Monday, February 2, 2015



By Cash Michaels

          BLACK HISTORY MONTH - Let's make this the best one ever, by reading, researching, helping our children understand, and being active on the issues.
         "PARDONS" SCREENINGS" - Thanks to all who came out last Saturday to see the condensed version of my film, "Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten" during the 14th Annual African - American Cultural Festival at the NC Museum of History. Folks are now asking the museum to schedule a screening of the full film (thank you), and so we're ready to work with folks there to make that happen.
           Meanwhile, it being Black History Month, there are two screenings coming up. The first as part of the 20th Annual Hayti Heritage Film Festival in Durham on Saturday, Feb. 14th, at 12 noon. The second on Saturday, Feb. 21st, 11 a.m. at Watts Chapel Baptist Church in Raleigh. I know that the Watts Chapel screening is free.
            The film has been entered in several upcoming film festivals, including the NC Black Film Festival in Wilmington at the end of March. We'll keep you updated.
          WLLE REMEMBERED – On Thursday, Feb. 12th, 7p.m. at the Hunt Library on the Centennial Campus of NCSU, there will be a special mini-documentary and panel discussion remembering the golden days of 570WLLE-AM, which is more affectionately known as “WILLIE”.
            WLLE was THE radio station for the black community of Raleigh back in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s before it was sold to a Lexington, Kentucky company in 1997. The station produced some of the greats, including Dr. Jocko, Daddy-O, Sweet Bob Rogers, Chuck Harris, Chester “CD” Davis, and of course, the legendary gospel king himself, Brother James Thomas.
            CashWorks HD Production is currently producing a mini-documentary remember WLLE for the occasion, and it has been quite gratifying, indeed to interview so many of the former on-air personalities and supporters of the station. All of the memories about what the station meant to the community have been both positive and extraordinary.
            I worked at the station during the 1990s, and I’ll be sharing some memories during the panel discussion, so make it on your calendar, next Thursday, Feb. 12th, 7 p.m. at the Hunt Library on the NCSU Centennial campus, and we’ll see you there.
            SUPER DESTRUCT – It has already gone down as the worst Super Bowl play call in history. Seconds to go, down by four, 1 –yard from the goal, and one of the best running backs in the business, Marshawn Lynch, ready to plow in. So what happens? Seahawks QB Russell Wilson throws an interception, and the New England Patriots win.
            Yes, smart people CAN do dumb things in a crunch, and THAT was super-dumb!
BOBBI KRISTINA - Bobbi Kristina Brown is 21 years old and married, therefore, since the age of 18, she was legally responsible for her own actions.
            I preface my remarks because the daughter of legendary singer Whitney Houston is no longer a baby by any means, and even though we ALL pray to GOD that somehow, she comes out of the coma that she is in – the result for being found unconscious and not breathing last weekend in the bathtub of her home, allegedly after abusing drugs – let us all remember that she had every reason and inspiration to do better than her mother, who died exactly the same way in a Beverly Hills Hotel room exactly three years ago next week on February 11th.
            I’m being harsh, many of you reading this are saying. OK, let’s look at the alternative. No one knew the pain that he mother experienced more than Bobbi Kristina. The two were extremely close, and many published reports allege that as she got older, Bobbi Kristina shared many of her mother’s unfortunate vices, namely drugs and alcohol, with her. The young woman saw how they ravaged Whitney Houston’s life, and sucked her spirit out of her.
            Bobbi Kristina was shocked after Whitney’s death, so much so that she needed to be hospitalized. I could easily allege that her family should have used that moment to help turn Bobbi Kristina’s life around, but the fact remains that she had to want to do it. She knew first hand what killed her mother, so she had every motivation, one would think, to change course.
            She had to do it for herself. I’m not saying that Bobbi Kristina had to do it alone, and indeed would not expect that to be the case, but she, herself, had to want to make that change.
            Anyone who knows anything about addiction, or has been addicted themselves, knows that stopping it can’t happen from the outside. You have to want to do it from within, and then make the commitment and sacrifice to overcome your demons. It is perhaps the hardest thing in the world to do, but it has to be done, or else you will always be a slave to that which mentally, emotionally and physically cripples you.
            But for the past three years, there is little indication that Bobbi Kristina made the effort. Indeed, if press reports are to be believed, there is every indication that she only got worse. More importantly, Bobbi Kristina had the extra added baggage of carrying around a tremendous burden it would be impossible to escape – namely being the daughter of one of the world’s greatest singers. The expectations on the children of famous people are always unfairly high, and for Bobbi Kristina, with no indication that she sing anywhere near what her mother could, or had any talent at all, the obvious question of, “Then what could she do?” became a cruel joke.
            So instead, telling the world to bump off, ignoring what other said and just living a privileged life of jetsetting with her husband (who was adopted and brought up to be her brother, strangely enough), was her answer.
            Bobbi Kristina made her choices, and now, look at what has happened.
            Yes, we all must pray for a miracle here, even though published reports have it that the family has been told to prepare for a funeral. I sincerely hope not, for if GOD determined that Bobbi Kristina Brown is able to serve Him, then it would truly be an extraordinary tale of redemption.  To be allowed to live after this near death experience, and then recover to ultimately tell her story to the world, and help others heal from their deeply held sorrows, would be a tremendous triumph.
            Indeed, if that prayer were to be granted, Bobbi Kristina would exceed even her mother’s greatest, in my opinion. Whitney Houston got back on the wagon many times, only to fall off again in the end. To be brought back to life, and then commit to doing something positive with that GOD-saved life, would make Bobbi Kristina a living miracle, something substantially more important than being just an entertainer.
            So as we write this early Monday, if Bobbi Kristina Brown is still living and breathing by the time you read this, please pray for a miracle that the Lord spares her life, and helps he become one of His greatest spiritual success stories.
            But if she has not survived, or if there is absolutely no chance of recovery (something that GOD could still fix), then let us all bow in sorrow. Another young, promising life lost to drugs and self-abuse.
            Another young life wasted.
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.



