Tuesday, December 29, 2020





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The portrait of a vicious white racist slave-owning former NC Supreme Court chief justice has been removed from the courtroom of the NC Supreme Court because of the white supremacist legacy of the infamous jurist.

The portrait of former Chief Justice Thomas Carter Ruffin - who served from 1829 to1855- was removed last week by Dec. 22nd order of the Advisory Commissions on Portraits after final recommendations from that panel in December 2019.

A large seal of the NC Supreme Court was hung in it’s place.

“It is important that our courtroom spaces convey the highest ideals of justice and that people who come before our Court feel comfortable knowing that they will be treated fairly,” wrote outgoing Chief Justice Cheri Beasley. “The Court’s decision to remove the Ruffin portrait is a tremendous reflection of the progress that has been made since the time Chief Justice Ruffin served on the Court.”

To many legal scholars, Chief Justice Ruffin is considered “one of the most important jurists in American history” for his staunch advocacy for a fiercely independent judiciary from the legislature. Ruffin was also a prominent attorney, state lawmaker, state banker, plantation owner and slave owner in the Piedmont. It was after Ruffin left the presidency of the North Carolina State Bank that he was elected to the North Carolina Supreme Court.

And it is there that Justice Ruffin issued his post controversial legal opinion, State v. Mann, which found in favor of a brutal white slaveowner who was charged with assault and battery after gravely wounding a female slave upon her attempted escape.

“The power of the master must be absolute, to render the submission of the slave perfect. I most freely confess my sense of the harshness of this proposition . . . But in the actual condition of things, it must be so. . . . [It] will be the imperative duty of the Judges to recognize the full dominion of the owner over the slave,” Justice Ruffin wrote then.

While many legal scholars look up to Justice Ruffin for his strong advocacy for an independent judicial branch of government, not beholden to either the legislative or executive branches, many historians and civil rights activists - especially here in North Carolina, felt that Ruffin’s racist history should not be further honored in the state’s highest court of justice.

Disciplinary practices on Ruffin's plantation included bloody whippings, burning the skin of the enslaved, the use of red pepper and salt on their wounds, even though his slaveholding neighbors complained,” wrote NCNAACP Pres. T. Anthony Spearman and historian Dr. Timothy Tyson in a recent op-ed. “Because his peers had come to find the slave trade so distasteful, Ruffin trafficked in Black bodies in secret, selling them from the Upper South at vast profits to Alabama and Mississippi.  Ruffin tore enslaved children from the arms of their parents and separated enslaved wives and husbands from one another, despite admonitions against this cruel practice from other slaveholders.  He believed that, since profits constituted the essence of the institution, this should be the accepted practice.

Even one of Chief Justice Beasley’s colleagues, Justice Michael Morgan, weighed in after the Ruffin portrait was removed.

“From where I sit, the NC Supreme Court's immediate removal, after its historic vote, of the sizeable portrait of Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin--a slaveowner who actively defended the horrors of slavery and utilized such practices himself--which dominated the Court's hallowed halls, not only causes the Courtroom to look different; it also causes it to feel different.” Justice Morgan wrote on facebook, under video of courtroom staff removing the portrait.




[RALEIGH] If your regular NC license plate is seven years old or older, it is time to have it replaced starting Friday, Jan. 1st. You can have that done when your plate’s annual registration renewal is due. There is no extra charge for the new plate, and you cn keep it thy style of your old one. You can register in-person at your local DMV office or by mail. This move by law is to help make license plate identification easier for new technology.


[MANTEO] He is remembered as one of the most powerful legislative leaders in North Carolina history. Former Democratic Sennate Pro Tem Marc Basnight, 73, died Monday. He led the NC Senate for 18 years. Gov. Roy Cooper lauded Basnight  for his exemplary leadership.

