Tuesday, August 2, 2016


By Cash Michaels

            THREE MORE MONTHS – Just think, on November 8th, three months from now, all of this noise from the presidential election will be over. Mind you, there’s no doubt we’ll be hearing plenty of chatter from other candidates for public office, and that’s understandable. But few of them will be as dirty and humiliating as the race for the highest office in the land.
            Now usually its kind of cliché’ to say, “this is the most important election of our time.” We’ve heard that old saying before, and one can argue that, given the time and the election, the cliché’ was true. Imagine if Barack Obama had never been elected president, how would that great economic depression he faced when he came into office been solved? John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis? Lyndon B. Johnson and the civil rights movement?
            Clearly, and call it GOD’s hand if you will, it almost seems like divine intervention that more times than not, the right person is elected to be president. But there are times, like in the case of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, where someone is chosen ho just seems to bring a lot of baggage with them.
            That’s why it can be honestly be said that given the stakes, and the personalities vying for office this time around, this upcoming presidential election really is the most important election of time.
            Now if you’re expecting me to sing the praises of one candidate over the other, you’re mistaken. That would be too easy, quite frankly.
            But there is a more complex issue to be addressed, and you hear a lot about it when election analysts on television opine about who has most of the college-educated white vote versus who has most of the non-college educated white vote, or who has the majority of black/Hispanic voters.
            Now voting has been carved up at every election – there’s nothing new about that. Democrats pride themselves for going after people of color and working people, while Republicans specialize in advocating for businesses and the wealthy. But this election year, in particular, the lines seem to be even more sharply drawn, because there are groups o people ho firmly believe that with the election of our nation’s first black president, somehow America didn’t move forward, and the white-dominated land they once grew up in has now become a wasteland vulnerable to terrorism, no jobs and higher taxes.
            The particular groups who feel this way are so focused on “taking our country back,” that they don’t care whether their candidate insults people because of their religion or ethnic background, or disrespects military veterans who were once prisoners of war, or calls illegal immigrants “murderers and rapists.”
            As far as these particular groups are concerned, it’s about time someone stood up to the “politically-correct” crowd and told them off in the blunt manner and language that means business. They aren’t thinking about the nation as a whole, only their part of it.
             That’s why the recent Republican and Democratic party national conventions were so interesting. Each gave us a separate view, not only of the nation now, but what the future will look like under their respective presidential nominees.
            One convention seemed brimming with hope, the other filled with fear and despair. They made their cases. The question is, which one will we, the people, elect come November?
            But more importantly, we will be deciding in November who do we really want to be? A nation always at war, and doing little to stop it? Or a country looking to build a better, more equitable future for all of its citizens?
            That seems to be the choice in this November’s election, and GOD help us if we choose wrong.
            FOX NEWS – One of the things I try to pay attention to is how veracious news outlets are reporting the same story, or even if they are reporting the same story.
            For instance, I noticed during the Democratic National Convention that Fox News would simply ignore certain important speakers that CNN and MSNBC were covering from the podium. Now, to be fair, everybody didn’t cover everything during the conventions. But Fox News made it a point of having critics of Hillary Clinton on as much as possible, and when the “Mothers of the Movement” – several black mothers who lost their children to police and gun violence – appeared onstage at the DNC to speak, Fox made it a point not to cover it.
            As many know by now, Fox personalities Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity have been on a constant rant to destroy the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it “racist” and even going so far as saying that it is a terrorist groups because O’Reilly and Hannity want so badly to link BLM to the many tragic police shootings.
            In effect, Fox News – which just lost its leader, Roger Ailes because of several destructive allegations of sexual misconduct against him – has, and continues to give parts of America the skewed vision of this nation the “doom and gloom” crowd craves until they “get their country back.”
            Not sure when that will be, but one thing’s for certain, Fox continue to go to the bank pushing this stuff. I’m pretty sure we’re all not the better for it.
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

