Tuesday, June 4, 2013




LARGEST "MORAL MONDAY" PROTEST YET As people chant protest songs around him, Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, urges then to go back to their respective counties, organize and register people to vote in 2014 to overturn the Republican-led NC General Assembly. State NAACP officials confirm that at least 2000 demonstrators from across North Carolina came to the Legislative Building Monday to protest GOP policies on budget cuts, tax and education reform. Authorities say 151 people were arrested during the peaceful protest, the largest number since "Moral Mondays" began six weeks ago. Over 300 have been arrested since April. More people are expected to return to the Legislative Building next Monday, June 10th [Cash Michaels video clip]

By Cash Michaels

            If Tuesday’s meeting was any indication, several members of the Wake School Board have serious questions about the May 16th arrests of seven students at Enloe High School after a playful water balloon fight.
            All of the students were black.
            Several board members who saw a tape of the arrests say they were “saddened and upset.”
            At least two other people – not involved in the incident – were arrested by Raleigh police. One was a parent, Kevin Hines, who was charged with trespassing after complaining to school officials about the arrests; the other a 15 year-old student who was reportedly slammed to the ground by an officer and handcuffed for no apparent reason.
            That student, who was injured as a result, was never charged, and the parent, after spending the night in jail, was released with all charges dismissed.
            Last Thursday during a press conference at Martin Street Baptist Church, all of the students and their parents demanded that the charges of disorderly conduct and assault stemming from the water balloon prank be dismissed.
            They also railed against receiving short-term suspensions for the incident.
            Wake School system officials say officers were called because Enloe High administrators believed harmful substances other than water would be used in the prank.
            The students and their parents maintain that only water was used.
            Citizens who spoke before the Wake School Board Tuesday evening said the “Enloe 7” incident called into question not only the training that SRO’s (school resource officers) are supposed to get in dealing with students on high and middle school campuses, but also the wisdom of calling in untrained Raleigh police officers to a school for what was essentially a prank.

            A junior at Cary High School complained to the board that the Enloe 7 were “handcuffed and p[laced in jail overnight without the courtesy of being allowed to tell their parents where they were.” The student went to allege that SRO interaction  with students of color is almost always “exclusively punitive,” adding to the feeling that they are not really wanted at the schools they attend.
            “As a youth of color, …I need for you to stop criminalizing me and my community,” she told the board, adding that Wake County students of color “are under attack.”
            Later that evening, the board did vote to renew its contracts with the Wake Sheriffs Dept. and Raleigh Police Dept. for SROs, but added that they would also review the policies of SROs in the system.
            Fernando Martinez asked board members before they voted why invest $500,000 into hiring  more SRO’s if there are still critical questions about “proper training” for them. Citing research, Martinez says there is no evidence that SRO’s make schools safer. Indeed, he maintains, the presence of SRO’s increases arrests and student intimidation.
Wake School Board member Jim Martin, even before outraged citizens spoke, acknowledged the controversy and other issues, saying that the board was aware of their concerns, and would be addressing them.
            “The Board has heard, and will continue to hear the issues you raise,” Martin said, reading from a statement. “We’re going to start really digging into the discipline issues, and how we handle them. We have heard from you, and this board is acting.”
            Martin later added that the school system needs to “keep track” of SRO interaction with students and parents, and encourage SROs to “de-escalate” situations and not criminalize students.
            Even board member Deborah Pritckett, who rarely agrees with Martin, openly agreed that students shouldn’t be arrested for certain actions that the school should be well equipped to handle.
            “Parents want their students to be safe, but there are other ways of dealing with students,” Prickett said. “I’m glad we’re taking a look at our policies.”


            The Wake County Board of Education voted on June 4 to appoint Cathy Q. Moore as the district’s interim superintendent, to serve from June 14 until the arrival of the district’s next permanent superintendent. Moore takes over from Dr. Stephen Gainey, who leaves his post on July 1. Moore has served as Deputy Superintendent for School Performance since September 2011, and previously worked as area superintendent for the Central Region for three years. The announcement of a permanent Wake superintendent was delayed this week until final contract details could be resolved. That pick is expected to assume post on August 1.
            History was made June 3rd when Debra Saunders-White officially took over as permanent chancellor of North Carolina Central University, the first woman in that historically black institution to do so. Chancellor Saunders-White was welcomed by staff, faculty and students, along with Durham Mayor Bill Bell. Saunders-White said she will continue NCCU’s mission of excellence for all students, seeking to improve four-year graduation rates and enhancing technology studies. Saunders-White served as assistant secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. She previously worked as a technology administrator at both Hampton University and UNC Wilmington and began her career as a systems engineer at IBM.

