Monday, January 6, 2014



BIDEN WELCOMES WATT - Vice President Joe Biden greets Mel Watt and his family at the White House before swearing the former North Carolina congressman in as the new head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Monday. Watt resigned his congressional seat then. Gov. Pat McCrory has decided to hold a special election for Watt's 12th District seat in November, but that means there will be no temporary appointment, meaning no district representation for ten months.[White House Twitter photo]

By Cash Michaels

            If Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-led NC General Assembly thought for a minute that the Moral Monday movement would peter out in the new year, they’re sadly mistaken.
            Even though the state Legislature doesn’t reconvene for several months, the largest Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HK on J) march and rally in its seven-year history is expected to convene Saturday, Feb. 8th in Raleigh.
            But this time, it will be called ‘the Moral March on Raleigh.”
            "This year's Moral March on Raleigh takes place in the wake of the diligent efforts of thousands of people of good will in 2013 who drove across the state to Raleigh to make a weekly witness against the cruel, immoral and unconstitutional policies of Governor Pat McCrory, Speaker Thom Tillis, Senate Leader Phil Berger, Budget Director Art Pope, and other extremists in the NC General Assembly," said Rev. William Barber, president of the NCNAACP, and convener of the Moral March/HK on J event. "With love and faith, this year's Moral March on February 8th will kick-off a year of non-violent direct action, litigation, and grass-roots voter education and empowerment. Forward together, not one step back."  
             Referring to Gov. McCrory recent touting of alleged economic recovery for North Carolina, Rev. Barber quipped, "The governor is now saying that we are having a "Carolina comeback," well [in February] ...we're going to expose the Carolina coverup and Carolina catastrophe."         
            Last year, the biggest year yet for HK on J, over 15,000 people from across the state came to Raleigh to protest what they feared would be repressive policies from the Republicans after they took the Governor’s Mansion and the legislative majority.
            With the NC NAACP in the lead, a coalition of progressive groups began a succession of weekly massive demonstrations at the General Assembly called “Moral Mondays” which cast a spotlight on voter ID, failure to extend Medicaid benefits to an estimated 500,000 poor North Carolinians, and severe budget cuts public education and basic social service programs.
            Each week, the demonstrations grew larger, and more and more protesters were being arrested. The movement captured national attention, and Rev. Barber put Gov. McCrory and Republican state lawmakers on notice that they would be held accountable for their policies.
            On Feb. 8th, starting at 9:30 a.m. Moral March/HK on J participants once again will gather on South Street in front of Shaw University by the thousands, and march through downtown at 10:30 a.m. to the state Legislative Building to continue that pressure.
            Pressure that Rev. Barber hopes make a difference during this fall’s mid-term elections for Congress and the NC General Assembly.
            “'The Moral March on Raleigh is part of the anti-racist, anti-poverty, pro-labor, deeply moral Forward Together Moral Movement,” NCNAACP Res. Barber says. “With diversity and solidarity, thousands will stand against extremist policies being passed by the NC Governor and Legislature and demand the 14 Point People's Agenda"
            For the past seven years, a fusion movement has been growing in North Carolina,” Rev. Barber continued. “In 2006, the Historic Thousands on Jones St. (HKonJ) People's Assembly Coalition was formed. It has grown to include over 150 coalition partners. Each year this fusion movement comes together on the second Saturday in February to hold a mass people's assembly to reaffirm its commitment to the 14 Point People's Agenda and to hold lawmakers accountable to the people of North Carolina.”
“This year's annual people's assembly will be held in the wake of a powerful push back to the immoral and unconstitutional policies supported and passed by Governor Pat McCrory, Speaker Thom Tillis, Senate Leader Phil Berger, Budget Director Art Pope and other extremists in the NC General Assembly during the 2013 Session,” Rev. Barber continued.
“After 13 Moral Mondays in Raleigh leading to almost 1,000 arrests for civil disobedience and 23 local Moral Mondays spanning the entire state, the Forward Together Moral Movement and the HKonJ coalition will join together once again for the Moral March on Raleigh HK on J People's Assembly,” Barber said.
To promote the Feb. 8th Moral March, the NCNAACP will kick-off a series of special events, including the “5M Grassroots Mobilization Plan” to encourage North Carolinians to get more involved in the state’s political process, especially during this election year. Also, at least 50 churches, mosques and synagogues will take part in “Moral March Weekend of Religious Services, where religious leaders will preach about the significance of the Moral March.
And starting Jan.14th, the NCNAACP will tour the state to promote the Moral March, with stops in Charlotte on Jan. 21; Greensboro and Winston-Salem on Jan. 23rd; and Wilmington on Jan. 31st.
On February 7th, there will be a pre-Moral March worship service in Raleigh.
For more information call 866-626-2227 or 919-682-4700, or go to

