Monday, October 31, 2022





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

If published reports are to be believed, NC Democrats are not feeling very optimistic about the November 8th midterm elections next Tuesday, and one reason may be because as a voting bloc, turnout for Black voters is behind their 2018 midterm numbers.

According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, as of Oct. 31st, of the 1,160,747 One-Stop Early Votes cast by in-person, civilian, military and overseas voters as of  Sunday, October 30th, only 18.62% were from Black voters, which is behind the Black voting in the 2018 midterm early voting of 20%.

In a ballots cast by party measurement, Democrats accounted for over 39%, while Republicans were 31%, and unaffiliated were 29.5%. That sizable unaffiliated percentage, and with way it swings, is expected to help decide the election in many tight races.

At press time, One-Stop Early Voting is not scheduled to conclude until Saturday, Nov. 5th in all 100 North Carolina counties.

Because African-Americans have been the most reliable voting base for the Democratic Party in recent years, any drop-off in voting numbers, even by a few percentage points, is a major concern for the party.

The last hope for a comparable Black voting turnout is next Tuesday, November 8th, Election Day, and the Beasley/Budd U.S. Senate race. 

Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, a Democrat, is running a tight contest against District 13 Republican Congressman Ted Budd, the marquee race across the state. If elected, Beasley would become the first African-American ever to be elected to the  U.S. Senate from North Carolina, and party faithful hope that that, and a recent endorsement by former President Barack Obama, would propel Beasley into the winner’s circle on the wings of Black voters.

Whomever wins, could decide which party will hold the voting majority for the upcoming Congress.

But Republicans are notorious for staying quiet at the ballot box during the early voting period, only to explode at the polls on Election Day in large numbers. That’s what the Budd campaign is hoping for.

On Oct. 23rd, NBC News reported that surveys showed Republican voters were “showing more enthusiasm” about the 2022 midterm elections than any other.

The last reports to the Federal Election Commission through October 19th shows the Beasley campaign having $3 million cash on hand after raising $34.2 million.  The Budd campaign reported having $1.2 million cash on hand after raising just $12.6 million.

Beasley has reportedly outspent Budd in the race, but Budd still maintains a narrow lead in the most recent polling. And several outside conservative political action committees have flooded the airwaves with anti-Beasley ads in an effort to bolster Budd to the tune of $59.1 million by one estimate.

In effect since September, that two-and-a-half times what Democrats have done for Beasley, and it has many of her supporters worried.

“The Black women, here and in Florida, the emphasis hasn’t been on them,” Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12), said of Beasley and Rep. Val Demings of Florida, who is running to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. “We shouldn’t be forgotten in this process.”

Democratic leaders counter that they are doing the best they can to support candidates this election cycle, but admit that they are prioritizing incumbents like Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is in a tight race against Republican/Trump-backed  former all-star football player Herschel Walker. That race is also very close, with Walker looking like the eventual victor.

Back in North Carolina, beyond the Beasley-Budd U.S. Senate race, the other statewide contests that are considered most important for voters are the two for NC State Supreme Court.

Currently, Democrats hold a 4-3 majority on the state’s High Court, but two of the Democrat-held seats are on the ballot. If just one is lost, Republicans will automatically hold the 4-3 majority during the next session. It would be the first time since 2016.

NC Appellate Judge Lucy Inman, a Democrat, is facing off against Republican Appellate Court Judge Richard Dietz to replace the retiring Associate Justice Robin Hudson. And Associate Justice Sam Ervin IV, also a Democrat, is defending his seat against Republican Trey Allen, currently the general counsel for the NC court system.

One-Stop Early Voting/Same Day Registration ends this Saturday, November 5th at 3 p.m..

On Tuesday, November 8th, Election Day, polls open at 6;30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.. If you are in line to vote at 7:30 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

Report anyone who tries to harass you while you’re in line to the precinct judges. You do not have to show photo identification.

All properly filled out absentee ballots should be dropped off at your county board of elections office by 5 p.m. on November 5th, Election Day.

Make sure that you are voting in your assigned voting precinct.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The irony is inescapable.

The national NAACP -  the oldest civil rights organization in the world, known historically for fighting for the right to vote and against those forces which would undermine that right - now being accused of suppressing the right of it’s own members, by it’s own members.

That’s the latest flashpoint between the national organization and Justice Coalition USA, a national coalition of concerned NAACP members who are not pleased with the leadership of current national NAACP Pres./CEO Derrick Johnson.

Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Cardes H. Brown, Jr., a Lifetime NAACP member and former Greensboro branch president, the Justice Coalition held a press conference on Oct. 26th to accuse the national NAACP and specifically Pres. Johnson of “voter suppression” because the upcoming November elections in all NAACP will be conducted electronically.

What’s the problem? Not all NC NAACP or NAACP members have access to a computer because they’re elderly and /or live in rural areas where broadband access  is either horrendous or nonexistent.

The Justice Coalition USA maintains that for the national NAACP to mandate electronic branch elections when it knows the many of it’s oldest members cannot take part because of their inability to vote online, ultimately amounts to “voter suppression,” and is contrary to the national NAACP Constitution and bylaws.

Our point is that the general population differs from NAACP seniors who joined the Movement in the 1960s when voting was a family ritual and are now in their 70s and above,” the Justice Coalition USA said in a press release. “We believe forcing all NAACP members in Branch elections to vote online for their officers in November 2022 elections constitutes a breach of membership contracts, violates Article IX of the Bylaws, and will cause irreparable harm to many of our most vulnerable members.”

“You can buy an NAACP membership for $30, but to exercise your NAACP Vote, you need to buy a computer and a wifi connection for $300,” said Rev. Dr. Brown, vowing every means available to challenge the issue. “The Justice Coalition USA will not stand idly by while NAACP members’ votes are suppressed through another NAACP election cycle. We have asked for an electronic meeting with CEO Derrick Johnson about these issues. We did not receive an adequate response but instead were presented with a cease and desist.”

Rev. Dr. Brown made clear that they would not honor the “cease and desist” letter because Justice Coalition USA believes the national NAACP is being led unconstitutionally.

This is not the first time electronic voting has become a bone of contention between the national NAACP and the NC NAACP. There is still controversy over the NC NAACP executive committee elections of October 2021, when the traditional NAACP elections process was abrogated, and not one, but two elections were conducted on the same day, resulting in the ouster of then incumbent NC NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, and the election of current Pres. Deborah Dicks Maxwell.

According to Article IX, Section 2 of the NAACP Bylaws for Units and the Bench Election Manual, “Each September, NAACP units begin the process to elect leaders for the upcoming year. This is a simple outline of what should occur during the 3-month NAACP Branch election process,” according to the national NAACP website (

The NAACP webpage states, “Members will elect the Nominating Committee, that includes no less than 5 members and no more than 15 members. No more than 2 of these committee members shall be Officers and/or a member of the Executive Committee.”

“The Nominating Committee will present its report and receive nominations from the floor, the Chair, or a member of the Nominating Committee. No officer of the Branch or any candidate for office shall chair the nominating process. For the purpose of being certified as an eligible candidate one must have been a bona fide member of the Branch by April 1st, as well as live and/or work in the jurisdiction of the Branch. After candidates are identified, the Election Supervisory Committee should be elected. Please note: all questions regarding the eligibility of candidates must be resolved prior to the conclusion of the October meeting.”

“The number of eligible voters must be established before voting begins. Polls will remain open for at least 4 hours and anyone in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote. Once all voting has been completed the tallying of ballots can start.”

The Justice Coalition USA maintains that because a national NAACP assigned administrator, Gloria Sweet-Love, was put in charge of the NC NAACP State Conference in 2019, none of the normal constitutionally mandated election process was allowed to occur in 2021, resulting in a situation where on October 23rd, 2021, voting for executive officers was stopped midday and the results thrown out, replaced by an Election Buddy system later in the day.

Those results yielded Spearman’s ouster and Maxwell’s election. Reportedly, no one knows the results of the un-electronic voting of that day.

Several disgruntled NC NAACP protested, and followed the national NAACP Election Controversy process :  “In the event there is an election controversy, a complaint signed by 25 members in good-standing (50 members if the Branch membership exceeds 1,000 members) must be postmarked no later than 5 days after the date of the election. The standard used for reviewing complaints; "if the allegations alleged are assumed to be true would they have affected the outcome of the election?" If, the complaint is determined valid, it will be forwarded to the Chairman of the Committee Membership and Units.”

The complainants in the NC NAACP case eventually called themselves the NC Justice Coalition, which later evolved into the Justice Coalition USA. Their constitution-based election complaint was denied by Pres. Johnson.

So now, Rev. Dr. Brown and Justice Coalition USA warn that the same scenario could play out again in the upcoming branch elections.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The use of race as part of admissions to the University of North Carolina may be on its last legs. After hours of oral arguments heard before the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, the conservative-led court seemed to lean towards either eliminating race as a factor in UNC System college admissions, or severely limiting it.