            Four Wake County females, ages 21, 19, 18 and16, have been arrested and charged with robbing two twin 15-year girls last week after they got off a school bus in their North Raleigh neighborhood. The alleged robbers reportedly got out of a black car, stunned one of the sisters with a stun gun, and then pointed another gun at the twins demanding “what you got.” The sisters handed over an iPhone. Police later arrested the four, charging them with the robbery with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. A judge this week refused to lower the $75,000 bond for three of the suspects.

            She once prosecuted some of Durham’s most notorious criminals, but now former Durham Assistant District Attorney Freda Black finds herself on the other side of the law. Black was arrested last week and charged with DWI, and damage to personal property. In October 2012, Black was also charged with DWI. She worked in the Durham’s D.A Office from 1991 to 2005.

            Students rallied Monday in front of Saunders Hall, a structure named in 1922 after Ku Klux Klan leader and NC Secretary of State William Saunders. The students wore nooses around their necks and held signs saying, “This is what Saunders would do to me.” The students argue that if UNC really prides itself on diversity, then it should rename the building. Chancellor Carol Folt issued a statement which said, in part, “A part of Carolina's history is inextricably linked with difficult issues of race and class, and how we address those issues today is important. The Board of Trustees is taking a close look at how we can best move forward, guided by their policy on renaming campus buildings.”



            [GREENSBORO] North Carolina officials smiled wide when told that the state unemployment  rate fell to just 5.5 percent in December. But analysts now say the unemployment rate figures normally publicized are really just part of the story, because of the data isn’t incorporated. Based on what is considered a more accurate federal estimate which counts not just the unemployed., but the under-employed – meaning formerly full-time professional workers forced to labor at lower paying part time jobs when they can’t find employment in their field – North Carolina’s U 6 index representing both groups is 12.1 percent for 2014, meaning 568,700 North Carolinians. Nationwide, it was just 12 percent. As the economy slowly improves, the U6 index has lowered in North Carolina from 14.7 in 2013.

            [RALEIGH] A Wake Superior Court judge is expected to rule shortly on a challenge to North Carolina’s 2013 law requiring  all voters at the polls to present an approved government –issued photo identification, starting in 2016. Attorneys for those who say they cannot abide by the new requirement are calling it unconstitutional, and want it removed. Lawyers from the state Attorney General’s Office counter that all voters were always required to validate their identity, and if that becomes a problem, they could always cast a mail-in absentee ballot. Judge Mike Morgan, who heard arguments, said he would decide on various motions in the case in two to three weeks.

