Saturday, June 25, 2011


          Per the article I wrote this week pertaining to what direction Wake County School System is going, toward the end of the article, I wrote the following:
       Meanwhile NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber, who has been lamenting the Wake School Board’s changes and right-wing political influence, has agreed to meet with Supt. Tata about his student assignment recommendations. But Tata has also challenged Barber to prove that the NAACP has worked to recruit black teachers and principals, and has helped with school system community outreach.
            Ironically, and apparently Supt. Tata is unaware, but the NCNAACP was rebuffed several times by Chairman Margiotta when it offered over a year ago to work with the conservative majority when it took over, discuss key issues, and fashion a comprise to the Republican-led board’s goal of neighborhood schools.
          Well, an old crabby critic of yours truly, who goes by the handle of "Howler001 (I'll call him or her "Howie000" for short) apparently took offense to this passage after the News & Observer's T. Keung Hui wrote about it in his WakeEd blog Friday.
          Here's Howie's rant:
         In truth, Margiotta offered Barber a private meeting with the school board in early 2010, just as Tata has done this time. Barber turned that offer down because he wanted to make a 45 minute public presentation at a January, 2010 school board meeting. Citing the fact that school board policy has ALWAYS been to refuse ANY organization a public meeting, Margiotta countered with an offer for a private meeting, and was rebuffed by Barber and the NAACP. For details, see:

        Readers, be careful here. Michaels has an agenda and he's willing to alter the truth in order to make his point. I wish I had more time to point out all the inaccuracies in his blog posts. 

         First of all, my only agenda EVER, is to report what I see and what I know. Life is too complicated to be just making up stuff.
          Secondly, I offer perspective on what I report for context. Unlike Howie000, I've been here for 30 years, so I have a unique perspective as to where this all fits...if at all.
          Finally, and directly to Howie000's erroneous point, when I wrote that the NCNAACP, "...offered to work with the conservative majority when it took over...," that's because I have the December 15, 2009 letter NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber initially sent to Wake School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta, literally days after the new board was sworn-in, in which Rev. Barber wrote, "I extend our outstretched hands to work with the Wake County Board of Education to meet its constitutional duty to provide a sound basic education for each child in a setting that neither demeans nor degrades any child because of her or his color. "
              Here is the complete first letter that Barber sent to Margiotta:

           15 December 2009


Mr. Ron Margiotta, Chair
Wake County Board of Education
3600 Wake Forest Road
P.O. Box 28041
Raleigh, NC 27611-8041
Re: Request
Dear Mr. Margiotta:
On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of black, white and brown NAACP members in Wake County, in North Carolina, and across the United States of America, I extend our outstretched hands to work with the Wake County Board of Education to meet its constitutional duty to provide a sound basic education for each child in a setting that neither demeans nor degrades any child because of her or his color. 
The NAACP has struggled with the challenge for 100 years to remove the sin of Jim Crow Schools---unconstitutional schools.  Now our nation’s eyes turn toward Raleigh, NC.  Will the nationally recognized program, carefully and thoughtfully put in place, be salvaged – or savaged?
The issue of our children’s all-sided development does not lend itself to ten second sound bites.  The NAACP has perhaps the largest collective store house of what works – and what doesn’t work - to breathe life into the North Carolina and United States Constitutional Promises of a sound basic education and equal protection.
It is with this in mind that I respectfully request time myself and our local NAACP presidents to make an extended (45 minutes) presentation to your full board in January 2010, spelling out the NAACP’s analysis and suggestions for making Wake County Schools live out the promises of our children’s constitutional protections.  Please let me know as soon as possible the time and place for this presentation.  I look forward to hearing you.
Yours in the Spirit of Truth and Justice,

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
         So it sounds like Rev. Barber honestly, and earnestly offered to work with the new board majority in anyway necessary to ensure the state constitutionally guaranteed right of "each child" in WCPSS to a "sound, basic education."

