GONE - Bishop Eli Ratcliff Jr., pastor of Lincoln Park Holiness Church in Raleigh and seen here with his wife, Margaret, died this week at age 85. Bishop Ratcliff is remembered as a true man of GOD by his congregation and colleagues of the cloth. He pastored Lincoln Park Holiness for 55 years.
CASH IN THE APPLE 3-12-15
By Cash Michaels
MARVIN'S FAMILY WINS! - No entertainment story outraged me more last year than when singer Robin Thicke sued the family of music legend Marvin Gaye, trying to stop them from filing suit against him for copying their father's classic song, "Got To Get It Up" in Thicke's super hit, "Blurred Lines." As you know, the Gaye children got themselves some great attorneys, and indeed sued Robin Thicke, and his co-partner in the song, "Happy" singer Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement. Listening to both songs, it was clear that Thicke and Williams gypped Marvin Gaye, but of course, that has to be proven in court.
Well the trial starred last month, and this week, the jury reached their verdict, awarding the Gaye family over $7 million from Thicke and Williams. The pair had reportedly made over $16 million from their rip-off.
All I can say is HALLELUJAH! I was clear from first note to last that Thicke and Williams were stealing Gaye's song without paying for it. The songs are just too close.
I'm glad a jury gave the family of Marvin Gaye justice, and sent a message to the rest of the world that ripping off anyone does not pay.
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA SCANDAL – I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with the way University of Oklahoma Pres. David Boren handled that racist fraternity video this week. As you know it is 10 seconds of pure hate, with white male students wearing tuxedos chanting a song about n-words being hung, and not being allowed to join .
As soon as it became public, Boren did not wait, nor did he hesitate. He made it clear after reviewing the situation that racism would not be either sanctioned or tolerated at the university, and he cut ties immediately with the offending fraternity chapter.
At the same time I’m certain he impressed upon the national organization for the fraternity to suspend the chapter, which it did in quick order.
Then by Tuesday of this week (the racist tape was made public Monday morning), Pres. Boren had already expelled at least two of the offending students seen on the tape, and promised that other students singing on that bus would also be punished.
I understand that the house mother, who defended the frat as not racist, is facing questions about her conduct as well in a video that shows her repeatedly using the n-word.
Now she says that she’s not racist. Yeah, nice try, grandma.
The fact is, this is the kind of leadership when it comes to issues of racial discrimination that we’ve been demanding for a long time. Instead of making excuses when you see blatant racism in your midst, if you are in charge, investigate it, gather your evidence, and then act swiftly and decisively. When people see that, they get the message that your institution will not tolerate that hateful foolish.
So I thoroughly commend U of O Pres. Boren for his tremendous leadership this week, and hope that others in government and private industry have learned from it.
Or at least WILL learn from it.
SELMA 50 – What a glorious time of celebration last weekend when thousands gather at the Edmund Pettus Bridge last Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the day that civil rights activists were viciously attacked by racist Alabama State Troopers as they tried to march from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital, to push for voting rights in 1965.
There can be no denying how poignant it was that the first black president of the United States, Barack Obama, would be there to not only mark the occasion, but also symbolically march with those gathered as a sign of progress and appreciation for the sacrifices of Dr. King and others fifty years ago.
The president’s powerful words – perhaps in one of the best speeches of his presidency – captured not only the spirit of 1965, and the tremendous challenges facing those brave pioneers, but certainly the challenges now, given how the US Supreme Court gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act by striking down Section 4 of the VRA, and Congress is still fiddling with fixing it.
Reportedly one hundred members of Congress were present in Selma Saturday for the president’s remarks, not to mention former President George W. Bush, who was able to sign the previous VRA renewal without controversy. Some of those 100 were Republicans, and it comes as no surprise that the GOP are the ones who are dragging their feet because they see the political advantage of suppressing the primarily Democratic-leaning black and Latino vote.
