Monday, August 10, 2015



By Cash Michaels

“WLLE REMEMBERED” RETURNS  THIS SATURDAY– Back by popular demand, NCSU Libraries and NCSU’s Africana Studies Dept. presents the CashWorks HD Productions presentation of “WLLE Remembered,” a mini-documentary about our beloved 570WLLE-AM radio, the first black-owned and operated radio station in Raleigh that came on the air from 1962 to 1997.
            That free screening will be held this Saturday, August 15th, 2 p.m. at the Richard B. Harrison Library, 1313 New Bern Avenue in Southeast Raleigh. Again, admission is free and the community is invited. NCSU Africana Studies Prof. Sheila Smith McKoy and yours truly will be the hosts. After the film, we’ll give you a chance to share your memories of the radio station that all of us loved and grew up with.
            This may be the last time that this documentary is screened, so circle the date and come out to enjoy!
            HOPE TRUMP TRAIN KEEPS ROLLING – Boy, I really must say that I, for one, am totally enjoying this drama between crazy billionaire Donald Trump and the Republican Party, especially after last week’s mega-debate on Fox News Channel.
            There can be no question Trump was next to the least substantive GOP candidate up on the stage of ten (the least had to be Dr. Ben Carson, the famed neurosurgeon who looked so lost when questioned as to why he really wants to be president). And there can also be no question that Trump has no intention of giving policy answers, but rather is surviving on the strength of his obnoxious personality.
            Here’s the thing…Trump keeps saying the most obnoxious things (the latest being that absolutely rude remarks about Fox debate moderator Megyn Kelly having “blood” coming from everywhere while she was asking him questions Thursday night), but it doesn’t make any difference. There is a significant portion of the Republican electorate, the polls consistently show, that loves his rudeness and unflappable anti-politically correct stance on just about everything.
            This crowd sees absolutely nothing wrong with expressing your hatred for certain groups of people, They like that kind of honest, frank talk, and feel that more Republican politicians should take a page from Trump and do exactly the same thing. And they love the fact that Trump can say and do Ku Klux Klan things, without being a formal member of the KKK, for that’s exactly who and what they are.
            Finally, the racial underbelly of this nation is being revealed in the starkest terms possible, and it’s primary proponent isn’t running away from it…no, he’s embracing it. Trump is even going so far as to attacking his fellow Republicans as being wimps. The other candidates quite frankly don’t know what to do with Trump. If they attack him in the worst way, he just attacks back in stronger terms, and they then run under rocks.
            So that gives Trump almost total control of what the Republican Party does and says as it puts its best foot forward heading into the 2016 elections. The GOP so carefully crafted how it was going to win the White House back for the first time in eight years by limiting the number of scheduled debates (nine between August 2015 and March 2016), and carefully choosing where and when those debates would be seen (Fox and CNN).
            And look what Trump has done. He doesn’t have to worry about money, so he can stay in the race for as long as he wants, or even mount an independent candidacy for president that could easily siphon off support from the inevitable Republican standard bearer for the White House.
            After seeing him last this long against whatever controversy they’ve thrown at him, I firmly believe that Donald Trump is going to be a factor in the 2016 presidential race because he wants to be. He is in too deep now to back out and be called a loser for the rest of his life…something he could never stomach. His ego is such that he could never respect any of the other candidates for presidents if they didn’t cowtow to his every whim and wish.
            No, Donald Trump would rather be known as the man who “made America great again,” and the only way he can take the lion’s share of credit is to be elected Number One to lead. It may seem like a tall and impossible order, but Trump has both the money and the gall to pull it off…the run I mean. Ultimately I’m certain he’ll lose, because I’m convinced there are more decent people in this nation than crazy people, and if they vote, he isn’t going anywhere.
            But at least while he’s in place doing his thing and causing trouble in the GOP, Trump is helping to expose the Republican Party for what it is…the home for white supremacy in this nation.
            “PARDONS” TO BE SCREENED IN WILMINGTON – We’ll have more information forthcoming, but if you’re in the Wilmington area, mark down Monday, August 24th on your calendar. That’s when Democracy NC will sponsor a screening of our award-winning documentary “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten” in Wilmington, 6 p.m. at the Jengo Playhouse, 815 Princess Street. And yes, we'll have DVDs of the film, and a special commemorative book of all of our Wilmington Ten articles produced by the Wilmington Journal available for sale as well.
          As I said, we’ll have more details for you ASAP, but come on out if you can. Would love to meet you!
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.



