CASH IN THE APPLE 4-9-15
By Cash Michaels
CONGRATULATIONS, COACH K – Whether you love Duke or hate Duke, you have to wink and smile, and say “Job well done” to Coach Mike Krzyzewski and his team of fine young men for a great season, and successful NCAA tourney run which culminated Monday night with a 68-63 win over Wisconsin for the NCAA crown.
The game was like a great prizefight, with both teams throwing their best punches in spurts, and doing whatever was necessary to win. Coach and co. never seemed to panic, and just when you thought the Badgers might just pull away for good and sit on their lead, the Blue Devils came roaring back with style and determination.
What was really good to see was the poise and energy of the Duke freshmen, who went out there to fight as a team, no matter what. Watching them work together, and win together, was a joy.
So congratulations again to Coach K as he won his fifth NCAA Championship ring. Given the sorry state of things in North Carolina, it’s good to see something that we can all feel really proud about.
LET’S CELEBRATE WLLE AGAIN - OK, spread (share) the word WLLE fans...BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND...mark your calendars for Saturday, May 2nd, 2:30 p.m. at Olivia Rainey Library, 4016 Carya Drive (off Poole Road) in Southeast Raleigh...once again we celebrate the legacy of 570 WLLE ("WiLLiE") Radio, featuring the now updated documentary "WLLE: The Voice of the Community" starring radio legends "CD" Chester Davis, Sweet Bob Rogers, J. Willie Moore, Bro. James Thomas, Mrs. Margaret Rose Murray, Frank Roberts, Jimmy "JJ's House Party" Johnson and a special tribute to Ray "Dr. Jocko" Henderson. PLUS, we'll hear from loyal WLLE listeners like YOU1 It's FREE and open to the public, So spread the word and MARK THE DATE...Saturday, May 2nd, 2015...2:30 p.m. at the Olivia Rainey Library, 4016 Carya Drive (off Poole Road) in Southeast Raleigh! ALL WiLLiE listeners are welcome to come, remember and celebrate!
AVENGERS 2 AT HAND – The big Spring/Summer movie season for 2015 has begun with the huge premiere last weekend of “Furious 7,” the latest, and possibly last in the extraordinary “Fast and Furious” movie series that started 15 years ago. With the shocking death of star Paul Walker in 2013 during filming, many folks wanted to see how they were going to handle the actors death in the film, and that curiosity delivered a record $143 million box office weekend last week, the best opening the entire series has ever had, and certainly one of the best of all time.
So now the stage is set for the next really big sequel to come down the pike, and that will be May 1st with the opening of “The Avengers 2” The Age of Ultron,” bringing back all of the top stars from the Marvel Comics Universe, including Iron Man. Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and of course, Hulk. Plus, there are a few new superheroes reportedly joining the gang, like Quicksilver.
If you’ve seen the first “The Avengers” movie (and who hasn’t) then you know that there will be all of the fun and excitement that fans look for from an action movie of the highest caliber. And that may be what we all need right, escapism of the highest order.
YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS VERSUS… - I am a heterosexual, and a Christian, and am proud to be both. I am wired to believe that men and women are meant to be with each other, and am quite comfortable in that belief. I am also an American of African descent, and am very proud of that heritage, and the legacy of strength, achievement and endurance that comes with that.
And yet, despite all of my strongly held beliefs, I’m not ignorant enough to expect everyone to believe as I do, because we all come from different experiences in life. My job is to respect those experiences and the differences that come with them, and hopefully learn and grow to be a better person as a result.
Yes, I might roll my eyes in reaction to someone else’s difference in beliefs or practice, but rolling my eyes is not bashing them across the head with my beliefs. And since I have to deal with the public on a daily basis, I have to learn repeatedly to give others the same respect and tolerance that I ask of others who may disagree with me.
So I say all of this to say that as an American, and a Christian, I find this so-called “Religious Freedom Act” foolishness that is sweeping North Carolina and the rest of the nation very troubling. The fact that state lawmakers have now devised measures to allow folks to legally exercise their bigotry is nothing short of evil.
The examples are always given of the wedding cake for a single-sex ceremony, no doubt because many people expect the US Supreme Court to sign off on same-sex marriages in the near future. Since they can’t stop those unions, they want to at least the get personal satisfaction of denying the public service that they provide to same-sex couples as at least a moral victory.
Here’s the problem – many of these folks are hiding behind the Bible…or at least their twisted interpretation of the Bible…for their justification to deny public services to same-sex couples.
Hey, I get it. If it bothers you so much to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple, or anybody else you have issues with, just say you’re not able to provide it, and be done with it. Then, if the couple decides they don’t like your answer, be ready to go to court to justify it. Simple (and expensive).
But when you use the Bible to justify not baking that wedding cake, or refusing to treat the child of a same-sex couple, or decide not to allow black people to eat in your restaurant (all of these examples are true, including the racial one), then that’s a problem because you’re really not being honest.
The Bible is against divorce, and yet do you deny people who are remarrying any services? Are you divorced and remarried yourself?
