Sunday, April 23, 2023


                                                                    REP. ALMA ADAMS




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

On April 18th, Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) decided that she’d seen enough.

The four-term North Carolina congresswoman took to the U.S. House floor, and unloaded her frustration with the inaction of her legislative colleagues not doing more to quell the tide of indiscriminate gun violence sweeping the nation.

Today I rise because too often in our schools the sound of students talking and lockers clanking in hallways is giving way to silence, and violence. Today I rise because desks that should be covered in gum are too often covered in blood: the blood of students and their teachers,”Adams said grimly.

Adams then shared how three Democrats of the Tennessee House, wanted to bring attention to the need to do more about gun violence after the March 27th shooting massacre at a Nashville, Tenn. church school that left three children and three adults murdered.

“From the floor of the TN House, they led the public gallery in chants of “no more silence”, “we have to do better”, and “gun reform now,” Rep. Adams said. “Tennessee Republicans were so afraid of this message that they expelled Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, the two Black representatives, for their actions.”

Noting that since the Nashville massacre, “…over 900 additional people were killed by gun violence in our country… .” Adams then expressed further outrage and disgust.

“It makes me sick,” she continued. “It makes me livid that we continue to accept the status quo. That we are comfortable living in a country where at any time, our friends, family, and neighbors, even our children and our grandchildren, can die a horrible death because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time where the wrong person had a gun.”

Without question, Rep. Adams was expressing the deep-felt thoughts and views of many Americans, let alone many North Carolinians, who wince every time they hear of yet another incident of firearm abuse.

And yet, there is little happening to give Rep. Adams and her minions hope.

Just a few weeks before her Congressional remarks, the North Carolina legislature was able to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto, and allow the legal purchase of a pistol in the state without a permit.

On March 26th, a 27-year-old man was arrested at NC A&T University in Greensboro with more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, two handguns, two shotguns, a rifle, a crossbow, a machete, hatchets, a stun gun, brass knuckles, and a blow dart gun, 

Two days after Adams remarks, a six-year-old girl and her parents were shot by a neighbor when her basketball rolled into his yard.

In incidents outside of the state, an 84-year-old white Missouri homeowner is facing two felony charges after shooting a black teen who rang his doorbell by mistake looking to pickup his younger twin brothers.

Meanwhile, a teenage girl was fatally shot by a 65-year-old homeowner after the car she was a passenger in mistakenly drove into the wrong driveway in upstate New York.

In the Texas town of Elgin, four cheerleaders stopped at a supermarket around midnight on April 18th, when one of them mistakenly tried to get into the wrong car. An armed man inside got out and fire his weapon five times, striking two of the girls.

        On April 12th, a teenage pool party in Goldsboro ended when a 15-year-old girl was fatally shot.

And last Saturday night at Winston-Salem’s Happy Hill Park, a 21-year-old woman was killed and four others were injured after police say several people opened fire at a party of at least 200.

As shocking as these incidents are, observers say expect more of them.

In spite of North Carolina’s new law, “The number of both state and national instant criminal background checks – required before one can purchase a gun and a rough indicator of how many people are either purchasing or possibly being issued a gun permit – surged during the pandemic from under 30 million to nearly 40 million, according to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System,” reports CNN.

       According to the Pew Research Center, in 2020, the most recent year when figures are available, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S., with suicides accounting for more than half of U.S. gun deaths.

Four-in-ten U.S. adults say they live in a household with a gun. Three-in-ten say they personally own a firearm.

Whites are more likely to own a gun than blacks or Hispanics. Men more likely than women. And conservatives more likely than liberals.

It is a hot political issue where Republicans cite rising crime rates to justify staying hands-off of any gun control reforms, even off of assault weapons.

Top Democrats, like Vice Pres. Kamala Harris, disagree, saying there is “…no reason for assault weapons to be available for anyone to buy.”

She added that when she visits schools across the country, young students tell her they’re being taught how to hide from a gunman, and they prefer certain classrooms because they have closets for them to hide in if needed.

We will be judged if we don’t act,” Rep. Alma Adams warned her congressional colleagues during her April 18th remarks at the Capitol. “Not only by history, not only by our God, but by our children who will inherit our country with this metastasized gun cancer still attached.”