                                              CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS [D-GA]

Activists Denounce Obama Judicial Picks
By David Stokes
Special to The Carolinian newspaper
      [ATLANTA, GA.] Local community leaders within religion and politics gathered late last month at an Atlanta house of worship to voice concern with President Obama's latest choices as federal judges for the Northern District of Georgia, thereby, protesting the picks as individuals who are insensitive and "do not demonstrate" the district's diversity for various constituents as fair representation in the nation's Capitol.
      At Ebenezer Baptist Church in northeast Atlanta, on Dec. 23, the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, affectionately known as 'dean' of the civil rights movement and who is a former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); the Rev. C.T. Vivian, today an SCLC vice president; and U.S. Congressman John Lewis of Atlanta's Fifth District, among others, compelled a modest morning crowd to their feet at times to criticize President Obama in choosing what are otherwise conservative or ultra-conservative jurists for the federal court.  Rev. Lowery and Cong. Lewis, along with Cong. David Scott and Cong. Hank Johnson, both of Georgia, voiced concerns, as well as urged Obama to eliminate the nominees, on whether hard-fought civil rights gains the past 50 years might be challenged and erased if they were approved for the federal court seats.  Furthermore, they also stated primarily their resistance toward appointment is due to the nominees not reflecting the region's growing diversity, and wondered why the public had no input toward choosing 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. District of North Ga. court nominees.  "We have come too far, marched too long, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly and (some have) died too young in our struggle to let anybody turn us around and turn back the clock on our gains toward justice and equality," proclaimed the Rev. Lowery, 92, who, today, is convenor/chairman of the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda.  Activists are wanting Obama to withdraw north Ga. District Court Judge Julie E. Carnes for the Circuit Court of Appeals seat, as well as DeKalb Co. State Court Judge Eleanor L. Ross, Ga. Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs and civil/corporate attorneys Mark H. Cohen and Leigh M. May, respectively, for the U.S. District Court for North Georgia.  "The president has made a terrible and tragic mistake" with these selections, Rep. Scott exclaimed during the press conference/church rally.  Additionally, the coalition of activists indicates that concerns exist, in particular, that because Judge Boggs advocated to keep the Confederate flag in Georgia, as a Ga. state senator in 1997, as well as casting several votes against same-sex marriage and abortion rights, he should not be considered a "worthy" choice.  The activists are against attorney Cohen's high court ascension due to him advocating stricter voting ID laws in which activists believe undercuts minority voter turnout and participation.  (Cohen was chief of staff to former Ga. Gov., and later U.S. Senator, Zell Miller.)
      As politics has played a role with these specific candidates and "deals" were struck between Georgia's two Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, and the White House to advance Obama's agenda for the Senate's affirmative votes in progressing the Democratic agenda, according to another news outlet, the activists, during remarks at the life-long church of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., continually emphasized the need of North Georgia sustaining and enhancing diversity efforts with a "mosaic" representation of jurists that is indicative of the New Millennium Georgia and the Southeast region.  Cong. Lewis, now 73, and who has been tagged the "moral conscience" of Congress, voiced frustration in relaying that African-American women, in particular, have yet to be considered for federal judgeship.  "There has never been a black female Democrat appointed" as a federal judge in Georgia.  "Black women vote in a higher percentage than any other group in Georgia.  I think the president should do better by them," Lewis indicated to another news media outlet last month.  (Cong. Lewis was unreachable by presstime last week comment further, as his Atlanta and Washington offices were closed for the Christmas-New Year's holiday break.)  With the judicial picks fight, nevertheless, the activists believe Obama's picks "undermine the hard-won, hard-fought civil rights victories," Rep. Scott said, which helped advance and promote voting rights that began in the 1960s, in particular, as well as other gains that they believe would face scrutiny and possibly be dismantled by the aforementioned court nominees and other conservatives. "This is not a pretty picture with this issue," Lewis said.  "It's not easy to stand up to your president and say you got it wrong, but we've got to look beyond the next three years (of Obama's presidency).   These appointees are getting lifetime appointments on the Court."  Also at stake between Lewis and President Obama, some believe, is their years-long friendship which culminated with Obama becoming U.S. Senator of Illinois in 2002.  The friendship blossomed further three years later, in 2005, when Obama, the late Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) and Ethel S. Kennedy, now 86, and widow of U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, among other notables, hosted Lewis' 65th birthday fundraising dinner at the Georgia Tech Conference Center in midtown Atlanta. 
      Cong. Lewis is well known as the civil rights activist, in 1965, and as chairman of SNCC, who, along with other proponents for blacks' voting rights, led the initial Selma to Montgomery march from Alabama's Edmund Pettus Bridge, yet, was accosted by Alabama state troopers.  Three weeks later, on March 25, 1965, Dr. King and nationwide activists led the march to Alabama's Capitol which ultimately led to President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the historic Voting Rights Act.  The federal court nominees, nevertheless, will be considered and debated by the Senate's Judiciary Committee later this month or in February.

