Monday, July 26, 2021


                                             U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE CHERI BEASLEY



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Former NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley is certainly attracting both support, and scrutiny in her bid for 2022 U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by the departing Republican incumbent Sen. Richard Burr.

"I’m so grateful for all of the support and enthusiasm we’re seeing across NC," she wrote on Twitter recently. “For too long, our senators have been more focused on their own self interest than serving our state. It’s past time for that to change. And together we’ll make that happen.”

The former Chief Justice lost a razor thin race against Associate Justice Paul Newby by just 400 votes statewide in the November 2020 elections. She formally joined the 2022 race for the U.S. Senate in April 2021.

On the support side, the Beasley campaign reported raising $1.3 million for it’s war chest, with donations coming in from 93 of North Carolina’s 100 counties (90% being $100.00 or less) keeping pace with her Democratic primary opponents thus far, and also keeping pace with the GOP U.S. Senate frontrunner, former NC Governor Pat McCrory, who has also reportedly raised approximately $1.3 million.

In McCrory’s case, the once-moderate Republican and one time mayor of Charlotte faces a primary field of two others - Congressman Ted Budd (R-NC-6) and former District 6 Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC-6), and leads both in fundraising. However, McCrory has already challenged both to primary debates, mostly likely because he’s seen as weak with North Carolina’s rock solid conservative base.

Indeed, when former Pres. Donald Trump visited North Carolina last month, he surprised everyone by publicly endorsing Budd for the Senate seat. Walker has already agreed to the debates, but Budd has not responded thus far.

No such drama on the Democratic side, as Cheri Beasley leads a primary field of six, which includes state Sen. Jeff Jackson, former state Sen. Erica Smith, Beaufort Mayor Rett Newton, pharmacist Ava Edwards and virologist Richard Watkins.

The primaries are slated for March 8th, 2022.

Republicans are already trying to soften Democratic frontrunner Beasley up, with the NC Republican Party releasing  statement alleging that Beasley “…has agreed to partner with Democratic Socialist U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) in a joint fundraising committee…a member of Justice Democrats, the most leftwing caucus in Congress, which includes congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tiaib (D-MI).

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is also accusing Beasley of flip-flopping on voter ID, alleging that she’s trying to having it both ways in a statement both supportive of H.R. 1 “For the People Act that is against voter I.D., but also supportive of a proposed compromise by moderate Sen. Joe Manchin that touts voter I.D..

For the record, Beasley has been against voter ID since 2014, but apparently is willing to compromise on the issue, like many other Democrats, in order to get important voting rights legislation passed.

On the support side, NY Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has publicly endorsed Beasley as “…a trailblazer who has dedicated he career to the people of North Carolina…, “ adding that “Cheri can flip this seat and help us hold our Senate majority…”

Political observers see at least ten U.S. Senate seats flip in 2022, and North Carolina is one of them. They also see the prospect of two Black female Democrats winning Senate seats - Val Demings in Florida and Cheri Beasley in North Carolina.

As of press time, Cheri Bealey has received endorsements from at least 70 leaders from across North Carolina, including from Color of Change; former NC Supreme Chief Justice Henry Frye; state Senators Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford); Deb Butler (D-New Hanover); state Rep. Evelyn Terry (Forsyth) and  former state Rep. H.M. “Mickey” Michaux (Durham).


Guilford Supt. Sharon Contreras

                                       New Hanover Supt. Dr. Charles Foust




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The growing controversy surrounding “Critical Race Theory” has now gone from over-the-top political rhetoric to heated parental protests, and now threats of violence against school administrators across the state.

In Wilmington, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is investigating threats of intimidation being made against the NHC School Board and it’s superintendent, Dr. Charles Foust. This comes a week after the regularly scheduled in-person July school board meeting had to be cut short two weeks ago because the packed audience became unruly and demanded to be heard. That forced the NHC School Board to finish it’s public meeting virtually, and putting speakers on videotape for it’s own safety.

