06-21-2018  6:51 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

Oregon allows rancher to kill a wolf after calves attacked

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon wildlife managers have issued a permit that allows a rancher in Eastern Oregon to kill a wolf after three of his calves were injured by the predators last week.The Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday they confirmed that the calves were hurt by wolves...

Infant found at Seattle encampment in protective custody

SEATTLE (AP) — A 5-month-old infant found at a Seattle homeless encampment is in protective custody as police investigate child neglect.Seattle Police said Thursday on its blog that the child was removed in late May from an unsanctioned homeless encampment where people were reportedly using...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury added federal civil rights and hate crimes violations to the charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis, prosecutors announced Thursday.The new five-count indictment names Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe...

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Koko the gorilla, whose remarkable sign-language ability and motherly attachment to pet cats helped change the world's views about the intelligence of animals and their capacity for empathy, has died at 46.Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

Demi Lovato sings about addiction struggles on 'Sober'

NEW YORK (AP) — Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety in March, but her new song indicates she may no longer be sober.The pop star released "Sober " on YouTube on Thursday, singing lyrics like: "Momma, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore/And daddy please forgive me for the drinks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The Latest: Porter's wait ends, Nuggets take him at No. 14

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Thursday night's NBA draft (all times local):9:10 p.m.Michael Porter Jr....

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsely claims progress on NKorea nukes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is trumpeting results of his summit with North Korean leader Kim...

Suu Kyi says outside hate narratives driving Myanmar tension

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A social media account run by the office of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi quotes...

Merkel pledges 0 million loan for troubled Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a 0 million loan to troubled...

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its...

Peniel E. Joseph the Root

(The Root) -- Hip-hop mogul Shawn Carter, aka Jay Z, and legendary singer and human-rights activist Harry Belafonte have been recently embroiled in a highly publicized dispute over the responsibilities of black icons to the larger African-American community. Belafonte, who has effortlessly wedded a successful international career as a singer, dancer and actor with vocal and important support for civil rights, anti-apartheid and human activism, chastised Jay Z for "turning his back on social responsibility" and included the rapper's wife, Beyoncé, in his public indictment.

Jay Z responded by proclaiming that he felt insulted by Belafonte's remarks and defended himself by characterizing his "presence" as "charity" ennobling the black community. Many commentators, including The Root's Keli Goff, expressed outrage at Jay Z's seeming arrogance and proceeded to list the myriad ways that Carter could, and would, never live up to Belafonte's high standard of social engagement and civic activism promoting racial and economic justice.

Although inelegantly expressed, Jay Z's position that his presence, along with that of President Obama, provides resources for the black community deserves closer examination. Insofar as Obama's watershed presence in American culture promoted a renaissance of interest in race and African-American history in politics, cable news, publishing and universities throughout the nation, Jay Z's point is well-made. Similarly, Shawn Carter's own burgeoning iconography has helped make hip-hop into a global phenomenon and inspired countless black entrepreneurs and artists to follow his example. In many respects, Michael Jordan innovated the model of the apolitical black superstar that subsequent generations in sports and entertainment have adopted. Belafonte has every right, of course, to criticize such a perspective, especially since it flies in the face of the ethos of collective and group empowerment upon which the civil rights and Black Power eras were built.

Jay Z's acknowledgement that he spent two sleepless nights in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict included an admission that America still has residues of past racial discrimination. Beyond this fleeting recognition, however, racism appears as ghosts from the nation's dark past, shadowy apparitions that are not easily recognizable and almost impossible to fight.

This narrative views racism as more of an antiquated series of individual prejudices, pernicious stereotypes and ancient wrongs committed lifetimes ago than a systematic and institutional phenomenon that persists in every facet of American life. When Jay Z points to hip-hop's multicultural audience as providing not just a balm for past racial discrimination but, in fact, a cure, he means it. The shared experiences of a multicultural hip-hop generation represent the culmination of the civil rights movement's search for transcendent racial justice. Although this ignores the most important aspect of contemporary racism -- unequal outcomes -- it's a comforting myth that has been propagated by our "postracial" moment.

Jay Z sees his own wealth and status, along with the election of Barack Obama, as examples of racism's decline. In other words, he mistakes individual achievement for collective advancement. While Jay Z's individual entrepreneurial spirit, musical genius and discipline facilitated his escape from Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Marcy Projects, he doesn't see the value in committing his time, resources and talent in political causes that might help those left behind in America's countless urban and rural ghettoes.

Belafonte's generation grew up believing that the ascendance of black faces in higher places carried less weight and meaning if the entire community could not be uplifted as well.

Jay Z's characterization of Obama's global visibility offers a contrasting perspective. "Whether he does anything, the hope that he provides for a nation, and outside of America, is enough." What this sentiment ignores is the vital connection between individual achievement and collective action that animated black freedom struggles. As a 43-year-old black New Yorker, this makes Shawn Carter an outlier from his own generation, which came of age amid bruising protests for racial justice in the 1980s, an atmosphere that produced a local activist named Al Sharpton and the national presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson.

However, much has changed in the post civil rights era. Whereas a generation of famous black athletes (Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Jim Brown) and entertainers (Sam Cooke, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye) used their prodigious talents to call attention to racism and Jim Crow, their 21st-century counterparts are loath to risk their current and future earning power on anything that smacks of controversy.

Trayvon Martin's stunning death, and the subsequent Zimmerman trial, interrupted this status quo, drawing a diverse range of support from LeBron James, Jay Z and Beyoncé, who rightfully compared Trayvon's death to Emmett Till's.

Belafonte is understandably frustrated, disappointed and angry at this current crop of high-profile entertainers' unwillingness to risk more for the black community. Yet his public criticism of Jay Z, however justified in his mind, brings us no closer to the generational rapprochement that is required to pass the baton from the civil rights generation to the iPhone generation.

Young people, whether Jay Z's generation or millennials, want a dialogue, not a monologue. They enjoy conversation and not being lectured to. If Belafonte ever does get that sit-down with Jay and Bey, hopefully he can start by praising their enormous collective talent and accomplishments, while noting that, at least in his era, their counterparts achieved even greater heights by joining in a movement for human rights and racial justice that tried nothing less than to redeem America's soul.

Peniel E. Joseph is founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and a professor of history at Tufts University. Follow him on Twitter. The center will convene a National Dialogue on Race Day on Sept. 12, 2013, and invites all to join in the conversation. Follow the center on Twitter.

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