Tuesday, December 26, 2017


by Cash Michaels

            Thanks to the NHC NAACP, there is movement this week on correcting the wording of a proposed state historical marker for Wilmington which commemorates the 1898 race massacre.
            That marker, titled “Wilmington Coup,” recalls how, on Nov. 10, 1898, a group of white supremacists started from the downtown area, going through the port city killing African-American citizens, and eventually overthrowing the city government, making the event the only recorded coup de ‘tat in American history.
            The proposed “Wilmington Coup” marker, however, characterizes the events that began on Nov. 10, 1898, with the following, and some day, inaccurate, information:
            Armed crowd met, Nov. 10, 1898, at armory here, marched 6 blocks S.E., and burned office of daily Record, black-owned newspaper edited by Alex Manley. Violence left up to 60 blacks dead. Led to overthrow of city government and the installation of coup leader Alfred Moore Waddell as mayor. “Race riot” was part of a statewide political campaign based on calls for white supremacy & exploitation of racial tensions.
            What many, like the NHC NAACP and others, are calling “inaccurate” per the wording is the sentence, “Violence left up to 60 blacks dead.”
            As a Wilmington Journal editorial published in today’s edition points out, even the state’s own six-year examination of the 1898 Wilmington race massacre is clear in stating that the number of African-Americans killed during the multi-day race massacre remains “unknown.”
            “The events of November 10 (the first day of the race massacre) left an unknown number of dead on Wilmington’s streets. The coroner performed fourteen inquests, but other evidence indicates that the total number of deaths was as high as sixty,” the 1898 commission report states.
            A June, 2006 story in the New York Times quoted an 1898 commission member, Lottie Clinton, a retired state port supervisor and 1 of 13 members of a state-appointed panel,  as saying, Nobody will ever be certain how many people died the night of Nov. 10, 1898, on the streets, in the marshes where some ran for safety, or in the swift, wide current of the river that has always defined this port city. The Cape Fear River could be dammed up with black bodies, but we have no way of knowing just how many.”
            The so-called “Wilmington Coup” marker was approved in the fall of 2017, according to www.ncmarkers.com, the website of the North Carolina Highway Historical Program, which is administered by the Research Branch of the NC Office of Archives and History.  The NC Highway Historical Marker Advisory Committee, which meets just twice a year, “…[reviews] applications received and determine the wording on new markers.”
            In this case, according to correspondence The Journal as seen, the application for the 1898 historical marker was submitted by the nonprofit group, Working Narratives, headquartered in Wilmington, which “…[works] with communities to tell great stories that inspire, activate and enliven our democracy.”
Members of the historical marker advisory committee are appointed by the secretary of the NC Dept. of Cultural Resources to serve five-year terms. Their primary job is “…to advise the secretary on the historical authenticity, relative merit, and appropriateness of each subject brought to their attention; to approve or disapprove each proposal; to fix the wording of the inscriptions; and to establish criteria for carrying out the program.”
            There were ten members of the committee for 2017, two of which had terms to expire in 2017, while two others are set to leave in 2018. All of them are listed as professors serving at various universities across the state.
            However, only one of those committee members, Dr. Arwin D. Smallwood of N.C. A&T University in Greensboro, teaches at an historically black university.
            Dedication of the “Wilmington Coup” marker will be left up to local organizers here in Wilmington. According to the website, the dedication ceremony is tentatively planned for Market Street between Fourth and Fifth streets. Expected delivery of the marker is between April and May 2018.
            Earlier this week, Deborah Dicks Maxwell, president of the NHC NAACP, received correspondence from Rend Smith, communications director for Working Narratives, who Ms. Maxwell contacted regarding the organization’s original application for the marker. She had asked Smith to “reach those” at the state Highway Historical Marker Program about the language of the proposed marker, asking for it to be changed.
            I am very concerned about listing that only 60 people were killed. It truly minimizes what actually occurred,” Ms. Maxwell wrote Rend Smith on Dec. 30th. “If you can reach those who have not made plaque at this time to consider using what is at the 1898 memorial "an unknown number" as we will truly never know the real number as records of the deaths of African Americans especially at that time and considering the circumstances were not recorded properly.”
According to a January 2 email from Ansley Herring Wegner, administrator for the program, to Smith, who passed the response onto Ms. Maxwell, a meeting is scheduled for Jan. 5 ,”… to discuss the historical marker language and our options for how to proceed.”
            Wegner went on the marker language may, “…have to [be] put back before the advisory committee in May…to refine the wording. We can’t make significant changes to the wording without their involvement. The words are critical and are part of what the committee is there to advise on.”
            Thus far, Rev. Dr. T. Anthiny Spearman, president of the NCNAACP, and attorney Irving Joyner, chair of the NCNAACP Legal Redress Committee, and former vice chair of the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission, are pleased that the with the response from the state, and that the historical marker program administrators seem to be moving quickly to resolve the matter, and possibly correct the language.
            “Good progress,” Joyner reacted in an email.



