Tuesday, October 27, 2020



By Cash Michaels

Staff writer

It seemed like it would never get here, but this coming Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, Election Day will finally arrive!

By all accounts, this will be the biggest, most important election in our lifetimes, many observers say, thanks to the contentious presidential race between incumbent Republican Pres. Donald J. Trump, and challenger Democrat former Vice President Joe Biden.

According to the most recent polls, the presidential race in North Carolina is a virtual tossup, so whoever wins, it will be by the thinnest of margins.

There is no question that the controversy generated by the Trump-Biden race is what’s primarily driving the historic early absentee vote counts going into Election Day. 

If you haven’t voted yet, you still have time.

For One Stop Early Voting - Same Day Registration, you can still vote today and Friday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 31st (the last day) 8 a.m. to 3 p.m..

As long as you are standing on the line when closing time comes, you will be allowed to vote.

You can early vote at 230 Government Center Dr., Suite 34 in Wilmington, 28403. There are additional early voting sites available. Please go to https://elections.nhcgov.com/voting-registration/one-stop/ for their locations, days and times.

Now if you are one of those who insists on waiting until the actual Election Day to cast your ballot, in this case Tuesday, Nov. 3rd., the first thing to know is polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.. 

Unlike early voting, depending on where you live, you are already assigned a voting precinct to cast your ballot. Please check your voter registration card for that location, or, if you don’t know, call the New Hanover County Board of Elections at 910-798-7330.

Given how early voting has been going thus far, expect long lines on Election Day at the polls, so give yourself plenty of time. And remember, regardless of the polls closing at 7:30 p.m., as long as you are still on that line you’re standing on, legally you are to be allowed to vote.

If you still have a mail-in absentee ballot that you haven’t sent in yet, get it done now! Just make sure it is postmarked no later that Tuesday, Nov. 3rd if you’re mailing it, or that it is dropped off no later that Tuesday, Nov. 3rd.

And before you return it, make sure you have signed it, and have one witness sign it, along with their address.

Who will be our next governor, senior or even president? Hopefully we’ll find out on Nov. 3rd.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

You can think what you want about Joe Biden and his sometimes shaky relationship with African-Americans, because “Mouse” doesn’t care.

Richard “Mouse” Smith, currently the Delaware State NAACP president, knows the man. Indeed grew up with Biden back in segregated Wilmington, Delaware when they were teens during the early 1960s. Whatever the once young, handsome Irish Catholic Biden first learned about Black people back then - talking smack, not backing down from a challenge, learning how to communicate - Mouse helped him do it.

“He could cuss like crazy being around Black folk,” Smith recalls.

Their long friendship has stood the test of time, not because of politics, but because of a special love a tough, poor black gang member developed for a tough, working class white boy, drawn together because 19-year-old Joe Biden needed a job, and being lifeguard at the Black neighborhood pool (which is now named after him) was a way to make a decent buck.

Smith protected Biden from the wilds of the street and the straight-razor carrying gangs who pushed him, but ultimately learned that he could stand his ground, and in return, Biden helped his Black friend manage the same embarrassing affliction he had - stuttering.

Smith later helped the young white Democrat get Black votes when he campaigned for a seat on the New Castle County Council in 1970, earning Biden the undesirable moniker “nigger-lover” from disgruntled whites, because he wanted to expand public housing.

But Blacks in Wilmington had come to trust Joe Biden’s advocacy by then thanks to Mouse, especially when he marched with African-American picketers years earlier in front of a segregated downtown movie theater, or joined the local NAACP, or got elected to the U.S. Senate.

“Joe was one of us,” Mouse Smith told The Washington Post in July 2019. “We helped make him who he was.”

This week before what many say is the most important presidential election of our lifetime, Smith is at it again, helping to make his friend someone people could trust and respect - the next president of the United States.