What about folks who have committed sins the Bible has clearly denoted? Do you take the time to make sure that you are not violating the Word there?
What gets me is that some of the very same conservative folks who are as racist as the day is long, and have low opinions of women and want to deny the poor any and all government services, act as if the greatest “sin” ever committed is a same – sex union.
My Bible repeatedly says not taking care of the poor and needy, especially children, is a sin that GOD has a serious problem with.
So why am I not up-arms that, as one person told me recently, “…the homosexual lobby is doing to our nation”? I will admit, I don’t like seeing gay sex scenes on some of Shonda Rhimes’ shows on ABC like “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder” (which is why I’ve stopped watching them). And I don’t like them because I’m not wired to like them. They’re not my nature, so I’d prefer not to see them.
But as long as I’m allowed the option to turn the channel, then I’m fine that other folks have the freedom to see what they want. I’m fine that as long as folks respect my privacy, then I certainly could care less what two consenting adults do within the confines of their own home. And thus far, I can’t find one gay couple that’s interfered with my family or my business.
The way I see it, ALL of us have to answer to GOD for what we do, and why. So this business of hiding behind the Bible just to deny the constitutional rights of people you don’t like, that can’t wash. If you don’t want to serve someone publicly because you don’t like them or what they’re about, then if they sue you, go to court and say so. Stand up for what you believe in, because when they sue you, they’ll certainly be standing up for their side.
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.
COMMUNITY TO MEET
ABOUT CRABTREE INCIDENT
By Cash Michaels
When the community comes together this evening to discuss recent alleged racial profiling incidents involving black youth and security at Crabtree Valley Mall, General Manager Bobby Medlin will not be there.
According to Brian Asbill, Corporate Marketing Director for Crabtree Valley Mall, after the Feb. 28th incident when four black teenagers, ages 14 through 17, who were sitting in the Food Court waiting for their parents were asked to leave the mall by security, Medlin apologized, wrote their parents acknowledging that the teens were unfairly targeted, and offered to personally meet with the parents, but they refused.
Instead, the parents had invited Medlin to meet with them and the community at tonight’s meeting at the NC Justice Center about racial profiling, but apparently now, he’s not interested.
Calla Wright, president of Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children, and a spokesperson for the parents, explained.
“The Bowden and Bledsoe families, along with Ms. Lynn Moore, contacted Crabtree Valley Mall security to get answers to their questions and concerns within 20 to 25 minutes after the young black males were accused of loitering and put out of the mall on February 28, 2015. Several phone calls were made to Crabtree's Security but their phone calls were ignored and not returned,” Wright said in an email response to The Carolinian.
“These families have decided not to meet with Mr. Medlin because these young black males witnessed other black girls being put out of the mall that same day. This is not a separate incident and that it has happened to other black youth in our community. They believe this is a community issue and others need to share their experiences of racial profiling at Crabtree Valley Mall,” Wright added.
“The time to have addressed and resolve this issue was on February 28th, the day it happened.”
“It’s very confusing because we were just sitting down, and white kids were sitting down, too, but they weren’t asked to leave,” Jordan Bowden, 17, a junior at Leesville High School, said in a statement. He added that he also saw four girls kicked out of the mall the same day, as was another friend. All are African-American.
“If it happens once, it will happen again,” he said.
According to a press release from the families, the Crabtree Mall general manager didn’t get back with the families, who had been calling the administration repeatedly after the Feb. 28th incident, until after the story appeared in the media days later.
“Eventually Bobby Medlin did get in touch with Ms. Bowden and told her he was, “sorry this happened,”” the press release stated. “She requested that he meet with the families involved and the local African-American community, so he could hear more stories about past incidents that had occurred at Crabtree Valley Mall.
The release continued, “Mr. Medlin eventually issued an email stating that the youth should not have been asked out of the mall, generally apologizing. He went on to say in the email that the security officers should have acted differently since the youth had not been seated in the food court 10 minutes (not long enough to violate mall policy about loitering). He alluded to a better handling of the incident would have been to escort the youth to some ones of the common areas and/or benches located throughout the mall. Mr. Medlin ended his email asking to meet with the Bowden family, and expressing the hope that they would continue to patronize Crabtree Valley Mall.”
“On behalf of the mall and our police and security team, I sincerely apologize to Mr. and Mrs. Bowden and their three sons,” Medlin wrote in a March missive. “I have also offered to personally meet with the Bowden family to apologize and answer any questions they may have about this matter. It is my sincere hope they will continue to be loyal customers of Crabtree Valley Mall.”
Lavonda Bowden, mother of three of the boys involved, told the news media then that Bowden’s apology wasn’t enough given how her sons were kicked out of the mall in cold 30-degree weather without regard.
"(His apology is not enough) because they violated my children and their friends' rights. They are minors. They didn't call me and tell me that they was putting my kids out the mall," she said, indicating that she will now be shopping
According to a press release, the parents are considering filing a complaint with the US Dept. of Justice.
