Monday, June 28, 2021




                                                                   GEORGE FLOYD




Cash Michaels

An Analysis

Because of Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, the most time that former Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin could have expected to have been punished with for the May 25, 2020 second, third-degree murder and manslaughter of unarmed North Carolinian George Floyd was 40 years in prison.

The Chauvin case, the first of four connected to Floyd’s slaying, was watershed in terms of the aggressive prosecution, but in the opinion of many, including some of Floyd’s family, the 22.5 year sentence rendered by presiding District Court Judge Peter Cahill on June 25th didn’t go far enough to send a message to racist and abusive police officers that unnecessary brutality against unarmed black citizens is no longer to be  tolerated by the criminal justice system, but will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

"Derek Chauvin will spend a significant portion of his life behind bars ... so that seems to be appropriate," Ayesha Bell Hardaway, assistant professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law told the Insider, an online magazine. "I'm hesitant, as some may be inclined to, to think that it means anything significant about police reform in this country." 

Indeed Chauvin - a relatively young 45 years of age - could be walking the streets of Minnesota again in just 15 years with good behavior, critics say. Given that Chauvin displayed no mercy or consideration for George Floyd’s life when he handcuffed, and then jammed his knee against Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes until the life drained out of the black man, many critics believed deserved the maximum punishment under Minnesota law.

"What kind of message are you sending to our country?" Brandon Williams, Floyd’s nephew, asked at a family press conference after the sentence was handed down. "What kind of message are you sending to the younger kids like Gianna (Floyd’s young daughter), that you can kill a man in cold blood and get a slap on the wrist?"

The message that was sent, many activists agree is that similar police abuse cases will continue to require maximum pressure from family members, their attorneys and the community on the criminal justice system to deliver requisite justice when a sworn officer acts beyond the scope of their oath, ultimately taking a life in the process.

That axiom is certainly clear here in North Carolina, where the Andrew Brown Jr. police killing case in Pasquotank County continues to be an open wound for the family and community.

"If we're being honest with ourselves…,” said former Pres. Barack Obama after Chauvin guilty verdict in April, “… we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial."

Still, in the minds and hearts of others, including members of George Floyd’s family, while Derek Chauvin didn’t get the maximum sentence allowed, he did get enough for them to move forward with.

"It will certainly give him something to think about – the devastation that he caused for our family and what we had to relive during that trial," Roger Floyd, George Floyd’s uncle in Raleigh told WRAL-TV last week, said.

"As a family, we're doing so much better," he added. "We're getting there one day at a time, and I think this [sentence] will somewhat close the chapter on this aspect of it."

Derek Chauvin still faces federal civil rights violation charges.

Passage of H.R. 7120 - the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, is still pending in the U. S. Senate.





BY Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Now that they’ve passed their version of the proposed 2021-22 state budget, Republican legislative leaders are gearing up to join their state House counterparts in outlawing critical race theory (CRT).

Or at least what they “think” is critical race theory.

FACT - according to Vox, “…critical race theory, created four decades ago by legal scholars, is an academic framework for examining how racism is embedded in America’s laws and institutions. It is just now receiving widespread attention because it has morphed into a catchall category, one used by Republicans who want to ban anti-racist teachings and trainings in classrooms and workplaces across the country.”

Indeed, beyond the drive in GOP-led legislatures across the nation to quickly pass so-called “election integrity” laws, under the erroneous accusation that the presidential results of the November 2020 elections were somehow corrupted, nothing else has grown more legislative legs than the push to outlaw what Republicans “think” is leftist indoctrination in the nation’s public schools regarding American and state racial history.

Here in North Carolina, House Bill 324 - the Ensuring Dignity and Nondiscrimination /Schools Act, passed by the state House in May and now pending in the State Senate, states that it would “…demonstrate the General Assembly’s intent that students , teachers , administrators, and other school employees recognize the equality and rights of all persons and to prohibit public school units from promoting certain concepts that are contrary to that intent.”

