North Carolina Newspapers

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Johnson Is An Excellent Choice
By Hoye H. Martin Sr.
Post Executive Editor
Clifton Johnson, Mecklenburg
County’s chief district judge for
nearly four years, was sworn in on
the first day of this month as a
resident superior court judge. Much
fan-fare has been given to this
appointment because Johnson is the
first black to have been named to
such a position in North Carolina
and he’s the first person to receive a
judgeship under Gov. Jim Hunt’s
“new merit selection.”
Considering the tokenism that is
still a part of some affirmative
action and-or equal opportunity pro
grams, Johnson’s historic promotion
could have lost much of its glitter
and the joy with which it has been
received by the people aware of and
concerned with a humane and equi
table criminal justice system.
This did not happen because John
son’s 8 years on the bench have been
a demonstration in ability, efficien
cy and fairness. Judge Johnson
himself has indicated he views his
appointment as primarily a matter
of ability and that in effect he’d
rather have attention focused on his
being possibly one of the “best”
rather than the “first.”
Gov. Hunt’s comments about his
recent judicial appointments, in
cluding Johnson and the first black
on the State Court of Appeals,
indicates a sincere commitment to
having only the "best tor North
Carolina. He has reportedly said,
“I’ve that I believe
see themselves as servants of the
people and that is one of the most
important qualities I’ve been look
ing for in a judge.”
The Governor said further, “the
whole matter of a sense of justice, a
sense of caring about that individual
and making sure he’s treated fairly
yi the system is something I would
Jiave to find in any individual that I
put on the Bench at any point.”
Judge Johnson certainly fits these
qualities, qualities that should have
particular significance for blacks
since the absence of these qualities
within a so-called efficient judicial
system has led to a disproportionate
ly large number of blacks being
convicted and placed in our penal
Yes, we applaud the appointment
of Judge Johnson because he repre
sents much that our criminal justice
system needs. His abilities and
sense of fairness are examples that
should be followed by others, in
whatever profession, who hold the
fate of people in their hands.
Judge Johnson has a right to be
proud of himself and his accomplish
ments and the community should be
proud of him too, because more of us
can now feel tnat justice has moved
another step away from the hollow
meaning that has too often charac
terized the term.
. Justice Eludes The “10”?
During a recent visit to Charlotte
U.S. Attorney Griffin Bell told the
Press his office has an interest in the
Wilmington 10 case. Subsequently, a
Bell assistant met with Gov. Jim
Hunt reportedly requested a pardon
for the “10.” More recently, on
Friday to be exact, Hunt indicated
that he might take some action with
regard to the controversial case by
the Spring of next year. Then
Saturday, the very next day, the
Rev. James Barnett and 17 other
Charlotteans left the City in 28-de
gree weather on a 152-mile walk to
Raleigh seeking to plead the “10”
case before the governor.
Why have these development and
many others - some from foreign
countries - taken place on behalf of
the Wilmington 10? The answer to
this question is that nine black men
and one white woman were convict
ed, some believe unfairly with un
usually long sentences, for unlawful
ly burning a grocery store on Febu
rary 6, 1971, during racial distur
bances in Wilmington. The woman
has since been released on parole.
Specifically, the “10” case has
drawn international attention be
cause of the credibility of the state’s
witnesses, the unusually long sen
tences given to the defendants rang
ing five to 30 years with all the men
getting at least 20 years, and the
allegations that the defendants were
really convicted for political reason.
Add to that the continuing valid
concerns that blacks and some
whites have about the duel system of
criminal justice that still exist in
many parts of America, then you
can understand the uproar about the
“10” case.
Finally, Gov. Hunt’s own response.
to the pressures from civil rights
groups and others who feel that
fairness and justice were absent
when the “10” were tried is being
timed to avoid any possible political
repercussions during his bid for
As one lets these observations
pass through their mind, it is quite
easy to come to the conclusion that
justice in terms of a fair and
unbaised jury trial was not available
to the “10.” Even now, the pressures
being built to rectify this past
injustice is, and we believe will, be
based on the political concerns of
others both at the state and national
level and not on the merits of what
justice is or should be.