            There was no practical need for Republican lawmakers to “stack and pack” black voters into districts that already had sizable percentages of African-American voters, unless it was deliberate,” two state lawmakers told a three-judge panel this week during a two-day hearing on the GOP redistricting plan. State Rep. Larry Hall of Durham and state Sen. Dan Blue of Wake, both Democrats, told the panel that race was the key factor in the Republicans packing the state’s black voters into six districts in an effort to weaken white Democrats during elections. The judges must decide whether to dismiss lawsuits against the GOP redistricting plan that claim the districts were illegally drawn by race, not party affiliation.


            [RALEIGH] If it wasn’t clear before, Gov. Pat McCrory is making it clear now that he is no fan of the weekly “Moral Monday” movement that has seen thousands of protestors at the Republican-led Legislature, with over 300 arrested for peaceful civil disobedience. “Unlawful demonstrations should be unacceptable,” McCrory, a Republican, told reporters Tuesday, adding that “…lawful demonstrations are welcomed. “We should not give credence to unlawful demonstrations.” Rev. William Barber, president of the NCNAACP and leader of the Moral Monday Movement, was not pleased with the governor’s remarks.
            “His comment is indicative of the extreme right wing and their regressive immoral unconstitutional agenda,” Rev. Barber said in a statement. “They make things personal when they can’t defend their policies. That's sounds like totalitarianism, not democracy. This sounds like a reincarnated attitude of George Wallace with a 21st century twist. Though he won't talk or listen, the people will never stop raising their voices and organizing their votes. Forward together, not one step back.”

            [RALEIGH] At presstime Wednesday, the NC House was schedule to take a final vote on repealing the Racial Justice Act, the 2009 law that allowed death row inmates to challenge possible racial bias in their sentences. The Republican-led House voted Tuesday to repeal the law along party lines, and was scheduled for a final vote Wednesday. The GOP-led state Senate had previously voted to repeal the RJA. Governor McCrory has indicated that he will sign the measure.
            The state House was also scheduled Wednesday to approve changing the Wake County School Board’s election district at the request of the Republican Wake County Commission Board. Critics say the measure is GOP retribution for Democrats taking the school from Republicans in 2011, and then firing Wake Supt. Tony Tata, a conservative supporter who publicly criticized his Democrat board. That bill was also already passed in the state Senate.

            [WILMINGTON] There's a good chance the North Carolina coast could be battered by hurricanes this season, with strong storms predicted this year that scientists say are being fueled in part by global warming and subsequent rising sea levels. Experts, like Orrin Pilkey, a Duke University geology professor, predict as many as three times the number of major hurricanes this season as in years past. Pilkey adds that North Carolina is particularly at risk. Some scientists blame extreme temperatures and rising sea levels brought about by global warming for the increased strength of the storms. 

WELCOMING HISTORY - President Barack Obama embraces Myrlie Evers-Williams during her visit in the Oval Office, June 4, 2013. The President met with the Evers family to commemorate the approaching 50th anniversary of Medgar Evers' death. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

