Tuesday, April 30, 2013


        PRAYFUL DISOBEDIENCE - After blocking the NC Senate chambers door in a show of civil disobedience against Republican policies Monday, NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber (center) and 16 others were arrested, and spent the night in the Wake County jail. Barber promises there will be more of the same next week [photo courtesy of the NAACP]
PROTESTING THE LEGISLATURE - While he speaks to the press and followers shortly before going into the NC Legislative Building Monday, Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, is supported by several ministers and activists. [photo courtesy of the NAACP]

Ben Wrobel
Special to The Carolinian from the NAACP

Seventeen people, including eight ministers, civil rights leaders, and students, were arrested for a prayerful protest at the state legislature in Raleigh on Monday.

They promise to return again next Monday, and again the following week. The protest has already attracted national attention from MSNBC and other news outlets.

The activists were handcuffed and taken to jail while they sang and prayed in front of the locked chamber doors of the North Carolina Senate. The nonviolent civil disobedience was the opening round in a series of protests to focus national attention on what Rev. Dr. William Barber, North Carolina NAACP State President, called “the ideologically driven, extremist, mean-spirited agenda” that has captured both legislative houses and the Governor’s office in North Carolina.

“The decision to engage in civil disobedience is not one we take lightly,” stated Dr. Barber. “But the extremists are acting like the George Wallaces of the 21st century. They are pursuing a cruel, unusual and unconstitutional agenda reminiscent of the Old South. What happens in North Carolina does not stay in North Carolina. It has national implications. North Carolina is ground zero in a national struggle to defend democracy for all.”

 The group arrested Monday was composed of men and women of many different races and backgrounds, with ages ranging from 18 to 74. The ministers included: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II; Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins; Rev. Curtis Gatewood; Rev. Nelson Johnson; Rev. John Mendez; Rev. Maria Palmer; Rev. Larry Read and Rev. Theodore Anthony Spearman. The others included three college professors, two students, and veteran civil rights leaders: Adam Sotak; Dr. Timothy Tyson; Margaretta Belin; Bryan Perlmutter; O’Linda Gillis; Professor Perri Morgan; Molly McDonough; Barbara Zelter; and Bob Zellner, a veteran of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

One of those arrested was an elderly woman in a wheelchair.

Sources say the protesters were deliberately delayed by Capitol Police in being processed at the Hammond Street jail until after 11 p.m. to keep them from appearing on the late evening news.

Republican lawmakers say despite the protests, they are only doing what the voters elected them to do.

 In the first 50 days of the North Carolina legislative session, the Republican-controlled legislature enacted polices that critics say will adversely impact hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians. A recent PPP poll found that a majority of North Carolinians oppose what Rev. Barber calls “an extreme and aggressive agenda.” However, the legislature appears steadfastly committed to acting on it.
This session, the legislature has:
                Rejected funding to expand Medicaid to cover 500,000 North Carolinians without health insurance;
                Rejected more than $700 million in federal funds for unemployment benefits, affecting 170,000 laid off workers;
                Cut the payroll tax credit for over 900,000 poor and working people, while giving a tax break to 23 of the wealthiest people in the state;
                Planned to reduce access to pre-school and kindergarten; and
                Pushing a voter ID bill, in addition to stopping Sunday voting, cutting the early voting period, stopping same-day registration and ending straight-ticket voting, efforts that critics say disenfranchise black and young voters.
“Love and justice demand a witness in the face of this regressive public policy,” stated Rev. Barber. “The noblest sentiment of our constitution and deepest aspirations of our religious traditions summon us in the public square to enact policies that maintain a commitment to the protection of civil and human rights, the common good, the good of the whole, equal protection and justice for all, and the uplift of the poor and marginalized. Anything opposing these principles must be challenged.”

“This much is clear: the Republican-led legislature is standing in the way of progress and passing laws that violate fundamental constitutional rights. As leaders of moral conscience, we must draw the line somewhere. That is what this direct action is all about,” Rev. Barber added.

Critics say the attack on voting rights seen in North Carolina is being mirrored in state legislatures across the country, particularly the South. Legislators are pursuing extremist, regressive agendas, critics say, to block progress by making it harder for people to vote.

“Those most impacted by these policies are seniors, students, people of color and the working poor,” stated Attorney Al McSurely of the North Carolina. “Reverend Barber calls on all people of conscience to hold similar protests and direct actions in cities and states across the country, in solidarity with us in North Carolina.”

On Wednesday, members of the NC Legislative Black Caucus announced that they supported "the return of 1960's style protests" against the "tactics used" by the Republican-controlled leadership.

"Legislative tactics being used by these Tea Party Republicans speaks volumes as to their desire to segment our great state all over again," staid Rep. Garland E. Pierce, chairman of the NCLBC. "To say that this General Assembly continues to traumatize and victimize our citizens is an understatement." 

Reporter Cash Michaels contributed to this report.

