Sunday, August 28, 2022


REV. DR. T. Anthony Spearman

                                                   GERALD GIVENS, JR.






By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

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



By Cash Michaels

An analysis

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.




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

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.


Sunday, August 21, 2022




                                                     REV. DR. T. ANTHONY SPEARMAN




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The attorney for Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman has sent a “Notice of Intent to Voluntarily Dismiss….” the late civil and human rights leader’s lawsuit in Guilford County Superior Court against several members of the NAACP, effectively closing the case.

In a letter dated August 17th, Atty. Mark T Cummings of Greensboro sent the notice to attorney Robert E. Harrington of the Charlotte law firm of Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson P.A.. The federal lawsuit targeted national NAACP Pres./CEO Derrick Johnson, national NAACP Chairman of the Trustee Board Leon Russell, NC NAACP Pres. Deborah Dicks Maxwell, Tennessee NAACP Conference Pres. Gloria Sweet-Love, Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP Pres. Corine Mack, Raleigh-Apex NAACP Gerald Givens and other members, accusing them of defamation, and civil conspiracy to have Dr. Spearman removed from office as NC NAACP president by allegedly rigging the October 2021 executive election of officers so that he would lose.

It was June 13th when this reporter first and exclusively reported that Rev. Dr. Spearman, former president of the NC NAACP, filed a lawsuit in Guilford County Superior Court, contending that “the Defendants conspired to  have Plaintiff  (Spearman) removed because of his support of  victim of sexual harassment (Ms. Jazmyne Childs) who brought litigation against the National NAACP and an employee/member of the North Carolina State Conference NAACP (Rev. Curtis Gatewood) and because of Plaintiff’s growing national profile stemming from his many successful and high-profile activities on behalf of the People of North Carolina and the NC NAACP.”

Gatewood has denied the sexual harassment charge, and is not a defendant in Rev. Spearman’s lawsuit, though he is alluded to.

Rev. Spearman maintained that because he stood with Ms. Childs publicly when she tearfully accused Pres./CEO Johnson in 2019 of ignoring her repeated cries to suspend Rev. Gatewood after her 2017 sexual harassment allegations were confirmed by an external investigation, Spearman became a target for retribution.”

Cummings notes that since Rev. Spearman’s demise ”…sometime in or around” July 19th, that “…current North Carolina law does not allow for the prosecution of a Defamation Claim after the death of the complaining party.”

Spearman’s attorney continued, “Although we believe that this case would present a good-faith opportunity to test whether existing law should be changed in light of technological and other factors the make the sting of defamatory statements potent even after death, Dr. Spearman’s Estate, which is in the process of formal creation, is not in a position to litigate that issue, and will therefore consent to a voluntary dismissal of the Defamation Claim.”

That part of the letter was no surprise. Atty Cummings told this reporter several days after Dr. Spearman’s death that he would most likely be withdrawing the defamation portion of the lawsuit because North Carolina would not allow it, but intended to proceed with the civil conspiracy part.

However, in his letter to atty. Harrington, Cummings decides otherwise.

“Moreover, our firm believes that since a Civil Conspiracy Claim just be tied to an independent compensatory claim, and that the Defamation Claim (which would have satisfied this requirement) is not available under current North Carolina law, that claim must also be voluntarily dismissed.”

Atty. Cummings continued.

“ We do not come to this decision without great pain and deep regret because we believe the Defendants were responsible, and a Jury would have so found, for defaming Dr. Spearman, and conspiring against him to have him removed unconstitutionally from his Office as President of the North Carolina Conference of the NAACP. However, Dr. Spearman’s untimely (and still currently under investigation) death makes it impossible to litigate these claims against the Defendants.”

At press time Monday, there was no indication of a response from attorney Harrington. He had previously sought to have the Spearman lawsuit moved to federal court for the Middle District of North Carolina.


