Tuesday, March 4, 2014





            With a packed room of cheering teachers looking on, the Wake School Board Tuesday unanimously voted to oppose the elimination of teacher tenure, in favor of limited teacher contracts. Last year the Republican-led state Legislature voted to do away with traditional job security in favor of rewarding the best teachers with four-year contracts. Teachers and school boards across the state oppose the plan, which is to take effect in four years, saying that it lowers teacher morale and unfairly breaks educators into groups. The NC Association of Educators has filed suit to overturn the law.

            Wake County traditional calendar students will makeup Tuesday’s cancelled classes due inclement weather on June 12th. Year-round students in tracks 1, 3 and 4 will make it up this Saturday, March 8th. Modified calendar students will makeup the day on March 12th,  and the NC State STEM Early College and single-sex academies will have classes March 17th.

            The $265,000 bond set for a white supremacist who allegedly threatened the life of Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane online, was reduced this week to just $75,000. Wake District Court Judge Ned Mangum lowered the bond for Alec Dane Redner,27, saying that the misdemeanor charge of communicating threats, and a low-level felony charge of threatening an executive, along with an obstruction of justice charge, don’t deserve a high bond. Redner will be under electronic house arrest at his mother’s house in Raleigh.


            [BELHAVEN] Citing a difficult financial situation partially due to North Carolina's refusal to expand Medicaid, a health care provider announced last week that it will close its hospital in the small town of Belhaven, NC, on April 1st, despite community protests that the provider will put at risk thousands of lives by removing the only emergency care facility in this rural area. Joining together with Mayor Adam O'Neal and local residents, the NC NAACP filed a Title VI Civil Rights complaint with the US Department of Health and Human Services on Jan. 7 to bring Vidant Health and the community to the negotiating table. The Office of Civil Rights with HHS is opening their investigation into the issue and is aware that the emergency room is slated for demolition in early April. If no agreement is reached, the NC NAACP asks that the department cut off federal funding to Vidant until the provider remedies this discriminatory situation.

            [RALEIGH] Perhaps for the first time in North Carolina history, two African-American state lawmakers represent their parties at the same time in the NC General Assembly. With Senate Democratic Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt stepping down this week for reported medical reasons, former NC House Speaker, Sen. Dan Blue, was unanimously elected to take Nesbitt’s place to lead the opposition to the Senate Republican supermajority. Sen. Blue now joins NC House Democratic Minority Leader Larry Hall as being the voice in his respective legislative chamber for the loyal opposition to the GOP majority there. The NC Legislative short session begins on Wednesday, May 14.


            [CHARLOTTE] Nine years after moving from Raleigh to Charlotte, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has decided to not only move its headquarters to the Queen City, but also keep its popular CIAA men’s and women’s Division II basketball tournaments there for the next six years. The economic impact of last week’s tournaments – which saw the Lady Bears of Shaw University (for the fourth consecutive time) and the men’s team of Livingston College take their respective CIAA championships – aren’t in yet, but in 2013, the CIAA games generated $29.86 million in tourist spending, and $47.17 million in overall impact on Charlotte.

