CASH IN THE APPLE 7-17-14
By Cash Michaels
LEBRON – What can you say about a superstar athlete who decides to give up the bling in favor of moving back to the community where he grew up, so that he can give back for the rest of his career?
I say great!
What NBA champion LeBron James did last week in leaving the Miami Heat to go back to his beloved Cleveland Cavaliers was nothing short of heartwarming. Indisputably the best professional basketball player on the planet, LeBron proved during his four extraordinary championship years with the Heat (four years Eastern Conference champs, two years NBA champs) that he could grow and mature as a man, and as a competitor.
He took seriously his role as a leader and role model on the Heat. He married his high school sweetheart, and they have their third child on the way. LeBron worked on his game until he was able to develop an unstoppable repertoire of offensive weaponry that made him THE one in the game.
So it would have been easy for LeBron James to go for the money, beat his chest, and proclaim that the Miami Heat would be back in the championship circle after the drubbing they got from the San Antonio Spurs. But he didn’t do that. LeBron took the opportunity to opt out of his contract, discuss things with his family, agent and advisors, and really think about his place in history really should be, where he could really make a difference.
The champion who grew up on the streets of Akron, Ohio, the son of a single mother, decided that he would spend the remainder of his career in the NBA giving back to his community, winning championships, working with kids, and improving the quality of life for all. There is no question he can. The economic impact LeBron James has had on the economy of Miami is said to have been in the tens of millions.
That same impact is expected for the city of Cleveland, where James will be holding court from now on.
While we’re at it, let’s take our hats off to Miami. No question everybody in the Heat organization was stunned Friday when LeBron delivered the news through Sports Illustrated, but the reaction thereafter was nothing but class. From Heat owner Mickey Arison to General Manager Pat Riley, and even now former teammate Dwyane Wade, there was only praise, and thanks to James for giving Miami four great championship years.
There are few figures in professional sports today like LeBron James. There is no question that he has paid his dues, and continues to do so. One day he will again stand proud in the championship circle.
And LeBron will have done it his way…like a man.
OBAMA’S TOUGH TIMES – I keep asking myself…what was Barack Obama thinking when he ran for a second term as president? If he had any idea as to the type of hell he’d be catching during his second, I seriously think he would have changed his mind.
By now you know the latest…the Republicans want to both sue the president AND impeach him because…because…well, they accuse him of acting like a king, and not carrying out the duties of his office, let alone obeying the law.
Indeed, the GOP alleges that the president is making up his own laws.
For his part, Pres. Obama has called their bluff and said point blank, “C’mon and sue me then.”
“And while you’re at it, how about start doing your jobs, like passing some laws that will make life better for all Americans.”
What we are seeing from the Republicans in Congress is nothing short of disgraceful. They would rather this entire country go down the toilet than to work with the president to find compromise to help improve the economy faster, and keep our children safe from gun violence.
Can you imagine what this country could have achieved over the past six years if the Republicans had put all of the energy they’ve used to demonize the president, into working with him, still disagreeing when necessary?
From the day Obama was first inaugurated, these people have worked overtime to literally destroy him, not caring what they had to do to do it. They have made it clear that in their eyes, Obama had no business serving as president, let alone being elected. And in order to ensure that no one like him (read that as no other African-Americans) are ever elected again to the White House, the GOP has sabotaged the electoral system to make it harder for people of color to rightfully cast a ballot.
This is the type of racism most of us had hoped we would never see again. But in their quest for raw power, the Republican Party could care less what we see, or how many times we see it.
Oh how I wish we could have a truly honorable two-party system, with, yes, blacks in both parties competing for our votes with the best ideas. But given the state of politics today – a Democratic Party too weak in the knees to stand up and fight when need be, and a Republican Party so full of hatred for blacks, Hispanics, women and young people – it is exactly what the late legendary singer/songwriter Curtis Mayfield once said, “if there’s a hell below, we’re all going to go!”
HAVE LOST OUR SOULS - In the New York harbor sits the Statue of Lady Liberty. According to its description, it is supposed to be “…an icon of freedom and of the United States…a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad.”
