Friday, July 12, 2013


By Cash Michaels

RIGHT-WING RANTS – Putting the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial aside, I found very interesting last week that right-wing folks were warning white people to take their children out of school so that they would not be beaten up by black students if the jury exonerated Zimmerman for the Feb. 2012 murder of 17-year-old black teenager Trayvon Martin.
It’s one thing, as many conservatives have done, to suggest that Zimmerman had every right to gun the unarmed black teen down, because after all, being a black teen meant that Trayvon must have been a thug. Indeed Zimmerman’s defense team was itching to introduce all sorts of “evidence” to that fact during the trial, and even made folks believe that despite being followed by a man he didn’t know, that it was Trayvon Martin who attacked George Zimmerman, thus enabling Zimmerman to lawfully stand his ground to defend himself.
This, of course, was pure baloney, but folks like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly at Fox News fell for it.
And then, of course, before the verdict was rendered, O’Reilly was on TV talking about how black males are responsible for most of the crime in the nation. Even if that were true, and it’s not, most victims of black crime aren’t white, but black, but that fact doesn’t stop O’Reilly from trying to scare white people to death.
Remember, O’Reilly once went to dinner with the Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem, and was shocked when he saw black patrons ordering ice tea without using cuss words.
Anyone that stupid is always dangerous enough to start a race riot.
But when you listen to the right-wing caricature of black people, and how idiot and untrue it is, and then you take a look at some of the extraordinarily racist public policies they pass into law, there shouldn’t be much question as to why this country is marching backwards at such a fast clip.
Last week’s devastating editorial in the New York Times titled, “The Decline of North Carolina” so embarrassed so many of us, because once upon a time, this state had such a proud progressive history. It was number one in the South for education and research technology. People moved her from all over the world because they heard that North Carolina had such good moderate government.
The state was also number one for black business and opportunity.
And then, after the GOP took over state government in 2012, everything flew downhill so quickly. The clock literally has been turned back. We are no longer moving forward.
Indeed, the very last decent thing the state of North Carolina has done is when Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue granted pardons of innocence for the Wilmington Ten, something I knew Republican Governor Pat McCrory would never do.
So when you take a look at the right-wing policies that are strangling this state, and then witness how the right-wing Tea Party has strangled progress in the US Congress, it should be no surprise that they would have such a notorious view of black people, and black males in particular, that they would warn whites to take their children out of harm’s way by keeping them out of school.
It’s kind of sad, actually, because as we all know, George Zimmerman is not white, but Hispanic, and considers himself as such. But the right-wing, with Fox’s Sean Hannity leading the way, has embraced Zimmerman as one of their own, and his family has publicly blasted black leaders, and even President Obama, for suggesting that there should even be a trial.
So, as a famous person once said, “Just as long as we understand each other,” the right wing of this nation will NEVER be the black man’s friend. And if you’re a black conservative, you need to especially know this. Trust me, if you don’t know it by now, you soon will.
GERALDO, SHUT UP! – Before the verdict, our favorite media moron, Geraldo Rivera of Fox News, put his foot his mouth again concerning the Trayvon Martin Case. While appearing on “Fox & Friends,” Geraldo said that the women jurors would have killed Trayvon Martin a lot faster than George Zimmerman did.
Geraldo, any, and every woman I know who saw a hooded figure walking the streets in her neighborhood at 7 p.m. in the evening might call 911 to report him, and might even keep her eyes on him until he was out of sight. But NOT one of them would have then gotten out of their vehicles to follow him. They would have followed the 911 operator’s directive to stay in their vehicle and not engage the person.
So that mean’s, Geraldo, that not one woman on the jury, let alone America, would have done what George Zimmerman did, because apparently every single one of them have more sense than he, and apparently YOU!
And to think that this man is actually paid to be an embarrassment.
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 And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” ( 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.

