Tuesday, September 1, 2015






By Cash Michaels

VALUE IN OLD DOCU-DRAMAS – Last weekend, I had a chance to slow down and watch some old movies on Starz and EPIX.  Two movies on Starz Black caught my attention, and I’m glad they did – The Ghosts of Mississippi (1996) with Whoopi Goldberg and Alec Baldwin, and Mississippi Burning (1988) with Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe.
            Both films were based…and I emphasized “based,” on true stories that were rooted in the 1960s civil rights movement. Ghosts focused on the 1994 retrial of white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith for the assassination of NAACP civil rights leader Medgar Evers, while Burning retold the story of the FBI investigation into the 1964 murders of Goodman, Cheney and Swerner – three civil rights workers who were murdered in Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan, and the investigation into their disappearance.
            Again, these films were based on actual events, meaning that the writers, looking for the best way to juice up the drama, put some things in that didn’t happen, and left some things out that did.
            And that’s the reason why no docudrama should ever be taken literally or factually. For instant, I also watched the 2008 film Defiance starring Daniel Craig about some Polish Jewish brothers who help other Jews escape through the forest during the Nazi occupation of Belarus in the Soviet Union during World War II. Good film, but a lot of it wasn’t true.
            The exact same thing can be said about the Academy Award nominated 2014 film, The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch as British scientist Alan Turing who breaks the Nazi code during World War II. That film took some serious liberties with the truth as well.
            My point is that when you watch these movies that are based on actual events, realize that that term “based” is as loaded as can be. It means that the writers took as much artistic license as possible to make what they felt was a good story even better, never mind that they my be fudging the facts of the actual truth. That means that the value of these docudramas is that they serve to in spire us to research the actual story, to find out the truth for ourselves.
            And that was the value of watching Ghosts of Mississippi and Mississippi Burning for me last weekend. I had already known about the true stories those films were based on, but I wanted to examine them based what I saw.
            And one of the reasons why I wanted to reexamine them is because my youngest daughter, KaLa, was watching Ghosts with me, and I could tell that she was intrigued.
            Many of us still don’t realize that despite many of the racial problems we still deal with today and that our young people have been exposed to, they still have absolutely no idea of the kind of racism that existed during the 1960s and before. So to see portrayals of the Ku Klux Klan shooting and killing black people, lynching them and hanging them by the neck from trees while they torched their homes and property, are images they can only imagine without films like these.
            So yes, it happens all of the time…docudramas come out about important historical events, and the criticism about how inaccurate they are come right with them.
            But, just like “Selma,” if they inspire us to investigate the truth for ourselves, then they’ve served our purpose.  I, for one, am happy that they’re here.
            MSNBC MAKES CHANGES – As we head into the 2016 election cycle, the cable news channels are gearing up for maximum audiences. But MSNBC, perceived to be the “liberal” channel when compared to conservative Fox News and so-called “straight” news CNN, is making dramatic changes to it’s weekday schedule in an effort to boost its weakening ratings and become more competitive.
            Gone are virtually all of the progressive talk shows that peppered the channel during the day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and now, MSNBC’s 6 p.m. show, “PoliticsNation with Rev. Al Sharpton” comes to an end this week. Rev. Sharpton has been doing the controversial show for the past six years despite protests from many in the press that a civil rights activist doesn’t deserve  a daily show on a news channel because he can’t be objective.
            Well, Sharpton never claimed to be objective, let alone a journalist. And when there were the incidents of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, Sharpton used his show to bring nationwide attention to the causes. Many didn’t like that, feeling that it gave Sharpton undeserved power, but he kept on keeping on.
            Well, his daily show is now cancelled, but obviously MSNBC sees the value of having Rev. on the air, so he now moves to Sunday morning at 8 a.m.. Rev says that’s just fine with him because Sunday morning political talk shows get better guests and help set the policy agenda for the week.
            We wish Rev. well. Yes, he had a very rocky start, but he has a grip on it now, and should do well on Sunday mornings.
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.



            The three teenage suspects charged in the shooting death of 13-year-old Keyshawn Gregory Aug. 7 made a court appearance Tuesday and  had their cases continued. A Wake County grand jury is expected to soon consider indictments against them. The youth was shot after an argument broke out between one of the passengers in the car he was riding in and someone standing in front of 1401 Beauty Ave. Malik Armein Jones, 19, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. He is being held without bond. Two alleged accomplices – Jamal Howie, 19, and Jonathan Chavez, 18, have both been charged with one count of accessory after the fact. Both are being held on $2 million bond each.

            Concerned that a proposed rezoning plan would limit where they could do business, food truck operators and owners turned out in force Tuesday evening to pressure the Raleigh City Council change the plan. To their surprise, the council listened, and then voted to approve amending Zone NX to allow food truck operation in mixed-use areas.  The council also approved mixed-use development in the old Dillion Supply Company building downtown. That will be turned into a 17-story facility for offices and apartments.

