Tuesday, October 16, 2012




                                              W - ELECTION 2012 ENDORSEMENTS

            As of today, One Stop Early Voting/Same Day Registration begins in North Carolina. That means unless you plan to cast your ballots on Election Day, Nov. 6th, you’ll have between now and the third of November to do so early.
            Contact your county Board of Elections to determine the days and times of operation.
            As always, this newspaper will make recommendations about the candidates we endorse for public office. Of course, we hope that our readers and community are closely following all of the candidates on the ballot, and make their ultimate choices based on competence and record, not party.
            This is a pivotal election in so many ways, not just for the state, but also for our nation, and ultimately our children. Our community made history in 2008 with the election of the first African-American president.
            Now, in 2012, we must secure our future.
            Make sure that you, your friends and family vote. It means that much.

                                                PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
            In 2008 when this newspaper first endorsed Illinois US Sen. Barack Obama in his historic bid to become the first African-American president, we said that this new face on the national scene indeed embodied “hope and change.”
            Four years later, it could arguably be said that the “hope and change” we all wanted never happened. Our community has struggled, especially with an unemployment rate that is twice as high as the national numbers.
            The misery index is high, and even though there are clear signs that the overall economy is improving, albeit ever so slowly, it is not improving fast enough for those who have lost their jobs, their homes, and in some cases, their futures.
            So despite all of that, why are we endorsing now President Obama for reelection?
            Because, despite massive opposition to his efforts by a Tea Party Congress to make progress, Pres. Obama kept trying, and that’s where the hope for the future is slowly but surely coming from.
            In effect, he needs four more years to get us back on track.
            And the president also needs a Democratic Congress again to work with him to bring about the change the country so desperately deserve.
            There can be no question that Obama’s vision for America is better for our community than that of the Republicans, who have made clear what they think of the black community, by making it very clear how much they hate the president.
            We must give Pres. Obama credit. He has faced some of the most vicious racism we’ve seen since the days of Jim Crow, and has kept his head up high, never bowed. And by doing so, Obama has effectively exposed the racists of the right-wing.
            We thank the president for that, and for doing so with dignity.
            We feel that Pres. Obama deserves four more years in office to finish what he started, namely rebuilding our economy, lowering the unemployment rate, and improving education.
            But we expect even more.
            We need for the president during his second term to focus like a laser beam specifically on the African-American community when it comes to more jobs and small business opportunities. By every measure, our community is disproportionately suffering, so we deserve disproportionate relief. It would be a disgrace if Barack Obama left office after eight years, and the black community is worse off than when he took office.
            We don’t believe that will happen.
            That’s why if President Obama can get a Congress he can work with and get serious policies passed through, we think that we will see the kind of attention our community deserves.
            So unless you know something about Mitt Romney and the Republicans we don’t, we urge you to take a friend, and vote to re-elect President Barack Obama.
            Let us not suppress ourselves. There is still time to hope.
            There is still the opportunity for change.