A decision isn’t expected until next year, but court observers noted during legal arguments that conservative members of the High Court’s 6-3 majority were not impressed with positions from attorneys representing either UNC, or HarvardUniversity, which maintain that race was part of a “holistic” approach to college admissions, and not a deciding factor. Both institutions were being sued by the same plaintiff Students for Fair Admissions, which argued that the use of race in college admissions was a violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides for equal protection under the law.

If the Supreme Court does outlaw race, it will be undoing previous legal precedents that allowed it to be a factor - not part of a quota - the last being in Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 University of  Michigan law school case that permitted a“narrowly tailored” use of race in “highly individualized” admission decisions for the purpose of achieving the educational benefits of student diversity.

For their part, the High Court’s conservatives sought the answer to a simple answer to a simple question - when won’t we need affirmative action?

"I don't see how you can say that the program will ever end," quipped Chief Justice John Roberts to attorneys for the defendants. 

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas attacked the need for student diversity.

“I’m really interested in a simple thing. .. what benefits academically are there to your definition or the diversity that you're asserting?, he asked.” 

The High Court’s newest associate justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, defended the use of race to achieve student diversity, saying without it, applicants won’t be able to truly tell who they are on a college application.

“We’re entertaining a rule in which some people can say the things they want, about who they are and have that valued in the system. But other people are not going to be able to. Because they won't be able to reveal that they're Latino or African American

 or whatever. And I'm worried that that creates an inequity in the system,” Justice Jackson, who recused herself from hearing the Harvard case because she once served on Harvard’s board, said.

Attorneys for UNC noted that diversity makes the U.S. military, corporate world and other institutions stronger.


Monday, October 24, 2022







By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

While academic gains for many North Carolina fourth and eighth graders dropped substantially in the latest National Assessment  of Educational Progress (NAEP), the figures for Black students are far worse.

The NAEP is given every two years nationally to measure academic progress in math and reading for some fourth and eighth graders. Released Monday by the U.S. Dept. of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics , the NAEP scores this year show North Carolina students’ scores  are the lowest they’ve been since the late 1990’s.

The NAEP was postponed in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, so this year’s results measure the lack of achievement post pandemic.

The results for North Carolina are the latest evidence of significant learning loss during the protracted pandemic, which forced schools to transition to remote instruction beginning in March 2020, with many schools across the state suspending in-person classroom learning through much of the 2020-21 school year,” stated NC Schools Supt. Catherine Truitt in a press release.

In North Carolina, fourth-grade math scores dropped five points to it’s year 2000 level. Eighth-grade math scores dropped a whopping 10 points, the lowest they been since 1996. 

The story is no better for the state’s reading average. Fourth-graders dropped five points, the eighth-grade drop, six points.

None of the above speaks well of how North Carolina’s Black students on the latest NAEP reading and math tests. In fact, experts say, the results show a clear widening of the racial achievement gap.

In reading, Black fourth-grade students dropped an average of 10 points since 2019, sliding them down to their lowest levels since 1998.

White forth-graders only dropped three points. That means the gap in reading between white and Black students is back at the 1998 level of 30 points.

In math, white fourth-graders dropped six points, while Black fourth-graders dropped eight. This contributed to a 27-point gap, wider than the 20 point gap of 2000. 

“We have made strategic investments to try to address these concerns, including providing professional development for 44,000 elementary school educators in the science of reading. We’ve also identified targeted interventions to address learning loss specific to transitioning students – those moving from elementary to middle school or middle to high school,” said Truitt.

Nationally, fourth-grade math scores have dropped five points since 2019, to the lowest they’ve been since 2003. Math scores for eighth graders are worse, dropping eight points, the lowest since 2000.

In reading, the average scores for both fourth and eighth graders dropped three points, the lowest for fourth graders since 1998, and eighth graders since 1992.




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Voting in the 2022 midterm elections is underway, with the North Carolina State Board of Elections reporting that on the first day of One Stop-Early Voting, 135,391 in-person votes were tabulated statewide out of 7,411,691 registered and eligible voters. That’s very close to the 136,500 that were cast on the first day of early voting  for midterms 2018.

Add civilian, military and oversea balloting to the number, and it stretches to 186,881.

Based on the number, Democrats cast more early vote than Republicans, 78,191 to 53, 388. Unaffiliateds cast 54,957. By race, white NC voters cast 138,144, while Black voters cast 33,736. Other ethnicities cast 15, 001 votes on the first day of voting.