"North Carolina lost a giant today with the passing of my friend, Sen. Marc Basnight," Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. "His positive influence on our public universities, transportation, environment and more will be felt for decades. A man of great power and influence, his humble, common touch made everyone he met feel special, whether pouring them a glass of tea in his restaurant or sharing a pack of nabs at a country store. He believed in North Carolina and its people, and our state is stronger because of him. Our prayers are with Vicki, Caroline and the whole family." Current Senate Pres. Pro Tem Phil Berger remembered Basnight as a man of grace.


[SMITHFIELD] As of Monday, there are a record 3,192 COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals across North Carolina, which is near capacity, experts say. And in many cases, there aren’t enough nurses to take care of the load. Administrators say that their staffs are stretched. The rise in cases is due to Thanksgiving gatherings, and more are expected now in the aftermath of the Thanksgiving holidays.


Monday, December 21, 2020




[RALEIGH] President-elect Joe Biden has elected Michael S. Regan, North Carolina’s top air quality enforcer, to become head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, thus making Regan the nation’s top pollution cop. Regan will also become the first Black man in the agency’s history to head up it’s efforts. Regan, 44, must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before he takes office.


[RALEIGH] Three North Carolina historically Black colleges got early Christmas presents in the form of huge donations from billionaire Mackenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Winston-Salem Sate University received $30 million from Scott, it’s largest single donation from one person ever. Elizabeth City State University saw $15 million and N.C. A&T University received $45 million.


[GRAHAM] Three top local district court judges have ruled that up to five reporters must be allowed to cover hearings in the local courthouse, provided that they ask permission of the presiding judge, and that there is enough room. Judges had been barring reporters from covering hearings involving members of the Black Lives Matter movement.




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

On Jan 20th when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in as president and vice president of the United States respectively, the Poor’s People’s Campaign: a National Call for a Moral Revival will undoubtedly find a more receptive federal administration to it’s progressive agenda.

That’s what Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-convener of the Poor’s People’s Campaign certainly expected when they met with the domestic policy panel from the Biden/Harris Transition team last week. But the campaign also released a set of 14 policy and legislative priorities from it’s Poor People’s Jubilee Platform, and “insists” that they are prioritized during the first 50-100 days of the new administration and 117th Congress.

The 117th Congress convenes on Jan. 3rd, 2021.

That Poor People’s Campaign priority list includes:

        1. Enact comprehensive, free and just COVID-19 relief that

        must prioritize the needs of essential workers, people of color and low-income who have been hit the hardest in the pandemic.

2. Guaranteed quality health care for all, regardless of any preexisting conditions.

        3. Raising the federal minimum wage to $15.00 per hour immediately

4.  Update the poverty measure to replace the current poverty line to accurately reflect current conditions of poverty and economic insecurity.

5. Guarantee quality housing for all by expanding public and affordable housing, and rental assistance.

6. Enact a federal jobs program to build up investments, infrastructure, public institutions, climate resilience, energy efficiency and socially beneficial industries and jobs in poor and low-income communities.

7. Protect and expand voting rights and civil rights.

8. Guarantee safe, quality and equitable public education, with supports for protection against re-segregation, increasing public educational all levels, especially for poor and income communities.

9. Comprehensive and just immigration reform

      10. Ensure all of the rights of indigenous peoples

      11. Enact fair taxes on the wealthy, corporation and Wall Street.

      12.  Use the power of executive orders to meet these demands.

      13.  Redirect the bloated Pentagon budget towards these priorities

as matters of national security.

      14.   Work with the Poor People’ s Campaign to establish a permanent President Council to advocate for this bold agenda.

The Poor People’s Campaign concluded, “ The priorities above are Constitutionally consistent, morally defensible and economically sane. They come out of the lives, struggles, agency and insights of the 140 million and their moral, economic and legal allies. They embody a politics of love, justice and truth that can defeat the politics of death, heal the nation and bring us down the path towards genuine democracy.  Rather than the puny politics of right or left, we must be guided by a politics of what is right or wrong.”





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

[CONCORD] In August, Ronnie Long was legally deemed a free man by a federal court which, after 44 years, vacated his first-degree rape and burglary charge.