I am a Christian, and as someone who knows and reads and lives Scripture, I can tell you, beyond a doubt, that the AR-15, the assault rifle, is the Golden Calf of Washington, D.C.,” Adams continued.Too many people in the People’s House worship this idol and treat it with reverence; however, just like in Scripture, if we continue to worship this idol, the result will be physical and spiritual death.”

"No more silence!" Rep. Adams chided. "We have to do better!"





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

This is how what should have been nothing more than an innocent local bill in the Republican-led NC House, purported to change “the manner in which appointments are made to the Washington-Warren Airport Authority…,” almost became a backdoor, surreptious way to introduce an anti-black history social studies lesson plan into a school system’s curriculum without even that local school board knowing it.

The attempt to pull this off was ultimately aborted, but it shows how the current focus of the conservative right-wing isn’t just how to outlaw the proper and accurate teaching of American and North Carolina racial history in the state’s classrooms, but also begin to replace it .

        And now that Republicans can override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto, there’s nothing to stop them from mandating this sanitized social studies curriculum for every school across the state, observers warn.

In an April 20th, 2023 story by Greg Childress in NC Newsline,  he reported how the Beaufort County School Board was “surprised” by “a lawmaker’s attempt to authorize [their] use of a controversial social studies curriculum developed by conservative Hillsdale College in Michigan…”

       Beaufort County Schools Supt. Matthew Cheeseman told how he had received a call April 19th “…alerting him that the provision was tucked inside House Bill 464…,” which originally dealt with changing how members of the Washington-Warren Airport Authority are appointed."

According to Cheeseman, the full Beaufort County School Board “…had never discussed it, never once voted on it, never once asked for it.”

A review of the history of the bill online shows it was filed March 23rd by Republican House Deputy Majority Whip Rep. Keith Kidwell, who represents Beaufort, Dare, Hyde and Pamlico counties.

Neither the original version of HB 464, nor its first edition, published on March 27th, mentioned anything about what’s formally known as “the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum”.

That controversial plan of study - currently not approved by the NC Dept. of Public Instruction - evolved out of former Pres. Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission, which was created to counter Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 Project about the history of American slavery.

Released in 2021, the Hillsdale College 1776 Curriculum touts itself as teaching “…the truth of American history and to cultivate in students the knowledge and virtue necessary to live good lives as citizens.”

“Our curriculum was created by teachers and professors—not activists, not journalists, not bureaucrats,” says Dr. Kathleen O’Toole, assistant provost for K-12 education at Hillsdale College. “It comes from years of studying America, its history, and its founding principles, not some slap-dash journalistic scheme to achieve a partisan political end through students. It is a truly American education.”

       Greg Childress’ story states, however, that the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum “…teaches that civil rights laws outlawing discrimination in public places may violate the U.S. Constitution. It also downplays the extent to which the nation’s founders supported slavery." 

Childress’story continued that “…there was a conversation about the curriculum between a board member and bill sponsor Rep. Keith Kidwell, [who] said there’s a group in the district that has lobbied the board to adopt the curriculum.”

         According to the 2020 U.S. Census, over 22 percent of Beaufort County's population is black. 

An examination of the second edition of HB 464 shows the Hillsdale 1776 provision was added on March 27th, changing the measure to “ An act to alter the manner in which appointments are made to the Washington-Warren Airport Authority and to authorize the Beaufort County Schools to teach the Hillsdale College Curriculum.”

At the end of the bill’s language in Section 2 is the language, ‘The local board of education of Beaufort County Schools is authorized to use the Hillsdale College K-12 Curriculum in lieu of requirements of Part 1 of Article 8 of Chapter 115C of the General Statues.”

The very last sentence of the bill is Section 3 stated, “This act is effective when it becomes law,”which meant that as soon as the NC General Assembly ratified the measure, Hillsdale’s 1776 anti-black history curriculum would be legal to teach in Beaufort County Schools,

But something happened.

Apparently the Beaufort County Education Board didn’t appreciate being used as a guinea pig, and Rep. Kidwell ultimately removed the Hillsdale 1776 curriculum provision before it went to the state Senate.

That’s where Childress’ story reveals that Kidwell “…said authorization for Beaufort County Schools and other districts to use the curriculum would be revisited later.”