            After a national search, the Town of Cary has chosen deputy police Tony Godwin to become the new police chief. Godwin, 48, won out over 75 applicants from across the country to succeed longtime Chief Pat Bazemore, who retired last month after 30 year of service. Godwin joined the force in 1990, and worked his way up from patrol duty, leading each division during his tenure. He became deputy chief in 2014. Godwin leads a force of 195 sworn officers.

            Charles Brown allegedly spoke his mind when he said that it was “criminal” that his band members were allowed to report to school “under false pretenses” without being told that funding for their tuition discounts was being redistributed. Last Friday, Shaw University responded to Brown, the school’s band director, by suspending him with pay until a complete investigation into his alleged remarks are conducted. The school says Brown was suspended for “behavior alleged to be in consistent with the University’s policies and principles. Band members who lost the discounts will not have to pay more in tuition, school officials say.

            Police say no more than  600 people rallied in downtown Hillsborough last Saturday to protest the imminent removal by the town board of the Confederate flag sign from the Orange County Historical Museum. Attendees at the rally, which organizers insist attracted upwards of 1500 people, insist that the battle flag is a symbol of Southern heritage, not white supremacist hate. Counterprotesters maintained that if flag supporters were honest about what the Confederate flag means, they wouldn’t have let the Ku Klux Klan and others claim it as a symbol of their hate movements.



            [RALEIGH] In June, state lawmakers decided that since they would obviously miss their July 1st deadline to pass a new state budget, they would extend that deadline 45 days to Aug. 14. But continued haggling over budget details between the state House and Senate have forced legislators to miss that deadline, and now look towards Aug. 31st to get their business done. The House Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday to establish the new deadline, hoping that their colleagues on the Senate side would concur. Thus far, the Senate indicates not only that it wants the second deadline sooner, but that their proposed $21.5 billion budget be the cap on any spending. The House wants $22.5 billion. Meanwhile the state’s school systems are preparing to open not knowing whether teaching assistants, which are rumored to be cut from the Senate budget, should still be on the payroll.

            [CHARLOTTE] A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police captain testified that white former Charlotte police officer Randall Kerrick  violated department policy when he repeatedly shot a stranded, injured black motorist to death in Sept. 2013. Capt. Mike Campagna testified this week that Kerrick should have holstered his weapon upon seeing a frantic Jonathan Ferrell, who had just wrecked his car and had been knocking on doors in the middle of the night for help. The police captain said by holstering his weapon, since Ferrell was unarmed, Kerrick would then be able to physically control Ferrell until he calmed down. Kerrick is charged with using excessive force in killing Ferrell.

            [RALEIGH] In the aftermath of the death of an inmate who was kept in solitary confinement in a state prison after suffering dehydration, several civil rights groups have written to the US Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division, asking that it investigate North Carolina’s solitary confinement practices. On Monday, the NC Prisoner Legal Services, the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, the ACLU of North Carolina, the UNC Center for Civil Rights, N C Stop Torture Now and the UNC School of Law Human Rights Policy Seminar sent the missive, claiming that North Carolina’s prison system “failed to adopt consequential reforms despite its recognition that the system is in crisis.” Reportedly, approximately 14 percent of the state prison system’s more than 38,000 inmates are held in solitary confinement.