On Dec. 17th, Gov. Roy Cooper put the icing on the cake by issuing a pardon of innocence to Ronnie Long, legally certifying that Long never raped and robbed the 54-year-old white woman he was wrongfully convicted for in Oct. 1976.

Long can now collect compensation from the state for his false conviction.

Long, who was falsely convicted when he was just 20 years-old by an all-white jury, was one of five men that Cooper - who had never issued any pardons prior during his tenure as governor - granted clemency to last week.

“We must continue to work to reform our justice system and acknowledge when people have been wrongly convicted,” Gov. Cooper said in a statement upon granting the clemencies. “ I have carefully reviewed the facts in each of these cases and, while I cannot give these men back the time they served, I am granting them Pardons of Innocence in the hope that they might be better able to move forward in their lives,” Gov. Cooper said.

The four others beyond Long had been falsely convicted for an unrelated crimes.

It was earlier this year when the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Long, 64, had been the victim of “extreme and continuous police misconduct” after 44 years behind bars.

He was released on August 31st after the State of North Carolina, after determining that the evidence proving his innocence had been hidden and his rights violated, moved to vacate the false convictions, thus immediately releasing him from prison.

There was never any physical evidence connecting Long to the crime. He was serving an 80-year sentence before his release in August.

Afterwards, Long told CBS News, “I feel as though the criminal justice system here in this state failed me.”


Tuesday, December 15, 2020


                                                             CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY
                                                                      JUSTICE NEWBY




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

After 39 days, and one of the tightest elections in the history of North Carolina, NC Chief Justice Cheryl Beasley, Democrat, conceded defeat to Republican challenger Justice Paul Newby December 12th.

Newby will become Chief Justice on Jan. 1, 2021. He will serve an eight-year term.

Beasley, the first Black woman ever to serve as chief justice of the NC Supreme Court, trailed Newby in a statewide machine recount and hand-to-eye recount by 401 votes out of 5.4 million cast.

Today, I called Justice Newby to congratulate him on winning the election for Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court,” Beasley wrote in an open letter to her supporters Saturday. “I offer my very best to him and his family as he moves into that new role.”

“I have tried my best as your Chief Justice to honor the opportunity set before me,” she continued. “I have tried not just to speak the truth, but to live it. To not simply be an expert in the law, but an advocate for equity, to apply the tools of justice to the cause of equality. My hope is that those values will continue to define North Carolina’s highest court as it meets the challenges of the future.”

“To serve this state and the people of North Carolina has been the greatest honor of my life.,” Beasley concluded.

To say that Chief Justice Beasley’s razor thin election defeat was stinging to her many supporters is an understatement.

“NC Dems failed Back women!! Period!,” opined Phyllis Coley, Durham Black magazine publisher, referring to the failure of six Black Democrat female candidates falling short in November.

The NC Democratic Party should be ashamed considering of their failure to reciprocate the support black women have given to the Party to the black women who were on the ballot,” complained DeWarren L. online.

It was 2012 when then Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue appointed Associate NC Appellate Judge Cheri Beasley to finish the unexpired term of Associate Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson on the state’s highest court. A former Cumberland County public defender and District Court judge, Justice Beasley later won election to the seat.

In February 2019, after seven years on the High Court, Gov. Roy Cooper elevated Justice Beasley to chief justice to fill that vacancy, drawing the ire of the court’s longest serving justice, Paul Newby. Beasley instantly made history as the first African-American woman to hold the post, and the 29th justice to ever do so. An outraged Newby immediately challenged Beasley for her seat, eventually defeating her during the November 2020 election.

Chief Justice Beasley was an outstanding leader for our judiciary during a period  of tremendous challenges and stress,” said atty. Irving Joyner. “During this time, where huge racial issues arose and this deadly coronavirus pandemic ravished families and communities, the chief justice stood firm as an administrator and manager of the court’s operations and as a strong advocate for racial justice and equality within our justice system. She spoke with a calm and deliberate voice in order that our judicial agencies were open and available to the people and that citizens and court personnel were not placed in harm’s way. During this period, her voice as a progressive and concerned judicial arbiter was loud and clear as she fought to insure that Supreme Court opinions represented holistic view of how the North Carolina Constitution and laws spoke to the rights and protections of all of the people. 

