Sunday, March 27, 2022



                                                           REP. G. K. BUTTERFIELD



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

North Carolina Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1), along with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, warned last week that unless the U.S. Justice Dept. steps in, Republican-led states like North Carolina will see voter suppression efforts during the November 2022 midterm elections to undermine the Black vote.

“Voters will be suppressed this election, no question,” Butterfield told reporters. State are passing discriminatory laws that will definitely result in not just the suppression of the African-American vote, but also voters who tend to vote with the Democratic Party.”

Black Democrats in Congress, like Butterfield, blame in part, the failure of the U.S. Senate to pass two important voting rights bills in recent months that would have prevented attempts by Republican-led legislatures in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina to pass legislation to make it harder for people of color to cast a ballot.

Progressive and Black activists are furious that not only have Republicans have stuck together to oppose voting right legislation, but that Democrats have done the exact opposite, thus dooming passage.

In February, members of the CBC sent a letter to  the U.S. Justice Dept. (DOJ) warning that “the future of our democracy is at stake.” The letter went on to call the GOP-led efforts to stop voting rights legislation as “unabashedly racist and partisan attacks on our nations’ democratic principles.”

“Our message is simple,” the February CBC letter, which added that the “coordinated campaign by the GOP was rooted in white supremacy,” continued. “Be creative. Be relentless. Be unapologetic in your commitment to do whatever it take to ensure that every American has their vote counted. No lawsuit is too trivial when it comes to the voting rights of citizens.”

Conservatives are musing that Black democrats are “already’ making excuses for losing the November midterms.

Democrats are concocting excuses for upcoming midterm losses, which are likely to be devastating to the leftist agenda,” wrote Jeff Charles for the right-wing website RedState last week. “Black Democratic lawmakers are claiming that when they lose – which they will – it will be because Republicans passed legislation that will supposedly make it impossible for black people to vote. Indeed, they are already challenging the outcome of the upcoming elections.”

According to a January 22nd story in The Hill online newspaper, Senate Democrats in Congress don’t necessarily disagree with their Black counterparts, but they also don’t feel it’s productive to make accusations prior to the November elections.

“I don’t want to start calling into question elections ahead of time, that’s not productive whatsoever,” Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) told The Hill then. “We saw that with the whole, ‘It’s all rigged,’ thing with President Trump. We need to see what actually plays out.”

The difference now is that several states with GOP -led legislatures have passed laws that seemingly suppress votes more than anything else. One of the key areas affected is the vote certification process, where vote counts can be overturned if Republican lawmakers don’t like the results.

Democrats, like Rep. Eric Swalwell (not a CBC member) warned that the 2022 midterm elections “are not only the most imports elections [of our lifetime, but] if we don’t get it right, it could be the last election.”

If [Republicans] are able to win the House, the damage they could do to permanently make it difficult to vote and just alter the way we participate in a democratic process could be irreversible,” the California Democrat warned.


                                                 JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Monday, April 4th is the day that the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Pres. Biden’s historic Supreme Court nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. If a majority of the 22-member committee  votes favorably for Judge Jackson, her nomination then goes to the full U.S. Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NC) has said he would like to hold a full confirmation vote on Judge Jackson, who currently serves on the US Circuit Appellate Court for the District of Columbia, before the Senate goes on recess on April 8th. If she’s confirmed, Judge Jackson, 51, will become the first Black woman ever to sit on the nation’s highest court.

She credits her father, Attorney John Brown, who graduated from North Carolina Central University in Durham in 1968, and pledged Tau Psi of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in 1966, with inspiring her to study law.

Republicans, thus far, have proven that they’d like nothing better than to throw a wrench into that scheme. Last week’s four-day Senate Judiciary Committee hearings into Judge Jackson’s qualifications to sit on the high court clearly displayed Republican hostility towards Judge Jackson, most likely in an effort to gain political points prior to the upcoming 2022 midterm elections, and make Democrats struggle during confirmation.

Democrats need all 50 votes in the Senate, plus Vice President Kamala Harris in order to make Judge Jackson’s nomination a done deal. 

While moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has said he will support Judge Jackson, his moderate colleague from Arizona, Sen. Kristen Sinema has not. Support from both is important to ensure 50 Democrat votes.

Democrats have said they would welcome bi-partisan support, but thus far, led by top Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, GOP senators have made it known that they will not be voting for Judge Jackson.

Her detractors complain that Jackson is soft on crime, particularly in meting out punishment for child pornography in past cases. They also charged that she legally defended terrorist suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Judge Jackson has countered that in terms of stiffer penalties for child pornographers, she routinely followed federal guidelines set by Congress, and suggested that those guidelines need to be updated given the new technologies used to distribute porn.

Jackson also made clear that her role as a zealous defense attorney fell in-line with what her responsibilities were in representing her clients, regardless of what they were charged with.

During last week’s grueling Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Judge Jackson - questioned for a combined 24 hours -  also found herself expected to answer political culture war questions, at one point being asked by Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn if she knew what a woman was, or if she employed Critical Race Theory in her sentencing.

Careful not to enter the conservative rhetorical fray, Judge Jackson feigned ignorance as to what such a question would have to do with her qualifications to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. But even top Republicans  like former Pres. Donald Trump tried to smear Judge Jackson, saying during a recent rally in Georgia, “If she can't even say what a woman is. How on earth can she be trusted to say what the Constitution is?"

Critics blasted Republicans for “baseless and frankly racist attacks” on Judge Jackson. Other critics chastised committee Democrats for not defending and protecting her enough from GOP attacks from senators like Josh Hawley, Lindsay Graham, Ted Cruz and Marsha Blackburn.

Jackson is credited with maintaining her composure while under rhetorical GOP attack. But she couldn’t hold back the tears when Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey rhetorically embraced her with impassioned well wishes, calling her “my sister” and praising Judge Jackson for making history and accomplishing do much during her career on the bench.

“You faced insults here that were shocking to me,” Booker said. . Republicans are “gonna accuse you of this and that. But don’t worry, my sister. Don’t worry. God has got you. And how do I know that? Because you’re here, and I know what it’s taken for you to sit in that seat.”


Sunday, March 20, 2022


                                                             NC A&T UNIVERSITY



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

As of press time Monday, there still haven’t been any arrests in the wave of bomb threats that have shaken well over 30 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and churches throughout the nation, including here in North Carolina, since January.

But the FBI promised Congress late last week that the matter still is one it’s highest priorities because it’s a clear example of domestic terrorism. For now, the FBI told the House Oversight Committee Thursday that it is focusing on “a single juvenile” as being behind most of the threats.

“We’ve treated this as domestic terrorism,” Ryan Young, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Intelligence branch told the committee. “It’s meant to inflict harm within the African-American population.”

Weeks earlier, it was reported that federal agents had identified “six tech-savvy juveniles” to be behind the HBCU wave.

Beyond hearing from presidents of HBCUs, members of Congress heard from concerned students attending HBCUs, who told of not being able to function emotionally or academically because of the threats, thus needing counseling.

"Racially charged acts like the bomb threats are not only an attack to our campus, but they are an attack on the ideals and values of HBCUs and their collective mission,” testified Emmanuel Ukot, SGA president at Xavier University in Louisiana.

In addition, Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday that HBCUs are now eligible for special grant funding to better prepare against future bomb threat incidents. Sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence program, grants ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 are being made available to HBCUs to improve campus safety and provide mental health resources.

"Every American should be able to learn, work, worship and gather without fear,” said Harris, an alumna of Howard University in Washington, D.C...

At least five HBCUs here in North Carolina - Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Central University in Durham, Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina A&T University Greensboro and Elizabeth City State University, have been targeted, officials say.

One notion apparent to some in law enforcement, is that the wave of HBCU bomb threats are a part of a larger rise in crimes against the African-American community in recent months.

According to it’s annual report, “The Year in Hate and Extremism 2021,” the Southern Poverty Law Center states “the reactionary and racist beliefs that propelled a mob into the [U.S.] Capitol [on Jan. 6th, 2021] have not dissipated…[but rather have] coalesced into a political movement that is now one of the most powerful forces shaping [American politics today].”