            Several black children advocacy groups are pressuring the Wake County Public School System to do more to stem the high rate of black student suspensions.
“The Education Justice Alliance, Dignity In Schools and the Coalition Of Concerned Citizens for African American Children are demanding that the Wake County Public School System develop an immediate action plan that will eliminate the high rate of suspensions and the disparities of Black Students,” the groups said in a statement last week. “According to the University Of Pennsylvania, Black students make up 24.7% of the enrollment and 53.3%of the suspensions in Wake County Public School System. We believe  that  Black  students  are  gravely  harmed by  the districts  practices  of  high  suspensions, expulsions, retentions, student arrests; ISS placement rates have had a negative impact on the education and life of our children.”



            [RALEIGH] At press time Wednesday, the NC Industrial Commission awarded compensation to Henry McCollum, 51, and Leon Brown, 47, two half-brothers falsely convicted for a 1983 rape/murder of an 11-year-old girl they did not commit, and spent over 30 years in prison for. Both men were released from prison a year ago, but only received pardons of innocence from Gov. Pat McCrory last June. McCollum and Brown were awarded $750,000 each from the state for their false convictions. McCollum attended the hearing, but Brown was hospitalized due to mental health issues.

            [RALEIGH] Students statewide have not markedly improved their standardized test scores, according to results released Wednesday for the 2014-15 school year. Fewer schools met their goals for academic improvement, reversing progress made just a year ago. 56.6 percent of students statewide passed their reading, math and science exams, just .3 percent more than last year. Schools now get letter grades to show progress, with scores of 85 and above earning an A. However, an analysis shows that over 70 percent of schools statewide earned a C.

            [RALEIGH] By order of the US Supreme Court, the NC High Court this week once again listened to arguments concerning the 2011 redistricting maps passed by the Republican-led NC General Assembly. Critics say those maps “stacked and packed” black voters into a few districts in order to give white Republican candidates an election advantage by removing black Democratic voters. The NC Supreme Court ruled eight months ago that the GOP maps were constitutional, but the US High Court ordered it to look again after US justices ruled that the Alabama restricting maps were flawed because of the way race was factored in. Lawyers arguing against North Carolina’s maps pointed to warped district lines that cut through neighborhoods and confused voters as to why the maps should be deemed unconstitutional. Lawyers for GOP lawmakers say they only followed the dictates of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in assuring that majority-black voting districts were drawn. No word when the state High Court will decide, or if it will be in time for the 2016 elections.


By Cash Michaels

            The NCNAACP has welcomed the “Journey for Justice” marchers to North Carolina amid vile racist threats that have thrown caution towards their activities.
            The Carolinian has learned that during the state registration process by which the civil rights organizations invited locals to join the national march through the North Carolina leg of its 860-mile trek from Selma, Alabama to Washington, D.C., at least one racist named “Jim Crow” with the supposed email of “HangAnigger@coons.com”posted the following on the NCNAACP registration site online:
            Black lives only matter when white person kills them. What about all the niggers that kills niggers. Y'all will always love in the projects and slums. You never will live or be looked at like the white man. We are white and we own this country. Go back to the jungles you bunch of porch monkies. That nappy and greasy hair you got is so nasty. And your crusty, crinkled up toes. Nigger, nigger, nigger.
            Under “organization” the registrant wrote, “Ku Klux Klan.”
            The registration was received at 9:30 p.m. last Friday.
            Rev. William Barber, president of the NCNAACP, told The Carolinian that normally, “We don’t always talk publicly about” these kinds of threats that he and his group receive, but because the marchers from Alabama were scheduled to be in the state for seven days, “…we have alerted the authorities [including]…the highway patrol.”
            Of primary concern to Rev. Barber was that the racist registrant checked yes to the question of whether they would be attending today’s Thursday, Sept 3rd march and rally in Raleigh at 5 p.m..
            With the Charleston church shooting massacre by a young white supremacist last June still fresh in the church and civil rights communities’ minds and heart, Barber and others are now taking such possible threats much more seriously than before, especially with the ever-growing presence of guns in the nation.
            Rev. Barber said the NCNAACP “has no way of tracking where the registrations came from.”
            The march from Shaw University this afternoon at 4 p.m. through downtown Raleigh, followed by a rally and program featuring the “Journey to Justice” marchers led by NAACP Pres./CEO Cornell Brooks at 5 p.m. in the Bicentennial Mall at 5 p.m., is the culmination of several celebratory activities since the marches crossed the North Carolina – South Carolina last weekend.
            On Monday they held a “Voting Rights Teach-in” at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh. Tuesday saw the delivery of a letter from the NCNAACP  statewide to the congressional offices in 17 cities statewide demanding that the stalled 2015 Voting Rights Advancement Act, “… be brought to a hearing, voted upon and passed to restore and strengthen the 1965 Votings Rights Act.
            “While we will continue to fight in the streets, in the courts, and at the ballot box at the State level, we are part of the mighty National NAACP,” Rev. Barber wrote in a statement. “We demand that Congress get to work and fix the shambles the five justices made of our sacred Voting Rights.”
            “The NC NAACP, the Forward Together Moral Movement, our local NAACP branches, are the blood stream of the National America Journey for Justice,” Rev. Barber continued. “We demand Congress act to restore, strengthen, and advance the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 that was introduced in the Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy and in the House by Representative Terri Sewell. Bring the bill to hearing. Vote for it. Release a statement pledging your support. Join the Journey for Justice now.”


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