CASH IN THE APPLE FOR 12-3-15
By Cash Michaels
TRUMP THE SPECTACLE - Make no mistake about it, any black minister who endorses Donald Trump for president should have his brain and his soul examined. The only excuse for any black man of the cloth to agree with this rich, documented hatemonger about anything is because he hopes to get paid. Why else pony up to someone who is on record for saying some of the most racist, ignorant and obnoxious things we’ve ever heard during a run for president?
Now to be clear, Donald Trump has the right to say whatever he
wants. This is still America, and he does have freedom of speech. Just thank GOD that he does, so that all of us can hear and read every ridiculous word he says, and judge for ourselves whether such a person is fit to hold the most powerful office on Earth.
And there is no question, since this is a media column, that Trump has played the news media like a fiddle, getting plenty of free press, especially when it’s negative. But there’s a big difference between giving Trump 2-3 hours of free airtime to run one of his wild speeches at length, versus using the valuable time, space and ink to pull his hateful rhetoric apart so that the gullible amongst us understand that they can do much, much better in choosing a presidential candidate.
That, quite frankly, is one of the jobs of the Black Press. Yes, it is easy to assume that everyone in the community knows what kind of rhetorical wrecking ball Donald Trump is, so much so that even other Republicans can’t stand the sight of him.
But then how do you explain the number of black ministers who met with, and then later endorsed the candidate? I know, I know….it is easy to assume that some way, some how they see it in their best interests to cozy up to this rich white guy, if for no other reason than to heighten their profile.
What we don’t want is too many others in our community going through this campaign not getting the full story on Trump, going instead with how impressed they are with those ministers who now back “The Donald.”
We won’t delve into what they do or don’t know. Quite frankly, that’s their business. But based on all of the evidence before us, we believe it’s our job to make sure that the rest of the community knows better.
And that’s why we even allow Trump’s name on our pages, so that we all can know, and do better!
After all, if someone doesn’t yell, “Snake,” then how are you going to know where to step?
WILMINGTON TEN BOOK – Those of us who were intimately involved in the pardons of innocence campaign for the Wilmington Ten are waiting quite anxiously for the formal release in January of the new book by Prof. Kenneth Janken in the Department of History at UNC – Chapel Hill titled “The Wilmington Ten.” I will have the opportunity to interview Dr. Janken on December 17th (hopefully I will have read the book by that time) about his research, which covers the early desegregation struggles in Wilmington/New Hanover County in the late 1960s/early 1970s, and the conspiracy surrounding framing the Wilmington Ten by state prosecutors in an effort to target black activist Rev. Benjamin Chavis.
Of course all of this is covered in the CashWorks HD Productions and NNPA documentary “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten,” which will be screened at Tryon Palace in New Bern on January 21 and the NC Museum of History on Sunday, Feb. 7th.
But Dr. Janken’s book, which he began researching in 2005, seven years before the pardons of innocence campaign began in earnest, focuses on the federal government’s role in the controversy. Janken’s had no idea at the time about the documents that the prosecutor had left behind, showing how he tried to gerrymander the jury to be mostly klan members.
So if you hear a lot, once again, about the Wilmington Ten, that’s because there will be plenty out there come January and February of next year.
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.
NCNAACP LEADS 80-DAY
VOTER ENGAGEMENT DRIVE
By Cash Michaels
Calling it “the first part of our fight at the ballot box for 2016,” the NCNAACP, in coalition with the nonpartisan Democracy NC and leaders of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths statewide, announced the “It’s Our Vote, It’s Our Time,” a mass voter registration campaign over the next 80 days to register as many North Carolinians as possible in time for the March 15, 2016 primaries.
“We have determined to fight three ways to preserve the right to vote,” Rev. William Barber, president of the NCNAACP, surrounded by supporters, told reporters Tuesday at Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh.
“We will fight in the legislative halls; we will fight in the courts and we will fight at the ballot box,” Barber vowed.
It was no accident that Rev. Barber made the announcement on the 60th anniversary of civil rights activist Rosa Parks’ historic refusal to give her seat to a white man aboard a Montgomery, Ala. segregated city bus on Dec. 1, 1955.
Mrs. Parks courageous act helped to spark a citywide bus boycott by black citizens for over 381 days, and introduced the world to a little-known local preacher named Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who would go one to lead the subsequent 60’s civil rights movement.
“There comes a time when people get tired,” Rev. Barber said, adding, “And when they get tired, they don’t quit. They fight back.”
