05-23-2018  3:36 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

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 ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Tanker spills 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt near Cle Elum

CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a tanker rolled spilling about 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt as it was taking an exit off Interstate 90 near Cle Elum.KOMO-TV reports the incident happened Wednesday when the tanker took the exit and went off the shoulder.The Washington State Patrol...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and others have pledged more than 0,000 toward repealing Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers.The Seattle City Council on May 14 unanimously passed the so-called head tax that will charge businesses making at least million in gross...

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

Video of Bucks guard's arrest in Milwaukee to be released

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police are poised to release body camera footage Wednesday from the officers who used a stun gun on NBA Bucks guard Sterling Brown during a January arrest.The release comes as city officials who've viewed the videos have expressed concern about how officers...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Good Morning America' to expand; 'The Chew' canceled

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC's "Good Morning America" is expanding to a third hour — and swallowing "The Chew" to make room.The network said Wednesday the new third hour will air at 1 p.m. Eastern, which is often the spot for the cooking show. "GMA" starts at 7 a.m."The Chew" has aired for...

Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

BE MINE: Maker of candy hearts, Necco Wafers sold at auction

BOSTON (AP) — The bankrupt 171-year-old candy maker known for its chalky Necco Wafers and those little...

Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Some of the boxes stacked inside anthropologist Molly Zuckerman's laboratory...

Stand or stay out of sight: NFL takes on anthem protesters

ATLANTA (AP) — NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at quelling the firestorm over national...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

2 patients who fled Ebola ward among the dead in Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Two infected patients who fled from an Ebola treatment center in a Congo city of 1.2...

Summits give aged North Korean spies hope of returning home

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington
By Walter Smith, publisher New York Beacon

In this March 3, 2015, file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, listen. Relations between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans have hit a new low. There has been little direct communication between Obama and the GOP leadership on Capitol Hill since Republicans took full control of Congress in January. Obama has threatened to veto more than a dozen Republican-backed bills. And Boehner infuriated the White House by inviting Netanyahu to address Congress without consulting the administration first. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Those of you who will not stand with our first African American president only need to read the letter below and realize that criticizing and opposing him is a mistake. On the night of his election in 2008, several Republican Senators met in a restaurant in Washington DC and plotted to ensure that he would serve one term in office. After the second election, they vowed not to cooperate with anything he proposes. “If he’s for it, we’re against it.” The public be damned!

Before we explore why you should cease to criticize and oppose, let’s look at some of the events that led up to his winning the presidency.

Let’s start with Freedom’s Journal, the first Black newspaper printed in the United States. That newspaper was founded to negate the negative characterization of African Americans by certain bigoted media in New York City.

Black folk have endured much in their efforts to gain social, economic and political equality in America, witnessed by the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma Alabama in March of 1965. John Lewis, born in Alabama, at the age of 25 was beaten within an inch of his life on that day as he led the march across that bridge, but he didn’t give up, and in 1987 became the US representative from Georgia.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Jimmy Lee Jackson, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, along with many others, sacrificed their lives in their quest for human rights opposed by bigots and brutal police. However Dr. King had a dream. He didn’t mention it in his famous speech, but I’m sure he was dreaming of seeing a Black man in the White House.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, revered by some, hated by others, has been a devoted civil rights advocate for Black people most of his life, beginning in 1963 when Bishop Fredrick Douglass Washington ordained him a licensed minister. Sharpton was 9 years old at the time. However he had been preaching and touring with Mahalia Jackson since the age of 4.

Sharpton is praised for "his ability and willingness to defy the power structure, and as one who is willing to face the enemy without reservation or fear.” Mentored by some of New York’s prominent ministers, Bishop F D Washington and Dr. William A Jones, Al Sharpton continues to be an advocate for voting rights. Dr. Jones’ motto was "We have our finger on all the Black churches in this country. Just imagine 12,000 Black churches saying, 'Go out and vote.' We could change the nation and change the world." Al Sharpton has followed the mandates given him by Bishop Washington and Rev. Jones, “Be an advocate for your people.”

