CIVIL RIGHTS CHAMPION DIES - Prof. Vincent Harding was an African-American scholar and civil rights activist best known for working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and writing prolifically about the 1960's civil rights movement. Harding was firm believer in nonviolence, and had even written a letter to Pres. Obama chiding him after the capture and killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden. Harding died May 19th at the age of 82.
LEGAL CLINIC FOR EUGENICS VICTIMS MAY 29TH AT MARTIN STREET BAPTIST
The Center for Civil Rights is helping victims of North Carolina’s infamous forced sterilization program and their families file claims for compensation under NC's Eugenics Compensation Program by the June 30, 2014 deadline. Martin St. Baptist Church, 1001 East Martin Street in Raleigh is hosting a free legal clinic on Thursday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. If you and/or a family member were ever sterilized by order of the state of North Carolina, you and/or that family member should attend to learn what your legal rights are for compensation. For more information, please contact Senior Staff Attorney Elizabeth Haddix at 919-445-0176.
North Carolina NAACP Files Motion to Stop North Carolina's Voter Suppression Law
special to The Carolinian Newspaper
DURHAM, NC - The North Carolina NAACP on Monday embarked upon the next phase in its campaign to block the state's monster voter suppression law from disenfranchising voters during the November general elections.
Monday night, the NC NAACP legal team - led by NCCU Law Professor Irv Joyner and Atty. Adam Stein as well as attorneys from Kirkland Ellis, LLP and Advancement Project - filed a motion in federal court seeking a preliminary injunction against HB 589 on the grounds that the new voter restrictions violate the 14th, 15th and 26th Amendments as well as Section II of the Voting Rights Act by disproportionately impacting people of color and other minority groups.
"Without same-day registration, without the full schedule of early voting, without voter protection from vigilante poll watchers, without the ability to cast provisional ballots if you mistakenly go to the wrong precinct, people in North Carolina will be disenfranchised during November's critical elections," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina NAACP and architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement. "Disproportionately, those disenfranchised will be people of color, seniors, women, youth, the disabled and other minorities. We cannot forget that, for decades, our state legislature worked hard to keep people of color from the ballot box by passing all sorts of burdensome regulations that restricted their access to the ballot box. We did not stand idly by last summer when extremists passed the worst voter suppression law seen in the South since Jim Crow, and we will continue to take our fight for the simple, unfettered right to vote into the courts and into the streets this summer."
"While the voters of North Carolina were fighting to have their voices heard at the statehouse during yesterday's Moral Monday demonstration, our attorneys were at the courthouse filing this motion seeking a preliminary injunction to block HB 589 for the November 2014 election," said Penda D. Hair, Co-Director of Advancement Project. "While our lawsuit is pending, North Carolina should maintain the same voting procedures that were in place for the 2010 and 2012 elections - successful procedures that led to North Carolina having among the highest rates of voter turnout in the nation. In our brief, we provide unequivocal evidence showing that North Carolina's voter suppression law has a disparate impact on voters of color, and will abridge the right to vote for voters across the state. A preliminary injunction is necessary ensure that the voters of North Carolina are not harmed by the effects of HB589 while our case challenging this harmful law makes its way through the courts."
The NC NAACP legal team filed its motion and its 95-page brief jointly with the League of Women Voters plaintiffs and with interveners representing youth voters in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. In the brief, the NC NAACP argues that these voter restrictions should not be allowed during the 2014 general elections because clear evidence shows that they will hurt African Americans and young people.
"Defendants do not (because they cannot) dispute that HB 589 imposes disproportionate burdens on African Americans," the brief reads. "Indeed, at the time it enacted HB 589, the General Assembly had before it (or previously had been told) that African Americans used early voting, SDR, and out-of-precinct voting at far higher rates than whites. The evidence shows, moreover, that the elimination of these practices will interact with existing socioeconomic conditions to impose material burdens on African Americans' ability to vote. North Carolina has an unfortunate and judicially recognized history of racial discrimination, and the effects of that discrimination persist to this day."
The NC NAACP legal team expects to argue its case for a preliminary injunction in federal court this summer. A date for the hearing has not yet been scheduled.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS 5-22-14
1500 MORAL MONDAY PROTESTERS STAGE SILENT DEMONSTRATION
[RALEIGH] Amid new Legislative Building restrictions, an estimated 1,500 protesters with the Moral Monday Movement descended on the NC General Assembly Monday afternoon with their mouths taped, symbolizing how, they say, the Republican-led Legislature has tried to silence their efforts to oppose “repressive” policies. Unlike last year’s nonviolent demonstrations where over 900 protesters were arrested, no one was arrested Monday. Led by Moral Monday convener Rev. Dr. William Barber of the NCNAACP, communal bread was broken and shared as a symbol of unity. The protesters say they want many of the laws that they feel are contrary to the interests of poor North Carolinians repealed.
MCCRORY WANTS TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR THREATENING STATE OFFICIALS
[RALEIGH] In the aftermath of the father of a Wake prosecutor being kidnapped, Gov. McCrory wants to toughen the penalties for anyone who threatens and/or assaults state officials and their relatives. He also wants the NC General Assembly to provide harder punishments for those caught giving cellphones to prisoners. Currently it is just a misdemeanor. McCrory wants it raised to a Class F felony, with anywhere from 10 to 41 months in prison.
