Sunday, July 24, 2022


                                                           ATTY. MARK T. CUMMINGS

                                                 REV, DR. T. ANTHONY SPEARMAN






By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

By North Carolina law, the defamation portion of the late former NC NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman’s lawsuit against National NAACP Pres./CEO Derrick Johnson and other NAACP members died with him last week when his lifeless body was discovered near a huge pool of blood in his Guilford County home, according to his attorney.

Generally, pending court action on a defamation claim does not survive the death of a plaintiff.

But Rev. Spearman’s claim of civil conspiracy against Johnson, National NAACP Board Chairman Leon W. Russell, NC NAACP Pres. Deborah Dicks Maxwell, and several other NC NAACP members, will most likely remain in force with the estate of Rev. Spearman serving as plaintiff, says Spearman’s Greensboro attorney, Mark T. Cummings. 

In fact, in an exclusive taped telephone interview, Cummings indicated that he’s further researching the possibility of adding new claims to his deceased client’s litigation against members of the civil rights organization he once held dear.

“I’m doing some more research on what types of provisions are available,” Cummings said, noting that the defendants were fighting to have Spearman’s lawsuit moved to federal court even before his shocking death.

Atty. Cummings also alleged that at least three of the North Carolina defendants in Rev. Spearman’s lawsuit may have been sources of false, libelous accusations against the Christian minister published in a scandalous online blog by an ex-convict with a long criminal history, which includes convictions for making bomb threats, and extortion. 

Those accusations have been hurtful to Rev. Spearman’s wife, Janice, and family, and Atty. Cummings promises that they will be legally dealt with.

“I’m confident that the civil conspiracy case [can go forward] in some form,…and there can be other claims added, and other plaintiffs,” Cummings said. “Mrs. Spearman, who is suffering tremendously from the continued defamation of her husband, herself can have claims for additional affliction of emotional distress and negligent affliction of emotional distress, so in some form or fashion, there’s going to be action that continues.”

Atty. Cummings also made clear that he dismisses as false a claim reportedly made by a young man (name withheld) to police who was arrested and charged with accosting Rev. Spearman at gunpoint for $2,000.00, that an illicit assault had allegedly occurred on him by Spearman. After the young man, who Rev. Spearman had innocently been helping for several years, was arrested by Guilford County authorities July 13th for allegedly robbing Spearman in his home and stealing his cellphone at gunpoint, he came up with the false allegation to cover his motive upon his arrest, Cummings surmises.

        911 recordings back up the alleged robbery claim from Spearman..

That same person of interest, who has a prior criminal record in Guilford County, was released on a $15,100 bond on July 14th , the next day, after a woman (name withheld) paid $100.00, covering the rest with a $1500.00 bond paid by an insurance company, county records show.

According to the Guilford County Clerk of Courts Office, that suspect in the robbery of Rev. Spearman faces five charges, including carrying a concealed gun, robbery with a dangerous weapon, driving left of center (police stopped him on a street in Greensboro after tracking him through Rev. Spearman’s phone which he allegedly had in his possession),  simple possession of a schedule 6 narcotic, and possession of marijuana.

He is due for a court hearing on August 10th.

Atty. Cummings believes there may be more to the matter.

“And what I hope I don’t find is a connection to some NAACP members,” he said.

Is there a connection between the suspect in the Spearman robbery, and Dr. Spearman’s death on Tuesday July 19th?

At press time Guilford County investigators have not publicly confirmed any connection, giving few details. No one is reportedly being held by authorities.

The Peacemaker interviewed the first person (name withheld) to see Rev. Spearman’s body on the day of his death.  

This witness could only confirm that when Spearman did not show up on July 19th to a public meeting he was expected to attend, he went to the home with one of Spearman’s relatives.

He found Rev. Spearman’s body downstairs in the basement, on a couch, in a T-shirt and pajama bottoms. His body was slumped over, and a trail of blood from the top of the couch culminated in an enormous pool  in front of it on the floor, so large that the witness says he could not approach the body to see any wounds, or anything in Spearman’s hands.

The witness says he knew, however, based on his observation, that Dr. Spearman had to have been deceased for some time. That’s when EMS was called.

Spearman’s body was discovered sometime after 5 p.m. July 19th.