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, another target of Black criticism, has a peppered past in his growth from a boy in Greenville, SC, to his run for president of the United States in 1984 and 1988. Rev. Jackson set the standard for Black candidates running for national office. His contribution to the growth of African Americans in the political and social arena is immeasurable.

During the civil rights struggles in the second half of the 19th century, brave U. S. citizens both Black and White joined hands to face vicious dogs, racist citizens and police, fire bombs and gunfire to gain recognition of the rights of African American citizens.

These men and these struggles, these brave citizens, continued their quest for our civil rights right up to the day they were privileged to vote for Barack Obama for president of the United States. These are just a few of the brave warriors who have put themselves in harm’s way while shaping the road to the Obama presidency.

President Barack Obama has many distractions and opposition from the Republican Party--Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump and Fox News talk show hosts. He has been demonized, criticized, disrespected, ignored and undermined. Barack Obama holds the distinction of being the most disrespected president in the history of the country. Rep. Joe Wilson shouts, "You lie!" after President Obama denies the health plan would cover illegal immigrants. Donald Trump questions his citizenship, Rudy Giuliani says he is not one of us. John Boehner invites Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress to criticize our president’s negotiations with Iran on nuclear weapons. The president was not consulted about the invitation. This was a political move orchestrated by Boehner and Netanyahu to create animosity against Barack Obama with the Jewish community in the US and to promote Netanyahu’s political career in Israel. There is no precedent for the disrespect that has been shown to the country’s first Black president.

When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, the world rejoiced. Foreigners danced in the streets. Tears filled the eyes of those warriors who had endured the batons of brutal police, the dogs, fire hoses, the jails, the “white only” restaurants and the evils of the KKK and Jim Crow.

If you have been a vocal critic of our president, please reconsider. He is the first, and may be the last in our lifetime. He is the end product of our struggles over the past 400 years for racial justice and equality. The Republican Party is committed to oppose his efforts and to distort his image and accomplishments. Fortunately, our president is a shrewd politician who possesses a high degree of intelligence and can hold his own against the bigots he encounters in the halls of Congress. We have the responsibility to hold him up and to support his efforts.

Tom Cotton, the freshman senator from Arkansas, ran for the senate on the following mantra:

“Tom Cotton is the conservative leader we need in the U.S. Senate to help us take back America.”

Take back America from whom? The Congress of the United States is composed of 535 members--43 are Black. There are no Black governors. He obviously objects to having a Black Commander in Chief. In his view there are 43 too many Blacks in Congress and one too many Black presidents.

Tom Cotton is the author of the following letter:

An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution — the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices — which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.

First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.

Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics.

For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then — perhaps decades.

What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.

We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.

Sincerely,

Senator Tom Cotton, R-AR (and 46 Republican co-signers)

Of course it is obvious none of the Republican signers did any homework on this letter, because it is flawed, and, in my opinion, violates the Logan Act of 1799. The agreement now being negotiated with Iran does not need ratification by the U.S. Senate to become law. They don’t seem to be able to distinguish between an Agreement and a Treaty.

Congressional-executive agreements are made by the President and Congress. A majority of both houses makes it binding much like regular legislation after it is signed by the President. The constitution does not expressly state that these agreements are allowed, and some constitutional scholars think they are unconstitutional. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld their validity.

Sole executive agreements are made by the president alone.

Treaties are formal written agreements specified by the Treaty Clause of the Constitution. The President makes a treaty with foreign powers, but then the proposed treaty must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Senate.

These 47 Republicans are blinded with racism and political ambition and are giving no thought to the damage that can occur as a result of their actions. They are focusing on making Obama fail instead of acting in the best interest of national security. The Department of Justice should take a look at this activity as well as Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu to see if the Logan Act was violated.

The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 30 January 1799, currently codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953) is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years.

The Act was intended to prohibit unauthorized United States citizens from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments.

Let’s stand with our president and support him throughout his last years in office.

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