Friday, January 1, 2016



In our Dec. 31, 2015 edition, in a story titled "2015 ENDS WITH MORE

POLICE INJUSTICE," we erroneously reported that "2000 white teenagers..." had rioted at the Mall St. Matthew in Louisville, Kty on the evening of Dec. 26, 2015. However, subsequent local reporting and video footage from the area has proven that black teenagers were involved. We regret the error.



By Cash Michaels

            HAPPY, HAPPY NEW YEAR – Hope everyone has enjoyed their Christmas, Kwanzaa ns New Year’s holiday respite. As always, on Jan. 3rd, I had the additional treat of celebrating my 60th birthday with friends and family. It is indeed a blessing to reach my 60th birthday, and be able to share it. My youngest daughter, KaLa, keeps teasing me about being an “old man.” I hope and pray that GOD gives me the longevity to see her live into her 30’s, 40’s or 50’s, just to see how she handles being a parent.
            I deserve a good chuckle in my retirement. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes on Facebook. Much appreciated.
            GOODBYE, NATALIE COLE – She was an absolute treasure, and like her father, the legendary Nat King Cole, a pure singer. Natalie Cole, 65, died on New Year’s Eve, cause unknown. She had bouts with drug abuse and depression during her life, living in the shadow  of her great dad. She was known for her great jazz singing, one of her most popular hits called “Mr. Melody.”
            But the songs she sang in tribute to her father, “Unforgettable” and “When I Fall In Love (With You)” were the ones that endeared Natalie Cole to both a new and old generation.
            I saw her recently portray a defense attorney on an old episode of “Law and Order: SVU.” She was good, and full of promise as an actress.
            Either way, thank you Natalie Cole for all of the good times, and sharing your tremendous talent with the world. You will be missed, but not forgotten.
            COSBY CHARGED – Well, one person the holidays were not a blessing for was comedian Bill Cosby, arrested and charged in Montgomery County, Pa. with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, based on allegations that he drugged and then sexually assaulted former employee of Temple University over ten years ago.
            Cosby has always maintained that the sex was consensual, even if he did give the woman drugs to knock her out.
            Montgomery County did not charge Cosby after an initial investigation, but after a new DA took over, charges were filed last week prior to the 12-year statute of limitations running out. Those charges are based on statements Cosby made in a deposition about the allegations that helped the new probe to determine new criminal charges.
            Cosby’s attorneys responded by saying, "The charge by the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office came as no surprise, filed 12 years after the alleged incident and coming on the heels of a hotly contested election for this county's DA during which this case was made the focal point," Cosby's attorneys said in a statement released after his arraignment Wednesday. "Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law."
            This is the first time that the comedian has been criminally charged, despite accusations of sexual abuse from over 50 women over at least 40 years.
            It was sad, indeed, to see and old, frail Bill Cosby – a man who had made generations laugh for so many years – perp walked into the courthouse with a cane to be arraigned for monstrous sexual crimes. Just like singer Michael Jackson before him, Cosby’s great legacy in show business will be forever tarnished. Even if he’s found not guilty, he’s already paid a settlement in the case, and will always be dogged by other accusations.
            It is truly sad, indeed.
            COSBY’S SUPPORTERS – There are some black celebrities who are still standing the man they say has helped so many get into the business, and raised millions to help worthy causes and historically black colleges and universities.
            Comedian Eddie Griffin says he’s sticking by Bill Cosby’s innocence, saying that the famous comedian is being targeted because he’s black.
            Comic actress Whoopi Goldberg, co-hostess of ABC’s The View, said Monday, “I’m glad it’s happening because I sort of feel like whenever you have people saying this is what happened, this is what happened, this is what happened, I want the court—I want to hear it. “I want the courts, I want everybody to be able to ask questions because we’ve heard a lot, but we have not heard anything from his side.”
            Comedian Damon Wayans says, “If I was him, I would divorce my wife, give her all my money, and then I would go do a deposition. I would light one of them three-hour cigars. I’d have some wine and maybe a Quaalude, and I would just go off, because I don’t believe that he was raping.”
            For many, once the trial starts, if any of the charges ever get to trial, only then will any of the allegations mean anything because only then will Bill Cosby finally be able to speak to the charges directly.
STEVE HARVEY DRAMA – That Steve Harvey controversy involving the popular comedian and game show host announcing the wrong Miss Universe during the pageant telecast a few weeks ago has pretty much landed him on his feet. The pageant organizers have apparently forgiven Harvey for the big error, and signed him to come back a host for the next few years.
Needless to say, though, he will now forever be known for the mistake that would have ended anyone else’s career.
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.