“I thought it was going to be a pretty straightforward thing, but I’ve had a bunch of other counties express interest and we’ll be readdressing that at a future date,” Kidwell said during [the April 19th] House session,” Childress reported.

By law, it is the job of the NC State Board of Education to “… adopt a plan of education and a standard course of study as provided in G.S. 115C-12(9c) for the public schools of the State.” It is the job of the state superintendent to carry out that mandate.

But North Carolina’s current state superintendent is a Republican, Catherine Truitt, and she has already demonstrated resistance to following the state Board of Education’s mandates she disagrees with.

According to Justin Parameter, a Charlotte educator and the author of the Notes from a Chalkboard blog, “…there’s a good chance this Trump-inspired, whitewashed version of American history will end up on desks in Beaufort County, and there’s no reason to think other counties won’t follow suit.”


Sunday, April 16, 2023






By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

It was Monday, April 29th, 2013, when seventeen clergy people, activists and students, led by then NC NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber, went to the NC General Assembly Building on Jones Street, walked up the stairs to the second floor, prayed, and read the U.S. Constitution out loud outside the golden doors of the NC Republican-led House and Senate while both were in session, opposing what they called the “extremist policies coming out of the People’s House.”

The seventeen were eventually arrested, handcuffed, and transported to jail by bus. They were cheered on by a group of demonstrators as they were being loaded.

On subsequent Monday afternoons at the NC General Assembly, more activists of various colors, religions, ages and backgrounds joined what soon became known as “Moral Mondays,” protesting the passage of laws that negatively targeted the rights of poor people to adequate health care, affordable housing, fair wages, and other concerns of social justice.

“We weren’t out there in a spirit of hate, like the January 6th people,” said one of the veteran Moral Monday demonstrators on a Zoom call reunion last Saturday.”We were out there because we love our state. We were out there in a spirit of love.”

It wasn’t long before Moral Mondays evolved into weekly demonstrations at the state legislature with thousands from all across the state peacefully demonstrating, and over 1,000 eventually arrested. Impressive multi-cultural, multi-racial coalitions had been built, and progressive activists found their voice in defining the pressing social issues that mattered.

By the time the Moral Monday Movement ended in Raleigh months later, Moral Monday demonstrations were beginning to popup across the nation. The movement was able drop then Republican Gov. Pat McCrory by at least 20 points in the polls. Movement lawyers were successful in court stopping voter ID legislation, and ten years later, the legislature finally voted to expand Medicaid to over half a million needy North Carolinians.

When Rev. Dr. Barber finally left the NC NAACP in 2017, he was able to build a national movement called the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival” based on the success of Moral Mondays.

Next Monday, April 24th, 2023, Rev. Dr. Barber, now a professor at prestigious Yale University in Connecticut and leader of the social justice group Repairers of the Breach, is calling on all who participated in the Raleigh Moral Monday demonstrations of the past, let alone those who got arrested, to come together again in the Capitol City to commemorate their movement. He is calling it “the Moral Monday 10 year Anniversary and Recommitment Rally, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the NC State Capitol, 1 East Morgan Street, in Raleigh.

“It’s amazing to me that ten years later, the things we did then are sorely needed now,” Rev. Dr. Barber told the Zoom meeting last Saturday of veteran Moral Monday demonstrators who had been proudly arrested for the cause. 

“Not only will we commemorate, but recommit ourselves,”  Barber continued. “It wasn’t just a day, it was a movement. That’s what it’s going to take to ultimately shift this nation more towards justice and truth.”

Indeed April 24th will be more than just a tenth anniversary commemoration. According to Rev. Rob Stephens, National Political Director of Repairers of the Breach, there are compelling issues for protest at the Republican-led NC General Assembly now. Bills outlawing the teaching of true Black history in public schools; targeting the LGBTQ community; designed to stop demonstrations by defining them as riots.

Rev. Stephens called the current NC legislature “evil.”

The spirit of the Moral Monday Movement still permeates the vision of Rev. Barber. Recently, he’s been spending time in Nashville, Tenn. supporting the cause of the two Black Democratic lawmakers who were expelled from the legislature for openly protesting Tennessee’s liberal gun laws.

After April 24th, Barber is expected to lead a three-day march against what he says are the regressive social policies of Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Rev. Barber admits that he doesn’t have the youth of ten years ago. Indeed he says his knees are not the same. But his commitment to moral justice across the nation, especially for poor people, is as strong as ever.