In an exclusive phone interview Monday while on his way to North Carolina to campaign, the 72-year old civil rights leader talked about why the former vice president, 78, is America’s best choice to lead, (“I want [his critics] to think he’s dumb, ‘cause he’ll tear them down piece by piece”); what African-Americans must do to make sure their agenda is part of a “President” Biden’s list of priorities once he takes office ( “only thing Black folk need to do is stick together, put a platform together, and move with the  platform…”), and why Biden almost didn’t accept Pres. Obama’s historic offer to serve as vp in 2008 (“ He told me, ‘Mouse, I don’t want to lose my freedom…” meaning he could go anywhere he wanted to without the Secret Service tagging along all the time, and he didn’t want to give that up. But after his family talked Biden down, he gladly accepted the position, and he and Pres. Obama became close friends).

And a number of Black people who worked directly for Vice Pres. Biden have since done well in Delaware state politics.

Smith says even though Sen. Kamala Harris was not his first choice to be Biden’s running mate, he thinks the two work well together. But he cautions that she will need to be tough.

Smith also wants to see President Biden nominate former National Security Advisor Susan Rice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Given the brutal nature of presidential campaigns, Smith is not surprised by the false allegations made about Biden’s health, or mental acuity, or even his attitude towards race (his sponsorship of the 1994 Crime Bill, which many say was directed at locking Black people up for longer prison sentences, was actually something that African-American leaders themselves pleaded for because of the pervasive violence of the crack cocaine wars on the streets).

President Joe Biden and the “real” Joe Biden will be one in the same. 

As Smith told the PBS program “Frontline” last June,” [He] was a person that was a people person, that once he got next to you—like I always say, once you get close to him, you talk to him, you see his passion, you will like him, and you will support him while he will become your friend forever.”

“He will be a great president,” Mouse Smith says.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Of all of the vitally important elected offices and issues North Carolinians will be voting on during the last days of early voting this weekend, or Election Day itself (Tuesday, Nov. 3rd), there is one that few people talk about, yet is extremely important to voters.

Who will redraw the Congressional and legislative voting district lines for the next ten years?

Answer - which ever political party wins the majority in the state House and Senate.

31 states, including North Carolina, mandate that their legislatures redraw the voting district lines, the construction of which  are defined by the Constitutional mandate of “one person - one vote, and thus, all voting districts must equal one another in terms of citizenry.

But again, the reason why this process is so important is because the political party in power in the state legislature decides where and how those voting district lines are drawn, thus determining where substantial political power will be centralized for the next decade.

There are rules laid down by the state and federal courts  that are supposed to guide lawmakers in redrawing voting maps. Redistricting lines should not racially gerrymandered, meaning that African-American or Latino voters should not be “stacked and packed” into to areas for the purpose of diluting their voting strength on an overall election.

And yet, North Carolina has repeatedly been dragged into either state or federal court in recent years, accused of both racial and partisan gerrymandering - both of which are illegal.

Since 2011 when the Republican won majorities in the NC General Assembly, they have been found repeatedly guilty of both Constitutional violations. In recent years, the courts have forced Republicans to be more transparent in how they devised their voting maps, thus forcing them to create more Democratic seats than originally.

Bottomline is if Democrats are able to win more legislative seats in the state Senate and House, then they will be in control of redistricting for the next ten years, after being absent from control for the past ten.

Thus legislative races in the 2020 campaign are very important because whichever party wins control, wins the right to redrawn North Carolina to their benefit.




[WILMINGTON] Lily Nicole, leader of the lowercase leaders group, was arrested Oct. 24th and charged with damage to personal property. This is in addition to being accused of vandalizing the Trump 2020 campaign billboard downtown on North Third Street on Oct. 8th.


[KANNAPOLIS]  A 19-year-old man allegedly traveled from Seattle to Kannapolis in a attempt to assassinate Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Police say Alexander Triesman apparently parked his white van at the Fifth Third Bank in Kannapolis, which was stashed with guns, ammunition, explosives and more than $500,000. Why he chose North Carolina is not clear. Triesman is being held on child pornography charges after authorities found pictures on his computer. He has continued to threaten Biden’s life behind bars.


[RALEIGH] As of this week more than 3.3 million people  in North Carolinians  have cast an early absentee ballot for the Nov. 3rd elections. Of that number, approximately 24 percent not only didn’t vote here in 2016, but weren’t even registered to vote in North Carolina in 2016. Many are young people who just came of voting age. State election officials say ultimately they’re expecting a record turnout.