By Cash Michaels

            About a half-hour into the two-hour gathering, the family of Keyshawn Tyrell Gregory couldn’t take it anymore.
            True, they were among friends and supporters who also attended last Monday night’s meeting of Justice Served NC, not only to seek an end to the senseless gun violence that claimed the young, promising life of the rising 13-year-old eighth-grader just last Friday, but also to express their shock and sorrow that something like that could possibly happen in their community.
            But it became just too much for this family. Without warning, the crying started, and they bolted from the room beneath Revelation Missionary Baptist Church, their tears flowing as anguish continued to grip them during their worst nightmare ever.
            I tried to attend a Justice Served NC meeting tonight and just couldn't sit there,” wrote Tiffany Tip Harris, Keyshawn’s aunt, on Facebook afterwards. “I'm just not ready yet. [Too] emotional. My heart is heavy and mind is all over the place. This will take time. I'm just so thankful to all my family and friends that have supported us during this time. Please just continue to pray for my family…”
            Ms. Harris then invited the community to come out to a prayer vigil for Keyshawn – a young man known to love basketball and be productive - at the corner of North State and Jones streets Wednesday evening.
            “As you can see [Keyshawn’s family]…,” Min. Diana Powell, executive director of Justice Served NC told those gathered, before stopping herself, and then saying matter-of-factly, “It’s hard…it’s hard.”
            Powell left the meeting and walked out behind the family to the lot behind the church to check on them.
            After delivering their apologies upon her return, Powell told the group, “ I’m just thankful that they had enough courage to come, to see the road forward, and to hear the love. So we’re going to continue to work with them.”
            There were other mothers and family members there at that Justice Served NC meeting Monday evening, and their common bond was one that no one would want. Each lost sons and loved ones within the last month, year or even five years, to indiscriminate gun violence. Some of the victims were gang members or former gang members. Some were, as in the case of Keyshawn Gregory, were not.
            For instance there was James Elvin Alston III, 23, who was gunned down July 2nd on Quarry Street. Alston was in the process of re-building his life, his family and supporters say, doing more for his family, and was actually working with Justice Served NC to put an end to gun violence on the streets of Southeast Raleigh.
            Those who knew him say they could see the change in him.
            The one thing all of the mothers and family members insist on, is that every one of the victims was loved, and did not deserve to die.
            Minister Powell is the executive director of Justice Served NC, the nonprofit  group she founded five years ago originally to help those accused of crimes deal with the criminal justice system after one of her family members was facing serious gun charges and time in prison.
            That mission remains today, but the group also tries to prevent gun violence, and support the families of those who have fallen victim to it. Justice Served NC, part of the outreach ministry of Revelation Missionary Baptist Church at 805 East Davie Street, meets every Monday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. in the church basement.
            With a few volunteers, Min. Powell has been virtually a one-woman army – an iron-willed servant of God, tough enough to demand fairness from the criminal justice system and lead a community in its fight to save itself, yet sensitive and caring enough to embrace the families of the fallen, and be there when families need an advocate in their worst moments.
            After the bullets claimed the life of Keyshawn Gregory last Friday night, Powell went to the scene.
            “It’s not easy,” Powell maintained to the group, talking about having “so many different emotions” as she comprehended what happened. “You’re talking about a baby that has been gunned down.”
            “Here we go again.”
            This week, a Wake County judge denied bond to Malik Armein Jones, 19, the accused assailant police arrested and say allegedly fired the fatal shots last Aug. 7th afternoon, hitting Keyshawn Gregory as he rode in the backseat of a car with friends on Beauty Avenue. Police say an argument between  occupants of the car and a group that Jones was a part of in front of 1401 Beauty Avenue that led to the confrontation.
            The car immediately sped away, finally coming to a stop a mile away at N. State and East Jones streets, where Keyshawn was determined to be dead.
            Jones faces one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
            Jamal Christopher Howie, 19, and Jonathan Dejesus Chavez, 20, two teens police identify as alleged accomplices of Jones, were also arrested and charged with being accessories after the fact.  Each were placed under $2 million bond.
            Min. Powell made it clear Monday that she’s interested in “a movement, not a moment,” and that means she needs caring volunteers to come to the fore and help. The group Monday evening talked about improving education, social services, economic opportunity and ultimately jobs in Southeast Raleigh as a way to improve the overall quality of life, and give young black men hope.
            They also talked about the vital need to have strong, older black men, even former gang members, to take to the streets, and speak to the young people to let them know that violence and bloodshed is not the way to solve their problems.
            Indeed, some former gang members in the group said many of the young men today act out violently because they don’t know who they are, and thus don’t truly love themselves, for if they did, then they would realize the value of loving each other and their community.
            They would see the value of protecting their community, not destroy it.
            The group Monday night also had several people who worked with nonprofit groups who wanted to contribute whatever they could by way of services.
            Ultimately, the discussion centered on the best way to reach out to troubled youth, perhaps through some kind of community event where they can feel free to take part, and express their wants and fears.
            The work must go forward to save the our young people and our community, Min. Powell insists, or else the violence will increase.
            “It must stop,” the determined woman of God insisted.
            Justice Served NC meets every Monday night, 7 – 9 p.m. in the basement of Revelation Missionary Baptist Church, 805 East Davie Street in SE Raleigh. All are welcomed to take part, especially black men committed to making a difference in their community.


KING SPEECH RELEASED - Last week, The Carolinian was the first to report that a portion of the 1962 speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Rocky Mount, where he first uttered his most famous refrain "I Have a Dream" eight months prior to his iconic August 28, 1963 speech during the March on Washington, would be released. On Tuesday, that indeed happened at NCSU, where researcher Prof. W. Jason Miller (standing) let the less hear the 1962 address. Miller was joined by NC NAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber, and three Rocky Mount citizens who heard the 1962 speech - Ms. Helen Gay, Mr. Herbert Tillman and Dr. Tolokum Omokunde. Dr Miller, filmmaker Rebecca Cerese and The Carolinian's Cash Michaels are co-producing a documentary titled "Origin of the Dream" which incorporates Dr. King's 1962 speech in examining the intellectual relationship between  King and American poet Langston Hughes. [ Cash Michaels picture]

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