                                                           DEBORAH DICKS MAXWELL



By Cash Michaels

An analysis

The title of a recent TV station editorial said it all regarding the NC Supreme Court’s most recent landmark ruling:


Indeed the editorial followed up by asking a basic question Democrats on the state’s High Court apparently asked themselves before rendering their stunning 4-3 August 19th decision: “Should legislators, improperly elected from judicially ruled illegal racially gerrymandered districts, be able to enact laws that perpetuate racial discrimination?”

The four Democrats on the state’s highest court essentially said “ of course not,” but left it to a lower court to further do the research to put a definitive exclamation point on it.

The case was brought by the NC NAACP under the late Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman’s leadership after the Republican-led NC General Assembly in 2018 rushed to get six constitutional amendments to the state Constitution on the ballot for ratification by the voters. Two of the amendment involved mandating that voter ID would be the law in North Carolina, and that income taxes could not go beyond a 7% cap.

Both constitutional amendments passed, and the GOP legislative majority wasted no time in ratifying a law requiring voter ID for all future elections.

The amendments were passed by a three-fifths majority of both chambers of the legislature; but the voter ID amendment only passed by two votes in the state House of Representatives and three in the Senate,” reported the Daily Wire.

The Republican scheme to permanently codify voter photo identification in North Carolina law worked, until the NC NAACP brought suit charging that the legislative action was unconstitutional because many of the Republican lawmakers who voted to ratify it were from voting districts that the US Supreme Court had previously deemed unconstitutional in 2016 because those districts were racially gerrymandered. 

Thus, at least 28 GOP lawmakers had been illegally been elected, and should not have been able to serve, let alone vote in the NC legislature in 2018.

“Critical here is the fact that the legislature was conducting official business and passing laws even though it knew many of its members were not legally elected to represent their districts. Since the legislature didn’t act on its own to alleviate this flaw it was left to citizens – like those who have challenged the state’s Voter ID laws – to make sure actions of an illegally-constituted General Assembly were appropriately reviewed,” the WRAL-TV editorial stated.

A Wake Superior Court judge agreed in 2019, however the Republican-led NC Court of Appeals reversed that decision. That’s when Rev. Dr. Spearman and the NC NAACP appealed to the NC Supreme Court, which rendered the momentous 4-3 decision last week.

NC Supreme Court Associate Justice Anita Earls  wrote for the majority,  “…what makes this case so unique is that the General Assembly, acting with the knowledge that 28 of its districts were unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered and that more than two-thirds of all legislative districts needed to be redrawn to achieve compliance with the Equal Protection Clause, chose to initiate the process of amending the state constitution.”

Now, the same Wake Superior Court Judge, Bryan Collins, who originally ruled in the NC NAACP’s favor, has been tasked to factually justify undoing the constitutional amendments that were passed by voters. His 2019 ruling was deemed “too broad” by the Democrat justices, because it “…should have examined … whether the legislature was composed of a sufficient number of legislators elected from unconstitutionally gerrymandered districts—or from districts that were made possible by the unconstitutional gerrymander—such that the votes of those legislators could have been decisive in passing the challenged enactments … In this case, however, the record is clear that votes of legislators from unconstitutionally gerrymandered districts could have been decisive.” 

As a result, Republicans and conservatives are more determined than ever to change the construct of the State Supreme Court this fall by defeating the two Democrats on the High Court in hopes of regaining the court majority, and then eventually overturning this ruling.

And if none of that works, the NC GOP hopes the conservative-dominated U.S. Supreme Court will weigh-in down the road.

A right-wing website called “The Conservatives Post,” blasted the decision as a “…full-scale judicial coup.”

“Judges have no right to proclaim entire branches of government illegitimate, curtailing their elected powers, for what are purely partisan reasons, “ website continued. “These Democrats didn’t want voter ID enshrined, so they invented this ruling out of whole cloth, backed by absolutely nothing at all. It’s time to send them a message at the polls.”

Other outraged Republicans agreed.

“This party-line ruling is in direct contradiction to the rule of law and the will of the voters, opined NC House Speaker, Republican Tim Moore.  ‘The people of North Carolina will not stand for the blatant judicial activism and misconduct that has seized our state’s highest court, and neither will I.”