By Cash Michaels

            OSCAR DIVERSITY – Over 43 million people in the United States watched last Sunday’s Academy Awards program on television, the most to watch a non-sports entertainment show on television since 2004.
            They also watched one of the most diverse Oscar shows ever as well in terms of both the nominees and winners. A Mexican director named Alfonso Cuaron took the top prize in his category for the space thriller, “Gravity” starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. The film won seven Oscars in total.
            And while the much-hailed  “12 Years a Slave” took Best Picture, its black screenwriter John Ridley won for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Kenyan performer Lupita Nyong’o gracefully won for Best Supporting Actress.
            All-in-all it was a proud, fun-filled affair with hostess Ellen DeGeneres keeping things moving. One of her first jokes out the box was telling, though. Either “12 Years a Slave” wins for Best Picture,” she said, or [the voting Academy members are all racists.”
            I have to give it to Ellen, it took guts to say that at the Oscar ceremony.
            SOME PEOPLE JUST CAN’T LEARN – Chelsea Handler is a level C TV show hostess ho is supposed to be somebody apparently. So much so that the Huffington Post online allowed Handler to use their Twitter account during Sunday nights Oscar telecast to keep folks amused as things went on.
            Apparent few got the memo. If Handler is supposed to be some kind of witty comedic talent, then I should be an Olympic gold medalist. All night long, Handler tweeted out some of the most racist garbage about stars such as legend Sidney Poitier, Tyler Perry, Whoopi Goldberg and the late South African President Nelson Mandela. She also went after Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o, and the Best Picture winning film, “12 Years a Slave.”
            Handler was later made apologize for her foolishness.
            I get it. Sometimes you’re feeling ugly and get to thinking that the world is with you. NOT SO! The Oscars was a joyous occasion, and did not need some no-talent-has-been-to-be to try and muck it up!
            Take right-wing conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. He got on the air the day after the Academy Awards and trashed the whole thing as some liberal cabal. Limbaugh said “12 Years a Slave” won Best Picture just because it ha the word “slave” in the title.
            Let’s face it, folks, there are those who just plainly and lavishly live on hate, and enjoy it immensely. As the years go by, it’s getting easier and easier for me to believe it.
            “SCANDAL” RETURNS, AND I DON’T CARE – I know last week black women across America were pleased and proud that one of their favorite shows, “Scandal” was back on TV after a short hiatus.
            I, for one, do not join them in that glee. Even though the show about a powerful black female Washington, DC fixer who is having an affair with a white president of the United States is produced by black female produce Shonda Rhimes (who also produces the ABC hit “Grey’s Anatomy”), the show does little to uplift black women, in my opinion, and it especially does precious little for black men either, except make us look weak and idiotic.
            Black women on Facebook defend the show, saying it satisfies their fantasy of being able to lock up with a powerful man, unlike the black men they apparently feel stuck with.
            I counter that if it is a “fantasy’ (and it is), then why can’t the black men be powerful too. Oh yeah, briefly the main character’s father was some head of some underground agency who could tell the president to his face where to go and what time to get there.
            And what happened to said “powerful” black father? He got kidnapped and tied to a chair in his underwear long enough for that white president to tell him that his daughter “tasted good,” and then fire him.
            Any black woman enjoying “Scandal” after that nonsense lost pride in her people a long time ago. Trust me, if that were a black man’s mother that happened to in a show, the sistas wouldn’t let us brothas hear the end of our tolerating such treatment of one of them in a TV show.
            So you can keep “Scandal,” my friends, and the interest that goes with it. I refuse to lower myself ever again by watching that degrading trash. Instead, I will be watching “Suits” over on the USA cable network. True, the lead characters are both white, but their boss at the law firm is one of the sharpest, boldest and most elegant black women there ever has been on television. And the father of one of the associates at the firm is one of the most powerful lawyers in the country on the show.
            I’d rather watch folks I can be proud of, instead of the star of a show who has a weakling for a father, and couldn’t love a real black man if you blackmailed her.
            You like “Scandal” black women?
            You can keep it!
            WHAT DO YOU THINK? The other day on Facebook, I asked the question, “What positives have black people given America?” The answers were quite interesting.
            Thurgood Marshall; inspiration; a work ethic; sprit of endurance, perseverance and brotherly/sisterly love; intellectual honesty; a conscience; soul; a nonviolent movement; faith and hope; intellect, morals and Obama; forgiveness; fighting hard for freedom; inventions and fashion; black music; Folgers coffee; Muhammad Ali; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; scientific discoveries, among other things.
            How would you answer that question?
            Think about it!
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.
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.