“For African Americans in particular,” Joyner continued , “we are proud that she represented us well as the first African American female and the second African American to lead the North Carolina Supreme Court. We were honored and blessed to have experienced her judicial wisdom and persuasion on the Court.”

  “With the advent of  Associate Justice Paul Newby as the incoming chief justice,” atty Joyner continued, “ we will experience a more conservative leadership and government-centered administration. Within African American and racial minority communities, there will be significant concerns about reported racially insensitive comments which he made following the appointment of Justice Beasley as the chief justice and during his campaign to unseat her. “





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

“Let us salute Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett for her role in developing this vaccine,” posted Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NCNAACP , to his Facebook page Monday.

In case anyone seeing Dr. Spearman’s post wasn’t clear on what he was referring to, it was the notable revelation that a Black female immunologist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who graduated from Orange High School in Hillsborough, and then UNC at Chapel Hill years later, was one of the leading researchers to unlock the mystery of the vaccine that now protects the world against the novel coronavirus.

“Kizzy is an African-American scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, after being questioned at a forum by the National Urban League.

“So the first thing you might want to say to my African-American brothers and sisters is that the vaccine that you’re going to be taking was developed by an African-American woman,” Dr. Fauci concluded.

Indeed, Dr. Corbett is one of the leading viral immunologists and research fellows at NIH that worked on the Moderna vaccine, which, according to the emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is 94% effective in preventing both illness and infection from COVID-19, which has presently claimed over 300,000 American lives, and infected more than 15 million people across the nation.

The Moderna vaccine is expected to be distributed in the U.S. by Friday.

It is a crowning achievement for what was once a young, gifted Black high school genius in the American Chemical Society’s Project SEED summer internship program at UNC-Chapel Hill. While other young people hung out or went to the beach for the summer, Corbett spent hers in laboratories, eventually earning an internship at the NIH.

She credits a scientist Al Russell, with being her mentor.

Al was a Black man,” she once wrote. “At such an impressionable age, seeing, through him, that becoming a scientist was an attainable goal was what stood out to me the most. This left me with an understanding of the necessity of visible representation in underserved communities, and the realization that one’s approach to mentorship is equally as important as (or arguably more important than) their approach to scientific discovery. Al planted a seed that summer by taking time away from his experiments to mentor me. Now it is my purpose to resow those seeds in the youth who are the future of science.”

Dr. Corbett enrolled in a doctorate program at UNC-CH, and it was there that she chose to study viral infections, ultimately earning a PhD in microbiology and immunology.  Corbett joined the NIH’s Vaccine Research Center, and ultimately Dr. Fauci’s team, as a postdoctoral fellow in 2014.

When the first indications that a serious viral infection from China had the potential to be widespread earlier this year, Corbett knew that she had to be part of the effort to develop an effective vaccine as soon as possible.

And she also knew that as an African-Americas scientist, it was important that she be visible in that effort, to help inspire up-and-coming Black scientists.

As I trek through my scientific career,” Dr. Corbett recently wrote for the online magazine Nature Medicine, “… making novel discoveries, climbing what seems to be a never-ending ladder, I am reminded of my other duties…to mentor…to be visible…to represent.




[CHARLOTTE] The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association has announced that because of concerns evolving around the novel coronavirus, the 2021 men’s and women’s basketball season has been cancelled. The CIAA Board of directors also voted to cancel the 2021 volleyball and football seasons as well. “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 continues to challenge the conference’s ability to see a clear path to move forward collectively,” CIAA commissioner Jacqie McWilliams said in a statement.


[CHOWAN] A Republican NC state senator says he is suspicious of the November 2020 election results, and believes that president. Trump should declare a national emergency, suspend basic liberties to overturn the election, and invoke the Insurrection Act. State Sen Robert Steinburg [R- Chowan] is echoing other disbelieving members of his party that Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden. Steinburg says he’s just putting “ideas on the table,” but believes “There’s something going on here bigger than what anybody is willing to talk about.”