While there are several school issues of concern to parents and citizens up for debate, there is no question that the commonly held belief that Critical Race Theory allegedly is slated to be taught starting in the coming school year is at the top of the list.

But according to Dr. Foust - who did not return a Wilmington Journal request for comment Monday - there are no plans for  Critical Race Theory to be taught in New Hanover County Public Schools.

Supt. Foust has said the school district is not teaching Critical Race Theory, primarily because it is a collegiate level concept about the history of systematic racism that has been taught in universities and law schools for the past forty years , not secondary schools or primary schools.

What will be taught will be based on the new social studied standards adopted by the NC Board of Education that focus more on the history of American slavery , with students being challenged to engage in critical thinking about what they learn.

But parents in Wilmington, and elsewhere, like Guilford County, see any focus on America’s racial past as “Marxist indoctrination,” so much so that last June, many rose up in righteous indignation over what they thought was the teaching of Critical Race Theory in their schools..

Guilford Schools Supt. Sharon Contreras has had to face threats since June, again, over false accusations about Critical Race Theory being taught in the school system there. A conservative group called Take Back Our Schools reportedly has been “banging on the windows” of the school district headquarters, demanding that Contreras be fired over the allegation.

Many of the alleged threats have been racist in nature, directed at Supt. Contreras, and calling students of color “BLM thugs” and “anti-white racists.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools haven’t seen any threats over Critical Race Theory yet, but at least 80 outrage parents blasted the CMS school board two weeks ago primarily because the school system paid $25,000 to 

an African-American speaker for a “ race theory presentation” during a summer leadership conference.

"I'm not co-parenting with the government. It is not your job to force these ideas onto my child," parent Abby Daugherty told the CMS Board. "Your job is to teach my child math language arts, science, and history, including American history. We are Americans." 

Other school boards across the state have gotten the message, and have effectively outlawed the teaching of any subject matter that reflects badly on American history, regardlessly of how true it is.

Add to that Republican lawmakers passing HB 324 to formally outlaw Critical Race Theory, and Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson standing firm against the new social studies standards, alleging that they teach that America is a racist nation, and it should be no surprise that the level of rhetoric, threats and violence will increase when the school year resumes in a few weeks.




[WASH., D.C.] Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12) praised the powerful testimony of four police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol against attack by enraged Trump supporter on Jan. 6th. “Their harrowing testimony about the weapons used against them during the attack, their injuries, and their physical and mental recovery cannot be ignored by people of conscience. Their testimony the the attack was a white nationalist insurrection against our government also cannot be ignored.”


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] Retiring NC Secretary of Public Safety Erik Hooks apparently isn’t going to take much time off. On Tuesday, Pres. Joe Biden nominated Hooks to serve as deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.

“I commend President Biden for his nomination of Erik Hooks to serve as Deputy Administrator for FEMA,’ said Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1). Secretary Hooks is the right man for the job. On day one, he will bring over 30 years of public safety experience to FEMA. Secretary Hooks’ experience and leadership at FEMA is what our country needs in times of crises, especially as a changing climate produces more severe and frequent natural disasters. I have no doubt Secretary Hooks will serve the American people with distinction while at FEMA, just as he has done for the past 30 years in North Carolina.”


[RALEIGH] Members of Rev. Dr. William Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign demonstrated in front of the Federal Building Monday, and the offices of Republican senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, demanding that Congress end the U.S. Senate filibuster, pass H.R. 1 “For the People Act,” and also raise the federal minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $15.

         Protestors also demanded that Congress fully restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act.


Monday, July 19, 2021


                                            NC SENATE PRES. PRO TEM PHIL BERGER





By Cash Michaels

An analysis

The gloves are now off!

Top NC Republicans have now publicly vowed to fight the practices of affirmative action and teaching relevant race history (what they call “critical race theory”) in public schools legislatively to ensure that people of color and women are not afforded what the GOP perceives to be any advantage over white citizens.