But all in all, celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the historic march on Selma was a glorious, memorable occasion, made more so by the presence of Congressman John Lewis – who marched fifty years ago and has endured as a beacon of freedom – and Pres. Barack Obama.
HILLARY’S EMAILS – Where there is a Clinton, there is always drama. This week, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton face the media to answer questions about why she kept her official State Dept. e-mails on a private server. She told reporters that carrying two devices (one for her official correspondence, one for her personal communications) were too much for her to handle, so Clinton setup her own server at home.
Needless to say, Ms. Clinton has all but announced that she is running for president, which is why any of this is important, and speaks to that kind of president she would be, her critics say. Democrats want all of this to blow over so that Clinton can romp he way to the party nomination, and presumably to the White House she once occupied as First Lady.
Republicans want the controversy to burn hotter that the hottest star because they really don’t have anyone on deck with her star power that will give her a run for her money.
Clinton says she’s turned all of the official emails over to the State Dept. – some 55,000 pages worth. State says it will take some time to go over them, time as in months.
Once again, the Republicans are suggesting that there is something Mrs. Clinton has to hide.
Let’s see how this all washes out., shall we?
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.waug-network.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.
UO STUDENTS EXPELLED FOR RACIST VIDEO - At press time, two white student member of the SAE fraternity at the University of Oklahoma have been expelled from the school, and the frat chapter shutdown, after a video surfaced Monday showing them leading a drunken, racist chant on a bus last Saturday night. The chant referred to hanging n-words from a tree, and never being allowed to become frat members. The House mother was also fired when a video showed her repeating the n-word with a smile on her face. UO Pres. David Boren said racism would not be tolerated at the school, as it continues to investigate the incident. The two students have apologized.
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS 3-12-15
WAKE SPRING BREAK MAKEUP DAYS STAND, BUT IF YOU MISS THEM…
Over 7,000 Wake County parents signed an online petition demanding that the Wake Board of Education rescind the system’s designation of three days during spring break as snow makeup days because of the recent storms. But the board this week stuck to its guns…sort of. March 23, 24 and 25th are still makeup days, but neither students nor staff will be penalized if they miss them, said the board. Many parents complained that they had already made plans with their children for that week, and didn’t feel it fair to make them go to school.
RALEIGH MAYOR SAYS CITY IS STRONG, BUT RESOURCES ARE STRAINED
During her State of the City Address this week, Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane said the city is growing, and unemployment is low, which is good. But she expressed concerns about dwindling tax revenues to pay for the growing needs that the Capital City has, says property taxes may need to be raised to compensate for the loss in million of business privilege taxes, which the NC General Assembly has now outlawed.
BOO-BIRDS GREET GOV. MCCRORY AT NCCU BASKETBALL GAME
Bad blood for Gov. Pat McCrory was evident at a recent NCCU men’s basketball game he attended in Durham when fans pilloried the state’s chief executive with boos. McCrory was on hand for the retiring of basketball legend Sam Jones Eagle jersey, but drew the ire of NCCU fans when he reportedly referred to NCCU at “NC State” in his remarks. The error was certainly not appreciated by the crowd.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS 3-12-15
STATE CHILDHOOD HEALTH IMPROVED OVERALL
[CHARLOTTE] The health of North Carolina’s children has improved over the past 20 years, according to a new report from NC Child, a nonprofit advocacy group. The number of infant deaths has fallen; the percentage of uninsured children has dropped, and the tween pregnancy rate has decreased. But the 20th Annual Child Health Report Card also outlines some persistent problem areas – a third of the state’s children are obese; high schoolers are using e-cigarettes increasingly, and the rate of child poverty is up. The report adds that the strategies that have led to improvements over the past twenty years must continue.
