Monday, January 30, 2017




By Cash Michaels

            THE IGNORANT AMONG US – There are a lot of people who completely reject the art of name-calling, feeling that it lowers the quality of intellectual discussion and civil discourse.
            Those folks may have a point, and yet, there arguably are times when blunt is best. Saying that someone or something, for instance, is dumb, does wonders for making one’s essential point unmistakably clear. Obviously, if one is going to indulge in such blunt talk and description, you should have your evidence readily available for all to inspect for themselves, and arrive at the same opinion. After that, you can be as “civil” as you want.
            So such as the case here. I am going to violate all social and civil norms by saying the following – the people who voted Donald J. Trump into the office of president of the United States are ignorant AND selfish. PERIOD!
            Now what I’ve just stated is certainly not nice, but given what we’ve seen of our new president’s attitude and actions in just the first seven days in office, there can be no denial all of us are in big trouble as a nation if something doesn’t change soon.
            But why am I picking on the folks who voted Trump into office, instead of just Pres. Trump himself? Because they knew the same thing the rest of us knew, and didn’t care. They knew this was an impulsive, power hungry, racist egomaniac, and that was perfectly fine with them.
            Oh, I can hear you now. I’m not being fair, and in fact, I’m being politically biased. I dislike the people who voted for Trump because I dislike Trump, you say. Gee, I wish it were that simple.
            That begs the question, did I also dislike the people who voted for Sen. John McCain or Gov. Mitt Romney just because they chose those two Republicans over the first black US president in history, Barack Obama? No. I certainly disagreed with them, but I didn’t profoundly dislike them.
            I disagree with the dumb people who voted for Donald Trump. It’s nothing personal, but they are just that – DUMB! Why, because they agreed with his sexist view of women. They agreed with his racist view of Mexicans and people from the Middle East (which is in Africa, I’m sure they’re too dumb to know). They agreed with his idiot view that he should be king of the world, and that all would bow down to him once he’s elected president.  They agreed with him that the majority of black people are poor ghetto-dwellers who deserve pity because they live in such “carnage” and hopelessness.
            And worst of all, they agreed with Pres. Trump that this is their country, and no one else’s, and just as long as they benefit first and always, and no one else is helped despite their need or circumstance, then everything is just fine. So yes, build that wall between us and Mexico; ban Muslims from select countries from coming to the United States, even those with green cards; choose billionaire nominees for his administration that don’t know the first thing about governing but everything about scamming the system; appoint white supremacists to the National Security Council; lie with no shame about insignificant issues like crowd-size and voter fraud; dismantle the affordable health care system just because it was the greatest achievement of the previous president; and, of course, continue to insist that only Trump can “make America great again.”
            So yes, thanks to the ignorant among us, we now have a president that is literally destroying our country everyday with the stroke of a pen. My hope is that one day soon, they will wise up, and realize the error of their ways. But I’m not counting on it, which is why fighting against what they stand for, is the only thing left for the rest of us to do.
            My GOD have mercy on their ignorant souls.

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            The chairman of the NCNAACP Legal Redress Committee, which successfully fought in federal court to have much of North Carolina’s 2013 voter ID law thrown out, is keeping a close eye on Pres. Trump’s insistence that there was massive voter fraud in the last election, and warns that GOP state lawmakers may leverage Trump’s false claim to institute new voting restrictions in time for the 2018 mid-term elections.
            It is widely known that there is absolutely no evidence that widespread voter fraud exists anywhere in the United States, and the North Carolina State Board of Elections has conclusively refuted suggestions that voter fraud exists in North Carolina,” says attorney Irving Joyner, chairman of the NCNAACP Legal Redress Committee, and one of the lead attorneys who came to federal court in Winston-Salem in 2015 to have voter ID law overturned.
“This claim of voter fraud is being pedaled by right-wing political groups and some Republican operatives as a way to enact legislation to undermine the right to vote of African Americans and other racial minorities. These consistent and spurious claims must be vigorously challenged because when adopted, and repeated by Donald Trump and his gang, some people will believe that it exists.”        
President Trump insists that despite winning the 2016 general election, anywhere from three million to five million people voted illegally for his Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, resulting in her winning the popular vote accordingly. Trump offers no verifiable proof of his false claim, but promises some kind of “major investigation” to prove his point.
            While national Republicans have dismissed the president’s massive voter fraud claims, especially since most state governments that manage and maintain their local voter rolls were Republican in 2016 (and have finalized their voting totals), that didn’t stop Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the NC Republican Party, from claiming that North Carolina had its share of voter fraud in the last election.
            “We’ve seen voter fraud in North Carolina, it may not be widespread,” Woodhouse told MSNBC last week, supporting Trump’s call for a probe.
His Democrat brother, Brad Woodhouse, appeared on the same program to essentially blast his sibling.
“Your efforts in North Carolina on voter fraud were nothing more than a documented attempt to suppress the votes of African-Americans and young people,” Brad Woodhouse accused his GOP brother, recalling how the US Fourth Circuit of Appeals ruled last year that the Republican-majority in the legislature attempted to legally suppress the black vote with “surgical precision.”
The NC Democratic Party joined in the fray.
“President Trump’s bizarre claims of massive voter fraud have been refuted by independent experts and condemned by leaders in both parties,” spokesman Mike Gwin said. “Given the NC GOP’s track record of using imagined fraud to justify voter suppression, Dallas’ comments in support of President Trump’s wild goose chase shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.”
State Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford) agreed.
“It is widely accepted that voter fraud is basically non existent.  I understand that a recent review of more than 1 billion votes cast revealed only 31 potentially fraudulent votes.  At the risk of sounding cynical, I believe Pres. Trump and the GOP are using these false allegations  to lay the ground work for enacting more voter suppressing legislation, possibly at the federal level.  This is very troubling and I will fight it.”
Attorney Joyner echoed the concern.
            In this context, Donald Trump is now loudly voicing this disproved and unverified claim as a way to motivate those people who voted for him, and to distract the country from his already week-long failed presidency; he does not have a hint of evidence which supports any of his claims.”
            But Joyner, who is also a law professor at North Carolina Central University’s School of Law in Durham, doesn’t stop there. Given how the Trump Administration has already shown evidence of boldly attempting to change established law to suit its own purposes, in addition to appointing Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) – a man known to be hostile to civil and voting rights per his past history as Alabama state attorney general – as the new US attorney general once confirmed by the GOP-led US Senate, Joyner warns that there may be a bigger target ahead.
            “These false (voter fraud) claims are presently being used at the national level in an effort to overturn and undermine the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and these actions must be vigorously opposed in Congress and in the courts,” Joyner says. “Even though its existence has been disproved in North Carolina, members of the General Assembly are presently preparing efforts to make it more difficult for African Americans and racial minorities to register and vote in North Carolina. These efforts must also be aggressively resisted.”


