Tuesday, July 2, 2013




By Cash Michaels

            GOODBYE, JIM KELLY – It was with great sadness that we learned of the untimely death of actor/martial artist Jim Kelly, one of the costars of the classic 1973 film, “Enter the Dragon” which starred the legendary Bruce Lee.
            For many black teenagers in 1973, seeing a big, bold black man up there on the silver screen throwin’ down with Bruce Lee was a huge thrill and treat. And Kelly’s character, a black martial artist named “Williams,” was a “brotha,” black and proud of it, with fists and kicks that could back up his rap.
            Strangely enough, even though Kelly shared top billing with Lee and actor John Saxon, and was in several scenes with Lee, his character and Lee never said one word to each other.
            This month of July makes 40 years since Bruce Lee died mysteriously in 1973, so it is ironic that Jim Kelly should pass away on June 29th at his home in San Diego, reportedly of cancer at age 67.
            Kelly made 16 films in all, including “Melinda,” “Black Belt Jones” and ‘Three the Hard Way.” He also played the professional tennis circuit for a time, and I recent years would attend various comic book conventions and sign autographs, talking about how he made “Enter the Dragon.”
            Jim Kelly was the “Black Power” of martial arts movie stars. He is respected, loved and missed.
TRAYVON MARTIN CASE – Thus far, the trial of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case is not going very well for the prosecution in this, week two.
Zimmerman is the so-called ‘neighborhood watch’ guy in Sanford, Fla. who shot 15-year-old Trayvon Martin, a black teenager, to death in February 2012, as the boy was coming back from the store with a soft drink and a bag of Skittles. Zimmerman claims that Martin attacked him, and he had to shoot the boy in self-defense.
           Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder.
          The evidence suggests that Zimmerman, against a 911 operator’s directive, followed “the suspect” (his words), and caused the confrontation, leading to Martin’s death.
However, to hear all of the testimony thus far, it seems that Zimmerman’s defense team is making mincemeat of the prosecution’s case. Even the Sanford police investigators are getting up on the stand, and giving George Zimmerman good character references, saying that they didn’t perceive any malice from him towards Martin, even though Zimmerman alleges that the black teenager threatened to kill him, and allegedly went for the man’s gun before he was fatally shot.
          This trial may be over with sooner than we think (some analysts believe, with the exception of the jury verdict, it’s over already). The defense literally doesn’t have to put on a case, and George Zimmerman doesn’t have to take the stand, especially since the prosecution placed into evidence video of police interviews he had shortly after the shooting.
          The defense couldn’t be happier. It doesn’t have to put Zimmerman on the stand now because the jurors have heard his testimony through the video, though, he was never cross-examined under oath, which is the value of having a defendant take the stand in a capital case.
          So Zimmerman may glide through this trial, and get away with killing a young black youth who was killed in the act of being a kid – walking home from the store with candy and a soft drink to watch the NBA Basketball All-Star game.
          How will the black community react if George Zimmerman beats this rap? Lord knows the summer is hot enough. To be clear, we’re not suggesting, by any stretch, that beyond deep disappointment, that any violence is justified, because it isn’t. And we hope, and indeed urge that none is perpetrated.
         But we saw the passions over this case a year ago, with thousands of people going to Sanford to express their extreme displeasure. And nothing would make the right-wing happier than to have folks act up, burn stuff, and cause problems.
        So let’s all get this message out now so that there is no misunderstanding - there would be nothing to be gained by any violence or rioting in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict if he is found not guilty by the six-person jury. Indeed, any subsequent violence, in the minds of the right-wing supporters of Zimmerman like Fox’s Sean Hannity, would justify Trayvon Martin’s murder in the first place.
         Don’t forget, Zimmerman’s defense, even before the trial started, tried to publicly portray Trayvon Martin as a black young thug who was looking for trouble the night he was killed, and it took a ‘fine, upstanding’ citizen like George Zimmerman to save his community from the kid.
So no, no violence please. Instead, channel that anger into constructive reaction. Fire yourselves up getting registered to vote, get your ID if you don’t have any already, and between now and 2014, make sure your angry backside is at the polls going after any candidate who wants to take your rights from you, your family and your community.
         Ask yourself, would Trayvon or his family want destruction, or retribution? And would they want that retribution to be long-lasting and meaningful in terms of justice for all?
Have that discussion now, and spread the word. We are in a war where we have to be on point EVERYDAY, and we have to be ten times smarter than our enemy.
Don’t let this be like Rodney King in 1992. Start talking and planning now for the reaction to the Zimmerman verdict, and make sure it is something that honors the memory of Trayvon Martin, not destroy it.
         PAULA DEEN DRAMA CONTINUES – I’m amazed that folks like the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, HBO’s Bill Maher and former Pres. Jimmy Carter would stand up in defense of embattled Southern belle Paula Deen. Deen has been in deep do-do ever since it was leaked from a deposition that she allegedly has used the n-word, and has treated her black employees in demeaning ways.
         Apparently twelve major companies, including the Food Network, Target, Walmart, Caesar’s Palace, Random House’s Ballentine Books, and Smithfield Foods, have decided to part ways with Paula. They apparently realize that alleged racism is bad for business.
So why is Rev. Al and others defending Deen? They say she shouldn’t be judged today for saying the n-word 25 years ago. I get that, but the lawsuit suggests alleged racist behavior that is much more contemporary. In effect, she may not have used the n-word in the past 25 years (I doubt that’s the case, but so be it), but she is certainly alleged to have treated black employees in shabby ways that would reflected that alleged point of view.
        We’ll see how that lawsuit turns out.
         LEARNING ABOUT THE MEDIA - Get the inside scoop on effective media coverage at this free 7th Annual Media Access Workshop, "Making News," sponsored by the Triangle Association of Black Journalists.
- Get tips from a panel of local media professionals
- Practice what you learned in sessions with media coaches
- Make connections with decision-makers in the media
- Receive a free copy of the NABJ "Making News" handbook and more! 
WHEN: Thursday, July 11, 2013 from 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
Registration starts at 8:30 am
WHERE: North Carolina Central University
Education Building Auditorium
712 Cecil St., Durham, NC 27707
       For more Info go to http://tabjnc.org/tabj-media-access-workshop 
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.

PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR - [Nashville, Tenn.] The National Newspaper Publishers Association honored Wilmington Journal Publisher Mary Alice Jervay Thatch as "Publisher of the Year" during the NNPA's annual convention last week. Ms. Thatch was heralded for her leadership of The Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project, an NNPA project which secured pardons for the Wilmington Ten in 2012 [top photo by Fran Farrar, bottom photo by Kevin Poston]

By Cash Michaels

            A month before the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington - seen as the defining moment of the 1960’s civil rights movement for freedom, justice and equality - modern-day civil rights leaders are mobilizing again.
            But this time, the strategy to combat the systematic rollback of hard-earned civil and human rights, though national in nature, is being played out on a state-by-state basis.
            And leading the way in that effort is Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the NCNAACP. For nine straight Mondays since April 29th, Rev. Barber and his progressive Historic Thousands on Jones Street coalition partners have conducted massive “Moral Monday” demonstrations at the NC Legislative Building. Thousands of people from across the state, more than half of them white, have religiously come to Raleigh to loudly, but nonviolently protest what they call the “regressive” policies of the Republican-led NC General Assembly, policies that have cut tens of thousands off from unemployment benefits, and hundreds of thousands from receiving Medicaid funds.
            This week, North Carolina made national headlines when the state Senate combined a bill outlawing Muslim Sharia law with a measure severely restricting abortion access, passing it before sending it to the House for ratification. The bill is a product of the Legislature’s Christian conservative extremists.
            It’s no secret that starting in November 2010 when conservative Tea Party Republicans took over both houses of the NC Legislature, and then two years later when Republican Gov. Pat McCrory completed the political hat-trick to give the GOP absolute control of the wheels of North Carolina government for the foreseeable future, that combating their policies would take a powerful homegrown state movement the likes of which no one had ever seen before.
            Enter the NCNAACP and Moral Mondays. Thus far, the demonstrations have attracted national, if not international attention. Their goal – to hold McCrory and the GOP leadership accountable for their policies by having citizens arrested during the demonstrations – right now numbering more than 700 - to call negative attention to their negative direction.
            Rev. Barber says the success of “Moral Mondays” means North Carolina is the test tube for a new national progressive movement against conservative policies that must be fought state-by-state by homegrown leaders.
“These fights are now state fights, and that’s the dynamic,” Rev. Barber says.  “The fight has to be getting legal and other resources into the states, because that’s where the litigation is going to [happen].”
Indeed Moral Mondays have brought about a resurgence of social activism that has reunited veteran black and white ‘60’s and ‘70’s activists, and joined them with younger activists, in addition to clergy, elected officials, and grassroots leadership – all committed to not allowing the conservative majority to fatally cripple the social fabric of the state.
While Gov. McCrory calls them “unlawful,” and GOP legislative leaders dismiss them, the ultimate goal of the Moral Monday movement is 2014, and the all-important statewide midterm elections where a riled up electorate can turn the Republican majority out.
Unless the courts overturn the 2011 Republican redistricting maps, which locked the GOP majority in the state House and Senate in so-called “bulletproof” conservative-leaning voting districts for at least the next ten years, giving the Democrats back the NC General Assembly next year is a tall order. But the nonpartisan Moral Monday movement’s statewide reach of voter registration and empowerment is doing all it can to show even Republican voters that the majority they’ve put into office is not working in their best interests.
