THAT IRS REVOKES
NC NAACP TAX-EMEMPT
By Cash Michaels
Just over a month after the suspicious death of former NC NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, and the dropping of the defamation/civil conspiracy lawsuit he had earlier filed against national NAACP Pres./CEO Derrick Johnson, current NC NAACP Pres. Deborah Maxwell, and several other NC NAACP members, comes a blistering story in the Raleigh News and Observer that reports that the state’s civil rights organization lost its tax exempt status last May because it had not filed its #990 form for three consecutive years.
What’s “blistering” about the N&O story is that points its finger at both Dr. Spearman and his predecessor, Rev. Dr. William Barber, by stating, “ Organization bank statements reflect years of payments made to unidentifiable parties, with hundreds of thousands of dollars unaccounted for, according to the group’s current treasurer.”
For the record, “…the group’s current treasurer” is Gerald Givens Jr., president of the Raleigh/Apex NAACP, and a named defendant in Dr. Spearman’s defamation/civil conspiracy lawsuit prior to it being dismissed. Givens was also named as causing a “disruption” against Rev. Spearman, according to published reports and eyewitnesses then, during a meeting at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem in 2019, where police had to be called, but no arrests were made.
The N&O article doesn’t say that the paper actually saw “organization bank statements [that] reflect years of payments made to unidentifiable parties,” thus the article only refers to whatever “strictly confidential” presentation Treasurer Givens “…shared…from an “investigation” he conducted into the [NC NAACP ’s] financial health and history” at a meeting last February “…of about 30 state and national NAACP leaders.”
That report allegedly detailed “eight years of “very problematic” payment patterns, including “potential misappropriation of funds on multiple levels.” The N&O story went on to allege, “more than $1 million had been spent without proper authorization, Givens said at the meeting.”
The Raleigh newspaper went on to state that though Givens refused to comment for its story, “…a transcript of his speech was shared with the N&O and independently verified.”
Question - if Givens himself did not comment for the N&O story, then who had the power to “share” a “transcript of his speech” from last February at a meeting “…of about 30 state and national NAACP leaders?”
And why, since the national NAACP is quick to tell any reporter that it simply does not comment on internal affairs, was a document from an apparently important meeting of NAACP officials, leaked to a major North Carolina newspaper outlet?
The N&O story also raises other questions, like, if Tennessee conference President Gloria Sweet-Love was the administrator in charge of “operation of the branch, its committees and staff” since 2019, then why didn’t she make sure the three years of non-filed #990 IRS tax forms were taken care of prior to the revocation of the NC NAACP’s nonprofit status?
What was she doing (or not doing) to allow that to happen?
Sweet-Love spoke briefly to the N&O for its story. Apparently she didn’t say, and the paper’s reporters didn’t ask.
And that’s it. The N&O used the three-year non-filing of tax forms, the revocation of the NC NAACP’s 501(c)4 status (which made it tax-exempt, but donations to it were not tax exempt), and, if the N&O had been reading North Carolina’s Black Press since 2017, the sometimes vicious infighting between certain internal factions and NC NAACP leadership, to publish a story based a suspiciously leaked “strictly confidential” report done by a NC NAACP member who was a defendant in Dr. Spearman’s defamation/civil conspiracy lawsuit, and fiscal mismanagement allegations that previously served as a cover for the ousted Rev. Curtis Gatewood, who was forced to leave the NC NAACP behind allegations that he sexually harassed a young NC NAACP female member he once supervised in 2017.
Gatewood has denied the allegation. The trial will reportedly commence in Durham on January 17th, 2023.
Dr. Spearman had always alleged as part of his defamation/civil conspiracy claims that, “With the help of at least six other Defendants, a plan was devised [by NAACP Pres./CEO Derrick Johnson and national NAACP Board Chairman Leon Russell] to falsely accuse Spearman of fiscal malfeasance, seemingly “forcing” Johnson to put the NC NAACP under the control of a national administrator [Sweet-Love] in 2019.
“The purpose of Defendants’ plan to damage [Spearman’s] reputation was to ensure that when the elections resumed in 2021, [Spearman] would have a difficult time being re-elected,” the lawsuit maintained.
Constitutional violations were being alleged against Spearman, but none were ever brought forward to a hearing or forum of due process.
In October 2021, Sweet-Love arbitrarily an without warning, changed the rules and process of the NC NAACP executive committee elections. Spearman and his team were voted out. Deborah Dicks Maxwell, and her team, which included Gerald Givens, Jr. as treasurer, were voted in.
LT. GOV. MARK ROBINSON
WHY “GOV.” MARK ROBINSON
WOULD BE BAD FOR NC EDUCATION
By Cash Michaels
In 1960, then North Carolina Gov. Terry Sanford made improving public education in a southern state that was poor and severely racially divided a top priority of his administration. He later went on to become the president of Duke University.
In later years, four-term NC Gov. James B. Hunt earned the moniker “the education governor” for his advocacy of improving public education to lift North Carolina up, and welcome more economic development to provide jobs and opportunity for its citizens.
Current NC Gov. Roy Cooper is a strong proponent of “strengthening our education system from early childhood through postsecondary… and making the investments necessary to ensure that all North Carolina students have access to a high quality public education."
That includes poor Black children across the state.
Cooper says he wants to make North Carolina a “Top Ten Educated State by 2025.”
But apparently if Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is elected governor in 2024, that great tradition of improving North Carolina’s public school system will come to a screeching halt, which does not bode well for any child, especially African-American children.
In his upcoming memoir, “We Are the Majority: The Life and Passions of a Patriot” (due out Sept. 13th), the black Republican not only strongly hints at his upcoming 2024 run for governor, but shares his views on education - specifically why he would eliminate the State Board of Education (which he is a voting member of), and work to keep history, science and a few other subjects from being taught in K through 5 classrooms.
