Monday, August 25, 2014


NCCU "HANDS UP" RALLY - Led by North Carolina Central University Chancellor Debra Saunders-White (center), students and faculty at NCCU's School of Law conducted a "Hands Up" rally August 25th to protest police brutality nationwide, and honor the memory of Michael Brown, the 18 year-old black youth fatally shot by a police officer Aug. 9th in Ferguson, Mo. {photo courtesy of NCCU]


THE FUNERAL OF MICHAEL BROWN - As the casket of 18-year-old Michael Brown is being loaded into a hearse after his funeral Monday in Ferguson, Mo., Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others join Brown's mother, and over 4500 mourners in saying goodbye. Brown, who was unarmed, was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson Aug 9th in Ferguson. Both peaceful and violent demonstrations followed the slaying, and there are concurrent state and federal investigations. [photo courtesy of Lawrence Bryant of the St. Louis American]

By Cash Michaels

FERGUSON COVERAGE – There can be no question that the eyes of the world have been on the tragic events of Ferguson, Mo. over the past three weeks since the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Media, and specifically television, has been there every step of the way.
The images have been nothing short of powerful, from the ghastly scene of the young man’s bullet-riddled body laying in the middle of the street for over four hours after the shooting, to the violent demonstrations between protesters and the militarized Ferguson Police Dept., to the extraordinary funeral broadcast across the nation on Monday, where Brown’s mother and father shared their grief with the world.
But as always is the case, we’ve also seen some of the most irresponsible reporting and punditry imaginable, especially on the part of Fox News (which we’ll get to in a moment). The result has been schizophrenic and politically-inspired coverage, similar to what we got a year ago after the shooting death of another innocent black teenager, Trayvon Martin.
To think that we live in a country where the police shooting of our black children is actually celebrated by at least one major media outlet should frighten and disgust all of us. When the right-wing pundits of Fox News get on the air and try to justify the controversial shootings of black males, and then try to divert attention from the evil they’re committing by bringing up black-on-black crime (which is a completely different issue), then we know for certain what the agenda is.
As we said, we’ll come back to some specific stuff that Fox News as pulled with the Michael Brown case of late, but to see that probably the most hateful cable news channel in the nation is also the most popular, is disheartening indeed.
REV. AL SHARPTON – It was not an accident that as the story of the Michael Brown police shooting in Ferguson, Mo. heightened, many in the media, once again, began questioning the role of civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton in it.
Just like a year ago, when Sharpton led protests in Florida against the Trayvon Martin shooting, the radio and MSNBC commentator was out-in-front again, challenging what he called the ‘injustice” of the Brown police shooting, and using his prominent pedestal in the media to pressure the powers-that-be to be transparent in the case.
And wouldn’t you know it, just like last year, there are folks now who are so convinced that Sharpton should be relegated to the bottom of the heap because of his civil rights activism, that they are openly complaining about him having anything to do with the Brown story.
“This is a travesty,” fumed Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News program Monday night, referring to Sharpton both delivering the eulogy at Michael Brown’s funeral earlier, and then talking about the funeral and the case on his MSNBC television program, “PoliticsNation” later that evening. “This just reeks that MSNBC thinks this acceptable…you can’t be a player and cover the game.”
For his part, the bombastic O’Reilly charged that Sharpton was “…almost singlehandedly has corrupted NBC News,” the parent company of MSNBC.
Their beef? That as a television host, Rev. Al should not be reporting on stories he’s intimately involved with.
As a general rule, O’Reilly, Kurtz and the rest of Sharpton’s critics are correct. A journalist should not be reporting on stories that he or she is very much a part of.
Here’s the problem though…Al Sharpton is not a journalist. He’s an activist, and neither he nor MSNBC try to hide that fact from his viewers.
Sharpton is officially considered a commentator and opinion-maker who has a definite bias against Republicans and conservatives, and says so virtually every show. He is allowed to say what he wants, and do what he wants, EXCEPT use his show to endorse political candidates and raise money for causes.
Those restrictions are designed to protect MSNBC and NBC News more than anything else.
In many regards, Al Sharpton is no different than Fox’s Sean Hannity, who is also not a journalist, also does radio, and also unabashedly advocates for the conservative movement, and virtually says and does what he wants on both his radio and television program.
Hannity, however, did get rapped on the knuckles a few years ago when he tried to raise money on his show for a Tea Party event without the approval of Fox News.
Now the critics of Rev. Al Sharpton also contend that he has a close, if not cozy relationship with President Obama and the White House, and may even be acting on behalf of the president in some instances.
Sharpton responds every White House has had its designated civil rights leaders (Pres. Clinton had Jesse Jackson, for instance), and that there’s nothing wrong with having access.
The long and short of it is critics are trying to get MSNBC to get rid of Sharpton by dumping his show. But PoliticsNation is doing very in the ratings, coming in second right behind Fox News and before CNN many evenings during the 6 p.m. timeslot. So as long as that continues, MSNBC has every reason to keep the good reverend on the payroll.
So if that raises the ire of folks like Bill O’Reilly and Howie Kurtz, then the question must be asked, “Who gives a ----?”
FOX NEWS DISGRACE – Follow this twisted logic, if you can. Saying that Ferguson, Mo. Police Officer Darren Wilson shot an “unarmed” Michael Brown is “divisive” because the black youth was tall and big build, and was perceived to be a threat to the officer, thus justifying his shooting Brown six times to defend himself.
Remember last year during the Trayvon Martin case when the defense attorney for George Zimmerman, the neighborhoodwatch guy who fatally shot the 15 year-old black youth after stalking him through a neighborhood at night, alleged to the during that because Trayvon was a young black male, that thus, it should be readily assumed that he was a threat to Zimmerman, and thus deserved to be shot to death?
That’s the same nonsense we’re hearing now, but this time from Fox News, which has been falsely reporting that Michael Brown beat up Officer Wilson so bad before the shooting that it severely damaged his eye socket. Fox has been reporting that as a result, if Brown was indeed coming towards the officer in a threatening manner, that Wilson had every right to empty his gun into the boy.
That’s what is passing for “reporting” on Fox News.
Talk about “dividing” America.  
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 And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (
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.