“Children must learn about our state’s racial past and all of its ugliness, from the 1898 Wilmington massacre to Jim Crow,” the conservative Carolina Journal online magazine quoted Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, at a news conference July 14th prior to a committee meeting. “But students must not be forced to adopt an ideology that is separate and distinct from history; an ideology that attacks ‘the very foundations of the liberal order,’ and that exalts ‘present discrimination’ — so long as it’s against the right people — as ‘antiracist.’”

The Carolina Journal story continued, “ Berger said he opposes Critical Race Theory and “will combat it with everything that I have, because I believe the doctrine undoes the framework that produced the most successful ongoing experiment in self-government in the history of mankind … whether you acknowledge it or not, this doctrine seeks to recast the foundational principles of American society. We must not let that happen.”

North Carolina has now officially jumped onboard the anti-Critical Race Theory train, even though not one public school teaches, or is slated to teach what, in reality, is a 40-year-old legal term for determining institutional and systematic racism in American society.

That didn’t stop Republican NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson from telling the Senate Education Committee, “I want to make one thing clear: The issue of indoctrination in our classrooms is real. It’s not some figment of somebody’s imagination. It’s happening all across the state, unfortunately.”

That committee is working to toughen HB 324, which, if passed, would effectively make it illegal to teach that “one race or sex is inherently superior to the other,” or even have discussions about America’s racial history, because that could be interpreted as “indoctrination.”

In effect, Republicans believe that what they call “CRT” would teach white children that they are inherently bad because of how badly their ancestors have historically treated Black people. Apparently white parents across the nation have that impression, and are rising up in arms at local school board meetings, apparently taking the GOP political bait that Democratic liberals are trying to miseducate their children.

Last week, a New Hanover County Public School Board meeting had to be halted because “concerned” white parents demanded that CRT not be taught.

        Sen. Berger has cited both Durham and Charlotte - where public school leadership have respectively welcomed a more accurate teaching of America’s racial history - as examples of exactly what he vows to fight “…with everything I have.”

NC Democrats, as best as they can, aren’t having it.

“If we want to learn from history, then we need to teach history - all of it, the good and the bad,” NC Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue (D-Wake) wrote in a July 14th tweet.

“When we exclude the hard parts, we are doing a disservice to our students an our country,” he continued.

Sen. Blue’s Democratic colleagues agree.

“HB 324 “would limit teachers’ and students’ ability to have crucial conversations that address the systematic inequities in the United States that persist today,” say NC Senate Democrats.

“I fear that what it really does away with is critical thinking in the classroom,” said Sen. Jay Chaudhuri (D-Wake)

but Democrats in the state Senate, and House, are in the minority, so unless Gov. Cooper can veto the HB 324, it will become law.

Not willing to pass up a golden political opportunity when they see it in the leadup to the crucial 2022 midterm elections, NC Senate Republicans are moving to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to ban affirmative action in the state, and that’s something Gov. Cooper cannot veto.

If passed, that would prohibit North Carolina colleges and universities from using race as key factors in admissions, and employers from using it in hiring.

Thus, Senate bill 729 “…would prohibit discrimination against or preferential treatment toward “any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”

Currently, race is allowed to be a factor in North Carolina university admissions.


                                             ANDREW BROWN, JR.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

It was three months ago this week, on April 21st, when Pasquotank Sheriff’s deputies fatally shot and unarmed Andrew Brown, Jr., 42, in front of his Elizabeth City home as they were serving a warrant for his arrest.

The three deputies responsible have not been criminally charged, but last week the Brown estate filed a $30 million federal lawsuit against Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie, Pasquotank County Tommy Wooten, and the seven Pasquotank deputies involved.

Reportedly, Dare County law enforcement worked with Pasquotank authorities in identifying Brown per the outstanding warrant.

