12-13-2017  8:59 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

Top 10 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Dr. Jasmine Streeter explains why pampering pets with holiday treats can be dangerous (and pricey) ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Benjamin Todd Jealous President and Ceo NAACP

It's a night I will never forget.

I was in college, celebrating a friend's 21st birthday. A round of toasts went up. Someone poured libations in memory of all our friends who had been killed or sent to prison. Then, a friend rose to toast one more of us surviving to the age of 21.

The notion that life had reduced my friend to believing it an accomplishment for one of us to merely breathe past 21 sent me reeling.

Our generation of black Americans was supposed to be the first not to be judged by our race or the color of our skin. Instead, we had come of age to find ourselves the most incarcerated on the planet and most murdered in the country.

"Grandma," I would ask days later, still searching for understanding: "What happened? How did things turn out like this?"

Her response was the crux of my speech to the 104th NAACP convention yesterday. She leaned in and spoke softly: "It's sad but it's simple: We got what we fought for, but we lost what we had."

Those words echo in my mind whenever I think about Trayvon Martin, and it's why I once again ask for your signature in his memory.

We are nearing one million supporters of our petition urging the Department of Justice to file federal charges, including civil rights charges, against George Zimmerman. Add your name today.

In my speech I reminded those in attendance to keep pushing forward, but to always take stock of what we have and not let it slip away. Because we won the right to send our kids to any school, but lost the right to assume they would be welcomed and loved in any school they went to. We won the right to be police officers, but lost the right to assume we would be safe in our communities.

Now, we must end the plague of gun violence, because 21st birthdays should be celebrations of life, not of escaping death.

And we fight to roll back "stand your ground" laws and pass powerful anti-racial profiling ordinances, and do whatever we must to finally end the wars that are killing so many children in our neighborhoods.

And we never stop fighting for justice for Trayvon. Your signature is but one voice, and one alone may not be noticed. But if the voices of hundreds, of thousands, of millions join together and speak as one, my friends, that cannot be ignored.

For Trayvon, and for all children who don't make it to their 21st birthday, help us reach one million signatures. Sign today. Help us send a clear message to the Department of Justice:

https://donate.naacp.org/one-million-signatures

Thank you,

Ben

Benjamin Todd Jealous

President and CEO

NAACP

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