“Rosa sat down so that we can stand up. Too many sacrifices have gone on for us not to fight for and exercise the right to vote,” Rev. Barber declared.
With more than 600,000 unregistered white voters in North Carolina, along with over 250,000 unregistered black voters and 100,000 unregistered Latino voters in North Carolina, Rev. Barber vowed that after going to the streets, jail and to court together, “We will go to the ballot box” together.
Bob Hall, the executive director of the nonpartisan Democracy North Carolina, told reporters that mass voter engagement campaign had four key components – voter education, voter registration, voter protection and voter mobilization.
Over the next two weeks, county boards of elections are being encouraged to devise “strong early voting plans with evening and weekends,” Hall said, adding that just in case the federal courts uphold the restrictive North Carolina voter photo ID law, Democracy North Carolina is working to help those who don’t have government-issued identification in time for the primaries, when it will be first required.
“You must vote,” Hall said to applause from supporters present. “You must push back and show your resistance to any effort to make voting harder. We will educate, and we will register voters.”
Hall added that his organizations will deploy volunteers to polling places across the state to make sure that the public’s right to vote was not impeded. They will also document who is being harmed by the voter ID law.
“And we’ll take that evidence into court,” Hall vowed. “We will engage over 3,000 churches and faith centers in the largest “Souls to the Polls” campaign this state has ever seen.”
There were representatives of the NC Council of Churches and various Christian denominations; the Jewish community and Islamic faith, in addition to the Latino community who announced their endorsement of the mass voter registration campaign.
“If they could build fusion coalitions in the 1800’s, we can build them in the 20th century,” Rev. Barber said. “We will not be divided.”
FIVE YEARS OF GOP RULE
CRIPPLES STATE, SAYS REPORT
By Cash Michaels
After five years of Republican governance in North Carolina, a new report from a nonpartisan government watchdog group says the state has been “altered and weakened,” definitively reversing its prior progressive course, and has actually fallen behind in the areas of education, social programs and public policy investment.
In effect, North Carolina’s rich have greatly benefited from numerous tax cuts at the expense of the state’s poor, who statistics show are slipping deeper and deeper into poverty, the reports notes, especially with the elimination of several social safety net programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit and cuts to unemployment benefits.
The multi-part report, titled “Altered State,” is produced by the editorial staff of NC Policy Watch, a progressive nonprofit project of the NC Justice Center in Raleigh. It consists of eight news stories and several commentaries that take an in-depth and concise analysis of the drastic changes in several public policy areas that have resulted in North Carolina becoming one of the most conservative states in the nation.
Indeed, in the report’s introduction, NC Policy Watch Executive Director Chris Fitzsimon goes back to an October 2011 meeting that that then state House Speaker Thom Tillis had at a Mars Hill restaurant that was videotaped where he promised “…that one of his goals was to ’divide and conquer’ people on public assistance.”
“Tillis, now a U.S. senator, explained that he wanted to get people with disabilities to “look down” at others on public assistance, low-income families whom he deemed unworthy of public support,” Fitzsimon continued. “It was a revealing moment for the new Republican majority in Raleigh, laying bare one of their goals, to unravel the social safety net in pursuit of their aim to shrink the government they disdain and slash taxes on corporations and the wealthy.”
“It is part of an agenda they have pursued without pause in the last five years,” Fitzsimon added, “and the damage to North Carolina has been remarkable and stunning to behold.”
From the slashing of the social safety net to fewer protections of the environment, drastic cuts the public education budget to restrictions in voting rights, the report denotes all of the areas where conservative policies over the past five years, mostly targeting the poor, have had devastating impact.
Rob Schofield, director of Research for NC Policy Watch, helped to edit the report, and wrote the conclusion. He says anyone seeking an accurate picture of where North Carolina stands now versus five years ago, needs to read “Altered State.”
“The folks who are driving this train are determined to roll back the clock,” Schofield says.
Though he says that “Altered States” is “a lot of bad news,” Schofield says he tried to ensure that there were areas of hope that were also highlighted. Still, when areas like median income being much lower for families than five years ago pop up, it’s hard to encourage that those challenges can be overcome.
The result is that North Carolina has dramatically moved from the middle of the pack in terms of all fifty states in areas like per pupil spending and unemployment benefits, to literally near the bottom with less progressive states like Alabama and Mississippi.
With the numerous tax cuts employed since 2011 when the Republicans took over the NC General Assembly, the state is operating with less revenue, especially with the rich paying, on average, $15,000 less in taxes.