Special to The Carolinian Newpaper

The collapse of the housing market has had a tremendously negative impact on the net worth of American families, particularly for communities of color. According to a new Urban Institute Study, Hispanic families lost 44 percent of their wealth between 2007 and 2010 and black families lost 31 percent.

White families, by comparison, lost 11 percent of their wealth.

These estimates of wealth loss reinforce similar striking estimates from an earlier, 2011, study by the Pew Research Center that found the racial wealth gap doubled for African Americans and Latinos relative to whites, during the Great Recession.

“The disproportionate loss of homeownership among people of color is the largest contributor to the startling increase in wealth disparity,” says James H. Carr, a housing finance, banking and urban policy expert; a Distinguished Scholar at the Opportunity Agenda, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

Severely depressed home prices are another contributor. To the extent home prices recover, families that have managed to hold on to their homes will also begin to recover their lost wealth. But due to disproportionate loss of homeownership among people of color, the racial wealth gap is likely to grow further as families that have lost their homes will see no benefit from the recovering home prices.

“Proposals to rebuild the housing finance system going forward must better serve people of color,” Carr says. “In particular, our rebuilt housing system must support the leveraging of current historic low mortgage interest rates and significantly depressed home prices to enable people of color to become homeowners. Most proposals on the table, unfortunately, do not address either a duty to serve borrowers of color or a need to support and promote affordable homeownership. In fact, most proposals to restructure or replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac acknowledge the inadequacy of those recommendations to promote affordable homeownership and suggest that goal should be solely the role of FHA.”

”In essence, those proposals recommend institutionalizing a dual mortgage market in which low-wealth families and borrowers of color are steered to the most expensive and restrictive credit channel to meet their mortgage needs.,” Carr continues. “This is unacceptable and inconsistent with American values of equality of opportunity – dual credit systems are breeding grounds for abusive and predatory lending practices.”

Attracting private capital to the mortgage market in a manner that only increases financial firms’ earnings but fails to increase access and affordability for the American public does not serve a legitimate public purpose.


The single most significant reason for the racial wealth gap prior to the Great Recession was higher homeownership rates enjoyed by non-Hispanic white families, largely as a result of favorable access to mortgage credit. In fact, borrowers of color did not have equal access to the mortgage finance system due to rampant discrimination that was federally endorsed from the 1930s through 1960s and tacitly allowed thereafter through 2007.

“Now is the time,” Carr says, “to finally build a housing finance system that works for all America’s families.”

To find out more about the racial wealth gap and housing, visit www.opportunityagenda.org.


            Five-term state Rep. Deborah Ross announced this week that she is stepping down from her legislative seat to join Triangle Transit as general counsel, beginning June 17th. The Wake County Democrat said she looked forward to “…working to ensure the best transit options are available for all residents of our region…” Rep. Ross said she supports former state Rep. Grier Martin to fill out her term. Ross previously served as executive director of the NC ACLU.

            Emails from the staff of the NC Attorney General’s Office have surfaced this week questioning the legality of the contract approved by the NC Council of State allowing the city of Raleigh to lease the Dorothea Dix property. Last December, a staff attorney expressed “strong misgivings” about the lease, saying that the Council might need to approve certain passages before approving the final version. But, in a rush to get it approved, only one vote was taken. NC Attorney General Roy Cooper, a member of the Council, voted for it. Republican lawmakers are looking to scrap the lease, saying that it cheats the state of the property’s true value. The state Senate has already voted to revoke the lease.

            Jonathan Broyhill, 31, the man Raleigh police say fatally stabbed Democratic fundraiser Jamie Hahn April 22, was released from the hospital this week and formally charged with her first –degree murder. Broyhill could face the death penalty. He is also alleged to have stabbed Mrs. Hahn’s husband, Nation, during that attack in their North Raleigh home. Published reports say Broyhill was the couple’s best man at their wedding a few years ago. He will be held at Central Prison until trial. Investigators allege that Broyhill attacked the Hahns after they discovered that he mismanaged the campaign funds of former Congressman Brad Miller.


            [CHARLOTTE] In two surprising moves this week, Pres. Barack Obama chose Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the new Secretary of Transportation, and veteran NC Congressman Mel Watt [D-NC-12] to head up the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Watt will supervise Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Watt is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and has sponsored groundbreaking legislation dealing with housing during his 20 years in Congress. Charlotte Mayor Foxx has served two terms, and hosted the president last year during the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  Foxx had recently announced that he would not seek a third term as mayor. If confirmed by the US Senate, Mayor Foxx would be one of two Cabinet officials in Pres. Obama’s second-term administration.

            [WILMINGTON] With its opening in North America slated for Friday, the number one movie in the world, “Iron Man 3” is being touted a boon for North Carolina’s economy. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, from when production first began in Wilmington in December 2011, until it wrapped in January 2013, “Iron Man 3,” starring Robert Downey Jr., created 2,039 jobs in the state, and generated almost $180 million in spending. Over 700 businesses in over 85 communities throughout the state benefited. Hollywood relied on North Carolina’s generous tax incentive program for the production, which amounted to $20 million. Republicans in the NC General Assembly now say they want to end that program, calling it “corporate welfare.” The GOP disputes the number of jobs created by television and movie productions in the state.