By Cash Michaels

            MORAL MONDAYS – Last Monday evening I was at the NC Legislature for the sixth “Moral Monday,” the weekly peaceful demonstration at the NC General Assembly by the NC NAACP and its coalition partners, protesting the regressive policies of the Republican majority.
            Well over 2,000 people were there from all over the state (press reports of only 1,000 were woefully wrong – the rally had to be moved from its original location BECAUSE the crowd was going to larger than the previous five weeks), all from different walks of life, all for the singular purpose of speaking with one voice. The air was filled with the spirit of justice. The American flag was waved. Freedom songs were sung. Mothers and fathers brought their children.
            And, of course, in the tradition of peaceful civil disobedience, 151 courageous people allowed themselves to be arrested for the cause they most believed in.
            The nation has taken notice of what the NCNAACP is doing here in North Carolina, and rightfully so. As the weeks and months to 2014 come closer and closer, let’s pray that these peaceful demonstrations, founded in the core beliefs that make this nation great, continue on, and become bigger, and even better.
            Please pray that they do, and that change, positive change, is the ultimate result.
COMMEMORATING CIVIL RIGHTS – This year, 2013, is an important year, because it marks several important milestones in civil rights history.
            Next week, June 12th, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Mississippi. His widow, Myrlie Evers Williams, is commemorating that this week at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
            In August it will be the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, lead then by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and organized by a gay American, Bayard Rustin.
            In September, the fiftieth anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, where four little girls were murdered by a dastardly terrorist act by white supremacists.
            And, of course, the year started on January 1st with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 to free the slaves in the South when the Confederacy refused to drop its arms against the North.
            So this is an extraordinary year, indeed, and an opportune time for all of us to share some of this enriching civil rights history with our children.
            The one place I know I want to take my youngest is the NC Museum of History at 5 East Edenton Street in Raleigh to see the “Freedom Coming, Freedom For All” exhibit now through June 16th.
            On key exhibit is the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, the document issued by President Lincoln in September 1862 which was a warning to the Confederacy after the Union victory at the Battle of Sharpsburg, that if it did not lay down its arms against the North in 100 days, that he would free all of their slaves.
            On loan from the National Archives in Washington, DC, the seven-page document is, without question, one of the most significant in American history, if not human history.
            Museum curator Earl Ijames told us during a recent interview why not just all North Carolinians, but African-Americans must take time to come and examine this extraordinary piece of history, and release what a central role Pres. Lincoln played in changing the course of history for all.
            On July 1st through Oct. 6th, a second phase of the exhibit, displaying North Carolina’s original copy of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution – which formally and legally outlawed slavery - will be open and available for the public to see.
            Freedom Coming conveys how securing freedom for all was more of a process than a single act or proclamation, and the exhibit highlights North Carolina’s unique role in that process,” Ijames said in a statement.
            For more information, contact the NC Museum of History at 919-807-7900.
BLACK MUSIC MONTH – I said it before and I’ll say it again, June is supposed to be Black Music Month, when all of us celebrate the rich and proud history of some of the greatest music ever known to man. But Black Music is in serious trouble today. Gone, indeed long gone, are the great singers, writers, produces and performers who built on the great legacies of those before them.
Who is this generation’s Stevie Wonder or Anita Baker? Where is the next Ella Fitzgerald or Dinah Washington coming from? Will we ever hear a great group like the Spinners or the Temptations again?
When you listen to some of the current stuff on pop radio, you hear a lot of stolen material from Black Music. That means we’re doing a poor job of protecting our music, or its heritage, and that’s sad, indeed.
SNIPES IN “EXPENDABLES 3” – Now that he’s spent his three years in federal prison for tax evasion, actor Wesley Snipes is back on the market to perform, and one of his first movies out the box will be “Expendables 3,” starring Sylvester Stallone. Along with Snipes will be Jackie Chan and Nicholas Cage.
I’m glad to see that Sly has welcomed Snipes back to acting to get his career jumpstarted again.
TRAYVON MARTIN TRIAL JUNE 10TH – You know that the defense for George Zimmerman is desperate when they start trying to paint his 15 year-old shooting victim, Trayvon Martin, as a dangerous black male. The intent is not only to garner favorable public opinion going into the murder trial on June 10th, but also pollute the jury pool there in Florida as much a possible.
Zimmerman has pleaded innocent, saying that he shot young Martin in self-defense. Prosecutors counter that Martin was walking home from the store after purchasing a beverage and a bag of Skittles, realized that he was being followed by Zimmerman, and a fight ensued, with Martin being shot with the gun Zimmerman had in his possession.
So buckle yourselves in, because after the jury is selected, we’re going to hear a wild opening argument by Zimmerman’s defense alleging all kinds of things about Trayvon Martin. And where they can, the defense will do it’s best to portray the young man as a dangerous thug, and try to introduce photographs accordingly.
America will be watching this trial, and something tells me it won’t be pretty.
TARGETING REV. SHARPTON – One of the great surprises of the past year has been the success of “PoliticsNation” with the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC. In the year that it’s been on the air, the 6 p.m. show has been informative, insightful and entertaining. Rev. has proven that he is a master communicator who is able to hold his own with some of the best political analysts in the business.
So why are conservatives trying to put pressure on MSNBC to take Rev off the air? He hasn’t done anything wrong, and in fact, has improved the ratings of the 6 p.m. slot on the network?
Maybe it’s because Sharpton is doing his show so well, and being so effective in using this major platform to push the progressive movement forward, that conservative feel bringing him down off his lofty perch would be a major victory.
Well Rev, that means you should do what you do even TWICE as strong. Make ‘em hate you even more. It means you’re being effective and refuse to bow down.
That’s the Rev. Al Sharpton I know and respect – a man and leader who stands up, and refuses to bow down.
Keep standing Rev, keep standing until it makes them hurt!
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.


                                              THE MORAL OF "MORAL MONDAYS"

            Let’s face it, the majority of citizens never have, and never will leave the busy schedules of their complicated lives to take part in a public demonstration of any sort. There are many, understandably, who see such expressions of outward displeasure as “meaningless” or “a waste of time” or “selfish.”

            Thus, when they see a public protest of any sort on television or in the newspaper, they consider it more of a nuisance. In their minds, if somebody wants change, let them run for political office. Just stop making so much noise and being disruptive.