[ELKIN] Republican leaders from across the state gathered last Saturday at an indoor  resort in Elkin to celebrate their election victories, but did so without masks and a definite lack of social distancing. Photographs from the event show leaders from Sen. Thom Tillis to House Speaker Tim Moore without masks carousing with other rand-in-file GOP’ers without any COVID-19 precautions. Ironically , North Carolina hit 6,000 cases on Saturday, and Elkin is in Surry County, one of the state’s hardest hit for corona virus.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The vaccine to fight the deadly coronavirus is here, but will Blacks line up to take it?

If history is any teacher, not immediately. Indeed, many will share the online views of Irene F. from Brooklyn on Facebook .

No. I will wait it out, just like I did the Flu vaccine,” the retired office coordinator wrote. “I waited for years to see how it would affect others. I got my first flu vaccine in 2018.”

Given how African-Americans statistically account for almost one-third the COVID-19 cases here in North Carolina and across the country, one would naturally think that Blacks would be among the first in line to receive a lifesaving dose. 

As of this week, there are almost 15 million cases in the United States, with almost 300,000 deaths. Hospitals across the nation are running out of ICU beds, and new statewide restrictions are being enforced to limit the spread.

But as history has shown, Blacks are all too familiar with being lied by government health agencies, and the legacy of that lying is not easily forgotten.

In a recent Dec, 6th NY Times column titled, “How Black People Learned Not to Trust,” opinion writer Charles M. Blow chronicled the many racist abuses the American medical profession has committed against Black populations.

From the mid-1800’s when a man in Alabama named James Marion Sims built a reputation by performing surgical experimental procedures on Black enslaved females without the use of anesthesia, to former slaves being allowed to die of infections after the Civil War because white doctors and governments isn’t want to treat them, to the forced sterilizations of mostly young Black females here in North Carolina and elsewhere under the banner of combating mental deficiencies, to the infamous 1932 Tuskegee Study of  Untreated Syphllis in the Negro Male” by the federal Public Health Service ( now known as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ).

The retelling of that hateful episode is often wrong in the Black community, however. Hundreds of Black men in Tuskegee, Alabama were never injected with syphllis, but rather, were observed for the effects of the sexually transmitted disease over 40 years, but made to believe that they were being treated for it.

According to the most recent Pew Research Center survey, 60% of all Americans say they will take the vaccine when available, but 21% said they do not intend to  and are “pretty certain” more information will not change their minds.

Among African-Americans, 71% said they knew someone suffering from COVID-19 in the hospital.

Black Americans continue to stand out as less inclined to get vaccinated than other racial and ethnic groups: 42% would do so, compared with 63% of Hispanic and 61% of White adults, The Pew report adds.




                                                                     IRV JOYNER



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

After a slew of NC voter ID victories for the NCNAACP, the tide may be starting turn in the opposite direction.

A three-judge panel of the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ordered the reversal of a lower court decision on the 2018 voter ID law last week, saying in part, that a Black federal judge made “numerous errors” in not allowing voter ID for the 2020 elections.

That federal appellate panel consisted of two Trump judicial appointees, and one Obama appointee..

It was Dec. 31st, 2019 when US District Court Judge Loretta Biggs granted the NC NAACP and other local branches’ motion for a preliminary injunction in their case NAACP v Cooper, stopping the 2018 voter ID law for the Nov. 2020 elections via a preliminary injunction.

But in it’s reversal last week, the appellate three-judge panel ruled the Judge Biggs had made “fundamental legal errors,” and  “…had incorrectly relied on past intentionally racially discriminatory actions of the [NC] legislature,” including that it had past the 2013 voter ID law which had been previously determined by the Fourth U.S. Court of Appeals as to have discriminated against Black NC voters with “surgical precision.”

In the new ruling, the panel said that the courts can’t use past history to determine if a legislature is passing racially biased legislation.