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            Given all of the major media headlines since it’s January 31st release, it’s easy for the public to think the new book, The Blood of Emmett Till (Simon and Schuster) is mainly about the confession by Carolyn Bryant, the Mississippi white woman whose lie in 1955 caused the brutal lynching and murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till.
            But in an exclusive interview with the Black Press this week, the author, Prof. Timothy B. Tyson, a Duke University senior research scholar and historian, says Bryant’s 2007 revelation to him that the black teen never said or did anything “sexually flirtatious” to her to warrant being kidnapped by her husband and his half-brother, then beaten, shot in the head, and thrown in the Tallahatchie River wrapped in barbed wire and weighted down by a 75 lb. cotton gin fan, is just where the controversial book begins.
            The rest of the 304-page volume not only meticulously documents what led up to the despicable murder of the innocent child, but more importantly Tyson says, the reasons why white supremacists have historically resorted to violence to deny African-Americans their civil rights.
            Tyson said after taping the Bryant interview in 2007, he put it away in his archives for later possible use. But during the course of subsequent research, found himself drawn into the Emmett Till story, ultimately doing seven years of research off and on. Writing the book became an emotional challenge, he says, and there were times he didn’t know if he would, or could finish the book.
            “This was such hard, dark story, and I procrastinated until I realized, I didn’t want to go down into that hole. I didn’t want to go down in there,” Tyson said, indicating why it took him ten years to finish the book he initially didn’t mean to start.
 ‘The racial murder of a child was just too brutal for me to handle at times,” he says.
            Reaction to Bryant’s admission in Tyson’s new book has been sharp.
            Emmitt Till was not just put to death, he was torched to death.  Her omission to it today doesn’t provide any healing for the case but adding more fuel to an already lit fire when it comes to social justice,” says Jack S. Monell, Ph.D., assistant professor, Justice Studies, Winston-Salem State University.
In many ways, Timothy Tyson is the ideal author to explore new details surrounding the lynching death of Emmett Till.  Bryant read one of Tyson’s prior books, Blood Done Sign My Name, his semi-autographical story about growing up in segregated Oxford, NC, the son of Rev. Vernon Tyson, a bold white Methodist preacher who stood strong for civil rights at the risk of his own life.
Young Tyson was eleven years-old when in 1970, a 23-year-old black Vietnam veteran named Henry Marrow was beaten and fatally shot by three white men in public, but later acquitted. Black veterans protested the racial slaying by burning down Oxford’s tobacco warehouses. As racial tensions rose, a young black activist named Benjamin Chavis came to fore, later moving to Wilmington a year later, where he was later arrested as one of the Wilmington Ten.
Rev. Vernon Tyson and his family, forced out of Oxford, also moved to Wilmington, giving young Timothy a front-row seat to the racial violence and strife that gripped the port city in 1971 as the public schools integrated, and a Klan group known as The Rights of White People attacked African-Americans in their community.
It was there that young Timothy learned about the Wilmington race massacre of 1898, where angry whites slaughtered blacks because they believed they were getting too much power.
“We have to look this history straight in the eye, in all of its horror and brutality, and all of the resistance that it has inspired,” Tyson says. “We cannot forget the people who stood against the racial caste system, and risked their lives for the founding documents of America to actually mean something, and for African-Americans to be recognized as full citizens.”
While Tyson has high regard for the non-violent movement that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others led to bring about racial equality, the fact remains that even to this day, Tyson says black lives continue to be targeted and taken  - from Trayvon Martin to other black men and women who have been targeted by the police in recent years - and Americans need to realize the historic context in which this violence takes place, and continue to stand strong against it.
Tyson notes the heroic efforts of Robert Williams, the NAACP leader in Monroe, NC, who refused to live in fear amid threats from the Ku Klux Klan, so he urged blacks to take up arms to defend themselves and their families.
“His is a civil rights legacy handed down,” Tyson insists. “He stood on the shoulders of the Reconstruction militants.
Just as the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and others fueled the modern “Black Lives Matter” movement, Tyson reminded that in December, 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of a Montgomery, Ala. city bus, she said she did so thinking of young Emmett Till.
Violence against blacks throughout the South, especially after the US Supreme Court’s Brown v Board of Education decision, was a daily occurrence, and local law enforcement did little to stop it because whites did not want integration of any sort with blacks, let alone in the public schools.
Tyson says the Emmett Till murder, and the courageous stand his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley took to have an open casket funeral so that the world could see the brutality her son endured, lit a fuse to the then sputtering civil rights movement that added new determination for African-Americans to move forward for freedom.
The Black Press, led by Ebony and Jet magazines, and the Chicago Defender, put the picture of Emmett Till’s battered body on their covers and front pages.
Rev. Dr. Ben Chavis, president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, has nothing but praise for his old friend.
“I have personally known Tim Tyson and the Tyson family for decades,” Dr. Chavis said. “Tim’s genius as a historian, author and social visionary informs his unique commitment to write truth to power authentically and fearlessly. The Emmett Till story, as Tim reveals, is the tragic story of American apartheid yet still in need of challenge even in this day and time.”
Those who know Tim Tyson, know that the white scholar means what he says about stopping the historic violence against African-Americans. Just a few years ago, it was routine to see Tyson handcuffed and led away by police officers after  joining his close friend Rev. William Barber of the NCNAACP in protesting at the Wake School Board meetings, and at the state legislature during Moral Monday demonstrations.
And it was Tyson in 2012 who donated documented evidence he had earlier secured from the New Hanover County District Attorney’s office to write a book, proving that the Wilmington Ten had been falsely convicted for crimes they did not commit by a corrupt state prosecutor, that ultimately led to Gov. Beverly Perdue issuing the historic pardons of innocence exonerating the ten civil rights activists after 40 years.
It doesn’t escape Tim Tyson that his explosive book is being released as America is dealing with hard questions about race and equality, this time under the Trump Administration. He hopes that readers will find meaning, and inspiration to take a stand, and demand that all people be treated with dignity, and respect.
“The most important part of [the Emmett Till] story is what people did in response,’ Tim Tyson says.