“In those grades, we don’t need to be teaching social studies,” the lt. governor writes. “We don’t need to be teaching science. We surely don’t need to be talking about equity and social justice.”
Fortunately, Robinson sees reading, writing, and mathematics as important lessons for learning. Question is, if North Carolina students K-5 aren’t being taught history or science, then what will they be reading and writing about?
He goes on to call climate change and global warming “junk science.”
Improving public schools? Robinson is not interested. Instead, he’s more inclined in making public education as we know it “a thing of the past,” in favor of bolstering school voucher programs and charter schools.
Clearly this is all a political warmup to attract as much right-wing support as possible for his gubernatorial run from across the state, especially from North Carolina’s formidable conservative rural areas. But in doing so, Robinson, who has only been in politics since 2020, threatens to set North Carolina education policy back to the days before Gov. Terry Sanford.
Needless to say, newspaper editorials howled at the prospect of a “Governor” Mark Robinson having anything to do the state’s education policy.
“But as patently wacky as Robinson’s suggestion is, it’s also just plain bad for our state. Public school curriculum, especially in elementary school, provides students with the basic tools they need to succeed in the world. That’s not just a North Carolina thing. It’s how it works everywhere,” opined the Charlotte Observer’s recent editorial.
“Robinson’s no-science, no-history curriculum is bad for our children, who will fall behind because they’re learning concepts like gravity and the three branches of government at a slower pace than their peers in other states — or because they simply haven’t been taught how to think critically," the editorial continued, later adding, “…it would make a mockery of North Carolina.”
Recently, after a conservative educational roundtable in Durham, Robinson seemed to back off his “no-science” stance, apparently because of the backlash. But it’s still in his book.
With schools starting this week in most parts of the state, there seems to be a clear understanding among parents and teachers that their students are competing not just on a national basis, but a global one, if not now, certainly in the future.
With major employers like Apple Computers moving their operations to North Carolina, it remains to be seen how the educational pronouncements of gubernatorial hopeful Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson will be taken.
VOTER INTEGRITY PROJECT
PREPARING FOR NOV. MIDTERMS
By Cash Michaels
Prepare to have your right to vote challenged at your local voting precinct during the midterm elections this fall by members of a conservative “voter integrity” group. They are known as the “Voter Integrity Project (VIP),” and as far as they’re concerned, in North Carolina, “…the Left uses the courts to weaken election integrity in states lead by ‘Republican’ politicians.”
VIP-NC claims it is a 501 (c)4 tax exempt organization “…dedicated to ensuring open and honest elections for all lawfully registered voters.”
NBC News calls it “a Tea Party-backed group.”
Since it’s founding in 2011, VIP-NC has insisted that North Carolina’s election system is so prone to corruption, that the primary way to fix it is through voter photo identification, and anyone who suggests that voter ID should not be required is practicing “paternalistic racism.”
So, when the NC NAACP and other progressive groups combat voter ID, according to VIP -NC, they are saying, “…the poor and minorities are incapable of getting a photo ID card, so we have to accommodate this stereotype by creating fraud-friendly election laws.”
Since VIP-NC's founding, numerous court cases have found that voter and racially gerrymandering in North Carolina were tools of the Republican Party to actually suppress the Black vote enough to maintain control of the NC General Assembly.
Thus, over the years, even before Donald Trump’s election - deniers, VIP-NC has challenged the election voter rolls, absentee voting, and other issues surrounding one’s right to cast a ballot.
In 2012, VIP-NC “…delivered to the [North Carolina ] election board [30,000] names it identified as ineligible, saying that 90% of those persons should be taken off the voter list.” But when the [NC State Board of Elections] reviewed the names, it found that less than 5,000 even merited a second look.And of those, not a single individual was found to have voted after they died, voted illegitimately, or even to have died at all.”
After checking voter record and death certificates, the NCSBE found no instance of voter fraud.
In April 2013, Jay DeLancy, the executive director of VIP-NC issued a “Statement of Possible Errors.” In that statement, DeLancy admitted that ‘…some of our findings …may be inaccurate.” He continued that “…we caution the public against losing sight of the undeniable fact that North Carolina’s voter rolls are so corrupted that, without an effective voter ID law, it will be impossible to know who is really voting.”
In July, 2019, UNC Factcheck was reporting, “Voter Integrity Project” spreading misinformation about absentee ballots , 9th District election.”
By November 2020, VIP had now expanded nationwide, announcing after the controversial presidential election between Trump and Biden that it had “…discovered easily provable irregularities and statistically significant amounts of fraud,” tweeted Election Wizard. “The VIP analysis alone is sufficient to call into question the results in AZ, WI, GA, and NV. Without these states, Biden falls short of 270 [electoral college votes].”
Former NY Mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani backed the VIP findings, saying in a tweet, “ Legal Strategy: Multiple Pathways to Victory!” History has shown that in fact, no such “evidence” existed allowing the Pres. Trump to overturn the election.
Now fast forward to 2021 and the summer of 2022, and VIP-NC has just completed numerous “boot camps” and observer training sessions in preparation for the 2022 across the state in preparaion for the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential elections.
“The problem this site will try to solve is that political parties are training observers on how things should work and have very little experience in how polls can quickly turn into a crime scene,” the VIP-NC Boot camp webpage says.
It is important to note that when you vote, North Carolina law is on your side. While poll watchers from both parties are allowed to observe the voting process, they are not allowed, by law, to intimidate voters. If someone does try to talk to you while you’re in line to cast your ballot, report that person to the voting precinct judge so that they can be removed.
Being able to vote is now more important than ever, and there are those devoted to interfering with that right. It is important to know who some of them are so that you don’t allow them to interfere with yours.