                                                             TRAYVON MARTIN

By Cash Michaels

            Civil rights groups are hopeful that a thorough US Justice Dept. review and re-investigation of the Trayvon Martin murder case will turn up sufficient civil rights violations that will result in a federal trial against the black teen’s killer, George Zimmerman.
            One day after a Florida jury declared Zimmerman not guilty for murdering young Martin, the Justice Dept, under strong pressure from the NAACP and the National Action Network, among others, issued a statement saying that it should review the case for civil rights violations.
            "Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction, and whether federal prosecution is appropriate in accordance with the Department's policy governing successive federal prosecution following a state trial," the DOJ said.
            Reaction to Zimmerman’s acquittal has been strong since last Saturday’s acquittal.
             In two public appearances this week, US Attorney General Eric Holder called the killing of Trayvon Martin an "unnecessary shooting," later adding that the "Stand Your Ground" that allowed Zimmerman to claim self-defense, was causing more harm than good.
            Indeed, legendary singer Stevie Wonder announced this week that he would no longer perform in a state that had a "Stand Your Ground" law, in reaction to the Zimmerman verdict.
            At last Monday's 11th "Moral Monday" demonstration at the NC Legislature, NC NAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber came back to Raleigh from Orlando, Fla, where the 104th NAACP Convention is being held, because he and his three sons were so upset by the Zimmerman verdict.
            "The thing that became clear to me through all of the and and hurt I was feeling for the lesser value the racialized Southern culture places on black life, is that I needed to come home to talk to my other kids, and to be here with you," a tearful Rev. Barber told thousands of demonstrators.
             "When you are hurting, you need to be around some people who still believe in the possibility of us being one people."
            A national NAACP petition calling for the federal prosecution of George Zimmerman on generated over 350,000 signatures just a day after the acquittal. Facebook, Twitter and other social media have exploded with angry and distraught reactions from a variety of Trayvon Martin supporters.
            Many black social media users said that they didn't feel that their children, especially young black males, were safe any longer. Others said the Zimmerman verdict proved to them that it was "open season" on young black males.
            Civil rights leaders, like NAACP President/CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, expressed their outrage.
            I know I am not alone in my outrage, anger, and heartbreak over this decision,” Jealous said in a statement. “When a teenager's life is taken in cold blood, and there is no accountability for the man who killed him, nothing seems right in the world, but we cannot let these emotions alone rule.”
            The Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, called the Zimmerman acquittal “an atrocity,” announced a 100-city "Justice for Trayvon demonstration for this Saturday, and vowed that just like in the 1992 Rodney King case, when after four Los Angeles Police Dept officers were acquitted by a mostly white state jury, the US Justice Dept indicted them on civil rights charges and convicted them, the civil rights community will follow the same pattern now with an exonerated Zimmerman.
            Early in the case, the FBI started a probe, but then suspended it once the state of Florida, under pressure from millions of people in the streets and on a petition, outraged that George Zimmerman had not been arrested, indeed did move forward with a second-degree murder charge.
            George Zimmerman was arrested and charged because we would not back down when he was initially released,” says NAACP Pres. Ben Jealous. “The Sanford Police Chief was removed from his post because we voiced our disbelief that he would overrule his detectives and block George Zimmerman's arrest.”
            But in the end, what looked like a clear case of racial profiling, turned out to be anything but in the minds of the jury.
            Zimmerman, 29, was acquitted last Saturday in a Sanford, Fla. court of second-degree murder by a six-woman jury after a three-week trial. Zimmerman was charged by state prosecutors only after local Sanford police investigators failed to arrest the neighbor-watchman after he fatally the unarmed black teenager in February 2012.
            Zimmerman claimed self-defense, and that he was standing his ground under Florida law. Prosecutors alleged that Zimmerman followed young Martin walking at night, followed him against police dispatch direction, and then got into an altercation with boy, ultimately killing him.
            Zimmerman’s defense worked hard to portray Trayvon Martin as a young black thug, suggesting that he viciously attacked Zimmerman by sucker-punching him, and then repeatedly ramming his head into the concrete.
            Lead defense attorney Mark O’Mara even used a slab of concrete during his closing arguments before the all-woman jury, telling them that that’s what Trayvon Martin tried to kill Zimmerman with. He then held up a picture of a bare-chested young Martin wearing a hat to the jury, suggesting that he was dangerous, and that Zimmerman was lucky to be alive.
            The prosecution was severely criticized by legal pundits for putting on a lackluster case and weak witnesses, and providing Zimmerman’s defense numerous golden opportunities to turn police investigators and other prosecution witnesses into best witnesses for the defense.
            One of the six female jurors told CNN Monday that she was convinced that Zimmerman was defending himself. She said the jury was split in the beginning of deliberations, but towards the end, tearfully agreed to find him not guilty of second-degre murder, and acquit on manslaughter as well.
            After the jury, which had deliberated for 16 hours Friday afternoon into late Saturday evening, came to a verdict, crowds outside the courthouse were shocked by the acquittal.
            Parents with children – black and white – opened cried, while young protesters displayed banners and chanted, “ The system failed Trayvon.”
            There was sporadic violence in Oakland and Los Angeles, California in the days after. But, for the most part, there were numerous peaceful protests across the nation, including here in North Carolina.
             President Obama, who weeks after the tragedy last year told the nation that if he had a son, “ He’d look just like Trayvon,” issued a statement Sunday calling for further peace and reflection.
            The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy,” the president said. “Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America.  I know this case has elicited strong passions.  And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher.  But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.”
Obama continued, “I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son.  And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.  We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis.  We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this.  As citizens, that’s a job for all of us.” 
That’s the way to honor,” the president concluded, “Trayvon Martin.”
The parents of Trayvon Martin, who were not in the courtroom Saturday when the verdict was read, expressed their gratitude for the worldwide support they received in their quest for justice. They are expected to go forward with a civil suit against George Zimmerman in the Florida courts.