            [GREENSBORO] The NC Dept. of Labor reported 35 job-related deaths in 2012. But a new study suggests the actual number is much higher. According to the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health calculates the number to be at least three times higher than reported. The group says the state doesn’t count deaths that are vehicle-related, workplace violence or deaths among the self-employed. The group’s report also charges that fines are too small to force businesses to implement greater workplace safety measures.

By Cash Michaels

            The ice may be thawing just a bit between the Democrat-led Wake School Board and the Republican-dominated Wake County Commission Board on the schools ownership, according to Wake School Board Chairman Keith Sutton.
            During an exclusive interview last week on the Power 750-WAUG-AM talk program “Make It Happen,” Sutton as both boards work together to push a much needed $911 million school construction bond referendum for this October, they may be able to negotiate some sort of compromise per the GOP-sponsored bill which passed the state Senate recently which, if it becomes law, would assign ownership and management of all school system properties to the county commission board.
            Currently, school systems own all and manage of all their buildings and properties, even though county commission boards pay for them (school boards have no taxing authority, and thus, must get their funding from the county commissioners).
            In the past, Sutton argued that the school system has more experience in purchasing school properties and managing them. Wake County Republican
Commissioners counter that because they bankroll school system properties, it just makes sense that they own and manage them. The school system would have little to no say.
            “We don’t like that bill,” Chairman Sutton told “Make It Happen” last week, ”but we’re seeing some willingness on the part of the county commissioners that there may be an opportunity to compromise on this bill.”
            Sutton says the school board had “a great joint meeting” two weeks ago to discuss the school bond referendum.
            “I think was the first, perhaps, in a series of olive branches you may see from one side to the other that are being extended to try and work together. I think, at the end of the day, if we’re going to be successful in trying to pass a bond that we have to have, it’s going to take the community seeing both boards working together,” Sutton said.
            “So we’re trying to work through this piece,” Chairman Sutton continued, “and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to come up with some sort of compromise that allows …both organizations to hold onto the things that they feel like they do best.”
Regarding the Republican-sponsored bill, also authored by Sen. Hunt, that would change the Wake School Board election map from nine districts to just seven with two at-large districts covering the county, Chairman Sutton says county commissioners say they had nothing to do with that one. They did not recommend it, they claim.
            Last week during debate on the state Senate floor, Sen. Dan Blue [D-Wake] charged that the measure was racially motivated because Sen. Hunt’s maps essentially moved much of Wake’s black voting population into a single district.
            Hunt denied this.
            But Chairman Sutton agreed with Sen. Blue that the Hunt maps were guilty of “stacking and packing” black voters into a single district, thus improving the probability that Republicans would have an advantage in most other school board districts.
            “[The Wake School Board] did not ask that our maps be redrawn,” Sutton said, noting that they were last redrawn by the then-Republican-led wake School Board in 2011. “The [proposed] districts, as they are drawn, are not compact at all. They look like a gerrymander, similar to the state House and Senate districts.
            Both bills are now in the House.