“A legislature’s past acts do not condemn the acts of a later legislature, which we must presume acts in good faith,” the Fourth Circuit panel ruled. Later in the ruling, the panel lauded the 2018 voter ID as being one of the best in the nation.

Irv. Joyner, the lead attorney representing the NCNAACP on the matter, said the statewide civil rights organization “…is reviewing this decision and we are considering all appellate options. We steadfastly believe that the Honorable Judge Biggs’s findings and determinations were correct at the preliminary injunction phase. Nonetheless, under the reasoning of the decision today, the NCNAACP Plaintiffs’ evidence will also prevail at trial the full merits and we look forward to the fight for justice ahead.”

Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NCNAACP, said, “Our fight continues no matter the makeup of any court or any one decision, good or bad, on the journey to free and fair political participation.

Indeed this ruling is only one setback presently, and does not mean that North Carolina’s current voter ID will be in force per the next election. The NCNAACP  has other two other voter ID case pending in state court that also have preliminary injunctions. All three cases have yet to receive 2021 trial dates.




[CHAPEL HILL] By. 6-1 vote, the Orange County Board of Commissioners Monday approved a resolution supporting reparations for the county’s role in slavery, segregation, and systematic racism, thus joining the list of other North Carolina local governments that have also admitted to their roles in the historic denial of equal rights. The Orange County resolution calls for partnering with the African - American community in investing “as first steps in providing long over due reparations for centuries of suffering , loss, anguish injustice and trauma.”


[CARY] The Wake County Public School System has indicated that as of next year, it will stop using the term “grandfathering,” because the term has racist origins dating back to when Black people were prevented from voting after the Civil War. WCPSS was made aware of the term’s origin after a parent complained about it’s true meaning.


[GRAHAM] A local newspaper publisher was handcuffed in court Tuesday after he objected to an Alamance County judge’s decision not to allow reporters in the courtroom to attend a hearing involving Black Lives Matter demonstrators. According to published reports, reporters from The News and Observer and other media, requested a hearing on the matter from Judge Fred Wilkins, but were refused. When Tom Boney Jr., publisher of the Alamance News tried to convince Judge Wilkins that he was wrong to bar the press, he was threatened with contempt of court, handcuffed and removed.


Tuesday, December 1, 2020


                                                             CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY

                                                                   JUSTICE NEWBY




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

If an analysis by the News and Observer of Raleigh is correct, the campaign of Republican NC Supreme Court Associate Justice Paul Newby legally challenged a disproportionate number of mail-in absentee ballots by Black North Carolina voters in his recount effort to unseat Cheri Beasley, Chief Justice of the state’s High Court.

“…the N&O’s analysis shows that the Newby campaign challenged the ballots of Black voters at nearly three times the rate of white voters, a disparity that largely persists regardless of party,” the Raleigh newspaper reported this week.

Newby’s campaign denies that there was any racial intent to their challenge of thousands of counted mail-in ballots in an attempt to disqualify many because of minor errors (a voter not writing down their full address on the mail-in envelope), and yet, according to the N&O analysis, at least 32 percent of the mail-in ballots challenged were from African-American voters across eight counties.

Normally, Black voters make up only 16% of the electorate per those counties.

Newby’s protests, on the other hand, seek “to disqualify and remove from the final vote count the votes that should not have counted,” the N&O reported.

At press time Monday, the Nov. 3rd race for the chief justice seat between Newby and Beasley had not been officially decided by the State Board of Elections because of three counties that had not completed their recounts by the Nov. 25th deadline for certification, even though Newby led Beasley by less than 500 votes out of 5.6 million cast.

Supporters of Chief Justice Beasley were hopeful that she could win the recount because the three outstanding counties - Mecklenburg, Forsyth and Guilford - all have significant Black populations.

Beasley, a Democrat, is the first African-American woman ever to lead the NC Supreme Court as chief justice. She was appointed to the post in February 2019 by Gov. Roy Cooper. An angry Newby, the longest serving justice on the state’s High Court, felt that he should have been the one appointed, and immediately promised to run against Beasley for the seat. 

