Monday, November 28, 2016




By Cash Michaels

            SO WHAT ARE WE SEEING? – After having spent the last nine months surviving cancer, I’ve decided that the last thing I’m going to do is allow the incoming Trump presidential administration to do me in. After all, I’ve lived through Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, and those five took us from ultimate government corruption to the country being bankrupt. Now we potentially have all that in the next Republican president.
            C’mon, we’re black folk, so we’re used to troubled times and folks hatin’ on us. We always knew it would be no time soon that racism would be buried once and for all, and in fact also always knew that it could get worse.
            Enter President-Elect Donald Trump.
            The man hasn’t even taken the oath of office yet, and already we have a glimmer of an idea as to how chaotic and corrupt his four years in the White House are going to be, assuming he lasts that long. By that, I mean that Trump is likely to be impeached, because we all know how much respect for the law and the Constitution he has (can you say “NONE” boys and girls?).
            Just look at the public backbiting and infighting happening within his transition team already. Look at some of his appointments – some people with absolutely no clue with how government is supposed to work, and others, like former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who believe war against people of color isn’t “hell”, but home.
            Rudy wants to be our US secretary of State. Probably wants to carry a gun on the job too!
            Trump has a billionaire who will serve as US commerce secretary. This is like allowing a lion to run the meat locker. Can we really trust a man who will see his main job as attracting foreign business for himself and his boss?
            And how about the lady Trump appointed to head up the US Education Dept.? Hear she has absolutely no educational experience at all, unless you call working to actually destroy public schools as a “worthy” goal?
            But the king of them all, obviously, is Donald J. Trump, the man many in the white nationalist movement have poured blessings on ever since his earth-shaking election several weeks ago. If fact, at last reports, a whole bunch of Ku Klux Klanners are scheduled to march and rally somewhere in North Carolina to celebrate Trump’s victory this Saturday.
            Has he tweeted a message to this people to find something else to march and make noise about? Of course not, and we all know how much that man loves to tweet.
            What’s real promising is that major media across the nation are gearing up to following President Trump’s every move, every misstep.  We cab all feel how he’s gearing up to turn the federal government into a great big personal piggy bank. I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t plant a big ole’ “TRUMP” sign on the White House with plenty of casino parking.
            You know, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the kind of dishonesty and corruption that is coming is a type we’ve never seen before. Well if it is, I can honestly say that I’m ready.
            I wonder if I can say the same thing for the racists who put Donald Trump in the Oval Office in the first place!


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            The proud Eagle Nation of North Carolina Central University continues in deep mourning for the loss of its leader last Saturday, Chancellor Debra Saunders-White.
            Dr. Saunders-White, 59, died November 26th after a courageous battle with kidney cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2015. She took a medical leave last August.
            So many of you have told me how strong I am with kind adjectives to reinforce it. While I am immensely appreciative of your kind expressions, I must say that as a child of God, I am only here today because of His continued grace and mercy, along with the reassurance of you all, Saunders-White wrote to all of her supporters in an open letter in October. “Please know that my head is still held up high, delighted to continue to serve my Master as humbly as I know how. I am incredibly grateful for your compassion and love.”
            She signed it, “Deb.”
The eleventh chancellor in NCCU’s history, Saunders-White came to the school on June 1, 2013. Ms. Avon Ruffin, former member of the NCCU Trustee Board until 2015, served as vice-chair of the Search Committee, and remembers how impressed the panel was with her commitment to educational excellence.
             “In the interview process, we realized that there was something there, and we thought that [she] would be a tremendous asset for North Carolina Central University. So she quickly rose to the top of our list at we looked at potential candidates.”
“It’s a tremendous loss for us,” Ruffin, a 1975 alumnae and widow of UNC System Board president, the late Benjamin Ruffin, said. “As a person, she was a sweet spirit. I believe that she had faith,…and her caring for the students of North Carolina Central and that university, and all that she did to pull us out of some really tough times, is an example of the greatness of her leadership.”
In a statement from the NCCU Cape Fear Alumni Chapter, Sabrina Hill-Black, chapter president, wrote, “‪Debra Saunders-White was our Chancellor. We stress the word our. She had a vision for the future and caused us to see it and get excited about it. She touched all sectors of the Eagle family. Chancellor Saunders-White was loved by students, faculty, staff, alumni and all Eagle supporters.”
Ms. Hill-Black continued,” We know God does not make mistakes and we are grateful for the three and a half years she walked with and led us. We can only imagine what she could have done with more time but that mission is left to us. We must be that light in the darkness. We must all become even more special people. We must continue to strive for Eagle Excellence. We must continue to show “Eagle Pride, Amplified”. We are thankful for the positive influence she had on the lives of many through her role at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the many friendships she formed. Thank you, Dr. Saunders-White, for giving a little of yourself with each of us!”
A native of Hampton, Va., Dr. Saunders-White earned her bachelor’s degree  in history in 1979 from the University of Virginia, and a master’s in business administration from The College of William and Mary in 1993. In 2004, Saunders-White earned a doctorate in higher education administration from George Washington University.
In addition to her academic credentials, Saunders-White spent 15 years in the corporate sector, working at IBM in 1979 a systems engineer, rising to marketing and management before she left. She later taught college preparatory math in Newport, R.I.
In 1999, Saunders-White became provost for technology at Hampton University, and in 2006 she went to UNC-Wilmington to become vice chancellor of information technology systems. While there, Dr. Saunders-White improved emergency communications for campus safety and cost effective classroom technologies.
May of 2011 saw Dr. Saunders-White accept an appointment by the Obama Administration to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs (HEP) , administering more than 60 programs totaling nearly $3 billion annually.
In February 2015, she was chosen to become the first permanent female chancellor in NCCU’s history, assuming the post in June of that year.
            Chancellor Saunders-White was an effective leader, steering the University toward innovative teaching with a renewed focus on STEM programs,” says Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1). “She always encouraged her students to strive for "Eagle Excellence."  Her vision for NCCU and passion for uplifting all HBCUs left a lasting mark on the future of our students.”
“Chancellor Saunders-White will be sorely missed, but her legacy will not be forgotten."
A memorial service was held on the NCCU campus Monday evening, followed by a candlelight vigil with students, faculty and administrators.
In her honor, a ‘Celebration of Life Tribute’ will be held on Friday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. in NCCU’s McDougald-McLendon Arena. Saunders-White’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (414 Buckroe Avenue, Hampton, Virginia 23664) in Virginia.