Tuesday, October 20, 2020




[RALEIGH] Two developments in the battle over absentee mail-in ballots in North Carolina. The US Fourth Circuit of Appeals late Tuesday ruled that absentee mail-in ballots should count as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3rd. Republicans has opposed the extension. And an agreement has been reached where mail-in absentee ballots without witness signatures in North Carolina will not count, but a “cure” process will allow affected voters to fill out to new ballots with the appropriate witness signature needed. There was some legal wrangling, thanks to the state Republican Party, about the cure proposed by the NC Board of Elections, and ballots were being held until a settlement could be reached.


[GREENSBORO] As of press time Tuesday, over 1.5 million early mail-in and in-person ballots have already been cast in North Carolina. Mail-in absentee balloting began on Sept. 4th, with One Stop Early Voting commencing Oct. 15th statewide. On that day, almost 230,000 early voters had lined up to cast ballots. By the next day, almost half a million had. Those numbers are virtually twice of what they were in 2016. In-person early vote continues until Oct. 31st.


[FAYETTEVILLE] A group of prominent Republicans called The Lincoln Project seeking to separate themselves from their erratic president have purchased 25 billboards in 15 North Carolina counties denouncing Donald Trump prior to the Nov. 3rd election. The billboards use Trump’s alleged words like “sucker’ and ‘What’s in it for them?’ superimposed over pictures of American service members near Fayetteville. Another billboard blasts Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lincoln Project has endorsed Democrat Joe Biden.


                                                    REP. YVONNE LEWIS HOLLEY
                                                 JUDGE LORA CHRISTINE CUBBAGE
                                                        CHIEF JUSTICE CHERI BEASLEY                                       




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

When the election dust settles on Nov. 3rd, North Carolina Democrats hope that in addition to a new president of the United States, a new legislative majority, and a continuing successful governor, will be four African-American female elected officials blazing historic trails of authority and service. Highest on the list, Cheri Beasley (ChiefJusticeBeasley.com), current chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, running to be officially elected to that post for a full eight-year term. Justice Beasley was appointed Chief Justice by Gov. Roy Cooper in February 2019, after serving as an associate justice since 2012. 

“I believe all North Carolinians should have access to fair and impartial justice, no matter who they are,” Chief Justice Beasley told the NC Judicial Guide. “I will continue to work for an independent court system that people can trust.”

Bealey has been endorse by Democratic vice presidential candidate en. Kamala Harris, among others.

Chief Justice Beasley is running against Republican Associate Justice Paul Newby (PaulNewby.com).

  Next highest - Yvonne Lewis Holley (YvonneLewisHolley.com), currently a state House representative from Wake County, running to become the first African - American lieutenant governor in North Carolina history. If elected, Holley says she wants to continue her work combating food deserts across the state, and increasing job opportunities for low-income families. Lewis - Holley has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama and Sen. Kamala Harris.

Rep. Lewis-Holley’s opponent is Black Republican Mark Robinson (MarkRobinsonForNC.com).

Another Black female candidate running for significant statewide office is current Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes (JessicaHolmesNC.com), candidate for NC Commissioner of Labor. Holmes, a Pender County native, has been a Wake commissioner since 2014, the youngest ever in history. Two years later, she was elected as chair of the Wake Commission Board. Professionally, Holmes is a labor attorney, focusing on workers rights. 

Holmes says if elected, her top priority would be “ensuring safe and healthy work environments, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Holmes is endorsed by the NC AFL-CIO, NC Association of Educators and Lillian’s List.

Holmes’ Republican opponent is Rep. Josh Dobson (JoshForLabor.com)

Finally, for the NC Court of Appeals Seat 5, Judge Lora Christine Cubbage (CubbageForJudge.com).  Judge Cubbage currently presides in Superior Court, where she has been since 2018. She previously served as an assistant District Attorney, Assistant Attorney General, and District Court judge.

Judge Cubbage believes in the protection of rights given by the NC and US Constitutions; equal justice for all in order to regain the public trust in our judicial system; equal access to justice for all; and an independent, fair and impartial judiciary.

Judge Cubbage is running against Black Republican Judge Fred Gore (Judge Fred Gore.com).






