Monday, March 29, 2021


                                                           REV. DR. WILLIAM BARBER
                                                       REV. DR. T. ANTHONY SPEARMAN




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Last week, one day after Georgia Republican lawmakers passed what many critics call sweeping voter suppression legislation designed to restrain the Black vote after a disastrous November 2020 presidential election, and January 2021 Senate runoff elections that Democrats won, Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of Repairers of the Breach, tweeted, “Voter Suppression is always a racist tactic with an economic goal. Those who attack voting rights fear poor and low-wealth Americans - Black, brown, Native, Asian and White.”

Indeed, Barber just wasn’t remarking on the political machinations of the Peach state, but 42 other states with Republican-led legislatures, like Florida, that, under the guise of combating “voter fraud” - are reportedly considering 253 bills designed to retool their election laws to make it easier for Republicans to win close elections.

North Carolina has joined this latest brazen GOP effort yet, but state civil rights leaders ay it is just a matter of time before Republican legislative leaders decide to join the join the wave.

The Grand Old Party is a desperate band of rogues who fully understand that in order to stay in power it is imperative for them to persist systematically,” says Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NC NAACP. 

“If truth be told, the North Carolina General Assembly has never let up one inch since 2011 (when Republicans took charge), so I expect some replication of Georgia's attempt. Unfortunately, the inestimable harm their actions cause to the masses is not their concern. They are bent on pushing their brand of 'election integrity' and theirs alone, nothing else will do. Honest, fair and open elections are counterproductive and a fatal blow to their policies.”

The NC NAACP Legal Redress Committee Chairman Atty Irving Joyner, agrees. He notes that the widespread voter suppression we’re seeing in state after state now is reminiscent of what North Carolina Republicans did in 2013, when the state was considered a petrie dish for such GOP tactics.

“The struggle which faces voting rights in Georgia is eerily similar to the fight that we successfully waged on North Carolina against the Monster Suppression Bill that the General Assembly enacted in 2013,” atty Joyner recalls. “Despite that victory, they continued efforts to restrict and obstruct the voting rights of African Americans and people of color and their efforts to participate in the political process.”

“Efforts to restrict these voting rights are still continuing in North Carolina and will remain with us until these opponents and their allies are removed from office.”

Indeed, like a dripping faucet, North Carolina Republicans are slowly but surely beginning to file a handful of bills that seek to restructure the state’s election system, even though, unlike other states, the historic avalanche of voters in the November 2020 elections actually rewarded Republicans statewide more than Democrats.

In recent days, North Carolina Republicans have filed bills to limit the number of mail-in absentee ballots; making Election Day the deadline for absentee mail-in ballots, instead of the three-days later allowed during the pandemic last year; restricting the state attorney general from entering any agreement or settlement without the joint approval of the House speaker or Senate president pro tempore (thus preventing any election year   court settlements involving balloting as in 2020).

In comparison, Democrats have filed at least two bills - one seeking again to establish a nonpartisan independent redistricting commission, given that Republicans have again won the right to redraw North Carolina voting districts for the next ten years.

Another to establish automatic voter registration in the state.

“The actions we’ve seen from Republicans across the country and right here in North Carolina to perpetuate baseless claims about our elections and attempt to restrict access to voting are deeply harmful to our democracy,” said NCDP Chair Bobbie Richardson. “North Carolina Democrats are committed to ensuring the people of North Carolina can make their voice heard in our elections.” 

Atty. Joyner says the fight for voting rights per Black people will be never-ending.

The full enactment of H.R. 1 and S.R. 1 in Congress will assist to resist these suppression efforts, but, unfortunately, these right-wing conservative forces will continue their efforts to deny and prevent people of color from being full and progressive forces in the North Carolina democracy,” Joyner insists.  “So while passage of this federal protections will help, there will remain a regressive mind-set and population in this nation which will continually seek to undermine our constitutional rights as American citizens.”

“Based upon American history, the struggle by African Americans and other people of color to maintain full citizenship rights and protections in this state and country will continue throughout our lifetime. We can never forget or disregard that right-wing history and the stark reality that this struggle continues.”


                                            MONICA AND DMEON SHEPARD





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

A Pender County Black mother says she will not apologize to two white men whom she alleges came to her home in the middle of the night last May 3rd, armed and part of an angry “mob,” demanding entry in search of a missing child who wasn’t there.