News of his death was not reported until approximately midday Wednesday, July 20th.

However, according to an NAACP member, word of Rev. Spearman’s “suicide” was emailed out to NC NAACP members in Wayne County on that Wednesday at 10:25 a.m  by NC NAACP Secretary Sylvia Barnes:

“I am sad to inform you that our past president, Rev. Anthony Spearman committed suicide on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. I have no further information at this time. This was announced at the national [NAACP] convention and I also understand many of the TV stations. Dr. Spearman lived in Greensboro.”

The National NAACP was meeting in Atlantic City, N.J. at the time. If what Ms. Barnes wrote was true, how could Dr. Spearman’s death be announced as a “suicide” at 10:25 a.m. the next day, when here in North Carolina authorities still haven’t announced details of their investigation over a week later?

Atty Cummings says Rev. Spearman did not own a gun, and is certain his death was not a suicide because of the high moral and spiritual character he maintained in the community.

Cummings adds that he’s been in constant contact with Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers about the case, but he’s still requesting that state authorities “…assist in a full and fair investigation.”

“In fact, that is the family’s request,” Cummings said.

Scurrilous rumors about Rev. Spearman’s death have circulated in Greensboro, and throughout the state, fed by the fact that there has been no word from Guilford County authorities as to what th medical examiner has determined to be the cause of death.

        Dr. Spearman's body was released to his family on approximately July 27th.

      Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman’s grief-stricken family, led by his beloved widow, Janice, issued the following statement in tribute.:

        “The Spearman Family is utterly devastated by the transition of our patriarch, Reverend Dr. T. Anthony Spearman. He was a man of strong conviction who loved his family with every ounce of his being.  We solicit your prayers as we grieve this insurmountable loss and request your consideration and privacy as we go through this season of bereavement.”  

        Spearman served as NC NAACP president from 2017 until 2021, succeeding the Rev. Dr. William Barber, who issued a statement upon word of his death saying," My heart is broken....I have lost a true brother in the struggle..."

        Spearman was ousted in a controversial Oct. 2021 election by New Hanover County NAACP President Deborah Dicks Maxwell, and contested that election based on alleged irregularities the national office reportedly ignored.

    He was eventually suspended by National NAACP Pres./CEO Derrick Johnson prior to filing his lawsuit.

Dr. Spearman's funeral was held Tuesday, August 2 at Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church in Greensboro. His body was then sent back to his native Detroit, Michigan for burial.

        [Editor's Note - Afrique Kilimanjaro assisted in the research of this story.]








By Cash Michaels

An election analysis

It’s the last week in July during an election year, and the biggest race to be settled in North Carolina this coming November is between Democrat and former NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, and Republican 13th Congressional District Congressman Ted Budd.

They’re competing to win the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the outgoing Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC). A victory either way significantly strengthens either respective party in the U.S. Senate.

But either Beasley or Budd have to get there first, and thus far, the campaign battle strategies are telling.

Budd, a conservative Republican, has the backing of embattled former President Donald Trump, the conservative economics political nonprofit group Club for Growth, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

The last three are just as important for Budd as Trump’s singular support. They are paying for ads that the Budd campaign doesn’t have to, picking Beasley apart on being a “tax-and-spend liberal,” soft on sexual predators who harm children, and being an extremist on abortion rights.

The last charge is most telling. On the heels of the explosive decision by the U.S. Supreme Court weeks ago to overturn a woman’s right to choose, there had to be some way to bolster Ted Budd’s support of that campaign-killing ruling, and undermine whatever energy it gave the Beasley.

So Susan B. Anthony Pro-life America immediately employed a successful 2020 campaign tactic that worked well for Republicans in North Carolina - they went door-to-door with powerful anti-Beasley campaign door hangers that said, “Most North Carolinians , whether pro-life or pro-choice, believe there should be reasonable limits on abortion, BUT NOT CHERI BEASLEY!”…further adding that Beasley is “too extreme on abortion.”

