Tuesday, July 10, 2012


By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            When former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, spoke before the NAACP Convention in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, and vowed that as president of the United States, if elected, he would work in, “…the best interests of African-American families,” the handwriting was already on the wall.
            The latest polls show that among black voters, Romney enjoys only two percent of the vote. And that’s probably not going to change in this November’s presidential election, where President Barack Obama, a black Democrat, still commands the black vote beyond 90 percent.
            But with the Republican Party and Tea Party movement having already moved in several key states to marginalize the African-American, Hispanic and youth vote - all vital to Obama’s base of support in 2008 - does it matter that the president is still popular with them, while the right-wing continues to energize itself with inflammatory racial rhetoric backed by unlimited campaign funding, all in an effort to take back the White House?
            The answer won’t truly be evident until the votes are counted on or after November 6th, but based on what is already being seen and heard just weeks before either major political party holds their end-of-summer political conventions, there is growing concern that this year’s presidential election is already being manipulated past the point of an honest outcome.
            Though the Republican-led NC General Assembly failed recently to finally establish voter ID requirements, at least 33 other states across the nation have adopted them as law, thus, according to US Attorney General Eric Holder, instituting a voter suppression mechanism that is not unlike the old “poll tax,” he said, that limited black voting in the old South.
            By challenging citizens to display government issued photo identification at the polls this November (because Republicans allege widespread massive voter fraud, though there is no evidence proving such), observers says as many as five million voters who cast ballots in 2008 when Pres. Obama won, won’t be allowed to vote again because they don’t have government ID’s.
            The civil rights community, like the NAACP, is taking the voter ID crisis seriously. Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, is on a bus tour this week, going to states like Florida, holding rallies and workshops, all designed to help people get the proper identification in time to vote if needed.
            In some states, like Georgia, residents are now required to submit their original birth certificate, or a certified copy, something that many elderly voters don’t have.
            If voter ID doesn’t trim the balloting ranks in the black community, redistricting in Republican-dominated states like North Carolina will. Even though Democrats and the NCNAACP have filed suit to stop the new redistricting plan drawn up by the GOP leadership in the NC Legislature, unless stopped by the courts, this year’s election is proceeding with it.
            The state’s black voters have now been drawn into just a handful of predominately Democratic “minority-majority” districts, thus allowing Republicans to dominate a large number of districts where white Democrats used to win because of the black vote. That hurts not only state legislative races, but the election of Democrats to Congress as well, thus keeping both in Republican hands.
            If the courts uphold the GOP redistricting scheme, it will be in force for the next ten years.
            While efforts to limit the black vote are clearly evident, efforts to enrage the Republican and conservative bases are even more so. The fear is that because Mitt Romney isn’t seen as conservative enough to win as president, dispirited Republicans might not come out to vote in November, thus handing President Obama an easy re-election victory.
            The Republicans are willing to do anything to prevent that.
            Thus, the allegations of President Obama not being an American citizen, being born in Kenya, being a secret Muslim terrorist sympathizer, much of which has been touted by conservative leaders in Congress, and by celebrities like millionaire Donald Trump, who still claims that Obama’s Hawaii is phony.
            The recent US Supreme Court 5-4 decision upholding Pres. Obama’s Affordable Care Act was seen as a major defeat for the conservative movement, and yet, because conservative Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote, the right-wing has been working overtime to enflame passions of betrayal among their base.
            One of those who took that message seriously is conservative rock star Ted Nugent, who several weeks ago told the National Rifle Association’s annual convention, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
            Nugent, a member of the NRA Board, earned a visit from the US Secret Service after that remark.
            But recently, in an op-ed in the conservative Washington Times, Nugent, reacting to the High Court’s upholding of “Obamacare,” wrote, “"Because our legislative, judicial and executive branches of government hold the 10th Amendment in contempt, I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War. Our Founding Fathers’ concept of limited government is dead."
            "Ted Nugent's suggestion that America would be better off if the confederacy had won the civil war is deeply offensive and has no place in mainstream political discourse,” said Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of the online civil rights organization, ColorOfChange.Org. “These comments were not spontaneous, but planned in advance, written and published by someone who helps lead the NRA as a board member”
Does the NRA believe we'd be better off if the South had won the war and slavery still existed? The NRA needs to clarify its stance on slavery and fire Nugent immediately,” Robinson maintained, adding that the Romney campaign, which sought Nugent’s endorsement, must also decide if the association is worth it.
On Wednesday, when he spoke to the NAACP Convention in Houston, Romney never denounced the remarks of Nugent during his presentation to attract black voters.