                                    U.S. CONGRESSMAN MIKE MCINTYRE [D-NC-7]
            Rep. Mike McIntyre is in the fight of his life if he wants to stay in Congress. The Republican-led NC General Assembly redrew the 7th Congressional District voting lines, making it more GOP that Democrat, thus allowing conservative State Sen. David Rouser to strongly challenge McIntyre for the seat after eight terms.
            No, it does not escape us that Congressman McIntyre is a blue dog Democrat who can be as conservative on many issues as a Republican. McIntyre has voted against Pres. Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act. He has no problem with extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. And anything that so much as smacks of liberalism he won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, no matter what its merits.
            And yet, based on McIntyre’s long held record of serving the 7th District, and getting much needed federal dollars of communities large and small, we’d rather live with Mike McIntyre than live without him.
            Quite frankly, the last thing we need to do is send any more Republicans to Congress to act crazy and try to stop the president from doing his job. Rouser offers our community absolutely nothing but the back of his hand.
            McIntyre has proven that he is at least responsive.
            Congressman Mike McIntyre deserves a ninth term in office. On Election Day, let’s put him there.
            One of the shocks of the most recent redistricting map drawn by the Republican-led NC General Assembly was that Wilmington and Pender County were moved into the Third Congressional District, currently served by arch-conservative Republican Congressman Walter Jones.
            You know Walter Jones, but just in case you don’t, here’s a primer.
            Recently Jones appeared a Memphis, Tenn. white supremacist radio show called “Political Cesspool,” and has since refused to apologize for doing so.
            Jones also sponsored a bill in Congress to impeach President Barack Obama, and brags about voting against president’s Affordable Care Act.
            Needless to say, crossing Rep. Jones off our list for your consideration seems to be the reasonable thing to do.
            Enter Erik Anderson.
            No, we have not met Mr. Anderson, a Democrat, but here’s what we know about him.
            At 18, Anderson joined the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time stationed  at Cherry Point, Erik had the opportunity to work on two air shows. While serving as an active duty Marine, he received two Letters of Commendation and achieved the rank of  Sergeant. After  serving  six years, he  was honorably discharged in 2004.
            Anderson graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Craven Community College with an Associate in Arts Degree and promptly enrolled in East Carolina University (ECU).
            While at ECU, he was president of the College Democrats and the Epsilon Chi Nu Fraternity. He was also an officer in the Financial Management Association and an avid fan of Pirate Football.  Erik graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelors Degree in History. 
            Erik lives in Winterville, N.C. and is married to his college sweetheart Ginger  Anderson. The couple met at an ECU Football game and they are members of the ECU Alumni Association and the ECU Pirate club.  Ginger, an ECU MBA graduate, is a North Carolina native with strong family ties to the Eastern North Carolina area. 
            For the last five years, Erik Anderson has worked in retail management.  He has managed up to 500 employees in one location and his last store was a $125 million store.
            On education, Anderson supports preparing students for the new global markets. Modernized classrooms, Head Start programs, and successful K-12 programs help prepare children to be the next generation of community leaders, Anderson says. He believes we must preserve programs such as Pell grants, scholarships and low interest loans that make education possible for many students. 
            On the economy, Anderson says, “I will encourage a new approach to both domestic and international policies.  Domestically, I will call for aggressively reducing the Federal deficit to keep interest rates low and encourage new economic activity and growth.  Once the Federal deficit turns into a surplus, America needs to guarantee the fiscal stability of Social Security and Medicare by paying down the debt.  We also need to  make new investments in education, training, as well as research and development, instead of having tax cuts."
            Anderson also wants tax rates raised on the rich.
            You can learn more about Democrat Erik Anderson at his website at http://www.electerikanderson.com/issues/the_economy. We don’t think you want Walter Jones representing Wilmington and Pender County. We endorse Erik Anderson.

                                    DEB BUTLER FOR NC SENATE
            Let’s be blunt. NC State Senator Thom Goolsby must go. He is a proud member of the Republican cabal in the NC General Assembly that is working hard to take North Carolina backwards by severely cutting the education budget, and doing next to nothing to bring more jobs to North Carolina.
            Sen. Goolsby is a failure. We must move on.
            Deb Butler is campaigning hard for Goolsby seat.
            Butler says, “Cutting education to balance the budget is not the answer.  We must reduce class size and make sure our schools and teachers have every resource available so our kids have the best education possible.  We must make our local universities and community colleges accessible and affordable for more citizens.
            For more businesses and jobs, Butler says she’ll make sure we make the investments needed for our future.  She will make sure our area has the infrastructure we need to recruit and retain the best employers and that we don’t play politics when American companies like Caterpillar and Continental Tire want to bring good-paying jobs here.
            Butler is a strong advocate or a woman’s right to choose; working families; and seniors seeking the relief they need.
            Butler has a BA from the University of Tennessee as well as a JD degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law. As a long-time small business owner, she believes very much that this country is still the land of opportunity, but feels strongly that we must work to insure that opportunities are available for all people. She serves on the governing boards of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance and the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors.
            Deb has held memberships in the Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington Downtown, Inc., and other economic development councils throughout the region.
            Goolsby has had his chance. We support Deb Butler for the NC State Senate.

