LOS ANGELES--Alejandro "Bird" Martinez and a crew of fellow gangbangers were joyriding in a stolen van when they came upon a Black man parking his car -- and decided to kill him.
Three of them riddled Kenneth Kurry Wilson and his Cadillac with bullets from a .357-caliber revolver and a 9 mm semiautomatic and blasts from a 12-gauge shotgun.
This month, Martinez and three other members of the Avenues, a Hispanic gang entrenched in one Los Angeles neighborhood, were convicted of federal hate crimes usually tagged on white supremacists.
Although the slaying was seven years ago, the verdict this month was one in a series of reminders that racially motivated Black and Hispanic gang violence is still a Los Angeles reality.
In the annals of African American journalism, few names are as revered as that of A. Philip Randolph. His publication, The Messenger, set the standard for the unflinching, incisive character that is the hallmark of the Black press.
That's why it's such an honor for The Skanner to receive an award in Randolph's name.
The Skanner has been named the recipient of a first-place A. Philip Randolph Messenger Award in the Responsibility category for Helen Silvis' article, "Group Offers to Help Desperate Parents," published in the March 9, 2005 edition of The Portland Skanner. Ms. Silvis' story details the efforts of Parents Anonymous, an organization dedicated to aiding families who have been ravaged by addiction.
Look around any public school classroom and you'll see something that cuts across lines of race, class and creed — boys growing up with absent fathers. All too often, the lack of a strong male influence can lead such boys into drugs, crime and lack of educational achievement.
But it doesn't have to be that way, said J.W. Doncan, a Jefferson High School language arts instructor and the author of Fatherless Boys and Mothers on Their Own (Authorhouse paperback, $9.80).
"Across the board, boys are having difficulties," Doncan said, "because maybe our society nurtures boys and men to move away from familial responsibilities."
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has settled a sexual and racial harassment lawsuit against U.S. Bakery Inc., which operates Franz Bakery, after a federal judge ruled that the company was responsible for sexual and racial harassment.
The commission settled its lawsuit on behalf of four women — three White and one African American — through a consent decree that gives the commission monitoring power over the local employer for three years and court enforcement if necessary. The women resolved their individual claims through separate, confidential agreements with U.S. Bakery.
Better known as Franz Bakery, the company is the largest family-owned bakery west of the Mississippi River and serves grocery, restaurant, food service and institutional customers in Oregon, Washington, Northern California and parts of Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
All of the women were in their 30s and 40s at the time of the sexual and racial harassment. Three of the women worked on the production floor of the bakery, while the fourth worked in the office.