By Cash Michaels

            JASON COLLINS – Well, well. History was made this week when NBA center Jason Collins came out in a Sports Illustrated article and told the world that he was gay, making it the first time in history that an active athlete on a professional sports team in one of the four major sports, admitted to being so.
            Collins immediately got strong support from LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant, NBA Commissioner David Stern, and ultimately from President Barack Obama, who actually came back to his podium after concluding a press conference Tuesday to say how much he admired Collins for his courage.
            Indeed, whether you agree with Collins or not, it did take courage for him to come out. Many say he didn’t have to. He could have kept his sexual orientation to himself, and only GOD would know.
            Still others, including Collins, say keeping his sexual orientation from the world was like living in a prison, pretending to be someone, or something he wasn’t.
            I don’t think there’s much question as to the controversy about Jason Collins revelation, especially here in the black community, where we’re told that biblical principles tell us GOD created man to be with woman for the purpose of procreation.
            It strikes me, though, that the more we meet and hear from people who are homosexual, the more we learn that many of them are who they are. Collins, for instance, was in an eight-year relationship with a woman, and even engaged to her, only to break it off inexplicably. She had no idea at the time why, and admits to being stunned now that she has learned the truth.
            That tells me that Jason Collins isn’t just wanting to be gay, but that he is, and that it is a natural part of his being. Many Christians rail against the thought that GOD would create men to be with men, and women with women. It doesn’t make sense to those who are strict in their interpretation of GOD’s Word.
            And yet, there he is, a young man of good character who tells us that until now, he has been living a lie.
            So American society has to now learn how to deal with this. The US Supreme Court is due to rule on California’s Proposition Eight which banned same-sex marriages in that state. Just recently we saw NBA basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson stand strong by his son, who has admitted to being gay.
            President Obama made it clear last year that he has “evolved” on the subject, and now supports same-sex marriage, to the chagrin of many a black preacher.
            And now, Jason Collins comes out.
            There are some Christians, like myself, who have always believed, absent any proof that GOD doesn’t create gay people, that in the end, no matter who we are, that our Creator will be the final judge of who we are, and how we behaved as who we are. What two consulting adults do in and with their lives has little to do with me and mine, and as long as it stays that way, then there’s little that they do that is my business.
            Then there are other Christians who believe that they are GOD’s posse here on Earth, and their main mission in life is to make sure that everyone walks, talks, eats and drinks the way “God” would have them to do so.
            Problem with – most of these “christians” usually skip over the part in the Bible that says, What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19),” meaning that we have a lot of fat folks telling other people what to do with their bodies, while all the while they’re two prayers from a heart attack given all of the fat and sugar they gobble up at church dinners.
            And that is the danger in folks judging Jason Collins, or any other member of the gay community.  Some abhor the very idea of same-sex anything, focusing only on the sexual part of it. But they either do not, or refuse to see the hypocrisy in their own lives, given what would certainly be deemed to be sinful in their own behaviors.
            “Homosexuality is not natural,” they say. If true, neither is eating yourself into a gluttonous stupor using as an excuse that GOD loves ALL of you.
            All I’m saying is that those who have been, and continue to be quick to criticize the Jason Collinses of the world, and judge him either sexually or religiously, well guess what? It’s NOT your job! That is GOD’s job, just as He will be judging you, me, Collins and everybody else.
            So let’s be honest. When folks have problems with gay people, they aren’t speaking for GOD, because He is perfectly capable of speaking for himself, and has.
What they are really doing is expressing their fear. FEAR, of what they don’t know, and more importantly, don’t want to know. And they then hide behind their faith to justify their fear.
            Mind you, these are otherwise good people. I am not calling them evil or anything. But fear makes you do and say desperate things. As a result, we have folks accusing gay people of attacking children, and also posturing to takeover the world.
And they have the gall to hide behind their faith to justify their bigotry.
            Don’t like what gay people do with each other? Fine. But you say precious little about what our heterosexual young people are doing with each other. Indeed, all of that “ungodly” music and videos our young folks listen to and watch. If you went after that garbage like you go after gay folks, our kids would be listening to Stevie Wonder instead of Lil Wayne.
            And one more thing – there are many in our community who say that the Jason Collineses of the world have no business claiming that their civil rights as American citizens are being violated. The civil rights movement was about black people and no one else, they say. Gay people have all the rights they need, folks insist.
            Then what was Amendment One – the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage - all about last year? Proposition Eight before the US Supreme Court? If these folks have all the rights they need, then why is it against the law in a majority of US states for them to marry each other?
            And what are we doing to make heterosexual marriages last longer and work better, since we’re such “experts” we just know that same-sex marriages won’t last?
            We need to cut the bull, in my opinion. GOD is the ultimate judge, not you or I. As long as consenting adults are also law abiding, then what they do is between them and GOD.
            Time for the rest of us who pride ourselves as being heterosexual, to get our acts together, and stop being so hypocritical. Like my mama always said, “GOD don’t like ugly!”
            Amen, Mom!
            “42” - Amid all of the toil and trouble of last weekend, I took a well-deserved break, grabbed a free movie ticket from my wife, and went to see “42: The Jackie Robinson Story” starring Chadwick Boseman as the legendary first major league baseball player, and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers who dared to break professional baseball’s color barrier in 1947 by recruiting Robinson from the old Negro Leagues.
            I had heard good things about this film - especially about Harrison Ford’s extraordinary performance as Rickey, which I’ll get back to in a moment - but of course, how many films have I heard “the good word” about before that were ultimately very disappointing?
            But “42” isn’t one of them. This is a fine film, well acted, written and directed. If you have a heart, “42” speaks to it, and gives you hope that one day, America can, and will know better in how to treat its citizens.
            Harrison Ford deserves an Oscar nomination for his performance and Branch Rickey. Chadwick Boseman was superb as Robinson. And the young actress who portrayed Rachel Robinson, Nicole Beharie, was fantastic.
            Written and directed by Brian Helgeland, go see “42.” You won’t be sorry!
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 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, April 23, 2013




            [HARRELLS] The driver of a tractor-trailor truck has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a seven-year-old child in Sampson County who was killed by the vehicle allegedly driven by the suspect. Alyiah McKenzie Morgan, 7, was struck and killed on US 421 as she exited a legally stopped school bus. The State Highway Patrol says the driver of the truck, Johnny Allen Spell, 37, kept driving and never stopped after the accident, until he was found home and arrested. His is charged with DWI, felony hit and run, and felony passing a stopped school bus. Witnesses say the truck, which was hauling lumber, came up behind the stopped school bus, and then went around it, striking the child. 