            [CHARLOTTE] For years critics have said that North Carolina could do a much better job creating a business climate. But a new poll this week by cable business channel CNBC says that the Tar Heel state actually ranks fourth out the nation’s fifty states when it comes. Ironically, the state was third in the same poll last year. North Carolina was tops in infrastructure and technology, workforce, technology and innovation, and business friendliness. It ranked lower in its overall economy and quality of life. Texas ranked number one, followed by Utah and Virginia. North Dakota came up from thirteenth last year to be fifth this year.

            [ROCKY MOUNT] A new play about then legacy of North Carolina’s tragic forced sterilization program on poor black and white women from the 1930s to 1970’s is being produced this fall for Rocky Mount and Nashville, NC. It’s called, “You Wouldn’t Expect” by Marilynn Barner Anselmi, and shows will start at the Nash Arts Center in Nashville Sept. 28th through October 6th, and in Rocky Mount Oct. 7th and Oct, 17th. Auditions are being held at the Nash Arts Center on August 2nd at 7 p.m.. For more information, contact Marilynn Anselmi at 252-446-2585.

            [RALEIGH] Six after a state law was adopted banning cellphone use while driving by teenagers, a new study suggests that law hasn’t helped because teens reportedly are texting while driving more than ever before. According to a report by the Highway Safety Research Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, a study of 5,000 teenagers driving away from high school determined that many of them were texting, ignoring the law, and the possibility of the danger they place themselves in. Lawmakers say it’s clear that the law they passed in 2006 is impossible to adequately enforce.


            A decision by the Wake Elections Board that determined that a complaint by a citizens group was invalid is being appealed. The group, known as the Voter Integrity Project, had alleged in a complaint that 528 Wake County residents were dismissed from jury duty because they are not U.S. citizens. That means they also aren’t eligible to vote, says the group, and should also be dropped from the voter registration rolls. But the State Board of Elections ruled that after researching the NC Division of Motor Vehicle records, 510 of that number were US citizens. The remaining 18 are expected to explain themselves at an August 21 hearing. The Voter Integrity Project doesn’t accept that, however, and appealed to the Wake BOE decision to Wake Superior Court.

            Wake Supt. Anthony Tata lauded the academic improvements at four so-called “Renaissance” schools in Southeast Raleigh, Garner and North Raleigh, four high poverty schools that have received extra federal funding, increased teacher pay, smaller class sizes and upgraded technology to buttress teachers’ efforts over the past year. Tata told teachers at Barwell Elementary Monday that based on preliminary state results, students at Barwell, Brentwood, Creech Road in Garner and Wilburn Elementary School in North Raleigh have made substantial gains academically. Critics, however, question what will happen when the extra federal funding for those schools dries up, and Wake Public Schools can’t replace those missing dollars. Final results won’t be available until August 2.

            Former Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline has been denied her request to have the state pay for her appeal of being removed from office. Lawyers for Cline petitioned the court to officially appoint them to handle her appeal, hoping to automatically qualify for state funding. But Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood rejected that request, saying that there was no state money available, and that even if there was, the state has never funded an appeal of this nature before.