Considering this deplorable state
of affairs, The POST believes
strongly that the “10” should be
pardoned or paroled now. In our
opinion the “10” have already suf
fered enough and will carry for a
lifetime the stigma of it all because
justice did not prevail in a nation
and at a time when mankind talks of
human rights, and human kind. Let
justice prevail now.
t if /
Health Care - Illusion Or Reform
uy Bayara Kusun
Special To The Post
President Carter has pro
mised to outline the principles
of a national health insurance
program sometime early next
year. Ordinarily this would be
cause for rejoicing. However,
there is a growing uncertainty
that the administration will
propose an adequate and ac
ceptable program. These dou
bts are particularly disturbing
because national health insu
rance is a long overdue re
form. The goal of making
adequate health care a right
instead of a privilege has been
on the agenda of reform since
the 1930s. Continually frustra
ted by the fierce opposition of
the American Medical Asso
ciation and private insurance
companies, national health in
surance is surely an idea
whose time has come.
Health care is one area
where the American people
are so concerned that there is
substantial support for a new
and major government pro
gram - and with good reason.
Only one-fourth of all personal
health care bills are paid by
health insurance, while less
than one-half of our citizens
are resonably well-protected
against high medical expens
es. Although the United States
spends a much greater per
centage of its national income
on health care than any other
industrialized country, we lag
far behind on most measures
of health. No other aspect of
the cost of living has risen as
fast as hospital and medical
costs in recent years and the
end is not in sight. According
to one recent study, health
costs, under the present sys
tem, will double again in only
five years. Many Americans,
particularly minorities and
the poor, lack adequate access
to medical care. In short, most
Americans are underserved
and overcharged by the pre
sent system of health care.
It is no wonder that people
want something done about
medical care and that they
expect President Carter to do
it. Unfortunately, it is hard to
know how the President will
respond. The administration
still appears to be debating
which fundamental approach
to take towards the health
care issue. There W reason to
be concerned that the admini
stration may be tempted to
propose a weak bill on the
mistaken notion that it is
possible to satisfy both the
supporters of national health
insurance and those who have
always been fundamentally
opposed to the concept. Dur
ing the last decad*. as the.oase
for national health insurance
has become stronger and
clearer, corporate and medi
cal interests have tried to
sidetrack genuine health re
form with dozens of phony
compromises. These so-called
compromises would provide
for no co6t controls, no quality
controls, and total reliance on
the private health insurance
industry. An approach very
similar to these earlier “com
promises” is one of the propo
sals the administration is con
If the Carter administration
retreats from the bold reforms
that are needed it will be
doubly tragic because an ef
fective bill would have an
excellent chance of passing
and because a “compromise”
measure would do little to
solve the problem. The major
factor delaying a national hea
lth insurance program has
been the lack of Presidential
support. There is widespread
public backing for national
health insurance; in one re
cent poll it was favored by
two-thirds. Moreover, the con
cept has strong support in the
Congress and vigorous back
ing from labor, civil rights,
and religious organizations.
On the other hand, a weak bill
would only create the illusion
that something meaningful is
being done, while perpetuat
ing an inadequate and ineffi
cient system and delaying the
task of real reform.
The President may yet de
cide that now is the time to
seek a fundamental reform of
the health care system. If so,
the requirements for a nation
al health insurance program
that meets the needs of the
American people are clear.
The program should be based
upon the principle that health
care is a right for all Ameri
cans and not a privilege for
the few who can afford to pay.
Real reform shouW-'proride
universal coverage, a single
comprehensive standard of
benefits, no financial barriers
to health care, and fair and
equitable financing. It should
create new mechanisms to
finance and organize health
care in the United States. It
would establish incentives to
reform health delivery sys
tems, strong cost and quality
controls, and adminstrative
costs lower than in existing
private insurance programs.
