Monday, March 17, 2014




By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            Will the real Republican Party please stand up?
            In North Carolina, the Republican National Committee and the NC Republican Party proudly announced “Boots on the Ground,” a new “voter mobilization effort” to unseat US Senate Kay Hagan (D-NC) reportedly employing “neighbor-to-neighbor” outreach, “state-of-the-art mobile app technology,” and, according top the website, Unprecedented engagement and contact with minority communities all across North Carolina. It is part of the RNC’s Growth and Opportunity Project, which is a blueprint to expand the base of the Republican Party following the 2012 elections. Last October, the RNC launched an African-American Engagement Office in Charlotte, which has been building strong and lasting relationships with African-American communities across the state.”
            Apparently Republican elected officials elsewhere are unaware of this “unprecedented engagement and contact with minority communities across North Carolina.”
            In South Dakota recently, a Republican state senator named Phil Jensen, in an effort to advance a bill that would allow businesses to legally refuse services to gay people, reportedly told the Rapid City Journal, "If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance, the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks, and guess what? In a matter of weeks or so that business would shut down because no one is going to patronize them.”
            Jensen called his bill one that “protects the constitutional right top free association, the right to free speech and private property rights.”
            In other words, let the market decide what kind of discrimination is allowable, not the law. It wasn’t long before the South Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee voted Jensen’s bill down, with another, more moderate Republican senator calling it “a mean, nasty, hateful, vindictive bill.”
            Jensen’s “free association” bill wasn’t the first time that idea has been raised by a GOP'er.
            In May 2010, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul was running for office when he appeared on MSNBC’s ‘The Rachel Maddow Show,” and got nailed for espousing the same idea.
            "There’s 10 different titles, you know, to the Civil Rights Act, and nine out of 10 deal with public institutions, and I’m absolutely in favor of. One deals with private institutions. And had I been around, I would have tried to modify that,” Paul said.
            “There’s nothing under your world view to stop the country from resegregating like we were before the Civil Rights Act in 1964, which you’re saying you’ve got some issues with,” Maddow challenged.
            Sen. Paul cried foul, later telling Fox News, “I think it’s been really a concerted effort by people who want to damage the Tea Party, people who want to make the Tea Party something it`s not, people who want to characterize me as someone who I`m not.” But Paul never backed off his contention that the 1964 Civil Rights Act encroached on the rights of the property owner’s right to say “no” to any law abiding citizen he didn’t want in his place of business.
            Sen. Rand Paul is considered the leading Republican to vie for the presidency in 2016, topping most major polls.
         And then there’s Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, another possible presidential contender.
            The smoke still hasn’t cleared from the one-time GOP vice presidential candidate’s recent remarks on a conservative radio program about black males.
            “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” Ryan said, discussing his ideas for addressing poverty in America.
            Given that the term “inner city” traditionally means the older, predominately black areas of many major metropolitan cities, the translation to many was - black men are lazy, don’t work, and don’t want to work.
            To make matters worse, Rep. Ryan invoked research, to buttress his point, from none other than Dr. Charles Murray, author of the infamous book, “The Bell Curve,” which made headlines years ago when it postulated that black people were naturally of lesser intelligence than whites.
            Declaring black males too lazy to work, and then using what many say is racist research to back it up, was more than many black leaders were willing to tolerate from a Republican who would be president.
            Let's be clear, when Mr. Ryan says 'inner city,' when he says, 'culture,' these are simply code words for what he really means: 'black',” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Rep. Lee added that Ryan’s remarks were, “a thinly veiled racial attack” and “deeply offensive.”
            For his part, Rep. Ryan walked back his remarks, saying that he was “inarticulate” and not referring to “the culture of one community, but society as a whole.”
            Ryan was scheduled to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus in an attempt to further convince them he meant no harm.
            Instead of making it clear that Ryan was, at the least “inarticulate” in his remarks, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus defended the conservative congressman, telling CNN last Sunday, “"Paul said he thought it was inarticulate, but quite frankly, Democrats are lying in wait as well to pounce on whatever might be off tone.”
            Priebus later added, “I commend Paul for his work that he's doing around the country.”
            The RNC chair himself was publicly accused to his face on national television during the 2012 presidential election by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for allowing GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign to “play the race card” and “racial dog whistle” when it came to erroneously portraying President Barack Obama’s policies on welfare reform, playing up the phony “birth certificate” scandal, and saying that “forty-seven percent of Americans will automatically vote for Obama” because he “gives them stuff.”
            It was exactly one year ago when the GOP issued a post-2012 assessment of why it lost the presidential election, saying that it needed to soften its racial rhetoric, and do more to attract blacks, Latinos and women.
            But hard core conservatives in the party countered that the GOP shouldn ‘t join those groups, but rather have them join the GOP, which should never bend or break its principles.
            So which Republican Party is now headed into the 2014 midterm elections – the one of Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus and Rand Paul, or the one which claims that it is actively “…building strong and lasting relationships with African-American communities across [North Carolina]”?
            And how do black Republicans feel about proposed legislation that would empower any business to deny them service, not based on their behavior, which is legal, but on the color of their skin, which is not?
            We will see.