By Cash Michaels
Staff writer

            With five Democrats joining them, the Republican majority in the NC House Wednesday once again passed a voter ID bill that requires, if now ratified by the state Senate, that all North Carolina voters produce official government photo identification when casting a ballot on election day.
            House Bill 589, known as the “Voter Identification Verification Act,” passed 81-36 along party lines, with the exception of the five Democrats who voted with Republicans. Gov. Pat McCrory has always vowed to sign the bill once the full Legislature passes it.
         Those five Democrats were Rep. William Brisson (D-Bladen); Rep. Ken Goodman (D-Richmond); Rep. Ken Waddell (D-Columbus); and Rep. Paul Tine (D-Dare).
 The House version would begin in January 2016 in time for the next presidential and gubernatorial elections.
Democrats, along with progressive activist groups like the NCNAACP, have blasted the voter ID legislation as an attempt by Republicans to suppress the Democratic leaning votes of African-Americans, young people and the elderly. They pointed to other efforts like redistricting; shortening One Stop Early Voting; and ending same-day registration, “Souls to the Polls” Sunday voting and straight-ticket voting; in addition to a bill to punish parents of college students who register to vote at their schools and not in their home counties, as proof.
            Republicans countered that voter ID was necessary in order to prevent voter fraud and maintain the integrity of the electoral system, even though there is very little evidence of voter fraud in the last number of statewide or local elections.
            "We know voter fraud exists elsewhere, and we should not think we're immune," said Rep. Larry Pittman (R- Cabarrus)
The House GOP notes that they conducted a “transparent” process of numerous public hearings, and changed the bill several times to take into account the criticisms and concerns of those who opposed it.
            In the crowded House gallery, NCNAACP Pres. Dr. William Barber watched the proceedings along with members of the NAACP Youth and College Division, some of whom reportedly had tape over their mouths as a symbol of defiance and voter suppression.
            Rev. Barber vowed to have the law, when passed, challenged in court. He also promised more nonviolent civil disobedience.
            House Democrats worked feverishly, but ultimately in vain to offer amendments to lessen the blow of photo IDs, but all but one were defeated. The one that did pass allowed tribal photo ID’s for Native Americans to be allowed at the polls.
            This is the second time the Republican-led House passed a voter ID bill. The first one in 2011 was vetoed by then Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue.
            The bill passed Wednesday will costs taxpayers $3.7 million to pay for possibly 200,000 registered voters statewide who, according to NC Division of Motor Vehicle records, do not have a driver’s license, as well as educate the public about voter ID.
            Under this voter ID measure, those who vote via mail-in absentee ballot, will not be required to show a photographic identification. They will just sign the form, apply their Social Security or driver’s license number, and send it in.
            House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg), defended passage of the voter photo ID bill.
            “North Carolinians consistently and overwhelmingly support photo ID requirements for voting,” Tillis said in a statement. “This bill not only responds to the opinions of our constituents but also provides individuals without photo IDs with an opportunity to acquire them at no cost. This common-sense measure will protect the integrity of the ballot box and restore confidence in our election system.”
            But NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber disagrees, saying that voter ID is just one of many repressive changes the GOP-led Legislature is imposing.
            "Our legislature is launching an attack on education, voting rights, the poor and the sick," Rev. Barber said in a statement. "This attack comes from the policies of the old south which requires a clear moral response, in the deepest tradition of the nonviolent movement to inspire public outcry and protest. When legislatures work to limit the voices in one group for political gain it is bad for our communities, North Carolina, and our country. It is a moral imperative that our elected officials act in the best interest of all constituencies. We encourage leaders in the faith community to engage their members and implore those officials to act as one for the sake of all. Just one person without a voice or influence is a detriment to his or her state." 