           [RALEIGH] For the 11th Monday since they began on April 29th, thousands attended Moral Monday this week on the Halifax Mall behind the NC General Assembly. With women's issues and reaction to the Trayvon Martin murder trial verdict driving attendance, officials say 101 demonstrators were arrested and charged with trespassing, among other charges. Thus far, over 800 people have been arrested at the nonviolent gatherings. Republicans tried to counter Moral Monday with a next day "Thankful Tuesday" at the legislature, wanting to show GOP lawmakers how appreciated they are. Approximately a hundred supporters showed up.

            [RALEIGH] With Gov. Pat McCrory's blessings, both the GOP-led state House and Senate voted to approve a new tax reform package that lowers the corporate tax rate starting in 2014, and extends the sales tax on more goods and services. Critics say it lowers taxes for the rich, and raises them for poor North Carolinians. Republicans now want to pass the budget in by the end of the month so that they can close this session, reconvening next year. Gov. McCrory is expected to sign the tax reform measure this week.

            [ASHEVILLE] A Buncombe County child died of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, confirm officials with the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services. The child, who was the first fatality of the tick-borne disease in the state since 2009, was not identified. Humans are infected when bitten by a diseased dog tick. Symptoms include headache, fever, rash and muscle pain. There were an estimated 600 cases in 78 counties across the state last year, officials say.

            [WILMINGTON] Thanks to an influx of 35 television shows and motion pictures that have been in production this year, North Carolina has already garnered over $250 million in revenues from the film industry, says the NC Film Office. That’s on top of providing over 25,000 jobs for North Carolina residents since last January. In 2012, productions in North Carolina spent a total of $376 million, with 20,000 jobs provided. The hit CBS summer series “Under the dome” is filmed in Wilmington. Other productions filmed her include the film “Tammy,” and the TV shows “Sleepy Hollow,” “Revolution,” and “Eastbound and Down.”