Today at 9:15 AM
Office of the Press Secretary
January 8, 2014

Statement by the President on the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty

As Americans, we believe that everyone who works hard deserves a chance at opportunity, and that all our citizens deserve some basic measure of security.  And so, 50 years ago, President Johnson declared a War on Poverty to help each and every American fulfill his or her basic hopes.  We created new avenues of opportunity through jobs and education, expanded access to health care for seniors, the poor, and Americans with disabilities, and helped working families make ends meet.  Without Social Security, nearly half of seniors would be living in poverty.  Today, fewer than one in seven do.  Before Medicare, only half of seniors had some form of health insurance.  Today, virtually all do.  And because we expanded pro-work and pro-family programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, a recent study found that the poverty rate has fallen by nearly 40% since the 1960s, and kept millions from falling into poverty during the Great Recession. 

These endeavors didn’t just make us a better country.  They reaffirmed that we are a great country.  They lived up to our best hopes as a people who value the dignity and potential of every human being.  But as every American knows, our work is far from over.  In the richest nation on Earth, far too many children are still born into poverty, far too few have a fair shot to escape it, and Americans of all races and backgrounds experience wages and incomes that aren’t rising, making it harder to share in the opportunities a growing economy provides.  That does not mean, as some suggest, abandoning the War on Poverty.  In fact, if we hadn’t declared “unconditional war on poverty in America,” millions more Americans would be living in poverty today.  Instead, it means we must redouble our efforts to make sure our economy works for every working American.  It means helping our businesses create new jobs with stronger wages and benefits, expanding access to education and health care, rebuilding those communities on the outskirts of hope, and constructing new ladders of opportunity for our people to climb. 

We are a country that keeps the promises we’ve made.  And in a 21st century economy, we will make sure that as America grows stronger, this recovery leaves no one behind.  Because for all that has changed in the 50 years since President Johnson dedicated us to this economic and moral mission, one constant of our character has not: we are one nation and one people, and we rise or fall together.



            Despite the fact that her parents once taught at Florida A&M University, Dr. Dianne Boardley Suber, president of St. Augustine’s University, says she has taken her name out of consideration to become that school’s next president. Published reports had Dr. Suber on a list of six semifinalists for the post. In a statement Sunday, Dr. Suber said, “ As flattering as the invitation is, I am committed to serving the students and continuing the projects, development n expansion of Saint Augustine’s University.”