At the base of Lady Liberty is a plaque which reads, in part, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
Well, given the events of recent weeks concerning refugee children from Central America being prevented from settling in this nation, someone needs to remove that plaque now, and shut the Statue of Liberty down, because we, as Americans, are not living out the true meaning our of creed.
Those children, ranging in age from barely able to walk to teenagers, are escaping violent Central American countries like Honduras that are experiencing bloody drug wars. The parents there are sending their children to the United States for safety, because they know they will be murdered if they try to grow up in their native lands.
Our laws, rightly or wrongly, allow these children to not only stay, but have legal hearings to determine their status case by case. With tens of thousands of children arriving at our borders, we have a serious crisis for sure.
But the more serious crisis is the national Republican-led move to turn our backs on these children, and send them back to die in their country. We’ve had refugees from war-torn countries flee to our country before, and we’ve welcomed them because that was the surest assurance to the world that we meant what we said about cherishing freedom for all.
These refugees are different, however, because apparently, they will not grow up to become traditional Republican voters. That’s the whole reason why the GOP wants nothing done about immigration reform. Why make it easier for Hispanic voters to join up with the Democratic Party?
Like I wrote earlier, our entire country is being turned upside down because of the foolishness of our political system.
And now innocent children, fleeing for their lives, are paying the price.
This is despicable!
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).
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.
105th NAACP CONVENTION TACKLES
VOTER SUPPRESSION ISSUE
By Cash Michaels
One of the highlights of next week’s 105th NAACP Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada will be a panel titled, “Black Turnout for the 2014 Midterm Elections and the Fight Against Voter Suppression.”
Moderated by TV One personality Roland Martin, the panel will feature a number of key national activists in the area of voting rights, except one - NCNAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber – who arguably is leading the most high profile, aggressive, coalition effort against the rollback of voting rights anywhere in the nation with the year-old North Carolina-based Moral Monday movement.
Why Rev. Barber wasn’t selected for the panel isn’t clear, particularly given the tremendous national attention his movement has garnered across the country, especially last week as lawsuits against North Carolina’s voter restriction law were heard in US District Court in Winston-Salem.
What’s most important to the NC NCNAACP president, however, is that the issues of voter suppression be discussed, and that a plan of action be developed to overcome voting restrictions targeting African-Americans, Hispanics, young people and the elderly.
“We’ll be at the national NAACP Convention to indeed push the issue of addressing voter suppression, and doing all we can across this nation to protect the precious right to vote,” Rev. Barber told The Carolinian this week before leaving for Las Vegas.
This year’s annual NAACP convention starts Saturday, July 19th through Wednesday, July 23rd in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The theme is, “All in For Justice and Equality.”
On Sunday, July 20th, NAACP Chairperson Roslyn Brock will deliver a keynote address about the civil rights organization’s current priorities, and the importance of voting and political representation, to the hundreds of delegates in attendance from across the country. Joining Chairperson Brock in opening the convention will be US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada.
Rev. Barber said there will be over one hundred delegates there from North Carolina, and all of them look forward to welcoming the NAACP’s new president/CEO, attorney Cornell William Brooks, who was chosen earlier this year by the national NAACP Board of Directors to succeed Benjamin Jealous, who announced last year that he was stepping down.
Pres. Brooks, a longtime attorney and human rights activist who formerly served as president/CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, is scheduled to make his first official address to the convention on Monday, July 21st during the First Plenary Session.
Other features of the five-day NAACP Convention include sessions on the current state of affairs across the nation in the areas of health care, criminal justice, the economy and more; women’s empowerment; the faith community fighting HIV/AIDS in the black community; and a career fair for job-seekers.
Legendary music composer Quincy Jones will be honored with the prestigious Spingarn Medal by the NAACP during the convention. Past recipients include Justice Thurgood Marshall , baseball legend Jackie Robinson, comedian Bill Cosby, and singer Lena Horne.
NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Barber said he will be running to retain his seat on the national board, on which he currently serves as chairman of the Political Action Committee.
Meanwhile Rev. Barber announced the Moral Monday movement will have a live online “Moral March to the Polls” broadcast on Monday, July 21st at 7 p.m. at http://bit.do/july21mm, and a demonstration in Durham on Monday, July 28th, 5:30 p.m. at a location to be determined. Go to www.naacpnc.org for the latest information.
