Sunday, September 24, 2017


By Cash Michaels

            BARBARIAN-IN-CHIEF – If you’re reading this, that means neither the dangerous nut in North Korea, nor the dangerous nut we have for a president here have  ordered their military forces to Red Alert yet. But all of us literally counting the days, hours, and maybe even minutes before mushroom clouds become as plentiful as fish in the sea (assuming any fish will be left in the sea after these two morons finish proving who is the most macho nut).
            So while we all wait for the Mother of all nuclear wars to commence, Pres. Trump, who just loves turmoil as long as he’s the one causing it, at the center of it, and ultimately gets the headlines from it, is doing his gut-level best to start a civil war here in the states, this time over black NFL football players, like former 49ners quarterback Colin Kapernick, who, during the playing of the National Anthem before a game, take a silent knee to express displeasure with this nation’s hypocrisy of preaching “freedom and justice for all, while tolerating gun-happy police officers mercilessly killing black people in the streets, and getting away with it.
            Whatever one thinks of Colin Kaepernick, you have to admit that it takes guts to take a stand on this issue to force folks to realize that there is more to life than just playing football, or watching entertainment. Kaepernick, and other black players like him who have also taken a knee in protest, are conscientiously saying, “Wake up, America!”
They want all of us to do something to stop the carnage and bloodshed. Kaepernick and Co. aren’t anti-police…they’re anti-police violence, and they want it stopped now!
            Naturally there are those who believe that police officers can do no wrong just because they wear a badge and a gun. Further, these folks believe that professional athletes shouldn’t have political opinions, or at the very least, should keep them to themselves.
            Factually and obviously, they’re very wrong on both counts.
            Forget all of the years prior. Just in recent weeks, we’ve all seen video a cop manhandling and then arresting an emergency room nurse all because she refused to break established legal procedure by taking blood from an unconscious patient without his consent. That officer was later fired, and rightly so.
            Then there’s that dashcam video from Georgia when a white officer tells a white female motorist that she doesn’t have to worry about him harming her in any way because she’s not black, and “…we only shoot black people.”
            No, I haven’t checked that officer’s employment status, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they haven’t made him chief by now!
            As for athletes expressing political opinions, please! Muhammad Ali helped turn the tide against the unjust Vietnam War because of his opposition. Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two African-American 1968 Olympic medal winners, stood before the world with raised clenched fists, symbolizing solidarity for racial justice.
            And please don’t tell me that after the assassination of Pres. Kennedy, or the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and certainly at the Boston Red Sox game            after the 2013 Boston Marathon terrorist attack, Americans of all stripes didn’t stand in solidarity before sporting events against injustice.
            But guess who doesn’t see it that way? That’s right, and given Pres. Trump’s white supremacist attitude, his line of thinking, as clearly expressed during a raucous political rally in Alabama last Friday night, was that NFL owners should “fire the son-of-a-b---es” football players who kneel during the National Anthem.” And Trump used that language too.
            Needless to say everyone from the NFL commissioner, to the players themselves lashed back at “massuh” Trump. The fact that not one white NFL player is on record for taking a knee in concert with Kaepernick, means that he was disrespecting black NFL players.
            And then, had the gall to go after NBA champion Golden State Warriors Steph Curry for saying he didn’t want to go to the White House to pose and grin with Trump. So the barbarian-in-chief disinvites the whole team. LeBron and many other players didn’t like that, with LeBrom calling Trump “U bum…” on Twitter.
            And that was our weekend here in the United States…waiting for imminent nuclear Armageddon, recovering from four hurricanes and three earthquakes, and a forest fire.
            Isn’t life here just dandy?