            [RALEIGH] When he was hired as Wake County Schools superintendent in 2010, Tony Tata, a Tea Party conservative, had to agree to stop making political appearances on Fox News, where he would routinely bash Pres. Obama. The retired US Army brigadier general was ultimately fired from his job, but later landed on his feet after Gov. McCrory tapped Tata for NC Secretary of Transportation two years ago. Sec. Tata has still involved himself is some partisan Republican appearances across the state, but never on national TV, until last week. Tata appeared on Fox’s “Hannity” criticize Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying that the former captive should charged with desertion and court-martialed for walking away from his post. Tata was only billed as a former Army brigadier general, and current novelist. His role as NCDOT secretary was not mentioned.   


                                                                 MARSHALL ADAME

By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            When members of the State Executive Committee of the NC Democratic Party gather this Saturday in Pittsboro, they will choose a new party chairman from among five candidates who respectively believe they can lead the party back to prominence, and electoral prosperity.
            The only thing worse than the state party’s finances right now is morale among rank-and-file Democrats, who have found it easier to beat up on each other over the past two years, than their Republican adversaries.
            And yet, with the 2016 presidential and gubernatorial elections seemingly just around the corner, whomever is chosen to lead will have their work cut out for them to both bring progressive and moderate factions of the state party together, forge a solid way forward that not only maximizes the Democratic base come election time, but actually attracts new voter to the fold, and also reignites the kind of generous fundraising needed to build confidence in every down-ballot race.
            Failure to do so by the SEC’s ultimate choice for chair could mean the long-term demotion of the once mighty Democratic Party in North Carolina.
            Last week during a candidates forum at NC Democratic Party headquarters, sponsored by the party’s African –American Caucus, four of the five hopefuls vying to succeed outgoing Chair Randy Voller, shared their vision for the party if selected.
            Patsy Keever, currently the First Vice Chair o the state party and a former stat House representative, could not take part in the forum due to a previously scheduled appointment.
            Marshall Adame is a retired US Marine, a Vietnam veteran and former  US State Dept. diplomatic in Iraq. He ran unsuccessfully for the Third Congressional District last November.
            Janice Covington Allison is a lifelong Democrat who has worked top state leaders in the past in various leadership capacities, and also served as Cabarrus County Fire Chief, and vice chair of the Cabarrus County Democratic Party.
             Ron Sanyal is currently chair of Leesville 08-02 in Raleigh. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Wake County Democratic Men’s Club, and is an officer in Wake County Progressive Democrats.
            Constance Johnson of Salisbury, a former candidate for state Senate, is a businesswoman and events promoter.
            Ms. Keever sent a letter which was read to the audience by a representative, expressing why she felt she was the most qualified to lead the party.
            The candidates faced tough questions about what makes them uniquely qualified to not only deal with the problems currently weighing on the party, but also the certain challenges which lie ahead of the 2016 campaign season, including unifying the party, fundraising, and retiring significant debt incurred.
            They were also asked how they would specifically raise money for the party, and manage the debt. And as far as bringing the party back together is concerned, all four were asked what unique strengths and talents they individually possessed  to bring about unity.
            Finally, in an effort to measure how each candidate defined the values of the Democratic Party and what it must do to be successful again, each candidate was asked, given how the Republican Party has dominated recent elections to the extent of winning majorities in both the state House and Senate, plus the Governor’s Office, and control redistricting until 2020, if Republicans were “smarter” than Democrats.
            If so, why, and if not, why not.
            None of the candidates agreed that Republicans were smarter than Democrats.
            In closing remarks, Marshall Adame said “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is what defines the Democratic Party, and if elected chairman, he will make sure that the party returns to its values of making sure that working class Americans are heard and represented.
            Janice Allison said if elected chair, she will bring progressive politics back to the fore in North Carolina, and the party will not be turning its back on Pres. Obama, like some Democratic candidates did last November. “We’ve got to stick together,” she said.
            Constance Johnson promise that she would bring new ideas for leadership and fundraising to the chairman’s office. She said her many talents give the party “the skillset that you need.”
            Ron Soynal said any of the five candidates would be good leaders, but whoever is chosen, “make sure they’re clean, and have no baggage.”


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