Monday, September 16, 2013



By Cash Michaels

CELEBRATING JOHN CHAVIS PARK – Let me give it to you straight from the press release:
Come to the 75th Anniversary of the John Chavis Memorial Park, Friday evening September 27 and Saturday Sept.28. The reception in the Chavis Center begins at 5:30 to provide an historical overview of the park and John Chavis. Vanessa Chavis Harriston, president, NC AT&T, will be the mistress of ceremony. Dr. Helen Chavis Othow, another John Chavis descendent and author of the John Chavis biography will also be a part of the program. There will be a great video with historic photos of the park that have never been seen by the public.
             The jazz concert follows the reception on the track field featuring Sweet Dreams, Moments Notice and a jazz trio for your music enjoyment.  The concert is free. Bring your lawn chairs and have dinner provided by the great food trucks that will be on site. Representative Yvonne Lewis Holley will be the mistress of ceremony. She is the daughter of the renowned JD Lewis, radio and TV host of "Teenage Frolics", and legendary host, narrator and announcer for many athletic and social events. Rep. Holley was a lifeguard at Chavis Park during her teen years.
             On Saturday, at 12:00 the Shaw University Marching Band will march along the sidewalk from the campus along MLK to the track field to open the events for the day. Please be there to join in the peoples march around the track while the band plays for about thirty minutes to kick off the celebration. 
The carousel rides are free along with the many fun activities for all ages. At 3:30, the effort to break the record of the longest soul train line will start on the track field. Get your dancing shoes ready to break the record. Everyone must keep dancing until each person has gone through and beat the record of 250 people.
             It’s going to be a great time to celebrate and reconnect with the memories and new opportunities for enjoyment in the John Chavis Memorial Park, Friday, Sept. 27th and Saturday, Sept. 28th.
WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE? Once again a madman has taken what’s left of our sense of safety and sanity hostage with a horrific act of violence that claimed several lives. This time it happened in our nation’s capital, on a naval installation, where, supposedly, some of the best security in the world is headquartered.
And, to many people, it’s just another day at the office. Nothing special, once again, as if we’ve all been there and done that before.
Well we have, and it seems that the shock and novelty of it has worn very thin. So thin, in fact, that we now fail to feel any pain when these incidents occur.
What is wrong with us? Why are we becoming so desensitized by what should be outraging us over, and over and over again?
Indeed, have we given up on the idea that we can have strong, comprehensive gun control, and still maintain second amendment rights to own firearms for protection and sporting?
 Simply put, we just don’t have the political will to do legislatively what is needed to make sure that the mentally ill get the help that they need; that we keep them away from guns and semi-automatic weapons, and that we limit the capacity of gun clips to just ten, so that no one is able, ever again, to walk into a school or public place, and just relentlessly spray the area with bullets upon helpless victims.
Common sense in a civilized society would suggest that we would have figured this out a long time ago. But we haven’t, and given the deep, deep divisions in Washington and the nation, we won’t anytime soon.
And that should sadden us, as Americans, deeply.
But it doesn’t. It’s happened so much, we’ve been desensitized to it.
Even when innocent people, and worse, the lives of innocent children, are lost.
Maybe I’m wrong, but we seem to just not care anymore.
And that is shaping up to be an even greater tragedy.
GOD help us!
THE MISEDUCATION OF JADEN SMITH – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I like superstar actor Will Smith. He’s funny, he’s talented, and he’s built a solid career to become one of biggest box office stars in the world.
But of late, Will has been doing and saying some gosh-awful things that make you wonder if more air is coming out of his oversized ego than going in.
Like last year when he said that he didn’t take the Jamie Foxx role in “Django Unchained” because it was not the lead.
  Gee, I seem to recall that actor Leonardo DiCaprio was also in “Django,” and he didn’t play the lead. And arguably, one could say that DiCaprio is a bigger star than Will.
  But this isn’t about Will’s acting skills or box office draw. Those seem to be on solid ground…for now.
It’s Will’s philosophy on parenting that has everyone wondering if he’s serious or not.
Will and his wife, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, say that they take a “hands-off” approach to raising the youngest of their children, Willow, and Jaden, 15.
“The way we deal with our kids is they are responsible for their lives,” Will once told E! Online. “Our concept is, as young as possible, give them as much control over their lives as much as possible, and the concept of punishment, our experience has been – it has a little too much of a negative quality.”
Oh, I get it, let your child get into trouble without any guidance or direction, and then hold him responsible for the mess he gets himself into because you never bothered to teach him anything.
So, throw your child into the water without a swim lesson or life preserve, and if he survives it, let him justify how he got out of the fix without little or no training.
Well, you and Jaden are doing a bang-up job, Will, because here’s what your son Jaden had to say.
“If everyone in the world dropped out of school, we would have a much more intelligent society,” Jaden reportedly wrong on Twitter recently. “All the rules in this world were made by someone no smarter than you. So make your own.”
Jaden later added that “school is a tool to brainwash the youth.”
So what do we have here – privileged black kid who has never had to worry about where the next meal was coming from, running his mouth to his followers on Twitter to ditch school, and live the life of a dumb bunny.
Jaen Smith is a smart young man. We can see his gifts in his performances in “The Karate kid” and “AfterEarth.” But his films prove that while the young man has natural talent, he had to sitdown and shutup at some point in order to get direction as to what to do, and how to do it.
For Jaden not to realize that the only ticket for black people is a strong education, and for him to dispense ignorant advise to forsake it, is nothing short of criminal.
So I hope that Will Smith will immediately grab by his considerable ears, sit him down, and talk some sense into him
Quickly, Will, before it’s too late.
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.