Further on in the measure, it is stated that public schools “shall not promote…one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” or that “…an individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”

And the bill doesn’t stop there. According to HB 324, now pending in the state Senate, public schools “shall not promote that …an individual , solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, bern responsibility for actions committed in the past by other member of the same race or sex. Any individual , solely by virtue of his or he race or sex, should feel discomfort , guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress. That the belief that the United States is a meritocracy is an inherently racist or sexist belief, or that the United States was created by members of a particular race or sex for the purpose of oppressing members of another race or sex.”

The act, when passed by the state Senate, becomes effective July 1st, 2021.

So even though the term or phrase “critical race theory” is never used in the legislation, conservatives and Republicans have decided to label anything that speaks to the racial history of the United States, or negative conditions and treatment of people of color today as critical race theory.

Thus, teaching how the white supremacy of 1898 Wilmington still has roots in racial bias in the port city today would now be illegal.

Teaching how racial segregation historically hurt Black public school students in North Carolina, and continue to do so today, would now be illegal.

And of course, not hiring Nikole Hannah-Jones to teach at UNC - Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media after she authored the controversial 1619 Project would not be illegal under HB 324, but certainly go against conservative orthodoxy.

Teaching from the 1619 Project about how important American institutions were born in the cradle of slavery and racism…that would be illegal, and is already in several other states like Texas and Idaho.

Indeed, black Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, and Republican Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, have already blasted both the Charlotte and Durham public school systems for promoting critical race theory to their students.

And GOP budget writers have deliberately not funded the establishment of black historical monuments for the proposed state Capitol grounds, saying that now is “not the time.”

The question now is …when Republicans in the NC Senate ratify HB 324, will Gov. Roy Cooper sign it?




[RALEIGH] About 800 students at HBCU St. Augustine’s University are happy, not only that the pandemic seems to be over, but that, thanks to over $9 million in federal Coronavirus AID, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding, many of their unpaid balances to the school from the most recent semesters, have been paid off. Now students at St. Aug., and other historically black colleges and universities across the state, can also continue their studies without the weight of pressing bills from the pandemic. 

Shaw University used $1 million in CARES Act funding to pay for summer school for hundreds of students.


[WILMINGTON] Dan Johnson, an associate professor at UNC - Wilmington, recently posted the phrase, “Blow up Republicans” on his Facebook page. As a result, the UNCW chancellor and Board of Trustees have now gotten into the act, apparently forcing Johnson to apologize. Critics say what Johnson posted was constitutionally protected speech, and civil libertarians should be weary of not challenging overbearing investigations into such.


[ROCKY MOUNT] State NAACP President. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman is alleging racism against Democrat State Auditor Beth Wood and Republican state Sen. Lisa Barnes regarding who he insists are false allegations of corruption in the predominately black Rocky Mount City government. Woods was chided for probing an alleged $48,000 in utility bills owed by Councilmember Andre Knight. That debt was reported forgiven by the black city manager. Knight has vigorously denied the allegations, calling them “a lie.” Sen. Barnes is sponsoring SB 473, basically targeting Knight’s alleged corruption.


Monday, June 21, 2021



                                                        MONICA AND DAMEON SHEPARD




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The white former New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy who allegedly led an armed white “mob” to a black Pender County family’s home in May 2020 has now filed a countersuit, along with his father,  against that family, charging that they “…were exploited by greedy lawyers who preyed on racial sensitivities and falsified a story just to seek fame and fortune by committing racial extortion.”

Jordan Kita, the ex-deputy who lost his job because of the incident, but escaped conviction when the case went to criminal court, has denied, through his attorneys, that race was a motivation in the May 2020 late night incident.

       His lawyer, Woody White, demands that the black family - Monica Shepard and her teenage son, Dameon - apologize to Kita and his father, or else face a defamation lawsuit.

The Shepards refused, feeling that they were the ones who had been originally violated. 