For Rev. Barber, watching the Legislature turn the progressive clock back by recently repealing the Racial Justice Act, threatening to curtail same-day voter registration and “Souls to the Polls” voting, and slashing the social safety net so that the unemployed and the poor are left to their own devices, is a moral and social outrage that the Christian Bible he worships commands him to fight hard against.
“You have to have an agenda for the state - if you change the nation, you have to think states – that is coalition driven; agenda-based; that is rooted in anti-racism, anti-poverty, pro-justice values; that has a deep moral center; and is infused and informed with the best information and analysis of public policy, an what we’re facing,” Rev. Barber says.
Moral Mondays grew out of several strategies to include legal, voter education, and social media, Barber continues. The movement leaders tried to engage Republican leaders in respectful dialogue, but when it became clear that the GOP would not relent in their “extremist” policies, Rev. Barber says “direct action,” namely the growing Monday, and now Wednesday afternoon demonstrations, was then needed.
“We were willing to put our lives and bodies on the lines, which is why you see over 600 people arrested,” Rev. Barber says, adding that they don’t go to get arrested, but rather exercise their state Constitutional right to “instruct” their elected representatives.
“This crowd [in the GOP-led General Assembly] refuses to be instructed,” Rev. Barber says.
He calls the principles of Gov. McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger “…deeply immoral, extreme and undemocratic.” The Moral Monday movement must remain engaged and committed long after the General Assembly ends its session in a few weeks, he says, in order to make the change that is needed in 2014.
Barber adds that given the vote of the US Supreme Court last week to strike down Section Four of the 1965 Voting Rights, thus leaving it up to a deeply divided Congress – with a Republican Tea Party majority in the US House - to come up with new criteria by which the US Justice Dept. can continue to safeguard black voting rights, organizing to ensure a massive voter turnout in 2014 is even more essential so that the right representation is elected to make the needed change.
“The 2014 elections are more important now than ever before, because the balance of power is going to have to be shifted in order for the rights we fought, died and bled for to be enforced,” Rev. Barber said.  “They don’t want people to vote, because a broad electorate undermines their narrow agenda.”


Special to The Carolinian from Cynthia Gordy of The Advancement Project

Cheering, praying and singing filled the air outside the North Carolina General Assembly on Monday, as the Forward Together Movement held its ninth Moral Monday protest. Led by the North Carolina NAACP, youth leaders, ministers, a rabbi, labor organizers, and a state senator addressed thousands of North Carolinians from across the state, who descended upon Halifax Mall to show their opposition to the Republican agenda being pushed by the state legislature. Eighty-two "moral" witnesses, who walked inside the statehouse to exercise their constitutional right to petition their lawmakers for redress of their grievances, were arrested and jailed.

This Moral Monday, the ninth wave of weekly nonviolent civil disobedience at the NC General Assembly, fell on the same day that 70,000 laid-off workers were cut off from critical unemployment benefits. Under a state law passed by the GOP-led legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, North Carolina became the only state in the nation to reject federal funding for Emergency Unemployment Compensation. McCrory said the cuts were necessary to begin paying the federal government back the $2 billion that North Carolina borrowed from it in previous year.