The GOP are also determined to maintain legislative dominance in state government by winning more seats in the 2022 midterm elections thanks to recent redistricting, and the Governor’s Mansion in 2024.

And one of their top priorities - winning their pending voter ID court cases so that it becomes a permanent part of North Carolina law.

But first, they have to convince voters that Democrats are in the way.

“Four Democratic justices have all but thrown out the legitimate votes of millions of North Carolinians in a brazen, partisan attempt to remove the voter ID requirement from our Constitution and deny the people the ability to amend their own Constitution,” a statement from Sen. Paul Newton, the Republican chair of the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee, stated.

“This is a direct attack on our democratic form of government from the most activist court in the state’s history.”

However, Rev. Dr. Spearman’s successor current NC NAACP President Deborah Dicks Maxwell, said,  “Rigging elections by trampling on the rights of Black voters has consequences. No legislature has the right to use racially gerrymandered maps — infecting more than two-thirds of the districts of this state — to steal power from the people to change our state’s constitution.” 

Meanwhile, the NC Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in another voter ID lawsuit on an accelerated appeal, because of claims that the 2018 voter ID law discriminated against African-American voters.

Republicans wanted the GOP-dominated NC Appellate Court to hear the case first because that would essentially eat up a calendar year and put any NC High Court review well after the 2022 midterms.

But the NC justices said “no,” they’ll hear it now.


Monday, August 15, 2022

THE CASH JOURNAL for Thursday August 18, 2022





By Cash Michaels

An analysis

Friday, August 19th marks one month since the death of former NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, 71. To date, there has been no official explanation for how he died, or why he died, and many want to know.

Thus far, there’s been no reward-ladened Crimestoppers pronouncement for anyone with information to step forward and share with authorities what they know.

Here’s what we do know.

It was just after 5 p.m., on Tuesday, July 19th, when Rev. Spearman’s  lifeless body was found in the basement of his Guilford County home, stretched out on a couch, amid a large pool of blood nearby.

That description came from a close associate of Dr. Spearman’s who went to his home, and was let in by a close, concerned relative who arrived at the same time looking for the civil rights leader when he failed to attend a 2 p.m. Guilford County Board of Elections meeting earlier, or answer repeated calls to his house. Dr. Spearman had been home alone for several days. His wife, Janice, was away in Detroit, Michigan reportedly with her ailing mother.

The last time Rev, Spearman was seen or heard from was during a Zoom call the night before, which reportedly ended at approximately 10 p.m.., a colleague told this reporter.

That likely means that Dr. Spearman allegedly lost his life either that night, Monday, July 18th, or during the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 19th.

There’s little doubt that the Guilford County Sheriff’s investigators handling Dr. Spearman’s case know all of the above, if not a lot more.

Those investigators know for certain whether this was a homicide (sources have indicated that it allegedly was), and by now, know approximately what time Dr. Spearman expired, and what the cause was.

They know because Dr. Spearman’s body was released a week after his death for his August 2nd funeral, which means the coroner’s office had the opportunity to exam his body prior to August 2nd to provide the sheriff’s office with most of the clues it needed.

And yet, a month after the his death, Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers remains tightlipped as to what happened, how it happened, who might be a person of interest, and whether to expect a break in the case.

Observers note that there may be very good reasons for the radio silence on Sheriff Rogers’ part, but that does not explain at least the how (was Dr. Spearman murdered?) or best estimation of when.

When called Monday for comment, Sheriff Rogers indicated that he was waiting on the medical examiner to state conclusively how Rev. Spearman died, and that sometimes it could take as many as three months for the answer.

        Observers ask, "Then why not tell the public that?

Past cases have shown us that when the M.E. takes a month to three months to make a determination of death in a case, it’s usually because a toxicology test is involved.

But the large pool of blood seen by the person who discovered Spearman’s body does not suggest poison, but rather a blunt force attack of some sort. Perhaps a blow to the head, or stabbing, or gunshot. Was there a wound of any sort evident on Dr. Spearman’s body?