“[The Shepards] were terrorized by Defendants’ actions, which constitute trespass, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, interference with civil rights…and violation of the right to fair housing,” their Jan. 2021 lawsuit claimed.

But in their countersuit, Jordan Kita and his father, Timothy, deny that they led an armed angry “white mob” to the Shepard’s home, saying that they and a group of “concerned citizens,” with assistance from the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, were looking for Timothy Kita’s adopted “mixed race” daughter, who “ran away from home” earlier that day.

In fact, despite Jordan Kita ’s appearance at the Shepards’ front door wearing his then New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy uniform - complete with visible holstered service weapon - and another of the accompanying searchers, Austin Wood, carrying a visible “firearm on his shoulder”  or “some type of rifle” in front of the Shepard’s property, in their countersuit, the Kita’s admit that their group that night was “… involved in a “desperate search,” that caused the Kitas and their search party “…to be under duress and the condition of there minds was one of stress and anxiety…solely motivated by their desire to find [the missing child]...”

The Kitas assert that their conduct that evening “would not have resulted in any injury to any ordinary person,” despite later admitting in being involved in a “desperate search,” that caused the Kitas and their search party “…to be under duress and the condition of their minds was one of stress and anxiety…solely motivated by their desire to find [the missing child]...”

According to press accounts, the Kita search party late night “conduct” at the Shepard’s home was loud enough to wake the neighbors, who promptly called the Pender County Sheriff’s Dept.

The Kitas maintain that they were at the Shepard’s house “a very short time.”

They also deny being part of an “armed mob,” and “..assert that there was implied permission for persons to approach [the Shepard’s] home, and [they] posted no sign or notice forbidding entry to [their] property.” warning  of trespassing.

Legally, trespassing is invoke once a property owner demands that you leave immediately and you don’t, which the Shepards allege happened after 10 p.m on that Sunday night, May 3rd, 2020.

Interestingly, the Kitas admit that Dameon Shepard was “shouting” at them, yet they deny any “confrontation” with the Shepards several times in their countersuit, saying only that they had a “short conversation” with Monica Shepard before leaving to continue their search.

Denying any “confrontation” with Dameon Shepard, the first to answer the door, is critical to the Kitas countersuit, for it was his loud demands for Jordan Kita to get his foot out of the front door and go away that awakened his mother, Monica, and drew her to the disturbance at her home.

The Kitas maintain that all of their actions that evening were without racial malice or threat, even though they also admit to looking for a black teenager named “Josiyah” who they were erroneously told was harboring their young missing family member at the Shepards’ Avendale neighborhood address, and whom they also erroneously accused Dameon Shepard of being initially upon arriving at the Shepards’ home, according to the Shepards’ lawsuit.

In their countersuit, the Kitas claim to not know the race of  “Josiyah,” even though Dameon Shepard claims Jordan Kita immediately accused him of being Josiyah upon answering the door.

In fact, the Kitas’ countersuit says very little about ever speaking to Dameon Shepard at all, even though he was the first to answer the door upon the Kita “search group” arriving, and the first to insist that Jordan Kita allegedly stop trying to put his foot in the door as he demanded answers.

The Kitas claim that attorneys for the Shepards and the media are using race as an aggravating factor because of the “political climate.”

As a result, the Kitas claim defamation, and seek damages and punitive damages of at least $25,000, and a trial by jury.


                                                     AL ROKER

                                             JAMES MICHAEL TYLER



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

If you’re a Black male over the age of 40, this story could save your life.

This week, the public learned of the plight of a white actor who used to appear on the popular NBC-TV sitcom “Friends.” The actor, James Michael Tyler, 59, who portrayed the character “Gunther,” revealed that he is suffering from stage four prostate cancer, and is no longer able to walk.

"I've been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years,” Tyler told NBC’s Today Show. "It's stage 4 [now], late-stage cancer, so eventually, it's gonna probably get me."

