05-25-2018  12:00 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

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

'Smart' gadgets: Ways to minimize privacy and security risks

NEW YORK (AP) — Revelations that an Amazon Echo smart speaker inadvertently sent a family's private conversation to an acquaintance shows the risks that come with new technologies.According to Amazon, the Echo's Alexa voice assistant misheard a word as "Alexa" — a trigger to activate...

The Latest: 3 injured in hit-and-crash in downtown Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on hit-and-crash in Portland, Oregon (all times local):11:20 a.m.Police say three women have been injured in a hit-and-run crash near Portland State University.Portland police Sgt. Chris Burley say the vehicle hit the women while they were on a sidewalk...

'Smart' gadgets: Ways to minimize privacy and security risks

NEW YORK (AP) — Revelations that an Amazon Echo smart speaker inadvertently sent a family's private conversation to an acquaintance shows the risks that come with new technologies.According to Amazon, the Echo's Alexa voice assistant misheard a word as "Alexa" — a trigger to activate...

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Nkechi Diallo, known as Rachel Dolezal before she legally changed her name in 2016, was charged this week...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Nkechi Diallo, known as Rachel Dolezal before she legally changed her name in 2016, was charged this week...

Students hand back in yearbook after racial slur is pictured

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Students at a coastal Georgia high school are being asked to hand back in their yearbooks after a racial slur made for some bad memories.The Savannah-Chatham County school district tells news outlets that the publisher has recalled the Windsor Forest High School yearbook...

Column: Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being black

Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being an unrepentant black man who beat up white men for a living.High-flying and flamboyant, he refused to live by the unwritten rules of American society in the early 1900s. That made him a target, and that eventually cost him his freedom after being convicted of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Famed chef Mario Batali's Vegas Strip restaurants will close

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mario Batali's three Las Vegas Strip restaurants will shut down July 27, officials said Friday, as the celebrity chef faces sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women.Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group partner Joe Bastianich sent a letter to nearly 300 workers...

The Latest: Weinstein takes books on theater, film to arrest

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the sexual misconduct probe of film producer Harvey Weinstein (all times local):11:40 a.m.Harvey Weinstein was in and out of custody so quickly in his rape case, he probably didn't have time to read the books he brought with him.The film mogul carried three...

Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

NEW YORK (AP) — It was the moment the #MeToo movement had been waiting for: Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs.His face pulled in a strained smile and his hands locked behind his back, the once-powerful Hollywood figure emerged from a police station Friday facing rape and criminal sex act...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

For CEOs, .7 million a year is just middle of the pack

NEW YORK (AP) — Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year,...

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed...

Police: Suspected restaurant gunman had no criminal record

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The man suspected of shooting three people inside an Oklahoma City restaurant before...

Putin says US exit from Iran deal could trigger instability

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday that the U.S. exit from the...

Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

TORONTO (AP) — An explosion caused by a homemade bomb ripped through an Indian restaurant where children...

Netherlands, Australia hold Russia liable for downing MH17

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A day after international prosecutors said they had unequivocal evidence of...

The Rev. Byron Williams

I was sitting at my computer when a friend emailed the news that Rosa Parks had passed. When I reacted, my 10-year-old son Malik asked if something was wrong.

After explaining the reason for my reaction, he asked: "You mean the lady who wouldn't give up her seat?" At his young age, he may have captured the life of Rosa Parks with an uncomplicated rhetorical question.

Rosa Parks was the midwife who delivered the Civil Rights Movement to the nation's conscience. In doing so, her simple act of defiance became the springboard for civil disobedience that has been replicated around the world.

Opposition to the war in Vietnam, the women's movement, anti-Apartheid efforts and Tiananmen Square can trace their defiance back to that historic evening of Dec. 1, 1955.

But to describe, as I have, Parks' actions as "simple" is to view her actions through the luxury of hindsight and ignorance.

Her act of defiance was anything but simple. She put her life in jeopardy. Beyond the Jim Crow laws, southern Whites were not duty bound to affirm the humanity of any Negro.

By sitting down, Parks stood up for American democracy in ways that not even the President of the United States or Congress was prepared to do at that time.

Parks has understandably received commemorations befitting her national-treasure status. Her passing has sparked commentary of adoration from conservatives and liberals alike.

Since her death, this former recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom has perhaps received every commemoration from this country except the one that matters most — replication of her actions.

Imagine if today's Democratic Party had followed Parks' lead these past four-plus years? They would have spent more time asking tough questions, providing the country with a clear choice. They would have focused more on demonstrating their patriotism than pontificating about it by matching slogans with the opposition party.

If Republicans had been inspired by Parks, would conservatism be as reckless and undisciplined as it currently stands? Would the deficit be as large? Would right-wing religious zealots have so much influence over the president's judicial nomination process?

Suppose we the people took Parks' action seriously? I doubt that a majority of the Americans would have allowed fear to overcome pragmatism.

Without the burden of fear, would we would have stood for the USA PATRIOT Act, the bankruptcy legislation, tax cuts ad nauseam, runaway deficits or a preemptive war complete with flawed intelligence?

If we had removed fear as our primary motivator, we would not have needed Hurricane Katrina to realize that we are as vulnerable as we were on Sept. 11.

To have followed in Parks' footsteps is to live with the possibility of giving something up. Parks' gallant actions cost her and her husband employment in Montgomery Ala., causing them to emigrate to Detroit.

This country has required sacrifice from two groups: the poor and members of the armed forces and their families. The only thing that elected officials in both parties, with few exceptions, have sacrificed is courage.

As Martin Luther King Jr. recalls in his book, "Stride Toward Freedom," to understand Parks' actions is to realize "that eventually the cup of endurance runs over and human personality cries out: 'I can't take it any longer.' "

The moment that we reach that threshold is when we begin to follow the path blazed by "the lady who wouldn't give up her seat."

The Rev. Byron Williams is pastor of Resurrection Community Church in Oakland, Calif.

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