Monica Shepard made her position clear in an interview with CNN last weekend in reaction to the two men - Jordan Kita and Robert Austin Wood - being recently acquitted by a District Court judge of charges stemming from the incident.

“I’ve said this before - it’s about accountability,” Ms Shepard, who, with her teenage son Dameon, are suing Kita, Wood, and at least thirteen other members of the “mob” for committing “…racialized terror when they approached and menaced a Black family in their …home,” according to a press release.

“You can’t just form a mob and go around being vigilante citizens,” Ms. Shepard continued. “There’s laws against that. I’m not interested in sitting down [to discuss anything]. It’s all about accountability at the end of the day.”

Attorneys for Kita, a former New Hanover County sheriff’s deputy, and Wood, have threatened to sue Ms. Shepard, her son, and her attorneys for allegedly portraying Kita, Wood and the others involved as white racists, and are demanding that the Shepards drop their lawsuit, sit down and discuss the “misunderstanding” with the former defendants, and then apologize to them, or face litigation for slander.

Those attorneys contend that Kita and wood have lost they reputations, tens of thousands of dollars in income, and have been subject to threats, thus making them victims, too.

Ms. Shepard has refused, and her attorneys have told CNN that their lawsuit against Kita, Wood and company will move forward.

By now the May 3rd incident has become nationally infamous.

Kita, then a New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy, led a group of neighbors and supporters in search of a missing young family member, hearing that she had been seen in a Pender County neighborhood.

Kita was still in uniform when he and his group went to the Shepard’s home. According to Dameon Shepard, who was 18 at the time, when he answered the door, Kita, in uniform complete with service revolver, demanded to know if he was a black teen alleged to be harboring the missing girl. When Dameon denied knowing anything about it, he alleges Kita put his foot in the door, not allowing Dameon to close it.

Dameon saw the revolver, and another member of “mob” standing on the property outside with a weapon as well.

A back-and-forth ensued, waking Dameon’s mother, who came out , saw the angry white crowd though the window, and Deputy Kita still at the door insisting on coming in.

Ms. Shepard had to reiterate what her now upset son had told Kita, and demand the he and his group leave her property. By now, neighbors had come out of their homes because of the commotion, and the Pender County Sheriff’s Dept. had been called.

Kita was fired from his job as a New Hanover County deputy, and  ultimately charged by the Pender County District Attorney’s Office with forcible trespass, breaking and entering and willful failure to discharge duties.

Wood was charged with going armed to the terror of the community for carrying his weapon.

In court, Kita apologized for his actions, Wood said he did not carry the weapon top intimidate anyone, and they both disputed that the Shepards were threatened in anyway, and certainly not racially.

The Shepards attorneys are not convinced, despite the acquittals.

“I think this is all a distraction from the real issues at hand,” Arusha Gordon, associate director of the Lawyers’ Committee’s James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate which is leading the lawsuit.” “…[L]ast May a large group of White people showed up armed late at night, invaded [the Shepards’] home and sense of privacy and put our clients in fear of their lives.” 

Gordon also dismissed allegations by Kita and Wood’s defense attorneys that likening the Shepard incident to KKK actions was defamatory, telling CNN, “You can’t divorce North Carolina’s and the country’s history of racist mob violence from this case.”

“That a group of White people didn’t consider the optics “or the fact that their actions would totally terrify our clients” demonstrates the persistence of White privilege,” Gordon added. 

One of the attorneys with the Lawyers Committee heading up the case, Jennifer Nwachukwu, told CNN, “We are here to fight for and advocate for the rights of the Shepards and what they experienced on May 3rd. At this point in history, these kinds of behaviors will not be tolerated. People will not stand by and have these experiences and not feel empowered to seek justice for themselves.” 




[RALEIGH] A Durham-based social action group has released a public letter charging that NC State Attorney General Josh Stein is all talk but little to no action when it comes advocating for racial justice. On Tuesday, the group, Emancipate NC, blasted Stein for defending convictions in state appellate court where racial discrimination in jury selection and death sentences have been alleged. The State Attorney General’s Office has replied that Stein is co-chair of the Racial Equity in Criminal Justice Task Force, and “…is committees to pursuing justice for all in his work as Attorney General.


[GRAHAM] The NC NAACP, along with the Alamance County NAACP and others, have filed a lawsuit against the Alamance Board of Commissioners to have the Confederate statue in front of the county courthouse removed. The suit, filed Tuesday in Superior Court, alleges that the statue honors white supremacy and violates the North Carolina Constitution. The statue was erected in 1914 during the Jim Crow era to honor “white supremacy and the Confederacy,” the suit claims.