Evidence? At a recent rally in Florence, South Carolina, former Pres. Donald Trump urged his supporters to “lay down their lives” against the teaching of Critical Race Theory - the study of oppression under American systemic racism - calling it “a matter of national survival.”

Meanwhile, according to the Anti-Defamation League, North Carolina was the 15th highest ranking state when it came to white supremacist hate propaganda in the nation, per an ADL report.

Finally, there is a rise of white nationalism among Hispanics, the result, according to Yahoo News, “ ...of lingering anti-Black….views among U.S. Latinos that are rarely openly discussed."


                                       JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

District of Columbia Circuit Appellate Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is theoretically two major votes away from making history as the first African-American female ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court - the confirmation vote of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the confirmation vote of the Democrat-led U.S. Senate.

And it all started at her family’s dining room table when, as a preschooler, she was doing her “homework” with her father, Johnny Brown. 

My father, in particular, bears responsibility for my interest in the law,” Judge Jackson said Monday during her introduction to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “When I was four, we moved back to Miami so that he could be a full-time law student. We lived on the campus of the University of Miami law school, and during those years, my mother pulled double duty, working as the sole breadwinner of our family, while also guiding and inspiring 4-year-old me. My very earliest memories are of watching my father study — he had his stack of law books on the kitchen table while I sat across from him with my stack of coloring books.”

“When I think back on those times, there really is no question that my love of the law began in that formative period,” Judge Jackson recalls.

Johnny Brown, who graduated from North Carolina Central University (then North Carolina Central College) in Durham, would later become the chief attorney for the Miami-Dade County School Board. A tremendous personal achievement for sure, but Brown could never have dreamed that his little girl - whose full African name, Ketanji Onyika means “lovely one”- would one day be on the precipice of making history as the first Black woman on the highest court in the land.

Judge Brown also acknowledged her large extended family in several states across the nation, including North Carolina.

Once the questioning started in earnest this week, Judge Jackson, an experienced debater, was able to effectively defend her judicial record, especially against probing Republican committee member attacks disguised as “questions” from senators Marsha Blackburn, Josh Hawley and Lindsay Graham.

Even with the tough, partisan questions trying to portray her as soft on child pornography, terrorism or crime as a result of her many years as a federal public defender, Judge Jackson is fully expected to be voted out of the Democrat-led Senate Judiciary Committee, and with Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote, should be confirmed when the full U.S. Senate votes in April.

“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is the most qualified Supreme Court nominee in years," says North Carolina Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12). "That alone should merit sincere consideration from all 100 senators. She has my full support, and my best wishes for a speedy confirmation."

If I am confirmed, I commit to you that I will work productively to support and defend the Constitution and the grand experiment of American democracy that has endured over these past 246 years,” Judge Jackson said Monday.

“I have been a judge for nearly a decade now, and I take that responsibility and my duty to be independent very seriously. I decide cases from a neutral posture. I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath.”


Monday, March 14, 2022


                                                ASHLEY PALMER, HER SON, JEREMIAH, 
                                               AND HER HUDBND, EDDIE

                                           CHATHAM COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Activists and community leaders in Chatham County are demanding that the Chatham County Board of Education take decisive action to quell an alleged series of racist incidents, which include no less than white students “selling” Black classmates at so-called “slave auctions.”

The alleged incidents came to light when Ashley Palmer, the white mother of a bi-racial son, Jeremiah, charged on Facebook earlier this month that he had been “sold” by white classmates at J.S. Waters Middle School baseball field in Goldston, 

The school is 68% white, 12% Black and 12% Hispanic.

Our son experienced a slave auction by his classmates and when he opened up we were made aware that this type of stuff seems to be the norm so much that he didn’t think it was worth sharing,” Mrs Palmer wrote on Facebook March 4.  “His friend “went for $350” and another student was the Slavemaster because he “knew how to handle them.”  We even have a video of students harmonizing the N word.”

When Mrs. Palmer complained, the white student was suspended for one day, but then “accidentally” hit Jeremiah four times with a baseball bat afterwards.

