05-20-2018  6:39 pm      •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

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 ...

The Latest: Cougar that attacked cyclists was underweight

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a cougar attack that killed one mountain biker and wounded another outside Seattle (all times local):4:10 p.m.Authorities say the cougar that attacked two cyclists east of Seattle, killing one of them, appears to have been emaciated.Washington Department of Fish...

Portland jury issues million verdict against landlord

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has ordered a rental-property company to pay more than million after a man fell through a rotting walkway at his Portland apartment complex.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Robert Trebelhorn argued that Los Angeles-based Prime Group, which owns the...

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle.They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and...

The Latest: Cougar that attacked cyclists was underweight

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a cougar attack that killed one mountain biker and wounded another outside Seattle (all times local):4:10 p.m.Authorities say the cougar that attacked two cyclists east of Seattle, killing one of them, appears to have been emaciated.Washington Department of Fish...

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

Principal apologizes for 'insensitive' prom tickets language

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) — The principal of a New Jersey high school has apologized for what he called "insensitive" language on tickets for the upcoming senior prom.The Courier Post reported the Cherry Hill High School East senior prom tickets urged students to "party like it's 1776" during...

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...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Jurassic Park' dinosaur expert's next big thing: holograms

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the "Jurassic Park" movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster's comb.Horner,...

Kelly Clarkson honors school victims at Billboard Awards

An emotional Kelly Clarkson opened the 2018 Billboard Music Awards in tribute to the recent school children and teachers who died in Texas, barely able to speak as she urged the audience and the world to do more to prevent deadly shootings from happening.Clarkson, who is hosting the show, said she...

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend reveal name of newborn son

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chrissy Teigen and John Legend now have a baby boy to go with their toddler girl.The 32-year-old model and 39-year-old singer, whose real name is John Roger Stephens, introduced Miles Theodore Stephens to the world on Sunday.Teigen had been hinting to her millions of...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

In North Korea nuke site closing, spectacle trumps substance

TOKYO (AP) — Foreign journalists will be allowed to journey deep into the mountains of North Korea this...

Venezuela keeps voting stations open amid light turnout

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Voting centers across Venezuela's capital appeared largely empty during Sunday's...

Police response to Texas school shooting remains unclear

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Santa Fe High School had conducted active shooter drills, armed police officers...

Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A Sherpa climbing guide who scaled Mount Everest for a record 22nd time last week...

Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday revealed his latest picks to be cardinals in the Catholic...

Britain basks in royal wedding afterglow; grave gets bouquet

LONDON (AP) — Unwilling to kiss Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding goodbye just yet, Britain basked...

RFA protest in Indiana
Lee A. Daniels NNPA Columnist

Pity the poor, put-upon anti-gay bigots.

Worried by recent steady march of federal court decisions advancing the right of gays and lesbians to marry, they tried to copy the Supreme Court majority’s flim-flam maneuver of last year in the Hobby Lobby case: By asserting a business is a “person,” they intended to enable business owners to discriminate against gay and lesbian prospective customers, and anyone else under the cover of “religious belief.”

The blowback from corporate giants, religious denominations, cities and states, associations and organizations, and prominent entertainment and literary figures produced a thunderous roar succinctly expressed by the headline of the March 31 front-page editorial of the Indianapolis Star newspaper. In huge letters, it blared: “Fix This Now”

Suddenly, faced with the likelihood of devastating economic boycotts, the two states’ governors and state legislatures quickly complied. By week’s end last week they had amended those particular so-called religious freedom restoration laws to declare they couldn’t be used to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. (However, neither did either legislature enact specific statutes barring discrimination against, gays, lesbians and transgendered people.)

But no one on the right side of history should think this ends the anti-gay rights campaign. Nor should they forget this episode’s lessons.

For one thing, it’s underscored the true purpose of these “religious freedom” laws, which now exist in 19 other states and are being considered in an additional 14. That purpose, with the U.S. Supreme Court set to rule on same-sex marriage by this June, is to provide the anti-gay forces a means of escaping compliance with the seemingly inevitable affirmation of same-sex marriage by the federal judiciary.

Secondly, these wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing laws offer further proof that the GOP down to its very roots in state and local communities has devolved from a political party ruled by the old traditions of give-and-take politics crucial to the functioning of a democratic society. It’s become one driven by an unceasing winner-take-all attitude that’s only barely concealed beneath a thin veneer of ultra-conservative religious dogma.

Further, we should remember that the justifications for these laws are classic examples of the “hustle” used to pretend bigotry is not bigotry: those who want to discriminate against a particular group claim it’s that group, backed by “the government” who are “victimizing” them.

So, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence could assert, shortly after he signed the original state law, that “many feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action” in forcing them to accept gays and lesbians as customers of their businesses.

One doesn’t have to be that well-versed in the Southern massive-resistance campaign against the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s to note the tawdry similarity: That region’s politicians also vociferously claimed that they were defending white citizens’ against attack by the federal government. And, as numerous other commentators have noted, many Southern Christians cited Biblical passages to justify their racism.

The rationales for today’s anti-gay laws are just as despicable. Their advocates claim they’re needed because, as Eric Miller, executive director of the conservative group Advance America, said they could help Christian bakers, florists and photographers avoid punishment for “refusing to participate in a homosexual marriage.”

Got that? Miller contends that any business owner who sells an item to or performs a service for a customer thereby becomes a “participant,” and “involved” in whatever it is the customer proceeds to do with the item. If you think that’s silly, look up some of the segregationists’ rationales for all the grand and petty laws of Jim Crow for further proof that bigotry is impervious to logic

The historian Jarret Ruminski ended his recent column on this latest effort to cloak intolerance in law with these words: “If I wanted to argue from a religious standpoint, I’d point out that rabid anti-gay stances conflict with Jesus’ injunctions to ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ And to ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged.’ Finally,” he wrote, “if I wanted to argue from the standpoint of basic human decency, I’d argue that love is always better than hate, and that hate shrouded under the banner of good intentions and blind moral absolutism is especially devious.”

 

Lee A. Daniels is a longtime journalist based in New York City. His essay, “Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Great Provocateur,” appears in "Africa’s Peacemakers: Nobel Peace Laureates of African Descent" (2014), published by Zed Books. His new collection of columns, "Race Forward: Facing America’s Racial Divide in 2014", is available at www.amazon.com

Oregon Lottery
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Report

repulsing the monkey