Tuesday, April 21, 2015




By Cash Michaels

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 YOU! 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! Cosponsored by NCSU Africana Studies Program and NCSU Libraries.
BLACKS FOR HILLARY – Even though the 2016 presidential election seems as if it’s just around the corner, given the foolishness we’re seeing on our TV screens thus far, it couldn’t get here fast enough. Needless to say, the closer we get to actual election, the more intense the campaigning will be, and with it, the unbridled rhetoric (otherwise known as lying).
One of the things that we’re definitely seeing, long before even the first primary elections begin, and that the Republican Party trying to drive up probable Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s negatives as much as possible.
If it’s not the screwup in Benghazi that cost an American ambassador his life, it’s the millions foreign governments had reportedly given to the Clinton Foundation she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, ran. And if it’s not those two, then of course we haven’t finished asking questions about her private email accounts that she used for official business as US Secretary of State, on the private server she had at her home.
There are two reasons for the GOP driving up Hillary’s negatives now – the Republicans are so frightened of Clinton because of her star power and name recognition that they have to start early, and secondly, because the GOP doesn’t have anybody – not even former Florida Gov. Jeb. Bush – who can measure up in substance and form to face her in 2016.
And they know it.
So while there are many who would deem the current strategy of the Republican Party against former Secretary of State Clinton as smart and strategic, others see it as crass and desperate. They are trying to bring her down to their level.
Good luck with that.
One of the Republican tactics against Hillary Clinton I can speak firsthand about is the strategy of trying to turn the African-American community against the former First Lady, with a series of emails from their communications department seeking to kill any idea that black people still support Clinton after eight years of President Obama.
For instance, let’s say I wrote an article titled, “Blacks believe Hillary Clinton Hates Obama” and put that in either The Carolinian or Wilmington Journal, I guarantee you that the RNC (Republican National Committee) Communications folks will pick up on it, and send a link to that story out faster than you can say “voter suppression.”
            Indeed, whatever log they can find to further throw on the fire to turn black voters against Hillary Clinton, they will. Because is they can cut her support in the black community down even by five percent, that might be just enough to give whichever eventual Republican presidential nominee a chance to win the White House.
            It’s a formula we’ve seen many times before – find a way to suppress the black vote, and the Republican has a chance to win.
            So don’t be surprised if you see, nonstop between now and Election Day 2016, a steady diet of blacks, women and young people parade across your TV and computer screens, popping off about how Hillary Clinton is “wrong” for the country, and does not deserve the trust of the American people.
            It’s going to happen, and indeed the drumbeat has already started. The question is, what are you going to do about it?
            We’ll see.
            DYSON VERSUS WEST – Throughout our history, black leaders of different stripes have always been at each others throats whether we liked it or not. Malcolm X said rough things about Dr. King. Dr. King and Stokely Carmichael got in each other’s way. Journalist Tavis Smiley and Pres. Barack Obama have issues with each other. So it happens.
            That’s why I’m none too surprised, or even bothered that Prof. Michael Eric Dyson and Prof. Cornel West are now at odds with each other. Dr. West is Dyson
‘s mentor, and once upon a time, there was a tight teacher-student bond there that many thought was unbreakable.
            But, as has happened many times before, when leaders with considerable egos begin to see things in different ways, and become intractable in their beliefs, that’s when even their shadows run out of room, and they begin pushing each other out of the spotlight. I saw this happen with Prof. West and Rev. Al Sharpton years ago, where West unsparingly attacked Sharpton calling him pretty much a sellout on national television. Sharpton tried to pull his punches, realizing the potential fallout of the public squabble, but the damage had been done.
            West didn’t stop there. He then went after Dyson, and colleague Prof. Melissa Harris Perry, claiming that both were part of a “plantation” on MSNBC for their commentary on black issues.
            And of course, how can we forget Prof. West’s vicious attacks on Pres. Obama after he was elected. West was angry because he had worked hard to help get Obama elected, and then felt that he should be treated as part of an inner circle with special access afterwards. That didn’t happen. Prof. West found himself on the outside looking in, and began mouthing off against Obama. Many of the president’s defenders didn’t like it, and began calling West, and eventually his buddy Tavis Smiley out (Smiley was furious at Obama for not giving him the kind of access he felt that he deserved).
            And so that’s how we got into the mess we have now.
            Of course, there are many people who are upset when they see black leaders openly fighting each other, and I understand their consternation. Heck, I hate it when I see two children fighting, and on many levels it’s exactly the same thing.
            But at the end of the day, so what?  People fight. That’s what they do. Of course we’d all love to live in the wonderland of unity, but grow up. People are always going to follow their own interests, and it is only the rare among us who sacrifice themselves and their egos for the greater good that put the interests of the masses before their own.
            And if you know anything about history, those people are ALWAYS attacked, because they are real leaders, and real leaders scare some people so much, there are some of believe that they must be stopped.
            So let West and Dyson and whomever fight until the cows come home. If they have the time and energy, power to them. Our job is NOT to wait for them to get it together, but rather keep on keepin’ on. We may greatly admire these people, but we don’t have to follow them. If they stop, we don’t have to. Indeed we MUST NOT. Our job is to move forward no matter what. And when our leaders wise up and realize we aren’t waiting for them, then maybe they’ll stop the crap, and learn how to lead again.
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.