By Ca
sh Michaels


            To hear State Sen. Neil Hunt (R-Wake) tell it, the reason for changing the Wake School Board voting districts is to maximize voter participation and make sure that every voter in the county has a representative on the board.
            But just before the NC Senate passed the local measure Monday evening that, if the state House agrees, will change Wake’s current nine voting district setup to just seven, with two at-large districts that all voters would in, state Sen. Dan Blue took to the Senate floor and charged that racism was really the driving factor in the GOP wanting the redistricting.
            "It really ought to offend you to," Blue said of Sen. Hunt’s bill. "It offends me to the quick. It makes me want to yell. But I think that at some point race has to stop playing a role in what we do."
            Pointing to District 4 ( Southeast Raleigh, Knightdale and parts of Garner) as Hunt’s proposed maps would redraw them, Sen. Blue said they would “peel out black parents and black citizens,” adding that the maps would “pack them into a single district.”
            Blue said the Republican bill would hurt “a great school system” and urged lawmakers to reject it, but it passed 33-17.
            All Senate Democrats voted no.
            Sen. Hunt later told reporters that Blue’s remarks about racism were “absurd.”
            Wake Democrat Sen. Josh Stein also joined Sen. Blue is charging that race was a key element in Hunt’s redistricting plan.
            This is an affirmatively race based district Sen. (Neal) Hunt has that is the basis for one of his super-regional districts," Stein said. "He is racially polarizing the electorate for school board purposes. That is outrageous."
Tuesday night, the Democrat-led Wake School Board defiantly passed a resolution, 7-2, rejecting the state Senate measure, and reaffirming the current election map, which ironically was created and adopted by the former Republican-led school board in 2011 for the expressed purpose of maintaining the GOP-board majority then.
            Their map backfired, however, when Democrats stunned them by sweeping all five open board seats, capturing the majority. When two of the four remaining Republicans on the board left earlier this year, the Democrats expanded their majority to seven.
            But it was the firing last September of former Wake Supt. Anthony Tata that angered Republican leaders on the Wake County Commission Board, who then reportedly enlisted Sen. Hunt to sponsoring a bill that dramatically changed the school board election districts to usher back in a Republican majority.
            Hunt also sponsored a bill allowing local county commission boards to takeover and manage all school system properties, saying that since they have to fund their purchase them, they should have ownership.
            Keith Sutton, chair of the Wake School Board, has called both bills “a power grab.”
            The Wake redistricting bill comes as the state House now debates the $3.7 million voter ID measure. Floor debate began Wednesday after the House Appropriations Committee            signed off on it by party-line vote. Debate, and a final vote, was expected today, and House Republicans are expected to pass it.
            Critics, like the NCNACP and the NC Legislative Black Caucus, have charged that voter photo ID is how Republicans plan to suppress the votes of blacks and young people.
            The GOP counters that voter photo ID fights voter fraud and maintains the integrity of the voting process. Republicans dismiss claims that North Carolina does not have the requisite number of voter fraud cases to merit requiring voter photo ID.

                                                                BARBARA BAYLOR                               

By Cash Michaels

             A Raleigh native has been selected for a prestigious Congressional candidacy in public health.
            Barbara Baylor, a Shaw University alumna who was married to the late Rev. Ralph C. Baylor, has been selected as the 2013 American Public Health Association’s candidate for the renowned Brookings Institution’s Congressional Legis Fellow.
            The Brookings Institution is a private, nonprofit organization, founded in 1916, committed to independent research and innovative policy solutions. 
            Ms. Baylor is currently working in a House Congressional office for one year, focusing on legislative and policy issues dealing with gun violence, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, among others.
            Baylor lives by the words of the noted health specialist Dr. Guy Stuart, who once said, “Only some things are health-directed, but everything is health-related. As a public health practitioner, she believes that a “bottomup” approach to improving community health and wellness is the most effective strategy. That means the patients must be empowered, and establish their own networks to be better served.
            Baylor has a Master's Degree in Public Health from the Department of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,  and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Shaw University in Raleigh. She is a member of the Theta Chapter, Delta Omega Honorary Public Health and formerly  Certified as a Health Education Specialist.  Barbara was also a member of  (SOPHE) the Society of Public Health Education.  Ms. Baylor has over twenty-five years of public health practitioner experience. Her early experiences in public health began as a Health Educator at the Wake County Department of Health in Raleigh, NC. During her ten-year employment at the Department of Health, Barbara advanced to become the Director of Health Education followed by the Minority Health Program Manager. She was later hired, as a full-time Health Education Instructor at North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C. Baylor has been a member of APHA for over twenty years. Currently she serves as the Chair of APHA’s Equal Health Opportunity Committee and is a past Chair of the Caucus on Public Health and the Faith Community.
Ms. Baylor is currently employed by the national offices of the United Church of Christ (UCC) Cleveland, OH, a mainline progressive Protestant denomination with 5,300 churches nationwide and over 1.2 million members. Baylor has served for fifteen years as the Program Minister for Health Care Justice in the Division of Justice and Witness Ministries. She provided leadership and guidance to the United Church of Christ in identifying and understanding the political landscape of health care reform as well as some of the emerging and unresolved social and political ideologies related to this issue. She recommended public policy positions for the UCC on health and health care issues and encouraged an understanding of health and health care as issues of social and economic justice. In this position, Ms. Baylor traveled nationally and globally to learn and understand how social, economic and cultural conditions affect health and health outcomes. Additionally, Baylor served on numerous boards and committees of several national, state and local organizations that work on health care reform and other health and health-related issues.
The two children of Rev. Ralph and Barbara Baylor, JaMelia Baylor Stroud and JeMal Baylor, are now married and currently living in Georgia.


            [WINSTON-SALEM]  Author and poetess Dr. Maya Angelou is recovering at home after a “brief hospitalization” her doctors say. Angelou, 85, the author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” has been ordered by doctors to forego any travel for at least three to four weeks, forcing her to cancel a planned appearance at Butler University in Indianapolis previously scheduled for this evening. Dr. Angelou authored the now classic poem, “And Still I Rise.”

