Tuesday, September 20, 2016




By Cash Michaels

            DANNY GLOVER – Last Friday, I had the honor and rare opportunity to spend some time with one of the most versatile actors and artists in the entertainment business – Danny Glover. Yes, THAT Danny Glover, star of the wildly success “Lethal Weapon” films along with Mel Gibson, costar of “Lonesome Dove,” and “Dream Girls,” and countless other great productions.
            Glover was in Raleigh Friday to perform in, “An Evening with Martin and Langston,” a two-man performance also starring gifted actor Felix Justice as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Danny Glover portrayed legendary African-American poet  Langston Hughes.
            The pair were performing at NC State University as part of the “Experiencing King” weekend of activities there, presented by the NCSU Libraries , NC State LIVE, the African-American Cultural Center, and the NC State  Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, and it’s chairman, Prof. W. Jason Miller, author of the bestselling book, “Origins of the Dream,” which chronicles the close inspirational relationship Dr. King and Langston Hughes had during the 1960s, and the height of the civil rights movement.
            As you know, I am an associate producer on the upcoming documentary  based on the book, which is being directed and co-produced by Rebecca Cerese [“February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four”], and Prof. Miller.
            During the months I was out sick, Jason and Rebecca scheduled getting both Glover and Justice on camera to talk about their show, and why the words of both Dr. King and Langston Hughes are so relevant today. 
            Needless to say, I was in the best of health Friday when that interview was taped right before curtain time. Having only seen Mr. Glover in the movies, on television and in photographs, I was surprised when I met him as to how tall and lanky he is. Even though he is much older and greyer now, the raspy, yet smooth voice, and the great humor that has been a trademark of Mr. Glover were all still there.
            But what was also there was Glover’s tremendous grasp of history and commitment to social justice. As you know, Glover was a huge supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, and has a long history of social activism, not just in the United States, but around the world. That is some that burns through when you meet him, and her him speak.
            What also grabbed me is right after the brilliant performances of both men, how they not only embraced the audiences during the Q an A session, but also afterwards at the reception. Danny Glover, in particular, hugged virtually everyone he saw, took time to talk and take pictures. With everyone who came up to him or gathered around, Glover took the time until every demand of his time was met.  It was gratifying to see.
            Rebecca told me that Danny Glover considered himself a “citizen of the world.” Of this there can be no doubt But he is also an extraordinary performing artist, proud black man, and committed social activist who takes the time to be with the people, and speak out for justice.
            I’m proud of the time he and I had to speak, and to share.
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

            Minutes after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump finally admitted to reporters last Friday that contrary to what Trump had been infamously alleging for the past years, President Barack Obama was, in fact, born in the United States, NC Congressman G. K. Butterfield rhetorically blasted the controversial businessman, calling Trump “a disgusting fraud.”
            Rep. Butterfield, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, spoke to reporters in Washington, D.C. along with his colleagues from the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee. Several members angrily denounced Trump, urging the black community to display their anger as well by going to the polls to vote in the November general elections.
            “By any definition, Donald Trump is a disgusting fraud, “ Butterfield continued. “He started this silliness years ago by saying that President Obama was not an American citizen. He had no proof of it, and so he started this disgusting behavior [five] years ago  questioning the president’s citizenship. He would not have done that to a  Mitt Romney,  he would not have done that to a John McCain, or any other white who was running for president, but [Trump] has leveled this critixisn towards Pres. Obama.”
            Butterfield went on  to say that Trump’s advisers have told him that he won’t be winning the presidency unless he can reach out to African-American voters. After visits to at least two black churches and speeches where he has rhetorically asked black voters “What do you have to lose in voting for Trump,” polls show a slight increase in black support for the Republican, but nothing over six percent.
            “And they will remain in the single digits,” Rep. Butterfield insisted, adding that instead of “being a statesman, instead of apologizing…” to the president and the American people for  “his fraudulent behavior,” Trump “simply came to the microphone, said ‘Pres. Obama was born in United States…PERIOD,’ and then took reporters on a guided tour of his hotel.”       
            “I find that disgusting; every American ought to find that disgusting. Every American needs to understand that this man is a fraud, and he is an insult to the American people,” Butterfield proclaimed. “We must defeat him in November.”
            Pres. Obama seemed to echo Rep. Butterfield’s tone and words when he delivered fiery remarks at the 2016 Congressional Black Caucus dinner, chiding the African-American community that it would be a “personal insult, an insult to my legacy,” if they didn’t come in high numbers come November to vote against Donald Trump.
            Hope is on the ballot,” the president said, referring to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. “And fear is on the ballot too.”