By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The 2008 presidential election seems like ancient history now, but it is the last time that Black voters came out with a razor-focused mission to the polls .

Barack Obama won 95% of Black voters, who made up 13% of the total electorate. They badly wanted to elect the nation’s first African-American president.

Now, 12 years later, the exact opposite energy is true. Blacks, and many other voters, badly want vote the current Republican occupant of the White House, Donald Trump, out.

With early voting just starting a week ago, especially here in North Carolina, it’s too early to get conclusive numbers , but this much is known: with over a million mail-in and in-person absentee votes already submitted, Democratic voters are tallying the lion’s share of all voters, and Black voters are accounting for upwards of 30% of those.

So what is this election’s motivation? An informal vote on Facebook social media confirms that voters aren’t driven so much by an affinity for Democrat Joe Biden so much as a mission to dump Trump.

Most of the over 30 who answered the question Monday made it clear  that or them, this election is personal.

“Against Trump,” Corona C-K  and Terri H. each wrote.

DEFINITELY stronger energy to vote AGAINST TRUMP!,’ Miriam N. wrote. But then again, NOTHING may ever compare to my feelings after Obama’s victories!!!”

“I was anxious to help Obama win both times, and I am anxious to get Trump out,” said Jackie D-M. “I guess the difference is my energy was very positive toward an Obama presidency and it is VERY negative when thinking about a second term for Trump.”

Vicki B-R says, “2020! I loved Obama, but Trump just terrifies me.”

J -JJ may have stated it best when he said, “For me, I’m equally motivated, but It’s a totally different energy. Like comparing apples to oranges.”

Voting FOR Obama felt like Hope and progress and some semblance of justice. Voting AGAINST  Trump feels like a battle against full-scale authoritarianism.”

Linda U. wrote, ‘“The same! However, I’m scared this time.”

Other voters also expressed their disdain and disgust with the Trump Administration, and his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial dog whistles to white supremacist groups, and inability to tell the truth.

But others also talked about their devotion to have a voice in their government at all levels, and the responsibility that comes with it.

“I vote because I can,” wrote Leslie B. “I voted because it’s a right and a responsibility. Democrats participatory. You can’t have it if you don’t participate.”

Al L. was also clear.

“I voted because my people died for the right to vote, additionally I’m concerned that another four years of the dotard and Black people will be in concentration camps!"


                                                         SAU PRES. IRVING MCPHAIL



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The St. Augustine’s University Falcon family is still in mourning a week after their their new president, Irving Presslley McPhail, died of complications from the novel coronavirus on Oct. 15th.

He will be memorialized in a special on-campus and virtual ceremony on Oct. 27th.

Pres. McPhail officially began his short term at the private Episcopalian black institution as St. Aug’s 12th president on July 15th. It was mid-September, however, when he learned that he had contracted COVID-19 and quietly  self-quarantined, according to St. Augustine’s Board of Trustees Chairman James Perry.

An Oct. 12th letter from Perry to the SAU community made clear that Pres. McPhail did not contract the virus at the school.

“President McPhail has been a strong proponent of face coverings and social distancing. He has regularly communicated with the campus community about SAU’s COVID-19 protocols and expectations, through both formal and informal channels,” Perry’s letter said.

Indeed, as of press time Monday, according to Wake County health officials, there is no record of anyone else associated with the school to have contracted COVID-19, either on or off campus. Testing has been conducted at St. Aug, as at other HBCUs.

It was two weeks ago, however, that McPhail experienced difficulty breathing and decided that he needed to be finally hospitalized. Published reports say that he was taken to the emergency room, and remained in care there where he seemed to be improving, until McPhail took a turn for the worst, and died on Oct. 15th.

The following day in a driving rain, students, faculty and administration walked to Pres. McPhail’s home new campus, and with his wife tearfully standing behind a glass door with her arms crossed on her chest, placed flowers in front of the home as a symbol of respect and sorrow for the New York native who grew up in Harlem.

“Today, we mourn the loss of [Dr. Phail], a dedicated leader who made a positive impact on St. Augustine’s University in the short time he was President,” wrote Gov. Roy Cooper in a tweet. ‘Our thoughts are with his loved ones and the St. Augustine’s campus community.”