For many, this incident recalls a previous community run-in with Crabtree Valley Mall officials, when city documents revealed their request to have city bus service from Southeast Raleigh be discontinued to the mall in an effort to keep black teens from coming. A community boycott of the mall ensued as young people and supporters demonstrated outside.
“Time passes ... and history repeats itself,” said Rukiyah Dillahunt, one of those who boycotted in 1989. “The Crabtree issue is not in isolation. It is part of the racial profiling and discrimination happening to African-American youth around this country.
“We need to come together as a community, and look at racism – and we have to use that word. It’s systemic. If we fail to do that, we can’t move forward.”
The community forum on alleged racial profiling at area malls is scheduled for this evening, April 9th, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the NC Justice Center, 224 South Dawson Street in downtown Raleigh. Parents, students and community leaders are invited to come and speak.
WHITE SC OFFICER CHARGED WITH MURDER - Authorities in North Charleston, SC have charged Officer Michael Slager, 33, with murder after a video purports to show him firing eight times at Walter Scott, 50, as the black man fled after a confrontation. Contrary to what Officer Slager alleged in his report after the April 4 incident, Scott did not try to harm him, and instead ran away as the officer fired on him. The video then show Slager pick up what many believe to b a stun gun which had fallen to the ground, walk over to Scott's body, and toss the weapon near him, as to suggest that Scott had taken it from the officer in a struggle. Scott's family says they will file a civil rights complaint with the US Dept. of Justice.
OFFICER MICHAEL SLAGER
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS 4-9-15
WAKE SCHOOL BOARD CONSIDERS PROPOSED $1.4 BILLION BUDGET
Saying that he was doing so “without apologies,” Wake Schools Supt. Jim Merrill presented his proposed $1.4 billion operating budget to the school board this week, adding that it concentrates on improving classroom instruction and bringing teacher pay up to the national standard within five years. "Our needs are now significant if the Wake County Public School System intends to regain its role as an undisputed leader in North Carolina and the nation,” Dr. Merrill said in statement. WCPSS Board Chair Christine Kushner agreed, saying, “We're still continuing to grow. We're estimating 3,000 additional students next year. We have been growing and our operational budget has not kept up with growth.” The school board must submit the proposed budget to the Wake County Commission Board for approval by May 15th.
BLUE DEVILS CELEBRATE AS DUKE WINS 5TH NCAA HOOPS CROWN
They were dancing and cheering at Cameron Indoor Stadium Tuesday after Coach Mike Krzyzewski and his Duke Blue Devils won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship against the University of Wisconsin Badgers 68-63 in a thrilling contest that went virtually to the wire. For Coach K, it’s his fifth NCAA crown, and certainly one of his most thrilling. Coach K told 8,000 cheering students on campus that he was proud of his young team, and how they came together to become champions.
DUKE STUDENT WHO ALLEGEDLY HUNG NOOSE REMOVED FROM CAMPUS
The Duke University student who allegedly hung a noose outside of a campus building last week has been removed from the campus, and will face disciplinary action after a full investigation, officials there say. The student, who has not been identified for legal reasons, reportedly admitted to hanging a rope with a noose at the end of it. News of it brought students out demonstrating against the hate symbol, with many saying that it only strengthened the bonds of unity they have.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS 4-9-15
FORMER HILLSIDE PRINCIPAL RUNNING FOR STATE SUPT.
[DURHAM] A former principal at Durham’s Hillside High School has announced that he is a candidate for state superintendent of public instruction, a post currently held by June Atkinson. Henry Pankey, a Democrat, is currently an assistant principal in Winston- Salem, where he’s been for the past 10 years. He is best known for turning troubled schools around. He has worked at the state Dept. of Public Instruction, and says with at least half of the state’s student population underperforming academically, Pankey believes he can help turn things around.
CHAPEL HILL SHOOTER WILL NOW FACE THE DEATH PENALTY
[CHAPEL HILL] The man police say allegedly shot three Muslim students in cold blood allegedly because of a dispute over parking spaces will indeed face the death penalty if he is convicted, prosecutors said this week. Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, is accused of killing the three Muslim neighbors in his condominium complex execution style. Two of the victims were sisters, all were unarmed. Federal authorities are still trying to determine whether the victims’ Islamic faith of a factor in Hicks targeting them.
NC LAWMAKERS WANT TO REPLACE STATUE OF WHITE SUPREMACIST WITH BILLY GRAHAM
[RALEIGH] State lawmakers want to honor the legacy of evangelist Billy Graham by erecting a statue of him in the US Capitol, but to do it, they would have to remove the current figure of NC Gov. Charles B. Aycock. Aycock is credited with heavily investing in North Carolina’s public school system, but he is also known as a white supremacist who was one of those behind the 1898 Wilmington race massacre. Each state has two statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, D.C. Besides Aycock, North Carolina currently has a statue of Gov. Zebulon Vance erected there. Rev. Graham is still living, but state legislators say they want to have everything in place so that when he does pass on, they can move immediately to honor him. Graham, who has a large white Baptist following, has admitted that he kept silent during the civil rights movement because he did not want to anger his base.