          After Margiotta turned down the presentation request, Rev. Barber wrote a January 4th, 2010 response, explaining further what the NCNAACP had to offer by way of experience to help the WCPSS:

        January 4, 2010

                              OPEN LETTER

          Dear Chairperson Margiotta:
          I hope this letter finds you and all of your board members well. Your seat as the new chairperson of the Wake County Public County School Board comes with great honor and comes with great responsibility to the 140,000 children your Board serves. I respond to your e-mail that denied our request for a 45 minute presentation to the full Board on the NAACP's position regarding the intersection of the two constitutional requirements for public schools.

            The NAACP challenge to racial segregation in 1954 resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court's over-ruling Jim Crow policies and practices that had been the law of the land since 1896. Brown v. Board of Education adopted our analysis that separating children by race was unconstitutional because it left long-lasting scars on children of color in particular and all children in general.  The great historian who founded the February Black History Month tradition, Carter G. Woodson, said it well: If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told. . .  Change a "man" to a "child" and you have the U.S. Supreme Court's reasoning in Brown.

            The NAACP is also a party to Leandro, the case brought under the North Carolina Constitution's requirement for a sound basic education for each child. We believe the requirements of Brown and Leandro intersect with grace.

             The point is the NAACP has special experience, in thousands of southern class and court rooms, in the critical issues your Board is struggling with. The decisions your Board will make about student, teacher, principal and school placements will create long-lasting impressions on all our children. That's why I make this request.  The public and historical record will show that we have made presentations before major committees of the General Assembly, the state school board, the United States Congress, and even the President of the United States in efforts to work for the betterment of society as a whole.  I received your e-mail denying our request to meet with the full board.  I respectfully ask the Board to reconsider. We would be glad to work out the practical problems such a presentation might raise, and how we can work together to resolve them.

               Thank you for reconsidering our request.  Please call our office if you wish to discuss our request.

               Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President

               cc: NAACP Members and Friends

                As Rev. Barber points out, organizational presentations before public bodies in North Carolina are nothing new. I was present for an African-American Dance Ensemble performance, pushing for more arts funding, in front of a joint session of the NC General Assembly a couple of years ago. In fact, lawmakers loved the presentation so much, they actually GOT UP AND DANCED!

 And that was at least 30 minutes. Been to many a Raleigh City Council meeting where long presentations by outside groups seeking money or offering services or partnerships have taken place.

           There is no "policy" against it. Margiotta just didn't want to give the NCNAACP a platform on what he considered to be his territory. Since he couldn't control what he said, he wanted to eliminate the possibility of political damage by not having pictures of Barber lecturing him, putting him on the spot.
               Regarding meeting with Tata, there would be no natural public meeting with him beyond a school board meeting, and that's the board's party, not the superintendent's. So he had to meet with Barber away from a public forum. But they both immediately came out to the press TOGETHER afterwards to give a public assessment of their talks.
              So once again, Howie000 and "it's" ilk, are trying to run interference against reality. It is important to this ilk that this school board and supt. be seen and portrayed as heroic. They are the catalysts to the change Howie000 et al have so desperately fought for, and anytime someone even breathes the truth about what's going on, they find the time during their apparently very busy days to log on and distort the facts.
             You've just read Rev. Barber's letters. He was willing to work with Margiotta to make something good happen, only to be stiff armed. And this wasn't the last time.
             Back on December 7,  2010, Margiotta didn't invite DEMOCRAT BOARD MEMBERS to meet with investigators for the US Dept. of Education's Office of Civil Rights when they came o town to begin their probe of the NCNAACP racial bias complaint.

            Keith Sutton, the board's only black member, had to demand to be included in the meeting that focused on possible racial discrimination against children in his district.
               Margiotta didn't want not just Sutton, but any of the board Democrats present because he did not want any other viewpoints expressed  to the feds about the NAACP complaint.