By Cash Michaels

            Black voters beware! Now that One Stop Early Voting/Same Day Registration (Oct. 18 through Nov. 3rd) has begun for the Nov. 6th elections, there are people who are assigned to aggressively approach African-Americans at the polls in North Carolina, and openly challenge they right to vote. Their mission is to disrupt the process so much, that less and less black voters will want to put up with the hassle.
            Who are these people so determined to personally suppress the black vote in North Carolina? They are called “poll watchers.”
            And they are members of the right-wing Tea Party movement.
            Nonpartisan groups like the NC NAACP and Democracy NC are already warning black and Hispanic voters across the state not only to watch out for Tea Party poll watchers at their polling places, but be ready to skillfully handle them by knowing their rights.
            According to “Abridging the Vote: True the Vote in North Carolina,” a new report by Devin Burghart and Leonard Zeskind published by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights of Kansas City, Missouri, “Under North Carolina state law, ‘only an individual registered to vote in a precinct may challenge a voter at that precinct on Election Day.’
            So if your right to vote is challenged by someone as you’re making your way into the polls to vote, exactly what should you do?
            According to Bob Hall, executive director for the nonprofit, nonpartisan Democracy NC, the one thing you don’t do is get upset. That’s what the poll watcher wants in order to create a scene and disrupt the area.
            “People should not be intimidated,” Hall says. “We need to be careful and aware.”
“We have the same rights and procedures we had in 2008,” Hall added. You don’t need to present a photo ID when you go vote. The bill to require registered voters to show a photo ID before voting was vetoed.”
            Instead, Hall suggests you politely tell the poll watcher to come with you into the polling place to settle the matter. Once inside, you want to speak to the chief polling judge, a ranking official there who hears voting disputes.
            “The temper issue is important,” Hall says. “Don’t lose your cool.”
            Once you and the poll watcher are in front of the chief polling judge, you answer any questions the judge asks, one of which will be for you to verbally confirm that you are who you are listed as on the voting rolls, and you live at the address listed as well.
            You may not have to show identification, but in case you do, be ready.
            The poll watcher, on the otherhand, will have to prove that he/she indeed does legally live in that precinct. If that checks out, if the chief polling judge has determined that you, in fact, are properly registered to vote in that precinct as you maintain, then the challenge against your right to vote is moot, and you should be able to proceed without further complication.
            So even though voter ID is not the law in North Carolina, be prepared for anything when you go to vote.            
            According to the “Abridging the Vote” report, the idea of Tea Party poll watchers began in Texas in 2009 with the group, King Street Patriots True the Vote, in reaction to the election of the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama.
            In August 2011, that group changed its name to “True the Vote, Inc.”, and began branching out to at 27 states in an effort to begin influencing statewide elections.
            Regularly, there would be a close relationship between leaders in spinoff groups, and their local Republican Party, the report adds.
            It was at it’s first national summit in Houston Texas, the report continues, that True the Vote “rolled out their plan to block the vote” of African-Americans and other Democratic leaning voting blocs, instructing activists, “…in tactics on how to overload election officials, slow the vote and block participation.”
            “True the Vote has purchased voter rolls from state and counties, then circulated the lists to their gaggle of unsupervised volunteers, who are urged to challenge the registrations of voters that they think may be improperly registered,” the report continues.
“The True the Vote “work at the polls” entails training volunteers to be poll watchers - people who go out on Election Day and aggressively challenge the registration, the identity, or the eligibility of prospective voters.”