            [SELMA]  A homeless New Jersey man arrested by Selma police for not paying for a plate of food from a restaurant reportedly took officers that he was “happy” to be going to jail. Police say Alan Miscavage, 49, was arrested for allegedly getting a plate of food from a local Pizza Inn, but then walked out of the restaurant without paying for it. When officers found Miscavage across the street and took him in custody, he told them he was happy to go where there was free food, running water, and shelter until he had to go to court. Miscavage was charged with misdemeanor larceny and defrauding the restaurant. His court date is August 22nd.


            Beginning this fall, any Duke University student found guilty of sexual assault by the Appellate Board of the Office of Student Conduct could face being expelled from the elite school. Currently, students who committed such acts were only suspended from three to six months. Duke Student Affairs Vice President Larry Moneta says the stiffer option was adopted to send a message as to how serious the institution considers the crime of sexual assault to be.

            The criminal investigation into alleged financial mismanagement intensified last week as Raleigh police investigators were seen taking computers and files from the Raleigh Business and Technology Center at 900 South Wilmington Street.  An internal city audit commissioned by the interim Raleigh city manager revealed over $100,000 in undocumented disbursement of center funds, in addition to lack recordkeeping and unauthorized loans to board members. Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane said once investigators finish their probe, they would turn over any evidence of wrongdoing to the Wake County District Attorney’s office.

            Not only has Gov. Pat McCrory alleged that he’s taken the time to wade into the massive Moral Monday crowd of protestors in Raleigh recently, but he adds that despite his attempt to have “respectful” conversations with them, some have “cussed” him out. "I go out in the crowd all of the time,” McCrory told The Wilson Times last week. "Frankly, yesterday I went out and talked to several of them and they were not very respectful. They did not represent the majority of those who call themselves moral by cussing me out. But that’s the way things go some times.” But as of presstime, no one involved in the Moral Monday movement has either heard of the governor attending any of the rallies, or have seen any pictures of him at all engaged with protesters. They say it is hard to believe that no one, including the Capital Police, wouldn’t know that the governor was attending their demonstrations.

By Cash Michaels

            North Carolinians who do not have a bank account may not qualify for assistance under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, says a nonprofit financial security group.
            Donna Gallagher, executive director of The NC IDA (Individual Development Account) Collaborative – a private group, funded through a public-private partnership, that helps families in North Carolina learn asset-building through financial education - says that while 868,520 uninsured North Carolinians may qualify for tax subsidies to assist them in purchasing needed health insurance under the new federal health exchange, they won’t be able to so if they don’t have a checking or savings account with an area bank.
            “Presently, the only way they can pay [insurance] premiums is through their checking account,” Gallagher says, noting how premiums are now electronically automatically withdrawn.  
            But with, by some estimates, 34 percent of the uninsured population without a bank account of any sort, that will leave them without health care coverage as well, she notes.
            Gallagher says the word must get out to the uninsured that being “banked” equals them and their families being covered if they qualify.           
Passed by Congress in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare” named after its main proponent, President Barack Obama, is supposed to substantially lower the high cost of healthcare for all Americans. The law, which was upheld by the US Supreme Court in June 2012, is also supposed to help provide health insurance coverage for tens of millions of American who cannot normally afford it.
Obamacare, which is being phased in over a ten-year period, begins in earnest in January 2014. Open enrollment to qualify begins this October 1st, so those who are uninsured presently should be preparing to signup this fall.
But establishing a bank account either at a local bank or credit union, if you don’t presently have one, is a must in that preparation, Donna Gallagher of The Collaborative insists.
According to, a special program that monitors demographic usage of banking services, in affluent Wake County, 4.7 percent of all households are “unbanked,” meaning that no one there has a checking or savings account.
            In New Hanover County, that number balloons to 5.8 percent of residents who do without banking services, and in the city of Wilmington there, it inflates even further to 8.4 percent – almost 4 percent more than Wake County, but only 1.4 percent more than Raleigh’s 7.0 percent with bank accounts.
            While many of those who are unbanked do work, Gallagher says they are most likely to have had problems with their checking accounts before, either racking up large fees because of bounced checks or debit card expenditures. These people may have problems opening new accounts if it’s determined that they had serious problems with previous accounts.
            In the rural parts of the state, there are people who have trouble actually getting to a bank or credit union.
            Gallagher says there are many “interconnected” solutions.
            “Many financial institutions offer a ‘second chance’ account,” she says. “And for those institutions that have closed accounts, they might welcome the opportunity to talk to that consumer again and have them pay back over time fees that were owed.”
            Gallagher also touted so-called “starter” bank accounts that offer the feature of being pre-paid in order to rebuild a credit history and stabilize a good payment record.
            Federal officials are also working on requiring insurance companies to accept a variety of other payment options, including cashier’s checks and money orders.
            Gallagher “encourages” the uninsured vying to be covered by Obamacare to be banked for the safety of knowing that their accounts are federally protected. She also suggested that consumers go to their local nonprofit community organizations that specialize in financial information to find out more information.