Blacks are over 20% of North Carolina voters registered.

Female voters comprised 95,108 of the vote, compared to males at 84,835, and undesignated at 6,938. 

Females are over 50% of North Carolina voters registered.

The second day of One Stop-Early voting, Friday, Oct. 21, saw a big increase in in-person activity at the polls with 268, 081. That was over 7,000 more than 2018’s 260,701.

On that Oct. 21 early vote, Democrats statewide continued to outpace Republican and unaffiliated voters, whites over Blacks and other, and female over males and undesignated.

Saturday, Oct. 22 saw the same pattern, but with a larger in-person voter turnout at 302,890.

On Sunday, Oct. 23rd, where the in-person early voting didn’t begin until 1 p.m., and ended at 5 p.m., that number totaled 323,616, with Democrats maintaining the lead of votes cast, fueled by Black and female turnouts.

One Stop Early Voting-same Day Registration is from now until Saturday November 5th.

In the midst of the strong early voting balloting, the NC State Elections Board (NCSBE) is warning of those trying to cause confusion and spread disinformation. Many voters are apparently receiving official looking mailers claiming that they may or may not have voted in recent elections, and make inaccurate claims about their voting records. NCSBE advises calling your local county elections board office if you receive such a mailer and believe it to be wrong. Don’t let it discourage you from casting your ballot for this midterm election.

In the race for U.S. Senate from North Carolina, Republican Ted Budd has reportedly opened as much as a six-point lead over Democrat Cheri Beasley, using the poor state of the economy as a bludgeon over abortion politics. Beasley maintains that if Budd is elected, a woman’s right to choose is at risk. National figures from both parties have come to the state to campaign for Beasley and Budd. Former President Barack Obama endorsed Beasley on Tuesday. 

And on Friday, Oct. 28th, the North Carolina Young People’s Alliance will host a Democracy Day demonstration at 12 noon in front of the UNC-Chapel Hill Davis Library to demand the establishment of a formal “Democracy Day” Holiday at the university. 


                                            COLUMBUS COUNTY  SHERIFF JODY GREENE




By Cash Michaels

The answer is yes, yes former Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene can be reelected as he shrewdly resigned from office Monday before a Columbus County Superior Court judge threw the book at him for a whole host of alleged misdeeds while in office, include calling  Blacks who worked for his department “snakes” and “bastards,” promising to fire them all.

Those remarks were recorded by a former captain with the sheriff’s department, and recently broadcast by WECT-TV.

But during the short time that Columbus County District Attorney Jonathan David suspended him on Oct. 4th for racist comments he made in a February 2019 recording about Black employees who reportedly supported his opponent, Greene has been campaigning for reelection, like participating in the North Carolina Yam Festival with campaign signs on the side of a Black Mercedes SUV for example.

With his name still on the ballot, if Greene, a Republican, wins reelection, it will be up to D.A. David to go back to court with evidence of criminal obstruction of justice, malicious arrests, misconduct in office, intimidating county commissioners and sexual harassment.

In addition, as the Black Press reported last week, the NC NAACP, the Columbus County NAACP and the progressive Durham-based legal firm Forward Justice have asked the U.S. Justice Dept. in an Oct. 15th letter to investigate Greene for his alleged racial statements, to deploy federal election monitors to Columbus County during the early voting period and on Election Day, and to “Hold a listening session with community members in Columbus County to determine other civil rights violations and community needs that the Department of Justice has the authority to provide a path to redress.”

That letter also alleges that there is a connection between Sheriff Greene and the OathKeepers, the white supremacist group known known for their participation in the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capital, and subsequent appearances at school board and other local government meetings in Southeastern North Carolina. The NC NAACP letter maintains that Black voters may be subject to intimidation from the OathKeepers on Sheriff Greene’s behalf.

Both the NC NAACP and the Columbus County NAACP have pushed to have voters prevent Greene from being reelected on November 8th.



Sunday, October 16, 2022




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

From now until 3 p.m. Saturday, November 5th, One Stop - Early Voting/Same -Day Registration is in force in across North Carolina. Voters may cast an in-person ballot for the November 8th midterm elections for a 17-day period at any designated One Stop Early Voting site in their county. 

If you are 18 or older, a U.S. citizen, a resident of North Carolina and the county you’re voting in at least 30 days prior to Election Day Nov. 8th, but are not registered to vote, you can both get registered and vote at the same time during this period as well. Just bring either a utility bill or government document with your current name and address printed on it for proof of residency in order to register.

