05-20-2018  7:14 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

US arrest, raids in Seattle pot probe with China ties

SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. authorities have arrested a Seattle woman, conducted raids and seized thousands of marijuana plants in an investigation into what they say is an international black market marijuana operation financed by Chinese money, a newspaper reported Saturday.Authorities are still...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

A royal wedding bridges the Atlantic and breaks old molds

WINDSOR, England (AP) — The son of British royalty and the daughter of middle-class Americans wed Saturday in a service that reflected Prince Harry's royal heritage, Meghan Markle's biracial roots and the pair's shared commitment to putting a more diverse, modern face on the monarchy.British...

ENTERTAINMENT

Reggie Lucas, who worked with Miles Davis and Madonna, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Reggie Lucas, the Grammy-winning musician who played with Miles Davis in the 1970s and produced the bulk of Madonna's debut album, has died. He was 65.The performer's daughter, Lisa Lucas, told The Associated Press that her father died from complications with his heart early...

Broadcast networks go for milk-and-cookies comfort this fall

NEW YORK (AP) — If provocative, psyche-jangling shows like "The Handmaid's Tale" are your taste, head directly to streaming or cable. But if you're feeling the urge for milk-and-cookies comfort, broadcast television wants to help.The upcoming TV season will bring more sitcom nostalgia in the...

Met says it has evidence Levine abused or harassed 7 people

NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera said in court documents Friday that it found credible evidence that conductor James Levine engaged in sexually abusive or harassing conduct with seven people that included inappropriate touching and demands for sex acts over a 25-year period.The Met...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump Jr. met with Mueller witness during campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump Jr. met during the 2016 campaign with a private military contractor and an...

The Latest: Venezuelans line up to vote in Sunday's election

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela (all times local):9:22...

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a...

Love and fire: Text of Michael Curry's royal wedding address

WINDSOR, England (AP) — And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and...

Episcopal bishop Curry gives royal wedding an American flair

WINDSOR, England (AP) — Nothing quite captured the trans-Atlantic nature of Saturday's royal wedding as...

Markle's bridal gown work of Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller

LONDON (AP) — Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy is the master British designer behind the sleek silk...

President Obama and Valerie Jarrett
Gloria Browne-Marshall

This year began with promise. But, it ended with disappointment for many African-Americans. Tragically, this country is quite used to bad things happening to Black people especially within the justice system.

In January, President Barack Obama began his second term. However, southern White radicals vowed to stop implementation of the Obama-care law leading one to wonder if Tea Party members would oppose affordable healthcare if it came from a nonBlack President.

It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln’s military order, the Emancipation Proclamation, ended slavery in those same rebellious southern States. Then, as the fight for freedom continued race-based criminal laws replaced slave laws.  

In February, Christopher Dorner, African-American, began a killing spree he said was triggered by racism. A well-respected Los Angeles police officer and veteran of the Naval Reserves, Dorner’s Manifesto revealed he was fired after reporting excessive force by LAPD.    

Dorner claimed the abundance of racism he experienced on his job, and at all-White schools he attended, drove him to kill. Dorner allegedly took his own life when trapped by police. Some called Dorner insane others said a modern-day Nat Turner, referring to the leader of a Virginia slave rebellion in 1831. However, the possibility racism was a core issue in this case was disregarded.

Fear of Trayvon Martin, 17, an unarmed African-American teenager led George Zimmerman, 28, a White Latino, to walk free of murder charges. Zimmerman pled self-defense in the shooting death of Martin last year on a rainy night in a Florida subdivision. An all-female jury believed him. Protesters used Trayvon Martin’s hooded sweatshirt and Skittles candy as symbols of racial injustice.

The Zimmerman case highlighted Florida’s Stand Your Ground law which allows fight instead of flight. However, a Florida jury gave Marissa Alexander, African-American, a 20 year sentence for firing a warning shot at her physically abusive husband. However, an appellate court said Alexander must receive a new trial.

Efforts to repeal Stand Your Ground laws around the country and boycott Florida are ongoing. Signs of solidarity with Trayvon Martin were on display at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Hundreds of leaders spoke to thousands who joined in front of the Lincoln Memorial for this anniversary March. Unfortunately, little of substance came from this mass gathering as the Black community followed a predictable path of protest and then silence.

A stunned silence followed the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Shelby County, Alabama, a known violator of the Voting Rights Act. The Court ruled that a preclearance provision within the Act violated the rights of southern States like Alabama. Within hours, Texas and North Carolina passed stricter voting laws.     

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainwright case. In 1963, the Gideon case ruled free attorneys must be provided to indigent defendants in most criminal cases. However, Public Defender programs are underfunded and understaffed.

Defendants languish in jail because they cannot afford bail. Plea bargains have taken the place of jury trials. Too many of these defendants are Black. A criminal record means millions of Americans cannot vote, gain employment, get financial aid, or live in government housing.

New York City’s Stop and Frisk policy led to the humiliating search of millions of African-American men, women, and children. Stop and Frisk is based on a civil rights era case Terry v. Ohio which allows police to pat-down someone if there is reasonable suspicion of imminent danger. However, courts found police engaged in racial profiling.

Like voting rights, the Supreme Court restricted the ability of affirmative action to assist students of color. Cases in Texas and Michigan challenged any use of race in college admissions even when race was only one factor among many.  

An honor student Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was killed in Chicago only days after performing in President Obama’s Inaugural Parade. Like so many Black children lost to urban gun violence, her death was seen as different from the young lives taken at suburban Sandy Hook Elementary School in late 2012.

These childhood tragedies are divided by some artificial line between suburban violence, mass killings, and urban gun violence. If families came together, advocacy against gun violence would be stronger.  

This year ended with two events of note. The first was the passing of Nelson Mandela – World Leader, President, Political Prisoner, Freedom Fighter, Lawyer.  The second one was a membership drive for the Ku Klux Klan in Maryland.

Both events remind a discouraged Black community that the price of freedom is vigilance.     

 

Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, an Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at John Jay College in New York City, is author of “Race, Law, and American Society: 1607 to Present,” and a journalist covering the U.S. Supreme Court, United Nations, and major legal issues. Twitter: @GBrowneMarshall  

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