[RALEIGH] Under current law, 14 and 15-year-old North Carolinians can, with a judge’s permission, get married in North Carolina if they are pregnant or already have children. Two bills in the legislature seek to change child marriage in the state, making the base age at 18. What is troubling lawmakers is that statistics show minors aren’t marrying each other, but marrying adults, opening the door for human sex trafficking. Both bills - one in the House and the other in the state Senate - are in committees currently.



Monday, March 22, 2021





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

If passed by the Democrat-led U.S. Congress, H. R. 1 (also known as the “For the People Act”) will allow no-excuse mail-in voting, automatic voter registration, and mandate at least 15-days of early voting.

"Since the January election, some 250 voter suppression bills have been introduced by state legislatures all across the country from Georgia to Arizona, from New Hampshire to Florida, using the big lie of voter fraud as a pretext for voter suppression,” said Sen. Raphael Warnock [D-GA] during his first speech on the Senate floor since being elected, endorsing H. R. 1, which has been passed in the U.S. House.

It would also counter most of the so-called “election integrity” measures Sen. Warnock referenced, being passed by a plethora of Republican-led state legislatures across the country, measures, critics say, that target Black, young and other voters who are not likely to choose the Republican Party in future elections to come.

“It is the single most dangerous piece of legislation before Congress, “ Sen. Ted Cruz [R-TX] told Fox News recently. “What I call …the corrupt politicians act.”

“If Democrats pass H.R. 1, it’s going to be absolutely devastating for Republicans in this country,” a Georgia Republican strategist recently told ABC News.

Apparently North Carolina’s legislative Republicans got the memo, because beyond the one “election integrity” bill they’ve filed this session so far (more are expected), this week they’ve also filed House Joint Resolution 330 - “expressing North Carolina’s opposition to any federal action infringing upon the state’s constitutional authority to manage, control and administer elections.”

The joint resolution goes on to state that the U.S. Constitution “vests power in the states” to employ their own election law, and that the federal government does not “delegate” that power.

The proposed resolution then  calls out H.R. 1, “…a bill introduced in the United States Congress [that] would obliterate the constitutional arrangement between states and the government of the United States by usurping the constitution power of states [to control elections] by prohibiting various practices and mandating others such as forcing state to conduct an election over an extended period of time, prohibiting states from maintaining voter rolls free from error and obsolete information, and forcing states to accept an elector who does not register to vote in advance, mandates related to mail voting, prohibitions against regulating ballot harvesting, and scores of other intrusions into the power of state to [control]…their elections….”

Section 1 of the joint resolution then makes it clear that H. R. 1 is not welcomed in North Carolina.

“The members of the North Carolina General Assembly oppose any attempt by the federal government to usurp, or otherwise interfere with the State’s legislative sovereign authority over the [control] of elections.”

House Joint Resolution 330  has lots of bark, but legally has little bite, which is Republicans are so desperate to stop it. As in years past, the federal government does have the right to protect the voting rights of all U.S. citizens, especially if it sees a history of violations on the part of states in the past.

Given North Carolina’s notorious past of federal court decisions decrying it’s discriminatory voter ID  and unconstitutional  redistricting policies, it is no surprise that H. R. 1, if it becomes law, would not be welcomed by Republicans here.


                                                          REP. TERRY BROWN, JR.
                                                       REP. KELLY ALEXANDER, JR. 



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

As you read this, if you’re an African-American voter in the state of North Carolina, the state’s Constitution requires you to take a literacy test before you cast your next ballot.

Don’t worry, federal law has long rendered this “requirement” null and void in North Carolina law, so don’t expect anyone in or out of uniform at your local voting precinct attempting to force you to prove you can properly “…read and write any section of the Constitution in the English language.”

But at the same time, and what’s still most troubling about this, is that try as they might, state lawmakers just don’t seem to be able to get the literacy test requirement officially scratched from the state’s Constitution.

And in fact, if the majority of North Carolina voters in November 2022 don’t agree to get rid of the requirement, once and for all, it remains on the books.

Toothless, but it stays.

On March 22nd, Charlotte-Mecklenburg NC House Rep. Kelly Alexander Jr., a Democrat, filed the bipartisan House Bill 337 - Constitutional Amendment to Repeal Literacy Test.