              And then, of course, the scheme that Margiotta and Tedesco cooked up last November after Debra Goldman crossed them to keep the board Democrats in the dark about making student reassignment recommendation at the Student Assignment Committee meeting chaired by Tedesco. I uncovered what they were doing via internal emails. I'm certain the feds are looking into this.
              One thing folks have to understand about this board is the Republican members very much see it as an "us against them" situation. Anything they could do to stiff the board Dems or their allies, was inbounds as for as the GOP is concerned. Remember Margiotta springing the Tata vote on everybody last December, even though he'd assured all nothing would happen during the Christmas holidays? So Margiotta's behavior and ruthlessness is well documented. And he has been repeatedly accused of holding information, or keeping the public out of publc business for partisan reasons. It is clear that he was NOT acting on written policy when he denied the NCNAACP a public audience. That was a political decision, and Howie000 KNOWS IT!


  1. Notice how Michaels resorts to name calling as soon as he's challenged. What's up with that Cash? Looks to me like a sure sign of insecurity.

    Anyway, I'll give you the facts (and in far fewer words than the excess verbiage posted by Michaels).

    Fact #1. Barber's wanted to meet before the full board at a BOE meeting as indicated in his 12/1/2009 letter:

    "... I respectfully request time myself and our local NAACP presidents to make an extended (45 minutes) presentation to your full board in January 2010..."

    Fact #2. As reported by the Raleigh News and Observer, Margiotta responded via email offering to have the school system's leadership meet with Barber. The meeting would include Barber, Margiotta, school board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman and Superintendent Del Burns.

    Margiotta made the counteroffer after speaking with Burns about how they had handled similar requests in the past from different groups. Burns noted that the board has never responded to similar requests by granting a public meeting with the entire board.

    For example when Dillard Drive Middle School had segregated assemblies, ACORN requested a public meeting but wound up accepting then-school board chairwoman Rosa Gill's offer of a private meeting.

    Note that former superintendent Del Burns and former BOE chair Rosa Gill are both Democrats, and both fully support the failed policy of using socioeconomic status in school assignments. Also, note that there was no outcry from Michaels when Acorn was denied a public meeting.

    Fact #3. Barber rejected Margiotta's counteroffer. Why? Because he wanted to make a public presentation. It was Barber who rebuffed Margiotta, not the other way around as Michaels would have you believe.

    Fact #4. It's just impractical to grant public meeting requests before the entire board to outside groups. If you offer it to one group, you have to offer it to all groups, and before you know it, the BOE is deluged with requests for public meetings. Margiotta and Burns offered a practical alternative, an alternative that was acceptable to every other organization that made similar requests, except apparently the NAACP.

  2. Howie000, for your information, ANYTIME ANYONE publicly alleges that I "have an agenda" and am "willing to alter the truth," that person gets NO LOVE from me. I'm sure people who call you LIAR out loud don't get a warm embrace, either. So suck it up, softie. You can dish, but you cannot take.
    SECONDLY, as I've just proved with a powerful picture, even the NC GENERAL ASSEMBLY entertains outside presentations. Raleigh City Council, they all do it if they choose. Now, Burns didn't object to the NCNAACP presentation. He was asked how past boards handled it, and he answered. If he said it had been allowed, do you honestly think Margiotta would have said, "Oh gee whiz, since that's the case, let's set up the presentation now."
    Margiotta's been on the board longer than Burns was Suot., so he ALREADY KNEW what the practice was, he was just looking for cover. Also, Margiota has absolutely strayed from past board practice before when it suited his agenda. EXAMPLE - the very first meeting, when he mounted a power-play to take the chairmanship, than began passing an eight-point agenda WITHOUT discussion, WITHOUT sending items to committee, and WITHOUT providing Democrat board member with copies of the issues at hand.
    I didn't see Margiotta take the time to ask Del Burnsabout past practices THEN, DID HE?
    So cut the crap, Softie Howie000. Margiotta could have had a public presentation from the NCNAACP if he wanted to. HE JUST DIDN'T WANT TO!
    Finally, I loved to be challenged because when I provide the evidence to prove my point, that's when wimps like you complain that I write too much. WRONG! You just know too LITTLE!