            They’ve been in the Division 1a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for less than five years, and not only have the North Carolina Central University Eagles men’s basketball team now won a MEAC championship (defeating Morgan State 71 - 62), but for the first time ever, they will compete for the NCAA basketball championship starting Friday.  The Eagles are the Number Fourteen seed in the “Big Dance” East Region against the tough Three Seed Iowa State Cyclones in San Antonio’s AT&T Center. The game will be televised on TNT starting at 9:50 p.m.
            This season, the Eagles have tied the NCCU record for most wins at 28 – 4. Most notably, the Eagles started the season by defeating the NC State Wolfpack last November, 82 – 72. The Wolfpack are now the No. 1 seed in the Midwest.
            NCCU Eagle Coach LeVelle Moton says his team is ready to go as far as possible in the tourney for the treasured NCAA crown.



            [GREENSBORO] Calling it “unconstitutional,” the school boards of Durham and Guilford counties Monday filed a lawsuit in Guilford Superior Court against the NC General Assembly challenging a new law which eliminates teacher tenure by 2018, and forces school districts to offer $500 annual raises to some teachers who give up their tenure rights by June 2014. The suit contends that school boards face “criminal prosecution,” according to a legislative attorney, if they fail to comply with the law.

            [RALEIGH] North Carolina’s unemployment picture is weaker than it looks, according to new numbers released by the N.C. Division of Employment Security, and analysis by the NC Justice Center’s Budget and Tax Center. Although the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent in January – the lowest since August 2008 - this is largely because the labor force continues to shrink, not because of significant gains in employment, analysts say. 

Over the last year, the labor force contracted by 105,600 workers, more than 1.3 percent, to the lowest levels in three years.  Since the unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed people by the number of people in the labor force, the unemployment rate can go down if the labor force shrinks, even if genuine joblessness remains high.  And that’s what happened from January 2013 to January 2014—only 45,000 unemployed workers found employment over the last year. The rest just gave up and dropped out of the labor force. This means that just 4 out of every 10 NC workers who moved out of unemployment actually found jobs. Republican lawmakers counter that the dropping jobless figures mean their new tax policies are working.

            [RALEIGH]  A federal grand jury was scheduled to convene Tuesday to investigate alleged criminality in the massive coal ash spill by Duke Energy that contaminated the Dan River with toxic chemicals. Over twenty subpoenas were issued to various Duke Energy executives and state officials with the NC Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources to appear to testify, along with emails, correspondence and reports. Records from the state Utilities Commission were also requested. Authorities want to know whether Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration tried to shield Duke Energy, the governor’s former employer, from lawsuits regarding cleanup of its coal ash ponds.