I’m hopeful because of what I see in people,” he told the Yale University newspaper. “When I go among poor white folk in West Virginia who say, ‘Reverend Barber, we are not going to be silent any more.’ Or I go among poor white farmers in Kentucky saying the same thing: ‘We’re not going to be silent any more.’ Or Black women down in Alabama, or fast-food workers in North Carolina. All of that, all those people, they give me hope.”

    Editor's note - the Moral Monday 10 year Anniversary and Recommitment Rally, starts at 5:30 p.m. at the NC State Capitol, 1 East Morgan Street, in Raleigh.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

As if going to college isn’t hard enough.

According to a 2022 Journal of Adolescent Health report, predominately white college and university campuses do not have the requisite number of mental health professionals properly equipped to help black students navigate the racial stresses of being in the absolute minority.

Indeed, colleges are having problems recruiting enough therapists and counselors to adequately deal with the needs of university students overall. That raises questions about the ability of those already in place to handle the multi-racial and cultural needs of students who come to them now.

Many black students don’t even bother to seek the counseling of counselors on campus, knowing that they’re most likely ill-equipped to help them deal with racial pressures they’re facing.

Ironically, 45% of black students at historically black colleges and universities said in a survey by the United Negro College Fund that they would not seek the assistance of on-campus counselors for mental stress.

From 2018 to 2021, according to Kaiser Health News, “…the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 1, 341 incidents of white supremacist propaganda pamphleteering on college campuses. The Anti-Defamation League recorded around 630 incidents of white supremacist propaganda being distributed on campuses in 2019.

The report continued, “Black students at predominantly white institutions report everything from instances of thinly veiled racism, homophobia, and sexism to outright racial hostility and intimidation.”

But how do these black and other students of color react to such unjust treatment? A number of studies have shown that they are not handling those stressful experiences well, with the stress manifesting itself in mental and physical health challenges that can be a barrier to effective learning.

According to Dr. Annelle Primm, senior medical director for  the Steve Fund, a nonprofit focused on supporting the mental health of young people of color, "...[these black students] may feel isolated or like they don’t belong,” she said. “The experiences are associated with issues such as depression, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating or sleeping.”

A study by UNC at Chapel Hill found that black students had the highest increase in rates of depression. But a 2020 report from the Steve Fund reported that “…students of color are less likely than their white peers to seek mental health treatment even though white and Black students experience mental health issues at the same rate.”


Saturday, April 8, 2023




                                          BLACK SUPPORT- A former supporter on social media posted pictures from Cotham’s 2022 campaign to show that she did get elected with black support.



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

State Rep. Tricia Ann Cotham could have easily changed her party affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated, but she didn’t. She went full stop Republican, effectively giving her former party the back of her hand, sending tremors through an already dispirited North Carolina Democratic Party, and Governor Roy Cooper.

“The party that best represents me and my principles and what’s best for North Carolina is the Republican Party,” she said during a press conference at NCGOP headquarters in Raleigh last week.

Political analyst Thomas Mills wasn’t buying it in his weekly newsletter Politics North Carolina.

She embraced the party whose values she rejected just a few months ago,” he wrote. “She didn’t have an epiphany. She had a temper tantrum and pity party. She just wanted somebody to be nice to her. That’s pathetic.”

The Black Political Caucus of Mecklenburg County, which endorsed Cotham in 2022, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP, were also not impressed.

“Regrettably, her shift in values appears to align her more closely with a political faction with a troubling history of policies and rhetoric aimed at suppressing the voices of marginalized groups, including African Americans and women,” the caucus said in a statement. “In embracing this extreme faction, Rep. Cotham has betrayed the trust we placed in her, and we fear that this decision may have severe consequences for the very people she was elected to serve.”

Black Facebook poster Cathay Dawkins lamented, “ NO SHAME! She USED Black & Brown Voters & Organizers to win her seat and has now switched parties. NOT OK! Tricia Cotham!”

Next to her post, Dawkins posted a screenshot of Cotham’s May 18, 2022 Facebook pos showing several pictures of black primary campaign workers proudly displaying “Tricia Cotham “ campaign signs and t-shirts under Cotham’s message “We did it!”