MOTHERS OF T HE MOVEMENT- (From left to right) Geneva Reed-Vail, Maria Hamilton and Gwen Carr all lost adult children to police brutality. [Cash Michaels Photo]

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            They are members of a dreaded club they say no one wants to join. Their black children were all killed, either by a law enforcement officer, or someone with a gun. In each case, their child was an innocent victim, not only of the deed, but of the lack of justice that followed.
They are known as “The Mothers of the Movement,” and they captivated the nation last July when they walked out on stage during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Three of them -   Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton;  and Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland  - spent Monday and Tuesday of this week speaking at events in the African-American communities of Greensboro at N.C. A & T University, Durham, Charlotte and Fayetteville sharing their pain, and urging their audiences to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November presidential election.
            The Clinton campaign sponsored the mothers’ tour.
            During their hour-long session at North Carolina Central University’s School of Law Monday in Durham, the mothers talked to students there about how their children were killed, how the black community must mobilize to stem the escalating tide of police killings         , and why they individually believed Hillary Clinton when she met with them, and promised, if elected president, that she would work to reform the criminal justice system so that police officers are held to greater accountability in incidents involving the killing of innocent citizens.
“Well of course if our children were not dead, we wouldn’t be [on tour] speaking,” said Ms. Reed-Veal, whose daughter, Sandra Bland, 28, died in a Texas jail cell after she was arrested after a minor traffic stop last year. “But we’re grateful to be able to go around and make young people understand, ‘Your voice matters too. This is serious business. We care enough about you to get out here and speak to all of you across the country.
“So it’s a big deal, “Reed-Veal said, “A big deal.”
The cries of Gwen Carr’s son Eric Garner of “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” on the smartphone video taken while five NY City police officers strangled him to death on a Staten Island street two years ago still haunts anyone who saw it. Like Reed-Veal and Maria Hamilton, Ms. Carr assures that her child was a good son who did nothing to deserve to die. A Staten Islan d grand jury refused to indict the officers involved, even though there was evidence they were using an outlawed chokehold.
“I (posthumously) made a promise to my son that I would speak out, and be the voice of the voiceless, and the nameless, because some people don’t have a voice.” Ms. Carr said, adding that the mission of the mothers is to bring about awareness in hopes that many, especially young people, are listening.
“We’ve got to try to touch the consciousness of America,” Ms. Carr added.
Maria Hamilton says police officers aren’t doing their jobs when they hurt or kill innocent citizens. Her youngest son, Dontre was shot fourteen times after he was confronted sleeping on a park bench in Milwaukee, just because a beat officer mistakenly thought he was a black homeless person scaring away customers at local businesses.
Ms. Hamilton says she was brought up in a family of police officers who didn’t have to resort to lethal force to do their jobs. She added that in many other countries, the police are trained to deescalate incidents, and don’t even carry weapons.
“You don’t know nothing about me, an d you take my life? That is not your job,” Hamilton said.
Critics of the Mothers o the Movement accuse them of being used by the Clinton campaign, but they insist that they’re not, and the fact that Hillary  Clinton has taken time to listen to their pain, and promise to do something about police brutality, among other issues, has convinced them that she is worth endorsing, and campaigning for.

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