            The family of Jesus Huerta, the 17-year-old teen Durham police say fatally shot himself Nov. 19th while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser, is scheduled to get the internal Durham Police report on the incident from Mayor Bill Bell, even though he says the report is not complete. Bell and the Durham city Council received the report from Durham PD Monday in closed session. That report, at press time Monday, was also expected to be released to the public as well. The State Bureau of Investigation’s probe into the incident is ongoing, and will go to the Durham District Attorney when completed.

            In the aftermath of the Dec. 31st resignation of Supt. Eric Becoats, the Durham School Board is moving forward, scheduling a special meeting Monday, Jan. 13th at 1 p.m. to begin the search for a new schools superintendent. Becoats after several alleged financial improprieties were discovered during his watch. He had been with the system since April 2010. Becoats has been paid a severance of over $298,072.



            [RALEIGH] For those who do not have a valid government-issued photo identification card in order to use at the voting polls, state Dept. of Motor Vehicles offices are now taking applications. Those applying must submit two documents verifying their age and identity. They must also provide their Social security number and be registered voters. Applicants will receive their voter ID cards in the mail within 10 to 15 days. All voters must have a valid photo ID card to cast their ballots in time for the 2016 elections, unless the federal courts, currently considering litigation against the new voting laws, deem otherwise.

            [RALEIGH] Officials with the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services are moving quickly to deal with a major error. Almost 50,000 Medicaid cards containing the names and birthdates of children, were sent to the wrong addresses just before the new year. DHHS officials say they know where all of the cards were sent, are in the process of fixing the problem, and are keeping tabs on any fraudulent usage. Parents of affected children are advised to continue to use their old cards until their new ones are replaced. Acting Medicaid Director Sandra Terrrell blamed human error, saying the agency used the wrong computer program to extract information from the DHHS database, which caused the problem. On Tuesday, Gov. Pat McCrory defended DHHS and its leader, Sec. Aldona Wos, saying that the problem stems from the prior Democratic management of the department. The governor added that you can't fix what the Democrats did in just one year. Democrats, in turn, renewed their call for Sec. Wos to step down. 

            [RALEIGH] The NC Supreme Court heard arguments Monday concerning the constitutionality of the 2011 Republican-drawn redistricting maps, and how, opponents claim, they “stack and pack” black voters in a handful of majority-minority districts so that white Republicans can maintain political control. The NCNAACP and other groups want the High Court to delay the candidate filing period and May 6th primary until a decision is made. Proponents say the lines were drawn in order to protect black candidates, and conform to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The High Court may rule in 90 days, if not before.

