Monday, March 5, 2018



By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

            [WILMINGTON] They came to Speaks Temple AME Zion Church to show concern and support.
            They left with a message that they needed to do more to love.
            The pews were filled Sunday at predominately black Speaks Temple, with many white people attending, outraged by the angry racist letter sent to the church and its pastor, Diedre Parker, a week earlier.
            They wanted show that the unnamed racist who sent the inflammatory missive that talked about “porch monkeys…big lipped ape men…and blue gummed people [with illegitimate children everywhere]…” as being “Nigger town, of course...” did not represent how they thought, or their respect for the black community.
            In fact, at least two white couples brought their black adopted toddlers, as a symbol that they were willing to stand up to racism for them.
“Lord…the one who sent this…let’s call it what it is…a hate letter…,
 prayed Ken Sharpe, a visiting white minister,  “… Father God, we don’t condone what this person did at all, we’re not a part of that. But we also just lift him up in prayer to you as well…that he would come to know the right, from the wrong, and that hatred is not you. You are love.”
As much as Pastor Dierdre Parker said she intended to conduct a worship service, even she couldn’t ignore the outpouring of support, the new faces in the church, and the opportunity to use the ugly incident as a way to teach that racism is wrong, and God’s children need to come together to combat it.           
“We are here, Father, to let a hateful world know that there is love, and love exists, and love is action….Pastor Parker prayed passionately, as the congregation clapped and said ‘Amen.”
“I thank you [Father] for those who don’t look like me, and those who don’t believe like me, but thought enough of me to show up today!”
During her sermon, Pastor Parker was blunt, asking rhetorically that if it wasn’t for the hate-filled racist letter, “...would we all be worshipping together right now?”
She then gave a social justice lesson to her white visitors, chiding the church overall for mostly staying silent in the face of rampant racism; criticizing those who call African-Americans “racebaiters” if they openly complain about unfair and unjust treatment at the hands of whites; and that even though she was deeply appreciative of the many who attended service to support Speaks Temple Sunday, “ this is not a moment, but a movement.”
“You can’t go home to your everyday life thinking that you ended racism just because you went to a black church one Sunday…,” she declared, later adding, “So where’s the love? We have only been giving lip service to love, for love is action!”
Parker urged that whites adopt the same policy that government officials have suggested when you see something suspicious you know is inherently wrong – “When you see something, say something.” In other words, if you see racism, challenge it, either right on the spot, or later when it counts.
Rev. Parker said black people face being forced to live by a different set of rules every day, because there are whites who openly dispute the fact that racism does exist.
“It’s time for us to stop being so afraid to have the hard conversation,” Parker continued, noting that blacks and whites are fearful of having a frank discussion about race. “If we don’t have these conversations, they will always be hard.”
Parker concluded her sermon on race by saying,” When we get so cool…that I can come to your house and go into your refrigerator, and you can come to my house and go into [mine], then…that’s when things will change!”
Meanwhile Wilmington Police had a patrol car parked across the street to monitor  the church for safety. They say they still have no idea who sent the racist, unsigned hate letter a week ago, postmarked from Charlotte.


            [RALEIGH] A three-judge panel got it wrong when it only struck down part of a Republican law pertaining to membership of a combined state Board of Elections and state Board of Ethics Enforcement. The court should have struck down the entire law, and allowed the NC Board of Elections stand alone with a majority Democratic membership, says Gov. Cooper. He was railing about the original GOP law that mandated eight members on the combined Elections and Ethics Enforcement Board, saying that the legislature had no right encroaching on his executive right to appoint members. The court agreed, but only slashed that portion of the law. Gov. Cooper’s attorneys have now petitioned the court to take another look, and kill the entire law before it becomes law next week

            [FAYETTEVILLE] According to an arrest warrant issued by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Dept., Dawn Owen, a Fayetteville high school special needs teacher, allegedly hit a disabled student on the head with a ruler, and then grabbed the student by the hair and walked across the room. However, the arrest warrant is dated March 5th. Officials have a hard time explaining why it took a month to issue the warrant, especially since Owen was placed on leave as soon as the incident occurred. Owen, who has been a special needs teacher since 2003, is currently on paid leave.

            [WASHINGTON, DC] In an effort to undermine the upcoming US Senate vote confirming conservative Raleigh Atty Thomas Farr to a lifelong appointment to the  Eastern District federal bench, Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NCNAACP, likened Farr, who used to work for the late North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, told reporters while visiting Washington last week, “Tom Farr in the Eastern District with the legal authority to decide the fate of African-Americans — hear me somebody — is tantamount to Adolf Hitler wreaking havoc among our Jewish sisters and brothers, and Saul, who later became the apostle Paul, breathing out cruelty to Christians,”
” The NC Republican Party quickly countered that statement, issuing its own, saying, “There is simply no place for a state leader to refer to those who have different political philosophies as Adolf Hitler.” No word yet on when the full US Senate will vote on Farr’s nomination.


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a definition of the term “evangelical” means, “…being in agreement with the Christian Gospel…,” and “ …emphasizing salvation through faith…through personal conversion….” 
And yet, when it comes to Pres. Trump – whose alleged ethical shortcomings range from sleeping with a porn star four months after his wife gave birth to their son, to dabbling with white supremacists -  evangelical leaders, like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Rev. Franklin Graham, whose iconic father, Evangelist Billy Graham died at age 99, and was buried last week, are quick to turn that definition on its head, because for the first time in a long time, they believe they have a president who will do their bidding.
But not so fast, North Carolina Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1) warns them.
“Evangelicals may have a seat at the table, but the political interest that’s driving [Trump’s] agenda does not include evangelicals, because the president could care less about moral values and ethics, and respect for human beings,” Butterfield said in a recent interview with the Black Press. 
“This president is about making money for himself, and for his friends. He is completely unqualified to serve as president. The American people know it, and I’m waiting for the day…and it’s not far out….when the American people will say, “We’ve got to have an ethical president.”
According to Franklin Graham, conservative and Christian Americans have exactly what they need in Donald Trump.
“Our country’s got a sin problem,” Rev. Graham recently told MSNBC. “We certainly don’t hold him up as the pastor of this country, and he’s not. But I appreciate the fact that the president does have a concern for Christian values, he does have a concern to protect Christians — whether it’s here at home or around the world — and I appreciate the fact that he protects religious liberty and freedom.”
Indeed, white evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. In interviews with The Washington Post, evangelicals say they are well aware of Trump’s flaws, but “…perceive him as a fellow sinner willing to fight the forces of the establishment on their behalf.”
Label those “forces of the establishment” as liberal, represented by the media and the Democrats. As long as Pres. Trump continues fighting those “forces,” evangelicals say they will stick him.”
Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of Repairers of the Breach, which is leading the upcoming Poor People’s Campaign, says the problem is much bigger than Trump.
“We can’t just lay this reality of what we’re seeing at the feet of Trump,” Dr. Barber told the program “Democracy Now” recently. “Trump is a symptom of a deeper moral malady. And if he was gone tomorrow or impeached tomorrow, the senators and the House of Representatives and Ryan and McConnell and Graham and all them would still be there. No matter how crazy they call him or names they call him or anger they get with him, it’s all a front, because at the end of the day, they might disagree with his antics, but they support his agenda.”
Rep. Butterfield agrees.
“You know, politics certainly has its place,” he said, “… but we also have to have a moral leader, and Donald Trump is not a moral leader.”

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