By Cash Michaels

            NUGENT, SHUT UP PLEASE! - Right-wing rocker Ted Nugent is a glutton for punishment. The Secret Service has already paid Fox News-mouth a visit about telling the National Rifle Association convention recently, "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
            He also called the Obama Administration “vile” and “evil.”
            All because they…they…haven’t done something Nugent and the right-wing Tea Party crowd are sure as shootin’ Pres. Obama “will” do.
            Namely take their guns away.
            So far, there’s not even a hint that the president is seeking to do that. But hasn’t stopped the right-wing from lying about Pres. Obama before.
            Well now Ted Nugent is up in arms again, this time because the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, John Roberts, a conservative, rendered the deciding vote on the constitutionality of the president’s health care reform law.
            Roberts validated it, angering Nugent and the right-wing immensely.
            Nugent was so ticked, he wrote a stinging op-ed in the conservative Washington Times recently, ranting:
            “Because our legislative, judicial and executive branches of government hold the 10th Amendment in contempt, I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War. Our Founding Fathers’ concept of limited government is dead.”
         OK, so when it comes to Nugent, the dumb gets dumber, if not more racist.
         Problem is he has a ready audience for this garbage, and Nugent’s high visibility helps to inspire other right-wing racist nuts to resort to violence to express their displeasure with Pres. Obama.
         That’s I agree with ColorofChange.org in its position against Nugent.
         If he’s going to act and say crazy racist things against the president, then the folks who support Ted Nugent should be held responsible.
         The NRA, where Nugent is ON the board. Do you agree with Nugent that Pres. Obama should be harmed? Let us know.
         And Mitt Romney’s GOP presidential campaign. You reportedly wanted Nugent’s political endorsement in order to secure a good deal of the racist redneck vote.
         Well, do you still want it? Come on, now, speak up so that ALL of America can hear you.
         “AMAZING SPIDERMAN” TOO AMAZING - I took my nine-year-old daughter KaLa to see “The Amazing Spider-man” over the July 4th holiday. On a scale of ten Cash Apples (that’s our unique movie ratings system around here) I give it a 7.5.
         First the good stuff. This movie is a reboot of the three-part “Spider-man” movie series starring Tobey Maguire, a series that would have been four-parts if director Sam Raimi had come to terms with Columbia Pictures.
         A new Spider-man was chosen in the person of Andrew Garfield, a young, handsome British actor who previously starred in “The Social Network.”
         Garfield is good as both Spidey and his alter-ego Peter Parker, a high school student struggling with growing up without his parents.
         Actress Emma Stone, who previously starred in “The Help,” has good chemistry with Garfield portraying love interest “Gwen Stacy.”
         So good casting, plus some great special effects, get this version of Spider-man over the hump.
         Where things go off the rails is a poor, drawn out belabored story, and things that just make no sense.
         For instance, when the main villain in question, The Lizard, a mad scientist who….oh never mind… causes a traffic jam on one of New York City’s busiest bridges at night time, Spidey springs into action to save cars Lizzy is throwing off the bridge.
         What gets me is that later in the story, when a police captain is told about the Lizard screwing up bridge traffic, NOBODY has so much as a cellphone picture as evidence.
         Maybe you’re not reading this properly…this is a New York City bridge, jammed at night time. NYC has the largest concentration of media of any city in the world, PLUS police cameras ON EVERY BRIDGE. Even the radio stations have traffic helicopters 24/7 for updated reports in the city that never sleeps.
         But when the police need evidence of what the Lizard did, NO ONE has ANYTHING to show? No TV stations, news photographers,  no police cameras, no cellphone video…NOTHING!
         When a movie in this day-and-age tells me it’s possible for a high school kid to be bitten by a radioactive spider, but it’s not possible for one of eight million residents, plus the police department of New York City, to capture a picture of a rampaging man-size lizard throwing cars off the bridge, I’m sorry, I can’t play along.
         Hollywood, I understand that sometimes you need a dumb audience to kind of play along, but when you charge a 56-year-old man and 9-year-old little girl $27.00 to see this BS, then charge another $23.00 for lousy popcorn and soda…I’m sorry homeslice, but I will have something to say about your dumb movie!
         There, I said it!
SUPPORT THE W-10 PARDON PROJECT - Support is slowly but surely building for the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project from not only across the nation, but around the world.
Earlier this week, at our Change.Org Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project page, Scott Neumann logged on to sign it …all the way from Busan Metropolitan City in South Korea.
Previously we got a signature from Canada.
So this cause is growing.
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.

NAACP Mobilizes Black Voters
By Reshonda Tate Billingsley
Special to the NNPA News Service from
The Houston Defender