For her part, the Beasley campaign is trying to get thousands of otherwise “improperly”  rejected mail-in ballots to be counted, thus adding to her total, and possible victory.

“The people of North Carolina deserve to have their votes counted and their voices heard, regardless of race or creed, and the Chief Justice will continue to advocate for accountability and fairness until that goal is accomplished,” said Beasley campaign manager Benjamin Woods in a statement.

Bill Busa, founder and president of EQV Analytics, a campaign data analytics firm that works with Democratic candidates (but not the Beasley campaign), called the use of race in an election strategy “detestable.”


                                     REV. DRUMWRIGHT AND REV. DR. SPEARMAN LEAD 
                                              NEW MARCH IN GRAHAM LAST SUNDAY




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

A month after police and sheriff’s deputies confronted them with pepper spray during an otherwise peaceful “March to the Polls”, protestors, again led by Greensboro pastor Rev. Greg Drumwright and Justice 4 the Next Generation, along with members of Alamance Alliance for Justice, returned to Graham in Alamance County Sunday to demonstrate against police brutality.

Over one hundred protestors, who did not have a permit to march so they couldn’t legally block roads,  also demanded that both Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson and Graham Police Chief Kristy Cole resign because of the pepper spray incident by their officers. The incident drew national attention.

Law enforcement officials said the pepper spray was necessary to move kneeling marchers who were blocking the street around the Confederate statue in front of the courthouse downtown. Marchers counter that they were given no warning before officers moved in. Several marchers have been charged, and a lawsuit has been filed against both the sheriff’s and police departments as a result.

Last Sunday was different, however. Officers did not escort the protestors during their three-hour march through Graham, though they did watch them closely.

With state NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman joining them,  the protestors, chanting that they were “Ready for Change,”  marched to the county courthouse, Sheriff’s office, Graham police headquarters,  and the county detention center, demanding criminal justice reform.

Through it all, Rev. Drumwright reemphasized that the rally and march would be peaceful, even if provoked by counter-demonstrators who met protestors at the Courthouse Square, who openly challenged them on their opposition to the Confederate Statue there.

"We come together to gain justice for the next generation, we don't fight for ourselves we fight for our children and our grandchildren,” Rev. Drumwright told the marchers.

Even though there were some harsh words exchanged  at some points, Black Lives Matter marchers stepped in to calm things down, and make sure that things ended peacefully.




[RALEIGH] North Carolina is preparing to receive the Pfizer vaccine  for coronavirus once it’s approved, and distribute the first batch of 85,000 doses to healthcare workers fighting the disease., Gov. Roy Cooper said during a press conference Tuesday. He added that hopefully they’ll see the first batch later this month. Most importantly, when it is distributed, it will be free to the public, regardless of health insurance. But Cooper warned the the state has to go through another deadly wave of infections first, brought on by the Thanksgiving holidays.


[GRAHAM] The Rev. Greg Drumwright, leader of the Oct. 31st march in Graham where police and sheriff’s deputies pepper sprayed peaceful marchers, and Attorney Benjamin Crump, who took part in that march and rally, notified by the District Attorney’s office in Alamance County that they have been banned from county property, and would have their bond doubled and face arrest if they violate the order. Drumwright, who was arrested after that march, also faces an upgrade in charges. Both attended a criminal court hearing in Graham Wednesday.


[WILMINGTON] Because they did so in close session, the public does not know what was said, but we know that last Monday, the Wilmington City Council discussed the June firing of former police Officer James Gilmore. Gilmore was one of three officers heard on a patrol car recording making racist remarks about Black people during civil unrest last Spring, and was fired  Police Chief Donny Williams. He is appealing his termination to the Wilmington Civil Service Commission. Gilmore’s case was an agenda item for the Council meeting Monday. Because it was a personnel matter, the council voted to discuss it in closed session. Gilmore maintains that he is not a racist.