By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            As of Dec. 31st, Dr. Stacey Franklin Jones was no longer the chancellor of Elizabeth City State University.
            It was the position the mathematician and systems engineer proudly held at the 125 year-old HBCU in northeastern North Carolina for just 14 months, when she made history becoming the institution’s first female leader.
            “Together we are embarking on something just shy of phenomenal,” Dr. Jones said after taking over.
But then suddenly, and inexplicably, on Dec. 21st, 2015, it was reported that Jones had “informed” UNC System President Tom Ross of her decision to step down.
            It was a stunning announcement, and still is,” opined the Dec. 27th editorial of The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City. “Jones, who began work at ECSU in October 2014 and was just inaugurated as the campus’s 10th chief executive in September, was to all public appearances doing a good job of helping the university recover after years of poor management that had led to financial and enrollment struggles.”
            HBCU Digest, an online publication covering historically black colleges and universities, in a Dec. 23rd article titled, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Destroy Elizabeth City State,” stated bluntly, “Make no mistake – the resignation of Chancellor Stacey Franklin Jones was a forced dismissal.”
It added that Dr. Jones”…was forced to resign due to issues with falling enrollment and its financial aid division,” but a recent state audit would contradict some of that speculation.
Indeed, when she was first appointed, UNC System Pres. Ross, who also stepped down from his post at the end of 2015, first said of Jones, “Over a career that spans three decades, she has proven herself to be a strategic thinker who is engaged, resourceful, innovative and accessible. At this pivotal point in its history, I believe she has the right mix of skills, expertise and passion needed to guide Elizabeth City State University toward future success.”
            Apparently something occurred that either convinced Dr. Jones that her future was no longer at ECSU, or forced UNC System administrators to change their view that she was the right leader for the school. The answer may lie in the tawdry mix of politics that has infused itself in the 32-member all-Republican UNC Board of Governors; the demands of the GOP leadership in the state Legislature who once seriously considered shutting ECSU down; and the troubled history of a struggling historically black university in an economically impoverished region of the state.
            Add to that mix Stacey Franklin Jones’ own controversial history in academia, and the ultimate answer for her resignation could any combination of the aforementioned.
            The popular meme thus far as to why Jones resigned is that she was given no choice when she resisted attempts by those in the UNC System administration to dictate the direction of the school she was appointed to lead, a direction that already seemed to be chosen once her interim successor took office Monday.
If there is one thing clear about Stacey Franklin Jones, it’s that she took her ability to independently chart a course for the future, based on her vision, very seriously.
There is no question, based on published reports and discussions with ECSU alums and others, that the institution has gone through rough periods with enrollment dropping by over 50 percent in the past five years (from 3307 in 2010, to 1867 currently) since UNC System-wide minimum admission standards were raised. Tuition revenues and state appropriations dropped by nearly $10 million; uninvestigated campus sexual assaults mounted; and even the purpose of school’s mission was questioned.
ECSU has a proud history, since it’s establishment by the NC General Assembly in March 1891, as being a training facility for African-American educators. From 1891 to 1937, it experienced tremendous growth, becoming a four-year teachers college at one point. In 1969, after broadening its educational curriculum, the school was formally named “Elizabeth City State University,” becoming a constituent institution of the UNC System in 1972.
Today it offers a wide variety of baccalaureate programs in business, arts and humanities, education and criminology, among other disciplines.
Ironically, one of the reasons why Tom Ross chose Dr. Jones to head up ECSU was because, “[She] brings to the role of chancellor a rare blend of leadership experience in higher education, industry and government, as well as a practical understanding of how to guide institutions through serious challenges, whether academic or financial in nature.”
At 53, Jones certainly came to ECSU with an impressive academic and professional record.
She was a summa cum laude graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., and held master’s degrees in numerical science and technical management from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in computer science from George Washington University. She then spent several year in the private sector.
Jones was a management and technology consultant just before taking the ECSU appointment. She had also served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Benedict College in Columbia, SC.. Prior to that in 2010, Jones was appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bowie State University.
