2006, among Black and Hispanic teens ages 15 to 19, there were about 126 pregnancies per 1,000 women, while among white teens, it was 44 per 1,000. Such statistics mean the United States has the highest teen birth rate among Western, industrialized nations.
First there was a study from the Guttmacher Institute, a nonpartisan think tank that concluded the teen pregnancy rate is on the rise after more than a decade of decline. Then there was a federally-funded report that said the cure to the problem might just be those much-maligned abstinence-only sex education classes – despite experts’ opinions, offered in connection with the previous report, that those classes are the cause of the rise.
Although the Guttmacher report does not discuss the poverty factor in detail, the correlation is easy to see. The report’s rankings of states by teen pregnancy rates look eerily similar to the U.S. Census rankings of states by poverty rates.
Mississippi, for example, has the nation’s highest rate of poverty and the third highest rate of teen pregnancies. New Mexico is third in poverty and second in teen pregnancies. Texas leads in teen pregnancies and comes in ninth in the poverty rankings. Other “risk factors” for teenage pregnancy – being a person of color, being disinterested in school, etc. – similarly dovetail with living in poverty. Pennsylvania is ranked 39th in teenage pregnancies.
According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a child born to an unmarried teen mother has a 27 percent chance of growing up in poverty. If the mother has not earned a high school diploma or equivalency degree, the child will grow up in poverty 64 percent of the time. If those numbers are correct, the steep decline in teen pregnancy rates between 1991 and 2002 kept an additional 460,000 children from being born into poverty.
“As a society, we have to continually redouble our efforts to sustain these kinds of (downward) trends over time,” said Heather Boonstra, a senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, which conducts research on a range of sexual and reproductive health issues. “We can’t just sit back, because new teens are constantly coming into the field and we have to remain vigilant.”
Factors shaping the recent rise in teen pregnancy are varied and complex, prevention advocates say, ranging from years of federal support for rigid abstinence-only programs to tempered fears of contracting HIV, to less teen contraceptive use. According to the 2007 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates of teens who were sexually active and those who used a condom during their last sexual encounter remained statistically stalled from 2005 to 2007, following years of positive behavior change.
The CDC reported that of the teens who were sexually active, only about 61 percent used a condom the last time they had sex. And according to Lorrie Gavin, PhD, MPH, a health scientist with the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health, current trends point to more than just a teen pregnancy problem — “there’s something else going on … improvements in sexual risk behavior have leveled off in recent years, and rates of some sexually transmitted diseases have increased.”
“We have the tools we need (to prevent teen pregnancy and disease) — and we can always improve on them — but we need to better apply them,” Gavin told The Nation’s Health. “In addition to disseminating evidence-based sexuality education and youth development programs, it is critically important that we make sure that sexually active youth have access to contraceptive services and that there is a supportive social and policy environment.”
With a focus on the evidence, the new federal teen pregnancy initiative could go far in creating such an environment, say prevention advocates, many of whom criticized previous federal support of often ineffective abstinence-only programs. Federal funding of abstinence-only programs increased significantly beginning in the mid-1990s and since 1998; $50 million per year was going toward programs that teach abstinence from sex outside of marriage.
The debate over the effectiveness of abstinence vs. contraception made headlines after a study published in the February 2009 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that one specific abstinence-based intervention was successful at delaying sexual initiation. However, the study authors noted that the intervention studied “would not meet federal criteria for abstinence programs… (and) was not moralistic and did not criticize the use of condoms.”
For the Obama administration, the sticking point will be evidence, not content, Albert said.
“It used to be, to get this federal pot of money, you had to stick to a certain curriculum — the variable was content, not evidence,” Albert told The Nation’s Health. “Now, our ‘sort variable’ is going to be evidence, and for geeks like us, that’s music to our ears.”
While garnering praise, advocates warn that the new federal teen pregnancy prevention effort is not necessarily permanent, and that abstinence-only-until-marriage proponents are not giving up. In the health reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, successfully included an amendment to restore $50 million a year in abstinence-only state funds — a move that extended abstinence-only funds by another five years. In addition, funds for President Obama’s new teen pregnancy prevention effort must be re-appropriated by Congress every year, which means its future is far from secure.
“We all need to take a moment and breathe and celebrate how far we’ve come, but we can’t sit back and rest on our laurels,” said Jen Heitel Yakush, director of public policy at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. “We need to remain vigilant. We have such an opportunity to get information to young people while they are still thinking about what it means to be sexually healthy.”
The American Public Health Association contributed to this report.
Zack Burgess is the Enterprise Writer for The Tribune. He is a freelance writer and Editor who covers culture, politics and sports. He can be contacted at zackburgess.com and followed on Twitter @zackburgess1.