By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            The upcoming NC NAACP 74th Annual Convention in Raleigh Oct. 5-7, will be the last for Bishop Dr. William J. Barber II as the civil rights organization’s president.
            “Anytime you have given a life’s commitment to something, your emotions are mixed,” he admitted during a phone interview recently. “ I started out as the president of the Youth branch of the Washington County NAACP when I was a high school student.”
            “A lot has happened [since then], and I think about those moments,” Barber said, reflecting. “I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity, as an adult, to serve this particular state conference that has had such a storied history, and such an important role in the cause of civil rights.”
            For 12 controversial, yet dynamic and productive years in terms of social change in the state, Dr. Barber, who is also the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, has led what once was considered, by some, a group that meandered after the 1985 death of legendary leader, state President (and later national board chairman) Kelly Alexander, Sr. of Charlotte.
            “It had become a dormant and ineffective organization which had the label of being the defender of civil and constitutional rights in North Carolina for African-Americans, but had lost its will and ability to fight the critical battles which needed to be fought,” says attorney Irving Joyner, chair of the NC NAACP Legal Redress Committee.
            But when Rev. “Billie” Barber, as some once knew him, took over as president in 2005, he brought with him a non-nonsense brand of leadership, challenging the political and social power structure statewide to heed the cries of the disenfranchised for justice and equality.
            Barber ultimately created, and then led, a multi-racial, multi-generational coalition of social activists from every corner of the state, building the largest state NAACP conference in the South, making him a force to be seriously reckoned with by every political leader in North Carolina.
            And he also challenged the state’s NAACP membership to be more accountable to the needs of the respective communities they serve, and not be afraid to speak truth to power by filling the streets, churches and local government meetings with a defiant energy that ultimately became a powerful, and potent political force to be reckoned with by both Democrats and Republicans.
            “He was fearless because he had faith, and because he had faith, he was able to energize a mass movement that was dedicated to challenging the powerful and ruthless political leadership in North Carolina,” Joyner, also a professor at NCCU School of Law in Durham adds.
            With an impressive history behind him of Historic Thousands on Jones Street marches and rallies; Forward Together/Moral Monday Movement demonstrations; Wake School Board protests (where he was handcuffed by police and jailed for disrupting  proceedings); several Million Voters March registration campaigns; lobbying for One Stop/Early Voting ( which ultimately helped Barack Obama win North Carolina, and the White House in 2008); the Truth and Hope statewide poverty tour; countless sermons and speeches (including at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia); numerous court victories against the Republican-led NC General Assembly to defeat voter suppression laws and schemes; and so many other accomplishments, in an exclusive interview with the Black Press, Dr. Barber now looks back with great pride, and a little regret in some cases, at a social justice record that many say has propelled him firmly to the national, and even international stage, as he prepares to fully join the national Poor People’s campaign.
            But Barber’s legacy is both sustaining, and daunting, especially for the two hopefuls vying to be elected to succeed him next week.
“Bishop Barber is a teacher,” Rev. Dr. Portia Rochelle, president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP Branch, says. “He is one that has a vision, makes sure that you understand that vision, makes sure that you understand that vision and your place, your role and your value in making the vision come forth. So I believe that whoever succeeds …follows that role model, will do great.”
Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, NCNAACP Third Vice President, and senior pastor of St. Phillips AME Zion Church in Greensboro, who also seeks Dr. Barber’s seat, concurs.
“I’ve seen a great deal of merit in the work of Dr. William J. Barber II,” Rev. Spearman says, “ and want to see this movement continue [as] over the course of the 12 years that he [has] served in leadership.”
For his part, Dr. Barber, 54, born two days after the historic 1963 March on Washington in Indianapolis, Ind., says leading the fight just to “hold on” to the many civil rights gains his parents, and many others before him fought to make, has “been very sobering.”
“It’s been challenging, extraordinarily humbling, it’s been rewarding to work with the people in the state conference, and I can’t say that I won’t miss serving. I love serving, I’ve learned serving, and my greatest prayer [for] the state conference, is that if I’ve done anything that has been beneficial to this state moving forward, and helped to bring people together, that those things that were done well will be continued.”