Add that onto television ads that position Beasley as being soft on hardened criminals who hurt children, and is a liberal Democrat who just wants to be elected to recklessly spend taxpayers money, and these false messages from the Budd corner are an attempt to soften Cheri Beasley up before the fall campaigns head into the stretch in November. It’s a strategy that aims to take away many of Cheri Beasley’s advantages - she’s a sharp,  attractive, highly accomplished, scandal-free Black woman who ran statewide in her last campaign, only to fall 400 votes short out of over 4 million cast.

She is better known that Ted Budd, a Republican small town gun shop owner who has been a Congressman since 2017. Beasley’s list of personal and professional accomplishments far exceed his.

And yet, just the Trump endorsement alone is powerful enough to match that, especially in the predominately conservative rural ares of North Carolina.

So what is Cheri Beasley’s strategy?

In her most recent television ads, she has positioned herself on the side of those who care about issues like lowering the cost of prescription medicine like insulin, working hard in partnership with law enforcement to stop the smuggling of illegal drugs into North Carolina, and supporting a woman’s right to choose in spite of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Beasley is also positioning herself as being apolitical, siding with neither Democrats nor Republicans on certain issues, thus trying to make herself a harder political target for Budd and his forces to hit. Having a campaign war-chest presently that exceeds Budd’s helps tremendously in that regard.

When the Ted Budd campaign does start spending money, there’s no question they’ll do so attempting to further define Cheri Beasley as a “radical” who wants to go to Washington, D.C. and join with an unpopular Democrat President Biden, Vice Pres Kamala Harris, and “AOC” to make life tougher for North Carolinians.

Beasley’s campaign challenge is to keep its cool, and make sure that the former Chief Justice remains dignified and knowledgeable about the issues that most North Carolina voters care about. She is only polling one or two points behind by some conservative polls, seven or eight points in others.

Her campaign’s job is to show that Budd has been in Congress since 2017, and has little to no positive record to show for it. It maybe why Budd refused to debate his opponents during the primaries. Can Beasley’s campaign exploit that to her benefit? Stay tuned!

Monday, July 18, 2022







By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

12th District Congresswoman Alma Adams says she will be participating in future abortion rights protests in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to display her displeasure with the High Court’s recent ruling striking down Roe v Wade as a constitutional right.

The Charlotte/Meckenburg Democrat was arrested Tuesday, among about reportedly 50 others, in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. during a protest of the conservative-led court’s decision.

She had tweeted earlier that she would be with the Democratic Women’s Caucus. NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was reportedly taken into custody a well.

Rep. Adams was not handcuffed by Capital Police.

"I'm here protesting with my colleagues and supporters who believe as I do: That women should be the ones to make that choice about what to do in the case that they may need this service," Adams told WRAL-TV.. "Shame on the Supreme Court for what they did, and we've got to continue to protest and speak out."

“This is not going to be the last protest," Adams continued.. "I'll tell you that. We're going to keep it up because it's just so important and we are all committed."

On July 15th, Rep. Adams delivered remarks on the House floor in support of abortion rights:

I rise today because I’m angry. The Supreme Court’s decision overturning the right to abortion care is fundamentally wrong.

The Supreme Court greenlit forced pregnancy, taking away the right to bodily autonomy from women. However, abortion is still health care, and people will still need to access it.

That’s why I’m supporting the Women’s Health Protection Act.In the wake of the Dobbs decision, we have a state-by-state patchwork that denies women equal protection under the law. While abortion is still legal in my home of North Carolina, the State of Texas is suing the government to compel women to carry pregnancies to term, even if it kills the mother. The Attorney General of Indiana wants to force rape victims – even 10 year old girls – to carry pregnancies to term.

We have a responsibility to stop this draconian overreach by state governments. We must make reproductive freedom the law of the land.

That legislation later passed the House, but is not expected to pass the U.S. Senate.


                                                          NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES




By Cash Michaels

An analysis

For those who thought that award-winning Black New York Times Magazine journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones deserved a six-figure check when she reportedly agreed to settle with UNC - Chapel Hill last week, instead of taking her race discrimination tenure case to court, the news that she only got somewhere in the neighborhood of less than $75,000 was probably disappointing.

But for Hannah - Jones, who publicly hadn't commented on the settlement until Tuesday, the victory over forcing the politically conservative Board of Trustees at UNC to give her the full tenure she automatically deserved upon accepting a 2021 job offer to teach at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, only to then publicly reject it in favor of teaching at Howard University instead, wasn’t satisfying enough.