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            If state lawmakers insert themselves into deciding North Carolina’s next governor, or changing the state Supreme Court to nullify Justice-elect Mike Morgan’s victory, there will be mass demonstrations and civil disobedience, promises NCNAACP President Rev. William Barber.
            We believe either attempting to stack the Supreme Court or deciding the governor’s race in the legislature is, and would be a major civil rights violation of the right to vote and equal protection under the law,” Rev. Barber told hundreds of demonstrators during Monday night’s Moral Monday march and rally at the state Capitol in Raleigh “We pledge to fight with every legal and moral tool we have, including if necessary, mass civil disobedience.”
            Rev. Barber joined the ranks of those concern that the Republican majority in the Nc General Assembly would appoint two new justices to the state’s High Court in order to offset the 4-3 Democratic majority Morgan’s Election Day victory resulted in. Thus far, GOP legislative leaders claim that they haven’t discussed it with their caucuses.
            Barber’s warning comes as the State Board of Elections posted new unofficial number tallies in the gubernatorial race between Republican incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory, and his Democratic challenger state Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper. With all but 13 counties reporting in, Cooper leads McCrory by 9, 716 votes of 4.7 million cast, what some observers are saying is an insurmountable lead for the governor to overcome despite his legal action demanding a statewide recount, and specifically a recount of over 90,000 ballots in Durham County which were tabulated hours after polls closed on Nov. 8th because of mechanical problems.
            McCrory wants those Durham ballots recounted by hand, but the Durham Elections Board previously rejected his campaign’s petition. At press time, the state Board of Elections was scheduled Wednesday to decide whether to order the Durham Board to proceed with the recount.
            Meanwhile, the conservative Civitas Institute has filed a federal lawsuit, which will be heard in court on Dec. 8th, seeking to stop any certification of early voting ballots from same-day registrations, claiming that the addresses on those registrations were not confirmed before the ballots were cast.
            During his remarks at the Moral Monday demonstration, Rev. Barber blasted  what he saw was a deliberate manipulation of the election process by Republicans to deny communities of color their voting rights. He said NCNAACP lawyers would be in court Friday to challenge the Civitas lawsuit.
            Barber also demanded that Gov. McCrory stop his attorneys from interfering with the post-election vote canvassing process with their many challenges and, thus far, “bogus allegations” of voter fraud.
            Pledge that after the canvass and recount, you will not try to get the legislature to take steps to unconstitutionally decide the governor’s race,” Rev. Barber added, noting that if the final margin of victory for Roy Cooper is below 10,000 votes, state law allows the Republican-led legislature to decide who the next governor will be.
            Rev. Barber also warned that he expects the NC General Assembly to follow the ruling of the US Fourth Circuit of Appeals to redraw the congressional and legislative voting lines when it reconvenes in January. Several months ago, the federal court found the 2011 district maps unconstitutional because black voters were “stacked and packed” into “minority” districts solely because of race.
            “We will be watching to see if the legislature continues to contemptuously thumb its nose at the federal courts,” Rev. Barber said. “We will go back into court with the first sign the legislature delays justice again, because justice delayed is justice denied.” 