            If you go online, and search Wikipedia for “Wilmington insurrection of 1898,” and then go down until you find how many were killed during this violent, racist, unprovoked attack on decent African-American citizens in November 1898, you’ll see the following:
            Originally described by white Americans as a race riot caused by blacks…a mob of nearly 2,000 white men attacked the only black newspaper in the state, and persons and property in black neighborhoods, killing an estimated 15 to more than 60 victims, and destroying homes and businesses built up since the Civil War.                                   
            Now here’s the REAL interesting thing about this Wikipedia passage – it is based on a June 4, 2006 New York Times article by John DeSantis titled, “Wilmington, N.C. Revisits a Bloody 1898 Day and Reflects.”
            But that’s NOT “the interesting thing” we’re referring to.
            THIS is:
            Nobody will ever be certain how many people died the night of Nov. 10, 1898, on the streets, in the marshes where some ran for safety, or in the swift, wide current of the river that has always defined this port city. ‘The Cape Fear River could be dammed up with black bodies, but we have no way of knowing just how many," said Lottie Clinton, a retired state port supervisor and 1 of 13 members of a state-appointed panel that studied the night's events for six years. "A lot of people, nobody ever heard from them again, so you just couldn't know whether they ran away and never came back or were killed.’”
              The “commission” The Times story was referring to then was the 1898
Wilmington Race Riot Commission, and, according to The Times, “The panel….concluded in a report released this week that what happened was not a riot, but a well-planned insurrection by white businessmen and former Confederate soldiers, mostly Democrats, against a lawfully elected government of fusionists and Republicans, who were mostly black.”
            But that first line of The Times story from 2006 about one of the key conclusions from a commission member is extremely important here:
            Nobody will ever be certain how many people died the night of Nov. 10, 1898, on the streets, in the marshes where some ran for safety, or in the swift, wide current of the river that has always defined this port city. The Cape Fear River could be dammed up with black bodies, but we have no way of knowing just how many.”
            OK, so The Times quotes a commission member saying “nobody will ever be certain how many people died …” So we go straight to the commission report, since Ms. Clinton and her fellow commissioners spent six years putting it together.
            Under “1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission FINDINGS, bullet point #7  reads, “The events of November 10 (the first day of the race massacre) left an unknown number of dead on Wilmington’s streets. The coroner performed fourteen inquests, but other evidence indicates that the total number of deaths was as high as sixty.”
            What “other evidence?” From where and from whom? And given that some of the first reports from the days of the race massacre erroneously had blacks attacking whites, then certainly getting sources of accurate information from the very people perpetrating or supporting the massacre was absolutely foolhardy.
            The bottomline here is that we DON’T KNOW, and we may NEVER know. There is NO certainty as to how many blacks in Wilmington were killed then. Serious research needs to be done by someone reparable on that point, and we simply don’t have it yet.
            So why, as the new year is just beginning, is The Journal bringing this up now? Because right before New Year’s Day, it was reported that the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Committee had approved a new plaque, to be placed in downtown Wilmington, commemorating the 1898 race massacre.
            According to published reports, the language on the planned marker reads, in part, “Violence left up to 60 blacks dead.” But according to the state’s own commission, that statement IS NOT TRUE!
            “The events of November 10 left an unknown number of dead on Wilmington’s streets.” So how many bodies were in the Cape Fear River, or elsewhere around what was considered the largest municipality in North Carolina at that time?
            Answer – NO ONE KNOWS, and the commission report tells us that!
            So why didn’t the state Historical Marker Committee listen? What could possibly be wrong with the 1898 historical marker stating the same fact the state’s 1898 race massacre report clearly stated – The events of Nov. 10, 1898 left an UNKNOWN number of blacks dead on Wilmington’s streets.”
            And by the way – history tells us the 1898 race massacre started on November 10, 1898, and lasted for several days thereafter. Thus, if we can’t get a clear bead on how many were killed on the first day, then how are we supposed to accept “up to 60…”as the number dead from just ONE DAY as a historical fact?
            The Wilmington Journal strongly urges Rep. Deb Butler, and whomever else is tied into this 1898 historical marker mess to DELETE that “up to 60” line, and replace it with “…unknown number of African-Americans …,” which is historically accurate, and stated by your own state researchers.
            We also salute the immediate action taken by Deborah Dicks Maxwell, president of the NHC NAACP, and Rend Smith, communications director of Working Narratives, the local group that sponsored the marker, for their immediate direct action addressing this issue. They've already gotten the wheels turning.
           If the state of North Carolina is going to issue a marker commemorating an historic tragedy that not only changed the state, but the course of history in the South, then it should at least employ proper due diligence in it’s fact finding.
            If it was good enough for the state’s 1898 commission, then it’s good enough for the historic marker committee.
            CHANGE IT NOW!