            As we said, that is a pervading view in and beyond our community.
            It is not, however, our view.
            Those very people who would criticize the minority of those who indeed stop their lives to take a public policy stand from which all of us can benefit, apparently don’t realize that that’s exactly why they can criticize protesters. In the finest tradition of this nation, courageous people have stood up, marched, and spoke in the loudest voices possible, challenging those in power to not only obey, but enforce the letter and spirit of the US Constitution that not only governs us all, but promises every citizen “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” 
            The problem always has been that some get that entitlement a lot easier than others.
            They’re called the rich, and they usually invest tons of their money into electing politicians, who in turn will vote to invest tons of YOUR money into keeping their rich and powerful benefactors happy.
            “Happy” as in passing a voter ID law that restricts young, elderly and voters of color from casting their rightful ballot at election time.
            “Happy” as in cutting unemployment benefits for people who are without work through no fault of their own.
            “Happy” as in denying 500,000 of our fellow poor North Carolinians Medicaid benefits so that they, too, can have access to decent, affordable healthcare.
            And keeping the rich and powerful “happy” with proposed tax reform packages that would lower the personal and corporate income tax dramatically for the rich, while extending sales taxes to food, medicine, and other essential services and items people need to survive.
            Needless to say, when someone is elected to office for the expressed purpose of keeping the rich “happy,” they tend to become arrogant, sure of themselves, invincible even. They think that they are in charge, and this state and nation really belongs to them!
            And they even entertain the idea that there are certain people – fellow American citizens and North Carolinians now – who simply don’t count because THEY are the “enemies” of the America the rich…you know the folks that must be kept “happy” – hate the most.
            Oh, and we forgot the most important element to this crazy way of thinking – they firmly believe in their hearts and souls that Almighty God wants it this way, so whatever they do, and however they do it, it is blessed by the God they were always taught favored THEIR kind, over others.
            These politicians thank “God” they will be in power for at least the next ten years after rigging the rules! And they count on the fact that the majority of us – the ones who never march, rally, protest and rarely vote – won’t say a bloody word about it.
            Enter NC NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber.
            Rev. Barber has been an unflinching warrior for justice since he was just a teenager. A man of great love, courage and compassion, Rev. Barber has been, and continues to be a powerful voice for freedom, justice and equality. It is in his DNA to empower those in poverty; those denied fundamental human rights, and those who only ask that their government live up to the true meaning of the creed that “all men and women are created equal.”
            Rev. Barber, however, is first and foremost a man of GOD, and it is because of that reason that he is fearless in his mission for justice. He knows that true power lies in the people, so Barber makes sure that wherever he goes, and whatever he does, that the people are always with him, speaking truth to power.
            And that’s why, for the past six weeks, Rev. Barber has courageously led thousands of protesters at the Republican-led NC General Assembly is peacefully, nonviolently, but forcefully, using the only collective power the citizens of North Carolina have over these runaway-rich-people-protectors – their numbers, voices and spirit.
            And every week since April, they’ve all come – black, white, Hispanic, elderly, young, straight, gay, in wheelchairs and on canes – all following this powerful man of GOD, letting Republican lawmakers who are putting the rich first know that their repressive policies are intolerable, and come the next Election Day in 2014, they will be held accountable.
            You see, getting out in the street, marching and protesting, and yes, getting arrested week after week after week to peacefully dramatize your principles, may not be your way of doing things, but it produces more positive energy and prospect for change than just sitting on your butt pointing fingers.
            This state that we love so much is a good place to live because people STOOD UP for what was right. Some, like our beloved Wilmington Ten, paid a dear price for standing up, but that kind of courage means something in the end.
            Rev. Barber knows this, and courageously travels the length and breath of this state, waking more and more people up every day, regardless of who they are, and what their political persuasion is.
            To bring about meaningful change, you must engage in powerful and positive action. Our history proves this, and it’s proving it again.
            You don’t necessarily have to march and rally with Rev. Barber to at least understand what he is doing, and why. And if you do, then it shouldn’t be a stretch to be thankful for this man, and this movement led by the NAACP, to fight for rights that you and your children deserve.
            This is why The Wilmington Journal, which unabashedly has always considered NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber a true friend and GOD-sent leader, wholeheartedly endorses his “Moral Monday” movement, and prays that more and more eyes in North Carolina will be opened by the truth he is revealing.
            We ask GOD to continue to bless him, and protect him, and be with the thousands of brave demonstrators who have joined him in this gallant mission for justice.
            The entire nation is following the Moral Monday Movement her in North Carolina, and its gaining inspiration from it.
            We invite those who haven’t joined the movement yet, to do so. But at the very least, pray for those who are, so that they can continue to effectively advocate for you.
            As Rev. Barber proudly says, “Forward together, not one step back!”

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