To understand the enormity of Rep. Cotham’s switch, and the scale of damage it may have done to the immediate future of North Carolina Democratic politics, particularly to African Americans, consider these facts.

Tricia Cotham took office January 1st, 2023 for her current term, representing NC House District 112, which comprises much of east Charlotte (including her hometown of Mint Hill), and borders Cabarrus and Union counties. 

Observers say it is a fast growing suburban district.

Almost nine percent of Rep. Cotham’s district is black, according to Ballotpedia

Having previously served in the state House from 2007 to 2016 , Rep. Cotham won a four-candidate primary last May 2022 by 47.81%, and her general election in November by 59.22%, so clearly black voter support played a role in her election. 

For a representative that has served five terms in the House, that…means increased accountability to Black and Brown voters at a time when racial tensions and political tensions go hand in hand,” said Advance North Carolina- a Black and progressive issues 501 (c)4 advocacy group - in a statement. 

"This is not about political vendettas, this is about the constituents," NC Democratic Party Chair Anderson Clayton said during a press conference after Cotham announced her switch last week. "This is about honesty and accountability to the people who elected her."

It’s also about being loyal to one’s party and its issues, critics say.

Gov. Cooper was hoping that the one vote advantage he enjoyed in the formally 71-49 GOP majority state House to stop a Republican supermajority vote would hold for the last two years of his term (the state Senate won a 30 to 20 supermajority in November).

But with Cotham’s long rumored switch last week, the GOP now has their required three-fifths-72-out-120-vote supermajority over the governor’s veto, and with it, the ability not only to pass any controversial bill from their current agenda, like their anti-black history teaching restrictions; ending abortion rights in North Carolina or measures targeting the LGBTQ community, but even bills Cooper vetoed in the past that now he can’t stop.

And under new rules, the GOP majority does not have to give prior notice of when veto override votes will be taken, as long as 72 House Republicans are present.

Her 2022 campaign website has now been taken down, but according to published reports, when Cotham ran last year, it said she supported raising the minimum wage, was pro-education, and “…was proud to [have sponsored] legislation to expand access to voter registration for young people, enact same-day registration, and extend early voting to include Sunday voting when many organizations conducted ‘Souls to the Polls’.”  wrote columnist Thomas Mills. “I wonder how that will sit with her new colleagues? Did she believe all that stuff or, nah, it was just what her Democratic voters wanted to hear?”

Her father was chair of the Mecklenburg Democratic Party, and her mother is a longtime Democratic commissioner on the Mecklenburg County Commission. Cothan’s ex-husband, Jerry Meek, was once chairman of the NC Democratic Party, so her “blue dog” pedigree was well known.

       In 2016, Cotham ran for the 12th Congressional District, but lost to incumbent Democrat Rep. Alma Adams. Cotham then worked in the private sector, and later became a lobbyist until she ran again in 2022 for the state House.

But the damage to black and other constituents doesn’t stop there.

Upon hearing of her former opponent’s switch, Rep. Adams issued a statement saying, “The women who will have fewer rights over their own body will be victims. Students living in fear of gun violence will be victims. Transgender people who want to live their lives as their authentic selves will be victims.”

“And most of all, the Mecklenburg County voters disenfranchised by this decision are the victims,” Adams continued.

Cotham had already gained a reputation for voting with Republicans on several occasions, like for the recently passed GOP bill to mandate county sheriffs cooperate with ICE agents tracking illegal immigrants. But at least when it counted, she could be depended on to remain in the Democratic fold. Now, with her dramatic switch fueled by charges of Democratic bullying and intimidation, Cotham’s GOP vote on a variety of veto override issues seems assured, to the chagrin of her former Democratic colleagues.

Amid a group of fellow Democrats holding signs displaying one word, “RESIGN” at last week’s press conference, NCDP Chair Anderson Clayton called Cotham’s switch “…a deceit of the highest order [and] a betrayal of the people of Mecklenburg County…”

Even the White House joined the fray, denouncing Cotham’s move.

As a reward for her switch, GOP House Speaker Tim Moore  told reporters that Cotham’s Democratic district will probably be redrawn to lean more Republican this summer.

Moore added Rep. Cotham “…wasn’t the only Democrat we’ve had great conversations with.”