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS 7-17-14
DURHAM JUDGE ORDERS DUKE LACROSSE RAPE CASE MATERIAL DESTROYED
DNA samples from 21 members of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team, along with police photographs of those players connected with the infamous alleged rape case, have been ordered destroyed by a Durham judge. Acting on a motion from defense attorney Bill Thomas, Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson ordered the destruction after it was clear that all civil litigation had been exhausted associated with the case. Three lacrosse team members were indicted in 2006 for the alleged rape of Crystal Mangum, but it was later revealed that then District Attorney Mike Nifong had little evidence that a crime had been committed. The state Attorney General’s Office dropped the case in 2007.
NEW DURHAM SCHOOLS SUPT. SEEKS TO BREAK “SCHOOL-TO-PRISON” PIPELINE
No sooner did Bert L’Homme take the oath of office as Durham Public Schools superintendent Monday, than he immediately let it be known that one of his priorities will be lowering suspensions, slashing the dropout rate, and improve student achievement to the highest level possible. Saying that breaking the school-to-prison pipeline was the goal “closest to his heart,” Supt. L’Homme said DPS has to engage its 33,400 students “…to have hope of doing something better than they are doing today.” L’Homme $225,000 contract runs until 2018.
DURHAM POLICE CHIEF PROBES OFFICERS ALLEGEDLY MAKING UP 911 CALLS
Once again the Durham Police Dept. is at the center of controversy amid allegations that several officers are telling people that they are responding to nonexistent 911 calls just to obtain illegal entry into their homes. At least one officer has admitted in court to lying about a 911 call coming from an address that he wanted to enter without a warrant to conduct a search, a search that resulted in the arrest of a woman for marijuana charges. Chief Jose Lopez says this is the first he’s hearing of such a tactic at DPD, and that there is no department policy allowing for such an intrusion. Lopez says he’s ordered an Internal Affairs probe to determine if other officers routinely use the same illegal tactic.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS 7-17-14
REP. ELLMERS DEFENDS “WOMEN’S LEVEL” REMARK
[WASH. D.C.] Congresswoman Renee Ellmers is in hot water again for something she said, but with it being an election year, she’s fighting back to stem the damage. The Washington Examiner newspaper quoted the Republican Second District congresswoman telling a recent women’s conservative caucus meeting, “We need our male colleagues to understand that if you bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life – that’s the way to go.” The “down to a woman’s level’ remark caused an instant firestorm, forcing Ellmers to say that there was nothing wrong with it, and that the reporter was a “liberal woman reporter” looking to cause trouble. The Examiner reporter, Ashe Schow, immediately released a transcript and audio recording of Ellmers’ remarks. The Republican congresswoman insists that her words were taken out of context.
BELLHAVEN MAYOR WALKS TO WASH. D.C TO SAVE HOSPITAL
[BELLHAVEN] The mayor of Bellhaven, NC, Adam O’Neal, has taken to the road, literally, to protest the July 1st closing of Pungo District Hospital, the only emergency medical facility in the Beaufort – Hyde counties area that serves 23,000 people. Mayor O’Neal has begun walking the 273 miles from Bellhaven to Washington, D.C. to petition lawmakers to save the hospital. Pungo was closed by its owner, Vidant Health, because of a “lack of paying customers.” The closest medical facility is 84 miles away. The NCNAACP says it stands with Mayor O’Neal in his efforts.
STATE, WAKE ELECTION BOARDS PROHIBIT “MASKED” PHOTO SHOOT BY RIGHT-WING GROUP
[RALEIGH] A conservative group was given an emphatic no by both the state Board of Elections, and the Wake County Board of Elections after it requested permission to stage a photo shoot of masked people voting at Millbrook Exchange Park. The group known as the Voter Integrity Project wanted to dramatize that without the state’s new voter photo ID law, there’s no way to know who is showing up at the polls to vote. VIP alleges that there is “double and triple voting” at some precincts, there is no evidence of such at any precinct in North Carolina. Both the state and Wake election boards firmly rejected VIP’s photo shoot request, stating that it is against state law for anyone to wear masks at a polling place.