HOUSTON (NNPA) – The NAACP has always had a concentrated effort to get people of color registered to vote, but due to recent suppression measures, NAACP officials say that’s only half the battle. Now, it’s just as important to make sure voters are at the polls on Election Day.
The nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization will address voting – as well as other pressing issues – as members gather in Houston for the 103rd Annual National Convention through Thursday, July 12 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
This year’s convention theme is “NAACP: Your Power, Your Decision – Vote” and will focus on the importance and voter participation and the impact of voting on all aspects of our lives, including economic policy, health care, education and more.
“In this election year it is especially important for us to come together and discuss the challenges facing communities of color and the nation as a whole,” said NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock…The NAACP will continue to educate, mobilize and agitate to create an informed populace, so that every American feels they have the privilege and the power to go to the ballot box and exercise their right to vote.”
NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous echoed Brock’s sentiments.
“America recently witnessed the most significant assault on voter access in more than a century,” Jealous said. “We are going to answer that assault by working through Election Day to register more voters, educate them on the new rules to ensure they have full access at the ballot box and turn out to vote.”
It’s that potential turnout that has some political scientists concerned. Nathan Mitchell, an assistant professor of political science at Prairie View A&M University, said if voters aren’t mobilized, we could see a repeat of the 2010 midterm elections, when Black voter turnout was down compared to 2008.
Mitchel said there “was a lot of excitement” about President Obama in 2008, but voter interest declined two years later. “In Texas we saw almost a 20 percent drop in turnout, which is kind of typical of midterm elections anyway, but it allowed the Tea Party to take over,” Mitchell said.
“That’s why it’s important for the NACCP and others trying to mobilize people. If you look at historical data since 2000, in Texas presidential elections there has been 50-60 percent turnout for election-year races. We saw a historical turnout in 2008; people voted who never voted before and I think that really helped the Democratic Party.”
Now, Mitchell said, turnout is likely to be lower for both parties.
“Republicans are not excited about Romney at all. Democrats are lukewarm toward President Obama,” he said. “Then you have the fact that it’s hard for people to look past a singular issue like gay marriage or abortion…“That’s why it’s important for interest groups to really push what matters. A lot of these issues like gay marriage and abortion are to divide people up instead of focusing on what’s really important. What’s really important is the economy. I think voters need to look critically at Obama and Romney and see who’s going to be best for the economy and staying at home is not the answer.”
Franklin Jones, professor and chair of political science at Texas Southern University, said threats such as voter ID laws and redistricting could also affect voter turnout.
“The most immediate impact will be the reduction in the number of Black registered voters because they fail to provide the required identification materials or are hampered in getting to the registration offices,” Jones said. “The numbers will vary based on the efforts to get people registered and the intensity of the states to suppress the minority vote. A 5 percent drop could be critical in tight contests.”
The NAACP has already implemented efforts to mobilize Black voters – from supporting the Voter Empowerment Act, which focuses on guaranteeing early voting, allowing same-day registration, outlawing “voter caging,” counting provisional ballots, and penalizing voter intimidation – to activating its Election Day Command Center on Nov. 4.
The Command Center will act as “war room” of sorts, where the NAACP, in partnership with state and local organizations, legal advisors, community and faith leaders, and its 1,700 branches across the country, will be working to ensure the integrity of the voting process.
Many NAACP units will also provide rides to the polls for those who do not have transportation.  This is My Vote, the only non-partisan 50-state electoral program in the country, will conduct a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign near Election Day.  The campaign will use door-to-door canvassing, registration booths at public events and work with churches throughout the state to help attract and turn out new voters.
From voting rights attacks to institutionalized racial profiling programs to the gross disparities in the American classroom, we are in the midst of a coordinated attack on civil rights in this country,” said Jealous. “Our 103rd Annual Convention in Houston is an opportunity to set an agenda for how we fight back against these attacks and expand rights over the next 100 years.”

                                            GEORGE ZIMMERMAN
Shooter Had Planned to Flee Country
Zimmerman Set Free After ‘Manipulating the System’