            The “Abridging the Vote” report by Burghart and Zeskind adds, “To “fix what needs fixing” (as one Tea Party official said) True the Vote has also pushed legislative efforts to further restrict access to voting, including stringent new voter identification laws.”
            “In practice, the True the Vote strategy has deterred people from registering to vote, created and atmosphere that frightens voters from showing up at the polls, overloaded election officials with baseless challenges, and slowed the vote by gumming up the process,” the report continues.
So how does all of this play out in North Carolina?
              The report cites two Tea Party-affiliated groups here - North Carolina True the Vote, and the Voter Integrity Project (VIP).
            Though it claims to be a nonprofit organization on its website and solicits donations, VIP is registered as a for profit business with the NC Secretary of State’s office. By being for profit, VIP is able to legally shield who contributes to it.
            VIP has already made news in North Carolina, first, by challenging the registrations of more than 500 Wake County voters last June, and then again in August, when VIP presented over 30,000 names of voters to the NC Board of Elections (BOE) that they said had died, and whose names could still be used in voter fraud.
            BOE officials, at great expense in time and resources, checked all of the names, and not one had ever been used to cast a fraudulent vote.
            NC True the Vote, meanwhile, has sent “volunteers” all across the state to mount their voter suppression operations.
            According to the “Abridge the Vote” report, “[NC] True the Vote has been able to attract the highest levels of volunteers in the areas of the state with the highest levels of African-American population.” Indeed, the report continues, of the top twenty-five NC counties with black populations, NC True the Vote has volunteers in 24 of them.
            As of Sept. 30th, NC True the Vote had 286 volunteers in just 60 counties, the report continues, with at least 30 percent of them directly affiliated with Tea Party factions.
            The counties with the most True the Vote volunteers include Wake - 71; Guilford - 22; Mecklenburg - 19; Forsyth - 17; Durham - 15; Henderson - 11 and New Hanover with 6.
            Of the top ten counties with high populations of Hispanics, NC True the Vote has volunteers in nine of them.
            As of Oct. 1st, at least eighteen True the Vote activists have already signed up as Wake County GOP Poll Observers, Runners and Greeters, the report states.
            The report also notes that in counties with extremely low black and Latino populations, True the Vote only has one volunteer.
            Democracy North Carolina, the AFL-CIO, and the national and state NAACP, and other progressive groups, have committed to monitoring Tea Party activity and illegal poll challenges.
            “We are fully committed not only to turnout the vote,” said NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber, who announced last weekend the kickoff of the “Million Voters March 3” to deliver one million black, brown and progressive voters to the polls statewide, “…but to fight and stand against any effort to suppress, depress, stifle, or discourage the power and potential of the black, brown and progressive vote in any way.”
            “Our members will be poll watchers and we will have a coalition of lawyers to defend and protect our rights,” Rev. Barber is quoted in the report as saying.
            Editor’s note - If you have any problems while trying to lawfully cast your ballot, call Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, at it’s toll-free hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683). For answers to most questions about where, when and how to vote, go to the special website: www.NCElectionConnection.com. Voters can preview their own ballot, find the nearest Early Voting site, and check their registration status.
            In addition, because of the new redistricting plan adopted this year by the NC General Assembly, your voting district lines may have changed. You may even get a different ballot from your neighbor who lives down the street because of how the new district lines zigzag through neighborhoods. About two million voters live in precincts divided by district lines and you’re 50 percent more likely to live in one of those split precincts if you’re black. So check with your county board of elections, or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE to confirm what your voting district is, and where you should vote.