The cancer from James’ enlarged prostate has created lesions in his body that have eaten away at his bones and spinal column, making him unable to ever walk again.

Ironically, it was on the Today Show where that program’s iconic black weatherman, Al Roker, 66, announced last November that he was taking a leave of absence to have necessary prostate cancer surgery, because during a routine health checkup that he almost skipped, it was detected that he had a “little aggressive” form of prostate cancer that if caught early (by removing his enlarged prostate), could be neutralized.

“This one was kind of just a weird feeling that nobody can outwardly see anything different about me,” Roker later said. “I looked in the mirror, there was nothing outwardly different. But I knew there was something intrinsically, inherently, internally different.”

Roker’s prostate cancer was indeed caught early, unlike James Michael Tyler’s, and he has since returned to work as the nation’s premiere weather forecaster.

Finally, there is a heretofore unidentified 65-year-old African-American male living here in North Carolina who we’ll call “Jake.”

Just a few months ago, Jake found himself waking up with tremendous pain on his left side, and that pain would spread. He finally went to an orthopedic doctor to find out what was wrong, had x-rays taken, but nothing was determined, so Jake was given medicine for the pain.

Soon after, Jake went in for a routine checkup with his primary physician, who discovered that he had lost a significant amount of weight since November 2020, his last visit. She had a blood test done, and specifically a PSA, or prostate specific antigen test.

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by normal, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood,” according to the National Cancer Institute.

Though there is some current debate in the medical community, men (women do not have prostates) with PSA levels between 1.0 ng/ml and 4.0 ng/ml are generally believed to not have prostate cancer. Men with higher PSA levels are believed to be more at risk.

Jake’s PSA level was over 2,000, and a subsequent biopsy at a local urologist confirmed the presence of prostate cancer.

But what was the source of the pain in James’ side?

Late one Saturday evening, he recalls, James was watching television, and right before he went to bed, he felt his chest and back virually explode in pain. Nothing he did or took could relieve it. His wife rushed him to the local emergency room, where a  more precise MRI was taken.

The MRI revealed that deep lesions had taken hold of Jake’s spine and bones, causing the tremendous pain he was suffering. A visit to an oncologist (cancer doctor) and full body scan confirmed it, and now Jake is under testament for stage four prostate cancer for the rest of his life.

He has to take a chemotherapy drug every day that kills his testosterone (necessary to deplete cancer cells, doctors say), and receive two shots monthly to replenish his bones, in addition to taking daily calcium and Vitamin D supplements.

“I don’t know how much longer I have to live, but I’ve accepted the fact that I probably won’t see my 70th birthday,” Jake now says.

The following is literally true, though doctors admittedly don’t know the reason why - black men are more likely the other men to develop prostate cancer. Therefore, it is important that black men age 40 and over routine have a PSA test done annually. Early detection is the surest way to cure prostate cancer. 

However, doctors have agreed, detecting it too late means that there is no cure. Prostate cancer is more likely in older and non-Hispanic black men. Average age for diagnosis is 65.

Other famous men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer - golfer Arnold Palmer (deceased); singer/activist Harry Belafonte; South African President Nelson Mandela (deceased) and former US. Sec. of State Colin Powell.

Be safe, black men. Have annual blood tests, and make PSA testing a required part of the examination. 

Until medical science finds a cure, prevention for black men IS the only cure for prostate cancer.

For more information, call the American Cancer Society helpline at 800-227-2345.





[CHAPEL HILL] NY Times Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will not take her new job at UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media on July 1st unless she is given tenure, according to a letter from her attorneys quoted in current press reports. That letter was shared with UNC - Chapel Hill Trustee Board members Tuesday afternoon. Depending on how the trustee board reacts, the next show to drop could be a promised discrimination lawsuit from Hannah-Jones. Sources close to the board said she is being denied due to her award winning work on The 1619 Project.