Of the many health insurance
proposals, only one has so far
met these standards: the Ken
nedy-Corman Health Security
Act. This bill, which already
has wide support in the Con
gress, provides a measuring
rod to evaluate the adminis
tration's proposal. As Presi
dent Carter and his advisors
prepare the administration's
program, they should keep in
mind that only a national
health insurance program
based on the approach adopt
ed by the Health Security Act
can provide a real answer to
the medical needs of Ameri
By Vernon E. Jordan Jr. ESS
j Vernon E. Jordan Jr. |
Tax Cut Debated
President Carter is talking about a tax cut next
year. Administration spokesmen have been
floating trial balloons for a tax cut in the range of
$15-25 billion.
Earlier, it looked like any tax cut would be
linked to a broad tax reform package that would
get rid of some of the inequities of the present tax
system. Bfit with Congress tied up with other
important issues, that seems to be on the back
burner now, dead for next year at least.
While cutting taxes is the kind of government
action most people applaud, it is a complex issue#
that deserves careful thought.
There are some powerful reasons for a tax cut.
The first is the sluggish performance of the
economy. Unemployment is still far too high,
business spending oh job-creating plant and
equipment is much too low, and consumer
spending isn’t picking up the slack. So it’s
thought that a tax cut will loosen business and
personal spending, leading to more jobs in the
nritrofa caa!
Another reason is the expected “fiscal drag”
of higher social security taxes, higher energy
prices, and higher taxes paid by people whose
pay raises put them into higher tax brackets,
although their buying power isn’t higher.
The social security payroll tax rise, for
example, is expected to put a $5 billion hole in
people’s pockets in 1978, which means they’ll
have $5 billion less to spend on goods and
services that create jobs.
Without a tax cut to restore the effects of that
“fiscal drag,” economists suggest that the
economy will not only loose what momentum it
has, but will very likely go into a tailspin.
On the other hand, there is a powerful
argument against a tax cut now. Our nation has
vast unmet needs and reducing the resources
available to the government to deal with those
needs will further delay realistic - and costly ~
solutions to. the problems of the cities/the poor
^arid “nployed. jr*/
If re cut, it is argfi!£d, fedef^ ^
spending also may have to be cut. And if the
government chooses to absorb a larger budget
deficit while maintaining present spending
icvcio-, men uie ueiicu nseu Decomes an excuse
for not launching new programs.
Almost as important as whether to cut taxes or
not is the question of which taxes to cut and how.
A cut in the income tax benefits only those who
make enough money to pay taxes; it does
nothing for poor and moderate income workers.
And if it makes sense to relieve taxpayers of
the added burdens of the higher social security
tax, doesn’t it make more sense to partially fund
social security from general revenues instead of
going through the acrobatics of a tax cut that has
the same ultimate result?
Well, not quite the same, since a very large
group of workers will be trapped into bearing a
double burden - they will be paying higher social
security taxes, yet won’t earn enough to really
benefit from a general tax cut. Needless to say
this double bind affects lower income people
most in need of extra cash.
And what kind of tax cut will business get? An
across-the-board cut that increases cash flo^
may just lead to a rash of mergers but few reev
job-creating investments.
Established 1918
Published Every Thursday
By The Charlotte Post Publishing Co., Inc.
2606-B West Blvd.-Charlotte, N.C. 28208
Telephones (704) 392-1306, 392-1307 j
Circulation, 7,185
Bill Johnson.Editor-Publisher
Hoyle H. Martin Sr.Executive Editor
Bernard Reeves.Genera, Manager
Julius Watson ..Circulation Director I
Albert Campbell^.Advertising Director |
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Charlotte, N.C. under the Act of Marcff3,1878
Member National Newspaper Publishers
North Carolina Black Publishers Association
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the property of the Post, and will not be returned.
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asisee ic
Crashing, Not Flying , Bothers Our Columnist
By Gerald O. Johnson
It is no secret that one ot my
favorite traveling modes is the
automobile. Hence, it took no
one by surprise when I acted
like a fool about flying to
Orlando, Florida for a confer
ence recently.
But after ail was said and
done I ended up flying. Note
that I only ended up flying
after I was literally dragged to
the plane by my traveling
companions Don't get me
wrong though, I^am not afraid
of flying. Crashing is what
bothers me.