Meanwhile, there months after the fatal shooting, none of the sheriff’s deputies’ bodycam footage of the killing has been officially released to the family or the media by a judge, as has been demanded by the family and protestors.

Now there’s word that Republican lawmakers want to actually make it tougher for the families of police shooting victims, or the media, to obtain law enforcement bodycam footage in a timely manner after an incident. 

Currently, only a judge can release the footage. 

In May, a bipartisan group of senators sought to rewrite the law so the families could have access within five days, unless law enforcement can show why that should not be the case.

But now, thanks to lobbying by the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, the families would not have automatic access to the bodycam. A judge would be the sole arbiter of who sees the footage, and when.

The new proposed version, Senate Bill 300 also would not prohibit those who see the bodycam footage from describing what they saw, but it would criminally punish anyone who made an unauthorized copy, and then publicly released it.

SB 300 was passed by the Senate, and is currently in the state House Rules Committee.

In the $30 million lawsuit filed by Andrew Brown Jr.’s estate against  the Dare and Pasquotank County sheriff’s departments, it contends that Brown’s constitutional rights were violated when deputies used unlawful deadly force as he drove away in an attempt to flee upon their arrival. The suit continues that there was no evidence of Brown posing a threat as he was unarmed, and thus, his was a “wrongful death” and “battery and assault.”

The lawsuit also seeks the full public release of all bodycam footage of the Brown fatal shooting.

Some of that footage was displayed by Pasquotank District Attorney Andrew Womble during a May press conference where he announce that he would not criminally charge three of the seven county deputies for firing into Brown’s vehicle.

Andrew Brown Jr. was killed when one of the bullets fired by deputies at his moving vehicle struck him in the back of his head.




[WILMINGTON] Concerned citizens met with members of Black Lives Matter and New Hanover County Educational Justice Tuesday afternoon at the 1898 Memorial to discuss how NHC Public Schools Policy 5120 is written regarding whether parents have to be called if they are questioned by law enforcement or searched by law enforcement. That policy was passed on first reading Tuesday night. The main concern was that without clarification, students of color, special needs students and others will be abused by law enforcement. Even though the new version of Policy 5120 reportedly suggests that parents will be called, there was still concern by community activists that the language is still not clear enough before it is adopted.

“This policy has to be changed and the parents should be present with law-enforcement talk to their children even if it’s a witness or interrogation any form or fashion they should be there and I want people to understand that we have to sign up for children and be the voice for our children,” said Sonya Patrick, local leader of Black Lives Matter.


[WILMINGTON] After last week’s New Hanover County Public School Board meeting was disrupted by people speaking out of turn, and angry parents yelling about the possibility of Critical Race Theory being taught, the board decided to complete the meeting by Zoom this week to forestall any other disruptions. The board even had speakers who were properly signed up last week but not heard tape what they had to say.

School Board Chair Stephanie Adams chided those who disrupted last week’s live meeting, one that she did not attend. Adams maintained that disruptions cannot be tolerated.


[WILMINGTON] Many parents believe that with the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic waning, their children should not have to wear protective masks to school, Tuesday evening, the NHCPublic School Board maintained that because the state still requires children’s faces to be covered while they’re class.

Meanwhile NHC Public Schools will adopt the new NC Social Studies Standards for this fall, which are designed to dive deeper into “underrepresented voices” throughout history, and challenge all students to learn more about the impact of slavery and the civil rights movement, but challenge them to better understand these events through critical thinking and discussion.

NHC Public Schools Supt. Dr. Charles Foust assured the public that what has been labeled as “Critical Race Theory”- a 40-year-old law school lesson -  is not part of the curriculum. “Is there reference of slavery in history? Yes. Is there reference of injustices in the history books? Yes. Are we teaching critical race theory as it’s written at the collegiate level and at the — when you’re getting your JD? No.”



