MORAL MONDAY PROTESTS RESUME MAY 19TH - Rev. Dr. William Barber (center), president of the NC NAACP, is joined by Forward Together coalition members at a press conference Wednesday announcing the resumption of Moral Monday protests at the NC Legislature on May 19th. With the Republican-led NC General Assembly back in session this week, Rev. Barber promised to lead thousands once again in protesting what they feel are repressive policies that hurt the poorest North Carolinians [Cash Michaels Photo]
MORAL MONDAY PROTESTS RESUME
PRESSURE ON MCCRORY, GOP
By Cash Michaels
Saying that the Moral Monday Movement has already forced Gov. Pat McCrory to move on issues like increasing teacher pay and Duke Energy cleaning up its coal ash spills, Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP and leader of the Moral Monday Movement, told reporters Wednesday in front of the NC General Assembly as the Short Session began, that the MMM will return starting May 19th to pressure Republican lawmakers to do more for the poor.
“Our goal is to engage public policy with a moral narrative, that puts a face on the policies,” Rev. Barber, surrounded by coalition partners in the MMM, said. “This is a prolonged campaign, a prolonged movement, and we intend to stay here.”
Barber reiterated that the MMM is neither a Democratic or Republican-inspired effort, and that, just as last year when tens of thousands of demonstrators from across the state came to Raleigh to protest at the Legislature, all are welcomed to join the movement if they believe that North Carolina could, and should be doing better for all of its citizens.
“We are people of conscience…so don’t measure this movement by just the normal terms of engagement,” Rev. Barber said, echoing the cry of the Forward Together Coalition for the Legislature to “repeal extreme laws.”
“We are here, and we are here to stay.”
Barber said state lawmakers and the governor need to be “challenged nonviolently to repent from their tragic and misguided policies” that saw unemployment benefits, Medicare coverage and other social safety net programs end for the most needy in the state last year.
“The reality is we are not seeing a “Carolina Comeback,” but the real numbers reveal a Carolina setback,” Rev. Barber quipped, chiding Gov. McCrory’s constant assurances that there has been marked improvement in the state’s economy and a lowering of unemployment figures since he took office in 2013.
In fact, many political observers note, North Carolina has a $445 million budget shortfall that has to be fixed during the Short Session, a shortfall that was caused by taxes being cut to state’s wealthy, thus bringing in less revenue than needed.
That will make it more difficult to give teachers substantial raises, critics charge, and also cut funding to needed state services to the poor.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Rev. Barber has leaders from the areas of healthcare, protecting the environment, improving education, the clergy and criminal justice also speak, telling why they will be back next Monday in front of the Legislature, demonstrating for their respective issues.
Clergymen offered to sit down and “break bread” with Gov. McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis, Senate Leader Phil Berger and state Budget Director Art Pope to discuss “regressive laws passed by the GOP-led General Assembly, in hopes that they will repeal them.
"This is why we invite you to join us on May 19, 2014," A letter from the clergymen reads. "Don't worry about coming to us. We're coming to you. And we're bringing those whose lives have been crushed by your decisions with us. We pray that you will at least pause to break bread with them and with us, the people of North Carolina whom you claim to represent. If you will join with us in this symbolic action, commit yourself to a new day in Raleigh."
ROBERT LAWSON, NCCU PHOTOGRAPHER, PASSES - For over 20 years, if it was an NCCU official, sports or social event, Robert Lawson was there to capture it on film for university history. On Sunday, Lawson died, leaving a lasting legacy of iconic pictures that will live on for generations. He retired recently, and was honored by NCCU just last week. Before he died, Lawson donated his pictures and negatives to the NCCU Archives.
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS 5-15-14
DURHAM RESTAURANT OWNER CHARGED AS DRUG DEALER
The owner of a Durham restaurant has been arrested and slapped with multiple charges of heroin dealing and trafficking. Shelby Andrew Wilson, 48, also faces charges of maintaining a dwelling for the sale of drugs, along with the possession of a stolen firearm, among other charges. Over 117 grams of heroin and two firearms were confiscated from Wilson’s Tasty Haven Restaurant. Wilson is under a $5 million bond in the Durham County jail.
