Tuesday, July 7, 2015





By Cash Michaels

THE COSBY MESS – Needless to say, the big, big news this week has been the release of 2005 court documents by The Associated Press showing that in a deposition to defend against a civil suit that he drugged and then raped a female employee at Temple University, comedian Bill Cosby admitted to purchasing mind-altering drugs for the purpose of drugging women to have sex with them.
For those who were holding out for solid evidence that Cosby was indeed guilty of what up to 40 women this far have accused him of doing, this should be the proverbial nail in that coffin. Some have pointed out that later in the deposition, Cosby says he misunderstood the question. Hey Bill, when you “misunderstand” a question during a legal proceeding, the usual custom is to say that you don’t understand it, and then ask the questioner to repeat it for your benefit.
But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you, in fact, did misunderstand the question. Let’s say, as your attorneys seem to suggest, that the women you got the drugs to give to for sex actually wanted the drugs, and that the sex was consensual. Then where are they Bill? Why can’t any of them, even just one, come forward and defend you with, “Oh yeah, Bill and I used to party back in the day, and we had a grand old time.”
So far, no one has steppe forward to say such a thing, Bill.
Plus, you’ve been lying through your teeth, apparently, when you denied “ever” drugging women for sex. That’s the reason you’ve been dragged into court now, sued by at least one of your alleged victims for slander when you called her a liar. She didn’t like that, Bill, and got her attorneys to petition the court for your 2005 court case records.
Just your luck The Associated Press petitioned the court as well, and got to them first.
So now your reputation is completely in the toilet, Bill. There are parents who are sickened by the thought that you may have drugged women against their will so you could have your way with them. They are sickened that you have starred in many family television programs promoting family values, and have written many books about family, and was even considered “America’s Dad” because of your popular “The Cosby Show” on NBC.
Parents, and even those of us who grew up watching you from your days as a spokesman for Jello, just can’t get over how different you were in your personal life. Yes, we know that your only son, Ennis, was murdered. And that one of your daughters, Erin, dated boxer Mike Tyson and developed a drug problem. It’s in your autobiography.
And of course we know about Autumn Jackson, the young girl who tried to blackmail you for $20 million claiming to be your daughter from an affair that you allegedly had with her mother many years earlier.
So the fact that you didn’t have a perfect family life is well-documented, and all that I’ve stated above is public record, including your admission many years ago that you had indeed strayed from your marriage with Camille, something you promised to fix.
But these revelations from the 2005 court records per sworn testimony, and the mounting allegations from at least forty women, paint the picture of a man who can only be described as an alleged serial rapist, a man with definite problems. The fact that all of this is coming out now, in the twilight of your career, is both painful and shameful. How you’re able to look at yourself in the mirror is beyond most of us.
How this mess will ultimately end, Bill Cosby, no one knows. Someone talked about forgiving you, similar to how the family members of the victims of the Charleston church massacres forgave the alleged killer. Those family members, in my opinion, had the right to decide whether they would forgive or not. That was not anyone else’s call.
In the case of Cosby, though, should he be forgiven? Should he be forgiven for his admitted transgressions? That’s up to the women he alleged violated, and right now, it sounds as if they aren’t in the mood.
But then there’s the case of Cosby lying to all of us all these years. Can we, and should we forgive him for that?  To be fair, Cos still employs lawyers whose sole purpose is to hide the truth as much as possible in order to properly defend their client. But they work for him, which means they stop when he tells them to stop.
Yes, this is a tragedy all around. If you’re a parent with girls, then I don’t have to tell you how the Cosby case sends chills down your spine at just the thought of someone doing the same thing to your daughters.
As I said, how this ends, no one knows, except GOD.
FISHBURNE JOINS “ROOTS” – By now you know that actor LeVar Burton is bringing a new version of Alex Haley’s “Roots” back to television, to air on the Arts and Entertainment Cable Network. Burton, you’ll recall, became a star with his portrayal of Kunta Kinte, the African ancestor of author Haley.  The original “Roots” mini-series aired on ABC-Television in January 1977 for eight straight historic nights, garnering record ratings for the period, and starting a discussion about race the country had never seen before.
We don’t know what the full cast for Burton’s new version will be, but we learned this week that veteran actor Lawrence Fishburne has just signed on to portray Alex Haley in the eight-parter.
As more casting news becomes available, you’ll read it here.
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.

