Tuesday, May 6, 2014






STANDING FOR KIDNAPPED NIGERIAN SCHOOL GIRLS - Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) and Rep. Janice Hahn (CA-44) met with Nigerian officials at the Nigerian Embassy to discuss how the international community can work together to rescue nearly 300 girls and young women abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria. The Members identified Boko Haram as a terrorist organization and strongly condemned the targeting of girls and women as casualties of war around the world. The Members also called on the international community to create a relief fund to support Nigerian girls and young women who have been victims of Boko Haram. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus will meet with Secretary of State John Kerry today, to discuss the situation in Nigeria among other critical foreign affairs issues.



            In the Democratic primary for Wake District Attorney, Wake Clerk of Superior Court Lorrin Freeman won convincingly over Wake prosecutor Boz Zellinger, 58 to 42 percent. Freeman will face off against the July runoff winner of the GOP primary, where Wake prosecutor Jeff Cruden and defense attorney John Bryant re apparently headed after both top vote getters failed to reach the 40 percent threshold, garnering 34 and 33 percent respectively in a four-candidate field.
            For Wake Clerk of Superior Court, Sam Bridges outpolled Blair Williams 54 top 46 percent in the Democratic primary, while over in the Republican primary, Jennifer Knox outdistanced candidates Barbara Moore and Joe Teague by 42 percent.
            For Wake County Commissioner, incumbent Joe Bryan easily won his Republican primary by 77 percent.
            In Durham County, Roger Echols dominated a three-candidate race by 61 perent in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Sheriff Michael Andrews won by 56 percent over two challengers in the Democratic primary for sheriff. For Durham County Board of Education, Mike Lee, Sendolo Diaminah, Matt Sears and incumbent board member Natalie Beyer were all winners Tuesday.



            [RALEIGH]  Shocking most political experts, former “American Idol” celebrity Clay Aiken unofficially edged former Perdue Administration official Keith Crisco in Tuesday’s three-way Democratic primary for the Second Congressional District nomination. With less than 400 votes separating Aiken and Crisco, the entertainer garnered just over the required 40 percent of the vote to Crisco’s 39 percent. The third place candidate, Toni Morris, got almost 20 percent of the vote. At press time, Crisco had not conceded, and was expected to call for a recount. The result could be either an all-out win for Aiken, or a runoff between the two during the summer. The Democratic nominee will face Republican incumbent Congresswoman Renee Elmers, who won her primary contest against challenger Frank Roche, 59% to 41%.

            [CHARLOTTE] With almost 46 percent of the eight-person field in Tuesday’s Republican primary for the US Senate race, NC House Speaker Thom Tillis withstood a tough Tea Party challenge from Dr. Greg Bannon, 46 to 27 percent, to win the right to face US Senator Kay Hagan in November. Hagan easily won her three-way Democratic primary with over 77 percent to retain her nomination for re-election. The Tillis primary was seen nationally as a test of the GOP establishment versus the ultra –conservative Tea Party. Every establishment candidate in the nation Tuesday night won their primary against Tea Party challengers. Tillis, who is being backed by big business and former White House Republican political director Karl Rove, is seen as key in helping the GOP to win back the US Senate if he can defeat Hagan.

            [WILMINGTON] New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield won the Democratic primary for the Seventh Congressional District 7 seat currently held by departing incumbent US Rep. Mike McIntyre, 58 to 42 percent over Walter Martin Tuesday evening. Barfield will now face former State Sen. David Rouser, a Republican who lost to McIntyre by just over 500 votes two years ago, for the seat in November. Rouser won the GOP District 7 primary over NHC Commission Chair Woody White, and Chris Andrade with 53 percent of the vote.

            [GREENSBORO] In perhaps the most unique congressional primary race situation of the year, state Rep. Alma Adams [D- Guilford] won both the Democratic primary race for the 12th Congressional District by 43 percent, and the district race to finish out the unexpired term of former 12th District Congressman Mel Watt, who left Congress last January to become head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, by 44 percent. Adams led a field of six for the unexpired term, and seven to run in November against Republican Vince Coakley.
            In other primary night news, incumbent Republican Congressman Walter Jones, Jr. withstood a strong challenge in the GOP District 3 primary to win by 51 percent. Jones had become unpopular with the Republican establishment, who wanted him out. Democratic incumbent Rep. G. K. Butterfield won his primary convincingly by over 81 percent. He’ll face Republican challenger Arthur Rich in the fall. And for the state Supreme Court, Democratic incumbent Robin Hudson with face challenger Judge Eric Levinson in November for Hudson’s seat. Hudson and Levinson finished first and second respectively, with Justice Hudson garnering 43 percent to Judge Levinson’s 37 percent.