“Since when were children so blatantly racist? Why is this culture acceptable? [Chatham County Schools] was made aware and is intervening but hug your babies especially the ones that are subject to racism by students and faculty. Parents teach your kids that this behavior isn’t ok. Teach them also that SILENCE IS COMPLICITY! Laughter is even worse! Thankfully Jeremiah is a strong unapologetically black young man and I’m so proud of how tactfully he has handled these repulsive situations. He is stronger than ever and we will continue to do our part to make sure every racist child and faculty member is reported for every blatant act and microagression he experiences!”

Palmer later added that she and her husband, Eddie, are working with the Chatham County Public Schools superintendent, and the school principal. The system sent letters to the school’s parents, assuring them that racism was ‘unacceptable,” though it remained vague as to what had transpired.

It’s the latest episode of racism against Black students that is capturing the attention of the state and nation, though it seems to have escaped the attention of conservative leaders like Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who, along with fellow Republicans, has not missed the opportunity to charge that teaching how racism is a constant feature of American history is ‘bad” for students.

In this case, say critical observers, racism is not being taught to students, but is being imposed ON students, African-American students specifically in rural Chatham County. Parents and progressive activists want to see a decisive end to it before it gets worst.

On Monday, various parents and a coalition of local groups who call themselves CORE (Chatham Organizing for Racial Equity) held a press conference, and went before the Chatham County School Board with a list of demands to account for Ashley Palmer’s son  being racially bullied “in the presence of [school] staff and faculty, while being filmed.”

Upon further digging, it was determined that several other Black students were victims of some of the same racist treatment.

“These [white] students were emboldened to not only commit brazen and overt acts of racism but to retaliate further and continue their aggression after serving a perfunctory one-day suspension,” the CORE press release continued, referring to the alleged baseball bat incident.

CORE is demanding that offending white students be made to apologize to their targeted Black classmates and the school community for their actions; that child trauma counselors who are skilled in racial trauma be available to Black students targeted; and that the school system student code of conduct be revised “to designate racist and discriminatory remarks as hate speech separate from the current bullying policy with corresponding consequences that match the severity of this abuse our children face.”

CORE also wants school personnel fired for racist remarks and behaviors, and a review of the school administration’s previous response to past racist incidents to determine their effectiveness.

“Until Chatham County Schools implements these community-driven recommendations, our community will continue to see no dedicated commitment to dismantling the culture of racism in our schools,’ the CORE press release concluded.

          Monday night, the Chatham County School Board listened as concerned citizens packed the meeting room while several speakers, including other Black parents of other targeted students, talked about the pain their children also experienced.

Supt. Anthony Jackson publicly apologized to those negatively affected, as the board unanimously voted for policy changes to guard against future racist acts by students or staff.




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

He is middle-aged, in relative good health, and has had all of his vaccination and booster shots for COVID-19.

And yet, former President Barack Obama remains quarantined from the rest of the world for a few days after announcing Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Obama, 60,  experienced  “a scratchy throat for a couple days” but otherwise was feeling fine, and his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama, has tested negative and had also been fully vaccinated and boosted.

"It’s a reminder to get vaccinated if you haven’t already, even as cases go down,”the nation’s first Black president reminded all.

And there lies the rub, especially for African-Americans who see mask mandates dropping all around them, COVID infection and death rates dropping, and the nation overall trying to move on beyond the pandemic.

Despite a societal movement back towards normalcy, even someone like former Pres. Obama can still contract what is a debilitating, if not for some, deadly disease. 

Meanwhile, according to recent reports, China says it has thousands of new cases. The World Health Organization warns that the Russian war in Ukraine threatens to make the pandemic worse on the global stage.

And here in the U.S. the head of Pfizer says Americans may need a fourth booster shot of vaccination, something that Pres. Obama might now attest to.

During a recent Black history month virtual symposium titled The Village Speaks; A Candid Conversation about COVID-19 and the Pandemic, four local African-American physicians from the Raleigh-Durham area came together to offer their perspectives on the current state of the coronavirus in the Black community, and how best African-Americans should still protect themselves, contrary to general signs that they can relax their guard.