By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            On Monday in a federal courtroom in Winston – Salem, NCNAACP v McCrory, a trial with implications far beyond the borders of North Carolina begins, and once again, the North Carolina NAACP and its coalition partners – otherwise known as the Forward Together Movement – are right in the middle of it.
            At issue: whether the voting restrictions passed by the Republican-led NC General Assembly in 2013 violated the constitutional rights of African-American and other citizens of color, who prior to their passage, enjoyed unfettered access to the polls on Election Day.
            The defendants – Gov. Pat McCrory and the NC Legislature – say changes like requiring voter photo identification; shortening the early voting period by a week, eliminating same-day registration and no longer allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register in time to qualify to vote, were simply safeguards against voter fraud and designed to protect the integrity of North Carolina’s electoral process.
            The plaintiffs – the NCNAACP, Ms. Rosanelle Eaton and the US Justice Dept, among others – reply that there was no, and still is no discernable voter fraud for the NC voter restrictions to address, and the changes were simply a major attempt by the Republican governor and his GOP legislative majority to suppress the black and youth vote, two traditionally Democrat-leaning voting blocks, for years to come.
            “The North Carolina General Assembly knew that this law would discriminate against African-American voters but passed it anyway,” the NCNAACP’s lawsuit alleges. “Voters of color are more likely to use early voting and same-day registration because, after centuries of racial discrimination in North Carolina, they continue to lag behind whites in income, education, access to transportation and residential stability.”
            Beyond claiming that the 2013 NC voting law violated the 14th and 15th amendment rights to the US Constitution of African-Americans, Hispanics, college students and the elderly, the lawsuit also claims that the law violates Section 2 of the 1965 US Voting Rights Act, which “…prohibits practices (like poll taxes and literacy tests historically) that result in African American and Latinos having less opportunity than other members of the electorate to vote.”
The stakes are enormous, especially for the upcoming 2016 gubernatorial, legislative and presidential elections. If the entire 2013 omnibus voting law is deemed unconstitutional in federal court after what’s presumed will be a six-week trial, the shockwaves will provide a template for similar cases across the nation, delivering a critical blow to the Republican voter suppression movement.
Indeed, as indicated before, even the Obama Administration’s US Justice Dept., now under the leadership of North Carolina native US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, is a plaintiff in the case, effectively partnering the weight and resources of the federal government with one of the premier state chapters of the world’s most prominent civil rights organization.
If the legal effort fails to uproot North Carolina law, then until Democrats reclaim the NC Legislature – which may not occur for several years thanks to redrawn voting maps (which are also being challenged in court) that keep Republicans in power until at least 2020 – the voting restrictions, key elements of which go into effect in 2016, will become a way of life in the Old North State.
There has been a chink in the defendants’ legal armor, however.
Without warning last month, the state Legislature passed, and Gov. McCrory signed into law, a relaxation of the stringent rules governing the 2013 voter photo ID requirements.
Now, those who do not have a government-issued photo identification to show at the polls when they vote will be able to fill out an affidavit declaring a hardship that prevented them from obtaining one. That voter would still have to present either a valid utility bill or Social Security card with birth date to prove who they are.
Critics charged that these provisions could have been included in the original 2013 law without a problem, but Republican legislative leaders countered that they needed two years of feedback on the measure in order to make to the proper adjustments for the “good” of the voter.
With the much-anticipated federal trial in Winston-Salem coming up, in addition to a separate case in state court focusing solely on the photo ID provision, many observers saw the unexpected move to soften the voter ID law as an acknowledgment that the state would lose if it didn’t take some of the teeth out of the NCNAACP case.
Attorney Irving Joyner, chair of the NCNAACP Legal Redress Committee and one of the attorneys representing the NCNAACP in the case, says while the change is significant, it doesn’t impact their basic argument that the entire 2013 voter law is corrupt.
“The state was getting ready to lose its case in both state and federal court, and they recognized the wealth of both information and evidence that we had amassed that will be presented in court to show the discriminatory impact that the voter ID portion of the law has had, and will have on African-Americans,” Joyner told The Carolinian last week.
“So this was a kind of a ploy by the state to get away from a sure defeat in court where the court would have declared that what [the state] had done violated the [US] Constitution,” Joyner added. He went on to say that the plaintiffs will continue the battle in court regardless because “whatever they’ve done is not sufficient to cover all of the deficiencies and all of the problems which exist with the law.”
Recognizing the historic nature of NCNAACP v McCrory, the Forward Together Movement is rallying the state, encouraging all to come to Winston-Salem on Monday to take part in a “Mass Moral Monday March for Voting Rights” at 5 p.m. at Corpening Plaza, 231 W. 1st Street.
Today we find ourselves fighting to hold on to the very things that they won 50 years ago,” says NC NAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber. “This is no small moment and we have all been chosen for this. The moment is bigger than any individual.”
For more information email forwardtogether@naacpnc.org.