“It’s just an insult to the African-American citizens of North Carolina, and to any right-thinking citizens,” Rep. Alexander told Washington Monthly.

“An act to amend the Constitution of North Carolina to repeal the literacy test requirement…” which would effectively repeal Section 4 of Article VI of the state Constitution which states, “Every person presenting himself for registration shall be able to read and write any section of the Constitution in the English language.”

Section 2 of the proposed House Bill 337 adds that the question “shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the Stat at the statewide general election to be held on November 8, 2022, which election shall be conducted under the laws governing elections in the State. Ballots, voting systems, or both may be used in ....”

HB337 continues, “The question to be used in the voting systems and ballots shall be:

[ ] FOR          [ ] AGAINST

“Constitutional amendment to repeal the requirement that every person presenting himself for registration shall be able to read and write any section of the Constitution in the English language.”

This is the part where Black voters need to pay particular attention, because it is here where this measure could fall on it’s face, as it apparently has before.

“If a majority of votes cast on the question are in favor of the amendment set out in Section 1 of this act, the State Board of Elections shall certify the amendment to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall enroll the amendment so certified among the permanent records of the office. If a majority of votes cast on the question are against the amendment as set out in Section 1 of this act, the amendment shall have no effect.”

So, you’r e understandably asking yourself, why hasn’t the state of North Carolina gotten rid of this clearly unconstitutional state Constitutional Amendment long before now?

The backstory is fascinating.

It was 1899 when the NC General Assembly passed the controversial constitutional amendment.

Section 4 of Article VI of the NC Constitution was deemed appropriate by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1959 because of the very broad way it was written (see Lassiter v. Northampton County Board of Elections). That allowed local boards of elections to use the requirement differently when it came to Black and White voters.

When the1965 Voting Rights Act effectively declawed North Carolina’s literacy test voting requirement, the state was in no hurry to officially remove it from it’s books.

Finally, in 1969, someone in the state legislature decided the Constitutional requirement needed to go, and put the question before the state’s voters in a referendum.

But 56% disagreed.

During the 2017–18 long session of the NC General Assembly, the state House unanimously passed HB 148, but it died in the Senate Rules Committee.

And during the 2019-20 session, again, even with bipartisan support in the House, the measure did not make out of the House Rules Committee.

Democrats are frustrated that a question so obvious seems so intractable. State Republicans, who have been in charge of the General Assembly since 2011, seem more embarrassed than anything else that they can’t rid the state’s Constitution’s of this ugly Constitutional blight on their watch, even it’s clear their party is engaged in numerous voter suppression schemes in lieu of the November 2020 election.

Tracking what happens with House Bill 337, if it ever get to a statewide referendum in November 2022, and if it does, what the state’s voters do with it, remain the open question.

“Passing this bill with bipartisan support and letting the people of North Carolina have the final say is needed now more than ever to show that our state is moving forward and truly believes in progress,” says bill co-sponsor Rep. Terry Brown (D-Mecklenburg).




[WILMINGTON] Many of us are finally getting our second COVID-19 shots of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccines, and have the cards nurses gave us afterwards. Experts caution to make sure you hold on to those cards. They tell when, where and what kind of vaccine you’ve received, as well as how many doses (if you’ve receive the single shot Johnson & Johnson, your car should reflect that. You may need those cards to prove your vaccination status down the road, like if you plan to fly, for instance. Keep them in a safe place.


[RALEIGH] By executive order, Gov. Roy Cooper Tuesday announced that he is relaxing restrictions put in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the state for the past year. Those restrictions, along with increased vaccinations, have helped to trend the prevalence of the coronavirus down. Now retail store, barbershops and salons can operate at 100% capacity. Restaurants, gyms and pools can operate at 75%, and 100% outdoors. Bars, arenas and conference centers can operate at 50%. All businesses will still mandate masks, and the 6 foot apart rule.


[CREEDMOOR] A white Creedmoor city commissioner is now banned from City Hall after she admittedly went to the office of a Black city administrator  and verbally assaulted her to the point where the police chief had to step in. Com. Georgana Kicinski has actually agreed with her colleagues, who voted to ban her from City Hall except in case of an official meeting. She voted with the board to also censure her for her behavior. The Black city administrator is seeking a restraining order, and says the censure and an apology isn’t enough.