By Cash Michaels

            There is no question that the Pres. Barack Obama who out-debated Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Tuesday night’s second presidential campaign faceoff, was not the same Obama who phoned it in during their first debate two weeks ago.
            The president was strong, determined, and quick to compare the advantages of his policies over those promised by the former Massachusetts governor.
            And now that Obama has proven that he’s ready, willing and able to fight for another term at the job he historically won four years ago, Georgetown University Professor and MSNBC commentator Dr. Michael Eric Dyson says now is the time African-Americans to put aside whatever doubts they may have, and come out strong for the president.
            “I thought the president brought vigor, vision, the virtue of his presidential experience and wasn’t bullied by Mitt Romney, who once again attempted to impose his will,” Dyson told The Carolinian. “It reeks of the worst of white male privilege [Romney] standing over Obama until the moderator, Candy Crowley, instructed him to sit down.”
            Dyson also credits the president with further exposing Romney’s seeming double-speak on tax cuts for the middle-class, and “caring” for 100 percent of Americans, not the “47 percent” he derided as moochers and non-taxpayers
            It was indeed crucial for Pres. Obama to reignite his base, and show undecided voters that he has a clear vision of not only what he has achieved for the nation during the past 46 months in office, but what he hopes to accomplish in the next four if re-elected. Obama lost critical momentum in the polls to Romney after his admittedly lackluster debate performance two weeks ago, especially in key battleground states like Florida and North Carolina.
            Tuesday’s strong debate performance, with just under three weeks left before the Nov. 6th election, could help Obama regain his lead over Romney in the stretch, though most political experts say the contest has all of the makings of a very close finish.
            270 electoral college votes are needed to win the presidency, and with the president taking the early lead in early voting ballots, his team believes he has to stay strong from this point on to win.
            Prof. Dyson agrees.
            “Look, you don’t have to always agree with the president because he’s black and you’re black,” Dyson says. “We don’t vote for him just because he’s black. We vote for him primarily because he’s interested in our issues, and takes seriously our concerns. That also means you can have legitimate criticisms of the president. It’s not like he’s immune to criticism.”
            “But look, “ Prof. Dyson continued, “I’m of the (singer) Bobby Womack theory - If you think you’re lonely now, wait until tonight. If you think it’s rough under Obama, try a Romney Administration.”
            From Obamacare to Pell Grants for black college students to bailing out the auto industry, Dyson says the president’s policies, while not specific to the black community, have certainly had a positive impact on African-Americans despite their high unemployment rate. It’s more than blacks should expect from a Republican Pres. Mitt Romney and a GOP/Tea Party-led Congress.
            “Do [blacks] want to have a lower unemployment rate? You’re absolutely right we do. Should we demand that the president and the Obama Administration pay heed to us? Of course we should,” Dr. Dyson said. “But the reality is they have done far more, and will continue to do far more for an African-American base which has been tenacious in its loyalty, and exemplary in its fidelity to the cause of the Democrats, to the cause of economic and social justice.”
            The president and Mitt Romney are scheduled to faceoff for a final debate, this time on foreign policy, Oct 22nd.

With One Stop Early Voting/Same Day Registration beginning Oct. 18 through Nov. 3rd, here are some important tips to remember when you vote:

 Selecting a “straight party ticket” does NOT include
     President, judges or nonpartisan offices; vote for them
     separately. Vote the whole ballot (look on the back).

 Call 888-OUR-VOTE if you have a question about voting.

 You can take a list of your choices into the polling place to
     help you, but don’t leave it. You cannot use a cell phone.

 A person convicted of a felony in any state can register
    in NC after finishing the sentence, including probation.

 The photo ID bill died in NC. The rules have not changed.


            The men of Iota Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., along with Delta Sigmia Theta Sorority Inc, and Democracy North Carolina  are sponsoring their nonpartisan Early Voters and Registration Rally and March this Sunday, October 21, 2012 at MLK Gardens, 1500 MLK Blvd. in Raleigh, starting at 12 noon. Attendees will march a half mile to Chavis Community Center at 505 MLK Blvd. at 1 p.m. to One Stop early vote and same day register if needed. To register, people will just need an acceptable proof of identification, which can include a North Carolina driver's license with a current address; a utility bill with the person's name and current address or a document with a name and current address from a local, state or U.S. government agency such as a military ID or passport. For locations and more details about early voting visit the Wake County Government site at:http://www.wakegov.com/elections/info/early/Pages/default.aspx 

            One day after casting her own early absentee ballot, First Lady Michelle Obama led a rally at UNC-Chapel Hill Tuesday, urging students and supporters to “Get to work” an getting the Election Day vote out for her husband, President Barack Obama. “We are one vote closer to winning,” she said. This was Mrs. Obama’s second visit to the Triangle since the Democratic National Convention in August.