[RALEIGH] Call it spite, but Republican budgetwriters area now refusing to fund $2.5 million to the much heralded state capitol Black history project, meaning that unless the funding is forthcoming, there will be no monuments honoring Black history on the state capitol grounds. The project has been in the planning for several years, an ben Gov. Cooper had the funding in his proposed budget. Head GOP Senate budgetwriter Sen.Brent Jackson told the News and Observer that given the several confederate monuments have been taken down in recent years, “We felt like this was not the time to put something back up there of any type.” Sen. Gladys Robinson, Black Democrat from Guilford County said, “ Really? That’s an insult.” 

The funding could re-emerge when the final House and Senate budget is debated and passed in several weeks.


[GREENVILLE] The central figure in the 2018 Bladen County absentee ballot scandal that made national news pled guilty Monday in federal court to two of four charges stemming from Social Security fraud, 

Minutes before h was scheduled to go on trial, McCrae Dowless copped a plea that also has him paying back up to $14,000 in stolen disability payments. Sentencing is set for August 23rd.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021


                                                                       IAN CAMPBELL



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

An inexplicable “racist” event at the Historic Latta Plantation near Charlotte has been canceled for this Saturday, June 19th, “Juneteenth” because it commemorated defeated Confederate “white refugees” instead of the emancipation of black slaves of African descent across the country.

“Kingdom Coming” was supposed to be a $25.00 per person event this Saturday at 7 p.m., but was cancelled after strong backlash to it’s promoted purpose.

“Mecklenburg County has zero tolerance for programs that do not embrace equity and diversity,” stated the county in a statement last week about the Huntersville event. “Park and Recreation was not aware of the planned event at Latta Nature Preserve until it appeared on social media.We immediately reached out to the organizers and the event was canceled. As a result of this incident, Mecklenburg County is looking at its contract with the facility vendor regarding future programming.”

Even the Queen City’s black mayor, Vi Lyles, turns thumbs down on the event.

“We should not support any business or organization that does not respect equality, history, and the truth of the African-American people’s journey to freedom,” Mayor Lyles said on Twitter Friday. “Despite intent, words matter. And the Historic Latta Plantation should know better.” “Juneteenth,” Lyles continued, “should be celebrated and honored in the most humble way possible, with laser focus on the perspective of the inhumane treatment of an enslaved people.”

According to it’s website, the nonprofit Historic Latta Plantation “…is a circa 1800 living history museum and farm located near Charlotte, NC. Throughout the year, Historic Latta Plantation offers educational and school programs featuring animals, workshops, camps, and reenactments.”

“The plantation house along with a carriage barn, cabins, and outbuildings, give visitors a glimpse into 19th century life in the Carolina backcountry.”

Present day, the Historic Latta Planation serves as a site for weddings, corporate meetings, etc. A look through the page of it’s website show a predominance of storytelling through a white perspective regarding the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

In the online promo for “Kingdom Coming,” it stated,  You will hear stories from the massa himself who is now living in the woods.  Federal troops (Yankees) have him on the run and his former bondsmen have occupied his home and are now living high on the hog.  Hear how they feel about being freedmen.  The overseer is now out of a job.  What will he do now that he has no one to oversee from can see to can’t see?  White refugees have been displaced and have a story to tell as well.  Confederate soldiers who will be heading home express their feelings about the downfall of the Confederacy.  

Critics have slammed the promo for referring to former slaves as “former bondsmen” and white slaveowners as “white refugees.”

And yet, on it’s Facebook page, some whites are the ones critical of the Latta Plantation’s programming.

This place is disgusting and promotes hatred and racism. Pure evil!, posted a woman named “Valerie.”

“Horrific experience and horrific programming,” posted “Kaitlin,” while “Leo” wrote, “That Latta white washes history is an understatement. As  Charlotte native this place has always had issues with interpretation but the recent unapologetic, overt racism is over the top.”

The “new” site manager for the Historic Latta Plantation, Ian Campbell, issued a statement about the now cancelled “Kingdom Coming” event on the plantation’s website.