Monday, July 12, 2021


                                                                   DONTAE SHARPE




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Next month, will mark two years since Dontae Sharpe was finally released from prison after 26 years of being falsely convicted for a 1994 Greenville murder he did not commit.

It has been documented in court how Sharpe, then 18, was framed by Greenville police who cajoled so-called witnesses to lie under oath, and also misled the judge overseeing the case.

So there has been little question about Sharpe’s innocence, and yet, activists say Gov. Roy Cooper has inexplicably not granted Sharpe a pardon of innocence - an official acknowledgment by the state of North Carolina that Sharpe was unjustly convicted and imprisoned for 26 years.

Gov. Roy Cooper was petitioned to grant a pardon of innocence in November of 2019.

Without that official designation, Sharpe is not eligible to collect the legislated $50,000 per year, or $750,000 maximum in compensation from the state.

Sharpe, now 46, along with several supporters including Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of Repairers of the Breach, and co-chair of the national Poor People’s Campaign, went to the State Capitol last Friday to ask what is the holdup? 

What else does Gov. Cooper need to know or hear to grant Sharpe what he is rightfully entitled to?

“[Sharpe] represents the great tradition of Black men who have had to walk with their backs straight even when the system was trying to break them and bend them,” Rev. Barber told those gathered.

Sharpe and his supporters delivered letters and petitions containing 17,000 signatures demanding a pardon of innocence for him to representatives of the governor.

“This pardon — I’m not begging for it, I’m not pleading for it. I’m just here to put Mr. Cooper and this whole system on notice that I’m going to keep right on talking. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, because there are more guys that I left in there behind me who are innocent,” Sharpe said. “There are still so many [other innocent] people left in [prison].”

Sharpe says he wants repay his mother for all of the money she has spent over the 26 years he had pent in prison helping him, as well as also rebuilding his life.


                                               NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

In the eyes of many observers, the image of UNC - Chapel Hill in the aftermath of the Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure debacle is in tatters. The question now is “How does UNC go forward being responsive to the needs of it’s Black students, and Black faculty?”

The question is important because as the oldest public university in the nation, UNC - Chapel Hill is supposed to be a beacon of free, informed thinking and research where African-Americans from across the nation from across the nation can come to learn to be become scholars - like Nicole Hanna-Jones - as well as teach to produce the next generation of world changers.

Last week, after Hannah-Jones announced that she was rejecting the UNC Trustee Board’s half-hearted offer of tenure after months of literally ignoring the fact that she had obviously been denied what other scholars of her caliber had been previously and automatically been given when recruited to teach at the journalism and media school, Black UNC students made clear that they would be heard.

The “horrible way,” Hannah-Jones says, Black student demonstrators were treated by campus police at the June 30th emergency trustee board meeting, being pushed  and grabbed with none of the administrators coming to their defense, cinched her decision to accept Howard University’s generous offer to teach there.

If the university wants to redeem itself, Hannah-Jones told the Raleigh News and Observer afterwards, it needs to apologize to its Black students for that harsh treatment during the tenure vote; come clean on why the trustee had ignored codifying Hannah-Jones’ tenure in the offer she was made since last year; and change the process of how the mostly white male UNC System Board of Governors an the UNC - Chapel Hill Trustee Board are chosen so that both reflect the true demographics, racial an gender makeup of North Carolina and the school.

Both NC House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President pro Tem Phil Berger, Republicans, have already backhandedly dismissed changing the boards’ selection process., saying change was not needed, even though  both boards are majority comprised of conservatives.

Reportedly, Black females comprise just 1.9% of all tenured faculty at UNC-Chapel, with tenured Black faculty just 5%, and Black students just 8% - a far cry from North Carolina’s 22% Black population.

Hannah-Jones also wants the trustee board to agree to a list of demands from the Carolina Black Caucus in an effort to retain and recruit Black faculty, many of whom have expressed  a desire either to steer clear of, or leave UNC - Chapel Hill.