There is little question that Pres. McPhail cared about his students at St. Aug. At the end of a day at the office, he was known for driving his car around campus, meeting students and encouraging them to wear they masks and adhere to the COVID-19 safety precautions.

One of his primary goals was to raise St. Aug’s enrollment to 1,000 students.

Irving Presslley McPhail graduated from Cornell University, earning his master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.

McPhail served as the sixth president and CEO of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. before coming to St. Augustine’s University.

He told a local Raleigh newspaper before he became ill that he prayed that “no one gets ill” at St. Aug from COVID-19.



Tuesday, October 13, 2020




[GREENSBORO] By a 7-2 voter the Greensboro City Council on Oct. 6th issued a formal apology for the role of the Greensboro Police Dept in the November 1979 murders by the Ku Klux Klan of five members of the. Communist Workers Party there. Police deliberately left the area before the shooting.The council approved an apology to the victims (ten were wounded), victims’ families and others associated with the tragedy. Many say the long awaited apology is a step towards healing. 


[WINSTON-SALEM] Black firefighters with the Winston-Salem Fire Dept. have file a grievance against their Chief William Mayo, alleging that he has not disciplined white fire captains for talking about running over protesters with vehicles, or other white firefighters who created a hostile work environment. They want Chief Mayo fired. One white captain has categorically denied the accusations. City officials are investigating.


[RALEIGH] Thousands of voters across North Carolina are still waiting for the absentee mail-in ballot to be sent to them, even though it is juts over two weeks before the Nov. 3rd general election. Admittedly, county election officials have been struggling with trying to honor more ballot requests than ever before. In some counties, like Wake, it is taking as long as two weeks to fulfill requests. At least ten NC counties are taking longer than sever days to turn around request. 




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

From today through Saturday, October 31st, early voting in North Carolina will be the rule, especially for African-Americans, who, statistics show, come out in large numbers during this period.

On Monday, Georgia broke it’s own first day of early voting numbers, as video showed long lines of African-Americans at the polls in what many consider to be a strong conservative state.

Even for those who missed last week’s registration deadline here in North Carolina, first time voters age 18 and older can still same-day register and then vote, just by bringing something that confirms their legal address.

Indeed, as past elections have shown, the voting group that leads white males, white females, black males and all others either Democrat or Republican, are black female Democrats when it comes to early voting turnout.

Black churches and civic organizations know the stats, and traditionally have geared their major GOTV (get out the vote) efforts for this early voting period.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic still ever-present, forcing many older African-American voters to try mail-in absentee balloting for the first time, it remains to be seen whether black voters will rise standing in long lines between now and the Nov. 3rd election.

Several community and grassroots groups like the local chapters of the NCNAACP, are actively pushing to increase black voter turnout compared to the 2016 depressed numbers. The national civil rights organization is also running digital and radio ads in ten states across the country, including North Carolina, to deliver maximum black voter turnout at least five percent higher than four years ago.

Most of North Carolina’s HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) remain open during the pandemic, and students who have been actively registering to vote since before the coronavirus hit, are now mobilizing through their campus organizations to early vote at nearby voting precincts.

October 17th has been designated as the Power to the Polls March and Vote for many HBCUS across the state.

On Sunday, October 18th, while many black churches remain closed due to the pandemic, some churches, like St. Joseph’s A.M.E Church in Durham, will lead a “Souls to the Polls” caravan to a nearby polling station. In effect, congregants either drive or are driven to the polls to cast their ballots, as oppose to traditionally boarding a church van to make the trip.

Across the country, many black churches are phone banking and delivering absentee ballots to the homes of black elderly congregants for them to fill out and have witnessed. Because of varying laws in several states, in some cases, those ballots can be collected and delivered back to the county elections office.

In North Carolina, after the absentee ballot has been signed by the voter and witness (along with the witness address) only a relative of the voter can deliver the absentee ballot back to the county elections office.

You still have time to mail in your absentee ballot if you have one. Just make sure you sign your name, and have one witness sign his or her name and address befit sending it back, or having it dropped off. You have until Oct. 27th, but are urged to snd it back as soon as possible.