CHARLOTTE “BOBCATS” NO MORE; WELCOME BACK CHARLOTTE HORNETS
[CHARLOTTE] Thanks to NBA franchise owner Michael Jordan, the Charlotte Bobcats are now a page in history, and the Charlotte Hornets have returned. The team changed its name and logo back to its founding 1988-2002 moniker this week, hoping to recapture the excitement of those early years before previous owner George Shinn moved the franchise to New Orleans. The “Hornets” name became available after the new New Orleans owner that team’s name to the “Pelicans.” All of the Hornets’ previous Charlotte records will now combine with the Bobcat records, and be credited to the new Hornets team.
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS 5-22-14
WAKE SCHOOL BOARD PRESSES ON FOR TEACHER RAISES
With the Wake County Commission Board indicating that it will not consider a 3.5 percent pay raise for all school system employees in its next budget, the Wake School Board this week vowed to continue pushing for that, and for the NC General Assembly to raise teacher pay. Wake County Manager Jim Hartmann only recommended a $10 million increase in the school system budget, not the $39 million the school board requested to cover pay raises. Hartmann says he’s waiting to see what the state Legislature does with Gov. McCrory’s teacher pay raise request.
A.B. COMBS ELEMENTARY NAMED BEST MAGNET SCHOOL IN THE NATION
Wake County Public Schools can tout another great national success as A. B. Leadership Elementary School in Raleigh was recently named top magnet school out of 300 in the nation by Magnet Schools of America. The school last won top honors in 2006. Combs Elementary received $5,000 with the honor.
DURHAM POLICE VIDEO CONFIRMS OFFICER ATTACK ON BICYCLIST
A Durham District Court judge ruled that a Durham police officer had no reason to use excessive force against a bicyclist whom the officer had stopped, and had charged with running a red light. But Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez released a police car dashcam video this week of the Sept. 28, 2013 violent arrest of bicyclist John Hill by Officer J. A. Daniels, saying that an internal review reveals that Daniels followed police procedure to the letter, and did nothing wrong. The video shows the officer stopping Hill. Hill is seen arguing with Daniels, and at one point, gets off his bike and throws it down. But at no time does he touch Officer Daniels, or approach him. Instead, the video, which had no sound, shows the officer suddenly grabbing Hill, and throwing him to the ground face first. Hill did sustain minor injuries. At the May 8th trial, the judge cleared hill of the running the red light charge.
WELCOMING NEW NAACP PRESIDENT - NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock welcomes newly selected NAACP President Cornell William Brooks with a pin Sunday shortly after his appointment.
NAACP SELECTS LEGAL ADVOCATE
FOR NEW PRESIDENT/CEO
Special to The Carolinian Newspaper
The NAACP National Board of Directors announced its selection of Attorney Cornell William Brooks to be the Association’s next National President & CEO. He will become the 18th person to oversee operations at the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization in its 105-year history.
“We are proud to welcome Attorney Cornell William Brooks as our new president and CEO,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors. “Mr. Brooks is a pioneering lawyer and civil rights leader, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Association. We look forward to leveraging his legal prowess, vision and leadership as we tackle the pressing civil rights issues of the 21st century.”
Brooks, a longtime lawyer and human rights activist, serves currently as the President and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice based in Newark.
A fourth-generation ordained minister, Brooks has worked to pass legislation enabling previously incarcerated men and women to rebuild their lives as productive and responsible citizens, called a model for the nation by the New York Times. He successfully pushed for state legislation to reduce the effects of widespread foreclosures. Mr. Brooks has worked to develop social impact investing tools to employ more people in higher wage work.
Brooks served as senior counsel for the Federal Communications Commission, executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington and as trial attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He has also campaigned tirelessly as an advocate for public education, affordable healthcare, and fiscal responsibility.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be entrusted with the opportunity to lead this historic organization,” said Brooks. “In our fight to ensure voting rights, economic equality, health equity, and an end to racial discrimination for all people, there is much work to do. I look forward to working with the dynamic board and staff, and continuing the important work of the Association in advancing racial and social justice and equality for all.”
Brooks earned a Bachelor of Arts from Jackson State University, a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology, and a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School.
The Hollins Group of Chicago, Illinois, conducted the nationwide search for the new President and CEO that included a review of over 450 applications; meetings with 30 semi-finalists; and interviews with the National Board of Directors.
Attorney Brooks will be formally introduced to the NAACP membership in July at its 105th National Convention in Las Vegas, NV.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan, grassroots civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.
CASH IN THE APPLE 5-22-14
By Cash Michaels
MICHAEL’S HOLOGRAM – No I didn’t watch the 2014 Billboard Awards show on ABC last Sunday night. I don’t like music awards shows anymore because the people they’re giving awards to these days don’t have any talent.
I’m serious about this.
Besides, I prefer watching “The Good Wife” on CBS Sunday nights. Some of the best writing and acting on television, PLUS those folks have talent.