In her settlement, Hannah-Jones made sure that the school would agree to “…address racial inequity at the university,” her alma mater.

        She tweeted Tuesday that her fight was never only about her.

She isn’t starving, certainly not as a high profile NYT investigative journalist, acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winner for her work on the controversial landmark 1619 Project about slavery, and position as a prestigious Knight Foundation-endowed Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at Howard.

But the fact that the predominately white, male and right-wing UNC Board of Trustees would play games with her job offer and the tenure attached to it, was more than enough for this proud Black woman professional to decide to not allow herself, or others who looked like her,  to be treated in any other way than above board and with dignity.

Last year, the board, influenced by politics and a major conservative donor,  was telling, not asking Hannah-Jones, to take the job teaching at Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and at the end of five-years, they might revisit the offer of tenure.

No other scholar offered a tenured position at Hussman had ever been treated  in such a manner. This Black woman was not going to allow herself to be the first. The ensuing national controversy brought charges of racism against UNC…charges that have rattled its once stellar reputation, even today.

The academic accreditation of the Hussman Journalism School was downgraded in May, and the university recently drew the condemnation of the American Association of University Professors.

Hannah-Jones was pleased with the support she got from the public, UNC students and faculty, because they all understood the issues involved.

But she was not pleased with the lack of support from the UNC - Chapel administration, which seemed to cower in the midst of the controversy.

By accepting the same position at Howard, a high-profile historically Black university (HBCU), again, as an endowed Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism after forcing the UNC Board to change course and vote to give her a tenured job offer, only to turn it down immediately for Howard, was Hannah-Jones telling them, and the world, that above all else, she knew her value.

And she wanted the students she would never get to teach at UNC, to know their value and power too, demand it, and be treated fairly.

When the announcement was made by UNC Board of Trustees Chairman David Boliek last Friday, he noted that the settlement was for less than $75,000 and was approved by UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz.

That was the highest amount he is officially allowed to make. Anything higher, the UNC Trustee Board would have to approve.

But whatever the final number was, it was not the only factor to stave off possible legal action from Hannah-Jones, her attorneys said.

What had not been reported is that the settlement agreement requires:

- an inclusive search process involving the training of 20 UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and staff to become advisers “in the development of positions, recruitment, screening , interviewing, references, evaluation and integration of new employees.

          - mental health counseling, involving the posting of a position for an additional trauma-informed therapist with the Multicultural Health Program no later the July 31, 2022, and hiring a qualified applicant for this position.

                   - the reserving of $5,000 each fiscal year through June 30, 2025, to be available through the Provost’s Office to pay reasonable expense for meetings, events and symposia sponsored by the Carolina Black Caucus upon review and approval by the UNC-Chapel Vice Provost.

According to the attorneys with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund who represented Nikole Hannah-Jones, “…this settlement enables her to be made whole while contributing to improving the climate at the university.”

“[The settlement] ..provides Ms. Hannah-Jones with the necessary closure to put this incident behind her. No less importantly, we believe the that the settlement is a victory for the right to expression  - a cornerstone of our democracy that has too frequently been infringed or ignored when claimed by Black people and people from other marginalized groups.”






By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

With reports of over 1,500 cases across the nation, North Carolina health officials are gearing up to deal with a serious outbreak of  the monkeypox virus. At least one North Carolina U.S. senator is not pleased with the federal response to combating the disease.

Meanwhile, at least 41 North Carolina counties at last reporting, more than twice the number counties the previous week, now have have enough cases of COVID-19 to be classified in the Orange Zone, the state’s highest coronavirus designation for an increasing indication for infections and hospital cases.

As of July 15th, there were thirteen reported cases of monkeypox in North Carolina, with one of the latest cases in Rowan County, according to the Charlotte Observer. Other cases have been reported in Mecklenburg, Durham, Haywood and Wake counties

According to the NCDHHS, the first case of monkeypox in North Carolina was identified on June 23rd in Haywood County.

As reported previously, monkeypox is a rare, potentially dangerous viral infection that can produce flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes and a bumpy rash. 