By Cash Michaels

An analysis

This was the last day of the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Pres. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Appellate Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

By all accounts, Judge Barrett, 48, is an accomplished, well-credentialed and experienced jurist who once clerked for conservative firebrand, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Judge Barrett is considered to be as right-wing as her old boss.

And Republicans wouldn’t have it any other way, which is why they urged Trump to immediately nominate Barrett within days of the death of liberal High Court icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month. 

She represents victory, the culmination of a generational struggle to reshape the courts in their favor,” writes NY Times columnist Jamelle Bouie.

With little doubt that the GOP will confirm Barrett to take Ginsburg’s seat by November, conservatives are giddy that, for the foreseeable future, they will have a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court - enough of a majority to finally strike down Obamacare, Roe v. Wade, and several targeted civil and voting rights provisions - issues important to African-Americans.

Make no mistake, packing the U.S. Supreme Court with an abundance of conservatives to backstop and safeguard whatever legislative gains they feel they’ve made in the last four years under Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s primary objective.

Indeed, that’s their deal with him - as long as Trump gives them the judicial nominees they feel they need, they’ll do everything in their power, to keep him in power.

The right has devised new doctrines to justify conservative rulings, flooded the courts with an expanding cadre of judges and legal scholars, financed a host of legal firms to challenge liberal laws and liberal rulings, and built a multimillion dollar network of tax-exempt groups to promote its agenda,”wrote NY Times columnist Thomas B. Edsell.

“The conservative legal revolution, which first took off in the late 1970s, caught the Democratic powers-that-be asleep at the switch.”

One of the driving forces in that “conservative legal revolution,” Edsell adds, was “resentment” over civil rights advancement.

And that’s why you’re hearing so much GOP consternation about whether former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democrats will “pack” the High Court if they win the White House, and the U.S. Senate particularly.

By “packing,” they mean a “President” Biden and Democratic-led Congress deciding to arbitrarily add enough moderate to liberal-leaning justices to the Supreme Court to counter any conservative direction a 6-3 court would naturally head towards.

Thus, the Democrats - with Biden nominating and a Democratic Senate confirming -  could pack as many as six new justices, bringing the total number sitting to 15, expanding the moderate to liberal justices from three to nine.

That would give Democrats a three-justice buffer that would last a lifetime, since that is the term of most appointed federal judges.

And to be clear, there is no constitutional set number of Supreme Court justices to serve at any time, so Democrats could make the court 15, 12 (if three died off), or 21 if they wanted to, and there is nothing that Republicans could do about it since they would be out of power.

Which is also why Republicans are deathly afraid of Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris. She naturally would succeed Biden, and is young enough, and liberal enough, to further pack the court if she saw the need in the future.

Legal experts caution against court-packing, warning that it turns the Supreme Court into an instant partisan tool. Whatever party has a court majority, gets the last partisan word on contentious constitutional cases.

But, observers counter, what is it now with a 6-3 conservative majority? Indeed, Pres. Trump loves to brag about how he will have approximately 300 confirmed appointments to the federal judiciary by the end of his first term.

And that’s because Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed the confirmation process at warp speed to fill as many federal judiciary vacancies as possible with Trump nominees.  

     But no….you will never hear McConnell - who, history will show, not only denied Democratic Pres. Barack Obama confirmation of his last Supreme Court pick, but even slowed the confirmation process down on Obama judicial nominees - call what he’s doing for Trump…”packing.”


Wednesday, October 7, 2020




[WILMINGTON] Parents across the state are concerned that their local public school systems will soon be reopening their classrooms for in-person instruction, and New Hanover County parents are no different. Protesters demonstrated at Tuesday’s school board meeting as the system prepares to begin Plan B, which would allow students to attend school wearing masks and practicing social distancing on different days of the week. There would be no cap on the number of students per classroom.

All students would get online instruction on Wednesdays.


[DURHAM] On Monday, the Durham City council approved a “resolution calling on federal officials to increase racial equity,” four programs designed, if implemented, to increase financial equity and reduce the wealth gap. One of those programs would provide reparations “for descendants of enslaved people,” a $15 federal minimum wage, guaranteed federally funded living wage jobs, and a universal basic income. The resolution, which was sent to several of North Carolina’s congressional representatives, was developed by the Durham City Council’s Racial Equity Task Force.