            [ELIZABETH CITY] A controversial state Senate bill that would penalize parents of college-aged dependent children who register to vote at their schools, instead of their home towns, was inspired by an ongoing situation where Republicans want to stop students at Elizabeth City State University from voting locally, a liberal website reports. The Progressive Pulse says the lead sponsor of the bill that would deny parents tax deductions for those dependent children is Sen. Bill Cook, a Republican who represents Pasquotank County. The GOP there recently had 56 students living on the campus of the historically black ECSU removed from the voter registration rolls there. Only two of those students were able to have their names restored after appeal.

            [SANFORD] A radio station owned by Central Carolina Community College was reportedly pressured by a Republican legislator to suspend a talk show after he was criticized on.  WDCC-FM indeed stop airing “The Rant,” a weekly public affairs program that featured three former Sanford journalists, after a legislative assistant to NC Rep. Mike Stone wrote Central Carolina President T. E. Marchant on April 3rd, asking him about the station’s programming, budget and source of funding, much of which comes from the NC General Assembly. Marchant denies talking directly to Rep. Stone about the matter, saying that the show was placed on “indefinite suspension” because of other issues. The hosts insist that everything they discussed about Rep. Stone on the air was factual.


            On Tuesday the Wake Board of Education agreed to direct staff to amend the budget for the purpose of creating a new office that will monitor the school system’s efforts at diversity, and making sure that all students have access to the resources they need to learn. Board members say diversity must be reflected throughout the school systems efforts, not just in student assignment. A first reading of a revised student assignment policy designed to prohibit high concentrations of high poverty students in schools is scheduled for May 7th. Target ranges will be set by staff per development of assignment plans.

            Fredricka Whitfield, an awardwinning correspondent and weekend news anchor for CNN, will be the commencement speaker at North Carolina Central University 2013 Spring graduation exercises May 11, 8 a.m. at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium. Whitfield is based out of CNN’s Atlanta headquarters. She has previously been honored by Sigma Delta chi, The Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press; and she is also the recipient of a 2005 Peabody Award and 2007 Emmy Award.

            The Chavis Park carousel, first opened in 1916, was finally reopened last weekend by Raleigh city officials. With Mayor Nancy McFarlane and at least 100 others on hand, the lights and music that entertained generations of children before the ride broke down and was mothballed years ago, were heard and seen in a completely refurbished facility. The cost to put the carousel back on line was $2 million. City officials say the opening is part of a 10-year plan to revitalize the Chavis Park neighborhood.