“Early symptoms can include fever, exhaustion and headache, and sometimes a sore throat and cough. A rash that can look like pimples or blisters appears shortly after,” says the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) press release. “This happens over two to three weeks. 

The virus is spread from person to person through skin-to-skin contact, infected saliva, respiratory droplets or fluid from the lesions. These body fluids may also contaminate linens or other items that they touch. The period from exposure to first symptoms is usually seven to 14 days but can range from five to 21 days. People can spread monkeypox from the start of symptoms, before the rash forms, until the lesions crust over and heal. “

The NCDHHS directive continued - “Anyone can get monkeypox. Many of the cases in this outbreak so far have been in men who have sex with men and transgender individuals. Sex can have a lot of close skin-to-skin contact, making it a riskier activity for spreading the virus. People who have more than one sexual partner in an area or venue where monkeypox is spreading are at higher risk of getting infected. For an update on the spread of the virus, visit the CDC map of monkeypox spread. Some cases have been tied to venue and events like sex parties and saunas where intimate, often anonymous sexual contact with multiple partners may occur.”

“Testing is available through a health care provider or local health department. The State Laboratory of Public Health tests these samples. Some commercial labs and academic medical centers can also test for monkeypox including LabCorp and the Mayo Clinic. There is no shortage of testing supplies, and people with symptoms of monkeypox should go to their health care provider or a local health department to get tested.”

  Thus far, there are federal government-approved vaccines for treatment that are being distributed to states to combat the virus, though there is criticism s to how effectively.

Problems have been reported. A Durham man told WRAL-TV how he was given the medical runaround for two weeks when he first suspected coming down with monkeypox on June 28th. He said a rash appeared in his mouth. “I could not eat because opening my mouth to put a fork full of food in my mouth was impossible. It was so painful.”

During that time he had 103 degree fever, night sweats, and other serious symptoms. When doctors finally examined him properly, the man indeed had monkeypox, and was treated..

Last week, North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr blasted the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services in a letter, charging that its response, thus far to the monkeypox outbreak across the country was “falling short.”

“The administration has the tools and authorities necessary to combat these threats. Your failures to act are a threat to public health, and especially for gay and bisexual men who are at highest risk,” wrote Burr. “The government failed this population at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we should not fail them again.”

On Sunday, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS News that the federal government has reacted too slowly to the spread of monkeypox, allowing it to spread more than it should.

"I think at this point, we've failed to contain this,” Gottlieb told CBS’ “Face the Nation”. “We're now at the cusp of this becoming an endemic virus where this now becomes something that's persistent that we need to continue to deal with."

Go to for more information.

On the COVID-19 front in North Carolina, driven primarily by the new B.A. .5 coronavirus variant, there are now 41 NC counties - most of Eastern North Carolina -  designated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as  being in the Orange Zone. A week prior, there were only 18 in the state. A week prior to that, only four.

An Orange Zone county has more than 200 new COVID-19 cases per week for every 100,000 people who live there, and more than ten hospital admissions that week. In those counties, the CDC recommends people wear masks indoors, and on public transportation, regardless of vaccination status.

A Yellow Zone county is classified as having a medium level of cases, while a Green Zone is considered low level.

Yellow Zone counties include Buncombe, Catawba, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Cabbaruss, and Cumberland.

Green Zone counties include Guilford and Iredell.


Friday, July 8, 2022



                                                             DERRICK JOHNSON



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

From today through Wednesday, July 20th, the 113th Convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will come to order in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

This will be the first NAACP convention held in person since the coronavirus outbreak over two years ago.

The theme for this year’s convention is “This is Power,” with racial equity as its priority goal, and there’s little doubt that the nation’s preeminent civil rights organization has its work cut out for it going into the 2022 midterm elections, and the looming 2024 presidential contests.

From police brutality to COVID-19 to voter suppression, Black communities are under attack,” states the NAACP website. “We work to disrupt inequality, dismantle racism, and accelerate change in key areas including criminal justice, health care, education, climate, and the economy. When it comes to civil rights and social justice, we have the unique ability to secure more wins than anyone else. Help make racial equity a reality.”

The immense challenge of ensuring free and fair elections and votings rights for all has always been on the table for the NAACP, its over 2200 units and chapters,  and over 2 million members nationwide. The same goes for dealing with the ongoing issues of civil rights, reproductive rights, education and economic justice.