            Raleigh City Council chambers were packed Tuesday evening as concerned citizens wanted to hear details on a new rezoning plan that could change approximately 30 percent of the city, making it more business-friendly.  Residents have reservations, however, about more traffic, lowering property values and other problems associated with increased growth. Whole neighborhoods could be negatively affected, many say. The council took no action Tuesday, but will revisit the plan at future dates.

            A Wake County grand jury has indicted four high school students with the first-degree murder of 16-year-old Katie Burdick-Crow of Green Hope High. Authorities say Burdick-Crow was killed after she was robbed of drugs she was selling and tried to stop the perpetrators by jumping onto their getaway truck, only to fall off and die of her injuries. Indicted were Joshua Odell Simmons, 17, Abijah James Masse, 17, Beth Marie Strange, 18, and Jourdan Chanquion Mack, 20, - all from Morrisville. Mack and Strange face the death penalty if convicted.

            Vern Hatley, 67, the former Wake County Public Schools transportation director who served time in prison after being convicted in a kickback scheme, died in an auto accident along with his wife, Willie Mae, 65, and another passenger in Lithonia, Ga. Sunday. Reportedly an SUV ran a red light, hitting their vehicle. The 27-year-old SUV driver has been charged with three-counts of vehicular homicide, driving while impaired, hit and run and failure to obey a red light.



            [CHARLOTTE] A Charlotte woman who claims that a video featuring her that was posted by rapper 2Chainz and an associate has cost her her job, so she’s suing him in Mecklenburg Superior Court for $5 million. Christine Chisholm says she was invited backstage after the rappers’ show at the Fillmore Theater where the video was shot. When 2Chainz (whose real name is Tauheed Epps) then posted the video on Youtube and other websites, he referred to Chishom as a THOT (that hoe over there). Chisholm claims in her suit that as “a direct result” of that video and its posting, she has been  subject to harassment, and lost her job. 2 Chainz has not responded to the suit.

            [GREENSBORO] A month after the NC General Assembly overrode Gov. McCrory’s veto of a law allowing all 672 state magistrates to refuse to conduct same-sex marriages or issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious objections, the state Administrative Office of the Courts reports that only 14, thus far, have actually invoked the law. The report does not identify which counties the 14 operate in, and nor does the report identify them by name. Opponents of the law says magistrates are sworn public employees who are tasked to serve everyone.  The law’s supporters say magistrates with religious objections should be protected.

            [RALEIGH] After Gov. Pat McCrory criticized the Republican-led NC General Assembly for changing how the Greensboro City Council is elected by eliminating its at-large seats in favor of eight separate districts, Republican House member Rep. Michael Speciale of New Bern took to his Facebook page and accused McCrory, a fellow Republican, of criticism “borne out of ignorance.” Speciale went on to charge that McCrory is constantly grandstanding in the press.” Critics have charged that the voting districts in Greensboro were changed to lessen  the impact of African-Americans in City Council elections.


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