06-23-2018  6:24 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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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 ...

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Wildfire near Maupin more than doubles in size

MAUPIN, Ore. (AP) — A wildfire burning brush and grass near Maupin in north-central Oregon has more than doubled in size to 36 square miles (93 square kilometers).Fire officials say Saturday's efforts will include the use of helicopters to protect Maupin.The wind-driven wildfire is mostly...

Alaska city honors Guardsmen killed in crash after '64 quake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A month after the second most powerful earthquake ever was recorded, the Alaska port community of Valdez remained in ruins.A hulking Alaska National Guard cargo plane's mission April 25, 1964, was to deliver Gov. William Egan to oversee efforts to rebuild the town on...

The Latest: Alaska city unveils memorial to fallen Guardsmen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on an Alaska city honoring Guardsmen killed in crash after 1964 earthquake (all times local):1:40 p.m.Four men who died on a humanitarian mission to help rebuild an Alaska town following the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded have been honored...


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 ...


Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface.Criticism was swift on...

Chaos on the border inflames GOP's split with Latinos

When more than 1,000 Latino officials __ a crop of up-and-coming representatives from a fast-growing demographic __ gathered in Phoenix last week, no one from the Trump administration was there to greet them.It marked the first time a presidential administration skipped the annual conference of the...


Give up after scandals? Television history shows otherwise

NEW YORK (AP) — Say this about TV creators in 2018 — they don't give up easily.Three current shows — "Roseanne," ''Transparent" and "House of Cards" — have been crippled by scandal, but each plans to continue without their disgraced stars."The bottom line is...

Ornate NYC theater, used for years as a gym, to be restored

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Long Island University's basketball team played in a French Baroque movie palace in downtown Brooklyn.The gilded wall fountains, plastered statuettes and towering, one-of-a-kind Wurlitzer organ pipes of the historic Paramount Theater were preserved by the...

Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder and drummer of metal band Pantera, has died at 54.Pantera's official Facebook page posted a statement early Saturday announcing his death. The label of Hellyeah, his most recent group, confirmed the death but neither statement mentioned Paul's cause of death.His real name...


AP PHOTOS: Germany salvages campaign on Day 10 of World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — Germany midfielder Toni Kroos scored a dramatic late winner to come from behind and beat...

1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A thwarted attempt to hurl a grenade at Ethiopia's reformist new prime...

Sanders says she was told to leave Virginia restaurant

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was booted from a Virginia restaurant...

Stars flock to the Dior debut of Kim Jones at Paris menswear

PARIS (AP) — In a week marked by big debuts, it was designer Kim Jones' turn at Dior Men on Saturday.The...

US moves 100 coffins to inter-Korean border for war remains

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. military said it moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to...

1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A thwarted attempt to hurl a grenade at Ethiopia's reformist new prime...

Elisabeth Stevens

It was a time of terror and trouble. In the years before and after the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of August 28, 1963, there were repeated and widespread acts of violence. In Birmingham, Alabama, earlier that summer, four young black girls died in a church bombing. Near Philadelphia, Mississippi, less than a year later, three Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) civil rights workers: Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman were murdered and buried in an earthen dam.

Nevertheless, on that hot summer day fifty years ago, an estimated 250,000 people came to Washington peacefully from all over America. They gathered downtown in the long Mall between the Capitol and the Potomac River. Around the spire of the Washington Monument, beneath the spreading trees, beside the long, quiet reflecting pool, and as close as they could get to the great, marble-columned memorial containing the statue of Abraham Lincoln, they waited.

It was there, at the broad white steps of the Lincoln Memorial that the leaders of the March had gathered. Among them were A. Philip Randolph, director of the March and founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Roy Wilkins – leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Rabbi Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Council, a Berlin rabbi of the Hitler era, and Walter Reuther leader of the United Automobile Workers. (UAW).

One by one, leaders exhorted the listening crowd. Randolph described the gathering as "the largest demonstration in the history of this nation." Reuther pictured the March as a "great crusade to mobilize the moral conscience of America."

Rabbi Prinz warned, "bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problems," but that "the most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most tragic problem is silence." Recalling Nazi Germany, he added: "A great people, which had created a great civilization, had become a nation of silent onlookers. They remained silent in the face of hate, in the face of brutality, in the face of mass murder. America must not become a nation of silent onlookers...."

Before and between the speeches there was music. Marian Anderson sang. Mahalia Jackson sang. Finally, it was time for Dr. Martin Luther King to present his historic dream speech.

Beginning by describing the gathering as "the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation," Dr. King went on to warn against "drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred." He also warned against allowing "our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence." Instead, he advised "meeting physical force with soul force."

Finally, with his words resonating among the multitudes like great waves of light, Dr. King intoned: "I have a dream.... I have a dream.... I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream...."

In the fifty years that have followed that march, Dr. King's words have echoed everywhere and inspired multitudes. Today, senior citizens who came to the march still remember. One retired octogenarian now living in Florida insists: "It was one of the most important experiences of my life."

But beyond dreams, what is the reality? What can and should be celebrated by the Fiftieth Anniversary March on Washington on August 28, 2013?

On the Mall, not far from the Lincoln Memorial, there is a much-visited granite memorial to Dr. King dedicated in 2011. Yet elsewhere, in places such as Stamford, Florida, and Chicago, Illinois, violence continues. The tragic killings of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Stamford and of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendelton in Chicago engender painful questions.

How can the "soul force" Dr. King recommended as an alternative to "physical violence" be engendered, employed, promoted? If there are answers, who has them?

Amidst contemporary pain and confusion, the dreams of Dr. King linger and inspire. To have a dream and work for it may be the only answer.


Elisabeth Stevens is the author of Ride a Bright and Shining Pony, the story of two young lovers whose lives and destinies are irrevocably and tragically intertwined with the 1963 March on Washington.


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