By Cash Michaels

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY – With all the love I can muster, Happy Mother Day to each and every Mom out there. We can’t live life without you. You are indeed our best friend in the world, and throughout life. In many, many cases, we simply don’t deserve you.
So have a very Happy Mother’s Day this weekend!
RALEIGH’S FREE “PARDONS” SCREENING FRIDAY NIGHT – We had a small crowd, but a great one at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham for the May 1st free screening of the NNPA – CashWorks HD Productions documentary “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.” We didn’t have as many young people there as I would have wanted, but nonetheless, we had a seasoned audience who watched intently for 2 hours, and then stayed an hour more discussing the film (we were only supposed to stay just 30 minutes more, so I was very pleased).
In all, the audience enjoyed the film, and particularly enjoyed the documented history that led up to the Wilmington Ten trials in the 1970’s, culminating over 40 years later with the black newspapers of the NNPA leading the drive for pardons of innocence, which Gov. Beverly Perdue granted in December 2012.
One thing that the audience insisted on, and we agree, is that our young people – black and white – see this film for its history, because Lord knows they’re getting precious little of it elsewhere.
So everyone in Durham who came out to see it; Angela Lee, Marc Lee, John Paul and the entire staff of the Hayti Heritage Center; and those who weren’t able to make it but supported the free screening last week…thank you much. It was really appreciated.
Raleigh, this Friday night, May 9th, at 6:30 p.m. at Martin Street Baptist Church, 1001 East Martin Street in Raleigh, is your turn to see the FREE screening of “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.” Seating is limited, so get to the Family Life Center pronto, and prepare yourselves for a powerful two-hour film that we hope opens your eyes to the true story of the Wilmington Ten, and what kind of state we were over 40 years ago when such an injustice that was perpetrated on them could happen at all.
Any high school or college students reading this, we very much want you there because we want to hear your thoughts afterwards. The NNPA and CashWorks HD Productions produced this film primarily for our young people, so come one, come all. You are most welcomed.
Finally, to Pastor Earl Johnson and the fine staff at Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh, in addition to the Raleigh- Wake Citizens Association, thank you for opening your doors and allowing this film to be shown to our community. We believe this film is worthy of the support it has thus far gotten.
LINGERING STERLING THOUGHTS – Now that the smoke has died down in the Donald Sterling racist comments controversy, it’s interesting to see who is crawling from under many rocks to try and defend this character.
As you know, Sterling is the owner of the NBA Los Angeles Clippers team, who was secretly recorded telling his alleged mistress that he didn’t want her taking pictures with black people, or bringing them to his games. The uproar that spurred when the website TMZ released those tapes forced the NBA to ban Sterling for life from its ranks, and the NBA Board of Governors, comprised of the other 29 owners, are now moving diligently, we’re told, to selling the team away from Sterling, something he has indicated he will fight.
First of all, if the NBA can do it, I say go for it. They have every right to expel Sterling from their ranks. He allegedly violated the league’s Constitution (one Sterling reportedly signed on to), so the case seems crystal clear…until it gets to court, of course.
And yes, I would love to see Magic Johnson, or Oprah Winfrey, of some other wealthy African-American buy the team. It would be sweet justice indeed.
But to those folks who are now trying to defend Sterling, saying that he had a right to feel the way he did, and the only reason why we know about it is because someone illegally taped him as he was running his big mouth.
True, and in a court of law, that recording would probably be thrown out. But in the court of public opinion, and apparently the NBA, just the confirmed knowledge that Sterling feels the way he does black people is enough to make him pay. Yes, his previous racist actions related to being a slumlord should have been enough to can him a long time ago. But thankfully, Sterling’s bad attitude has caught up with him now. So we take what GOD has given us, and go from there. If folks want to prosecute the person who illegally taped him, be my guest. Frankly, I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for the crazy alleged mistress either.
A VOTING JOURNALIST – This is an age-old debate, namely should journalists participate as voters, especially if they cover politics.