A North Carolina driver’s license, a government issued photo ID with your name and address, or a current college photo ID with proof of on-campus residency will also be sufficient to same-day register to vote.

If you do not have a photo ID, be prepared to provide your date of birth and social security number to same-day register.

Please keep in mind that the above stated requirements are only required if you are same-day registering to vote. They are not required if you are already properly registered.

Per a recent state Supreme Court ruling, anyone not currently serving time in prison or jail for a felony conviction is eligible to register to vote. That includes those on probation, parole or post-release supervision.

For those registered voters who would like to absentee by mail, your completed and signed ballot request form must be received by your county board of elections by 5 p.m. on Nov. 1 - one week before Nov. 8th Election Day.

You can pick up an absentee ballot request form from your county board of elections office, or request one by mail.

Or you can go to

You will need two witness signatures for your absentee ballot. But if you have one notarized signature, that’s acceptable.

The witnesses or notary has to be at least 18 years old, and not a candidate for office.

Absentee ballots must be mailed-in or dropped off in-person at a county elections office or early voting site by Nov. 5th. You cannot drop your absentee ballot off at a polling place on Election Day, November 8th.

Also remember that you can always vote in-person, just as long as you have not submitted a mail-in absentee ballot.

Beyond local races, North Carolina voters will be casting ballots for a U.S. Senate seat, 14 U.S. Congressional seats, and 2 seats on the NC Supreme Court.

Check your county for the location of satellite One Stop - Early Voting/Same-Day Registration sites near you, as well as their opening and closing times.


                                        NC NAACP/FORWARD JUSTICE LETTER





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The state’s civil rights leaders want to ensure that even if Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene is permanently removed from office next week, only to be re-elected on November 8th, that the alleged racist lawman will have the U.S. Justice Department breathing down his neck every step of the way.

In a October 15th letter exclusively obtained by this reporter, the NC NAACP, the Columbus County NAACP, and the Durham-based social justice law firm Forward Justice has asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, and Associate Attorney General Kristen Clarke “…to urgently request that you commit the full powers of the U.S. Department of Justice to further justice, accountability, transparency, and lasting change for our community in the wake of willful misconduct and maladministration in office by the Sheriff of Columbus County, North Carolina.” 

The letter specifically requests the Dept. of Justice to:

         1. Expedite and ensure the full independence of a federal civil rights investigation into the 

         statements made and discriminatory actions taken by Sheriff Jody Greene;

2. Deploy DOJ election monitors to Columbus County during the upcoming November 2022 General Election, including during the 17 days of early voting preceding election day;2 and

3. Hold a listening session with community members in Columbus County to determine other civil rights violations and community needs that the Department of Justice has the authority to provide a path to redress.

The NC NAACP/Forward Justice letter then recounts how WECT-TV recently broadcast recordings of Sheriff Greene from February 2019 when, after winning a close and contentious election over Black incumbent Lewis Hatcher, an angry Greene called then Sheriff’s Dept. Capt. Jason Soles and complained that Black employees of the department worked against his election, and how he would fire every one of them.

“Greene can be heard disparaging Black employees, making 

explicit and racist comments such as “F**k them Black bastards...So it’s just time to clean them out,” and directly states “[e]very Black that I know, you need to fire him...” After the release of these recordings, Jody Greene did not deny being the voice in the recording in his post on the official “Columbus County Sheriff’s County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Subsequent to the audio recording, at least one Black employee of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Dept. has been terminated.”

The letter the warns of “immediate voter intimidation concerns.”

While Mr. Jody Greene has since been temporarily suspended from the Sheriff’s Office via judicial granting of a petition for removal by District Attorney Jon David, we write to you today with extreme concern for the potential increase in voter intimidation issues in Columbus County and across the state. Despite his gross misconduct while in Office, Jody Greene remains on the ballot as he has not withdrawn himself as a candidate for the 2022 sheriff election.”

The NC NAACP/Forward Justice letter then maintains that Columbus County has been the home to “…known recruitment measures, trainings, and organizing have taken place” of the notorious Oath Keepers, a white supremacist group best known for their alleged participation in the Jan. 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“In November 2020, we documented highly troubling reports of potential voter intimidation regarding members of the Oath Keepers in Columbus County who were identified at polling sites and were engaging in poll monitoring in an intimidating manner,” The NC NAACP/Forward Justice continued. “As the Department of Justice is aware, the Oath Keepers is recognized as an anti-government white militia group located throughout the United States. The mere presence of the Oath Keepers, with known affiliations to white supremacy, serves to intimidate voters, particularly voters of color.”