To start, all four agreed that racism is still a key factor in how Blacks contract the coronavirus, and are forced to deal with it.

According to Dr. Leroy Darkes, an internal medicine specialist practicing in Garner/Raleigh, one of the reasons why blacks cannot relax their guard with COVID is because of the “vicious cycle” they’re in.

By the time some Blacks contract COVID-19, they have already been suffering from “poor health outcomes,” says Dr. Darkes, which make them susceptible to maladies like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer - all of which can corrupt one’s protective immune system.

“We suffer from what we don’t know and don’t do,” Darkes warned.

Dr. Julius Wilder,  gastroenterologist with Duke Hospital in Durham, says another factor unique to African-American and other communities of color is that their families are large, so there are more people in a household in close quarters for any disease, including COVID-19, to be transmitted.

Also, the type of work many Blacks find themselves doing involves working with many others in factories, retail and public utilities, again making transmission easy among subjects.

The result has been the fact that African-Americans have died at three times the rate of whites during the ongoing pandemic.

Dr. James Smith, a veteran psychiatrist in Raleigh, says enough has not been said about the mental health of African-Americans, and the community’s inability to deal with grief, anxiety and depression when it comes to deaths from COVID-19, many of whom were elders either in the home, or in nursing homes. 

Dr. Shawna M. Reshard,  a pediatrician practicing at Duke Primary Care Clinic in Durham, talked about how the impact of COVID-19 on children is still being studied, and that she still has questions about rescinding mask mandates in the public schools. 

Dr. Reshard added that at the beginning of the pandemic, health care professionals were overwhelmed and had to innovate how services were delivered to patients in need (ex. doing testing in cars). That need to innovate may still exist in the Black community.




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The ink is barely dry from the last U.S. Supreme Court decision that essentially told North Carolina Republicans “no case” when it came redistricting last week,  before they will be back in front of the same nine high justices next week, trying to get a major judicial sign-off on thelr scheme to reinstate voter ID.

It all boils down to this - when it comes to fighting for the 2018 voter photo identification law in court, NC Republican legislative leaders don’t trust the state’s Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein to do it, and would rather do the job themselves.

Attorneys for House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger will be arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court next Monday, March 21st in a federal case involving the NC NAACP, that they have a legal right to intervene in the state’s ongoing voter ID case.

Specifically, they want attorneys from the NC State Attorney General’s Office off the case, so that lawyers for GOP legislative leaders can vigorously represent their clients in fighting to protect the 2018 voter ID law.

Their problem? Lower courts have already ruled that as far as they’re concerned, Attorney General Stein’s office is adequately doing it’s job as the state’s attorney, in this case representing the NC Board of Elections, and the courts see no legal reason to remove it.

What’s at stake is whether or not the voter ID law will go into effect this fall in time for the 2022 midterm elections, something the GOP sorely wants to see happen, especially now.

With last week’s surprise High Court ruling essentially upholding the Congressional redistricting map redrawn by order of the Democratic-led NC Supreme Court, in addition to the redrawn legislative map that no longer hurts incumbent Black lawmakers, NC Republicans now are counting on voter photo ID restrictions to give them some advantage in districts where the Black vote could help a Democratic candidate defeat a GOP opponent.

Republicans will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court Monday that North Carolina law give them the right to choose which officials will defend the state’s sovereign interests in federal court. Again, lower federal courts have sided with the state attorney general on the matter.

With arguments being heard Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide this case by this summer.

Interestingly, this is a process case, as to whom in NC state government has the right to represent North Carolina at trial.

The N.C. Supreme Court is also hearing two voter ID cases, one dealing with the legitimacy of the 2018 constitutional amendment that spawned the law in  contention called NC NAACP v. Moore, and a third, Holmes v. Moore, that challenges the law itself as racially discriminatory.


Sunday, March 6, 2022





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

It was always a long shot, NC Republican legislative leaders seeking to overturn a major redistricting ruling by the state Supreme Court.  So when the 6-3 decision came down late Monday to deny the GOP - even with a 6-3 conservative majority on the U.S. High Court - it wasn’t that much of a surprise to most legal experts.