Identifying himself as “…an American man of African descent …,”Campbell, writes, “ The program “Kingdom Coming” was created by  myself, with the help of others. I, Ian Campbell, Site Manager of Historic Latta  Plantation take full responsibility for its content entirely! To the masses on social  media and politicians, no apology will be given for bringing a unique program to  educate the public about former slaves becoming FREE!”

Campbell continued, “ The Confederacy will never be glorified, white supremacy will never be glorified,  plantation owners, white refugees or overseers will never be glorified. What will be  commemorated is the story of our people who overcame being snatched from their  loved ones in Mother Africa and taken to a new and strange land. To work from can  see to can’t see from birth to death. The fact that they survived and we are here and  continue to thrive and prosper will be glorified.”

“To tell the story of these freedmen would be pointless if the  stories of others were not included,” the site manage continued. ‘Many of you may not like this but, their lives  were intertwined, the stories of massa, the Confederate soldiers, the overseer, the  displaced white families. How would we know how the enslaved became free or  what their lives were like before freedom came? It didn’t happen with the stroke of a  pen. Federal troops came across many of these plantations to enforce federal laws and  many of the owners fled.”

Campbell later lashed out at his critics.

“I by no means will let this  deter me and the vision of lifting the veil of ignorance. The event was canceled due to  security concerns for volunteers and staff. The media’s corps of yellow journalist had  a perfect opportunity to educate, however, they chose to whip the public into a frenzy,  it worked….

 It was not until after the social media frenzy that Latta received numerous emails  and phone calls about the event. I also received a phone call from Vi Lyles, the mayor  of Charlotte. As long as I have been at Historic Latta Plantation as a volunteer, then as  a part-time employee, then as the education coordinator, then as the interpretive farm  manager, then as site manager, I have never seen Vi Lyles, the Mayor of the great city  of Charlotte visit our site or any other influential and prominent government officials.  The same applies to NPR, WBTV, the Charlotte observer et al. 

In closing, my job will be to continue to educate. Historic Latta Plantation’s  narrative will be to give a voice to our ancestors enslaved and as freedmen who were  denied a voice. We will speak for them in a compassionate, accurate, and sensitive  manner,” Ian Campbell concluded.


                                             NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

It’s been two weeks now since the UNC at Chapel Hill Trustee Board was given the ultimatum by attorneys for award-winning New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to either give her tenure with their offer of employment at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, or else face a massive discrimination lawsuit.

But thus far, nothing has happen. The board has not formally met to consider the ultimatum, and as of press time Monday, no lawsuit on Hannah-Jones’ behalf has been filed.

Is there an unforeseen stalemate underway, or are attorneys for Hannah-Jones just cooling their heels while they gather as much legal firepower by way of emails, statistics and research necessary to prove beyond doubt that the reason why Hannah-Jones, who was hired to be the new Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism, did not receive tenure as part of her employment package was because of political pressure wielded by right-wing conservatives on the UNC-Chapel Trustee Board because of her prior controversial, yet much much-heralded work on the NY Times 1619 Project, the 2019 long-form expose that documented how the cruel institution of American slavery signaled the true birth of the United States.

Many Republicans and conservatives - including former Pres. Donald Trump and NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson - have denounced the 1619 Project, claiming that it unfairly and inaccurately portrays US history as being undergirded by racism, instead of unbridled patriotism and honor.

Laws here in North Carolina, and across the country, have been either introduced or ratified prohibiting the teaching of any American or state history employing the 1619 Project.

The controversy involving Hannah-Jones and UNC-Chapel Hill is seen as a major embarrassment for the UNC System’s flagship school. There are reports that of the many professors and associate professors teaching at the university, African-American professors hold the fewest number of tenured positions.