However. I am an infre
quent flyer. I think I have
traveled by plane 20 times in
my life. I might add that I am
not anxious for my 21st flight
Each time that I fly, once I
get above the clouds I start
seeing angels The host of
angels gather around my win
dow and start singing "Nearer
My God To Thee. " I've always
wondered why I thought like
this since the plane would be
headed towards hell if it
But the funny thing is, when
you fly no one wants you to
know that they are afraid
ttucii you Doara the plane
everybody is so friendly. Even
the bigots act friendly. Every
l'°dy is talking and having a
good time. Then the plane
taxis to the runway. The engi
nes roar, the wings extend,
and like a bat out of hell,
zoom, you are airborne. If you
look around you, all the talk
ing has ceased. Everybody is
pretending to be asleep. As
soon as the plane levels off and
everything appears to be O.K.
there is a mad rush to the
bathroom. The reason for this
is taking off scares the .... out
of you.
Now everybody is gay a
gain; laughing, joking, having
a good time.
All of a sudden you hit an air
pocket. The plane jerks,
jumps, and then sputters. Si
lence enters the cabin again A
few people get up and go back
to the ' John. " Then somebody
lets out a sheepish grin and the
fun starts up again
I think I know how a pair of
• fruit-of-the-loom feels when
it gets washed Hitting an air
pocket must be synonymous
with that.
Anyway, everybody contin
ues to have a good time until
the plane is ready to land
Then- everybody starts yawn
ing and immediately falls off
to sleep Once on the ground
everybody returns to his origi
nal character and starts push
ing and shoving, ignoring and
the works. It is like Dr Jekyll
and Mr Hyde
Your entire flight takes 30
minutes and now you have to
wait an hour for your bag
The most disappointing as
pect of the entire trip has to be
the stewardesses The com
mercials paint such a lovely
picture of the stewardess A
lovely, shapely, creature who
is there to make your trip
more comfortable. Untrue on
both accounts.
On my flights the stewar
desses were frightening. They
looked like casualties of a
plane crash. I mean looking at
those young ladies was enough
to make me want to go to the
1 asked one young lady if I
had to change planes in Atlan
ta after the pilot had just
announced that they would be
continuing on to Los Angeles
from Atlanta. She looked at
me coldly for about a minute
as if to imply "no fool, you can
stay on and go to L A.” And
then she shook her head in the
Seriously though folks, there
is probably no safer and no
more efficient mode of trans
portation than flying com
mercially If you think about it
for awhile you will soon rea
lize like I did that the fears are
based on limited exposure
We know about automobiles
because practically everyone
owns and operates one But
only a limited few get a
chance to travel by plane.
Consequently, our fears are
more lack of knowledge than
For example, deaths caused
bv automobile accidents far
exceed those deaths caused
by commercial airplane cras
Only well qualified people
are licensed to fly airplanes,
whereas any and every fool
can and does operate automo
Automobile mechanics are
for the most part improperly
trained. Most learn from ex
perience with no formal train
ing. Commercial airplane me
chanics must go through for
mal training before they are
allowed to work on airplanes.
Moreover, airplanes are us
ually checked out on a daily
basis to ensure that the ma
chine is operating properly. It
is probably true that every
automobile on the road has a
mechanical flaw in it. Most
people will not bother to have ■
their cars checked yearly, let
alone daily.
Furthermore, automobile
engineering is not as sophis
ticated a discipline as aerial
engineering The reason is a
lot ot money has been poured
into the aero-space program
and the research findings are
directly applicable to com
mercial flying Hence, the
most modern equipment is
currently being used by air
Last, but not least, is the
density problem. There are
many, many, many more cars
on the roads than there are
planes in the air. Consequent
ly. there is much greater
chance of accidents occurring
on the ground than in the air.
So you see, if you can afford
to fly - then fly. Your chances
in the air are far better than
your chances are on the road
Fear is not a rational excuse
for not flying.
After all of this if you still
aren’t convinced that you
should fly then I Just hope I
happen to be going your way
when you crank up for your
next trip
___ Rock Easy!
Keep your out-of-town
Friends informed on what’s
happening in Charlotte by
sending them a copy of the
Charlotte Post each week The
cost is only fio per year.

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