ORANGE COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT RESIGNS
After only eight months in office, the superintendent of Orange County Public Schools resigned Monday evening. The resignation of Gerri Martin was unanimously accepted by the Orange County Board of Education, and former Wake county Supt. Del Burns will serve as interim until a permanent leader is hired. Martin had a four-year contract at over $120,000 annually until 2017. She will be paid $100,000 in one time severance. Published reports say Martin is leaving early to take care of her mother.
RALEIGH GREYHOUND BUS STATION MOVES TO CAPITAL BOULEVARD
Looking to catch a Greyhound Bus out of town? Note the new bus station location at the corner of Capital and Crabtree boulevards, which opened on Wednesday. Greyhound has leased the new location for the next ten years.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 5-15-14
DEADLINE FOR STERILIZATION VICTIMS NEARS
[RALEIGH] As of May 1, 2014, the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims (Office) has received 442 claim forms from potential Eugenics Board sterilization victims. 281 of those claim forms have been forwarded to the NC Industrial Commission to determine whether the claimants are eligible for compensation. The victims of North Carolina’s 1933 Eugenics Board (sterilization) Program have until June 30, 2014 to submit a completed claim form to the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims to be eligible to receive compensation under the Eugenics Compensation Program. As of early 2013, 176 living victims were verified in an attempt to identify sterilization victims. For more information, including claim forms, please visit the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims online or call 919-807-4270.
ROBINSON WANTS TO DRAFT “PRESIDENT” DR. BEN CARSON
[WINSTON-SALEM] A controversial black Republican is working to draft acclaimed neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson to run for president in 2016. Vernon Robinson, a former Winston-Salem city councilman, says that Carson, who has garner praise in right-wing circles for his attacks on Pres. Obama and the Affordable Care Act, can unite the Republican Party and draw African-Americans from a possible Hillary Clinton candidacy on the Democratic side. Dr. Carson spoke in High Point last Friday. He has not indicated whether he will seek the GOP nomination.
AIKEN DECLARED WINNER IN 2ND DISTRICT PRIMARY AMID CRISCO’S DEATH
[RALEIGH] Former “American idol” singer Clay Aiken has been declared the official winner of the May 6th 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary, winning just over 40 percent of the vote to defeat challenger Keith Crisco, who had just over 39 percent. But Aiken’s victory was bittersweet, coming just one day after news that Crisco, 71, had died Monday at his home in Asheboro after he slipped and hit his head. Aiken suspended all campaign activity upon hearing the news, calling Crisco a good man. Tributes came from across the political spectrum, hailing Crisco, a businessman and Gov. Beverly Perdue’s former commerce secretary, as a ‘North Carolina giant.” Aiken will face Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in November. Crisco will be buried Friday.
CASH IN THE APPLE 5-15-14
By Cash Michaels
THE DISEASE – This situation with L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is becoming even more disgraceful as the days and weeks go by. And the reason is quite simple, really.
Neither Donald Sterling, nor his wife, Shelly, can truly hide what they are, no matter how they try to manipulate the media in their too little, too late PR moves.
Have you heard these people in their most recent interviews this week – Donald with CNN and Shelly with ABC? Both deny with every bone in their bodies that they are not racists, despite strong past allegations from people they’ve done business with about comments and actions that reveal otherwise.
These are rich people, people of privilege. Shelly is angry with Donald for giving three expensive cars and some property to his alleged girlfriend…you know, the black/Latina one who allegedly taped him saying all of those admittedly nasty, racist things that got him so in trouble with the NBA to begin with?
And Donald, as you’ll recall, was quite angry with the girlfriend because she was going to bring black people to his Clippers games.
Do these people seem ‘normal” to you?
Of course not!
So when they say that they are not racist, despite the long record of racist allegations against them, what are we to believe?
Indeed, this is not new. History is replete with racist folks who do the dumbest things, but swear on the graves of their racist ancestors that they love all mankind, and could never do anything even remotely racist, all the while apologizing for what they insist is a momentary lapse in judgment for which they readily apologize to anyone who may have “taken offense.”
This kind of nonsense is a disease, boys and girls. Unless there is profit in it, few people actually admit to be racist because it is, quite frankly, bad for business. People enjoy the private practice of racism, but they don’t want to be caught being seen in the sheet they’re so comfortable in.