The letter then makes a startling assertion.

“In November 2020, we documented highly troubling reports of potential voter intimidation regarding members of the Oath Keepers in Columbus County who were identified at polling sites and were engaging in poll monitoring in an intimidating manner. As the Department of Justice is aware, the Oath Keepers is recognized as an anti-government white militia group located throughout the United States. The mere presence of the Oath Keepers, with known affiliations to white supremacy, serves to intimidate voters, particularly voters of color.”

“According to the founder of Oath Keepers, former Ron Paul staffer Stewart Rhodes, the purpose of the organization “is to be ready in case of a civil disturbance or natural disaster to assist law enforcement and first responders if requested.”10 Due to Greene’s known relationship with the Oath Keepers, coupled with his most recent racist and prejudiced publicly released statements, community members have lost all trust that the Sheriff’s Office - the office that Greene led up until October 4, 2022 - will adequately provide safety measures against any threats from this group or others with intentions of intimidating Black voters.”

The letter then contends that Sheriff Greene’s racist statements “…exposed what the Columbus County community has lived with for decades: a longstanding history of racial discrimination by law enforcement and government officials that must be addressed by official independent intervention and oversight. The acts committed by Jody Greene constitute corruption while in office and should not be taken lightly by the Dept. of Justice.”

Finally, the NC NAACP/Forward Justice letter asks the DOJ to “…monitor polling sites in Columbus County for the 2022 General Elections, including all 17 days of Early Voting and on Election Day.”

“By providing monitors to Columbus County polling sites, the Department of Justice will not only protect the vote in the county, but will show its strong stance against voter intimidation in North Carolina. This action by the Department of Justice is necessary to address the crisis of trust and the legitimate calls for accountability and change in Columbus County, as well as to identify and help rectify systemic deficiencies which contribute to misconduct and enable it to persist.”

Sheriff Greene is scheduled to go before a Columbus County Superior Court judge on Monday, October 24th, where it will be decided whether he should be permanently removed from office  for his racist remarks. He is on the November 8th ballot for reelection.






Sunday, October 9, 2022


                               SHAW UNIVERSITY PRES. DR. PAULETTE DILLARD




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Shaw University President Dr. Paulette Dillard isn’t having it.

As far as she’s concerned, there was no reason for eighteen students and two advisors from the private historically black institution to be detained and searched by Spartanburg, S.C. deputies with drug sniffing dogs last week as they traveled by charter bus to an economic conference in Atlanta, Ga..

In a word, I am “outraged,” Dr. Dillard said in a statement. “This behavior of targeting Black students is unacceptable and will not be ignored nor tolerated. Had the students been White, I doubt this detention and search would have occurred.”

Reportedly, the driver of the charter bus carrying the Shaw students and staff on Wednesday, Oct. 5th was stopped for a minor traffic infraction by several Spartanburg sheriff’s deputies, who asked where the bus was headed. At that point, “ Multiple sheriff deputies and drug-sniffing dogs…” appeared.

All of the luggage carried below was examined while the Shaw students and staff were detained.

Nothing illegal was found or detected.

An outraged Pres. Dillard, made it clear that the traffic stop-and-search was illegal at best, and racist in the least, and is having the university’s general counsel to look into the matter.

“It’s 2022,” Dr. Dillard said. “However, this scene is reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s—armed police, interrogating innocent Black students, conducting searches without probable cause, and blood-thirsty dogs. It’s hard to imagine. Yet, it happened to the Shaw University community, and it is happening throughout this nation in alarming fashion. It must be stopped.”

“To be clear, nothing illegal was discovered in this search by South Carolina Law Enforcement officers,” Dr. Dillard continued. “The officers said they stopped the bus because it was swerving and issued the driver a warning ticket for “improper lane use.” Throughout this unnerving and potentially dangerous situation, our students and staff conducted themselves calmly and with tremendous restraint.”

“Our students stood tall amid an unnerving and humiliating experience and because of their dignified and professional response, the situation did not escalate into something far more sinister."

NCCU School of Law Professor Irving Joyner told WRAL-TV that the deputies may have stepped over the legal line when they employed drug sniffing dogs during the traffic stop.

"You don't even have to get into racial discrimination, although there may be a factual basis to support it," Joyner told the TV station "Clearly there is a constitutional violation."