  3. Blah, blah, blah. Note the lack of facts folks. And note that Michaels does not deny my facts. And note the logical fallacies to distract you from the facts:

    1. Michaels attacks me. That's Ad Hominem folks.
    2. Michaels talks about the first meeting after the 2009 elections. That's a Red Herring folks.
    3. Michaels assumes that if Burns recommended a public meeting, then Margiotta would have refused. That's a Negative Inference, folks.

    If Michaels ever entered a formal debate, those fallacious arguments would get him laughed off the stage. Of course I don't expect Michaels to understand the errors of his ways. He just doesn't have an argument here, and his only option is to resort to errors in logic. Here's a tip Cash: Google "Deductive Reasoning" and while you're at it, search "Logical Fallacies" - learn them and avoid them.

    Once again, here are the facts, abbreviated for simplicity:

    1. Barber requests public meeting before full board.
    2. Citing precedent, Margiotta offers meeting with Superintendent, BOE chair, and BOE vice chair.
    3. Barber rebuffs Margiotta, and no meeting is held.

    When Michaels writes that the NAACP was rebuffed by Margiotta, he erred. He did not lie. He made a mistake. And no amount of fallacious arguing can change that.

    Keep up the name calling Cash. You're playing into my hand, and truth be told, I rather enjoy it. :-)

  4. Glad to oblige, Howie000, because clearly, it's important that you win this, which means you probably lose at everything else.
    You talk about facts, well FACT 1 is Barber's first letter to Margiotta was Dec. 15, 2009, NOT 12/1/2009 as you erroneously stated.
    FACT 2 - As Barber's SECOND letter proves, Margiotta said no to Barber (Barber even writes, "I received your e-mail denying our request to meet with the full board. I respectfully ask the Board to reconsider"). So Margiotta was asked, and he rebuffed the request! If you can read, that's clearly documented in Barber's second letter, unless you accuse him of lying. So he asks nicely a second time for a full board meeting (which by the way, could have been a committee of the whole work session, which is public). Margiotta again says no, and suggests a closed meeting with board leadership instead.
    So Margiotta did all of the rebuffing in the first two instances.
    NEXT - You know that Margiotta could have facilitated if he wanted to. There was no policy against it. But stuff there was policy for, like the manner in which issues are discussed and voted on, Margiotta was all too happy to ignore. I cited the first board meeting as proof. You just ignorantly want to ignore it. Why not just send folks to the AdvancED report so they can read it for themselves.
    What I said stands about Burns. Margiotta wasn't just elected. He's been on the board for at least four years, so he knows the protocol. BUt he also knew he didn't have to follow it. So citing burns was a cover for what he didn't want to do anyway.
    Any dummy can figure THAT out. What's your excuse?
    And no meeting was ultimately held because Barber wanted to discuss public business with the full board publicly. That's called transparency. No backdoor deals or misrepresentations. The public sees it as it happens. Apparently you have a problem with that kind of good government.
    So there are no "fallacies" on my part. But clearly, since your "hand" apparently is so unneeded, you need me to "play into" it (sounds like a Weiner problem to me), then you just make and twist stuff up because you hate the NCNAACP so much, you can't admit to the truth, even when it's spelled out for you.
    You're a desperate twit, Howie000, and I have no respect for you for you apparently can't breathe otherwise. You can count on me to keep providing evidence that all you are is a liar, and a pretty sad one at that. You come on my blog accusing me of stuff, then you get all wussie when I fire back with both barrels.
    You're not worth bathroom time. Go blow your nose, Wuss!