by Cash Michaels
contributing writer

            It was the year of recovering from the 2016 election of Donald Trump; when a Democratic governor came into office in North Carolina, bitterly opposed by GOP lawmakers; and a prominent black leader gained national prominence as he stepped away from the NCNAACP.
            Those were just some of the top stories impacting North Carolina’s African-American community we covered in 2017. In the final part of this three part series, we look back at August to December.
            August – A federal three-judge panel blasted Republican legislative lawmakers for stalling their original August 2016 order to redraw racially gerrymandered legislative voting districts, and order that they be redraw immediately. Outgoing NCNAACP Pres. Bishop William Barber, calls the ruling a “major victory.” Meanwhile Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy: NC, says the GOP are planning to pass another voter ID suppression law soon. In Charlottesville, Va. a young white woman is killed after an alleged white supremacist drives a car through a crowed street, killing her after demonstrators clash. Pres. Trump blames “both sides” for the violence. North Carolina religious leaders say white supremacist violence can happen here.
            After statewide hearings, Republican lawmakers release redrawn redistricting maps, but plaintiffs suing to have new maps redraw legally show that the new maps are still unconstitutional. Sensing that the federal judicial panel is not pleased with the new maps, Republican leaders – who insist that race was not used in redrawing the districts -  start publicly denouncing the process, and threatening to appeal to the US Supreme Court. Six past and current NC Supreme Court justices gather for the first time ever to commemorate their legacy on the state’s High Court. North Carolina’s two black congress-people, Alma Adams and G. K. Butterfield, stop short of saying that Pres. Donald Trump should be impeached.
            September – Democrats express concern about Republican legislative efforts to craft a judicial redistricting plan. The NCNAACP joins the plaintiffs in the legislative redistricting case, charging that on the redrawn maps, 12 of the new districts are still racial gerrymanders, and are in violation of federal law. The US Census Bureau reports that more than 1.5 million North Carolinians live in poverty in the state.
            October – Bishop Dr. William Barber formally steps down as president of the NCNAACP. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman is elected to succeed him. Activist at the NCNAACP Convention in Raleigh warn about judicial redistricting, and other legal changes Republicans are planning. Federal partisan gerrymandering trial begins in Greensboro, with witnesses for the plaintiffs testifying that North Carolina’s partisan voting maps were extreme, allowing Republicans to win 10 of 13 congressional seats.
Rep. Alma Adams blasts Pres. Trump for essentially calling a black gold star widow a liar. Republican state Sen. Bill Rabon files a bill during the third Special Session of the year, reducing terms of service for state Supreme Court justices from eight years to just two. A federal three-judge panel designates a Special Master to redraw GOP redistricting maps. Despite efforts Pres. Trump, people flock to sign-up during the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act.
            November -  On Election Day, Vy Lyles is elected the first black female mayor of Charlotte, and Kinston elects an all-black Town Council. Durham Mayor Bill Bell steps down after a successful 16 years in office. Gov. Cooper orders more state business be done with minority companies. Rep. Alma Adams blasts Pres. Trump’s tax reform plan. Civil rights attorney Anita Earls announces 2018 run for state Supreme Court. Bishop Barber announces he’s going to Rome to meet the Pope. When he arrives, Barber is surprised that other world leaders know and admire him from his Moral Monday marches. Rev. Jesse Jackson announces he has Parkinson’s Disease.
            December -  Gov. Cooper and Chief Justice Mark Martin agree to meet with the NCNAACP about criminal justice issues. Bishop Barber announces national Poor People’s Campaign to begin in May, 2018. As blacks in the Alabama US Senate race help to defeat Republican candidate Roy Moore, the African-American Caucus of the NC Democratic Party gears up to turnout the black vote in 2018.


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            It was Sunday, Dec. 12th, just over a month after veteran civil rights leader, Rev. Jesse Jackson, announced that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
            Bishop William Barber, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, and former president of the NCNAACP, was back in his pulpit after a being away for several weeks. During his remarks to the congregation, Barber stopped, and suddenly asked  worshippers to say a prayer for his friend.
            “You all pray for Rev. Jackson,” Dr. Barber asked. “He has been suffering from…Parkinson’s, and the last time I was with him, he had to hold onto my arm to steady himself. I didn’t know exactly what was happening then.”
            That “last time” was during the 74th Annual NCNAACP Convention in Raleigh in October, where Rev. Jackson came to participate, on his way to Greensboro for N.C. A&T University’s Homecoming. Jackson is a 1964 alum of the historically black university, one of his many ties to the Tar Heel state.
            It was also at the NCNAACP Convention that one of Rev. Jackson’s closest friends from the civil rights movement, Rev. Cardes Brown, president of the Greensboro NAACP branch, last saw him, but didn’t realize that anything was wrong.
            “I didn’t know at the time, but there seemed to be something [wrong with him], but we didn’t discuss it,” Rev. Brown, who is also Senior Pastor of New Light Missionary Baptist Church in Greensboro, recalled two weeks later.
            Rev. Jackson, 76, revealed his affliction – the same one that claimed the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali in 2016 – on November 17th. Jackson’s father also suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
            “My family and I began to notice changes about three years ago,” the founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition said in a statement issued then. “For a while, I resisted interrupting my work to visit a doctor. But as my daily physical struggles intensified I could no longer ignore the symptoms, so I acquiesced.”
            According to Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, which diagnosed Rev. Jackson’s condition in 2014, Parkinson’s disease is a “progressive degenerative disorder that results from loss of cells in various parts of the brain that control movement.”
            Those who see Rev. Jackson more often say they noticed a “change in his walk and a slowed speech.” 
            Charmaine McKissick-Melton, a professor at North Carolina Central University in Durham, has long been friends with Rev. Jackson since the days he used to work with her father, legendary civil rights attorney Floyd McKissick.
            She says she’s known for years that Jackson was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, but said nothing.
            “We knew something was wrong, because we saw Ali at the beginning,” McKissick-Melton said. “So I had seen that shake thing, but I didn’t say anything to Jesse.”
            She added that the symptoms were apparent to her when she saw Jackson at NCCU in 2012 , two years before he was diagnosed.
            On Christmas Day. Rev. Jackson continued his decade-long tradition of ministering to the inmates at the Cook County jail in Chicago. He told The Associated Press that he’s adopted a daily regimen of  physical therapy, medication, and prayer. He is also traveling less now, but still continues his civil rights work.
            “This is a man who wore his body out trying to empower the lives of others, as well as continue to fight for freedom,” Rev. John Mendez, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, and another close friend of Rev. Jackson, said Wednesday. He adds that there is a message in Rev. Jackson’s courage.
            “You cannot stand for the cause of civil rights and justice, without courage.”
            Rev. Brown agrees.
            “Jesse, in my opinion, is a very courageous person. He doesn’t focus on himself. We’ve been friends for years, and he’s a person of faith, and we’re trusting that he will continue to do the work that he’s been doing, even with the diagnosis and the condition.
            “I know him well enough to know that he will fight to the finish,” Rev. Brown added.