            A Wake County School bus driver has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence. Sherron L. Utley, 37, of Fuquay-Varina was stopped by law enforcement Sunday and charged. He was placed on administrative leave by Wake County schools until an investigation was completed. Utley is scheduled to make a court appearance next month.

FIRST LADY PUSHES NC EARLY VOTE -  First lady Michelle Obama gives her approval of the Obama campaign's Early Vote Express RV, which will travel North Carolina promoting One Stop Early Voting/Same Day Registration. Mrs. Obama spoke in Chapel Hill Tuesday. Early voting began in NC Thursday Oct. 18 th through November 3rd. (Photo courtesy Obama for America).

"MILLION VOTERS MARCH 3" KICKS OFF - Rev. William Barber (center), president of the NCNAACP, announces their drive to have one million black, Hispanic and progressive whites go to the polls between now and Election Day Nov. 6th in North Carolina [Cash Michaels video still]

DALTON DEBATES AN EMPTY CHAIR - Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton reminds attendees at the NCNAACP State Convention Saturday that his gubernatorial opponent, Republican former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, is not there during a scheduled debate. Published reports had McCrory visiting the NC State Fair at the time. McCrory failed to appear before the NCNAACP in 2008 as well. [Cash Michaels video still]


            [WILLOW SPRING] Rachid Smith, better known as “DJ Kool Sheed”, returned home Wednesday was after being last seen last Sunday when he left his Willow Springs home to take a walk. His wife of 19 years, Celina Moorer-Smith, said Smith left without his wallet, cellphone and identification. The radio station Smith used to work for, K97.5 FM in Raleigh, had been asking the public’s help to find him, both on the air and on its website. At press time, there was no word as to where Smith has been, or why he disappeared.


            [GREENVILLE] Dr. Benjamin Chavis of the famed “Wilmington Ten,” will be the speaker during The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of NC Freedom Rally, Friday, October 19th, 6 p.m. at the Sycamore Chapel Baptist Church, located at 1630 Farmville Blvd, Greenville North Carolina, Pastor B.T. Walston. The SCLC will be launching a statewide effort to make an impact on the court, police department and other entities that relates to criminal justice.

            [CHAPEL HILL] Since his death on University Day, former UNC System President William Friday
has been hailed as one of the great educational advocates and pioneers of the 20th century. Friday believed in 
low-cost college education, allowing the greatest  number of students from all walks of life could attend. Friday, 92, was buried Tuesday in Old Chapel Hill cemetery, and given a public memorial service Wednesday.