There are also reports that at least one heralded black chemistry professor from the University of Maryland in recent weeks turned down an offer to teach at UNC- Chapel because of the Hannah-Jones controversy. Meanwhile, there are other reports citing sources stating that black professors already at UNC-Chapel Hill are anxious to leave and teach elsewhere, feeling that the right-leaning board is too politicized to be trusted.

Hannah-Jones’ five-year term at UNC Hussman School is scheduled to officially begin on July 1st. The trustee board is expected to turnover with new members in July.

Whether attorneys for Hannah-Jones, who are reportedly speaking with UNC attorneys currently, are willing to wait until next month to either give the board the chance to resolve the issue, or go forward with their lawsuit, remains to be seen.




[RALEIGH] Hard to believe, but North Carolina will be far from broke after the COVID-19 pandemic continues to subside. In fact, economists say, expect an additional $6.5 billion revenue windfall over the next two years for state government from revenue collections. That means Gov. Cooper and Republican legislative leaders will have important decisions to make about state employee raises, tax custard other spending and saving priorities.


[RALEIGH] In an effort to help boost COVID-19 vaccination numbers by the Fourth of July, the White House sent top aides to Raleigh this week to push for a 70% percent goal. Pres. Biden is aiming for t least 70% of adults to have received at least one shot by that time. At present pace, North Carolina will have 57 percent of it’s adult population inoculated by the. Experts say it will take five more months for NC to reach Biden’s goal.


[CARY] Two years ago, the town of Cary commemorated Juneteenth with a celebration, but this year it will be a paid holiday for town employees. The Town Council officially added Juneteenth to it’s list of paid holidays last month. As many African-Americans know, Juneteenth commemorates that day in 1865 when enslaved black people were finally told in 1865 that the Civil War was over, and press. Abraham Lincoln had signed the emancipation Proclamation two and a half years earlier. Cary joins Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, Greensboro, Hillsborough and Chapel Hill in making Juneteenth a paid holiday. The state does not recognize it yet.


Monday, June 7, 2021


                                                    FREDERICK RODRIQUEZ COX, JR.

                                                                 TENICKA SHANNON





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The mother of another fatal police shooting victim in North Carolina blasted a grand jury’s June 1st decision not to indict the off-duty, plainclothes Davidson County sheriff’s detective responsible.

“I was shocked…devastated and let down…,” Tenicka Shannon of High Point said as she vowed that justice will be done in the death of her son, Frederick Rodriquez Cox Jr., 18, last November at a High Point church. 

“My son was murdered in a church by a detective!”

Cox was one of many mourners attending the funeral of a teenage murder victim at Living Water Baptist Church on November 8th. After the service ended and the congregation was leaving, a car drove by the church firing shots. Ms. Shannon says her son was heroically opening the door of the church to allow people back in for safety, when the detective opened fire, fatally hitting him four times, twice in the back, according to a subsequent autopsy report.

“He was shot in the back of the neck, which was the fatal shot,” Ms. Shannon confirmed.

It took seven months for the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office to present it’s evidence to a grand jury on Tuesday, June 1st after a questionable probe by the State Bureau of Investigation. 

According to a release by the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office, a majority of the 18-member grand jury, citing insufficient evidence to support criminal charges,  determined that there was no probable cause to sustain a charge (or true bill) of either voluntary manslaughter, or felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Last January, the SBI released a preliminary report alleging that “The deputy “observed Cox with a handgun at the time (the deputy) discharged his weapon and other witnesses observed a handgun near Cox after he was shot.”

But in it’s release last week, the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office said, “There was no evidence presented that Cox Jr. was in a gang or that he discharged a weapon,” meaning, as far as many of the witnesses and Cox’s mother is concerned, there was no reason for the plainclothes deputy to fire his weapon at the young man.

“It is a true murderer that’s walking the streets that holds a badge, and does not know [when] to fire his service weapon,” Ms. Shannon said.

“It’s sad and it’s scary.” 

Thus, Ms. Shannon assured that a wrongful death suit is forthcoming, and she will be represented by civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump, the so-called “attorney general for Black America” because of his advocacy for the families of Black police victims, and atty. Antonio Romanucci.