            Democrats and activists who supported efforts by the NCNAACP and others to legally overturn parts of North Carolina’s “Monster Voting law,” were certainly thrilled to hear last week that a three-judge federal appellate panel indeed struck down key elements of the 2013 measure, effective immediately.
"The US Fourth Circuit Court [of Appeals] ruling [Friday] is a people’s victory and a victory that sends a message to the nation,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. “The court found— under the sensitive inquiry required by law -- that how the law was enacted and its impact made crystal clear that discriminatory intent impermissibly motivated this General Assembly.
“Under our constitution, and under the core principles and dictates of the Voting Rights Act…” Rev. Barber continued, “… these provisions have no legitimacy under the law."
In its ruling, the federal appellate court stated that the Republican-led NC General Assembly was racially-motivated with “discriminatory intent” in passing the 2013 voting restrictions, saying, that African-Americans were targeted “…with almost surgical precision.”         
            “The Court’s decision reinforces that race-based decision-making in the electoral system will not stand,” said Penda D. Hair, lead attorney for the NC NAACP. “We know that voters of color rely most heavily on these voting measures, and that, without this decision, they would have borne the brunt of the burden this November.”
            Unless a timely stay on the ruling is granted by the entire US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals before the November 8th general elections (something Gov. McCrory and Republican leaders have vowed to seek, but legal experts say isn’t likely), then voters will have their early voting period restored to 17 days prior to Election Day instead of the current 10 days; maintain same-day registration and out-of-precinct provisional balloting; reinstate voting pre-registration for 16 and 17 year-olds; and most importantly, not have to show a government-issued photo ID in order to vote.
            This means Democrats no longer have to educate voters at rallies or by phone banks about making sure they have some form of official government-issued ID, or legal excuse for not having one. They can continue their door-to-door canvassing of neighborhoods for candidates to GOTV. Now, not only should excessive long lines be eliminated during early voting and on Election Day, but voters can still have their ballots counted, even if they go to the wrong precinct.
            But there’s a holdup as to how grassroots activists and others proceed in the aftermath of the momentous ruling. Local BOEs have not met yet to determine how to carry out the appellate court’s mandate.
            “We need to, and are awaiting direction from the NC Board of Elections and the executive director,” confirmed Gary Sims, director of the Wake County Board of Elections,” because whatever action does or does not happen, needs to come from their guidance.”
            Ironically, all local BOEs were required to have their early voting sites locked in by July 29th, the same day the federal ruling came down.
            Sims added that while the 17-day early voting period is reinstated, the longer hours of operation per early voting location currently in force could be relaxed since the period is being extended from 10 to 17 days. But exactly what to do with that seven-day extension would be up to local county BOE boards.
            One of the other challenges Wake and other local BOEs face is that they are already locked into budgets prior to the July 29th ruling. That reality will also constrain how quickly and adequately local BOE’s will be able to comply. Having only one early voting site open, namely the local BOE office itself and no satetilite sites for the seven-day extension, is a possibility.
            Prior to the July 29th ruling, Ms. Sutton had been distributing materials educating voters about the photo ID requirement, which went into effect this year during the March and June primaries.
            Now the community must also be clear that not all of the voter ID law was knocked down. They will still be faced with no straight-ticket balloting, meaning that instead of voting for all candidates of a single party with just one mark, voters will have to individually mark, race by race, which candidates they choose.
            Critics of the 2013 law have always said that voters may not be aware of all of the candidates, especially during a presidential election year, and thus, only vote for a few of the major offices, leaving judicial or local races blank.
            Another element of the 2013 “Monster Voting Law” left untouched is the provision that allows anyone from anywhere in the state, to confront any voter on line at a precinct, and challenge their right to vote.
            That means the challenged voter is required by law to leave the line, and report to the precinct judge’s table with the challenger to answer questions about their voting qualifications.
            Activists say they have to have a strong voter protection plan in force – observers making sure that people are educated, and that they are not intimidated at the polls.”