Per the Black student 54 point list of demands they want to see the trustee board agree to, it includes a permanent, fully funded monument to James Cates, a previous student stabbed to death on campus in 1970; removing campus police from Residence Hall move-in; establishment of an “anti-racist” alert of white supremacists on campus for Black student safety; no white supremacists, like members of the former Trump administration, being invited to speak or appear on campus, in an effort to “…to create a safer space” for Black students.

The list, supplied by the UNC Black Student Movement (BSM), makes clear that the demands should be approved and go into effect by this August, when the student body returns for the fall semester.

Black UNC students were particularly upset right -wing activists were seen carrying Confederate battle flags on campus last Saturday, and planted smaller flags around the Unsung Founders Memorial, which was erected in 2005 to honor Blacks who helped to build the university.

The students accused UNC police of “looting” known white supremacists to roam the campus freely, while black students were pushed an shoved at the June 30th trustees’ meeting.




[RALEIGH] A national news magazine ranks the Raleigh-Durham area as the second best of the country in which to live. The latest edition of U.S. News and World Reports ranks Raleigh-Durham second behind Boulder, Colorado in terms of quality of living, per the top 150 cities listed. Next in the Top 5 are Huntsville, Ala., Fayetteville, Ark. and Austin, Texas. Raleigh-Durham moved up from 11th last year. Other North Carolina cities on the Top 150 list are Charlotte at #20; Winston-Salem at #46; Asheville at #48 and Greensboro at #94.


[RALEIGH] After four and a half years, NC Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks has announced that he is retiring on August 1st. Before he took over the department, Sec. Hooks served 27 years with the State Bureau of investigation, becoming assistant director in 2005. “Thanks to the leadership of Erik Hooks, North Carolina is a safer, more prepared state,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. “Under Secretary Hooks, the Department of Public Safety has put the safety of North Carolinians first, working to combat crime, respond to emergencies, including a once-in-a-generation pandemic, attract and retain quality staff and address inequities in the justice system. I’ve been fortunate to know Secretary Hooks for more than two decades, and while his leadership and counsel will be missed, I congratulate him on a well-deserved retirement."


[APEX] The Western Wake County town of Apex got it’s first Black female town manger this week, amid a report that it’s police department is “deeply entrenched” with racism. Katy Crosby comes to the job from Toledo, Ohio, where she spent three years serving as chief of staff. Right now, Apex, like other similarly sized towns across the seat, is experiencing rapid growth, and Crosby says she feels that her skillset makes her more than qualified to help continue down that path.


Tuesday, July 6, 2021





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Why did Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones decline UNC - Chapel’s belated offer of tenure?

“Look what it took to get tenure,” Hannah-Jones told CBS This Morning Tuesday morning. She noted that every other professional journalist before her since 1980 at UNC - Chapel Hill that had been offered the prestigious position of Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism, had also been given lifetime job security (tenure).

“This is my alma mater. I love the university. The university has given me a lot. I wanted to give back. It was embarrassing to be the first person to be denied tenure,” Hannah-Jones said, insisting that she “…didn’t want this to become a public scandal” when she originally accepted a five-year offer without tenure earlier in the year after the UNC Trustee Board declined to take up her tenure offer last November, and again in January.

The fact that negative political opposition became a major factor against Hannah-Jones taking the job, in addition to her race and gender, is something, she says, she could not tolerate.

“To be [originally] denied [tenure], to have that vote occur on the last possible day, at the last possible moment, after threat of legal action, after 

protests, after it became a national scandal, is not something I want anymore,” Hannah-Jones told CBS.

“Every person who comes up for tenure should be judged by the quality of their work,” Hannah-Jones maintained.

Having passed through UNC-Chapel Hill’s standard tenure process with glowing success, the trustee board was literally the last stage that needed to be cleared.

“These board members were political appointees who decided that I wasn’t [qualified for tenure],”Hannah-Jones said, adding later that it was “illegal discrimination.”