By George E. Curry
NNPA News Service

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Although the judge said he had been “manipulating the system to his own benefit,” George Zimmerman, the killer of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was released on bond in Sanford, Fla. on Friday for a second time and driven to an undisclosed location.
Zimmerman, whose bond was initially set at $150,000, was released on $1 million bond, which required a 10 percent payment of $100,000.  Because he had already put up $15,000 to get out of jail in April, Zimmerman only had to pay an additional $85,000. The former neighborhood watch captain has received more than $200,000 in donations through a personal Web site. He raised $20,000 in the 24-hour hour period after his bond was set on Thursday.
Trayvon Martin, had gone to a nearby convenience store to make a purchase and was returning to a town house he was visiting with his father on Feb. 26 when he  was shot to death shortly after 7 p.m. The high school junior from Miami Gardens, Fla. was unarmed and was carrying only a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona Tea.
Zimmerman had called 9-1-1 to report a “suspicious” Black male in the gated community. He confirmed that he was following Martin on the rainy Sunday night, but the dispatcher told Zimmerman.  “OK, we don’t need you to do that.” He ignored that directive, got into a fight later with Martin, and killed him with a single shot to the chest from his 9 mm semi-automatic pistol.
Zimmerman was taken in for questioning but was released five hours later after he claimed the right to self-defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. He remained free until the special prosecutor in the case, under intense public pressure, filed a second-degree murder charge against him on April 11. Zimmerman turned himself in to police and was immediately placed under arrest.
On April 20, Zimmerman was granted bond and was released from jail three days later. His bail was revoked after it was discovered that he and his wife had lied about his ability to post bond. Zimmerman’s bond was raised from $150,000 to $1 million, which was quickly met.
He was released from jail at 2:49 p.m. Friday. Accompanied by two men, one of whom was his bondsman, Zimmerman was dressed in a white dress shirt, a jacket and no tie. The men left in a waiting SUV.
“He is very happy to be out. It’s been a very sobering experience spending the last month in jail,” Don West, one of Zimmerman’s attorneys, told reporters.
In New Orleans to attend a seminar at the Essence Music Festival, Sybrina Fulton, the slain teenager’s mother, said, “Just to know that the killer of my son may walk free some time one day, it really hurts.”
The judge granted Zimmerman  bond a second time after citing the state constitution that says: “Unless charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment and the proof of guilt is evident and the presumption great, every person charged with a crime or a violation of municipal or county ordinance shall be entitled to pretrial release on reasonable conditions.”
Despite relying on the Florida constitution and legal precedents as the basis for his decision, Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr. made it clear in his 8-page, strongly-worded order setting bail that he was convinced that Zimmerman  had been planning to flee the country in order to avoid prosecution.
At his bond hearing on April 20, Zimmerman’s lawyers portrayed their client as indigent and made no mention of the amount of money Zimmerman had received.
In a motion to revoke Zimmerman’s bond for misleading the court, the prosecutor stated, “The Credit Union statements shown on 4/19/2012, the day before the Bond Hearing, Defendant and his wife had access to over $135,00.00. Defendant has intentionally deceived the Court with the assistance of his wife…”
The motion also recalled, “Defendant’s family members misinformed the Court (the State would use a much stronger and accurate word to describe what occurred –Defendant’s wife lied to the Court) about Defendant and his family finances.”
Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, was later arrested and charged with one count of perjury. She was released on $1,000 bond.
“Contrary to the image presented by the Defendant not by evidence but only by argument of counsel, it appears to this Court that the Defendant is manipulating the system to his own benefit,” Judge Lester wrote. “The evidence is clear that the Defendant and his wife acted in concert, but primarily at the Defendant’s direction, to conceal their cash holdings. They spoke in rudimentary code to conceal the true amount of money they were dealing with.”
The judge added, “The Defendant also neglected to disclose that he had a valid second passport in his safe deposit box. Notably, together with the passport, the money only had to be hidden for a short time for him to leave the country if the Defendant made a quick decision to flee. It is entirely reasonable for the Court to find that, but for the requirement that he be placed on electronic monitoring, the Defendant and his wife would have fled the United States with at least of $130,000 of other people’s money.”
Later in the decision, Judge Lester repeated his view that Zimmerman was plotting to flee.
“Although there is no record of flight to avoid prosecution, the Court finds that circumstances indicate that the Defendant was preparing to flee to avoid prosecution, but such plans were thwarted,” the judge wrote in his bail order.
Judge Lester observed that Zimmerman had taken courses in criminal justice with the intention of becoming a police officer, an attorney, a judge or a magistrate like his father. In addition, Zimmerman had been arrested before and had completed a pre-trial intervention program. Zimmerman had also filed an injunction and had an injunction filed against him.
“Thus, before this tragic incident, the Defendant had a very sophisticated knowledge of the criminal justice system over and above that of the average, law-abiding citizen,” the judge wrote.
As an example of Zimmerman’s attempt to manipulate judicial proceedings, Judge Lester noted, “The Defendant chose as a matter of strategy, after consultation with his attorney, to not personally take the stand and testify under oath to give an explanation concerning the presentation of false testimony. The Defendant requested special treatment to carve out an exception as to when a Defendant is allowed to exercise the right of allocution.
“The Defendant, through counsel, requested the right to make a statement but not be subject to cross examination. The Court denied the Defendant’s request and the defendant chose not to testify rather than be subject to cross examination.”
Among the conditions set for bail, Zimmerman will be subjected to electronic monitoring at his expense, he can’t leave Seminole County, Fla. without prior authorization of the court, he is forbidden from opening up or maintaining a bank account, he must report to the county’s pre-release department every 48 hours and he must observe a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
“Under any definition, the Defendant has flouted the system,” Judge Lester wrote. “Counsel has attempted to portray the Defendant as a confused young man who was fearful and experienced a moment of weakness and who may have also acted out of a sense of ‘betrayal’ by the system. Based upon all the evidence presented, this court finds the opposite. The Defendant has tried to manipulate the system when he has been presented the opportunity to do so.”

No comments:

Post a Comment