            [CHARLOTTE] The Charlotte-Mecklenburg County district attorney announced Wednesday that the police officer who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott last Sept. 20th was legally justified in shooting the black man because Scott brandished a gun and refused to obey orders to drop it.  Scott died at the scene. DA R. Andrew Murray told reporters Wednesday that Scott had taken medication right before he was killed. Undercover officers saw Scott with marijuana and a gun in his vehicle before deciding to approach him. Scott’s killing set off several days of demonstrations and violence in Charlotte.

            [RALEIGH] A special legislative election will be held in 2017 after state lawmakers redraw the 2011 legislative map. Earlier this year, US Fourth Circuit of Appeals ruled 28 voting districts unconstitutional because of racial gerrymandering. A federal judge ordered the special election, setting next March 15th as a deadline for the new legislative map to be drawn. A primary will be held no later than next September, and the special election will be held in November 2017. Republican legislative leaders blasted the decision, but civil rights activists praised it as giving North Carolinians “fair representation.”

            [BELHAVEN] A judge has issued a 10-day temporary restraining order preventing the demolition of Pungo District Hospital in Beaufort County, according to Mayor Adam O’Neal.  Seven members of the Pantego Creek LLC, the nonprofit group that currently owns the hospital, filed suit claiming that they were misled by managers of the group to have the facility torn down. Vidant Health closed the hospital in 2014, claiming that it was losing money. The Belhaven town board and various community groups have sought to purchase the building and reopen it as a health facility.

            [RALEIGH] At press time Wednesday, there is still no word on the time or location the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan plan to hold their victory march and rally this Saturday, Dec. 3rd. The sponsoring KKK chapter is from Pelham, NC, a small unincorporated community in Caswell County near the Virginia border, 45 minutes north of Burlington. The group’s website is calling the event “Victory Klavalkade Klan Parade – Trump’s race united my people.” In August 2014, the group sponsored a rally against illegal immigration in Troy in Montgomery County.

            [ASHEVILLE] A 20-year old Morganton man has pleaded guilty in federal court to planning an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in either North Carolina or Virginia. Justin Nojan Sullivan now faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. Authorities say Sullivan tried to purchase an assault weapon with hollow-point ammo for using in a mass murder at a concert or nightclub. An undercover FBI agent was solicited to build a silencer for the gun. Sullivan wanted his parents killd after hos mother found the silencer.



Saturday, November 19, 2016


By Cash Michaels

            LAUGHINGSTOCK – Once again North Carolina is the laughingstock of the nation, this time thanks to Gov. Pat McCrory’s inability to fathom two very simple words – YOU LOST!
            Call it ego, call it shame, or call it whatever you want…Patrick Lloyd McCrory, outgoing one-term Republican governor (if nothing else shifty gets in the way) of the once great state of North Carolina (I say “once great” because McCrory and his GOP colleagues in the state legislature have done such a marvelous job of taking North Carolina so far backwards, I’m amazed Thomas Edison isn’t still listed in the phone book) is doing his best, along with his cutthroat posse of dime-a-dozen law-traitors to turn over every rock, nuk and cranny to “prove” that nothing but dead people and vote-fraud masters gave his Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Roy Cooper, a slim Election Day 5,000 vote lead (which later swelled to over 6,600 by last weekend).
            McCrory just can’t take it. Donald Trump, the loud-AND-foulmouthed sex maniac the governor backed for president won. Sen. Richard Burr hardly campaigned and even got caught wishing out loud that someone would assassinate Hillary Clinton, and he still got re-elected. Indeed, Republicans were claiming victory all over the place on Election night.
            McCrory couldn’t stand being left out of the party, especially when his opponent, Roy Cooper, got up on stage and declared victory long before anything had been officially determined. Pat decided right then and there that he wasn’t going out like that.
            So all of McCrory’s lawyers have fanned out, filing election protests in 52 counties, hoping to generate enough “evidence” of voter fraud, in predominately-black voting precincts, to “prove” that Cooper only came out on top because of “voter fraud” on a massive scale.
            So far, upon review, out of 4.6 million ballots cast, less than ten have actually proven to be questionable. There is that situation in Bladen County where folks paid to help the elderly fill out mail-in absentee ballots did not realize they had to also sign the form, but if true, that’s a mistake, not fraud.
            Still, the fact that McCrory is causing all of this ruckus just because he’s on the losing end of the people’s decision, is shameful and sets a poor example. Let’s be clear, Pat and his attorneys are manipulating the system in desperate hopes that manna will fall from the sky and just award him the election. Never mind that he is further deeply dividing the state at a time when folks are clearly in no mood.
            Never mind that Pat McCrory never has been, and never will be a strong leader, let alone a good governor. What Pat McCrory is is a snake oil salesman who masters the art of swift and slick talking, always smiling so that folks will mistake his brandishing of polished teeth for “true” grit; balling up his fists as a symbol of empty determination; and talking in low tones to convince the listener that Pat has the requisite cool needed to be a great leader.
            This may all end up in the Republican-led NC General Assembly, where state lawmakers would surely vote to install Pat for another term, only to make him pay for it by walking all over him again for the next four years.
            Now is his chance to show true leadership by taking his loss like a man, but Pat McCrory can’t do that. Without the governor’s office, what else does he have to do? Where else can he go to play pretend? Stay tuned.