  5. Hey Howie000 - apparently your last post during the 5 p.m. hour didn't make it on. Did you forget your posting lessons already. Hurry up and post. I have a surprise for you.

  6. Now, now Cash. You've really outdone yourself with the name calling. Are you going to be able to top that on your next response?

    Folks, wiki defines name calling as a "cognitive bias and a technique to promote propaganda. Name-calling is thus a substitute for rational, fact-based arguments against an idea or belief, based upon its own merits, and becomes an argumentum ad hominem." The only thing missing from wiki is a link to Cash's blog!

    Cash would have you believe that I am bothered by his name calling. I actually LOL reading Cash's last response. Keep it up Cash -- you're saving me some big bucks I would have otherwise spent at Goodnight's comedy club.

    First let's clear up some more erroneous facts alleged by Michaels. In this latest response, Michaels alleges that Barber was rebuffed twice, claiming that Margiotta first denied Barber's request, and then after a second letter from Barber, Margiotta countered with the offer of a closed door meeting. NOT TRUE. As documented in this December 24, 2009 post of the Wake Ed Blog:

    Margiotta's INITIAL (and only) response to Barber's request offered to have the school system's leadership meet with Barber. The Wake Ed blog reported this on December 24, 2009, so we know that this email was sent BEFORE Barber's 2nd letter on January 4, 2010. When Barber stated in that letter that he had "received your e-mail denying our request to meet with the full board," he was clearly referring to Margiotta's decision to use board precedent to decline a FULL, PUBLIC meeting with the board. Barber did not lie. He just employed the Fallacy of Exclusion (more on that later) by not mentioning that Margiotta's denial also included a counteroffer.

    Date's don't lie, do they Mr. Michaels?

    Finally let's get back to those logical fallacies Cash is so prone to, because Cash's reporting on the Barber request for a public presentation is guilty of at least two additional fallacies:

    1. Cash is guilty of the Straw Man Fallacy when he uses the term rebuff to describe Margiotta's response to Barber. Rebuff means to "reject in an abrupt or ungracious manner." Most educated people can see that Margiotta was not abrupt or ungracious with his response. He cited BOE precedence in denying a public meeting, and instead offered a private meeting with the school system's leadership. His response was identical to Rosa Gill's response to ACORN (see earlier comment). Rosa did not rebuff, and neither did Margiotta.

    2. Cash is also guilty of the Fallacy of Exclusion. You see, his original post did not even mention BOE precedence on requests for public meeting, nor did it mention Margiotta's counteroffer. Why not? Because Cash wants you to believe that the BOE majority despises the NAACP, and by extension, all people of color. He's a fear monger and worries that he won't be relevant if he doesn't distort the truth.

  7. Jeffrey, old friend, you crack me up. No one knows the alphabet better than you, wo-wo.

  8. Old Friend???

    "...old crabby critic..."
    "...Howie000 and "it's" ilk..."
    "...that's when wimps like you..."
    "Any dummy can figure THAT out..."
    "...sounds like a Weiner problem to me..."
    "You're a desperate twit..."
    "all you are is a liar, and a pretty sad one at that"
    "You're not worth bathroom time. Go blow your nose, Wuss!"

  9. And now that I know who you are, Jeff, you can add COWARd" to the list. You don't like what I say or write, fine, you have that right to express it. But when you publicly call me, in so many words, a racist and a liar, I'm coming back at you. Now I have no interest in making this personal now that I know who you are, but don't come to my blog, lie and insult me, and expect I'll just take a deep breath and bare it. I WON'T. You conservatives (I've read your stuff) don't like it when normal people fight back. I will, and you've already shown that you can't take it. Now go to work at your two-man techie company and have a nice day!

  10. Now who's the sensitive one, Cash?

    You say I can't take it. WRONG! Once again I laughed out loud at your response. I look forward to your rants - keep it coming. I welcome your insults because all it proves is that you're trying to distract your readers from the fact that you have lost this argument.