Saturday, December 23, 2017


by Cash Michaels
contributing writer 

            It was the year of recovering from the 2016 election of Donald Trump; when a Democratic governor came into office in North Carolina, bitterly opposed by GOP lawmakers; and a prominent black leader gained national prominence as he stepped away from the NCNAACP.
            Those were just some of the top stories impacting North Carolina’s African-American community we covered in 2017. In Part Two of this three part series, we look back at April to July.
April -  Concerns grow among HBCU leaders when Pres. Trumo’s proposed budget doesn’t reflect promises he made to appropriate more funding to them. In fact, some funding is cut. Conservative federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, a Trump nominee, is sworn-in as an associate justice to the US Supreme Court, retuning the high court to a 5-4 conservative majority. The International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro files a complaint against Duke Energy after the utility cuts off its power.
May Winston-Salem Chronicle founder and publisher Ernie Pitt official steps down. Donny Williams becomes Wilmington’s first African-American deputy police chief. Rev. William Barber announces that he is “transitioning” from the presidency of the NCNAACP in June to co-lead the national Poor People’s Campaign. In the meantime, Barber blast the UNC Board of Governors for threatening to close the UNC Center for Civil Rights, saying that it has no business litigating cases. The US Supreme Court upholds a 2016 ruling by an appellate court striking North Carolina’s 2013 voter ID law down because it suppressed the black vote. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman announces candidacy for the NCNAACP presidency. Gov. Cooper calls for a special session of the NC legislature to redraw its 2011 redistricting maps after the US Supreme Court agrees that they are unconstitutional.
June -  There is concern that Trump Administration budget cuts  to federal anti-poverty programs could profoundly hurt North Carolina for the next decade. GOP legislative leaders reject Gov. Copper’s call to go into special session to redraw the 2011 redistricting maps declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Two black US Capitol Police officers thwart a mass assassination attempt by a lone gunman during a softball practice in Alexandria, Va.. One of the officers was an alumnus of North Carolina Central University. NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber is asked to stay on until the October elections, and he agrees. Gov. Cooper veto’s the Republican-led legislature’s compromise $23 billion budget, and blasts them not funding the African-American Heritage Monument Project for the Capitol grounds.
July -  US Rep. Alma Adams says Republican NC legislative leaders “don’t give a damn about citizens.” Raleigh-Apex NAACP Pres. Rev. Portia Rochelle announces that she is also running for state NAACP president. Freedom Monument project is in limbo after lawmakers fail to fund it in their budget. The NCNAACP blasts Pres. Trump’s nomination of Raleigh GOP Attorney Thomas Farr, who has defended the NC Republican Party in the voter ID case, and also worked for the late Sen. Jesse Helms. Hearings begin before a federal three-judge panel about whether the 2011 redistricting lines for North Carolina  should be redrawn, and special elections scheduled. The judicial panel rules that the maps must be redrawn by Sept. 1st.
[In Part Three, August to December 2017]


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            Even though 2018 is literally just a few days away, Oct. 1, 2020 still seems to be  long way down the road. And yet, if you to board a commercial airliner, or enter a secure federal facility like s courthouse or military base, officials say now is the time to know all about getting what’s known as a REAL ID.
            Issued by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, the REAL ID is a state government identification card mandated by Congress in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, where airplanes were used hijacked and used to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
            If you do not have a REAL ID by Oct. 1st, 2020, you will be required to show a passport in order to board a plane, or a US Dept. of Defense identification, or one of at least a dozen ID’s listed at the federal website of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s website at www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification.
            Military bases, like Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg, will require REAL IDs  as of Jan. 22, 1918. Currently, two forms of valid identification are already required to enter a military facility.
             Thus, the need for a REAL ID, which looks very much like your driver’s license, except for a gold star in the right-hand corner. An estimated four million North Carolinians are expected to get their REAL IDs by Oct. 1, 2020, so DMV officials are getting the word out now to prevent a crush of long lines at the 113 DMV offices statewide, getting closer to the deadline.
            To obtain a REAL ID, three types of documentation are needed.
            One should either be your birth certificate indicating US citizenship, or your US passport. If your name is currently different from that which is listed because of marriage or divorce, then a marriage certificate or divorce decree is then needed.
            Then, you need a document which displays your Social Security number, like  pay stub or W-2 form.
            Finally, you’ll need a document that proves your North Carolina residency, like current unexpired driver’s license. The full list of documents needed to apply for a REAL ID are found at www.ncdot.gov/dmv/driver/realid/requireddocuments.html.
            Please note that a REAL ID is separate from your driver’s license, which you are still required to renew. The REAL ID costs $40.00, and can be gotten at the same time you are renewing your driver’s license, as long as you do so before Oct. 1, 2020. Or you can get it before Oct. 1, 2020. You can get your REAL ID by appointment.
            And no, children below the age of 18 are not required to have REAL IDs, but the adults they’re traveling with do.
            Please go to www.ncdot.gov/dmv/driver/realid/requireddocuments.html for more.