One fact is clear…30 days later, and the people who loved Rev. Spearman, and revered his work for civil and human rights still don’t know

It was Spearman’s attorney, Mark Cummings,  who said on the record on July 22nd that both he and the family hoped that state authorities would “assist” the Guilford County Sheriff’s Dept. in its investigation.

At press time, there is no word that the State Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the probe of the death of Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman.

        Rev. Spearman was a leader who stood strong for justice for others in life.

    Those he led in that struggle are now seeking justice in knowing that a truthful explanation of his passing is forthcoming.


                                                           REP. ALMA ADAMS (D-NC-12)


On August 14th, the office of 12th District Congresswoman Alma Adams sent out the following notice:

“This morning I tested positive for COVID-19 and am experiencing mild symptoms. I quarantined immediately following the diagnosis. I have received four doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, so  I am thankful for the protection that the vaccine provides. I am following the advice of my doctor and resting to ensure a strong recovery. Thank you to all of my colleagues, friends and family for their love and support at this time.”


       Adams represents Charlotte and Mecklenburg Country, North Carolina in the United States House of Representatives. She is currently serving her fourth full term as a Member of Congress. Due to the yearly August district work period, the House and the Senate are not expected to convene for votes again until September.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Because of the “structural inequities of healthcare,” the North Carolina  Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) reported that as of August 8th, “…70% of [111 monkeypox] cases are in Black men [in North Carolina, [and] Black North Carolinians are receiving less than a quarter of the vaccinations.”

NCDHHS further notes that so far, 19% of the 111 cases are in White males..

State health officials have also noted that Mecklenburg County has had more monkeypox cases than any other, with at least 60 thus far.

“We know that Mecklenburg County has been the epicenter where we’ve seen the most cases in North Carolina,” N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley said during a press conference  last week. “Now is not the time for anxiety. It’s a time for action.”

Mecklenburg has been the only county to report more than ten cases so far.

There have been no cases of women or children recorded in North Carolina, but there have been six cases of children since July reported recently in Maine, Indiana, and California. Children under the age of 8 are considered by the U.S. centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at "increased risk" for developing a more severe illness if infected," reported ABC News.

In terms of protective vaccinations, 3,048 people have received monkeypox vaccine, but African-Americans have only received 24% of those vaccinations (whites have gotten 67%).

According to NCDHHS, “nearly all cases” of monkeypox in North Carolina “are in men who have sex with men.” However, NCDHHS officials are quick to add “Anyone can get monkeypox, most commonly through close skin-to-skin contact. That includes sex, but also non-sexual contact. The period from exposure to first symptoms is usually seven to 14 days but can range from five to 21 days.”

Right now, all cases are in adult males. Sixty-five of the state’s 111 cases are in men 30-49, 41 cases men 18-29, and five cases in men age 50 +.

Only four cases have been found in Hispanics; 21 in. White males, and 78 in Black or African-American males, reports NCDHHS.

As to monkeypox vaccines and vaccinations, “JYNNEOS is a safe and effective monkeypox vaccine,” according to the NCDHHS. “The vaccine requires two doses and it takes 14 days after getting the second dose of JYNNEOS to reach maximum immune protection. People who have already been exposed to monkeypox, but do not have symptoms, can be vaccinated to  prevent illness or lead to milder symptoms if it is given within 14 days after exposure.

NCDHHS cautions, however, that “currently, vaccine supply is limited and [NCDHHS is] prioritizing people with monkeypox exposure and at a higher risk of exposure.

Thus far, of the 3,048 vaccine inoculations given in North Carolina as of August 8th, only 719 were to Black or African-American men, according to NCDHHS.

White men received 2,039.

In regard to getting tested for monkeypox in North Carolina, NCDHHS states, “Testing is widely available and encouraged if you had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox, or have symptoms of monkeypox including unexplained bumps, sores, blisters or pimples that look like monkeypox. There is no shortage of tests. People with symptoms should go to their health care provider or local health department. to get tested. Multiple laboratories in NC now offer monkeypox testing including the State Laboratory of Public Health.” 

