05-23-2018  3:49 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

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 ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Milwaukee chief apologizes for arrest of Bucks guard Brown

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized to Bucks guard Sterling Brown on Wednesday for officers' actions during a January arrest that included use of a stun gun, and said some officers had been disciplined.Morales' apology came as the department was set to release...

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

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...

Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein targeted by federal prosecutors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's lawyer said in a court filing that federal prosecutors in New York have launched a criminal investigation into the film producer, in addition to a previously disclosed probe by the Manhattan District Attorney.Attorney Benjamin Brafman said in 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...

By The Skanner News

PARIS—In one case, the catalyst was Hurricane Katrina; in the other, a freak electrocution accident in a Paris suburb.

What followed — drownings and dislocation in the United States, riots across France — has forced each nation to confront problems of racism and poverty that are deeply entrenched but usually ignored.

The parallel soul-searching is taking place in two countries where politicians and pundits have long delighted in mocking the other's perceived hypocrisies and flaws.

"I'm not sure you can say that one country's system is better or worse than the other — neither works very well," said Dominique Moisi of the French Institute of International Relations.

"Each government waits for the problems to occur in order to address them, and their first reaction is slow and inadequate."


 The devastation wreaked by Katrina in New Orleans took a disproportionate toll on low-income Blacks, with hundreds drowning and tens of thousands losing their homes to flooding in low-lying neighborhoods.

In France, the deaths of two Muslim youths hiding from police in an electricity substation triggered rioting nationwide in bleak, immigrant-filled suburban housing projects where joblessness and alienation are endemic.

"After Katrina, many French took an undisguised glee in poking the eyes of the Americans. ... They said this couldn't happen in France," said Steven Ekovich, a political science professor at the American University of Paris.

"Now, the French are just stunned, groping to make sense out of what's happening around them. It's very difficult to admit they have a race riot, but that's what it is."

Experts from both countries said the United States, with its painful history of slavery and segregation, has been more willing than France to acknowledge and address racial tensions.

"In France, issues of discrimination were not supposed to arise," said Francois Heisbourg, a leading French foreign policy analyst. "Officially, we're all equal. It's politically incorrect to say otherwise."

The principle of equality has such weight in France that authorities generally do not collect racial or ethnic demographic data and have shunned U.S.-style affirmative action programs.

"Affirmative action in the U.S. at least recognizes that racism exists, that problems are linked to color," said Dominic Thomas, who grew up in France and now teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles. "The French talk about how they're indivisible, but they end up with unrepresentative government."

More so than the United States, France has failed to propel significant numbers of its racial minorities to top-rung positions in government, business or the media.

"In America, one can talk about a sizable Black middle class, about influential African-Americans in Congress, the corporate world, Hollywood, in ways you don't see with Muslims in France," said Charles Kupchan, director of Europe studies at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

"There may be racism in the United States, but nobody would say an African-American is not an American," Kupchan added. "Muslims in France find themselves feeling like second-class citizens — not really part of the French nation."

Catherine Durandin, a Paris-based expert on trans-Atlantic relations, said she had been impressed by the efforts of Americans — including former Presidents Clinton and George H. W. Bush — to raise money for Katrina's victims.

"The most shocking difference in France is that there is no solidarity with the suburbs," she said. "The main reaction is fear, how to prevent the contagion from spreading to the more prosperous parts of the cities."

During the U.S. race riots of the 1960s, and again after rioting in Los Angeles in 1992, many in France were quick to criticize U.S. policies. Then President Francois Mitterrand suggested in 1992 that France would avoid such strife because of its generous social programs.

In the aftermath of Katrina, elements in the French media seized a new chance to expound on America's problems. Now the French unrest has given some Americans a chance to point at bad examples.

One of the major U.S. groups urging a crackdown on illegal immigration cited the French riots as evidence that President Bush should abandon plans to accommodate more foreigners under a guest worker program.

"France is being ripped apart by the unemployed and unassimilated offspring of their own failed guest worker programs of the 1970s and 1980s," said Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. "If we bring millions of guest workers to this country, they will never leave. ... We will face massive social problems and costs down the road."

Several commentators suggested that France, more so than the United States, was likely to be so chastened by the latest trauma that it would undertake concrete steps to fight poverty and discrimination. Others were skeptical.

"I'm not very optimistic that this will lead to powerful change in either country," said Thomas, the UCLA professor. "There are incredible pressures not to look at these questions."

— The Associated Press

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