Monday, December 18, 2017



By Cash Michaels

            SAVING MY LIFE [PART 4] – Merry Christmas, and I truly hope that Almighty GOD is blessing you and yours as we all celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
            For the past several weeks, I’ve been sharing with you how GOD has guided my recovery from a debilitating stroke in 2014; and from a diagnosis of acute leukemia in March 2016.
            That recovery involved me changing my attitude, changing my diet, and changing how I treat my body…all centered on improving my relationship with GOD, and going back to church so that His inspiration would carry through my changes.
            The result after six months?  My health is definitely better (blood pressure and blood sugar are normal); I’ve lost over 50 lbs; and I feel much better and confident about myself.
            Now don’t get me wrong…I still have problems and challenges, but at least, with GOD’s blessing and mercy, and LESSONS, I’m better able to deal with them.
            My love for, and faith in Jesus Christ, tells me that HE wants me to TAKE BETTER CARE OF MYSELF, to have more confidence in myself as a child of GOD, and that I am responsible for properly maintaining the temple that HE has given me.
To do that, I MUST eat properly in order to live properly (eat to live, NOT live to eat as I was before). by paying close attention (as best as i can in this society given all of the garbage that passes for food), i should wean myself off of sugar (which is as addictive as cocaine, many say) animal fats (except for nuts), and excessive sodium (truth be told, I'm still working on that one, but at least my blood pressure has gone down with the loss of weight).
Doing the above, supplementing with fruit, romaine salads every day, protein (plant, fish or chicken), and lots of water, and eating for mostly purpose, not for only ceremony, has added years to my life, I'm convinced.
Paying close attention to what I'm eating, and how much of it, is also VERY important, which is why I don't watch TV and eat at the same time anymore (I may snack on fruit or nuts, but TV would get me emotionally hyped-up to the point that I would have no idea how much I was eating, or getting up to go back to the kitchen during commercial breaks. Plus, the daily news about Trump was making me too anxious, so I've stopped watching as much television news).
Knowing, and working to improve myself spiritually, emotionally and physically has ABSOLUTELY made me feel better about myself, and consequently, I'm praying more too!
YES, I ask my Heavenly Father for things...mostly for others in my life. I ask for HIM to continue bless friends and family, but most of all, I spend a great deal of time THANKING GOD for HIS blessings in my life, and in the lives of those I love and cherish. Thanking GOD is part of the feel good process for me, because gratitude to GOD for ALL that HE has done, and IS DOING in our lives, IS ESSENTIAL for any of it to truly mean anything!
And, when you know that GOD's blessings are working in your life, and the lives of those you love and cherish, that gives you the balance you've always been seeking. You're able to weather your tough times better! Better to see more clearly when the devil is working to stop you, and who he is working through to do it.
Your understanding of the world around is so, so much better, especially your place in it!
You understand your personal mission better, and you're more determined to see it through, because your faith in, and strength through GOD, is what powers you.
Merry Christmas to you and yours, and GOD bless you and your family. PART FIVE next week!

by Cash Michaels
contributing writer

            It was the year of recovering from the 2016 election of Donald Trump; when a Democratic governor came into office in North Carolina, bitterly opposed by GOP lawmakers;  and a prominent black leader gained national prominence as he stepped away from the NCNAACP.
            Those were just some of the top stories impacting North Carolina’s African-American community we covered in 2017. In Part One, here’s a look  at an eventful January through March.
January – Wake Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan is sworn-in to the NC Supreme Court, making him the second African-American to currently serve. Democrat Roy Cooper is sworn-in as governor, having unseated Republican Pat McCrory in the November 2016 election. Gov. Cooper immediately fulfills a campaign promise, choosing one of the most diverse gubernatorial Cabinets and administrations in North Carolina history. Meanwhile the director of the International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro alleges to the Black Press that the facility is not being treated fairly by the City Council or Duke Energy.
            At the urging of NC Republican legislative leaders, the Us Supreme Court ordered a hold on any redrawing of the 2011 redistricting maps, as originally ordered by a special federal three-judge panel after the November 2016 elections. Gov. Cooper and Republican legislative leaders get into a war of words over repealing the controversial HB2 so-called “bathroom bill,” in addition to the NC General Assembly passing laws during a special session in Dec. 2016 that stripped the Democratic governor of many of his powers. Cooper sued the legislature, as a result.
            Gov. Cooper appoints Durham Rep. Larry Hall, 61, to become secretary of veteran and military affairs, adding to the eventual large number of African-Americans serving in the governor’s Cabinet. As outgoing President Barack Obama prepares to leave office after eight years, North Carolinians dread the inauguration of Republican Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
            A new study denotes that Black women are dying of cervical cancer at an alarming 77 percent rate higher to white women.
February – The NCNAACP blasts Pres. Trump’s false assertions of voter fraud. Duke Prof. Timothy B. Tyson makes national headlines with his new book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” when the Mississippi white woman whose husband killed the black Chicago teenager in 1956, admits for the first time that the 14-year-old did nothing wrong. The NCNAACP-led Forward Together Movement holds it’s 11th Annual HK on J Moral March on Raleigh and People’s Assembly. The GOP-led state Senate demands to vet Gov. Cooper’s Cabinet officers before approving them to serve. Gov. Cooper appoints Col. Glenn McNeil as commander of the NC Highway Patrol. Chancellors and presidents from North Carolina’s HBCU’s meet with Pres. Trump, and GOP lawmakers.
March – US Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions announces that the US Justice Dept will no longer legally fight against voter ID laws. The NCNAACP and National NAACP Pres. Cornell Brooks call for an international economic boycott of North Carolina because of “repressive” policies by the Republican-led NC legislature. HBCU presidents and chancellors begin to doubt Trump administration promises to their schools. Emboldened by the Trump Administration, hate groups increase across the country.
Rock and roll icon Chuck berry dies at age 90. The Winston-Salem Chronicle is sold by founder/publisher Ernie Pitt. The controversial HB2 “bathroom bill” is repealed, shows and sporting events begin returning to North Carolina after a boycott. Kalvin Michael Smith, who supporters said was falsely convicted and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, is shot after he’s released from prison, ans is listed in serious condition.