                                         U.S. REP. ALMA ADAMS (D-NC-12)




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

When the 118th Congress convened on January 3rd, 2023, four-term Democratic Congresswoman Alma Adams (12-NC) knew the new Republican House majority would legislate in ways she frankly could not agree with.

But she vowed then that no matter how undemocratic they were, she would continue her service to the constituents of the 12th Congressional District on the issues that really mattered, hoping that through it all, she would be able to reach bipartisan agreement on issues to move her district, and the nation, forward.

But it hasn’t been easy..

Since Speaker Kevin McCarthy [R-CA] and the Republicans won their slim 222-213 majority in the U.S. House, their agenda has centered mainly on “culture war” issues, like investigating Democratic President Joe Biden and his family for alleged criminal activity, and defending Republican President Donald Trump against criminal charges like his recent indictment by a New York grand jury for an alleged hush money scheme, and revelations that Trump allegedly mishandled classified materials once out of office.

The GOP has also accused federal agencies like the U.S. Justice Dept. with “weaponizing” the government against perceived political enemies, and are standing firm against legislating critical gun control measures.

Still, Rep. Adams is among the House Democrats who have vowed not to allow the pervading “culture wars” politics on Capitol Hill to get in the way of getting things done.

This term, she is a  member of the committees on Agriculture; Education and Labor; and Financial Services respectively.

She is also a member of the Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus, which she founded and is co-chair; the Black Maternal Health Caucus, which she also founded and is co-chair; and the Congressional Black Caucus.

Since the 118th congressional term began, Rep. Adams has hosted panel discussions on women’s health: cosponsored the Justice for Black Farmers Act of 2023 with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ); and has strongly advocated for women’s reproductive rights.

“We do have some serious concerns about housing, “ Rep. Adams said during a phone interview last January, noting that she was pleased with what the 117th Democrat-majority Congress accomplished in passing much of Pres. Biden’s agenda to make critical infrastructure investments.

Still, Adams, amid whatever hope she held out for being productive while in the House minority now, expressed “concern” over the Republican agenda and the direction it was headed.

“We were elected to make things better for the American people and to work on legislation that will improve the quality of their lives, “ Rep. Adams said. “And of course [Republicans] want to investigate, [while] we want to legislate. And that’s what we intend to do, [legislate]. Hopefully the American people will be able to see through that.”

At the time of the interview, Rep. Adams had not heard that the GOP House majority was also considering expunging former Pres. Trump’s two impeachments from the record.

This past week, Rep. Jim Jordan [R-OH], chair of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that he would subpoena a former prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to give testimony to undermine the case D.A. Alvin Bragg has built against Trump.

Long before that was announced, Rep. Adams said in her interview, “ They are a very vindictive group of folks, and they don’t have an agenda for the American people.”

‘They have an agenda of vengeance.”

Adams added that as House Democrats, they will introduce legislation to help the American people, and she’s happy that the U.S. Senate, at least, is still in Democratic hands, so that much of the negative legislation coming out of the Republican House goes nowhere.

Still, House Democrats are now in the minority for the next two years, and can’t get much legislatively done by themselves unless they find likeminded Republicans to vote with them.

“I don’t believe that everybody over there are MAGAs [Trump followers],” said Adams. “I think some of the issues we will be talking about and be working on…I think there will be some bipartisan successes.”

“We’ve got big issues around …not just in Charlotte and North Carolina, but across this country.”

And will Republicans attack issues and programs important to the African American community?

Just last month, Republicans introduced a bill to further restrict the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.

Politico reported, “ It’s the first of what is expected to be a wave of GOP efforts this year to set limits on SNAP, the country’s largest food assistance program, which grew significantly during the pandemic. But while Republicans have telegraphed their desire to curb nutrition spending, House Democrats have yet to mount a coordinated response, raising concerns in the caucus about whether they can fend off likely GOP attacks on the program during the negotiations over the debt limit, budget and 2023 farm bill. 

The NY Times reported just last week that House MAGA Republicans, “…are threatening to default and not pay their own bills, while simultaneously attacking SNAP benefits.”

Rep. Adams said Democrats will “…have to be very aggressive in our approach” to defend SNAP, because everybody in America who is hungry isn't black.

“[Republicans are] going to be out trying to destroy everything they can, but I think we’ll be able to save some things because  the American people understand that this pandemic didn’t just hurt [blacks], but hurt everyone.”