The protest also came less than a week after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which will make it easier for Republican legislators to push through several ballot restrictions.

“No governor or legislature before this one has gone backwards on the provisions of unemployment insurance,” said Rev. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina NAACP. Emphasizing the moral principles that many say fuel the rallies every Monday, Rev. Barber shared four passages of biblical scripture that challenge the cuts in unemployment and proposed attacks on voting rights. One citation, Isaiah 10:1, reads: “Woe unto those that legislate evil and pass laws that rob the poor of their right.”
Among the speakers at the rally were unemployed workers who are directly impacted by North Carolina’s attacks on the poor and unemployed. “We are the faces to those numbers that they’re crunching,” said Yara Allen of Rocky Mount. “Last night 70,000 people went to bed for a restless sleep and woke up this morning only to face a dark day. But if we have to wake up from a restless sleep in our house, then we need to make sure that they’re restless in the legislature. If we have no justice in our house, then they should have no peace in that house.”
Javan Richardson, a rising ninth grader from Rocky Mount, also spoke at Moral Monday, his first protest. Illustrating the tremendous hardships that thousands of North Carolina families are facing, he asked the crowd, “Can you hear the cries of the children whose parents cannot afford to pay their mortgages?”
This year the General Assembly has also passed laws to reject federal aid for extending Medicaid to over 500,000 poor and uninsured North Carolina families, and to end the Earned Income Tax Credit for more than 900,000 low-income working families. Lawmakers have also introduced an extreme package of restrictive voting bills, including legislation requiring strict forms of photo ID to vote and repealing same-day voter registration. The recent Supreme Court ruling will make it easier to enact these laws by no longer requiring them to be submitted for federal approval.
“With the recent Supreme Court decision, our nation’s voting rights are far more vulnerable to attack, and the bills proposed in North Carolina are among the most extreme in the country,” said Penda D. Hair, Co-Director of Advancement Project, a civil rights organization that is providing legal support to the NC NAACP. “Moral Monday participants are fighting for democracy, not only in the state, but in the rest of the nation as well.”
Rabbi Judy Schindler, of Temple Beth El in Charlotte, spoke about the impact of unemployment cuts on North Carolina’s children. “Six hundred thousand children in our state live in poverty, and I fear what today’s termination of benefits to 70,000 will do,” she said. “In Judaism, the highest level of supporting the needy is job creation. Yet when jobs are not to be had, when there is 8.8 percent unemployment in our state, we are called not to abandon the needy, but to provide for them.”
“The GOP said one of the reasons they did this to the unemployed was so they can find work,” said Rev. Dr. Earl Johnson, pastor of Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh. “They have labeled the unemployed as lazy and unproductive and those who are not serious about working. This is a slap in the face to all the unemployed workers. In a state with the fifth highest unemployment in the nation, what people need are jobs – not jabs and personal insults.”
Rev. Kenneth Cooper, pastor of Raleigh’s Christian Faith Baptist Church, appealed directly to Gov. Pat McCrory, saying: “Mr. Governor, this is not an acceptable day for the masses of North Carolinians. And far more tragic for you, Mr. Governor, this is not an acceptable day for the Lord.”

Baldemar Velásquez, President of the Farmworkers Organizing Committee, which represents 10,000 unionized, organized farmworkers around the country, explained why he joined the movement from his home in Ohio. “I’ve led hundreds of marches and demonstration in my 44 years of organizing poor people," he said. “Today I come as a follower, a simple soldier to join this movement. … I can’t sit in the pew of my church in Ohio when there’s a moral call to come down and join the fight.”
Also in attendance on Monday were members of the North Carolina General Assembly who voted against the bill to reject federal unemployment benefits. “In February of this year, the majority legislators voted to turn their backs on struggling families – shame on them,” said Sen. Earline Parmon. “My colleagues and I, we are saddened today, and we are concerned. But we are also fired up. We stand here with you, the people of North Carolina.”
  [Cash Michaels edited this report] 


            [RALEIGH] With the state House on recess for the week, the NC Senate moved forward on passing its own tax reform package, sending it to the House, which has its own version awaiting passage. The Senate bill resembles the House version in several respects, cutting taxes for individuals and corporations, and extending sales taxes on various services. Democrats blasted the Senate plan, saying that it deprived government of needed revenue to run essential services and give teachers deserved raises.