The heralded black journalist confirmed that she will instead take the inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at Howard University. considered the nation’s premiere historically black university, in addition to starting the Center for Journalism and Democracy for serious students of the craft, teaching the principles of good professional journalism, but in the tradition of the Black Press.

According to NC Policywatch, which first broke the Hannah-Jones versus UNC story, she is raising at least $25 million for the establishment of the center, which will not have a name for now..

In a statement from Howard University Tuesday, at least $20 million has already been raised for the project.

Another reason why Hannah-Jones turned thumbs down on UNC-Chapel Hill, even with the tenure vote last week, is that no one from the administration nor the trustee board reached out to speak to her, nor explain anything to her.

The UNC Trustee Board voted in a 9-4 decision on June 30th to grant Hannah-Jones the tenure no other scholar at the school has ever had to fight for.

The decision came one day before Hannah-Jones was officially scheduled to begin working at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. 

The Hannah-Jones victory is seen not only as a win for black females in academia on college campuses, but justice for free speech advocates in this current corrosive political atmosphere against the teaching of true American racial history.

By the time the 13-member UNC Trustee Board met again in an emergency session last week, it was clear that conservative politics had played a role in denying Hannah-Jones tenure because of her leadership on the controversial NY Times’ award-winning 1619 Project, which retold the story of the founding of America, but this time through the prism of institutionalized slavery.

A major donor to the UNC Hussman School, conservative publisher and alumnus Walter Edward Hussman Jr., was revealed to have sent deriding emails to top UNC administrators about Hannah-Jones, questioning her journalistic professionalism. 

It took threatened litigation by Hannah-Jones’ attorneys and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, in addition to a mountain of national criticism that put UNC- Chapel Hill’s academic and institutional reputation at risk, to finally coerce the UNC Trustee Board back to the table after it had refused take up the issue since last November.

Prior to the board vote, angry protestors disrupted the June 30th meeting, refusing to leave, not realizing that the board legally could not either publicly discuss or hold a vote on what was essentially a personnel issue without going into closed session.

That forced UNC police to physically remove students from the meeting place, and some viewing the proceedings online as criticizing law enforcement for being heavy-handed.

After the affirming 9-4 trustee board vote, Hannah-Jones issued a statement which read:

“Today’s outcome and the actions of the past month are about more than just me. This fight is about ensuring the journalistic and academic freedom of Black writers, researchers, teachers and students. We must ensure that our work is protected and able to proceed free from the risk of repercussions, and we are not there yet.”

“She is a journalist’s journalist, a teacher’s teacher and a woman of substance with a voice of consequence,” wrote Hussman School Dean Susan King. 

Hannah-Jones told CBS that King was very supportive of her throughout the controversy, and one of the very few she told she was not accepting the position last weekend when she came down to North Carolina.

Observers say this is not finished, and to still expect legal action from Nikole Hannah-Jones against UNC at Chapel Hill for discrimination.


                                                                       BILL COSBY
                                                            PROF. IRV JOYNER




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Last week the conservative majority U.S. Supreme Court handed down another major blow to the voting rights of citizens of color when, by a 6-3 margin, it sided with Arizona in effectively saying, according to POLITICO, that “…rules amounting to only a modest imposition on voters would not usually amount to a violation of the [Voting Rights Act].”

“The mere fact there is some disparity in impact does not necessarily mean that a system is not equally open or that it does not give everyone an equal opportunity to vote,” wrote Associate Justice Samuel Alito for the conservative majority.”The size of any disparity matters. What are at bottom very small differences should not be artificially magnified.”

Most legal experts sat the decision will now make it harder to challenge voting laws as discriminatory.

Professor Irving Joyner of North Carolina Central University School of Law, agrees.

The old saying that bad facts make bad law applies to this challenge,” Joyner, who is also a practicing civil rights attorney and head of the NC NAACP’s Legal Redress Committee, says.