Rep. Adams concluded that whatever the Republicans do, they have two years to get it done, because in 2024, Democrats, she said,  will be “taking the Congress back.”



Sunday, April 2, 2023


                                                     LT. GOVERNOR MARK ROBINSON




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

There is now little doubt.

Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, after dropping numerous hints,  is expected to formally announce his 2024 candidacy for governor of North Carolina during a rally on Saturday, April 22nd, at the Ace Speedway in Alamance County.

Why are political observers across the state and nation convinced that the black Republican conservative from Greensboro will kick off his campaign in two weeks?

For starters, two-term state Treasurer Dale Folwell, another Republican, announced his gubernatorial candidacy on March 25th. Folwell, a former state representative from Winston-Salem,  says if elected, he would be about …”attacking problems, not people,” alluding to Robinson’s history of broadbrushing the LGBTQ community, Democrats, Jews and even other African-Americans.

One MSNBC columnist even recalls Robinson once asking, “Why would I want to be part of a ‘community’ that sucks from the putrid tit of the government and then complains about getting sour milk?”

With Folwell in the field a month earlier, and Democrat state Attorney General Josh Stein having announced his bid last January, Robinson has little choice but to throw his hat in the ring relatively sooner than later. Despite how popular he may be among the GOP grassroots, Christian right-wing and Trump supporters, Robinson will have to start raising money now for a successful two-prong campaign war chest.

The first prong will be to fund a primary battle against Folwell to secure the NC Republican Party’s gubernatorial nomination. The second prong would be a general election face-off against Stein (Democrat incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper cannot run for a third term).

Polls already show Robinson as an odds-on favorite to win the primary against Folwell, but no one has started formally campaigning yet.

One edge that Robinson does have over his GOP rival is that he is closely aligned with former Pres. Donald Trump, while Folwell is not. Despite Trump’s recent indictment by a New York grand jury, the latest polling shows his GOP popularity going up, which may help Robinson.

When asked about Trump’s North Carolina popularity, Folwell told WXII-12 TV recently, “I don't think I'm going to be the Donald Trump-endorsed candidate. But I'll also say this, I never asked Donald Trump to be my valentine.”

Remarks like that won’t help Folwell with Trump supporters against Robinson.

Folwell says he would welcome the opportunity to debate Robinson, primarily because he has much more legislative experience. “Nobody ever heard of him 1,000 days ago,” the state treasurer told WXII -12,  “and people can choose and go to YouTube and figure out, you know, who he is and what he stands for.”

Indeed it was 2018 when a black unknown factory worker named Mark Robinson went before the Greensboro City Council to argue for protecting gun rights. Video of his fiery remarks went viral, and soon, Robinson found himself being recruited by North Carolina Republicans to run for lt. governor. After winning the GOP primary, Robinson shocked the political world by then winning the 2020 election, and the second highest office in the state.

His tenure in office has been controversial at best, as his past demeaning remarks about women, abortion, and progressive policies in general have made him a darling of the Christian right both statewide and nationally.

But political observers charge that Robinson tries to have it both ways.

For instance, after last week’s tragic gun massacre at a private school in Nashville, Tenn. where three adults and three nine-year old students were murdered, Robinson posted on his Facebook page, “…[O]ur hearts are breaking for the families, friends and loved ones who lost someone in yesterday’s tragedy,” later adding, “We serve the people, and the people are calling on us to act. We must come together to find a way forward that will not allow our schools to be penetrated by those who want to do our children harm...”

But it was Robinson’s fellow North Carolina Republicans in the state legislature who very recently did away with the longstanding pistol permit requirement that county sheriffs relied on to control who can own and carry a firearm in the state. 

Whatever “we serve the people, and the people are calling on us to act…” meant, it was hard justifying that pledge while his Republican colleagues effectively allowed more guns on the streets of North Carolina unchecked in the tragedy’s aftermath.

“Your prayers are useless,” a derisive Facebook poster named  “Joe Joe” responded to Robinson’s  “…[O]ur hearts are breaking….” post.

“If you cannot offer concrete solutions, you need to go work at Wal-Mart. You might actually be qualified for that job. You are not nearly qualified to be a servant of the people in a democracy. You are a tyrant in the making.”