DEMOCRATS COUNTER BILLS TO CHANGE WAKE COMMISSIONER BOARD, GREENSBORO CITY COUNCIL
[GREENSBORO] Democrats in the state Legislature have filed bills to counter efforts by Republicans to redistrict both the Wake County Commission Board, and Greensboro City Council. Democrats swept four Republicans off the Wake Board last November. Prompting Sen. Chad Barefoot [R-Wake] to file a bill redrawing the district lines to create nine seats instead of the current seven, and change the elections to district only, instead of countywide, as they are now. Another state Senate bill also redraws seats on the Greensboro City Council. Democrats want the state Constitution amended so that the Legislature would have to get the permission of local voters first before changing any election maps. Republicans, who have the majority in both state Houses, would have to agree with that measure.
STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY DUMPING ITS CHAIRMAN
[RALEIGH] When North Carolina Republicans meet in convention this June, they will be electing a new chairman. Claude Pope Jr. has announced that he will not be running for re-election. But published reports suggest that Pope is being pushed out because top Republican elected leaders, including Gov. Pat McCrory and Sen. Richard Burr – both of whom are up for re-lection in 2016 – don’t feel that Pope has done enough to promote the GOP brand or support their re-elections. Pope was McCrory’s choice for chairman in 2013. He is credited leading the party to victory during the 2013 midterm elections.
NC BILL WOULD PROHIBIT
By Cash Michaels
A new bill introduced this week by NC Rep. Rodney Moore [D-Mecklenburg] would, if passed, prohibit racial profiling by law enforcement, authorize civilian complaint review boards to investigate allegations made against police officers, and require training of members of neighborhood watch programs established by counties and municipalities.
But if Republican reaction thus far is any indication, the measure will have a difficult path to passage in the state Legislature.
Rep. Moore says his bill, officially titled “Prohibit Discriminatory Profiling (HB193),” is based, in part, on recent tragic events nationwide involving police interaction with young black males in Ferguson, Missouri; Staten Island, NY; and Charlotte, where an African-American male was fatally shot by police after he sought assistance when his vehicle crashed.
A grand jury indicted the officer and he awaits trial.
“The Prohibit Discriminatory Profiling bill that we have filed today will help to broaden the conversation between the public and law enforcement,” Rep. Moore told reporters Tuesday during a press conference.
The measure would also require police officers to collect more data during homicide investigations and traffic stops, and receive more training to prevent discriminatory profiling.
Citizen complaint review boards would also get subpoena power, something that local governments have loathed to render in the past.
Civil rights activists across the state have heralded Rep. Moore’s bill s a positive and definite step in the right direction towards curbing police abuses, and building a better, more accountable relationship with law enforcement.
But Republican reaction to Moore’s bill seems reportedly cool to it at best, signaling that it may not get the welcomed reception the Charlotte Democrat desires. In order for the bill to get a hearing, Moore has to get several Republican cosponsors to sign-on.
Republican House Speaker Tim Moore [R- Cleveland] told The Associated Press that much of what Rep. Rodney Moore’s bill is calling is already covered in existing law. Speaker Moore (no relation) says racial profiling by police is already deemed unconstitutional, and improving local community policing efforts already in place would accomplish much of what the measure seeks in “avoiding problems” between officers and the public.
Law enforcement believes there are already plenty of checks and balances in place to curb police abuse, including electing new sheriffs, and petitioning local city councils, as has been done in Durham and other North Carolina cities.
Activists across the state are working to build broadbased support for the bill, and hopefully enough pressure for the NC General Assembly to pass it. They cite how HB 193 would remove current legal barriers to public access to police video, for example, in the event that officers begin formally wearing body cameras. Because that video, under North Carolina law, is protected under the personnel act, it cannot be made public.
HB193 would remedy that.
The bill would also protect Latinos, LGBT’s and illegal immigrants, Rep. Moore says, from police abuse. Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson was tried in federal court with having his department target Latinos as illegals for deportation without probable cause. A verdict is yet to be rendered at press time.
If and when there is a police shooting, HB 193 would require better recordkeeping of the circumstances than currently being kept now.