There just wasn’t enough time between now and the May 17th primaries, and as several legal observers noted, the Supreme Court does not like getting into state redistricting controversies unless there is evidence of racial discrimination.

If the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in favor of the GOP appeal, it would have forced the NC Board of Elections to change all of it’s primary election planning, something the federal justices did not want to do, especially with candidate filing ending just last friday.

Plus, the NC Supreme Court had spoken, had ruled 4-3 that the redistricting maps for 2022 legislative and congressional maps were unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders, order the Republican-led legislature to redraw them, and that a three-judge Superior Court panel would review them, and decide if they were acceptable.

That panel did exactly that, deciding that the legislative maps were fine, but the 14-district congressional map was problematic, and had outside special masters to redraw that, to the chagrin of GOP leaders.

They immediately rejected the congressional map, citing that per the U.S. Constitution, only the state legislature is empowered to redrawn the voting districts.

Apparently by a 6-3 vote Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, effectively allowing the second redrawn maps to stand, and giving Democrats a better opportunity to win competitive legislative and congressional races.

Under the new congressional maps, Democrats can win at least six seats, with Republicans winning seven, leaving one as a competitive tossup. 

Republicans aren’t all that gloomy though. The way they see it, if they can win at least one of two NC Supreme Court seats up for election this fall, that would immediately shift the 4-3 Democratic majority to 4-3 Republican. That, and holding onto their GOP majorities in the NC General Assembly.

They can sue gain to send the new maps up to their majority Supreme Court, and have new, favorable maps for the rest of the decade, they say.



                                                         F S U CHANCELLOR ALLISON




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Amid an active national FBI investigation, Governor Roy Cooper and NC Dept. of Public Safety Secretary Eddie Buffaloe Jr. spoke with the chancellors of the five historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) last week that had been targeted by numerous bomb threats to review safety protocols.

At press time, the FBI has been investigating bomb threats to 58 institutions across the country, most of them HBCUs, since January. Thus far, there have been no arrests. No explosions have taken place, and no explosive devices have been found.

“We recognize the fear and disruption this has caused across the country,” the FBI said in a statement, “… and we will continue our work to make sure people feel safe in their communities, schools, and places of worship.”

The FBI also confirmed that it is investigating the threats as “racially or ethnically motivated extremism and hate crimes,” which were received by phone calls, emails and online.

    It’s been confirmed that Gov. Cooper and Sec. Buffaloe spoke privately with chancellors Harold Martin of N.C. A & T University in Greensboro; Elwood Robinson of Winston-Salem State University; Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D of North Carolina Central University in Durham; Dr. Karrie G. Dixon of Elizabeth City State University and DarrellT. Allison of Fayetteville State University last week.

I am deeply disturbed by the recent reports of senseless bomb threats directed at HBCUs across our nation and particularly at Fayetteville State University," Allison said in a statement. 

    "Considering this threat, we acted quickly to ensure the health and safety of our university community. This university remains committed to our mission and vision of educating bright leaders all while making safety our first priority." 

NCCU Chancellor Akinleye echoed the concern.

“It is an unfortunate incident because it is designed to create fear and intimidation to our students and disrupt our services but, as I said.... we are a very strong community. We are not going to be deterred and we are resilient about educating our students and will continue to do so.” 

At press time Monday, the most recent HBCU to have received a bomb threat was ECSU, which was Feb. 25th. Press reports indicate that the campus was evacuated immediately, and all students, faculty and staff urged to stay away until it had been properly searched.

“College campuses should be safe places to learn without fear of violence, and it is particularly disturbing that these threats are happening predominantly to our HBCUs,” the governor said in a statement afterwards. “We’re fortunate to be home to many distinguished HBCUs in North Carolina and will use every tool to protect the safety of students and faculty on these campuses.”

The NC Dept. of Public Safety says it is working with federal authorities to ensure the safety of HBCU campuses.

“I can assure you that our law enforcement agencies and Homeland Security personnel within the Department of Public Safety are working with our federal partners and will utilize the resources we have to assist in the investigations,” Sec. Buffaloe said in a statement.

