Monday, February 8, 2016




By Cash Michaels

MORAL MARCH/HK ON J – This Saturday, Feb. 13th, the Tenth Annual Moral March/HK on J People’s Assembly is scheduled to kick off once again. Presented by the NC NAACP and it’s coalition partners under the Forward Together Movement, tens of thousands of activists from across the state and nation come to Raleigh to speak out on the issues they feel need to be addressed. This year, the primary focus  will be voting, and there will be workers there passing out pledge-to-vote cards, and registering people to vote in time for the March 15th primaries (assuming there are primaries on March 15th given the recent federal appellate court ruling).
For more information call the NCNAACP office at 919-682-4700, or go to or
THANK YOU – Last Sunday and Monday was a total blast, and extreme honor. On Sunday, the NC Museum of History did us props by screening “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten” on, or all days, Super Bowl Sunday. Everyone admits that at the time of the original scheduling, no one realized that the film would be effectively going up against a national holiday, with everyone’s mind on one thing – the big game. But, we went with it, and all I can say is GOD is good. We had an excellent turnout in the Daniels Auditorium at the history Museum for a cold, sleeting Sunday afternoon with the Super Bowl just hours away. And these were people of every stripe, who came certainly out of curiosity, and ultimately to learn.
            I’m very pleased that there was a powerful film waiting for them.
            What made everything even better was to have Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, leader of the Wilmington Ten and current president/CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association there, along with NCCU law Prof. Irving Joyner, who served as one of the original defense attorneys on the case over 40 years ago.
            It was also a blessing to have my Wilmington Journal publisher Mary Alice Thatch and her husband, Rev. John Thatch, in the house as well.
            So permit me to thank Emily Grant, Youth Programs Coordinator and Earl Ijames, curator at the NC Museum of History for her leadership in making Sunday happen. We had been talking for virtually a year about making it happen, and it did.
Thank you.
And then, a few weeks ago, Emily Grant told me that Jenny Grant, Assistant Director for Client and Community Relations for PNC Bank, was interested in honoring the film during the company’s annual Black History Luncheon. I didn’t know, at the time, that PNC was actually co-sponsoring the museum screening. No reason not to make it happen, and since they were bringing in Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis and atty Irving Joyner to participate in the Sunday screening, and then the luncheon Monday.
It was also very nice to have Chancellor Debra Saunders-White of North Carolina Central University, and Dr. Everett Ward of St. Augustine’s University in attendance, among other dignitaries.
I had no idea what to expect since I had nothing to do with the luncheon at the PNC Arena VIP  section, but it all turned out well (despite a last minute emergency at home that delayed my getting there), and I thank Jenny Grant very much for a very pleasurable experience. I hope to work with PNC again.
Ben, Irv and myself remarked how just four years ago, neither PNC or the NC Museum of History would have touched the subject of the Wilmington Ten with a ten-foot pole. And now look at, thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of so many people, how the true story of the Wilmington Ten is now being embraced.
For that, we thank GOD.
GROW UP, CAM – Yes, a lot of us are being very charitable to the behavior of  Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton after he left the post-Super Bowl presser Sunday in a huff after losing 24-10 to the Denver Broncos. First of all, Denver was touted with having the best defense in the NFL, and they certainly proved that with sack after sack on Cam.
So despite the Panthers impressive 17-1 season, and Cam’s Most Valuable Player Award, It was good, solid smash-mouth football defense that won the day Sunday.
But Cam Newton obviously took the loss very personally. On the sidelines, he literally fell to the ground in obvious personal defeat once it was clear that the Broncos would win the game. Luckily, he was able to pull himself together enough to go over and congratulate champion Peyton Manning for a good game, despite Manning having problems of his own.
But it was after the loss , and the press conference, where a sullen Cam Newton seemed like a man trapped in a personal prison, and needed to somehow escape but the press officially branded him as a loser.
Make no mistake, there was a lot of noise about Cam’s antics during the regular season – the way he would celebrate after every touchdown, ripping down an opposing team’s sign before a game, doing dances on field.
Black journalists saw the criticism as whites not understanding Cam claiming the license to be who and what he is. Whites saw Cam’s behavior as being disrespectful to the stoic tradition of the game.
Cam, quite frankly, had all the license he wanted this season to do whatever he wanted…because he and his team were winning. You’d be surprised how liberating doing a little thing like winning can be.
But the true mark of a champion is not only how you win, but how you lose, especially when you deeply feel that you put all you had into doing anything but.
Cam Newton is a young 26 years ago, and has only been in the NFL for five years. He has a lot to learn. This experience will teach him, and help him understand how to bounce back from losing on the big stage.
Some of you may say, “Why should he? Cam is entitled to his feelings, and entitled to express them.” Well, yes and no. If Peyton Manning had lost, is there anyone who doubts he would have shown grace and sportsmanship in defeat? He’s been in the league long enough to know how it’s down.
The fact of the matter is Cam Newton is part of a team, indeed he is the titular leader of that team. Therefore he has no choice but to represent that team, in and out of uniform. He’s supposed to represent the highest standards of that team.
Cam Newton is not Muhammad Ali. Ali went bat crazy to draw crowds to his fights. But after it was over, win or lose, Ali was always gracious to his opponent. It’s an art, AND a science that true champions must learn.
Now it’s Cam Newton’s turn, and he will.
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
Contributing writer