[RALEIGH] With just over three weeks to go before the critical 2020 general election, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham is in more hot water over his alleged extramarital affair with a California woman earlier this year. The U.S. Army Reserve, in which Cunningham serves, is now investigating the situation, particularly a series of sex texts between the two that have now been published. Cunningham has apologized, asked that his family’s privacy be respected, but insisted that he is not dropping out of the race to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Last week during the fiery presidential debate between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump, when asked if he would concede if he lost the Nov. 3rd election, said only if it was fair.

Then he called on his followers to go to the polls to watch to make sure that the balloting was fair.

Given that minutes earlier, Trump had also called on the violent white supremacist group the Proud Boys to “Stand back and stand by,” many interpreted his combined message of Trump poll watchers and violent white supremacists to “Stand back and stand by” to be a clear signal that intimidation was on it’s way to the polls in key battleground states like North Carolina.

Early last month during a rally in Winston-Salem, Trump called on his rabid crowd to, “Watch those ballots. I don't like it. You know, you have a Democrat governor, you have all these Democrats watching that stuff. I don't like it. Be poll watchers when you go there. Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do. Because this is important. We win North Carolina, we win."

Like other states, North Carolina legally allows poll watching, and has a law that properly indicates exactly how each political party is to coordinate the practice.

But most political observers fear what Trump is calling for is vigilante poll watching by his supporters, and baiting them to disrupt and intimidate at voting places, like what a group of Trump supporters did on Sept. 20th when they held a rally waving flags and chanting near a line of voters in Fairfax, Va.

Can that, or something like it, happen in North Carolina?

Indeed, years before Trump became president, there were stories of Republican operatives challenging Black voters standing on line to vote, forcing them to leave the line to prove to the polling chief judge that they were properly registered to vote in that district.

Such challenges usually proved to be toothless, but they did hold up long lines, and intimidate other Black voters who did not want to be challenged publicly to leave the line before they cast they ballots.

And, of course, there were the infamous “Ballot Security” post cards sent to Black Democrats across the state by the NC Republican Party during the 1990 Senate election between Republican Senator Jesse Helms and then Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt.

Those cards threatened Black Democratic voters that if they voted outside of their registered precincts, that they could be prosecuted.

State officials have already had to deal with Trump telling North Carolina voters at the start of mail-in voting on Sept. 4th that they should vote twice, which is illegal in the state and would not only get your votes through out, but put you in jail.

And with early voting starting next week on Oct. 15th for two weeks, officials are bracing theirselves for all kinds of intimidation tactics at the polls.

Fortunately, there are nonprofit organizations prepared to legally deal with any incidents that may occur.

At the polls, if you feel that you are being intimidated, notify an election official there immediately, says the NC Board of Elections. The chief judge at that polling place is empowered to call law enforcement to have anyone found to be intimidating voters arrested on the spot.

You can also report an incident where you think your voting rights have been violated to The Advancement Project, a Washington, DC-based civil rights group of attorneys at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).

You can also call The American Center for Law and Justice at 1-800-274-8683.

If you can, try to document the voting rights violation or incident of voter intimidation on your smartphone for evidence.

With all of the controversy surrounding this election, official warn to prepare for anything,




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Friday, Oct. 9th - tomorrow - is the last day that you can formally register to vote in the state of North Carolina in order to be eligible to vote during the Nov. 3rd general election.

You can register to vote if you are a U.S. citizen, a current resident of North Carolina for at least 25 days before the Nov. 3rd general election, and either are, or will be 18 years of age by Nov. 3rd.

You can, if you have your driver’s license through the NC Dept. of Motor Vehicles (DMV), submit a voter registration application online. Just go to https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/offices-services/online/Pages/voter-registration-application.aspx.

The NAACP urges you to “double check your voter registration, be sure that your voter information is accurate, and make a plan to safely cast your vote! If you’ve recently moved, changed your name, or turned 18, this is crucial – it only takes two minutes and your vote can change the course of history.

But wait a minute - you’re simply not able to register to vote either today or tomorrow, yet you want to join the rest of your community in casting your all-important ballot for Nov. 3rd.