            [GREENSBORO] After over 400 teenagers brawled on downtown Elm Street last Saturday night, Greensboro city officials are now considering an 11 p.m. curfew for young people to help stem the violence. Published reports say two large groups of teens met in downtown, and began fighting. Police, which had to call in assistance from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Dept. and UNC at Greensboro campus police, arrested only eleven people in the mass melee. Greensboro previously enforced a youth curfew in 2011 before it was relaxed.

            [RALEIGH] The three-judge panel weighing arguments in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2011 Republican-drawn redistricting maps has refused to accept any briefs related to last week’s US Supreme Court ruling striking down Section Four of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. GOP lawmakers say they complied with the VRA when they moved most of the state’s black voters into a limited number of “minority-majority” voting districts. But the NCNAACP, state Democratic Party and other groups maintain that Republicans “stacked and packed” predominately Democratic black voters into a handful of districts in order to ensure themselves a majority of conservative-leaning districts they can win. The judicial panel has not ruled in the case as of yet.


            Slowly but surely, the unemployment rate in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel region is dropping. For the fourth consecutive month, the Triangle jobless numbers have fallen, with the rate from April to May dipping from 7.1 percent in April to 7.0 percent in May, according to the NC Dept. of Commerce. Thus far in 2013, the Triangle has added 2,900 jobs, and analysts say they expect more employment by the fall.

            One of the three finalist to become superintendent of Wake Public Schools has resigned his job. Dr. Dana Bedden, 46,  the head of the Irving Independent School District near Dallas, Texas, resigned his position by mutual agreement with his board Monday evening, according to published reports. Dr. Bedden reportedly had difficulties with the new conservative majority that is leading the school board there. Bedden was in Raleigh several weeks ago seeking to become Wake’s next superintendent, but lost out to Dr. Jim Merrill of the Virginia Beach City Schools.

            Because of massive flooding caused by heavy, extended rainfall this past week, Orange County officials have had to condemn over 100 apartment units in Chapel Hill destroyed or badly damaged by the raging waters. Damage assessment teams condemned 68 units of the Camelot Village Condominiums, 22 units at the Booker Creek Townhome Apartments, and several more units in other affected areas. A state of emergency was declared by Orange county officials, allowing for medical personnel to attended to victims, and the American Red Cross to provide shelter. Many residents are staying in hotels until some determination about repairing their apartments can be made.


AMERICAN LEGION POST 157 HONOREES - (from left to right) - Carson D. Ellerby, Leesville Road High School;  Roderick E. Hodge, II, Enloe High School;  Evan W. Haynes, Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School.  Not Shown: Desmond J. Smalley, Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School. Photos courtesy of LaMonte Jones, VICS Photography.

by Lt. Col Joseph Holt (USAF Retired)
Special to The Carolinian Newspaper

         Four rising seniors from Raleigh high schools recently graduated (on June 22, 2013) from The American Legion Tar Heel Boys State Program at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. Widely acclaimed as being among the most respected youth leadership development activities in the nation, the one-week program is a non-partisan “hands-on” experience in government leadership that familiarizes young men with the demands and requirements of holding positions of significant public responsibility. When they arrive the participants (thereafter called “citizens”) are assigned to one of two mythical political parties, the Federalist party or the Nationalist party. 
         Each party independently determines what its political agenda will be without influence, suggestions, or input from the adult staff. The end result is their own state, “Boys State,” modeled after North Carolina  state government, complete with a Boys State governor, lieutenant governor, Council of State, Governor’s Cabinet, Supreme Court, and county and city officials.  Activities include running campaigns, crafting legislation, participating in legislative sessions, creating budgets, public speaking, and athletic competition. 
       The young men who attended were Carson D. Ellerby, Leesville Road High School; Evan W. Haynes, Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School; Roderick E. Hodge, II, Enloe High School; and Desmond J. Smalley, Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School. All four were sponsored by Charles T. Norwood American Legion Post 157, Raleigh, NC.

Individual achievements and accomplishments are shown below.

·      Nationalist Party Senator
·      Party Secretary for Ruffin County
·      Authored two Senate bills
·      Co-authored the City Charter for Gardner City

·      Nationalist Party member of the House of Representatives


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