                                           COLUMBUS COUNTY SHERIFF JODY GREENE




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Will Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene hold onto his job after a Superior Court judge, at the request of local District Attorney Jon David, temporarily suspended Greene from office after WECT-TV reported that he vowed to get rid of “Black bastards” working for the sheriff’s department?

At press time, Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser had suspended Sheriff Greene on Oct. 4th on the basis of obstruction of justice charges, and was expected to soon hold a hearing on October 24th, per a petition by D.A. David,  to permanently remove Greene from office.

Greene has denied making racial remarks about African-American deputies, but the television station aired surreptitiously recorded remarks allegedly made by the Republican sheriff by one of his former captains in the department in February 2019, after Greene won a controversial 2018 election over the Black incumbent.

That former captain, Jason Soles, a Democrat, is now running against Greene’s re-election, and says he began taping the sheriff after he started calling Soles late at night after winning, complaining that, “I’m sick of it. I’m sick of these Black bastards. I’m going to clean house and be done with it. And we’ll start from there.”

Soles, who is also white and a Democrat, said he didn’t share Greene’s racist concern that Black employees at the Columbus County Sheriff’s Department opposed his election, and that’s why he began taping their phone conversations after Greene said “I hate a Black f—king Democrat.”

“It broke my heart. Because that’s not what I believe in. It upset me to the fact that I did have to start recording his phone calls. And I’m not wanting to go around recording people’s conversations. But... this was not the leader that we needed leading the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office making these racial slurs,” Soles told WECT-TV.

In the time since Greene was recorded allegedly making the racist remarks, several Black employees of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Department have either lost their jobs or have been demoted, WECT-TV reported.

D.A. David, also a Republican, has said his concern is about the hundreds of cases his office handles from arrests by Columbus County deputies that may be tainted because of the racial attitude of Sheriff Greene. He wrote a letter to Sheriff Greene urging him to resign.

“There can be no question that the use of racist language, directed at all officers of color under your command, is conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, which brings the Office of Sheriff into disrepute.”

For his part, Greene has refused to resign, suggesting that some how the recording was manipulated to make him sound racist by a political opponent. Greene’s supporters defend him, lauding him as an outstanding last enforcement official, and doing his best to rid the southeastern county of drug dealers.

After the television station’s report, Governor Cooper’s office condemned Sheriff Greene’s remarks, calling for an investigation.

The Columbus County NAACP issued a “call for action,” for Sheriff Greene’s permanent removal, and expressed concern that he could be re-elected in November if all fair-minded citizens did not come out to vote. NC NAACP President Deborah Maxwell joined the local chapter in urging citizens to get out to vote Greene out.

So unless Sasser rules otherwise, it is quite possible that Greene could be officially removed from office later this month on October 24th, only to be re-elected on November 8th.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

In order to make sure their decisions on two critical 2024 election issues are the ones that count before they possibly lose their majority on the NC Supreme Court, Democratic justices heard back-to-back arguments  last week concerning voter I.D. and redistricting. The three Republicans on the seven-member panel had previously objected, opining that Democrats were fast-tracking the two cases knowing that if they lose even one seat of their 4-3 majority in the November midterm elections, they lose their majority for the first time since 2016. So Democratic justices took advantage.

On Monday, October 3rd, the state’s High Court heard a new round of arguments over the constitutionality of North Carolina’s 2018 voter photo identification law. The case was appealed by Republican state lawmakers after the NC NAACP won before a three-judge Superior Court panel in 2021.

That panel ruled that even if the Republican-led NC General Assembly had no racial animus towards African-Americans when it wrote the 2018 voter ID law, the effect was still discriminatory because the GOP was seeking a partisan advantage, and because most African-American voters support the Democratic Party, past courts have ruled that Republicans were trying to diminish the Black pro-Democrat vote, knowing that many African-Americans do not carrying the voter photo ID required by the law.

The 2018 voter ID law hasn’t been allowed to be implemented yet because of various successful legal challenges, and Republican legislative leaders sought to change that in their Oct. 3rd legal arguments.

Republican Chief Justice Paul Newby questioned whether anyone would be disenfranchised given that the 2018 law, just as the controversial 2013 voter ID law which was overturned, made provisions for voters who did not have a photo ID, but could prove a “reasonable impediment.” A Republican attorney argued that the GOP made sure anyone and everyone eligible to vote could cast a ballot.

Republican Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr., whose father is NC Senate Pro team Phil Berger Sr., questioned plaintiffs’ attorney about whether they would like any voter ID law the legislature passed.