Monday, March 15, 2021



                                                                  GEORGE FLOYD



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

As the murder trial of the police officer accused of taking George Floyd’s life gets underway in Minneapolis, Minn., the City Council there has reach a civil settlement with the Floyd’s family for the record amount of $27 million.

It has been reported that some of the settlement money may be used to establish memorials to George Floyd here in North Carolina, as well as other areas he became associated with.

Many forget that while while Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, and grew up in the immediate years before in the Houston, Texas area, he was born, and briefly raised in Raeford, near Fayetteville.

His sister Bridgette currently lives in Hoke County.

After her brother’s death, Gov. Roy Cooper told reporters that he had called Floyd’s sister, expressed his condolences, and told her that while he could not bring he back, “I can work for justice in his name. I assured her that’s what we’ll do.”

Afterwards, the second of three rousing memorial services in tribute to George Floyd were held at a conference center in Raeford.

Last Friday, on the day that Minneapolis announced the $27 million settlement, WRAL-TV reported that there were “discussions” about creating a memorial to George Floyd near Fayetteville, and also near Shaw University in Raleigh. 

Last November, WTVD-TV reported that Roger Floyd, George Floyd’s uncle, along with Bridgette and the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, was planning “…a brick and mortar memorial center.”

"The focus is going to be basically on education, scholarships, funding -- those types of things -- electronic learning emphasis, wellness, bringing about urbanistic art," Roger told WTVD-TV. "We want to establish a location within the center where we can have permanent art as well as temporary art that's constantly moving to tell the story about what we want to portray in the center."

Originally, that memorial center was to be built with contributions and donations from the public, and was scheduled for completion in 24 to 36 months.

The website at showcases the GFMC “8:46” Scholarship Fund, “8:46” being the length of time then Officer Derek Chavis used his knee on George Floyd’s head. Effectively suffocating the 46-year-old Black man on a Minneapolis street as he cried “I can’t breathe.”

The memorial center also boasts of The George Floyd Youth Leadership Academy “…creating our future teachers, doctors, lawyers, CEO’s, engineers and community leaders, and finally the George Floyd Memorial Center Social Learning Center will be “…an online community dedicated to promoting safety, personal development, and social responsibility among youth.”

The George Floyd Memorial Center, which also has a Facebook page,  is a non-profit organization operating under the IRS 501 (c)3 tax exempt code, and list Thomas McLaurin as CEO/Executive Director, and Roger Floyd as Executive Board/Treasurer.

The Center is listed at North Hill Tower II, 4242 Six Forks Rd. Suite 1550, in Raleigh.

Meanwhile, the presiding judge in the Floyd murder trial has reinstated a three-degree murder charge against former Police Officer Derek Chauvin. He also faces a second-degree murder charge, and second-degree manslaughter.


                                                          DONTAE SHARPE



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Donte Sharpe has released from prison in August 2019 after spending 26 years behind bars for the 1994 Greenville murder of George Radcliffe, a crime Sharpe had always maintained he did not commit.

Sharpe was only 18 years-old at the time.

Perhaps most importantly, it is now clear that the police misled the judge throughout the case,” revealed a May 2017 story in “At a 1997 hearing on a motion for a new trial, [a detective] testified that he believed [a false witness’] identification of Sharpe because she’d passed a polygraph administered before her testimony. The results, however, were inconclusive, a fact police did not disclose until 2014.”

Prosecutors and a judge agreed, and after a strong campaign by the NC NAACP and a coalition of advocates, Sharpe was released from prison as a free man.

However, for almost two years now, Sharpe has not truly been free because even though he was released from prison, he has never received a pardon of innocence from Gov. Roy Cooper, who has been petitioned to pardon Sharpe by application since November 2019.

This week, Donte Sharpe celebrated a birthday, and supporters sought to have Gov. Cooper grant a full pardon of innocence. Those supporters, the NC Second Chance Alliance, are, according to their website, “…is a statewide alliance of people with criminal records, their family members, service providers, congregations, community leaders and concerned citizens that have come together to address the causes of criminal records and the barriers they create to successful reentry [into society].”

Regarding Sharpe, “…without a pardon, Dontae continues to her the mark of a wrongful imprisonment on his record and is ineligible to be paid restitution by the state for decades of his life stolen from him and his family by a broken system.

The campaign to have Dontae Sharpe receive a full pardon of innocence its also led by the legal team that helped to head up his release from prison, Forward Justice, “ …a nonpartisan law, policy and strategy center dedicated to advancing racial, social and economic justice justice in the U.S. South,” based in Durham.