            [WILMINGTON] After threatening to march through the port city brandishing firearms Sunday, only to have the New Hanover Sheriff’s Dept. confiscate them, the head of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party says he is pleased with last weekend’s well-attended rally at 12th and Dock Street, and plans to return in the near future after events in Ohio and Virginia. Dr. Alli Muhammad said his group will work to overturn current state laws banning firearms during protests on public property, saying that it is a violation of Second Amendment rights.

            [GOLDSBORO] Police Chief  Mike West says he meant no harm when he took to Facebook recently, imitating Pres. Donald Trump saying, “Making Goldsboro PD great again!” But the local Wayne County NAACP found nothing “great” about the post, holding a press conference to say they found it  “offensive and hateful.” City Manager Scott Stevens says while West may be a Trump supporter, he is not a racist. Stevens added that there will be no disciplinary action taken against the police chief.

            (MONROE) In the aftermath of the successful women’s march in Washington D.C. and across the nation, some Republican officials seemingly can’t help making derogatory remarks about it on social media, only to be forced to apologize and take it back. Roger Stanton, the chairman of the Union County Republican Party, recently went on Facebook and called the women’s march “the hag and ho’ show” after he ran into some protesters in Wash., DC the day after the Trump inauguration. Stanton says he should not have used such course language. The NC Democratic Party agrees. A spokesman said  Stanton’s remarks were part of a “disturbing trend” in the GOP.

            [KINSTON] Investigators have found no evidence in the untimely death last week of former NC State Wolfpack basketball star Charles Shackleford. Shackleford’s body was discovered at his home in Kinston Jan. 27th, a police spokesman says. An autopsy had not been performed on the 50-year-old’s body by press time. He was instrumental in helping the Wolfpack win the ACC crown in 1987, and spent six seasons in the NBA. Shackleford also had run-ins with the law throughout the years.