So it wasn’t until the next morning that I heard about the Michael Jackson hologram performance at the awards show, and hunted down a clip of the performance to see what all of the hub-bub was about.
In terms of the technology, the image of the late “King of Pop” dancing and groovin’ looked and sounded spot on. The interaction with the live dancers, all of Michael’s trademark moves…I mean it was truly a technological achievement, especially for high definition television.
And that was the problem.
The darn thing was so spot-on, so eerie, so perfect…that it was hard to accept or cheer for.
Michael Jackson has been dead since June 25th, 2009 when he was 50. It was a tragic passing, made more so because MJ was such a sad person, pushing himself with drugs to stay on top of his game, to stay relevant in the music industry.
Though his personal physician was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sent to prison for his death, in many ways, Michael Jackson killed himself.
And so to see the Michael hologram Sunday night…dancing, moving and singing, was beyond weird, because everyone knew as it good as it was, it was tremendously fake to the bone.
Someone was asking us to accept the performance as a reincarnation of Michael Jackson. Someone was asking us to put aside that Michael is gone, and can never come back, and instead, accept this purely artificial incarnation of Michael as the true essence of his talent, and just enjoy the show.
And what happened? As the TV cameras panned the audience, sure we saw some young ignorants mouthing the word ‘Wow’! But for the most part, we saw gasps, sad smiles…and even tears. Tears because folks knew what they were seeing wasn’t real, though they desperately wished it could be.
Tears because if the effort and genius to create this fake Michael Jackson, instead went into helping the real King of Pop live longer and better, who knows? Maybe, at age 55, Michael would have been up there on the stage for real performing new songs, not leftover stuff that wasn’t good enough to release in 2009.
When we watch videos of Michael Jackson performing with his brothers in the Jackson Five, or doing his now legendary “Moonwalk” from the Motown 25th Anniversary Special, or getting’ down in one of his many imaginative music videos, the experience is obviously different. We know that we’re watching and enjoying the real Michael Jackson, and we marvel at his extraordinary capacity to entertain the world.
We know what we’re seeing is real.
But Sunday, we were asked to accept something we just can’t.
The secret to special effects entertainment, especially in films, is that no matter how sophisticated and real the effects seem to be, there is always a wall of reality which separates the audience from the effects.
But Sunday night at the Billboard Music Awards, that wall was taken away, and the audience was asked not to close their eyes and imagine, but open them wide, and believe for four minutes that Michael Jackson still walked, and danced, and sung among us.
Sorry, no can do.
A few years ago a production company announced that it would make a new Bruce Lee movie using the latest in computer technology that would make the images virtually indistinguishable from living, breathing actors. And indeed, if you watch some of the latest violent video games out on the market, the images are real quite good.
That new Bruce Lee movie was never produced for whatever the reason, and as much as I loved the greatest film martial artist there ever was, I, for one, am glad. It would have been sad to sit there, and watch a computer-generated fake, perfectly imitate Lee, knowing the whole time that the real Bruce Lee will never return.
I think that’s what folks think about the fake Michael they saw Sunday night.
And rightfully so!
HEARTLESS CONSERVATIVES – I know that political conservatives believe themselves to be GOD’s gift to mankind, and that only they know what’s good for everyone else, but I have been really appalled by their complete lack of humanity towards the kidnapped school girls in Nigeria.
There can be no question that most of the world has felt immensely helpless since the terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped over 200 innocent female girls from their private school over a month ago, and have held them hostage. We can only imagine what is happening to those girls, and even Pres. Obama has sent military advisers to help in the rescue.
All the rest of us can do is pray, and hope.
As part of that hope campaign, someone began a worldwide movement on Twitter called #BringBackOurGirls, and to push it, they got celebrities to hold up signs on camera to generate more and more support.
Indeed, the campaign really took off when First Lady Michelle Obama was photographed with a #BringBackOurGirls sign.
Yes, all the sign accomplishes is awareness, and building a collective hope. If some has a better idea to keep the world engaged in praying for the best, then let’s hear it.
But instead, right-wingers trashed the effort, saying that it makes people “feel better about themselves” and accomplishes nothing towards actually saving those children…as if conservatives really care about what happens to those girls. Because if they did, if right-wingers truly cared about those girls as much as they care about trashing the Affordable Care Act, or exploiting the tragedy in Benghazi for political purposes, or talking about potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton being “brain damaged,” I guess we’d see them holding press conferences urging Pres. Obama to do more, or having right-wing ministers pray for the Nigerian girls every Sunday at service; or even better yet, show up on Fox News everyday declaring that saving those girls is a nonpartisan issue, and demanding more support from the international community.
Of course, we’re seeing none of that from the conservatives. If so much as Bo the Obama family dog is for something, you can bet a boneless beef sandwich the right-wing is against it.
The right-wing is against the rescue and safe return of those Nigerian girls. They’re more interested in continuing their attempts to destroy our nation’s first black president, and making sure that Hillary Clinton never becomes America’s first female commander-in-chief.
That makes them sad and inhumane.
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.