By Cash Michaels

RIDICULOUS – I don’t agree with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on much, but I will agree with him on the following – the gluttonous manner which CNN is devoting 24/7 coverage to the disappearance of that Malaysian jetliner is absolutely insane, with very little news being reported.
But guess what?  CNN is going to the bank ratings –wise. Its primetime audience has virtually tripled since the plane drama began. Indeed, the home of Anderson Cooper is beating some of the muscular shows over on Fox News, which has been overdosing on doing wall-to-wall coverage on why Obamacare is “the most evil thing ever to happen to America.”
And to be fair, over at MSNBC, if someone so much as sneezes in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s scandal-plagued administration, Rachel Maddow and company are all over it.
This is the nature of cable news – 24/7 operations that are always trying to maintain the highest audience levels all-day, everyday. Doing so means big advertising dollars, and because it is extremely difficult to keep masses of eyeballs glued to your station for long lengths of time, sometimes when you get that rare, juicy story, you try to milk it for what it’s worth.
The problem with the Malaysian jetliner story is CNN is way, way past milking it. They are darn well exploiting it.
The problem with that? A lot of time is spent of a plethora of false leads, courtesy, in this case, of the Malaysian government, which has held press conference after press conference, with officials dispensing pure conjecture, and at times, absolutely false information which they’ve had to walk back 24 hours later.
Thus, we’ve heard unchecked information that had the missing plane with 239 people onboard flying everywhere under the sun but downtown Raleigh. We’ve heard rank conjecture about the political beliefs of the pilots, and how the strange disappearance is part of some kind of larger worldwide plot.
We’ve heard any number of wild and crazy theories. The problem with that is NONE of it is news. The only real facts we know are that the plane is missing, diverted off course, and as of this writing, no one can find it.
After that, and some circumstantial evidence, there really isn’t much else.
But that isn’t stopping CNN, which is filling the time when there is no news, with analyst after analysts after analyst and analyst. Hours and house and hours of so-called ‘professional’ opinion about one fact – a plane is missing and we can’t find it.
Thus far this has been going on for almost two weeks. How much longer can it go on? Who knows? Who really knows?
Quite frankly the answer lies in just how long you fall for this. Yes, this is a mystery, and it seems to get deeper and deeper as the days go on. No argument that the interest in this story is great.
But IT IS NOT THE ONLY STORY happening in the world right now, and the part that burns me, as a journalist, is the great number of stories that have now gone unreported. Stories that may not be great ratings-getters, but deserve to be seen and explained.
How can a CNN, or anyone else, for that matter, call themselves a true newsgathering organization, when their first reflex is to lean towards the absolute sensational, and remain leaned until the audience just has had enough.
Let’s see just how long this plays out. But for now, it is clear that the story of Flight 370 isn’t ending anytime soon.
OPRAH TO SELL HARPO STUDIOS – I’m not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I’m extremely proud of talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, and how she was able to build an entertainment empire in Chicago with Harpo Studios, the home of the syndicated “Oprah Winfrey Show” when it was on the air, and the current home of her OWN cable network.
But now we’re hearing that Winfrey has now sold the four building campus which Harpo sits on to a developer for $32 million, and will be leasing the property for the next two years before Harpo gets turned into some condos or something.
Gee, Oprah, why? Do you, perhaps the richest black woman on Earth, need the money? Harpo Studios is a symbol of pride and great achievement. Why get rid of it?
Make no mistake, Harpo is Oprah’s to sell, and I hope that she feels that she got a good price for it.
But as black-owned and operated businesses go, Harpo was a shining star I never thought we’d be saying goodbye to.
APRIL 5TH – Mark your calendars if you haven’t already. The World Premiere of the NNPA – CashWorks HD Productions documentary “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten,” is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, April 5th, at UNC – Wilmington, 9:30 a.m. in Kenan Auditorium.
            It will be free and open to the public, but seating will be limited.
            Following the film, there will be a panel discussion on the current state of civil rights, and the continuing need for the Black Press.
            Later that evening, there will be a gala banquet the Hilton Riverside honoring former Gov. Beverly Perdue, and NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber. Tickets and tables are available.
            For more information about tickets, tables and advertising, call Shawn Thatch at the Wilmington Journal at 910-762-5502.
            GOD willing and the creek don’t rise, you’ll finally get a chance to see what I believe will be an important historical film. More details to come.
            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 April 5, 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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