As Crime Falls, Police Hiring Rises
By Freddie Allen
Washington Correspondent
NNPA News Service

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – For the past three decades, crime in the United States has been declining. The murder rate, for example, has fallen by almost half, from 9.8 per 100,000 in 1991 to 5.0 in 2009. Robberies were down 10 percent in 2010 from the previous year. Yet, there is a steady drumbeat from liberals and conservatives alike for more cops on the street, even as cities and states are forced to slash public sector jobs.
Vice President Joe Biden’s record in the Senate is an example of how, for fear of being accused of being soft on crime, progressives have joined forces with right-wing Republicans in calling for more police officers as crime continues to dip.
“In the last 100 weeks, under this administration, the United States has undergone the worst crime epidemic in its entire history,” said then-Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware) in June 20, 1991 as he argued against President George H.W. Bush’s Violent Crime Control Act. Fueled by the crack epidemic that infected inner cities across America, murder, robbery, and rape reached record levels. The United States was the most dangerous nation in the world, Senator Biden said.
That bill, which sought a three-year ban on assault weapons, tougher rules on death penalty cases and limits on federal appeals a criminal could use under state laws, passed the Senate, but crashed and burned in the House.
Three years later, Biden authored the Violent Crime Control and Enforcement Act. The 1994 crime bill called for 100,000 police officers on the streets, a campaign promise President Clinton pledged to keep. Local law enforcement agencies rushed in to claim grants issued by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).
By the time the first wave of new officers funded by COPS landed on the streets in 1995, crime rates across the country were already receding. Property crime (burglary) began to decline as early as 1987 and violent crime fell 4.5 percent between 1993 and 1994.
In the September 2000 report “Diminishing Returns: Crime and Incarceration in the 1990s ” released by the Sentencing Project economic opportunities, stabilization of drug markets, and innovative community policing were all listed as factors that contributed to the reduction in crime in the early 1990s.
Few experts credited COPS grants and hiring new police officers as the driving force behind falling crime rates and when the Justice Department reported that COPS had a significant impact on crime, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) questioned the veracity of the study.
In 2005, the GAO stated, “Factors other than COPS funds accounted for the majority of the decline in crime during this period.”
In the beginning, the idea of the COPS program was great, said Paul Ashton of the Justice Policy Institute. The grants were meant to bolster the efforts of local law enforcement agencies in building positive relationships in the neighborhoods that they served and increase community policing.
“Fundamentally that program has now become a jobs program,” said Paul Ashton.
Theoretically, crime usually increases during economic recessions. However, even with high unemployment, the crime rate has continued on its downward journey.
Between 1995 and 2004 the federal government spent $10 billion and hired nearly 90,000 police officers as violent crime continued to slide, decreasing 24 percent over that period.
According to a report issued last month by the Justice Policy Institute, federal, state, and local governments spent more than $100 billion combined for policing in 2010. Even though violent crime fell 47 percent and property crime was down 43 percent since 1991, when the United States was “the most dangerous nation in the world,” the federal government increased spending on law enforcement by 167 percent.
President Obama wants to hire even more cops.
Four months ago, standing in an Arlington, Va. fire station, President Obama pushed a new conservation program to help veterans find work. He proposed $1 billion in firefighter grants and another $4 billion in COPS grants.
The reality is that there is no credible data linking the hiring of more police officers with a corresponding drop in crime.
So why is crime falling?
Criminologists offer four primary reasons for the drop in crime:

  • The declining crack epidemic;
  • Harsher prison sentences that keep more hardened criminals off the streets;
  • A graying U,S. population led by baby boomers reaching senior citizen status;
  • Improved technology, including advances in DNA testing and.
  • Extended unemployment benefits.

Although crime is down, public opinion polls show that many believe crime is actually up. And to address that perceived fear, police often target poor, Black neighborhoods.
Although crime rates have dropped to a 30-year low, arrests for drug offenses rose 45 percent from 1993 to 2010.
“They have to find something to do with their time,” said Ashton of the Justice Policy Institute. “And one of the ways they’re doing it is looking at drug possession.”
Blacks make up 13 percent of the U.S. population and 31 percent of the total arrests for drug offenses. According to JPI, in 2009 cops arrested Blacks for drug violations at three times the rate of Whites, but numerous studies, including  a recent one conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, found  that Blacks and Whites use illicit drugs at similar rates.
According to a May 2008 Sentencing Project report, how and where drugs are sold may help to explain the disparity in arrests between Blacks and Whites. The report, “Disparity by Geography: The War on Drugs in America’s Cities,” found that drug sales in low-income African-American neighborhoods often occur in public spaces involving strangers that can leave dealers vulnerable to “buy and bust” quick-hit tactics of police. Drug markets in White neighborhoods are more exclusive and harder to infiltrate because buyers rely on word of mouth references.
So, police settled for the softer targets in the African-American community.
“It goes back to how the war on drugs unfolded, the idea that certain neighborhoods need to be [monitored] more than others,” Ashton said. “When you put more police in a certain area, the police contact rate with the public is going to increase.” And when police contact increases so do the arrests.
New York City’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” program illustrates the perils of over-policing in the Black community. The NYCLU reported that in 2011 “The number of stops of young black men exceeded the entire city population of young black men (168,126 as compared to 158,406).”
New York City police made 685,724 stops in 2011. Blacks make up 26 percent of the population and accounted 53 percent of the stops. Whites account for 44 percent of the total population in New York City and only 9 percent of the stops. When they were stopped, Whites were twice as likely as Blacks to have guns, drugs or stolen property.
“That’s the primary reason we have so much conflict between communities of color and law enforcement,” said Major Neill Franklin a 34-year law enforcement veteran of the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department and executive director of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). “Cops going in to occupy and search people illegally, search cars and homes illegally. People are fed up with it.”
At a time when both violent and property crimes are dropping, bulking up police forces will likely mean more people arrested for low level and ‘quality of life’ offenses, as police look to justify the additional funding,” said Tracy Velázquez, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute. “The administration needs to get on board with ‘smart on crime’ policies; and over-saturating communities with police isn’t one of them.”