Other posters, however, gave Robinson their full-throated support.

The black Republican has been vocal, however, in criticizing African American leaders who have spoken out against what they believe to be racist policies made law by his white N.C. GOP legislative colleagues. Robinson is lauded for telling predominantly white, conservative Republican audiences that there is no racism committed against black people.

But political observers say “Check the record.”

Recall, even though it’s painful, the Republican lawmakers’ work of the last dozen years,” wrote UNC-Chapel Hill law Professor Gene Nichol in a recent News and Observer op-ed.  “They’ve given us, judges ruled, among the most expansive racial gerrymanders ever seen in America. They’ve used precision to deny Black voters access to the polls. They’ve discriminated against African Americans so severely it demolished foundational requirements of popular sovereignty.” 

Prof. Nichols continued, “They enabled greater racial segregation in education; repealed the Racial Justice Act; made it harder to get police video footage released; sanctified Confederate monuments; raised criminal penalties in response to Black Lives Matter protests; and claimed a pervasive need to outlaw critical race theory without knowing what it is.”

    Political observers say if Republican "Governor" Mark Robinson is elected in 2024 , and has a GOP majority NC General Assembly to partner with, there would be very little they could not do to continue to roll civil rights gains back.

The entire nation will be closely watching Mark Robinson's campaign as of April 22nd.






By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court is soon expected to issue it’s decision in a case that challenges affirmative action admission policies at predominately white UNC-Chapel Hill and Harvard University.

The High Court is expected to rule that race-conscious college admissions are unconstitutional. According to the online publication Inside Higher Ed, the momentous decision is expected “to affect all of higher education.” Chief diversity officers across the nation are already preparing for a negative decision. 

         “About 60 percent of top U.S. colleges consider race a factor in admissions, according to 2015 estimates,” reports Reuters News Service.

But a new study titled, Race-conscious Affirmative Action: What’s Next, issued on March 28th by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce “…found that admissions practices that consider class - defined by family income and parental education and occupational prestige - but not race, would still leave selective colleges without the representation of Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and Pacific Islander students seen in U.S. high schools,” according to BET News.

If the conservative-majority court does throw out race as a significant factor in college admissions, hundreds of thousands of young people of color could lose their opportunity to rise above the poverty of their personal economic circumstance to achieve a good education at a quality school of higher learning.

If the study by Georgetown University is correct, the study maintains, the denial of such educational opportunities to Black and other students of color would automatically relegate them to a lower rung in educational and economic achievement, thus reinforcing their lower socio-economic station in life. 

“Without race-conscious admissions, the role selective colleges play in creating equal opportunity in our society is likely to diminish,” says Zack Mabel, co-author of the Georgetown study. To achieve the same level of diversity in admissions now, especially among African-American students, schools like UNC - Chapel Hill would have to “fundamentally alter their admissions practices,” going beyond just socio-economic factors alone to admit students of color.

It was last fall when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments where a group called the Students for Fair Admission claimed that UNC at Chapel Hill discriminated against white and Asian-American applicants in favor of African-American and other applicants of color in college admissions. UNC- Chapel Hill, like other major predominately-white universities like Harvard, have been able to legally and successfully incorporate race as a factor in their admissions policies for several decades, thanks to previous federal court rulings that originally challenged the practice, but ultimately forced those schools to eliminate racial quotas and fine tune their practices.

Schools like UNC at Chapel Hill were able to show that making race a factor, instead of the factor in considering college applicants, helped to provide students of color the opportunity they deserved, and provided the diversity that society needed in college-trained potential leaders of tomorrow.

The plaintiffs, Students for Fair Admission, counter that all college admissions processes should be race-blind in order to ensure fairness for white and Asian-American applicants, and be class-based instead.

Interestingly though, the Georgetown study suggested eliminating the traditional affirmative action processes that have given whites a strong advantage for generations.

An alternative admissions process that includes socio-economic status would achieve a high level of racial and ethnic diversity if colleges eliminate preferences for legacy applicants, student athletes, those with ties to donors and other such factors that mostly benefit white, affluent applicants, the study found, BET News reported. The study also recommended predominately-white colleges and universities “…expand their recruitment of high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds for a class-based alternative to produce a similar outcome to race-conscious admissions….”

A ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to be issued this spring.