By Cash Michaels

EVIL – There are those who insist that we should have “compassion” for the teenage Russian terrorist who allegedly, along with his terrorist brother, set off two homemade bombs at the Boston Marathon last week. After all, he is only 19, they say, and we, as Americans, must stand tall and strong to make sure his rights as a citizen (he became one on September 11th of last year), are protected.
To ALL of that, I say BULL!
Our system of justice will protect the rights of young Dzhoklar Tsarnaev, as it is designed to do, and should. But that doesn’t mean the rest don’t have the right to express righteous outrage at the many lives he and his brother took, and destroyed.
I proudly admit that the Boston Marathon bombing – which killed three and injured over 200 – has touched a nerve in me. I was especially moved by the wanton murder of eight-year-old Martin Richards, a young boy who, along with his sister and mother, was at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last week, waiting for his father to finish the race.
The young boy wanted to give his dad a loving hug, tell him how proud he was of him for finishing the race, and give his father some ice cream. What parent wouldn’t want to have such a fine boy as a their child?
And then, without warning or reason, young Martin is blown to bits, along with two other people. Tens of others have arms and legs blown off, lying on the Boston street, stunned beyond imagination as to what just happened.
The people who rightfully are tasked to apply “reason” to all of the above are the investigators, the prosecutors, the defense attorneys, and the criminal justice system. They now have the responsibility to sought all of this out, move forward with the charges leveled at the surviving terrorist, and make darn sure (because the whole world is watching) that the process of determining what is fact, and ultimately, what is the truth, is indeed fair.
That’s their job, and I expect them to do it.
But that’s not my job as a citizen.
The terrorist suspect has certain rights as an American citizen.
I have First Amendment rights to passionately express how I feel about him and his rights. And I also have the right to cheer my government on as it takes legal steps to ensure that this monster’s reign of terror is over.
There are those who say we must protect his rights in order to ensure that our rights are protected if any of us get into the same situation.
That’s beyond stupid.
First of all, I don’t know anybody who is so evil, so heartless, so filled with inhumanity as to plant bombs for the sheer purpose of killing anyone. For that matter, I don’t know anyone coldblooded enough to grab a semi-automatic weapon and shoot up a movie theater, shopping center, or, yes, even a school.
So I doubt that many, if any, of the people in my circle will ever get themselves caught up in a terrorist plot, with hundreds of cameras capturing their movements, and plenty of people giving eyewitness accounts of their terrorist actions.
No, the terrorist’s lawyers will defend him vigorously, so I don’t have to worry about that.
What I am worried about is the next tome I take my young daughter to the movies, or a public event. How safe is it? What, and who am I seeing that gives me pause, not because of their religion or color of their skin, but by their actions?
And that’s why I am extremely passionate about this case. Because as of April 15th, 2013, something precious has been taken from us and our children. Mind you, we should always be vigilant. But now it seems we almost have to adopt a police state mentality just to protect ourselves.
That’s the way the people of Israel have to live, with the expectation that a bomb could go off in a restaurant, aboard a bus, or even on a playground, any moment of the day.
I vehemently resent being made to live that way now, and I vehemently resent the people who are allegedly responsible for it.
And even though I’m a devout Christian, I vehemently resent the cowardly way these terrorists wantonly killed people, then hide behind Islam as their excuse.
Islam is an honorable religion with millions of followers. The overwhelming number of its practitioners are peaceful, GODfearing people who abhor violence. For anyone to plant bombs, kill people, and then claim that “Islam told me to do it” is committing a vicious blasphemy.
In fact, this is no different from those so-called “Christians” who blow up abortion clinics and shoot abortion clinic doctors. For the record, I’m against abortion, and always have been. But that doesn’t mean I approve of “Christian” terrorism (meaning people hiding behind that faith just to justify their unchristian actions).
So don’t come to me with this “compassion” and “reason” stuff for the alleged perpetrator. This isn’t the Central Park Five case where investigators had no evidence. This isn’t the Wilmington Ten case where prosecutors had to racially stack the jury to guarantee convictions.
This is the Boston Marathon bombing case. The evidence speaks for itself. The criminal justice system will handle the reason and process part. I, and others like me, will handle the outrage part.
So the only question here is, will justice be done?
It better!
THE MEDIA – Some of my colleagues in the media last week were beyond reprehensible in their behavior and unprofessional actions during coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. John King at CNN going on TV with the utterly false report that authorities had not only captured a suspect, but that the suspect was “dark-skinned.” Unless King’s purpose was to racially profile someone we had absolutely no other description of, that was the most ignorant and racist act of unprofessionalism on the air last week.
Then there was the NY Post, which published a picture of two men at the Boston Marathon under the title of “Bag Men,” strongly hinting that they were the suspects the FBI was looking for.
They weren’t, and when confronted with the truth, instead of fessing up, the Post doubled-down on their falsehood.
These were just two of the many egregious acts on the air last week, acts for which there can be no excuse for.  On the flip side, hats off to the local Boston media, both television and the Boston Herald newspaper. They knew their communities inside and out, knew where to look for answers, and covered the immediate aftermath of the bombings with respect and dignity. Indeed, when the national networks couldn’t find anything to report, they went to the local Boston media for their coverage, and it was fascinating.
Many people fail to realize that when an extraordinary incident like the bombings take place, the situation is so fluid, it’s hard to get a bead on exact information for some time beyond what we know has already happened. And yet, an information vacuum is created that television feels it needs to fill as soon as possible because they don’t want you changing the channel looking for something no one knows. Thus, that’s why you get the sometimes over-the-top coverage that you get – the TV station doesn’t want to admit that it doesn’t know anymore than it did ten minutes ago.
There’s nothing messier to see than a work in process, and in the aftermath of a major catastrophe, that’s exactly what we see on television news.
LAW ENFORCEMENT – I have nothing but tremendous praise for all of the law enforcement involved in the Boston Marathon bombings case. From the FBI down to the Boston and Watertown police, and even the MIT police officer who lost his life, they moved quickly to identify the terrorist suspects, and moved decisively to capturing them.
But I can’t laud law enforcement without also pointing to the tremendous support that came from the public in assisting the investigation. Without the public’s cooperation, this case would not have been solved in the manner that it had.
And yes, the people of Boston who immediately cared for the wounded after the bombs went off, that was a beautiful thing to see. In a day where our country is being torn apart by ignorant partisan bickering, it was good seeing Americans helping one another when in dire need.
That was good, indeed.
OBAMA AND PATRICK – Something that was very unusual during the events of last week. Two of the primary leaders were African-American chief executives. Obviously Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and then of course, President Barack Obama. Both leaders were sturdy in their poise, and clear in their leadership, giving the people of Boston, and the nation, the strong sense that authorities were doing all they could to find the marathon terrorists, and would indeed have them brought to justice.
What was striking to me was that while these two black leaders were prominent at the top, I didn’t see that many black police officers or FBI agents. Yes, there were a few, but so few that when I did see one, I was surprised. Some may ask why was this important? Because anytime our country is involved in a major endeavor, as a citizen, you always want to be represented on the righteous side. You want to feel that indirectly, you are making a contribution.
Don’t believe me? Then let’s try the flipside.
How many black people reading this column said to themselves once they heard word about the marathon bombing, “Hope it’s not one of us [responsible]?”
Translation – If we’re so worried about being represented negatively when bad news comes, then you know it’s important to us to be represented positively.
Since I know little about the Boston or Waterford police departments, I can’t say what the deal is. But seeing Gov. Patrick and President Obama leading the way made me proud.
I hope it doesn’t take another tragic loss of life for me, or any of us, to see that again.
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 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.