Racism is an illness. To think that you and yours are inherently superior to certain other people; that Almighty GOD has blessed you with power and plenty not because you’ve worked hard to attain them, but because that is simply the “natural order’ of things; to emotionally need someone different to symbolically crush just to compensate for your moral shortcomings…ALL of that is sick beyond measure.
It is an understatement to say that historically, we’ve seen more than our share of this illness. Without question, we’ve seen it consistently ever since our president, Barack Hussein Obama, an African-American, took office in 2009. The idiotic questions about his birth certificate; the deliberate misrepresentation about his policies and vision for America; and the willingness of a major political party to do damage to this nation in to assure that this first African-American president cannot claim any success in moving us forward (and when he does achieve success, to trash it as something that is harmful to America).
The rank pettiness we’ve seen targeting Pres. Obama is clearly not just because of partisan politics, because of the glee and ease with which his opponents employ to demean and castigate him.
And now we’re seeing other countries, most recently North Korea, employing racist tactics like referring to the president of the United States as a “monkey.”
Like I said, this is a pathetic disease.
So while it has been good watching the world condemn the Sterlings, to be honest, their case is easy.
That was stupid racism, committed by stupid rich people so arrogant they feel that no one can touch them. And let’s face it, for a while, everyone knew who these people were, and did nothing about it.
How about doing something about the powerful people who know exactly what they’re doing when they try to divide us, and who get rewarded for it? There are officials elected to Congress who represent some of the most backwards, racist, idiotic “thinking” in the nation, and these officials are the ones who would shut down the government in a moment’s notice just to make a point, regardless of who it hurts.
These are the people who want to keep exploiting the tragedy of the Benghazi attack, want to keep attacking the Affordable Care Act, what to keep the idiotic birther issue alive, and want to believe that somehow, by keeping all of this divisive nonsense out there, they are somehow “getting their country back.”
We answer these clueless racists by staying engaged, paying attention to the issues, and when the time comes, voting our interests. We know that the country has gone crazy, and that there are those who would turn it upside just to go back to the “good old days” when they didn’t have to worry about a civil rights act.
These folks have even successfully moved to make our voting harder, hoping that we’ll just give up, and that their people will be put in place to steer the country permanently in their direction.
Racism is still here, folks. Yes things are better than they ever were, in one sense. But there is no denying that there are powerful forces that have already turned the clock back on our rights, and they will continue to do so.
Our collective job is to fight them, and the disease that so afflicts them. For if we don’t, the world will be very quick to forgive and forget people like Donald and Shelly Sterling.
And that’s something we just can’t allow to have happen.
BARBARA WALTERS – She singularly put the female face of excellence on television journalism. She has been reporting the most important stories in the world since the days of President John F. Kennedy. And you knew that you were an A-list celebrity who had arrived if she called you up and asked for an interview.
Barbara Walters is officially retiring from television this week, and you have to give her credit for hanging on this long. In recent weeks, just to remind us that she still has what it takes, Walters grabbed exclusive interviews with V. Viviano, the mistress in the Don Sterling controversy, and his wife, Shelly Sterling. Barbara also took time to visit “Saturday Night Live” last weekend to make fun of herself.
For over 40 years, Barbara has sat across kings and queens, presidents and celebrities, asking pointed questions, and getting the kinds of answers that had people talking long after the interview was gone.
And for the past 17 years, Walters has hosted “The View” on ABC, making that program part of her well-known legacy.
So we say “thanks” and so long to Barbara Walters as she retires from television. No question she has a special place in history.
THANK YOU – This a quick note of thanks top all who attended our free screenings of “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten” last week at Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh (thanks Pastor Earl Johnson) and two weeks ago at Hayti Heritage Center in Durham (thank you Angela Lee and Marc Lee).
Both audiences made it clear not only that they felt the film was an important one, but that it revealed a vital part of history that our young people must see, and understand.
Based on these screenings, we’ve been making slight enhancements to the film, so that by the time the co-sponsors, the National Newspaper Publishers Association and CashWorks HD Productions, begin to take this film nationally, we know its ready.
We’ll keep you posted on what happens next with “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.”
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.