In August of 2019, after finally being granted a new trial, Dontae was exonerated in court and walked out a free man,” Forward Justice states on it’s website. “Though he had been offered deals in the past that would have allowed him to be released from prison earlier through an admission of guilt, Dontae stood fast in his innocence and left the prison on his terms.”

“Following his release, Dontae joined the Forward Justice team as the founding Fellow in the Returning in Service and Excellence (RISE) Fellowship, and has become an advocate and leader for criminal justice reform. Dontae speaks at colleges across the state about his experience, the corruption in the criminal legal system, and the need for widespread reform to stop the wrongful convictions that disregard truth and justice and destroy lives.”

Forward Justice is urging supporters to sign a petition asking Gov. Cooper to grant a full pardon of innocence to Dontae Sharpe at




[GREENSBORO] Continuing his crusade against what he believes is the liberal “indoctrination” of North Carolina’s public school children, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson announced this week that he’s starting a task force to take parental and student complaints. Convinced that this is a major problem in the state that needs to be addressed, the Black Republican admitted that he hasn’t thought through what power the panel will have once up and running. As for evidence of a problem? Robinson says the task force will provide that too.


[RALEIGH] There’s little question in Gov. Roy Cooper’s mind that if he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2022, he’d win. But that would mean leaving the Governor’s Office early to so, and with conservative Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson at the ready to takeover from Cooper, that would be a problem, Cooper told the online political magazine, Politico. “We …have a Republican lieutenant governor and if you look at who he is and what he stands for, I’m not sure that North Carolina needs two years of that…” Cooper told Politico. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Burr has indicated that he is leaving office in 2022.


[HILLSBOROUGH] The Orange County Commission Board this week unanimously voted to name it’s new agricultural center the Bonnie B. Davis Environmental and Agricultural Center, after Bonnie Bedal Briley Davis, Orange County’s first Black agricultural extension agent. Ms. Davis, who died in 2018 at the age of 92, was considered a major community leader who spent her 40-year career helping others . 


Monday, March 8, 2021


                                                                        IRV  JOYNER



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer 

In the aftermath of the historic Nov. 2020 general elections, which saw a controversial Republican president lose reelection, and Republicans lose the U.S. Senate, and fail to overturn the U.S. House, comes a sweep of new election legislation across the country designed, Republicans say, to restore confidence in the electoral process.

NCNAACP Legal Redress Committee Chairman and civil rights atty. Irving Joyner calls it something else.

The Republican Party is engaged in robust state-by-state efforts to restrict voting rights for racial minorities across this country, “ Joyner said in a statement. “Those efforts are designed to eliminate or roll-back every voting device and method which resulted in increases in voting participation by minority groups.”

“ In addition, the U.S. Supreme court is considering whether to gut the remaining sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In every respect, the rights of African Americans and other people of color to vote are under attack and we must respond in every corner in which this regressive battle is being waged. In this campaign to restrict voting rights and opportunities, we are the targets and intended victims.”

Thus the importance of House passage last week of H.R. 1, the most sweeping voting rights and ethics legislation in a generation. Not one Republican voted for the measure, and there is serious doubt it will pass the Senate as long as the filibuster is in place.

H.R. 1, if it does become law, would prevent much of the Republican voting restrictions states with GOP majorities either have passed, or are contemplating passing, like eliminating “Souls to the polls” Sunday voting, which is immensely popular with African-Americans.

In addition, in honor of the 56th Anniversary of the March 6th, 1965 Bloody Sunday civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., Pres.Biden signed a limited Executive Order promoting voter registration and voter access for people with disabilities.

“In this fight, we must applaud the recent passage of legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives to protect and enlarge these voting rights,” Atty Joyner says. “We also applaud President Joseph Biden to add executive support to support these rights, but those acts are not complete and long-lasting. In both cases, the U.S. Senate must also pass that voting right legislation and formalize the President’s recent executive actions.

Ironically of all of the Republican-led legislatures posting over 265 bills targeting regressive reform recently, the NC General Assembly is one of them. One of the reasons why the GOP here may not be in such a hurry (besides two voter ID cases pending in court presently), is the fact that unlike other states, Republicans didi quite well during the Nov. 2020 elections, despite controversial changes to the election laws involving absentee and mail-in balloting and early voting.