The Working Families Party, a progressive, multi-racial national political party, said that "The mere existence of Black schools, Black churches, Black political organizations and Black business are a threat. We see upswings in these attacks as backlash to Black resistance, the exercising of independent Black political power, the influence of Black social movements."

Anyone with information about the recent wave of HBCU bomb threats should call either their local law enforcement agency, or the NC Information Sharing and Analysis Center at 888-624-7222, or email it at


                                       JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON




By Cash Michaels

An analysis

On March 21st, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin what are expected to be four days of historic confirmation hearings for U.S. Circuit Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the first Black woman to formally sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

        If confirmed, Judge Jackson will replace the outgoing Justice Stephen Breyer, who at age 83 will be leaving the High Court the summer.

Judge Jackson has already begun her customary visits with various senators, hoping to build support in advance. While no Republican support is technically needed for Judge Jackson’s confirmation (assuming that all 50 Senate Democrats plus Vice Pres. Kamala Harris vote for her), Democratic leaders insist they’d like bipartisan support.

However, political observers say between now and then, pay keen attention for various rhetorical trial balloons Republicans, both on and off the committee, will publicly float in an effort to put numerous dents into Judge Jackson’s credibility.

Why, especially since Judge Jackson, 50,  has already been confirmed as recently as last June by this very same U.S. Senate for her current seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia?

`In order to score political points for the upcoming 2022 midterm elections, observers say.

She will probably be subjected to fierce questioning, opposition and attempts to blemish her record by partisan, right wing ideologies who serve in the Senate and will vote on her nomination,” says North Carolina Central University School of Law Prof. Irving Joyner, who makes clear that in his professional opinion, “The nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is an excellent choice for President Biden to make as the next Justice to the US Supreme Court.”

Many legal experts - even Republican ones - agree with Prof. Joyner that Judge Jackson is unquestionably qualified. And yet, already her credibility is being challenged by conservative critics such as Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, who has demanded that Judge Jackson’s LSAT scores be made public, something no previous High Court nominee has ever been asked to do before.

One thing to which successful Black people can attest is that you are sometimes, even often, asked to prove your credentials, to demonstrate that you have earned your way and earned your position, often by far less credentialed questioners,” opined New York Times columnist Charles Blow.

Other Republicans, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, indicated that while he intends to treat Judge Jackson “fairly,” he is concerned that she is backed by several “far-left dark money groups.” Other Republican senators have picked up on that cue, openly suggesting that Judge Jackson is a “radical leftist”

And because she was once a public defender, some Republicans are suggesting that she has been soft on crime.

“Radical leftist,”  unknown LSAT scores, soft on crime and supported by liberal dark money groups - all add up to cogent 2022 campaign issues for GOP candidates vying for Congress this year.

NCCU School of Law Prof. Joyner counters that any fair hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson should yield the following:

She is well qualified and brings more and different qualification and experiences to the Court than any of the other presently sitting Supreme Court Justices possess. As a practicing attorney, Judge Brown Jackson is a former Federal Public Defender and will be the only Justice who has had personal experience as a criminal defense attorney, a needed skill-set for this Court. Her record as a District Court and Appellate Court Judge is exceptional and evidences her knowledge of and respect for the rule of law and the Constitution.

Prof. Joyner continued, In the past, she served on the District of Columbia District Court bench for eight years and provided outstanding service while there. She was previously successfully vetted by this Senate to become a member of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals and has served in that capacity for the past eight months. She had the honor of being one of the few African Americans who worked as a Law Clerk to any Supreme Court Justice when she was a Clerk to Justice [Stephen]Breyer. She is a young Judge who has paid her dues and left behind an impressive resume and record of judicial accomplishments. Judge Ketanji Jackson has been described by those who have practiced in her Courts as knowledgeable, fair, balanced and serious.

In the coming days, pay close attention to how what Republican senators say about Judge Jackson is far removed from what NCCU School of Law Prof. Irv Joyner has said.

If Judge Jackson wins confirmation, she won’t change the ideological leaning of the U.S. Supreme Court, which is currently 6-3 conservative, but she will bring, for the first time in history, the perspective of an accomplished African-American woman.