By Cash Michaels

            A Raleigh attorney who has represented the NC Republican Party in defending voter ID and racial gerrymandering, is now in hot water for allegedly lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee that approved his Trump nomination to the federal bench.
            Atty. Thomas Farr, up for the lifetime appointment to federal judgeship of US District Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina, cleared the committee last month with flying colors, but before the full Senate votes to approve his judicial nomination, new questions have come up about Farr’s role in the 1990 campaign of the late Republican Senator Jesse Helms, and to what extent did Farr involve himself in a “ballot security” scheme designed to intimidate black voters statewide during Helm’s racially divisive 1990 US Senate campaign against black Democratic challenger, Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt.
            One hundred-thousand “ballot security” postcards were sent to black Democratic voters statewide from the NC Republican Party, warning them falsely that if they tried to vote in precincts they were not registered in, they were “ineligible” to cast a ballot, and could be arrested and thrown in jail,
            Farr was the lead counsel for the Helms’ campaign in 1990. Last September, he told Senate Judiciary Committee that he knew nothing about the ballot security postcards until after the US Justice Dept sent a letter to the campaign about it.
            But a former US Justice Dept. attorney, Gerald Hebert, told the Independent Weekly Newspaper of Durham last week that per his investigation at the time, Farr took part in a key meeting before any letter was sent to the campaign by federal authorities.
            And yet, Farr is on record telling Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Se. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) “No” when  she asked him, “While you were serving as lead counsel to the 1990 Helms for Senate Committee, the Justice Department filed a complaint in federal court charging the campaign with intimidating black voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?”
“The complaint alleged that the campaign sent over 100,000 postcards to mainly African-American voters suggesting that they were ineligible to vote and that voting could lead to criminal prosecution for voter fraud. Did you provide any counsel, or were you consulted in any way, about the content of or the decision to send these postcards?" Feinstein continued.
A transcript  show attorney Farr replying, “"I was not aware that the cards had been sent until they had been sent and the manager of the Helms Committee received a letter about the cards from the Voting Rights Section of the United States Department of Justice,. The manager of the Helms Committee then called me for legal advice."
US Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has now asked the US Justice Dept. for a 1991 memo that outlines the ballot security scheme, and allegedly places Farr  right in the middle of it.
“It is clear to me that this memo is essential in determining whether Mr. Farr misled the Senate Judiciary Committee, Booker wrote in a letter to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Strong opposition to Farr’s judicial nomination has come from both North Carolina congress-people, G. K. Butterfield and Alma Adams, and from the NCNAACP.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017


By Cash Michaels

            SAVING MY LIFE – Make no mistake…if it wasn’t for the grace of GOD, I wouldn’t be here to write this column to you. The list of chronic diseases I was suffering from were as long as a baseball team roster. But with me turning age 62 in about three weeks, I can honestly say that I’ve never been in better shape than I am today.
            This is part three of a column I started several weeks ago, sharing with you why getting back into good health is much, much more than just diet and losing weight.
            But I had to go through a whole lot to learn that!
Diabetes in 2006 (blood sugar OVER 800!!! (they had to test the urine sample several times to confirm, and couldn't understand how I even drove to the clinic, because by bodily organs were breaking down, and they knew I wouldn't live past the weekend if I wasn't taken to Duke IMMEDIATELY and put on an IV to get my blood sugar back down to 157).
Severe stroke in my left leg and arm in November 2014 ( two physcian friends I emailed about why I couldn't suddenly walk, even though I was feeling no pain insisted that it was neurological, and I get to the emergency room STAT. The following month, my new cardio doctor put two stents in my heart to protect against a more massive stroke).
Acute leukemia in March 2016 (rushed to the emergency room literally feeling my body breaking down. After some tests, AML diagnosed, and i'm transferred, IN SHOCK, by ambulance to UNC Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill. For the next five to six months, I undergo AGGRESSIVE chemotherapy. It's really only later do i understand that cancer cells were literally destroying my white blood cells rapidly, leaving me with no immune system to fight off infection. With GOD's blessing, the doctors and nurses at UNC, and eventually at Rex, work diligently to SAVE MY LIFE!
I've been in remission for over a year now. If I can remain cancer-free (no recurrence of cancer cells anywhere in my body) for the next four years and counting, then I, most likely, will remain cancer-free (at least as far as AML is concerned) for the rest of my life).
Last August, my colonoscopy was negative as well (Praise GOD).
So given the self-inflicted drama in my own life, I can bear witness to ALL of the above personally, and that gives me license to say the following.....
Don't lose weight just to look good or feel good! Lose weight because you KNOW that your dying spiritually, emotionally, and physically!
Build (or rebuild) your relationship with GOD FIRST, because it is from THAT, that all of your strength will flow from!
You see, you've tried dieting before, only to gain ALL of the weight back, and then some.
I'll never forget many years ago before he died, one of the greatest singers in my lifetime, Luther Vandross, appeared on Oprah. He had just lost a tremendous amount of weight, and looked great. Oprah asked how he did it, and Luther pointedly said he stopped eating all breads in his diet, and that did the trick.
But Luther also said something that now explains why he eventually put all of that weight back on. Luther was in a new relationship....but once that relationship broke up (apparently badly), distraught, he went back to emotional eating.
Luther left us too soon.
Indeed, most of our most famous artists - Michael Jackson, Prince, etc., left us too soon because they emotionally abused themselves with substances that destroyed their minds, and their temples, through addiction.
Your faith should inform how you conduct yourself emotionally, and how you conduct yourself emotionally should inform how you treat yourself nutritionally and physically.
My love  and faith in Jesus Christ, tells me that HE wants me to TAKE BETTER CARE OF MYSELF, to have more confidence in myself as a child of GOD, and that I am responsible for properly maintaining the temple that HE has given me.