By Cash Michaels

            The president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP says the tragic death of an unarmed black man at the hands of a white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer last weekend was not voluntary manslaughter as charged, but “murder.”
            “This [police officer], to me, executed this young man, for whatever reason,” Rev. Kojo Nantambu said in an interview from Charlotte Tuesday. “To me it had to be rage, or hatred or something that clicked in this [officer]…you’re trained to deal with stressful situations.
            When later asked if he felt the charge should have been murder, instead of voluntary manslaughter, Rev. Nantambu said, “ Yes, this was murder. No doubt about it, this was murder.”
             No doubt others in Charlotte’s black community agree with Rev. Nantambu’s assessment  of what happened to Jonathan A. Ferrell, the 24-year-old former Florida A&M University football player fatally shot by CMPD police in the early morning hours of Sept. 14th.
            The officer, Randall Kerrick, reportedly fired 12 shots at Ferrell as he ran towards him following a serious traffic accident, fatally hitting him 10 times. The police were called by a startled woman after Ferrell banged on the door of her home seeking help at 2:30 that morning.
            Officer Kerrick, who has been with the CMPD since March 2010, was charged with voluntary manslaughter, a felony, after a criminal and departmental investigation determined that he used excessive force in the incident.
            Investigators did consult with the Mecklenburg District Attorney Office before charging Kerrick. Prosecutors will review the case, however, before taking it to a grand jury for indictments.
            WBT-TV in Charlotte reports that Kerrick was briefly disciplined, suspended for a day, last December by the police dept., but it is not known what for. Before becoming a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer, Kerrick reportedly worked as an animal control officer, the TV station reported.
            Sources told WSOC-TV that video from a patrol car dashcam clearly showed not only showed that Ferrell was unarmed, but even hiked his pants to show he had no weapons.
            Ferrell’s fatal shooting took place out of camera range.
            “You took a piece of my heart that I can never put back,” Ferrell’s grieving mother, Georgia Ferrell, told reporters Monday while clutching her son’s favorite Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal from his early childhood.
            She said she never thought she would ever have to bury her son.
            Attorney Chris Chestnut, the Florida-based lawyer representing the Ferrell family, acknowledged the speed with which the Charlotte Police Dept. charged one of its own with manslaughter, but he still raised questions about police training, and how Ferrell being an African-American may have played a role in the tragic outcome.
            “The officer is white [and] Mr. Ferrell is black,” attorney Chestnut told reporters. “This might be more of a reflection of where we are as a country.”
            According to published accounts, three CMPD police officers answered the “breaking and entering” 911 call that the woman, whose home Ferrell repeatedly knocked on the door on, made in fear after his car ran off the road, crashing into some trees.
            On Tuesday, CMPD made that 17-minute 911 call public, and its clear that the woman, who tells the police dispatcher that she has a “sleeping child “ in the home, believes that Ferrell is trying to break in because of his constant pounding.
            As the officers reportedly approached Ferrell on Reedy Creek Road, he ran towards them, apparently gratified to see that help had arrived.
            The story becomes murky then, because one officer allegedly shot Ferrell with a taser, which did not work, followed then by Kerrick discharging his weapon 12 times, hitting Ferrell ten times, bringing him down.
            Kerrick was the only one to fire his sidearm.
            "The evidence revealed that Mr. Ferrell did advance on Officer Kerrick and the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive," Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said in a statement Saturday. "Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter. "
            A police incident report reveals that Kerrick alleged that he was “assaulted,” though it doesn’t state by whom, and had “minor injuries.” He refused medical treatment, however.
            All three CMPD officers involved have been placed on paid leave.
            There have been six other killings by CMPD officers just this year.
            Officer Kerrick turned himself in to authorities after he was charged. He is free on $50,000 bond.
            Jonathan Ferrell played safety for the FAMU Rattlers in 2009 and 2010. His family called him a “good” young man who had moved to North Carolina in February to start a new life. He worked two jobs and was engaged to be married. He had no criminal record in North Carolina, and a 2011 misdemeanor charge in Florida had been dismissed.
            Had he lived, Ferrell would have turned 25 in October.
            Georgia Ferrell said while she forgave Kerrick for killing her son, she felt he needed to now leave law enforcement.
            "I truly forgive him. I pray for him,” Mrs. Ferrell told reporters. “And I pray that he gets off the police force."
            Attorney Chestnut was noncommittal on whether the Ferrell family would be suing the Charlotte Police Dept.
            On Tuesday, Officer Kerrick, 27, was scheduled to make his first court appearance on the voluntary manslaughter charge, but did not attend. Instead, attorneys with the  Fraternal Order of Police appeared on behalf of the officer, saying that when all of the evidence is considered, the court and the public will see that Kerick “did nothing wrong.”
            In fact one of Kerrick’s attorneys, Michael Greene, an African-American, told reporters afterwards that the officer’s actions “were justified.”
            The Ferrell family attorney, Chris Chestnut, said that he did see the video from the CMPD patrol car dashcam. Based on what he saw, he says, the charge should be raised to murder.
            “That is murder, cold blooded, badge no badge, that’s murder,” attorney Chestnut said after he, and the Ferrell family, viewed the video.
            He said for them, “It is completely devastating.”
            Kerrick’s next court date is Oct. 7th for a probable cause hearing. That’s when it will be clearer whether prosecutors intended to stay with the voluntary manslaughter charge, raise it to murder, or dismiss the charge altogether.
            At presstime Tuesday, funeral arrangements for Jonathan Ferrell, most likely to be in Florida, had not yet been announced.