CASH IN THE APPLE - 10-18-12
By Cash Michaels

            WHAT WILL BLACK VOTERS DO? - We’ve been amazed, quite frankly, with the amount of attention paid to what black voters will do in the South, and especially here in North Carolina, come Election Day, Nov. 6th.
            The latest polls have President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney virtually neck-and-neck in North Carolina, with each one taking the lead week after week.
            Thus far, at least two national publications - the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times, have written stories about what the black vote will do in the Tar Heel state. Indeed, the black vote, which is at least 22 percent of the NC electorate and considerably more in the Democratic Party, can decide who wins the state if it shows up in the same strong numbers of 2008, when Obama first ran for the presidency.
            One Stop Early Voting/Same Day Registration began on Oct. 18, and if the pattern from 2008 holds true, African-Americans, and particularly black women, will leap to the front of all early voters in considerable numbers, outpolling white Democrats almost 2 to 1.
            That’s what the Obama campaign hoped for, and got in 2008, and it helped the campaign win the state by just 14,000 votes when the dust cleared.
            We know that the Obama campaign never really left North Carolina after the 2008 campaign, using the interim years to cultivate the state for 2012. Their “ground game,” namely organizing people in their neighborhoods to canvass, is second to none. A report out this week indicated that the Romney campaign, thus far, as spent $45 million to the Obama campaign’s $22 million in North Carolina. Part of the reason is Romney can’t win the presidency without making North Carolina a red state again, taking it back from Pres. Obama.
            Romney’s hope is to maximize white voter turnout in his favor. He can’t count on voter ID here since the Republican-led Legislature failed to make it law last session. So filling every moment of advertising on television and radio is his only hope.
            That is, unless the black vote fails to turn out and turn up for Pres. Obama.
            At least seventy percent of the black vote has to go to the polls for Obama in order for him to win North Carolina.
            So the question is will it happen?
            The answer, indeed, isn’t clear. There are many in the African-American community who feel that Pres. Obama hasn’t done enough for the black community, despite the fact that he has a Republican/Tea Party Congress that has simply refused to meet the president halfway on much.
            Because the unemployment rate in the black community is so high, many don’t see what difference having a black president has made in their lives.
            Some, in fact, believe that having a black president has made it worse.
            It may end up that many will not vote at all, knowing that they absolutely can’t vote for Republican Mitt Romney, especially after his “47 percent” remarks caught on video, and yet refusing to reward the president with a second term because his governance has failed, in their opinion, to improve their lives.
            This was one of the dangers of bringing a lot of first-time voters to the process in 2008. Voters who, because they had never engaged in the process before, don’t realize that that no president, black or white, Democrat or Republican, can do it all alone.
            Voters who don’t realize that if the president says yes, but the Congress votes no, then no carries the day.
            And voters who, despite all of the political tyranny they saw on their television sets from June of 2009 to Nov. 2012, decided to allow the ultra right-wing Tea Party to take control of Congress, and lead us done a path of gridlock and near destruction.
            In addition, voters who, for reason, don’t realize that the most important elections of all aren’t the presidential, but the off-year local elections for school board, and county commissioners and city council. These are the offices, not the president, who decide your real quality of life. If you don’t show up for these elections, then you don’t have much to blame the president for, because you haven’t been doing your part.
            Make no mistake, Pres. Obama has not been perfect. He freely admits that because he was new to the office, much of what he felt he could get accomplished didn’t happen. And changing the culture of Washington? Forget about it.
            But it’s also fair to say that no president has ever faced the kind of racial opposition that this one has, primarily because we’ve never had a black president before. Given all that Obama has faced, he’s still been able to get some things done, like health care reform that definitely helps the poor.
            So black voters will have to ultimately make a choice - vote for Obama, Romney, or stay home. And the choice they make could definitely decide this election.
            We will see what African-Americans do. Once again, it could make history.
            GEE, WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG? - Longtime readers of this column know how I feel about Black Entertainment Television. For years now, it has been a source of pure embarrassment in the negative images it has propagated of our young people (‘B’s” and “hoes”) to our young people, and the world.
            And the fact that it was owned and run by upper-middle-class blacks like Bob Johnson, who wouldn’t allow their own children to watch the mess they were selling the rest of the black community, is the dastardly shame and disgrace of the BET story.
            Yes, I understand very well that it is a business, and you owe your stockholders and investors a return on their dollars. But do you do that by further crippling generations of African-Americans with sexually degenerated self-images?
            So imagine how thrilled I was to see Sheila Johnson, the former wife of Bob Johnson and cofounder of BET, recently call the network a “squandered” opportunity to do better.
            “I think we squandered a really important cable network,” Ms. Johnson is quoted as telling the “Conversations and Encounters” program at the Carmel Art and Film Festival in Monterey County, Calif. Recently.
            “We’re losing our voice as a race as a result. I’m really worried about what our young people are watching. There are so many young people who are using the television as a babysitter. We have parents who are not being parents and not monitoring what their children are watching.”
            Ms. Johnson is also quoted as saying the BET “reinforces negative stereotypes of young people, African-Americans in particular.”
            Fine time to get religion, after you and your ex sold BET to Viacom for hundreds of millions years ago. Easy to criticize it now that it has gotten worse since then. The time to have made BET something we could all be proud of was when you and hubby Bob had it, not complain about it now.
            Gee Mrs. Johnson, BET must really be disgusting now for you not to like it.
            Thanks…for nothing!
            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.


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