Wednesday, September 28, 2016


By Cash Michaels

            THE DEBATE – Yep, I was among the tens of millions of viewers ( a record 80.9 million to be exact) who gave up Monday night to watch the presidential “Rumble in the Jungle” between Republican Donald J. Trump, and Democrat Hillary Clinton. I must admit, it was well worth the wait, and the watch.
            Despite all of the pre-debate babble on the cable networks, it was clear that Trump did not prepare properly for the faceoff. While he thought he was doing a good job being mean and nasty to Clinton every chance he got, all he was met with for the whole 90+ minutes was a bright, mocking smile and virtually a wink to the audience from Clinton that she was going to let her opponent run his foolish mouth.
            It wasn’t really a fair fight. Trump, as he has already proven, is clearly out of his league when he talks about the issues, and what he would do about them if elected president. There can be no doubt who was better studied and prepared to do the job.
            THE OTHER DEBATE WORLD – I bounced back and forth between MSNBC and CNN during the post-debate analysis, and was not surprised to see sensible people agree that Donald Trump got clocked. On MSNBC, even Republican analysts had to admit that their boy lost the debate by a large margin.
            But then I turned to Fox News, knowing that I was leaving Planet Earth, a place of understanding, and going to a world where crazy, twisted, conservative BS would rule the day. Sure enough, I tuned in just in time to hear Fox host Sean Hannity declare Donald Trump the undisputed winner of the debate.
            Let’s be clear, Trump could have choked on the many glasses of water he was chugging that night, and they still would have declared him the master of all.  And that’s a shame, that a so-called “news” operation is so in the bag for a twisted presidential candidate that there is no way it can honestly evaluate him.
            But that’s Fox News’ bread and butter – propping up the right wing no matter what objective facts prove otherwise. It is really a shame to watch grown men and women lie and sham and work hard to convince viewers that 1+1=4, despite compelling evidence to the contrary.
            But the question is, how many voters who believe in Fox like a fiery religion, will take this nonsense to the polls on Election Day?
            You’d be surprised!
            “MAGNIFICENT” DENZEL – I don’t go to the movies often, but after I heard that actor Denzel Washington was leading the cast of the new “Magnificent Seven” movie, directed by black director Antoine Fuqua, I knew I had to see it on the first day.
            Denzel is over 60-years-old, and one would assume that his days of being big box office are over. But as D-man proved with the blockbuster “The Equalizer” two years ago, he still has it, even as an action hero.
            On the scale of 1 to 10, I have to give “Magnificent Seven” an 8, and Denzel is outstanding in it. Go see 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
            In the aftermath of the tragic Charlotte police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott last week, both the NCNAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus have demanded an independent federal investigation.
            Monday night in Charlotte, NCNAACP President Rev. William Barber said it was not clear that the shooting was justified, as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney insisted last week prior to releasing the edited police dash-cam and body cam footage to the public Saturday under pressure.
            Rev. Barber issued a list of demands, including the release of all police body cam footage related to the Scott shooting that the CMPD may still have in its possession. He also called for an “accountability” and “heightened consequences” of the CMPD officers who took part in the incident on-scene who did not have their body cameras activated. The officer who fatally shot Keith Scott reportedly did not have his body cam operating.
            The NC NAACP also demanded that federal standards be established for when police officers should be justified in using deadly force. Those standards should be utilized “…in additional training, guidelines for identifying  and removing
officers with a propensity to overreact, and a commitment from the U.S. Department of Justice, in collaboration with local prosecutors and the State Bureaus of Investigation, to aggressively pursue investigations, indictments, and prosecutions against law enforcement officers who harm or kill innocent civilians.”
            Rev. Barber also called for “…the retrial of Randall Kerrick, the officer responsible for killing Jonathan Ferrell, another unarmed Black man shot in Charlotte just three years ago.” The NCNAACP president also called for the repeal of HB 972 “…which will, as of October 1, require a court order to release footage from police recordings, thus further enshrouding in secrecy a system already distrusted by the public that those officials claim to serve. “
            The NCNAACP list of demands also included a moratorium on the death penalty and restoration of the Racial Justice Act; an end to racial profiling; empowering police civilian review boards; a “demilitarization” of police departments statewide; a public accounting of elected officials on key issues like voting rights, health care, public education, etc.; and the passage of meaning criminal justice reform and “the end of racialized policing and police brutality.”
            The Keith Scott police shooting footage showed plainclothes officers with “POLICE” vests on, repeatedly ordering Scott, 43, out of his vehicle at gunpoint after they claim to have witnessed him sitting in the front seat with a marijuana joint and a handgun.
            Chief Putney claimed that evidence retrieved from the scene buttressed officers’ contention that Scott had a weapon, exited his car with it at his side, and walked backwards away from the police until one officer, Brentley Vinson, 26, fired four rounds, fatally hitting Scott.
            Days of street protests followed, with the city imposing curfews and the governor sending in the National Guard to ensure against violence that marred the first two nights of demonstrations.
            None of the police footage showed Scott with a gun in his hand, despite still pictures of a gun the Charlotte –Mecklenburg Police Dept. says was in his hand, and has his DNA on.
            Scott’s family insists that he did not own a gun they knew of. Published reports this week claim Scott bought the handgun illegally.
            In Washington, D.C., North Carolina members of the Congressional Black Caucus took front and center in demanding an end to police shootings of black men.
            Congresswoman Alma Adams [D-12- NC] demanded that the US Department of Justice open a “pattern-or-practice” investigation into the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in the wake of two fatal police shootings in the past three years.
            “People need to be receptive to, again, admitting that there’s a problem and then coming together and saying, you know, I know there’s a way we can fix it,” Rep. Adams told The Charlotte Observer . “You might not have the solution, but you may have a portion of what we need to do.”
            Meanwhile, the Congressional Black Caucus, led by Congressman G. K. Butterfield [D-NC-1] marched to the US Justice Dept. last Thursday with a letter for US Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch requesting federal probes into the Charlotte, and Tulsa, Okla. fatal police shootings.
            “The Congressional Black Caucus is outraged with the dozens of unlawful police shootings that are taking place all across America involving unarmed, innocent African-American citizens,” CBC Chairman Butterfield told reporters.