By Cash Michaels

            HAPPY NEW YEAR! – OK, OK, I’m at least a week late. But hey, I took the last week of 2013 off to continue working on our film, “Pardons of Innocence: the Wilmington Ten,” so I was kind of occupied.
            Nonetheless, I hope that you and your family had a blessed and joyous Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s season. I was very pleased to see the many, many families on Facebook who came together over the holidays to share time together. The faces of the children, the grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, parents, and the young couples, reaffirmed to me that despite the dramatic social changes in our community, that the family is still the Number One institution we have going for us (followed by the Black Church to keep the family strong, and, of course, the Black Press to keep us informed).
            So let’s continue on in this new year with an energy and commitment to keep our community strong, and moving forward.
            Because, if we do that, this will indeed be …a HAPPY new year!
            OH WELL! – I turned 58 two days after the new year came in. It’s a mixed blessing. Certainly on one hand I am more than happy that GOD has seen fit to allow me to see another year, and be with my beautiful family and do the work that I enjoy doing.
            Then on the other side, I have a hard time thinking of myself as 58 years old. I know, I know, so of you are saying I’m still young. That may be true, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Oh well, I’m just happy to still be here.
            I’ve got work to do.
            MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY – Even though I was on vacation and away from the television set, for the most part, it was hard to miss the extraordinary controversy surrounding an ill-conceived segment of the Melissa Harris-Perry program on MSNBC two weekends ago where she and her guests made fun of the fact that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has an adopted black grandson.
            For the record, interracial adoptions are a sensitive subject for the African-American community to begin with.  The fact that there are so many parentless black children available for adoption, and, for some reason, not enough black families to take them in (yeah, please explain that one to me), is a sore point of discussion for many of us.
            So I understand the compulsion to go after the rich, white failed Republican presidential candidate for having a black grandson, especially after Romney’s near-vicious remarks about the “47 percent” of Americans who pay no taxes, and (Romney said), pretty much mooches off the government.
            I understand the temptation to say something clever.
            Here’s the problem…you can’t say it publicly, and you darn sure can’t say it on television.
            I’m a bit amazed, quite frankly, that the producers of the MHP show didn’t catch the hint when not one of the late night TV comics – Jay, Conan, Dave, Jimmy or Jimmy – said one word about that picture.
            There are very few things the Mafia and the press agree on, but one of them definitely is YOU DON’T ATTACK PUBLIC FIGURES THROUGH THEIR YOUNG CHILDREN, or grandchildren in this case.
            Conservatives have been caught doing this before, most notably radio right-winger Rush Limbaugh years ago when he went after Pres. Bill Clinton by saying something particularly nasty about Clinton’s then young daughter Chelsea. Former MSNBC commentator David Shuster got slammed during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries for saying that then Sen. Hillary Clinton was “pimping” her daughter Chelsea on the campaign trail.
            And former Fox News entertainer Glenn Beck went way, way over the line on his radio show imitating Pres. Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, having a conversation with their dad. True, the president had brought them up during one of his speeches, but that didn’t give crazy Beck, or anybody else, the right to then target the president through his children.
            So when someone from the liberal side of the equation does the same thing, those of us who are honest in our convictions have to abide by the same rules that we demand – the young children of politicians and public figures are off-limits when it comes to political criticism.
            Melissa Harris-Perry and her producers should have known this, and never flashed the Romney family portrait, featuring the former governor holding his black grandson, in the first place.
            But it happened, rude remarks were made, even by MHP herself, and the damage was done. The bloodthirsty right-wing zealots, who truly couldn’t give  flip about Mitt Romney or his family or his black grandson, no less, went in for the kill, especially since it was yet another liberal MSNBC’er who had allegedly violated the social fabric.
            Then, the milk-wimps at CNN saw an opportunity to jump in the fray…in an “objective” way, of course, irresponsibly suggesting that MHP’s job at MSNBC was on the line, which was simply not true unless she had refused to issue an apology, which she did twice, the first being on Twitter.
            Her second apology came last Saturday, and it was tough to watch because clearly the building criticism had gotten to Harris-Perry, who began crying as she spoke.
            For the record, in my opinion, it was heartfelt. Harris-Perry is, herself, the child of an interracial marriage, so to even go near the subject of black child – white parent, with even a hint a ridicule, was demeaning of her own experience.
            MHP’s saving grace is that this was an anomaly, not the norm for her.  It was shocking because her standards are normally higher, her conversation enlightening, not condescending. We expect better from MHP – certainly more than from Beck, Limbaugh, or any other of those right-wing loudmouths – and we usually get it.
            But if there is a bright light in all of this, it’s that despite her transgression, Melissa Harris-Perry did something no right-wing commentator has been able to do…and that’s show honesty and courage.
            After she totally screwed up, Harris-Perry owned up 100 percent to her misdeed, realized that she had hurt the Romney family in a deep way, and fell completely on her sword, tearfully.
            That is more courage and contrition than a Sarah Palin, Limbaugh or anyone else has ever displayed. Ever.
            So to me, this temporary dark moment in her TV career, and the sensitive way she handled it, should endear MHP even more to her fanbase.
            The idea of being on television is to come-off as a know-it-all who is impervious to wrongdoing or criticism.
            MHP showed us that that model is wrong.
            Being a thoughtful, caring, honest human being is what really works.
            Maybe someone should tell Palin, Beck and Limbaugh that.
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.
And coming in February 2014, the NNPA-CashWorks HD Productions documentary presentation of, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.”
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.

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