Special to The Carolinian

Retired State Highway Patrol Colonel Richard W. Holden, Sr., passed away Aug. 22. Colonel Holden served as the 21st Commander of the Patrol and retired in 2004 following a 35-year career.

Gov. Pat McCrory ordered all state flags lowered on August 27th in Col. Holden's honor.
Colonel Holden was the first African-American to serve as Patrol Commander and was one of the original six African-American cadets to enter the Highway Patrol’s Basic School. He was the fourth longest serving Patrol Commander.
Holden attended N.C. A&T State University. He began his patrol career in Fayetteville in 1969, then was promoted to line sergeant and transferred to Winston-Salem. In 1984, he was promoted to first sergeant and transferred to the Raleigh Training Center.
He was promoted to lieutenant in 1987 and to captain in 1990 when he became Troop B Commander in Fayetteville, supervising operations for 11 counties. Promoted to major in 1993, he became director of internal affairs at patrol headquarters in Raleigh, lieutenant colonel in 1997, and was appointed colonel in 1999.
While serving as Patrol Commander, Holden was named the commissioner of the national Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement from 2004 to 2010. Shortly after, he was elected to the position of General Chair of the State and Provincial Police of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He also served on the Highway Safety Committee of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. Holden served five years on the executive committee of the North State Law Enforcement Association.
Colonel Holden received numerous honors including Officer of the Year by the North State Law Enforcement Association, the John Hope Franklin Lamp Lighter Humanitarian Award, and the N.C. Chapter of National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice Achievement Award.
"Under his leadership, the State Highway Patrol renewed focus on traffic safety and ways to reduce crashes and fatalities," Gov. Mike Easley said upon Holden’s retirement in 2004. "Col. Holden oversaw implementation of the emergency lane reversal evacuation process for Interstate 40 in the eastern part of the state, and worked hard to ensure that his troopers had the most effective equipment, weapons and training."
During his tenure, Holden oversaw formation of mobile field force squads in each of the patrol's eight troop districts and introduced innovative methods of allocating personnel to high crash corridors to prevent wrecks.
In addition, he oversaw the successful merger in 2003 of the former Motor Vehicles Enforcement Division into the Highway Patrol, which consolidated the two law enforcement agencies responsible for highway safety into the same department.
Col. Holden led the Highway Patrol during its initial accreditation by the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2000, and through the re-accreditation process in 2003. Accreditation by CALEA means that an agency has met the highest international standards for law enforcement.
In September 2003, Holden was appointed to the position of CALEA commissioner. In October 2003, he was elected to the position of General Chair of the State and Provincial Police of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He also served on the Highway Safety Committee of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. Holden served five years on the Executive Committee of the North State Law Enforcement Association.
"Governor Easley asked me to make the Patrol more professional and remove troopers from long-standing political pressures and I feel confident that I have accomplished that goal," said Holden.
A Wendell native, Colonel Holden is survived by his wife Sandra, son Richard and daughter Shonda. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Raleigh and served as a deacon, usher and chairman of the security committee.
Funeral services were held Wednesday.
“Colonel Holden led this department honorably and with great dedication,” Colonel Bill Grey said. “Please remember to keep Colonel Holden’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.”