More next week in part four.


by Cash Michaels
staff writer

            In the aftermath of last week’s shocking controversy involving a “black mammy” Christmas calendar distributed to residents of Bradley Creek at Carolina Bay Health Center, The Wilmington Journal, at the invitation of Jeff Wilson, the chief operating officer of Liberty Health Management, Bradley Creek’s parent company, submitted questions for him to answer as to why the racist holiday calendar came about in the first place.
            The Journal asked Mr. Wilson to respond to the questions by Tuesday of this week.
            But on Monday, Wilson forwarded the following email: “Bradley Creek has been made aware of the possibility of legal action. As a result, it would not be appropriate to provide further comment.”
            Wilson continued, “We acknowledge the offensive nature of this image, and again, sincerely apologize for its use.”
            Apparently, Bradley Creek is concerned that the black former employee it “suspended until further notice” after she took a picture of the offensive calendar and gave it to the NCNAACP may sue the company for it’s punitive action against her.
            Marvelia Jackson, who worked as a medical technician at Bradley Creek, and was one of two black staffers to complain about the “slave lady” calendar to management, forcing them to retrieve all of the calendars distributed four days after they were originally given out, may indeed have a legal case against Bradley Creek, says atty. Irving Joyner, chairman of the NCNAACP Legal Redress Committee.
            I surmise that Ms. Jackson has a viable employment discrimination claim for her wrongful dismissal based on race and retaliation for the reporting of the action of the [Activity Director] in circulating the racist poster,” Joyner told The Wilmington Journal. “Further investigation is needed to determine if there is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in operating an all-white nursing home which is receiving federal and possibly state monies.”
“The NC NAACP has not been in conversation with the company, and typically leaves that contact up to the local branch to flush out the facts, and need for other legal or administrative actions.”
That means the New Hanover County NAACP branch is the tip of the spear in this situation. The Journal can confirm that representatives of the branch met with Ms. Jackson Monday, and possibly Tuesday as well. During their press conference last Friday, NHC NAACP Chapter Pres. Deborah Dix Maxwell declared that they were indeed investigating, and would determine if civil rights legal action was needed.
Whether that is what CCO Jeff Wilson of Liberty Health Management was reacting to is not clear.
Meanwhile, the Activity Director at Bradley Creek at Carolina Bay who was responsible for the racist Christmas calendar that displayed an old image of a black mammy saying “Merry Christmas,” was fired after the Wilmington Journal first and exclusively broke the story December 7th.
In an online message sent to The Journal the following evening, Jennifer Dicicco Alaimo, the former Activity Director, wrote, “This is Jenny. At this time I think it best to not say anything.”
            Alaimo was responding to a written request by online message from The Wilmington Journal, requesting an interview to get her side of the story as to why she chose what is generally considered a demeaning old racist image to place on a Christmas calendar listing the events for senior residents for the month of December.
            That calendar was distributed to residents at Bradley Creek on December 1st and hung on display, until two black staffers saw it, and complained to management about it. The calendars were then taken back from distribution of Monday, Dec. 4th.
            “I heard from family members that the residents are upset over my termination,” Ms. Alaimo continued. “I am not ‘thoughtless.’ I will talk to you when things settle down. The residents are my first priority.”
            When The Journal acknowledged that not speaking now was her choice, and that it will be respected until such time that she is ready, Ms. Alaimo replied, “Thank you for respecting my wishes and my love for my residents. I’ll be in touch soon.”
            At press time Tuesday, The Journal had not heard back from Ms. Alaimo.

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            With the stated Dec. 15th deadline to respond looming this week, Republican legislative leaders – Senate Pro tem Phil Berger and House Tim Moore - have yet to acknowledge a Nov. 27th invitation rendered by the NCNAACP several weeks ago to meet with the civil rights group to discuss criminal justice reform, and other issues.
            I have not heard from the remaining two as was expected,” Dr. T. Anthony  Spearman, president of the NCNAACP told this newspaper Tuesday. “Their patterns are proven and sure.”
            It was Nov. 27th in a letter when Dr. Spearman invited the heads of “the three co-equal branches of government” to meet with the NCNAACP.
“Today, while our nation and state are in the midst of great political turbulence, caused at least in part by racist voting an criminal justice policies and practices, there is a great need for honest political leaders to speak directly with each other and listen carefully across the table of civility,” he wrote then.
Thus far, both Gov. Roy Cooper and NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin have accepted the invitations issued by Spearman.
            The N.C. Constitution provides these three co-equal branches of our  government [executive, legislative and judicial] shall operate independently, providing a system of checks and balances on each other that enhances the ability of our democracy to flourish, even in turbulent periods of change we sometimes experience as we work to create a “more perfect union” since North Carolina was founded, half slave and half-free in 1789,” Dr. Spearman said in a recent statement.  “These meetings will help my new leadership team get its bearings since my October election as president of the NC NAACP, and help us make plans to move North Carolina forward together toward the 109-year-old purpose of the NAACP—to eliminate racial discrimination and prejudice from our society.”
            Spearman continued, “We are delighted the leaders of two branches of the government have accepted our request for a meeting. We will keep the public informed about these historic meetings.  In the spirit of the season, we trust we will be hearing from the legislative branch soon.”
            The NCNAACP president added that the meetings will occur separately. “We are scheduled to meet with Justice Martin on Jan. 16, 2018,” Dr. Spearman said. “The meeting with the Governor has not given us a date yet. “
A reporter’s inquiry was emailed Tuesday to both Republican legislative leaders Berger [R- Rockingham}and Moore (R-Cleveland), asking if they intended to attend the meeting with the NCNAACP in the near future, and if not, why not?
There was no answer from either Senate Berger’s office or Speaker Moore’s office by press time Tuesday. Nor had either Republican leader responded directly to the NCNAACP.
“We are hopeful that we will get a response to our letter by the 15th of December, but…you can mark me by this,” Dr. Spearman vowed on Nov. 27th, “… that if we do not receive anything, we are geared up to move forward, as we have been doing, to do rallies, whatever needs to be done, for such a time a this”.
It may not be wise for Dr. Spearman to hold his breath waiting for either Berger or Moore to respond positively, or otherwise.
In 2015, the Cleveland County NAACP blasted Speaker Moore for alleged voter suppression, the denial of Medicaid expansion, and failure to support an increase in the minimum wage for workers.
And in 2014, the NCNAACP went after Sen. Berger for creating and airing TV ads that misrepresented voting eligibility at the polls.
Neither Berger or Moore have never had a constructive statement about the NCNAACP, which they see as adversaries