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            Whatever credibility the Republican-led North Carolina Supreme Court currently has would be “totally eroded” if state GOP legislative leaders try to stack the state’s High Court to maintain a partisan advantage, warns the chairman of the NC NAACP’s Legal Redress Committee.
            Atty. Irving Joyner, who is also a professor of law at North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, isn’t buying published reports that Republican legislative leaders are not considering the move to offset the Election night victory of Wake Superior Court Judge Mike Morgan, a Democrat, to the NC Supreme Court. Given how Republicans are scrambling to prove Democratic voter fraud in over 50 counties after state Attorney General Roy Cooper’s slim apparent defeat of incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, Prof. Joyner and the rest of the NCNAACP have announced that they’re gearing up for yet another legal fight in case Republican lawmakers not only attempt to stack the court with two appointees, but also try to decide the governor’s race.
            Public support for our court system is predicated on the faith and truth of the people that our justice system is fair, unbiased and impartial,” Chairman Joyner said. “That faith has been severely tested and undermined over the past ten years due to obvious political decisions which the [state] Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals have issued. The tepid support which the court system presently enjoys will be totally eroded if the Republican Legislature moves forward with a plan to add two political appointees to the composition of the Supreme Court in response to the election of Justice[-elect] Michael Morgan.”
            Morgan handily defeated incumbent Republican Justice Robert Edmunds on election night, thus giving the court a 4-3 Democratic majority when it reconvenes for another term. But it wasn’t long before press reports circulated that Republican lawmakers would use Gov. McCrory’s special session on Hurricane Matthew disaster relief planned for December to also add two more appointees to the state Supreme Court, thus changing it to 5-4 Republican, even though the court is supposed to be nonpartisan.
            “The concern is, in light of the fact that the voters have stated by their votes Tuesday that they reject the politicalization of our North Carolina Supreme Court, [they] do not want the justices to have any political leanings, and the voters want to make sure that our highest court is perceived as being fair and impartial in every decision,” Morgan said.
            NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber, promising a legal fight, echoed Justice-elect Morgan’s concern, saying that adding the two court-appointees would be “wrong because it is a form of partisan scheming designed to go around the people, and a vote of the people.”
            With the McCrory-Cooper gubernatorial race still in unofficial limbo at press time Monday, there is mounting concern that the ultimate winner will be chosen by the Republican-led NC General Assembly.  No one has denied that as a possibility, even though GOP leaders have denied contemplating expanding the state Supreme Court address the Morgan victory.
            "We have never really talked about it at all," Republican Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County and chairman of the House Rules Committee, told reporters last week. Senate President Pro tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said there had been “no [Republican Senate] caucus discussions” about the matter.
            But Atty. Joyner, based on previous actions by Republican lawmakers who have held surprise votes on issues without public hearings or notice in the recent past, isn’t buying their denials.
            These additions or the ill-advised effort to pack the court with Republicans will be seen for what it is: a political scheme to over-rule the vote of the voters which elected, by a large margin, Justice Morgan as the pivotal swing vote on a politically evenly divided court,” the NCNAACP Legal Redress Committee chairman said.
“Our courts should always enjoy the highest level of support from citizens because it is fair, unbiased, impartial and worthy of respect. Adding two political appointees to the court, as it is presently constituted, would totally destroy the remaining faith that African Americans and other racial minorities might have in the Courts of this State.”