“The voter-rights related issue has to do with out-of-precinct voting. Typically, on Election Day, voters must vote in the precinct in which they are assigned. That is also the law in North Carolina. The evidence showed that this requirement would only impact a very small number of people. This allowed the [U.S. Supreme] Court to rule, for the first time, that a small racial disparity or impact does not violate the Voting Rights Act. What is a small disparity is not defined, but it now imposes a new  legal and factual burden on [VRA] Section 2 claims and you must now establish the existence of more than a small disparity in order to prove this challenge. The racial disparity in the Arizona was 1%. Depending on the political race, a 1% disparity can have a major impact on election success, but this decision now adds a new unknown standard to the burden of proving a sufficient discriminatory impact by an act of the Legislature.”

In other words, if a mandated act of the state legislature causes even a small percentage drop of black voting in any particular election, it will be much harder to challenge that act now under the High Court Arizona ruling.

Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NC NAACP, issued a tough statement, saying the 6-3 decision  “…endorsed the ugly extremist strain within that has wormed its way into  the once-proud Republican Party. 

In another headline-making ruling last week, this time by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the 2018 sexual assault conviction of entertainer Bill Cosby was vacated because the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by the prior agreement of a previous prosecutor not to try Cosby in exchange for his admitting in a civil deposition that he, in fact, sexually assaulted one of the 60 women who accused him.

Cosby, 83, was released from prison after saving almost 3 years of his 3to 10 year sentence.

Atty. Irv Joyner agrees with most legal experts that the reversal of Cosby’s conviction had absolutely nothing to do with the so-called #Me Too Movement.

“At the outset of the original charges against Cosby, the then elected prosecutor struck a deal with Cosby, which provided him with a type of immunity from prosecution, if he would participate in a deposition in a civil suit which this accuser had brought against him. Cosby agreed to this deposition based on this agreement. Cosby and any other person can not be forced to give self-incriminating testimony, but as a result of this agreement, he provided testimony which incriminated him.”

“On this point, the law is clear that when the [original]prosecutor offered not to prosecute Cosby in return for the deposition testimony, the State of Pennsylvania was barred from ever reneging on that deal,” Joyner continues.  “The newly elected prosecutor violated the law when he decided to renege on this agreement. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision said that when the State enters an agreement with a person and obtains its end of the bargain, a later elected prosecutor can not breach that agreement.”

“The Supreme Court’s opinion did not analyze the merits of the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby,” Prof. Joyner continued. “It simply stated that the prosecutor knowingly violated Pennsylvania law when he made the decision to prosecute Cosby after he had already been given immunity from that prosecution.”

Cosby cannot be retried in criminal court in this case, and the Pennsylvania statute of limitations ha virtually run out on the other sexual abuse allegations by other women.




[RALEIGH] The Raleigh City council is considering instituting it’s own version of the CROWN Act, a national movement to prevent discrimination against anyone because of the appearance of their hair. The Wake County Commissioners passed a CROWN Act in March. Durham was the first city in North Carolina to institute it. Fayetteville is reportedly considering a similar measure.


[CHAPEL HILL] After less than two years on the job, UNC-Chapel Hill Police Chief David Perry, who has been on leave since last May, has submitted his resignation to the university. Perry did so June 30th in the aftermath of video released showing UNC officers pushing UNC student supporters of Nikole Hannah-Jones out of a Board of Trustees meeting to discuss her tenure. While a national search goes on for a replacement, Asst. Chief Rahsheem Holland is serving as acting chief. Members of the Black Student Movement oppose Holland staying in that position.


[RALEIGH] In an effort to cutdown on cloud storage costs, state legislators have decided to delete most of their email correspondence after three years. They can, however, choose to archive certain emails for up to ten years. Still, observers say, the new policy will be problematic for pushing for greater transparency from their state leaders. The new email retention policy will also be a problem for those relying on those emails as evidence when filing lawsuits.