Personally, I think it’s one of the stupidest questions ever asked. Keep in mind, I firmly believe journalists shouldn’t ever run around talking about whom they voted for, or against. That I think is certainly unfair and professional, and leads to charges (fair or unfair) that you’re using your work to front for candidates you support.
That’s called discretion, the same kind you employ for other personal matters. Voting, in my mind, is a personal matter. You support candidates at the polls on Election Day for the expressed purpose of representing the issues you feel are important in the society you and yours live in. That’s a fundamental American right.
Thus, as a citizen, regardless what your job may be, you should be fully participatory in the very society you report on and to. The purpose of good journalism is inform the public, and more specifically your readers, so that they can make important and well-informed decisions about the town, city, county, state and nation they live in and pay taxes to.
Well, aren’t you, the journalist, a citizen too? Don’t you also keep yourself informed (indeed you’re obligated too)? Don’t you take part in civic events and activities that help improve the community? Doesn’t your voice count?
Being a journalist doesn’t absolve you of civic responsibility. In fact, in my way of thinking, it actually enhances that civic responsibility to lead by example. How can it be possible that you make a living reporting about right and wrong, and what the status of societal standards currently are, but when given the civic opportunity to help maintain or improve those standards, you go run and hide behind your pen, pad and digital recorder?
In my opinion, journalists have every right to vote, and should. They should NOT, however, campaign for candidates or be telling anyone whom they should be voting for.
Any objections?
TRIUMPHANT WARRIOR – Wayne Moore of Ann Arbor, surviving member of the Wilmington Ten whose wrongful conviction in the 1970s made him a national symbol for social and racial injustice at the age of 19, is releasing a memoir, "Triumphant Warrior: Memoir of a Soul Survivor of the Wilmington Ten," on Mother’s Day weekend.
He has written a powerful piece, from the flames of racial hatred during the turbulent times of change and desegregation in Wilmington, N.C., from 1968 to 1971. Desegregation had come at the expense of the closing of the only all-black high school, a move that some blacks in Wilmington described as “like a death in the family.”
"Triumphant Warrior" describes how state and federal officials conspired together to unjustly frame arrest, try and imprison members of the Wilmington Ten who were actively protesting the institutionalized racial discrimination and hostilities surrounding the closing of Williston Senior High School and forced, court-ordered desegregation of the public school system in New Hanover County and Wilmington.
Moore served more than four years in prison after being tried and convicted of firebombing a grocery store and conspiracy to assault emergency personnel following three years of racial unrest in Wilmington.
For more on the book, go to the Wilmington Ten Foundation for Social Justice website online.
AMAZINGLY HORRIBLE SPIDER-MAN 2 – I wasted two hours of my life, and that of my youngest daughter’s life, seeing “The Amazing Spider-man 2” last weekend. I truly don’t want to waste more than five minutes more telling you that this film – which is full of action and great special effects – is some of the worst storytelling I’ve ever seen (next to “The Lone Ranger” with Johnny Depp, which I also saw for the first time last weekend on cable).
Andrew Garfield as “Spidey” has gotten a bit whiny. The rest of the cast is expectedly over-the-top (comic book movies ate supposed top be that way). So the only saving grace is giving them a story where they can be comfortably over-the-top, and entertaining at the same time.
But alas, the storytelling has no real direction. Stuff is just thrown at the audience to accept without any real context. More importantly, the flick insults your intelligence.
I get it…”The Amazing Spider-man 2” is supposed to be a spring blockbuster for mostly teens (and ignorant ones at that, I imagine). But so was ‘The Avengers” and “Iron Man 1, 2 and 3” and “Star Wars” and the list of great comic book blockbusters can go on and one. I’m by no means saying any or all of those famous titles were perfect. Many of them had a few moments that got on my nerves.
But none of those titles, or even the two Spider-man movies from 2002 and 2004 starring Tobey Maguire, stunk as bad as this flaccid thing. Even the majority of film critics are all up into how idiot this thing is.
Trust me, save your money, wait until it either comes on cable or is renting for a buck 20. “The Amazing Spider-man 2” is the worst!
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.