If there is one thing Schofield says should stay with readers regarding the changes that have already taken place, is that there is no sign that any of changes are slowing down, meaning that more is on the way.
“The damage that has taken place over the past five years has been enormous,” says Rick Glazier, Executive Director of the NC Justice Center and former Democratic state lawmaker. “But if we’re going to turn things around in the years to come and put North Carolina back on the path to progress, it’s imperative that people understand where things stand. This report does a great job of bringing home the nature of the challenges we face.”
From now until the middle of December, a new article will be issued each morning online from the “Altered State” report. Go to http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/category/altered-state/ for more.
BLACKS OPPOSE TRUMP’S
By Cash Michaels
When dozens of black ministers met with controversial tycoon and leading Republican candidate Donald Trump earlier this week – a group the Trump campaign expected a collective endorsement from – rhetorical alarm bells went off throughout the African-American community.
“Mr. Trump routinely uses overtly and racist language on the campaign trail,” an open letter published on Ebony.com by over one hundred black religious leaders and scholars opposed to the Trump meeting said. “Most recently, he admitted his supporters were justified for punching and kicking a Black protester who had attended a Trump rally with the intent to remind the crowd that “Black Lives Matter.” Trump followed this action by tweeting inaccurate statistics about crime prevalence rates in Black communities — insinuating that Black people are more violent than other groups.”
“Trump’s racially inaccurate, insensitive and incendiary rhetoric should give those charged with the care of the spirits and souls of Black people great pause,” the open letter continued.
While a few conservative ministers indeed exited that meeting with Trump Nov. 30th singing his praises, there was no collective endorsement. Instead, according to published reports, the outspoken real estate mogul and reality TV star of “The Apprentice” was peppered during the meeting with questions about his harsh, and many say racist, statements about Mexicans being “rapists,” most Muslims being terrorists, and protests by black college students about racism on their predominately –white campuses being “disgusting.”
“I told him, you should apologize and repent — we’re called to own up to our bad behavior,” Bishop Victor Couzens, one of the 40 or 50 ministers who attended, told ThinkProgress.org. “That’s when his staff interrupted and said, ‘Why should he,’ why this, why that. He let his people answer for him. He didn’t seem to mind that.”
Ever the spin-meister, Trump told the press after the black ministers meeting that there was “great love” in the room, and he’ll continue to talk tough because that’s what has sustained him at the top of GOP presidential candidate polls since the summer.
Indeed, instead of softening his hard right tone or apologizing for his over-the-top statements, Trump has doubled-down on his divisive rhetoric to the delight of predominately white, right-wing audiences at his many rallies throughout the early 2016 primary states, and the South.
This Friday evening, Trump is scheduled to appear at Raleigh’s Dorton Arena at 7 p.m., and there’s little doubt that even on a cold Friday night, the conservative billionaire presidential candidate will draw not only a standing-room-only crowd at the home of the NC State Fair and numerous horse shows, but plenty of demonstrators as well, who will be protesting what they say is his continue insensitive, race-based rhetoric under the guise of “Making America Great Again.”
Without question, Donald Trump’s record of racial intolerance is a long one, dating back to the 1970’s when he was under US Justice Department investigation for discriminating against blacks trying to rent apartments in his buildings. Trump later settled that case.
In 1989, Trump took out a full-page ad in the New York Times, calling the alleged Central Park Five, accused of brutally raping and beating a white female jogger, a band of “roving …wild criminals.” It was later discovered that NY police had framed the five black teenagers for the crime they didn’t commit.
And of course, several years ago Trump challenged President Obama to prove that he wasn’t born in Kenya, charging that the president’s birth certificate was a fraud, he was not an American citizen and Obama was not worthy of the office. The president responded by getting the original birth document from Hawaii, where he was born, and called Trump a “carnival barker” in the process.
It is no secret that the Republican establishment can’t stand Trump, and would like to derail his candidacy if it could. Trump is averaging 24 percent of GOP voters polled, consistently leading establishment candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Here in North Carolina, where Republicans hope to tighten their grip on majorities in the state Legislature and congressional delegation, as well as the Governor’s Mansion, there is concern that if Trump remains popular and seemingly invincible going into the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries come January, he could possibly sweep the South straight through to North Carolina’s primary on March 15th.
Trump is very popular with Southern whites, given his distinctly blue-collar blunt way of assuring that he’ll defeat ISIS, improve the economy, and return America to “winning.”