But when she took office as ECSU chancellor in Sept. 2014, some questioned the appointment.
An article titled, “North Carolina Chancellor Choice Sparks Controversy: UNC Chancellor Choice is Asking for Trouble,” written by Jay Schalin for See Thru Edu, the online publication of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, blasted the UNC Board of Governors for hiring Jones in spite of her two controversial tenures at both Benedict College and Bowie State.
 As a dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at Benedict during the mid-2000’s, Jones fired two professors who refused to implement the school’s “Success Equals Effort” policy, which based student grades more on effort than actual classroom results.
“By firing [the two professors], Jones committed an egregious offense against academic freedom and integrity, but the real problem is that her conduct exhibited an utter lack of judgment and ethical standards,” wrote Schalin for See Thru Ed.
She left Benedict College in 2009.
In November 2010, Jones left her position under fire, at Bowie State University after just four months as provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Faculty Senate charged that she “did not include [them] in important decisions” like reorganizing staff assignments, and gave her, nd the school’s president, a vote of no confidence. The Faculty Association head told the Washington Examiner that Jones resigned because “…the faculty would no longer work with her.”
 “UNC System officials picked Jones because, not in spite of, her record of short executive stays punctuated by infighting with faculty and staff, along with a startling lack of acuity for higher education management,” HBCU Digest opined. 
So how was Jones’ tenure at ECSU shaping up?
            A recent state audit of the school’s fiscal standing as of June 30, 2015 showed no evidence of financial mismanagement, and despite a decrease in state appropriations, a $4.5 million budget cut had helped to steer the school towards profitability again. State lawmakers had just approved $3 million to help stabilize the school in the short-term.
The crime rate was down, student recruitment was being better managed, and campus efficiencies were reportedly on the upswing.
Jones had also been promoting ECSU as on track to being “the state’s premier interdisciplinary science university by 2020,” and hoped to have 23 new degree programs approved by the governing boards.
According to State Rep. Robert Steinburg [R-Chowan], Jones, who he felt was doing a good job, had to make some difficult decisions that “didn’t make her popular with everyone,” he told The Daily Advance.We’re all painfully familiar with the mess that she inherited.”
Two ECSU alums – Inez Eason of Wilmington and Eddie Davis of Durham, both said while many have been discussing Chancellor Jones’ situation, and many had expressed concerns about some of the changes Jones was instituting, they were in a wait-and-see mode since she was still new to the Viking community.
Members of the ECSU Board of Trustees claim that they were as broadsided by Jones’ sudden departure as everyone else, and insisted that if there was pressure for her to leave, it came from the UNC System board, not them.
Thomas Conway, formerly chief of staff at Fayetteville State University and one of the finalists for ECSU chancellor in 2014 when Dr. Jones was ultimately selected, was immediately chosen to become the interim chancellor as of January 1st. Published reports indicated that the UNC Board of Governors is actually prepared to select Conway as the permanent chancellor at their next board meeting on Friday, January 22nd at N.C. A&T University.
            Conway told The Daily Advance that one of ECSU’s priorities now is to grow. Apparently a plan was already in the works, with Conway’s blessing, that East Carolina University, along with NC A&T University, UNC-Charlotte, Fayetteville State University and NC State University, will work with ECSU to help the HBCU “build greater capacity throughout ECSU’s student support and operational units.”
            “There was even discussion [during the 2014] legislative session of turning ECSU into a branch campus of East Carolina University rather than continuing as an independent institution with its own administration,” SeeThruEDU reported Sept. 12th, 2014.
            Indeed, there are indications that there will be a stronger effort to recruit more white students to ECSU, as has happened at other historically black UNC campuses like Fayetteville State University and North Carolina State University. More whites means a greater, more consistent revenue stream, some observers say, since many black students, unfortunately, cannot meet the upgraded system academic requirements, or student loan restrictions.
            The UNC Board of Governors, with both the appointment of Interim Chancellor Conway and the multi-campus plan to assist in operations, have now made it known since the departure of Chancellor Jones that, “Elizabeth City State University is an important and essential institution to the University of North Carolina System.”
            There are some in the ECSU Viking community who do not like the sound of that, and are concerned that it could be the precursor for ECSU to be merged with another UNC System campus, or dramatically changed into something much different than its HBCU tradition.