    For the record, I NEVER called you a racist or a liar, neither directly, nor in so many words. Like most reporters, you distort and spin the truth to your advantage. You omit details that could paint a different picture. That's not lying.

    In this case, you clearly made a mistake when you wrote that Margiotta did not offer Barber a private meeting until he made a second request. That's clearly not true, you know it, and anyone reading this blog knows it. I posted the link to the dated N&O report that clearly shows you erred.

    Your original blog did not even mention that Barber was offered a private meeting -- that's clearly a distortion of the truth. You wanted to make it seem like Margiotta completely ignored Barber.

    Finally as a reporter, you should want and expect people to respond to your blog. The fact that I am the only one who seems to respond here only proves that you have very little readership. Perhaps its because you distort the truth. Or perhaps its because people have seen that you have little interest in having a constructive dialogue about what is happening in WCPSS.

    I read many blogs and online columns from both liberal and conservative columnists. They all welcome comments and feedback, pro or con. NONE of them take it as personal as you do when someone disagrees with them.

    You're the one that needs to toughen up Cash. As soon as someone criticizes you, you fire back with personal insults. If I did not know any better, I would guess that you were a school-aged cub reporter at a middle school newspaper. Grow a pair!

  11. Jeffrey, you live in your own world where you construct your own 'truths." That's what you Tea party types do. I understand. You assigning a racial agenda to what I write, and telling folks that I deliberately distort things, seems perfectly reasonable to you. It's constructive criticism in your eyes. And I'm supposed to be the good little boy who just grins and bares it.
    Problem is, i'm not a "little boy" - good or otherwise, Jeffrey. I don't mind tough discussions, and I certainly don't mind misunderstandings.
    But I do mind when people come to MY HOUSE, spew lies about me, and then expect that I'll just accept it.
    Tell you what, why not post your address in your next comment, and let me try that right IN YOUR FACE inn front of folks. I suspect you wouldn't like it either.
    My motives for reporting what I do are based on what I know and see. I printed for the world to see what Rev. Barber's missives to Margiotta were. And I proved that margiotta was bound by any policy, and did what he wanted to do on the board DESPITE policy and prior practice. You chose to portray my evidence as untrue. That's calling me a liar in my book. And you stated that I did so for some kind of racial agenda I'm completely unaware of.
    That's the way you see things, and have always seen things, going way back to your old ABC days when I exposed you people for allowing white racists from North Raleigh to post hateful messages on the ABC website, and you did nothing to take them down until I exposed your dumb asses! You were quite comfortable allowing such crap until the light was shined on all of you.
    So Jeffrey, I understand that you still have grudge from the old days. That's understandable. And now you hide behind the cowardly "Howler001" crap and think you have the world won just because the board majority is steering things your way. That's fine.
    But don't think for one damn second that I roll over for the likes of you, because I never have, and NEVER will! You and those who think like you are sick. You think you're smarter than everyone else, and you get very upset when someone tells you to kiss off.
    I didn't create this blog to generate traffic, but rather supplement my faceBook page where i get great responses. I don't have advertising here, and nor am I selling anything, so this is just a personal archive. Folks like to check in to read my latest stories and thoughts. Between my two newspapers, radio shows here in NC and New York, and my video production work, I reach enough people weekly to keep the fires burning.
    So doddling with you serves as a chance to blow off steam and cuss a fool out from time to time, which is both fun and healthy. So when you step into the lion's den with the crap you're selling, yes, you're going to get a truckload from if all you're going to do is call me a liar and racist in MY HOUSE! I don't mind that happening at the N&O's WakeED blog because it's their policy to let it happen. That's their house.
    But on MY blog...MY HOUSE, always fell free to disagree, but NEVER think you can come here and lie about my motives and work with impunity. I will slap your silly ass around!
    Now go take your sick and silly self somewhere else, twerp! You bore me!