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            As with Tuesday special election vote in Alabama, or the 2016 presidential and gubernatorial contests in North Carolina, the black vote is always key to Democratic victories. Simply put, if African-Americans vote in large numbers, Democrats win.
            And if they don’t, Republicans remain in charge.
            Linda Wilkins-Daniels is all too familiar with this act, and that’s why, now that she’s been elected to a second term a president of the African-American Caucus of the NC Democratic Party (AAC-NCDP), she’s rallying twenty-two chapters of the AAC-NCDP to mobilize the African-American vote to turnout for the all-important 2018 midterm elections.
            “The agenda of the AAC is to promote political participation and education within  the African-American community,” Wilkins-Daniels said. “To encourage African-Americans to seek public office, represent issues and concerns of its membership to the Democratic Party leadership, and work towards strengthening the Democratic Party>”
Even in the face of the Trump Administration and its controversial policies, and Republican majorities in the Congress and North Carolina legislature, Democrats believe they can possibly make tremendous headway on all electoral levels come 2018. Just this week, Gov. Roy Cooper unveiled the roster of legislative candidates who will be running for the NC General Assembly next year, and six of the candidates are women.
            On top of that, former state Representative Linda Coleman ha already announced that she’s running for Congress in the tough Second Congressional District, seeking to unseat incumbent Republican US Rep. George Holding. And civil right Attorney Anita Earls is running for the NC Supreme Court.
            “Qualified candidates,” Wilkins-Daniels said in reaction. “We have a lot of these in the black community.”
            Wilkins-Daniels is convinced that the black vote can make all the difference in 2018, and she’s making sure that the AAC-NCDP is properly gearing up to do just that. But make no mistake, the AAC-NCDP president is the first to maintain that the Democratic Party “…has to take a look at itself.” She, along with other black Democrats, is frustrated with examples of the party not being loyal to it’s most loyal base of supporters – African-Americans.
            Indeed, like the recent mayoral race in Raleigh showed, there is clear evidence that many of the party leadership will turn its back on qualified black candidates in favor of what are considered more bankable white candidates (in the Raleigh mayoral race, the incumbent was an unaffiliated white female, and her black challenger a Democrat, yet prominent Democrats like former Governor Jim Hunt publicly endorsed the white unaffiliated incumbent).
            Wilkins-Daniels blasted the party for that, and pushed a online petition drive to have Hunt’s name removed from the annual Sanford – Hunt-Frye Democratic fundraising dinner. She insists that if black voters are going to continue to support the Democratic Party, then the party needs to stop even the appearance of taking the African-American vote for granted, and deliver on its promises, and become even more inclusive in it’s black candidate support.
            “Or else more people will be driven away,” Wilkins-Daniels warns.
            Right now, thanks to numerous court cases involving redistricting, exactly how the 2018 midterm elections shape up is up in the air. But Linda Wilkins-Daniels assures that the AAC-NCDP, through black voter issue education, and black voter mobilization, will be doing it’s part to take North Carolina back.
            “We’re going to be a force to reckon with in the 2018 election,’ she promised.
           STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 12-14-17

            [RALEIGH] Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare,” is supposed to end Friday, Dec. 15th. But Gov. Roy Cooper feels the period should be extended at least by a week in order for more people in need of affordable health insurance to sign-up. Cooper asked Us Dept. of Health and Human Services Acting Sec. Eric Hargan to add more time so that more North Carolinians could go to www.healthcare.gov and register. The Trump Administration shortened the open enrollment period from three months to just six weeks. North Carolina has the third largest enrollment in the federal health insurance marketplace in the country.

            [RALEIGH] Laura Riddick, a Republican who served as Wake County Register of Deeds for 20 years, turned herself in to authorities this week after she was indicted by a grand jury for embezzling over $1million from the county office. An internal audit determined that upwards on $1,900-a –day was taken for several years. Three other former employees at the county Deeds Office were also indicted. The State bureau of Investigation has been investigating since March. Even though authorities have traced over a $1 million back to Riddick and the three former employees, the county has filed an insurance claim for $2,333,591.30 that it says is missing.

            [RALEIGH] If you own a home in North Carolina, or even rent an apartment, prepare to pay more to protect your property. That’s because insurance companies want to raise the rate of homeowners and renters insurance by as much as 18 percent, or even more, depending on where you live. Insurance companies say they have to cover the rising costs of coverage, especially in the aftermath of a destructive hurricane season.