            [WILMINGTON] Twice was not a charm for Wilmington Housing Authority CEO Michael Krause, who was fired Sept. 12th by the WHA Board of Commissioners after his second arrest since 2009 for alleged driving under the influence. “This decision was very difficult,” Board Chairman Jeffrey Hovis told reporters,’… and our objective is to best serve our staff, residents and our community.” Krause had been with WHA since 2008. He is credited with spearheading renovations to a number of public housing projects. Krause, who was paid $142,000 annually, was given three months severance. G.Vernice Hamilton has been appointed interim WHA CEO.

            [WASH. DC] North Carolina is one of three states to be awarded a combined $15.1 million in Enhanced Assessment Grants (EAG), which can be used to improve the quality, validity and reliability of North Carolina’s kindergarten formative assessment system by measuring student academic achievement through various assessment instruments. North Carolina receives $6.1 million of the EAG, while Maryland and Texas share the rest. The EAG program is administered by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

            [CHARLOTTE]  Yet another Democratic North Carolina elected official has formally asked US Attorney General Eric Holder to looking into the constitutionality of the Republican-led General Assembly’s new voter restrictions, signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory. State Sen. Malcolm Graham [D-Mecklenburg] wrote Holder this week, saying, “It’s a clear attempt at voter suppression, and it will disproportionately impact students, minorities, the poor and senior citizens. I urge you to come to North Carolina now and stop this law from taking our state backward. We should be approving laws that encourage every American to vote – not make it more difficult.” Sen. Graham joins fellow Democrats US Sen. Kay Hagen and US Rep. G. K. Butterfield in asking Holder to weigh in. The new restrictions include photo voter ID, slashing the one stop earlier voting period, and eliminating “Souls to the Polls” Sunday voting. Republicans say the changes were necessary to root out alleged voter fraud that there was very little evidence of.


           Among the twelve victims fatally shot Monday at the Washington D.C US Navy Yard was Mary DeLorenzo Knight of Fayetteville, published reports say and the FBI has confirmed. Knight was an information technology contractor who worked in the same building where 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a mentally-ill ex-Navy reservist, allegedly went on a shooting rampage, before DC Metro police brought him down. Ms. Knight also taught at Northern Virginia Community College. Monday's mass shooting was the deadliest on a military installation since the tragedy at Fort Hood, texas in 2009.


            Over 200 protesters from the NCNAACP College and Youth Division demonstrated at the Governor’s Mansion Monday afternoon, opposing education cuts and voter restrictions he signed into law from the Republican-led General Assembly. The group also commemorated the 50th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. , where a bomb planted by a white supremacist explode, killing four little black girls.. Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, said Monday’s demonstration was in memory of those girls, and that their blood help to pay for the voting rights of future generations. Caskets were carried during the demonstration as part of the commemoration.


            With prostate cancer so prevalent in African-American men, health experts say it helps to catch it early for effective treatment. The Duke University Cancer Institute is sponsoring a free men’s clinic this Saturday, Sept. 21st, and Sunday, Sept. 22nd, to help black males identify if they have prostate cancer, as well as diabetes and high blood pressure. There will be no blood tests or prostate exams. Saturday’s clinic will be held at the Lincoln Community Health Center, 1301 Fayetteville Street in Durham from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Parking is free and call Awanya Caear at 919-956-4029 for more information there.

            Sunday’s free men’s clinic will; be held at Duke Clinic 2C, 2nd Floor, 40 Duke Medicine Circle, in Durham. There is free parking at the Trent Drive Garage. Call 919-684-0409 for more information.


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