            [CHADBOURN] A police officer with the Chadbourn Police Dept. was fired Tuesday for posting a racist Facebook that told blacks, “You are the bad guys now…have a 74 percent illegitimacy rate…you produce nothing….you don’t raise your children with any morality…,” among many other statements. Former Officer Ricky Soles. Soles deleted his Facebook account Monday before he was asked to resign, but refused. In a statement, Soles denied being racist, or that his post was directed at black people. “This post is directed to CRIMINALS.” The Chadbourn Police Dept. is investigating.

            [RALEIGH] As far as California Governor Jerry Brown is concerned, if North Carolina won’t respect the rights of LGBT people, then California shouldn’t be sending government workers  to the state. Brown signed a bill this week doing effectively that, citing North Carolina’s controversial HB 2 law, which prohibits gay and transgender people from using public bathrooms that don’t comply with their gender at birth. Brown’s law specifically applies to California public universities.

            [RALEIGH] A longtime Republican state lawmaker faces prison time if he’s convicted of misuse of campaign funds over an eight-year period.  Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, 69,  was indicted by a federal grand jury this week on 14-counts of campaign finance corruption. This is after a Wake County grand jury indicted Hartsell for falsifying campaign finance reports. In the federal indictments, the Concord Republican is accused of illegally spending campaign funds on a personal trip, seeing a show, and having his hair cut. Hartsell also faces a large fine if convicted.


            Friday, Sept. 30th, is the last day for Wake County citizens to pre-register for a new program that helps people have their criminal records expunged. Partnering with Diana Powell and the Torchlight Academy, the Wake County District Attorney’s Office has been flooded with hundreds of applicants seeking to have past juvenile convictions under the age of 18removed from their record so that they’re able to better jobs and educational opportunities. Contact the Wake D.A’s Office or Torchlight Academy for more information, but the deadline is Friday, Sept. 30th.

            A former Town of Cary employee has pled guilty to falsifying over 275 water quality sample tests. Christopher Dale Miller of Cary, a water system technician,  admitted Monday in federal court to making false statements about water qulity in violation of federal law. Miller was responsible for collecting samples in ans around Cary. He is to be sentenced Dec. 12.

            Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison is threatening to remove his deputies from school resource officer duty unless the Wake Board of Education develops a uniformed policy governing bathroom and locker room facility usage. The school system currently depends on principals to come up with their own facility policies dealing with transgender students. Sheriff Harrison counters that without a uniformed policy, both his deputies ands parents are confused. School Board Chairman Tom Benton says Harrison is playing politics, and school system is waiting on the federal court decision on North Carolina’s HB2 law before deciding policy.

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