            February 19th.
            That’s the deadline a federal appeals court has ordered the Republican-led NC General Assembly to have redrawn voting maps for the predominately-black First and Twelfth Congressional Districts. The three-judge panel ruled last Friday that race was the key factor in drawing the districts, in violation of the Equal Protection Claus of the US Constitution.
            The First is represented by Congressman G. K. Butterfield, while the Twelfth District is represented in Congress by Rep. Alma Adams. Both are African-American Democrats.
            Opponents say Republican mapmakers in the state Legislature “stacked-and-packed” black voters into the two districts, thus denying them the opportunity to elected lawmakers of their choice who did not happen to be black.
            Supporters of the maps say they were only following the dictates of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, ensuring that voters were able to elect representation of their choice.
            Republican leaders in the both the state House and Senate had their lawyers file a petition with that same three-judge appellate panel seeking to stay that order, arguing that absentee ballots for the March 15th primaries have already been  sent out, and that new maps can’t be drawn in so short a time.
            That stay was rejected Tuesday, so now the petition will end up in the lap of the US Supreme Court.

            “Should this decision be allowed to stand, North Carolina voters will no longer know how or when they will get to cast their primary ballots in the presidential, gubernatorial, congressional and legislative elections. And thousands of absentee voters may have already cast ballots that could be tossed out. This decision could do far more to disenfranchise North Carolina voters than anything alleged in this case,” said Sen. Bob Rucho [R- Mecklenburg]  and Rep. David Lewis [ R-Harnett].
            However, the NCNAACP, which was not a plaintiff in this case, was elated.
           "This unanimous Court decision vindicates the record we first brought to the attention of the public -- that the state legislature under Berger and Tillis  had drawn racially biased unconstitutional voting district,” said NCNAACP President Rev. William Barber. “This is a huge victory in our fight against 21st century racism and discrimination.”
            The NC NAACP does see this case, which was filed by one voter in Durham County and two from Mecklenburg County, as helping the civil rights organization in its argument against the entire 2011 redistricting map in state court, where the NC  Supreme Court had  originally dismissed its claim.
            In response to the state’s petition for a stay, the plaintiffs filed an answer Tuesday, saying that North Carolina has already conducted two elections under the disputed maps, even though they are in violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
            The plaintiffs maintained that to allow yet another election under the current maps would cause “irreparable harm” to the voters of North Carolina.
            So what happens now for the March 15th primaries?
            Those opposed to the federal appellate court ruling see it disrupting the Legislature’s original intent of moving the North Carolina primaries from May to March in order to have a greater impact on the presidential elections.
            Supporters of the court order say those who have already voted by absentee ballot can simply vote again if the March 15th primaries are pushed back to April, or even where they originally were, May. The important thing, they say, is that unconstitutionally drawn voting districts be corrected in time for the 2016 elections.
            Republican leaders say it could take longer than two weeks to redraw their districts per court order, however redistricting is done by computer models, which greatly reduces the time  that it once took to create voting maps.
            At press time Tuesday, Gov. Pat McCrory was reportedly ready to order the NC General Assembly back next week for a special session to redraw the maps.