Under the banner “This is Power,” there will be workshops led by organizational leaders to help shape and mold policy decisions around police reform and other NAACP agenda items going into 2022-23.

This year’s convention will convene some of our brightest minds to cement a path forward,” says NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. 

According to press reports, an estimated 8,000 to 11,000 people are expected to attend the NAACP Convention over the next six days.

Some are calling it “the most important national convention to be held in Atlantic City since the Democratic National Convention in 1964.”

No doubt there will be many from the NC Conference of NAACP Branches, which has an estimated 100 chapters, attending, including President Deborah Dicks Maxwell.

This is expected to be a successful convention, despite the North Carolina controversies involving litigation against certain leaders of National NAACP, in particular Pres./CEO Derrick Johnson.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

With summer officially underway, the last thing most people want to worry about is news regarding a more virulent, contagious COVID-19 variant sweeping across North Carolina and the country.

And that certainly goes for the heretofore unheard of “monkeypox” infections starting to rear their ugly heads as well, again in the state and across the nation.

But scientists and health officials warn us not to ignore either of these two new health challenges to our ability to get back to some semblance of normalcy after two years of social distancing and face masks, because even with vaccines, all of us remain at risk.

First COVID-19.

Over the past two weeks here in North Carolina, there has been a big jump in the number of counties in the CDC’s  (U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention) Orange Zone with high COVID spread. A county is considered in the Orange Zone if it has more than 200 new cases per week for every 100,000 people who live there, and ten percent or more of the people hospitalized are COVID-19 patients.

Last week showed 18 North Carolina counties in the Orange Zone. Some of those 18 counties include Forsyth, Davie, Stokes, Harnett, Granville, Person, Vance, Warren and Durham, among others.

The week before there were just four counties.

The CDC recommends that those living in high spread Orange Zone counties wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Fifty-three NC counties - like Cumberland, Buncombe, Catawba, Iredell, Cabarrus and Mecklenburg - were classified as being in the Yellow Zone, meaning that they are considered in medium spread communities, and 29 are labeled as Green Zone counties because they’ve shown to have the lowest level of spread.

Guilford is a Green Zone county because COVID-19 spread is considered low there.

The COVID news for North Carolina is sobering because the Omicron BA. subvariant is now the dominant COVID-19 strain across the US, and driving a wave of summertime infections across the globe, according to the CDC.

“[This is] the worst version of the virus that we’ve seen, says Dr. Eric Topol, founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

Ironically, while the death rate from COVID-19 in the United States has fallen for now, the BA.5 is proving infectious even to those who contracted the earliest version of COVID-19., meaning that there is little to no protection from it presently.

The chief concern, researchers say, is that once contracted, patients will suffer through lingering bouts of fatigue, shortness of breath, and other symptoms of dysfunction. The Federal Drug Administration is urging vaccine makers to specifically target BA.5 in their next booster rollout for the fall.

As of June 25, BA.5 has accounted for 38% of all cases in North Carolina, and climbing. As before, the elderly are being cautioned to take extra precautions.

And now, Monkeypox.

As of last week, a second case of monkeypox has been identified in North Carolina, specifically in Mecklenburg County. The first case was determined in Haywood County.

The infection can last anywhere between two to four weeks. The disease is rare, but once caught, it can cause flulike symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes, and a rash of ugly bumps across the body.

State health officials say monkeypox is transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact.

The NCDHHS continues, “Having contact with an infectious rash, through body fluids or through respiratory secretions. Such contact often occurs during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex. While anyone can get monkeypox, in the current outbreak, many of the cases are in men who have sex with men.

According to NCDHHS, there have been over 3,300 cases identified worldwide since May, including 156 in the United States. The number of cases is growing.

No deaths have been attributed to the monkeypox infections.

If you think you’ve been exposed to the monkeypox infection, contact your doctor, or local healthcare clinic.


Sunday, July 3, 2022






By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

One of the enduring, lasting images of the recent Jan. 6th Select Committee hearings was of a former Georgia election worker, Shaye Moss, and her mother, Ruby Freeman, tearfully telling the committee how former President Donald Trump, and those who supported his false claims of wining the 2020 presidential election, virtually shattered their lives with  lies, threats of violence and intimidation with accusations of ballot mismanagement.