By Cash Michaels

            There will be a showdown of sorts this Sunday when the State Executive Council (SEC) of the North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) meets in Greensboro to make what could be a final decision on the next permanent executive director for the embattled party.
            At issue will be whether controversial NCDP Chairman Randy Voller will have the votes from the SEC to install his choice for ED, the Rev. Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.; or will the moderate-to-conservative wing of the party, commonly known as the “Hunt faction,” named after former Gov. James B. Hunt, will be able to impose its will to block the Chavis nomination, stymie Voller’s influence, and put in place someone who answers primarily to them.
            Someone who Voller could, as he did almost a month ago with the previous ED, fire at will.
            Currently, Casey Mann is serving as the interim ED, but that status could also change Sunday if the SEC deems it a workable compromise.
            Chavis has said if the NCDP wants him, it will have to unify and make that decision.
            The showdown will be a critical test of wills between two factions of the NCDP that traditionally haven’t got alone, but are now really at each others throat in the aftermath of Voller’s election to chair in 2013. After a series of initial missteps, the moderates have demanded that Voller step down, something he has outright rejected as he hangs on to power.
            As a result, several traditional donors to the NCDP have withheld their contributions in an effort to starve Voller’s operations, and hopefully drive him out. State Auditor Beth Wood has even gone as far as publicly demand that her reported $500.00 contribution be returned, saying that she has concerns about how it will be spent, especially after an early incident where Voller spent NCDP funds on an unauthorized trip.
            The chairman replaced the money and apologized. 
            For the most part, black Democrats are lining up behind Voller, calling the progressive chairman “grassroots” and someone who believes in a diverse NCDP leadership. In an exclusive interview last week, Willie Fleming, president of the NCDP chartered auxiliary, the African-American Caucus (AAC), expressed full support for the chairman, saying that though, “Randy has made some mistakes,… [his] intention is to move [the NCDP] forward.”
            Fleming, who lives in Charlotte, also expressed full support for Voller’s nomination of Rev. Ben Chavis as the next ED, adding that he was outraged by the way the Hunt faction coordinated opposition to Chavis last month, using, and even false allegations against the civil rights leader to turn rank-in-file Democratic opinion against him.
            Some of that came from Gary Pearce, former press secretary to Gov. Hunt, who helped rhetorically lead the charge against Chavis be calling him, “The most divisive, controversial figure” that Voller could find, and later falsely stating that Chavis, once leader of the now-pardoned Wilmington Ten, was so divisive, that in 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama “disavowed” Chavis, again a false charge that a fact check not only proves is erroneous, but that Chavis vehemently denies.
            And yet, Pearce, in one of his most recent online columns, sends a clear message to the SEC when he wrote, ”The future of Democratic candidates – not to mention that of North Carolina, the nation and the free world – might depend on whether the party’s executive committee remembers [Voller’s errors] when it meets March 9.”
            Problem is many of Voller’s NCDP supporters recall many of the Hunt faction’s alleged mistakes too, including the attempt to coverup a sexual harassment charge by the previous NCDP Chairman David Walker; the convictions of two high profile Democratic state House leaders for corruption; and losing supermajority control of the NC General Assembly in 2010 to the Republicans essentially until 2020, thanks to GOP redistricting.
            As a result, when the smoke cleared last week when the 2014 midterm elections candidates filing concluded, many of the Republican incumbents went unchallenged in their GOP-leaning districts, making it extremely difficult for Democrats to win back the state Legislature this year, if at all for the foreseeable future.
            The same holds for North Carolina’s congressional delegation, which currently leans 9-4 Republican.
            Arguably, the most critical statewide race for Democrats this fall is the re-election of US Sen. Kay Hagan. Without significant Democratic turnout, the conservative Hagan, according to recent polls, is vulnerable to any of the announced Republican candidates to replace her.
            NCDP infighting, officials like AAC Pres. Willie Fleming say, imperils her re-election. And that’s why how the SEC votes this Sunday is key.
            Voller supporters, like Eighth Congressional District Democratic Chair Dr. Gracie Galloway, have been busy sending out petition letters and rounding up support to be in Greensboro on Sunday.
            They feel that the party desperately needs someone with Rev. Chavis’ skills at organizing, and political experience in voter registration and mobilization, to come in as ED and not only excite the grassroots Democratic base, but also attract more black, Latino and youth voters to the party for this fall.
            Observers say it is the only way the Democrats can win.