            The 17-year-old son of NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin has been charged by the Wake County Sheriff’s Office with possessing a small quantity marijuana, in addition to paraphernalia. Mark Nathaniel Martin was charged on Dec. 27th, and is expected in court on Jan. 15th. Young Martin was also charged with marijuana possession last February, along with assault on a government official.  Those charges are pending.Chief Justice Mark Martin has served on the state Supreme Court since 1998. Gov. McCrory elevated him to chief justice in 2014.

            Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, currently running third in the Republican race for the White House, is scheduled to speak in Raleigh on Saturday at the NC State Fairgrounds. The event at the Holshouser Building starts at 4:30 p.m., doors open at 4 p.m., and is free. Attendees must register for tickets. Rubio hopes to be among the GOP candidates running in the March 15th North Carolina primaries.

            A Raleigh woman was charged with slapping a seven-year-old child , and pushing an 8-year-old against a wall at Adventure Landing in Raleigh. China Channell McCullers is charged with two counts of assaulting a child under the age of 12. The alleged incidents occurred on Dec. 5th, but McCullers turned herself in on Dec. 20th. No court date had been set at press time.



            [RALEIGH] On Saturday, January 9, 2016, at 1 p.m., State Senator Erica Smith-Ingram will administer an oath of office to the newly elected officers of the African American Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party. The location of the event is Goodwin House, which is the NC Democratic Party HQ, 220 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC.

            [RALEIGH] The State Board of Elections Tuesday approved 27 candidates who will appear on the March 15th primary ballot. That will include 12 Republican candidates for president, and four Democratic presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and a Los Angeles resident who garnered 10,000 petition signatures to qualify, Rocky De La Fuente.

            [RALEIGH] Gov. Pat McCrory and other state leaders kicked off the Connect North Carolina $2 billion bond referendum campaign this week, urging broad-based support for passage in investing in improving public building infrastructure at colleges, universities and other state government buildings. McCrory promised that there would be no tax increases because of the bonds. North Carolina Central University reported would get a new business school with passage of the bonds.


OBAMA CRIES - While pushing the case Monday for why he must issue Executive Orders closing the loopholes on gun show background checks, President Obama sheds a tear recalling the murdered school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School who were fatally shot by a gunman. Republicans mocked the president's tears, and blasted him for implementing gun restrictions Congress refused to consider.