“This shameful lack of accountability is something we see all too often when young Black men are unjustifiably gunned down by officers,” Crump and Romanucci said in a statement. “Fred Cox was attempting to help his community, already in the midst of grieving the loss of a loved one, when he was wrongly profiled by police and killed because of it. Law enforcement cannot continue to fire their weapons at Black people blindly and without consequence.”

The NC NAACP is supporting Ms Shannon, as is Rev. Gregory Drumwright of the activist group Justice 4 the Next Generation.

The fact that Fred Cox Jr. died trying to protect others is indicative of the kind of young man that he was, Tenicka Shannon says. Her son was mannerly, and “very protective of women,” she says. “I raised this young man by myself. My husband taught my son to open the door for women.”

Meanwhile, in the Anthony Brown Jr. police shooting case in Elizabeth City, representatives of the N.C. NAACP when to Washington, D.C.  last week and met with Asst. U.S. Attorney General Amy Solomon and the Civil Rights Division, delivering a letter requesting a “pattern and practice” investigation of law enforcement in the Pasquotank County region.

Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the MC NAACP said that he and his group were “well received.”





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

According to a new Harvard University project, African-Americans were twice as likely to be killed by police than whites in North C\arolina between 2013 and 2021.

Furthermore, the project, Mapping Police Violence ( a product of the Law Enforcement Demographic Survey and the Washington Post’s police shooting database, revealed that in North Carolina, from 2013 until now, there have been 249 deaths involving law enforcement officers, and rarely has anyone been held legally accountable, with officer prosecutions “extremely rare.”

To be clear, there is no official national database of police related deaths, but rather crowdsources and media compilations.

By the numbers, 35% of those deaths were African-Americans, while only 22% of North Carolina’s population is Black.

Only four officers were actually charged over that time period (three of the charges involved white victims, only one was Black), and 20% of the 94 reporting police departments and sheriff’s offices had staff of sworn officers who were all-white.

In deaths involving firearms, interestingly, the majority of Black victims were not trying to flee, according to the Washington Post.

The low rate of police prosecutions in North Carolina mirrors what is happening in the rest of the country, according to data compiled by researchers. Only 35 police officers were convicted of unjustified shootings nationally between between 2005 and 2019.

When the racial makeup of the police or sheriff’s department does not mirror the community which it is responsible for policing, studies show that use of force incidents go up, and this is especially true in North Carolina when white officers interact with Black citizens from agencies that are virtually all-white.




[RICHMOND, VA.] The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals this week ruled that NC state Attorney General Josh Stein, not attorneys hired by Republican legislative leaders in the NC General Assembly, will defend North Carolina’s voter ID law in court. GOP leaders felt strongly that Stein, a Democrat, would not fight vigorously to defend the 2018 law, but a majority of the 15-member federal appellate court disagreed. NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearnan hailed the decision, issuing a statement saying in part, “"We look forward to bringing our full case to trial in 2022 as we continue to challenge all racially discriminatory impediments to the right to vote in our state amid the rapidly unfolding national fight for our democracy.” 


[GREENVILLE] Black Republican NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson made headlines again last weekend at the NC Republican Parry Convention in Greenville when he made clear during a speech that he believed a woman who is raped is obligated to raise the resulting the child, saying that once a woman becomes pregnant, “’s not her body anymore.” Robinson added that his opposition to a woman’s legal right to choose is an issue he will not budge on.


[RALEIGH] Though a deal has not been reached yet, NC House and Senate Republicans say the budget they’re woking to hash out will have more tax cuts, and only have 3.45% in spending over their previous proposed spending plan. Reports say expect a deal  of no more than $25.7 billion annually for the next two years, beginning in July. That is less than the proposed $27.3 billion offered by Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper’s proposal includes expansion of Medicaid, while the Republican legislative leaders’ plan doesn’t.