Special to The Carolinian

            The postponed world premiere of the National Newspaper Publishers Association – CashWorks HD Productions documentary, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten,” has now been officially set for Saturday, April 5th at UNC – Wilmington's Kenan Auditorium , in Wilmington, followed by gala/banquet honoring former Gov. Beverly Perdue and NC NAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber.
The day of special events is titled, “Black Press: Joining Together for a Better World,” and is presented by The Wilmington Journal, which has served Southeastern North Carolina’s African-American community for 87 years, and the NNPA.
 The two-hour film screening, scheduled for 9:30 a.m., is free and open to the public.
The documentary recounts the history surrounding the troubled desegregation of New Hanover County Public schools during the late 1960s thorough 1971, which evolved into the false prosecution of eight black male students, a white female community organizer, and a fiery civil rights activist, Rev. Benjamin Chavis, for protesting racial injustice.
The proud history of Williston Senior High School, the all-Black school in Wilmington which was unceremoniously closed in 1968, will also be honored.
 Against the backdrop of the Wilmington 1898 race massacre and the forced desegregation of Southern schools in the 1960s, the documentary also traces how the Black Press, led initially by Wilmington Journal publisher Thomas C. Jervay, Sr., and over 40 years later by his daughter, publisher-editor Mary Alice Jervay Thatch through the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), ultimately pushed for, and achieved the official exoneration of the Wilmington Ten.
   Special appearances in the film by the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., leader of the Wilmington Ten; Joseph McNeil - Williston Senior High School alumnus and a member of the Greensboro Four who integrated a downtown Greensboro F. W. Woolworth store in 1960; Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, and one of the ministers who lobbied Gov. James Hunt in 1977 to pardon the Wilmington Ten; and former Gov. Beverly Perdue, who ultimately pardoned the Wilmington Ten in Dec. 2012.
The documentary is set to be released on DVD for public schools - grades 9 through 12 (with academic guide); colleges and universities, and the general public.
The NNPA, also known as “The Black Press of America,” is a 74-year-old federation of more than 200 black community newspapers across the United States. In 2011, led by The Wilmington Journal, the NNPA, and NNPA Foundation led by Dorothy Leavell, publisher of Chicago Crusader, adopted seeking pardons of innocence for the Wilmington Ten as a project.
 The film is written, produced and narrated by Cash Michaels, staff writer for The Wilmington Journal; and editor/chief reporter for The Carolinian Newspaper in Raleigh.
 Following the documentary will be a brief question and answer session, then a blue ribbon panel discussion, “Civil Rights: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, and the Role of the Black Press, Black Church and the Black Community.”
 Among the confirmed panelists is the Rev. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., leader of the Wilmington Ten. George Curry, executive editor of the NNPA, will moderate.
  Also to be discussed, “A Black Newspaper on Every Coffee Table.”
  There will also be exhibits on display at UNC – Wilmington.
  A special Black Tie Gala will be held later that evening in the Cape Fear Ballroom of the Hilton - Riverside Hotel honoring former Gov. Beverly Perdue - who granted pardons of innocence to the ten falsely convicted freedom fighters; NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber – who helped to lead the public effort to pardon the Wilmington Ten, and others.
  Rev. Chavis is the scheduled keynoter.
  Among the scheduled performers are spiritual vocalist Lynnette Barber of Lincoln Park Holiness Church in Raleigh, who sings the film's title song, “That Freedom” in “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten, ” renowned singer and pianist  Grenaldo Frazier, spiritual vocalist Jerri Holliday, and Arts Council Director Rhonda Bellamy.  WECT TV co-anchor Frances Weller will serve as mistress of ceremony.
Proceeds from ticket purchases will go to the nonprofit RS and TC Jervay Foundation Inc. a 501 c (3). Donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Funds will be used for scholarships and research related to the history of African-Americans in southeastern North Carolina.  To date the Foundation has awarded four scholarships to students attending HBCUs.
  Corporations and community groups are invited to support this historic fundraising event through the purchase of sponsor packages, Sponsor package benefits include hosted tables for your guests and recognition at the event, and in related advertising promotional materials.
The deadline for ads for the special souvenir program book is March 24th.
For more information contact Shawn Thatch at The Wilmington Journal atwilmjournads@aol.com, or call 910-762-5502.

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