New report shows that only 31 percent
of North Carolina 8th-graders are
proficient in reading
Special to The Carolinian Newspaper

     CarolinaCAN: The North Carolina Campaign for Achievement Now launched today as an education reform advocacy organization with the release of its inaugural ‘State of North Carolina Public Education’ report.
   The 2013 report shows that a lot of work needs to be done for all of our children to compete. Key findings include:
  • Only 60 percent of North Carolina’s low-income fourth-graders are meeting standards in reading. By the time they reach eighth grade, low-income students fall a full 26 percentage points behind their higher-income peers.
  • North Carolina ranks 45th in the nation in our spending on public schools, at just $8,312 per pupil, compared to the national average of $10,560.
  • Between 2008 and 2012, North Carolina’s ranking among states for providing access to high-quality pre-school programs fell from 16 to 23.
CarolinaCAN’s mission is to close the achievement gaps that divide our students by fostering a shared, ambitious vision of public schools across North Carolina. This vision will be based on trusted research and bipartisan policy work dedicated to providing every child in North Carolina with access to a great public school.

“There was a time when North Carolina led the nation in public schooling,” said CarolinaCAN Executive Director Julie Kowal. “But in recent years, we’ve fallen behind—in our support for great teaching, in public education spending and, as this report shows, in providing excellent learning opportunities for every child. We have a responsibility to bring data, reason and research to North Carolina's education policies, to ensure that every child in our state has access to a great public school."

David Gergen, a North Carolina native, professor of public service and a former presidential advisor, will co-chair the CarolinaCAN advisory board. “North Carolina’s prosperity as a state depends on cultivating a highly educated workforce,” says Gergen. “CarolinaCAN is leading the charge, using innovative research and bipartisan policy work to support the growth of high-quality public school options. With ambition and vision, CarolinaCAN is working tirelessly to close the student achievement gap."

Eric Guckian, Senior Education Advisor to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, adds “North Carolina needs to renew a statewide conversation about education reform and to ground that conversation in the facts.  We are committed to driving a bold agenda here in North Carolina, and CarolinaCAN provides the unbiased analysis of best practices and lessons learned that will help North Carolina go further faster.  There is no other reform entity like CarolinaCAN in our state and it’s essential that this organization has a robust presence for many years to come. ”

Julie Kowal has been named CarolinaCAN’s founding executive director. Born and raised in the Tar Heel State, Kowal is a national education policy expert on charter schools, school turnarounds, and teacher and leader quality. She comes to CarolinaCAN from the North Carolina-based education policy and consulting firm Public Impact, where she consulted and led project teams on a variety of education issues. Prior to Public Impact, Kowal served as a research assistant at the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the UNC School of Government and directed an after-school writing program in 23 Washington, D.C. public elementary schools.

Kowal has also written and published widely on topics ranging from school turnaround strategy to effective educator evaluation to innovative teacher compensation systems. An alumna of AmeriCorps NCCC and Public Allies DC, Kowal earned her bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and her law degree with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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