Unlike other states, those changes helped to increase Republican voter turnout, thus helping the GOP to retain control of both houses of the legislature, all open seats on state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and Pres. Trump winning this state.

Republican legislative leaders are still expected to pull several election “reform” laws out of their hats before this session ends, and Irv Joyner says African-Americans should not be lulled to sleep in the process.

“Now is not the time for our people to become so comfortable and complacent with their life styles and semblance of freedom that they don’t think that the right and opportunities to vote can be taken away,” Atty. Joyner says. “We have to re-double our efforts to educate our people about this danger and mobilize them to maximize their efforts to protect this precious right. Presently, we are at another bridge crossing moment and we must vigorously resist these efforts to suppress our voting rights.”







By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

When it comes to distributing COVID-19 vaccinations equitably between Black and white residents, North Carolina is one of the top states to do so, according to Bloomberg News’ Vaccine Tracker.

In fact, according to a March 6th Bloomberg Report report, about 11% of the state’s African-American population has received at least one shot, as opposed to 17% of North Carolina’s White population.  

Those numbers make North Carolina fourth in the nation in terms of spread between the two groups among states with the most comprehensive data sets.

North Carolina reportedly has racial data for 99.6 of residents who have been administered a set thus far.

There were reports early on that the vaccine was not being evenly distributed statewide, but officials at the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services wasted no time afterwards correcting it’s vaccine management system, and consulting with African-American and Hispanic community leaders about where there need was greatest.

The plan - to send more vaccines to areas of higher concentrations of historically underserved populations starting in January.

So if 30% of a particular county’s total population is Black, then each provider in the count is expected to administer at least 30% of it’s vaccine supply to African-Americans.

Non-conpliance means risking losing supply.

Black churches were partnered with in order to build up trust in the communities.  The state’s vaccine management system required demographic data to completely register anyone for a shot, thus helping to track progress more effectively. With African-Americans disproportionately suffering from the coronavirus at more than twice the amount of whites nationally, making sure that vaccine distribution was as equitable as possible was a top priority, NC. Health and Human Services Sec. Mandy Cohen told Bloomberg News.

Community clinics are employed to reach people who trust those outlets. All the while, the state is keeping a close eye on data in order to strictly measure vaccine supply to providers so that goals are met.

Thus far, of the 1.5 million first doses administered since January, 77% have gone to White people, who comprise 71% of the population. African-Americans make up 22% of the population, and have received 16% of COVID shots in North Carolina thus far.

To ensure that African-Americans knew that they were a priority, Sec. Cohen joined last Friday with former NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber in Raleigh to publicly take shots of the new single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to prove that they are safe and secure.

The state admittedly is having problems reaching an equitable share of the Hispanic population, who make up 10% of the state’s population. Because that population skews younger, many Hispanics didn’t qualify for the first round of vaccine shots, which were dedicate to older groups.




    [RALEIGH]Even with the pandemic still prominent, Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders have found a way past their differences to reopen public schools in North Carolina, they announced Wednesday. All elementary schools will reopen for "Plan A"  in-person instruction. Middle school and High school students would follow a mix of Plan A and Plan B restrictions, meaning there would be some social distancing, and online instruction to limit transmission of the coronavirus. Students with IEP or 504 special education wouldn't have to move to Plan A if their parents want to stay in Plan B. The governor could shut down schools if necessary, but only district by district.


[RALEIGH] “Not all residents share the same high quality of life in this region, and that fact is due to systemic racism,” said Danya Perry, director of Equitable Economic Development at Wake County Economic Development during a presentation to Wake County Commissioners Monday. The group, part of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, “…imagines “…a future where the full potential of a local economy is unlocked through the dismantling of barriers and the expansion of opportunities for lower-income citizens and communities of emphasis.”


[GREENSBORO] The NC Sons of Confederate Veterans is suing the NC Department of Transportation because the state agency decided to stop issuing state license plates with the confederate battle flag on them. The group claims that discriminates against its members who pay for a specialty plate that has the flag as part of it’s logo. NCDOT determined that it should discontinue the plate logo because it had “…the potential to offend the who view them.” R. Kevin Stone, commander of the NC Sons of Confederate Veterans, disagreed. “The Confederate Battle Flag is a symbol of our heritage. “Symbols can often have more than one meaning. To assume the Confederate Battle Flag is uniquely offensive is to validate only one viewpoint and thereby discriminate against others.”