By Cash Michaels

            The political stage is set for this Saturday’s Tenth Annual Moral March in Raleigh/HK on J People’s Assembly, kicking off at 8:30 a.m. with a pre-march rally at 2 East South Street near Shaw University in downtown Raleigh, with a march down the Fayetteville Street Mall to the steps of the State Capitol kicking off at 10 a.m..
            It is called the “Get Out The Vote Gathering and Mobilization,” sponsored by the NCNAACP and the Forward Together Movement. The People’s Assembly at the Capitol will end at 12:30 p.m.
            At the assembly, there will be voter registration for the tentative March 15th primaries (tentative thanks to a federal appeals court ruling last Friday throwing out redistricting maps for the First and Twelfth Congressional Districts, and ordering that they be redrawn within the next two weeks).
            Following the Moral March on Raleigh, there will be a Souls to the Polls training about how faith communities can register, educate, and mobilize their congregations and communities to the polls.
            On Friday evening, Feb. 12, there will be a pre-Moral March/People’s Assembly mass meeting and worship service, featuring Rabbi Fred Guttman, starting at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 101 S. Wilmington Street in Raleigh.
            The agenda, as always, for the Moral March, includes the expansion and protection of voting rights; economic justice and livable wages per labor rights; educational equity through proper funding for quality public schools and support for historically black colleges and universities; health care for all Medicaid expansion, women’s health and environmental justice; equal protection under the law through justice without regard to race, creed, class, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status; and police reform.
            According to the USA Today newspaper, over 80,000 demonstrators participated in the 2015 Moral March/People’s Assembly, making it one of the largest social justice gatherings in the nation at the time. This year organizers say they are trying to attract even more participants in an effort to register to register at many as possible for this year’s state and national elections.
            A highlight of Saturday’s People’s Assembly will be an address by David Goodman, the brother of the late Andrew Goodman, who, along with fellow civil rights workers Michael “Mickey” Schwerner and James Chaney, were killed by the Ku Klux Klan in Neshoba County, Mississippi in June 1964. They were there to help register black people there to vote.
            David Goodman, along with his wife, heads up the Andrew Goodman Foundation, which promotes creative and social action among young people nationwide. Mr. Goodman will serve ambassador for the assembly.
            Last year, the foundation recognize actor/social activist Danny Glover and “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, among others, with the 2015 Hidden Heroes Award, named after Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney.
            Many of the speakers this year will be persons negatively impacted by the 2013 voter restrictions passed by the Republican-led NC Geneal Assembly, and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.
            The entire event will be livestreamed across the nation.
For more information call the NCNAACP office at 919-682-4700, or go to or



            The Wake County Public School System was ordered to pay $225,000 to a man who was struck and killed by a school bus while riding a scooter in 2013. A judge ordered the award be paid to the estate of Joe Shelton of Clayton. Published reports say Shelton was riding his scooter on Chapel Hill Road on an  early morning in March 2013, when the bus made a left turn, striking him. The bus was not carrying students at the time.

            Still licking its wounds after numerous scandals involving the Athletics Dept, UN – Chapel Hill will soon hire a chief integrity and policy officer, a top administrator charged with the job of ensuring that school policies are followed by all with the highest standard of integrity. This senior administrator will report directly to the chancellor. A campus dean will serve as interim until a permanent candidate is selected.

            If someone claiming to be a Wake County sheriff’s deputy calls you on the phone, and demands that you purchase prepaid debit cards or else be arrested, feel free to hang up, say Raleigh Police. It is known as the jury duty scam, where someone claiming to be a deputy tries to pressure the unwitting person on the phone that they are in trouble for missing jury duty, and then try to cajol them to buy a prepaid card and give the “deputy” the account number. Raleigh police say don’t listen, certainly don’t purchase anything, and hang up.



            [WILMINGTON] Wilmington Police are increasing foot patrols in some high crime areas in Wilmington. The increased patrols are a part of the agency’s efforts to increase police visibility, improve community relations and prevent crime. Officers patrol designated areas in teams of two. The Wilmington Police Department also uses other high visibility patrol methods such as bicycles, horses, Segways and a gas powered ATV used for parks, on and off-road patrols.

            [RALEIGH] Seven current or former law enforcement officers were among the fourteen suspects convicted Tuesday in a massive drug operation that involved the trafficking and distribution of cocaine and heroin in Eastern North Carolina. Known as “Operation Rockfish,” the federal sting focused on Northampton and Halifax counties, where suspects transported what they thought were real drugs in exchange for bribes. At least four correctional officers were involved and pleaded guilty, officials say.

            [RALEIGH] Since last August, the state of North Carolina has reviewed over 7,600 public assistance applicants, and found that only 21 have tested positive for use of illegal drugs. State lawmakers passed a law in 2013 requiring all applicants for the Work First program to be screened, and if flags were raised, then be tested of drugs. Thus far the program has costs the state $5,500. Democratic state lawmakers call the drug testing a “waste” of money.


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