By Cash Michaels

            It was announced on Dec. 1st, the sixtieth anniversary of the day civil rights icon Rosa Parks refuse to sit in the back of a Montgomery, Ala. bus. And it is with that spirit, says NCNAACP President Rev. William Barber, that the “It’s Our Time, It’s Vote” campaign will move forward in 2016 registering record numbers of North Carolinians to vote, and mobilizing them to the polls.
            The campaign, led by the NCNAACP and the Forward Together Movement, has been underway now for just over a month. A few weeks ago, black newspapers represented by the NC Black Publishers Association and the National Newspaper Publishers Association joined forces with the NAACP in North Carolina in the major 2016 voter mobilization effort, and to promote the upcoming 10th Annual Moral March on Raleigh/HK on J People’s Assembly on Saturday, Feb. 13th in Raleigh.
            More than 80,000 people from across the state and nation participated last year.
            Rev. Barber says there are over 180 coalition partners representing from civil and economic to environmental and educational rights advocacy involved in the nonpartisan campaign. The NC Council of Churches has also joined forces in the GOTV (get out to vote) effort. Leaders in North Carolina’s Hispanic community are also members of the coalition.
            Per the NCNAACP, over 120 adult, youth and college branches statewide are involved, and the overall training for the campaign is being conducted by the state civil rights organization and Democracy North Carolina, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy advocacy group.
            “Our goal is long-term, issue-based voter registration, voter education, voter mobilization, and voter protection,” said Rev. Barber.
            The “It’s Our Time…” campaign is just one prong of the NCNAACP’s voting rights battle. Ever since the NC Legislature passed the 2013 Voter ID law that effectively rolled back previous voting rights expansions, the NCNAACP and its partners have gone to state and federal courts to challenge its constitutionality.
            “We have called for an injunction against the implementation of the voter ID [law], because even though we have won a lot of concessions from the state, and forced them to change the original [law] that they had through our protests and legal action, it is still quite confusing…misinformation has gone out into the community...,” Rev. Barber says.
            “We’re still headed to court because of the constitutionality of the law itself, because we already know from the Texas case that Voter ID on its face is unconstitutional. The courts have pretty much said that.”
            Rev. Barber also indicted that the NCNAACP will be appealing the 2011 redistricting case after the NC Supreme Court in December upheld the skewed voting districts the Republicans in the NC General Assembly created that “stacked and packed” black voters into limited districts so that they could dominate close races with white Democrats.
            The NCNAACP is also waiting on the ruling from the federal judge in Winston-Salem involving same-day registration/early voting, heard last July. Same day registration and early voting are still in effect until that ruling because the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction maintaining it.
            Meanwhile, Jan. 25th is when the NCNAACP will be back in court to argue the unconstitutionality of voter photo identification. Last June, state lawmakers softened the requirement of using only a government-issued photo ID while voting, realizing that they could lose in court.
            Per grassroots organization, Rev. Barber says there will be a mass “Souls to the Polls” campaign, though not necessarily on Sundays since not all counties will have Sunday early voting this year. There will be a mass media campaign, intensive training for NAACP branch members, faith leaders and other members of the coalition.
            “Our goal, in coalition, is to raise at a minimum of ten percent of the 281,000 unregistered black population of North Carolina,” Rev. Barber said, adding that that’s in addition to a broader target of voter registration beyond the African-American community.  The effort has also set a goal with the denominational leadership – inclusive of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faiths – of having 3,000 faith communities to work with the “Souls to the Polls” program, which would include registering particular denominations, doing religious studies and preaching around the theme of civic engagement that is nonpartisan and issue-based.
            In anticipation of a lot of Election Day confusion at the polls, there will also be GOTV and voter protection training in all parts of the state for 1500 grassroots leaders in 90 counties , Rev. Barber says, beginning this month. There will be monitors at the polls to legal procedures are adhered to.
            The will be more Moral Monday demonstrations on the road, going into counties where many of the extreme legislators come from.  Rev. Barber says many of the citizens in these districts reject the repressive policies of the Legislature, and the NCNAACP has been able to start new, predominately-white chapters in these areas.
            A large number of young people will be hired this summer for the “Freedom Summer Fellowship Program,” where the work of Freedom Summer 1964 will not only be remembered, but reenacted.
            Several hundred thousand robo-calls to voters will be made before the general election of 2016, and fifty Moral Marches to the polls will be held before both the March 15th primaries and the Nov. 4th general election.
            Rev. Barber said the upcoming 10th Annual Moral March on Raleigh/HK on J People’s Assembly on Saturday, Feb. 13th in Raleigh will also promote the theme, “It’s Our Time, It’s Our Vote.
            “It’s going to be livestreamed across the state and nation. We will have people who have been impacted by repressive policies [to stop the vote],” Rev. Barber said, adding that the uncle of Andrew Goodman, one of the three 1960’s civil rights workers killed by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi, will be a special marshal at the march.
            After the march, Rev. Barber says they will take the campaign on the road across the state, and a 2016 voter guide will also be released, focusing on where the candidates have taken stands on the issues. Local branches and coalition partners will hold town halls to help better educate their communities on what the key issues are.
            “Health care is on the ballot; public education is on the ballot; environmental justice, living wages and collective bargaining are all also on the ballot,” Rev. Barber said. “Black lives are on the ballot. We see this election not just in terms of the personalities, but the critical public policy issues that we’ll all be affected by at the ballot.”


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