Establishment Republicans don’t want an uncontrollable presidential nominee going into the November 2016 fall elections, but more importantly, they’re deeply concerned that Trump is so polarizing, his very presence on the top of the ticket could hurt down ballot statewide and local GOP candidates, especially if the Democratic presidential nominee is Hillary Clinton.
Clinton is currently polling very strong with African-Americans nationally, and especially in the South, though not nearly as strong as Pres. Obama did when he first ran in 2008. Still, part of the Trump and the GOP strategy is to start early in softening Clinton’s massive black support (her Democratic opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, is only polling in single digits in the black community).
Trump’s motive is obvious – he doesn’t want to be branded an out-and-out racist because then he can’t expand his support base if he wins GOP nomination. The Republican Party’s motive is just as transparent – grab at least ten or more percent of the black vote in the general election next fall, plus continue to batter the former US Secretary of State for alleged failures in American foreign policy.
Either way, observers say expect Donald Trump to make more overtures to conservative and Republican black leaders, especially when his campaign continues to focus on southern primary states like South and North Carolina.
Trump’s goal – to create as much confusion as possible in the black community so that he can grab more black support than any other GOP candidate.
According to Trump, if he could do that, it would make his campaign “huge.”
STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 12-3-15
GOV. MCCRORY TWEETS HIS RUN FOR RE-ELECTION
[RALEIGH] To no one’s surprise, Gov. Pat McCrory announced his bid for reelection this week, but instead of doing it at a large rally, he did so via Twitter and a Youtube video. "I'm running for governor because our comeback story isn't over. There's still more to do to rebuild NC," tweeted McCrory. The Republican first-term governor isn’t expecting any opposition in a GOP primary. On the other side, there are two candidates battling it out in the March 15th Democratic primary to face McCrory in the November elections – former House member Kenneth Spaulding of Durham and NC Attorney Gen. Roy Cooper of Rocky Mount.
CANDIDATE FILING BEGINS FOR 2016 ELECTIONS
[GREENSBORO] Thanks to the state Legislature moving the primary date up next year from May to March 15, 2016 in order for the state to have greater weight in presidential candidate selection, the candidate filing period was also moved up, and began on December 1st this week. All candidates for open local, state and national office have between now, and Monday, December 21st to file. The top races are for US Senate, governor and president, the first time all three have been on the ballot since 2008.
US APPEALS JUDGE DUNCAN SPEAKS AT WHITE ROCK BAPTIST
[DURHAM] US Court of Appeals Judge Allyson K. Duncan will deliver the keynote address for the Durham Area Commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution. This program will be held at 4:00 PM on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at White Rock Baptist Church, 3400 Fayetteville Street in Durham. School officials say they made the changes in order to fill the new schools and alleviate current overcrowding.
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 12-3-15
WAKE PROPERTY REEVALUATIONS IN THE MAIL DEC. 7
Residents of Wake County are holding their breaths because their property reevaluations are due in the mail on Monday, December 7th. In North Carolina, real estate reappraisals are required to be conducted at least once every eight years. By law, real estate is appraised at “fair market value,” which is the most probable price a property would bring in a competitive and open market. The amount of taxes you pay depends on both your property’s value and the tax rate set each year by elected county and city/town officials. There is some concern that property values in Southeast Raleigh, particularly in neighborhoods with older longtime residents, will go up dramatically because of nearby downtown redevelopment in the past decade.
DESPITE OPPOSITION, CHAVIS HEIGHTS, WAKE “SOULS TO THE POLLS” EARLY VOTING APPROVED
After some debate, the Republican-led Wake Board of Elections last week voted to approve days, sites and hours for early voting leading up to the March 15th, 2016 primaries. Because a Republican is governor, all county election boards statewide have GOP majorities, but because Republicans have voiced opposition to early voting – something black voters approve of – there was controversy at the Wake meeting. There were efforts to first eliminate Sunday “Souls to the Polls” voting, which is very popular with black voters. And there was a move to remove Chavis Heights Community Center from the early voting site list, and establish a new North Raleigh site instead. Both were defeated,with a Republican on the board siding with the Democrat. Early voting will commence Thursday, March 3rd and end Saturday, March 12th, with early voting also scheduled on Sunday, March 6th. Chavis Heights Center remains an early voting site.
WAKE SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES STUDENT REASSIGNMENT PLAN
The Wake Board of Education gave final approval Tuesday to a student reassignment plan for the 2016-17 year that moves approximately 3,300 pupils to five new schools. Many families expressed their objections to the plan at previous meetings, saying that they didn’t want their children moved to another school or to a year-round calendar.