By Cash Michaels

            The Rev. Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. says he’s coming back “home” to North Carolina to help jumpstart a voter empowerment movement for young people during this election year. And according to Chavis, the activist community of Durham is best suited to lead the charge.
            Dr. Chavis made his remarks Sunday , April 27th during a “Get Out To Vote Rally, sponsored by the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People at Covenant Presbyterian Church, where activist Rev. Jimmy Hawkins is the pastor.
            Chavis said it was crucial that the power of young voters be harnessed in order to combat the Republican drive to build on their iron grip on state government, and the “negative” policies, like voter ID that have ultimately resulted.
            “These are some rough times,” Chavis told those gathered.  “[But] I’m here today to remind us that we’ve had rough times before.”
            “What’s going in the state Legislature, what’s going on in the Governor’s Mansion represents not just those Republicans? It represents a larger reality…somebody voted to put them in power. All of these bad things they have done to hurt people [in North Carolina]…just didn’t happen by themselves,” Dr. Chavis continued.
            In the face of Republican domination, the “challenge” is to reach out to the hundreds of thousands of blacks, Latinos and youth people who currently are not registered to vote, or are orientated to understand what freedoms they have lost since the GOP takeover in North Carolina, and what more could they lose.
            After saying that he would “love to see” the Democrats take back the NC General Assembly in the 2014 midterms, or the Governor’s Mansion in 2016, Chavis added, “…and I don’t think that’s an impossible dream.”
            “We not only have to pray for what is right, but allow ourselves to be GOD’s instruments for further change,” Chavis said, adding that all right-thing people of good will, no matter what their color, must come together to work for change.
            “If you work to make life better for black people in America, you work to make life better for all people in America,” the former leader of the Wilmington Ten said. “But we have to keep pushin’.”
            Chavis pointed to how One Stop – Early Voting numbers for the May 6th primary were slack, and how something must be done to improve those numbers by Election Day in the fall.
            “Driving up here I saw a lot of students…a lot of young people on the street. And I’m not so sure how conscious they are that not only can they early vote, but what’s at stake in this election.”
            Dr. Chavis, who was recently nominated to be interim executive director of the NC Democratic Party before moderate Democrats led a smear campaign to kill the effort, called Election Day “payback day,” saying that it is the day that voters kick elected officials out of office who have not served in the public interest.
            “I think the people in the Legislature and the Governor’s Mansion need to be paid back for what they’ve done,” Chavis said to applause. “So who is going to pay them back? I’m not so sure if the people of North Carolina are fighting ready.”
            Chavis said he is willing to come back, at his own expense, to help take part in “turning North Carolina around,” but it has to happen county-by-county. He suggested that Durham County lead the way in that effort because historically it produced “intellectual giants and forward thinking.”
Young people, Dr. Chavis said, are essential to that turnaround.
            “Young people voted in record numbers in 2008 because they got inspired. So what is it on the short term, between now and [Election Day] that we can do in North Carolina to inspire and make our young people vote again?’
            Chavis said there must be outreach to the youth, using social media and the modern communications vehicles.
            “There are one million more Democrats than there are Republicans in North Carolina,” Dr. Chavis said. “What kind of calculus is that? How is that mathematically possible? You have one million more Democrats than Republicans, but the Republicans win the elections. That’s a mathematical impossibility, unless we and our allies have let go of not only our enthusiasm, but our sense of calling every day.”
            “There’s no better feeling when you go to sleep at night than knowing that when you wake up, you’re going to help somebody, because when you do, you also help yourself,” Chavis said.
            “Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can get right back up, he continued. “We’ve hit rock bottom. I don’t think it’s possible to go lower.”
            The former executive director of the NAACP called for a “democracy revival” in North Carolina, saying that the people’s spirituality, politics and economic outlook must all come together to move forward.
            “We have to reassert ourselves. We’ve made so much progress politically, but I think we have to make more progress economically, because one of the reasons why we’re politically weak today is because we’re also weak economically.”
            Dr. Chavis says the African-American community needs to start an economic  “war chest” so that it no longer has to take money from figures like disgraced
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA this week after a recording of his racist rantings was made public recently. Sterling had received a “life achievement award” from the Los Angeles NAACP chapter in 2009 despite reports of his being a racist slumlord, and was set to receive another on May 15th at the L.A. NAACP’s Freedom Fund banquet.
            The president of that chapter has since been forced to resign.
            That award, which published reports say was the result of Sterling contributing thousands of dollars to that branch, has since been withdrawn.
            Chavis said with the US Supreme Court rollback on voting rights and affirmative action, in addition to the North Carolina Republican rollback on voting rights, social programming and their assault on the poor and unemployed, are more than enough reasons for people across the state to band together, and vote in the midterm elections this fall.


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