What is NCDHHS doing to “advance equity?’

“Viruses often impact historically marginalized communities first, not because of who they are, but because of systemic inequities that made them vulnerable in the first place.”

NCDHHS furthers that it must understand the epidemiology of the disease (how it spreads), and prioritize resources where most needed to combat it.

All 100 county health departments across North Carolina have received a direct shipment of vaccines directly from the federal government’s’ NCDHHS notes.

Please go to for more information about where in your county you can obtain a monkeypox vaccination.


Monday, August 8, 2022


****TWO PICTURES OF Justine Jones




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

It’s been several weeks now since the white police chief of 21 years, four of his full-time officers (white), and two town clerks in the racially-diverse Johnston County town of Kenly - population approximately 2,000 -   handed in their resignations, citing “a hostile work environment” since the hiring of a new Black Town manager. The town attorney is supposed to deliver a report by the end of the month to the Kenly Town Council as to why the resignations occurred, and who was responsible.

  An outside law firm is conducting the investigation for that report.

     In the meantime last Monday night before a packed audience of concerned residents and the Town manager looking on, the Kenly Town Council decided to form a committee to hire a new police chief, and rebuild its police department.

The mass resignations have made national news, something Kenly town business leaders, let alone its elected council, feel they have to quash soon if they are to attract new industry, jobs and residents to the area.

Kenly, which is 35 miles southeast of Raleigh, has a council-manager form of municipal government. The town’s population is 48 % white, 34% Black. The town council recently issued a proclamation joining the municipalities across the state and nation in recognizing June 18th as “Juneteenth.”

Was the reason for what happened racism, sexism, a long overdue official accountability, or a little bit of all three?

According to media reports, the Kenly Town Council - which has at least two Black members on it - unanimously decided to hire Justine Jones, who is Black, as the new town manager back in May from among 30 candidates after a nationwide search.

She officially started her job June 2nd.

A quick look at Ms. Jones’ background and qualifications, as posted on the town of Kenly’s website, suggests that along with two Master ’s

degrees, she certainly has the requisite experience to run the town government , especially having worked at various positions in local governments in Minnesota, Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina over the past 16 years.

Has there been a wrinkle in Ms. Jones’ work experience?

According to published reports, Jones sued her previous employer in Richland County, S.C. for gender and racial discrimination after she was terminated there as manager of research in March 2015. That lawsuit was later voluntarily dismissed, reports state. 

Still, a Kenly press release stated, “Jones was selected during the most recent recruitment process conducted by Triangle J Council of Governments….Her experiences and background have thoroughly prepared her for her new role as Town Manager for Kenly.”

For her part, Jones was looking forward to serving Kenly.

“I am honored that the Council has entrusted me with the responsibility of being Kenly’s next manager,” stated Jones in the Kenly press release. “Kenly’s diversity and dynamic potential offers intriguing challenges and a promising future of growth and prosperity that I am excited to become a part of. I welcome the challenge of overseeing the Town’s operations and I am looking forward to working with the Mayor, Town Council, and the talented and committed Staff of Kenly. In this short time, I have learned I will be joining a dedicated Team that possesses an extensive understanding of Kenly’s services. Together we will continue providing excellent services to our community.” 

So what went wrong? The town of Kenly seemed happy with Justine Jones, and she seemed excited to be working for them?

For all of the Kenly town employees who resigned July 20th, their last day on the job was August 2nd. The entire Kenly Police Dept. handed in its papers, and two  Johnston County deputies have taken up the slack.

One interesting fact that stands out is that, according to published reports, all of the resignation letters cited an alleged “hostile work environment,” beginning with Manager Justine Jones’ hiring, raising the question of what transpired between Jones, the Kenly police chief, four of his officers and two administrators.

“I have enjoyed my time working at Kenly Police Department and had fully intended to remain employed with the town, but unfortunately decisions are being made which make me question what the future will hold for all town employees,”wrote former Chief  Josh Gibson in his letter. Gibson later confirmed that he was referring to Jones as the source of the “unfortunate decisions.” 