            [RALEIGH] Has North Carolina’s employment growth stalled? It may be too early to tell, but the jobless figures for March inched tenth of a point from the previous two months, coming in at 5.4 percent, according to the state Dept. of Commerce. January and February saw 5.3 percent. Reportedly, the number of unemployed in the state rose by 6,000 in March, even though approximately 26,000 people found work. Most experts aren’t too worried, given that over a year ago in February 2014, North Carolina jobless rate was 6.5.

            [RALEIGH] The right of a private property owner trumps the people’s right to know if something concerning the public is happening there – that is how opponents of House Bill 405, the Property Protection Act, see the proposed law if passed by the NC General Assembly. The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure this week, sending it to the full House for a vote at press time. The measure would prohibit animal rights activists and journalists from taking jobs in meat packing plants and farms to uncover workplace safety issues. Supporters say the rights of the property owner are more important than any safety concerns activists or the media may have.

            A Texas-based ice cream maker has recalled all of its products sold in 23 states, including in North Carolina, because two samples of its cookie dough ice cream have tested positive for dangerous bacteria listeria, and may have caused three deaths in Kansas.  Officials at Blue Bell Creameries say even though the bacteria showed up in just one batch of its many ice cream flavors, they aren’t taking any chances, and urge customers who may have recently purchased any product with the Blue Bell label not to consume it, but either return it to the store of purchase for a complete refund, or immediately throw it out. That include Blue Bell ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and other snacks. The company is doing a complete investigation of its factory facilities to identify where the infection may be. This is the first recall in the company over 100-year history.




            The mother of three black  teenagers who were kicked out of Crabtree Valley Mall last February falsely accused of loitering, went before the Raleigh City Council Tuesday accusing mall management of racial bias. LaVonda Bowden told the council that her sons and another child had been shopping, and stopped to eat at the food court, until mall security confronted them and escorted them outside on a 30 degree day. The mall’s general manager later apologized, but Ms. Bowden says she doesn’t accept the apology because she knows its happening to other black children as well. City Council members seemed sympathetic, but have little leverage because Crabtree is private property.

            After 28 years of service, veteran Wake County Commissioner Betty Lou Ward has announced that she will not seek re-election in 2016. Ward, 79, has represented Wake’s District 6 since 1988. Ward said she and her husband plan to travel after her retirement. Thanks to new redistricting lines passed by the NC General Assembly, Ward’s district will be changed in 2018. She said she’s announcing now so that young people who want to serve can consider running for her post.

            Cary has grown tremendously in the past 15 years, with more and more families moving there from all across the country. That means more schools need to be built there, say Cary Town Council members, and they made their case before the Wake County Commission Board Monday in hopes that commissioners would fund more school construction. Council members made clear that new businesses won’t move to Cary unless they’re assured that there is adequate classroom space for their workers’ families, and new housing developments won’t occur either. At least one new high school and several elementary schools are scheduled to open in the coming years.

            The chairman of the Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council, which governs the city’s 19 neighborhood advisory councils, has resigned. Joe Corey says he’s stepping down because he could no longer deal with mounting tensions over how the council operates and debates about new developments. Corey’s critics counter that he was “starting to act like a dictatorship.”