But Jeff Loperfido, a plaintiff’s attorney for the Durham-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice, forcefully argued that when the 2013 voter ID law was implemented, over 1,200 eligible North Carolina voters without photo ID - many of them Black - were prevented from participating in subsequent elections.

Lopefido warned that if the 2018 law were allowed to stand, that injustice could happen again.

When the state Supreme Court reconvened on Tuesday, October 4th, the case was about how Republicans deliberately drew new voting districts for themselves that assured their legislative and congressional election advantages, even if Democrats won a majority of the votes cast.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that partisan gerrymandering, unlike racial gerrymandering, is constitutional under federal law. But state law is another matter.

Partisan gerrymandering is not constitutional under North Carolina law, and Democratic justices were listening intently to Republican arguments as to why it should be.

By no coincidence, Republican legislative leaders are also arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court that the NC Supreme Court shouldn’t even have the power to touch any of their legislative decisions, especially those involving have federal elections are managed, regardless of the outcome.

The state High Court’s Democratic majority didn’t like that explanation last February when the GOP-led NC legislature’s most recent redistricting maps were challenged. It was ordered to redraw its congressional, state House and state Senate Districts because of how they overwhelmingly favored Republicans. The court recommended a set of metrics.

A three-judge Superior Court panel was tasked to review the maps, and redrew the congressional one, deciding that the state House and Senate maps passed legal muster.

That didn’t stop a lawsuit by the National Redistricting Foundation against all of the Republican maps.

So on Oct. 4th, attorneys arguing against the Republican maps said GOP legislators could have drawn fairer maps if they followed the suggested metrics, but they didn’t want to.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Elisabeth Theodore told the court, “ When the Republicans get 55% of the vote in the Senate map, they get 33 seats, which is a supermajority. And when Democrats get 55% of the vote, they only get 28 seats.”

She wanted both the Senate and Congressional maps struck down.

An attorney for the Republican legislators warned the High Court that  by doing so, it “…would be barreling into a political wilderness, where legislative authority to redistrict will be transferred from the legislature to the courts.”

Decisions in both the voter ID and redistricting cases are expected before the end of the year.


                                                       BEASLEY/BUDD DEBATE




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

With less than a month to go before their November 8th midterm Senate election showdown, Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Congressman Ted Budd (6th District) are gearing up for the homestretch of their tight contest.

Last Friday, Beasley and Budd faced off in their only televised statewide debate, hoping to gain an edge in their race with undecided and unaffiliated voters. The winner succeeds outgoing Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr, and could decide whether Democrats or Republicans will take the majority in the next Congress.

No Democrat has won a U.S. Senate seat representing North Carolina since 2008. If Beasley, a former NC Supreme Court Chief Justice, wins, she will be the first African-American female ever elected from North Carolina, and only the third to serve in the U.S. Senate.

If Congressman Budd, a gun shop owner from Davie County,  is victorious, he will prove the power of former President Donald Trump’s political endorsement. Trump led a raucous political rally for Budd and other North Carolina Republican candidates a few weeks ago in Wilmington. The controversial ex-president’s backing has kept Budd at least a few points ahead of Beasley, if not neck-and-neck by most of the latest polls.

Even though Beasley’s campaign has raised more money than Budd’s, outside groups have  battered Beasley on Budd’s behalf, raising concerns that national Democrats are not supporting her race adequately. Thus far, Beasley has been accused of supporting Pres. Biden’s inflationary economic policies, and being soft on crime.

She has denied those charges, and fastidiously kept her distance from both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

In their debate last Friday, Beasley tried to make Budd’s close relationship with Trump a negative, hoping that most unaffiliated voters would agree.

Trump “represents the most extremist policies and ideology … the reality is Congressman Budd has aligned himself with somebody who is truly extremist in this race, and that’s a reflection on him,” the former chief justice charged.

Budd defended Trump, saying the economy was better under him, and won North Carolina both in 2016 and 2020.

Budd also made clear that he believed Trump won the 2020 election over Joe Biden, though he did concede that Biden is the president now. Budd also agreed to accept the results of his race with Beasley should he ultimately lose.

While Budd tried to nail Beasley on Pres. Biden’s shortcomings. Beasley counterpunched with his support for the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade abortion rights from over the summer. Polls show that is an issue of deep concern for women across the country, and weak spot for Republicans.

Budd is against abortion rights, and Beasley would not let women watching the debate forget it.

“Congressman Budd wants to be in between a woman and her doctor, and there is no place in the exam room for Congressman Budd,” Beasley sharply charged.

Budd retorted that Beasley was an abortion “extremist.”