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            Last Tuesday, President Obama raised eyebrows when, during a press conference at the White House, he bluntly told reporters that “the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president.”
            But Obama wasn’t the first black-elected official to make that declaration about controversial businessman Donald Trump.
            North Carolina Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1), who also serves as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week to tell conventioneers, a national television audience, and Trump himself (if he was watching), “You are not qualified to serve as president of the United States.”
            “In my community you judge a man’s heart by his words and deeds.” Butterfield continued. “Donald J. Trump, your words have been hostile, been bigoted, and insulting. You’ve used every opportunity to talk about your wealth, to denigrate people who don’t hold your views, even in your own party.”
            Trump has ignited numerous controversies since he announced his candidacy in July 2016, calling illegal Mexican immigrants “rapists and murderers,” demanding that Muslims from countries that have had terrorist activity be temporarily banned, and recently, he criticized the Gold Star family of a deceased Muslim US soldier who was killed in action in 2004, just because the father criticized Trump publicly at the DNC.
            While Republicans in Congress and elsewhere have severely criticized the controversial businessman, few, if any GOP leaders have revoked their endorsement of the Republican nominee. North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has endorsed Trump, and appeared with him as recently as last week in Winston – Salem, along with other state GOP leaders.
            Rep. Butterfield further charged that Trump would “… use your status to alienate African-Americans and other groups, and you would use the office of president to take our great nation in the wrong direction.”
            “We know, we know that you have no plan to address issues directly affecting the African-American community, such as gun violence and voting rights, historically black colleges and universities, raising the minimum wage and addressing persistent poverty,” Congressman Butterfield continued.
Rep. Butterfield’s public rebuke of the Republican nominee carries weight because the black Democratic congressman is committed to doing everything he can to ensure that Trump does not win North Carolina in November.
            The Tar Heel State is considered a prime battleground state that could go either for Trump or his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.  In 2008, Barack Obama won the state on his way to the presidency but four years later, Republican nominee Mitt Romney won North Carolina in his failed attempt to unseat President Obama.  According to many political analysts, if Trump is to have any real chance of tallying the needed 270 electoral college votes to win, he needs North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes in his win column.
            Both Trump and Clinton have made numerous campaign stops to the state, and many more are expected. Their vice presidential running mates – Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Democrat US Senator from Virginia Tim Kaine –are also scheduling appearances across the state.
            So there was very little surprise when Rep. Butterfield, after stating that he felt Donald Trump was “unfit to be president,” began to spell out the reasons why at the DNC.
            “Instead of putting forth details to address income equality and opportunity for everyday Americans, you use your celebrity status to paint a picture of gloom and doom,” Butterfield charged.
            “You want to know why your polling numbers are so dismal among African-Americans?” Rep. Butterfield continued, referencing recent NBC/Wall Street Journal polls that show Trump getting zero support from blacks in Ohio and Pennsylvania. “We know you have gotten rich through your business, but we also know your wealth has come at the expense of other people.”


            Saturday, August 6th, te NCNAACP invites all to come to Christian Faith Baptist Church, 509 Hilltop Dr. in Raleigh to both commemorate the 51st anniversary of the signing of the historic Voting Rights Act, and also to celebrate te recent US Fourth Circuit Court ruling overturning the state’s voter ID law.  At 10 a,m, there will be a unity press conference. Ar 10:30 am, a forum on the state of votings rights. At 1:30 pm a call to action ,and at 3 p.m., the closing.US Rep. G. K. Butterfield [D-NC-1] is an invited guest. This event is free and open to the public.

            Parents and students were shocked Tuesday to the news that Athens Drive High School Principal James Hedrick had died after a morning run. At press time, the exact cause of death was unknown. Hedrick has been principal for two years. He previously served for nine years at Green Hope High School in Cary. Ha edrick is being remembered as a good educator ho cared deeply for his students. He is survived by his wife, Camille.. who is also a WCPSS principal.

            A federal judge this week has asked state lawmakers to submit new maps for his consideration on how the district lines for Wake County school board and county commission seats should be redrawn. Several weeks ago the US  Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the original 2013 redistricting maps drawn for  Wake by GOP lawmakers were unconstitutional. Elections for both the Wake school board and county commission are supposed to be this November.

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