Gibson also reportedly wrote in a Facebook post, “"the new [town manager] has created an environment I do not feel we can perform our duties and services to the community."  Gibson later deleted that post, but later told WRAL-TV that he would return to the Kenly police force if Justine Jones were dismissed.

Gibson also appeared on Fox News “The Ingraham Angle,” and, with his attorney present, complained to the conservative host Laura Ingraham that Manager Jones was instituting new restrictive rules that he had a problem complying with.

“She came in, first of all, to start giving us tasks and all these projects all the time. And unfortunately, we are – we only have five officers and I was working double shifts at the time to try to keep up officer safety and be there with the officers in case something happened,” said Gibson, who claimed the manager wrote him up for being late if he wasn’t sitting at his desk, among other things “She wrote me up for going to businesses and talking with businesses. She wrote me up for talking with council members I’ve known for 20 years,” Gibson opined.

Some Black residents have told CNN that the Kenly police force has a history of harassing Black residents, and that Chief Gibson and his officers didn’t like being told what to do by what they perceived to be an  "angry" Black female boss.

Reportedly, the previous Kenly Black town manager as a Black male who had to leave for an alleged personal difficulty..

Jones has met with the Town Council behind closed doors for several hours, but since then, nothing has come of it publicly.

After a recent closed door emergency meeting of the Kenly Town Council, residents split for and against the new town manager, with some saying that she is only doing the job she was hired to do, while others opined that the resigned officers were like “family.”

Some white Kenly residents even told local television stations that Jones “doesn’t like police.”

The Kenly Town Council meets every second Monday of each month, which would 

place the next regular meeting on September 12th. However, because of the investigative report, 

a special emergency meeting could be called sooner.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Fact - as of July 30, 2022, there are 2.5 million unaffiliated voters in North Carolina, more registered voters than Democrat or Republican.

Fact - there are no members of the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) who are registered unaffiliated, and never have been. As is custom, whichever political party wins the governor’s race, gets to appoint three of its party’s members to the five - member board. 

Historically, that’s been either Democrat or Republican.

That fact is ensconced in North Carolina law, which bars anyone who is not a member of either party from serving.

Fact - a lawsuit was filed by Common Cause NC, a nonprofit advocacy group, on August 5th against House Speaker Tim Moore and NC Senate Pro tem Phil Berger to allow unaffiliated NC voters to serve on the five-member state elections board. 

Why? Because, the lawsuit states, unaffiliated voters constitutionally are North Carolina citizens too, and deserve to have more influence on the state elections process.

The fact that there are more of them registered to vote than either Democrats or Republicans now means given any upcoming elections, unaffiliateds will decide who will serve office on the local county and state levels. 

“The state law barring plaintiffs and all other unaffiliated voters from serving on the State Board serves no public or valid purpose but instead is a means to entrench the Democratic and Republican political parties in power and give them exclusive control over the supervision, management, and administration of the elections system.” 

The lawsuit maintains that that is unconstitutional. 

Given how more and more young people are becoming politically independent of either the Democratic or Republican parties because they see the deep political divisions as being polarizing to establishing efficient government, the lawsuit maintains that if an independent candidate were to win the governorship one day, he or she, by law, would not be allowed to appoint members to the NCSBE.

“This law is destructive of our democracy because it undermines citizens’ confidence in the elections system,” the lawsuit maintains. “Limiting service on the State Board to members of the Democratic and Republican parties encourages citizens to believe that election officials are chosen to look out for their parties’ interests rather than see that elections are conducted fairly for all.”

The Common Cause NC lawsuit has individual North Carolina registered voters who are unaffiliated.

“The individual plaintiffs are voters who are qualified and desire to serve on the State Board and are barred from serving on the Board because of their status as unaffiliated voters, in violation of their constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of association and equal protection,” the lawsuit says.

“It is crucial to the American system of government that the public have confidence in the fairness and nonpartisan administration of election, the suit continued.

As of press time Monday there has been no response to the lawsuit from either House Speaker Moore or Senate Leader Berger.