By Cash Michaels

            Now that the US Supreme Court has vacated North Carolina’s 2011 redistricting maps, and remanded them back to the state Supreme Court with a directive to correctively review to ensure that the maps are constitutionally compliant, the main question now is will the they be redrawn in time to affect the 2016 presidential and state gubernatorial elections?
            The hope is that the state High Court will concur with the US justices’ 5-4 opinion that, like Alabama, North Carolina’s 2011 redistricting maps were unconstitutional because they “stacked and packed” black voters into majority-minority districts, thus “bleaching” traditional Democratic districts, giving Republican candidates better opportunities to win elections.
            Using race as the primary factor to establish voting districts is unconstitutional, the High Court has ruled in the past.
            If the state’s Supremes indeed formally agree that the maps, as presently drawn, are unconstitutional, then when will that happen? And once they direct the Republican-led state Legislature to indeed redraw those lines, how long would that take, especially if there is no legally compelling reason forcing state lawmakers to comply prior to the 2016 elections?
            Those are the questions that attorney Irving Joyner, chairman of the NC NAACP Legal Redress Committee, says have to be answered in order for Monday’s US Supreme Court opinion to ultimately bring about justice.
            The NCNAACP is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the state.
            “We’re pushing the NC Supreme Court to immediately review this opinion because we’ve had five years now of a Legislature that has been in place based on lines that were illegally drawn,” Joyner told The Carolinian Monday immediately after the High Court’s majority opinion was published. He added that a motion was immediately filed asking the state Supreme Court to grant an urgent review of the case as remanded back from the US Supreme Court. “We feel that everyday that the court is slow in acting on this, that it allows the illegality which has occurred to continue.”
“We feel that some remedy should be presented immediately so that we can elect people in the [2016] election based on legitimately drawn lines giving power to the people to really elect representatives of their choice, Prof. Joyner continued.
“We are also calling upon the members of the Legislature to become proactive, and take some efforts to redo the legislative lines in this state so that it is in compliance with what the [US] Supreme Court has found offense with.”
Joyner conceded that pressure will have to be brought to bare on bring about the ultimate change they seek.
“We’re in the process of mobilizing as much community and political pressure as possible to push both [the state Supreme Court and NC Legislature] to act immediately to rectify this situation,” he said. “The state Legislature and state Supreme Court can slow-drag this process out to unimaginable lengths, and it is our responsibility to put pressure on both of those bodies to ensure that that doesn’t happen.”
Republican leaders in the NC General Assembly moved quickly to downplay the High Court’s decision. Both Rep. David Lewis and Sen. Bob Rucho, chairs of the House and Senate Redistricting Committees respectively, were confident that in the end, the maps would be upheld.
            “Since 2011, every court that has issued an opinion and the Obama Justice Department has reached the same conclusion — North Carolina’s redistricting maps are constitutional,” the chairs said in a joint statement Monday. “Today’s procedural ruling is not unexpected and we are confident that our state Supreme Court will once again arrive at the same result and the U.S. Supreme Court will affirm its decision.”
Contrary to what Lewis and Rucho said ,Prof. Joyner counters that the ruling was “very significant” because it made clear that the maps the GOP drew in 2011 were clearly unconstitutional.
            He accused the GOP leaders of “willful blindness” in their response.
            “The North Carolina Supreme Court had said that what was being done here had an adequate legal basis to support it, and the US Supreme Court disagreed,” Joyner said, charging that the “stacking and packing” by Republican lawmakers when they redrew the state’s voting districts was “deliberately done for the purpose of creating apartheid [racially exclusive] districts in North Carolina for African-Americans.”
            A look at the High Court’s recent decision in Alabama makes Joyner’s point.
            There, too, the Republican-led Legislature redrew the voting districts in a way that shifted black voters out of Democratic-leaning districts, under the guise of trying to comply with the 1965 Voting Rights Act to ensure that blacks had the ability to elect their representatives.
            But US Supreme Court Justice Breyer, writing for the court’s majority, stated that when the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus to the state to court there in complaint, it was correct in alleging that the Alabama plan “stacked and packed” blacks in districts where they couldn’t have a voting impact beyond their own districts.
            Doing so was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause forbidding the use of race as a “predominant” district boundary-drawing “factor” unless boundaries are “narrowly tailored” to achieve a ‘compelling state interest.”
            Justice Breyer said that just as in Alabama, a lower court in North Carolina “applied incorrect legal standards in evaluating” the claims against the state and its maps.
            Some legal observers say while this week’s High Court opinion was indeed a victory for the plaintiffs, there is a long way to go.

            “We’re in the battle for the long haul, and we’ll battle it in the courts, legislative halls and in the streets, wherever is necessary to bring some redress to this terrible wrong that the NC General Assembly has visited on African-Americans in this state,” Prof. Joyner said.

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