So what can you do?

From Oct. 15th to Oct. 31st, you can do One Stop Early Voting - Same Day Registration is scheduled at various designated locations across the county, starting at 8 a.m.. and ending at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with shorter hours on Saturdays and Sundays in the interim (check your local county early voting site schedule).

To sane day register to early vote, you do need to bring a proof of residency document, like a bill, driver’s license, of government notice that has your name and address on it. That is ONLY if you are NOT registered to vote already. If you are, you just walk in, identify yourself, and then vote.


This of you are still mail in your absentee ballot, you have until Oct. 27th to do so. Make sure that before you return your mail-in ballot, you have properly signed it where required, and that it is also properly signed by one witness (could be spouse or relative) with their address. 

Several recent absentee mail-in ballots have been not counted because of those mistakes. There are currently two legal cases surrounding issues involving spoiled mail-in ballots.


                        OUR ENDORSEMENTS 2020 (PART 2)

Every two years (general election and midterms) The Wilmington Journal has proudly shared with you, our readers and community, our opinions of, and endorsements for some of those who wish to serve us in public office. This crucial election year is no different, except that we’re doing it a little earlier this year because voting for the Nov. 3rd general election has actually already started, thanks to mail-in absentee ballots.

It is because of the COVID-19 pandemic that mail-in ballots are so prominent now, and at last check, over 1 million have been requested statewide.

Remember, if you want a mail-in absentee ballot to vote by, you must be a registered NC voter,  and go online to https://votebymail.ncsbe.gov/app/home to request a ballot be sent to you. When you receive it, make your candidate choices, sign it, and have a witness to your signature sign it too.

Then either send it back, or drop it off at your New Hanover County Board of Elections office (230 Government Center Drive, Suite 38, Wilmington - 910-798-7300) by 5 p.m on Nov. 3rd, Election Day. By mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3rd, and arrive by Nov. 4th before 5 p.m..

After you’ve returned your ballot, you can track it online via Ballottrax at https://northcarolina.ballottrax.net/voter/.
For those who don’t mail-in vote, One Stop Early in-person voting begins Oct. 15 through Oct. 31st.

Remember, whether you choose to vote by mail, by early vote, or on Election Day, you can only vote ONCE! Go to https://northcarolina.ballottrax.net/voter/ to track your ballot once you send it back. It is against the law to vote twice in the same election in North Carolina.

Recently, we gave you our endorsements for president of the United States, governor, lt. governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress and NC Council of State officials. 

This week, we continue with part two of our endorsements.

All of them are Democrats, and are listed as they appear on the ballot.

                      Cheri Beasley

                           NC Supreme Court Chief Justice (Seat 1)

                                               Lucy Inman

                           NC Supreme Court Associate Justice (Seat 2)

                                                Mark Davis

  NC Supreme Court Associate Justice (Seat 4)

                                                 Tricia Shields

                                NC Court of Appeals Judge (Seat 4)

                                          Lora Christine Cubbage

                                NC Court of Appeals Judge (Seat 5)

                                                  Gray Styers

                                 NC Court of Appeals Judge (Seat 6)

                                                Reuben F. Young

                                  NC Court of Appeals Judge (Seat 7)

                                                   Chris Brooks

                                   NC Court of Appeals Judge (Seat 13)

                                               Harper Peterson

                                    NC State Senate (District 9)

                                                         Deb Butler

                                    NC House of Representatives (District 18)


                                                          J.H. Corpening II

                                    NC District Court Judge (District 5, Seat 5)

                                                        Richard Russell Davis

                                      NC District Court Judge (District 5, Seat 6)

                                                      Jeffrey Evan Noecker

                                       NC District Court Judge (District 5, Seat 7)

                                                     Robin Wicks Robinson

                                       NC District Court Judge (District 5, Seat 9)

                                                    Jonathan Barfield, Jr.

                                                    Leslie Cohen

                                                    Kyle Horton

                             Board of Commissioners (vote for all three Democrats)

                                                      Stephanie Walker

                                                      Hugh McManus

                                                      Chris Meek

                              Board of Education (vote for all three Democrats)

                                                      Clayton Hamerski

                                                        Register of Deeds