I was angered and regretful that they were forced to endure the awful effects that the former President’s campaign of lies had on them,” said NCCU Law Prof. Irv Joyner. “The two of them and their grandmother should receive President’s Medals of Honor for their efforts to contribute to an honest counting of ballots in Atlanta and, instead, to incur the vicious, dishonest and intentional slander and threats of “45” and his band of crooks.”

Democrats in North Carolina agree with Prof. Joyner, and have filed Senate Bill 916 that would make it a crime to intimidate or threaten an election worker “with the goal of interfering with their official duties. Doing so would be a crime punishable with up to five years in prison, a $100,000 fine, or both.

The bill also allows voting precinct officials to shield their personal from the public if they believe they re being targeted. The measure would also prevent the biased recount of election ballots which took place in Arizona after the 2020 election.

SB 916’s primary sponsor, Sen. Jay Chaudhuri (D-Wake) says he’s under no illusion that Republicans won’t support his bill, so it’s not likely to pass and become law.

There have been several incidents reported from across North Carolina since the 2020 elections including Republicans defending to inspect voting machines. In the ends, they were not allowed to.

At least ten states across the nation have bills pending that if passed, would protect election workers.






By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

It is the NC case that has most legal experts across the nation shaking in their shoes about what damage this conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court will do next.

The NC case is Moore v. Harper, and the question it raises is can state courts having anything to do with how disputes over federal elections are handled?

Why is this important? The Republican-led NC legislature did not agree with the Democratic majority NC Supreme Court in deciding against lawmakers earlier this year when it came to redistricting after the 2020 census, namely that it violated the NC Constitution. New, fairer maps were drawn as directed by the Democrat-led NC Supreme Court, and the primaries and fall elections are governed by those maps.

The GOP is banking on what’s called the independent state legislature (ISL) doctrine, a part of the U.S. Constitution’s Election Clause which some say gives state legislatures the power to set voting rules for federal office that state courts have absolutely no say in, and that power is absolute.

        “The times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof,” it says.

Legal experts say the NC ISL case is dangerous because if the U.S. High Court sees fit, state lawmakers here and across the country will be able to draw any gerrymandered congressional voting district lines they want, free of the nuisance of being challenged in their state’s court.

That would leave state courts toothless to protect voting rights in  federal elections.

This interpretation of the constitution "could make it easier for state legislatures to suppress the vote, draw unfair election districts, enable partisan interference in ballot counting," the Brennan Center for Justice tweeted.

Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC called it a “radical power grab.”

With Republicans in charge of far more state legislatures than are Democrats, thus redrawing more voting districts than Democrats, the GOP will be able to break the kind of redistricting rules state courts would never allow them to break before.

How bad could it get? State legislatures could ignore the popular vote, and designate their own slate of presidential electors to go to Washington to certify the next president.

Yes, a ruling by the High Court could come in before the 2024 elections, giving the NC General Assembly and other state legislatures the power and “unlimited control” to pick who they want for president, not confirm who the majority of their state’s voters voted for.

Conservative justices Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch have already signaled in previous rulings that they support the ISL Doctrine.

“This case is not only critical to election integrity in North Carolina, but has implications for the security of elections nationwide,” NC Speaker Tim Moore said in a prepared statement. “On the heels of another victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, I am confident that this court recognizes what our State Supreme Court failed to recognize — that the United States Constitution explicitly gives the General Assembly authority to draw districts and that authority must be recognized.”

This fall, the future of multiracial democracy is at stake,” said Allison Riggs, Co-Executive Director and Chief Counsel for Voting Rights at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, which is representing Common Cause in the case. “In Moore, North Carolina lawmakers argue they essentially get a ‘free pass’ to violate state constitutional protections against partisan gerrymandering when drawing districts which undeniably hurt voters. We will vigorously fight these claims and instead advocate on behalf of North Carolinians to prove what the ‘independent state legislature theory’ has been all along — a fringe, desperate, and anti-democratic attack by a gerrymandered legislature.” 

The case is scheduled to be heard this October when the U.S. Supreme Court begins a new term.