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            When the 74th Annual NC NAACP Convention opens at the Raleigh Convention Center, Thursday, October 5th through Saturday, Oct. 7th, it’s theme will be a familiar, yet defiant one: “Forward Together, Not One Step Back…For Justice We Never Sound Retreat!”
             “We have an exciting convention for you,” said Daphne Holmes Johnson, NCNAACP Convention Planning Chair, during a recent press conference in Raleigh. “This is a civil rights convention for you to learn, to be entertained, to be prayed for, to continue the movement.” We will bring you many, many speakers, many plenary workshops, and you will get to have fellowship with the greater area of Raleigh, and othe members that join us from across the nation.”
            With Bishop Dr. William Barber stepping down as state NCNAACP president during the convention after 12 years at the helm, the Executive Committee voted to officially designate him as state president emeritus of the conference and a permanent member of the committee.
            The NCNAACP Convention will kick-off on Thursday, Oct. 5th with Religious Emphasis Day, and will start the day with a remembrance of all of the now deceased NAACP members of the past year.
            Per the luncheon, Rev. Julie Peeples of Congregational United Church of Christ Greensboro will be the luncheon speaker.
            After lunch, a special “Forward Justice” session featuring veteran civil rights leader, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others to talk about the next phases in the fight for voting rights, including automatic voter registration.
            Also speaking on Religious Emphasis Day, Rev. Liz Theoharris, co-chair of the revived Poor People’s Campaign that Bishop Barber has committed to after he leaves as NCNAACP president.
            During that Thursday night mass meeting, the first time NC NAACP history when a Jewish rabbi, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, will be the keynoter, scheduled for Martin Street Baptist Church, 1001 East Martin Street in Raleigh.
            Other events during the course of the NCNAACP’s 74th Annual Convention include workshops on voting rights, and an overview of what the Republican-led NC General Assembly has done regarding redistricting (the legislature coincidentally reconvenes in Special Session on Wednesday, Oct. 4th, where it is expected, among other issues, to take up judicial redistricting).
            Friday morning, Oct. 6th at 9:30 a.m., the convention will feature “The Great Debate” presented by the NCNAACP Education Committee, and moderated by Dr. Terrence Ruth, Ph.D, the new executive director of the state conference. The topic: how should charter and /or traditional schools help low-performing students?
            On Saturday morning, October 7th, at 10:30, the last day of the convention, Bishop Barber will deliver his final State of the State address on civil rights, as president. Barber said he will not say farewell, but “thank you,” and talk about the road ahead in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
            Other notables invited to appear at the 74th NCNAACP Convention include new interim NAACP national Pres./CEO Derrick Johnson, U.S. Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) and prominent black journalist Roland Martin, who will be the keynote speaker for the Saturday evening Freedom Fund Banquet.
            For more information go to

            [WILMINGTON] – The latest FBI Crime Report is out and Wilmington’s overall crime totals and rates for 2016 improved over the previous year. The violent crime rate per 100,000 population dropped by 16% in 2016. The ranking also showed that Wilmington had lower crime totals than cities like High Point and Fayetteville. “I believe these numbers are a reflection of our efforts to focus on gang violence as well as our joint efforts with partnering law enforcement agencies,” says Ralph Evangelous, Chief of Police. “None of this would be possible without our community and those who go the extra mile to support us in the fight against crime .”

            [CHARLOTTE] In the aftermath of Pres. Trump calling any National Football League player who protests during the National Anthem “a son of a b---h” who should be fired by his team owner, Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) released the following statement:
“NFL protests are not about patriotism, our flag, or the anthem – they’re about systematic inequity and we must not lose sight of that,” said Congresswoman Adams. “Throughout history, American athletes have been at the forefront of the fight for social justice.  Today, over 70 percent of NFL players are African American, some of whom have been subjected to the same racial profiling and police misconduct that they are speaking out against on game day. In a city that has been personally touched by this very issue, we should all listen and learn from their advocacy.”

            [RALEIGH] Approximately one million drivers in North Carolina have had their driver’s licenses suspended because either they owe money to a court, and haven’t paid up, or they failed to show up for a court proceeding. Experts say that amounts to one in nine drivers statewide. The result – many of these drivers are behind the wheel illegally, and may or may not get caught. Experts add that North Carolina law, though more lenient that many other states, still delays the process of suspended licenses being returned in a timely fashion. These findings are in a new report issued this week by the Legal Aid Justice Center. The report adds that many drivers barely earn enough money to pay the outstanding fees associated with losing their licenses.


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