            [CHARLOTTE] A federal judge could sentence former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon to prison as early as next week, published reports say. Cannon, who was elected last November, only to be arrested and charged earlier this year with taking more than $50,000 in bribes from FBI undercover agents, has taken a guilty plea and reportedly has cooperated with federal authorities. Court documents say that Cannon could be sentenced as early as September 3rd. He faces uo top 20 years in prison, and a $25,000 fine.

            [CHARLOTTE] Looking for an angle to defend herself against President Obama’s visit to Charlotte Tuesday to address military veterans, Sen. Kay Hagan [D-NC], who is running for reelection this November, attacked the president days earlier, accusing him of not doing enough to earn the “lasting trust” of veterans, despite Obama’s history of supporting increases in the VA Administration’s budget, starting programs to help vets gain employment, and helping homeless vets get back on their feet. Hagan supporters say the senator had to put distance between herself and the president because of the recent VA hospitals scandal and how Republican senatorial opponent Thom Tillis would associate her with it. Despite her words, Sen. Hagan did meet the president at airport, where he kissed her on the cheek, a picture the GOP immediately tweeted.

            [ST. LOUIS] North Carolina NAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber went to St. Louis, mo. Tuesday, at the request of local activists, to march with Ferguson protesters on the office of US Attorney Richard Callahan. Callahan, the federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of Missouri, held a surprise meeting with Barber and the protesters, listening to their concerns about the police shooting of Michael Brown. Callahan promised to transmit their requests to US Attorney General Eric Holder.


            Students at the NCCU School of Law Monday dressed in black, and participated in a “Hands Up” rally on campus, to protest nationwide police brutality, and honor the memory of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old black youth fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.. The rally was one of several on college campuses across the state and nation happening on the same day that Brown was being eulogized during his funeral in Ferguson. NCCU Law Prof. Irving Joyner urged students to honor the memory of Michael Brown by using their votes to bring about change.

            Timothy Bellamy, the police chief at North Carolina Central University, has been removed from his position and is no longer employed at the school, published reports say. This after Bellamy was arrested on August 2nd by a state trooper for driving while impaired. Bellamy reportedly blew a .09 in a breathalyzer, above the state legal limit. Bellamy had only been NCCU police chief since 2012. He had previously served as police chief in Greensboro until 2010. His first court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 4th.

             A ruling by a state Superior Court judge effectively banning taxpayer-funded school voucher payments to low-income families will be appealed by the NC Attorney General’s Office. Republican state lawmakers established the Opportunity Scholarship so that low-income families would receive vouchers to send their children to private schools. Critics, however, said that funding those vouchers with tax dollars took money away from the state’s public schools, and that was unconstitutional. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood agreed, and ordered all disbursements halted. Hundreds of students has already been accepted by private schools across the state, and classes had already begun. It is now not clear what will happen with those students.


      On today, August 28th, the seventh and final day of the Moral Week of Action, the 51st Anniversary of the March on Washington, the Forward Together Moral Movement and North Carolinians from across the state will gather on Bicentennial Mall at 3:30 pm to finish the 7-Day Jericho March around the State Capitol. 

Others will also come for a mass “Vote Your Dreams, Not Your Fears” rally at 5:30 pm

3:30 pm - Gathering on the Bicentennial Mall for the finish of the 7-day Jericho March by marching 7 more times around the State Capitol, with speeches from each of the issue areas on each lap.

5:00 pm – Movement Music begins on Bicentennial Mall

5:30 pm – Vote Your Dreams, Not Your Fears – Get-Out-The-Vote Rally and Charge to Action by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the NC NAACP.

7:00 pm – Sit-Out begins at State Capitol with teach-ins and performances through the evening.