by Cash Michaels
contributing writer

            Two months before President-elect Donald J. Trump even takes the oath of office, activists and Democrats are already looking past their election 2016 defeats towards the 2018 midterms, hoping that they have learned enough lessons to gain some ground.
            But with recent Republican victories in both the state House and Senate, as well as the US Congress, any ground not gained now will be much, much harder to get in two years thanks to redistricting, even though, theoretically, the party not in power in the White House usually does well during midterms.
In 2018, every state lawmaker and U.S. House representative just elected or reelected will be up for another two-year term. Depending on how either a Gov. McCrory or Cooper are doing here, or Pres. Trump is doing in Washington, will determine how successful the 2018 midterms will be.
            To Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, the fight for fair policies must continue seamlessly from this year to 2018. “We have to,” the civil rights leader said during a post-election day telephone conference, noting that there are key battles in Congress activist groups are seeking to win.
            “We have to fight for the Voting Rights Act to be restored. We have to remember that in our history, when we first got the VRA, we didn’t have the people elected in Congress with a plan to do it. We created a context where they had to do it, through marching, through civil disobedience and speaking out.”
            Rev. Barber continued, “ We’re going to continue to organize, to push out. We have seen what 23-24 percent of the electorate can do. We’re going to try to get that to thirty percent, plus Latinos.”
              If there is one goal Democrats have as a top priority, it is to regain majorities in the NC and US Houses by 2020, the next presidential year, in order to control redistricting. The party in power at the start of each decade redraws the voting maps in their respective states and  congressional districts, thus making it tougher for the opposing party to unseat the majority.
            Since Republicans took over the state House in 2010 and redrew North Carolina’s voting districts to essentially protect their legislative majority in 2011, the GOP has been able to confidently push its conservative agenda, reversing, many Democratic critics say, whatever social progress had been made by the Democratic majority in previous years.
            Thanks to a successful federal lawsuit against North Carolina’s 2011 redistricting plan alleging racial discrimination, the NC General Assembly will be required to redraw its map for the remainder of the decade.
            But it really all boils down to one thing, says State Senator Paul Lowe [D-Forsyth], and that’s Democrats making it their business to come out in 2018, and vote.
Unlike presidential elections, African-American and other communities of color don’t traditionally turn out in large numbers for midterm elections, and the challenge is even seen as being greater now.
            “Our people have to vote, Sen. Lowe, an African-American, says. “Our people have to turnout and vote during the midterm elections if they want to see things different. There’s no way to get away from that.”
            “Poor people, people of color, women have the most to gain if they participate in the process, and the most to lose if they don’t,” Sen. Lowe adds. “So we can’t allow midterm elections to get by, and w don’t participate, because we voting on those things that will affect us in most cases.”



            [RALEIGH] Even though the state Board of Elections and various local BOEs are still wrestling with Republican allegations of voter fraud in the 2016 governor’s race, Democratic candidate Roy Cooper is waiting for  final decision. Confident that he has a safe 6600-vote margin over incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory that will hold up, Cooper has put up a “We’re hiring” on his transition website, and announced several members who will head up his transition team. Meanwhile, prominent Democrats like Congressman G. K. Butterfield are urging Gov. McCrory to conceded the race. As of Monday, 12 counties have certified their voter counts.  The McCrory campaign had file ballot protests in over fifty counties.

            [CHARLOTTE] The Charlotte City Council is considering protecting Biddleville Cemetery, a post-Civil War era  all-black cemetery founded in 1873, from development in the area. The council would designate the area with an historic designation. The city’s Historic Landmark Commission is recommending the designation.

            [GREENSBORO]  The Eagles of North Carolina Central University are flying flying high after beating their rivals, the Aggies of North Carolina A&T University Saturday in a rout, 42-21 to claim the MEAC Championship for the third straight time in a row. The NCCU Eagles now prepare to meet whoever wins the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion on Dec. 17th for the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl at the Georgia Dome.

            It’s a week away, but so far, no word on where the Saturday, Dec. 3rd Ku Klux Klan rally and march by the Loyal White Knights of the KKK out of Pelham, NC will be held. According to the white supremacist group’s website, the events will be to celebrate the election of President-elect Donald Trump. Several white supremacist leaders, including former Klan leader David duke, have hailed Trump’s election as a victory for white people.