06-24-2018  3:50 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

Marion County deputies investigating suspicious death

LYONS, Ore. (AP) — Law enforcement officials are investigating after a man was found dead in a pond near his home in Lyons.The Marion County Sheriff's Office says deputies were called to the scene Saturday afternoon after the body was found. Detectives also responded to the scene because the...

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Authorities investigating fatal Minneapolis police shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota state authorities are investigating after Minneapolis police shot and killed a black man they say was firing a handgun as he walked outside.People gathered for a Sunday afternoon protest at a police station and a vigil near the north Minneapolis shooting scene...

Jews, Muslims in Berlin team up on bike rides against hatred

BERLIN (AP) — Some 25 Jews and Muslims rode tandem bicycles through the German capital on Sunday in a protest against growing anti-Semitism and attacks on Muslims in the country.Some were rabbis and imams, others included women in headscarves and Jewish community members donning skullcaps...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brigitte Nielsen, 54, has given birth to her fifth child

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brigitte Nielsen says she has given birth at age 54.The model, actress and reality star and her 39-year-old husband Mattia Dessi released a statement to People magazine Saturday saying their daughter Frida was born Friday in Los Angeles and weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces (2.3...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

'Jurassic World' sequel stomps its way to 0 million debut

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs still rule the box office."Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" surpassed expectations to open with 0 million in ticket sales in U.S. and Canada theaters over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. While that total didn't approach the record-breaking...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US restaurants host refugee chefs who offer a taste of home

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — At San Francisco's Tawla restaurant, Muna Anaee powdered her hands with flour and...

UK euroskeptics urge PM May to prepare for 'no deal' Brexit

LONDON (AP) — Pro-Brexit politicians and business figures have urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to...

Roseanne Barr in interview: 'I made myself a hate magnet'

NEW YORK (AP) — In an emotional interview, Roseanne Barr said she definitely feels remorse for the racist...

Switzerland awaits FIFA judgment on 'provocative' gestures

MOSCOW (AP) — Despite goal celebrations seen as inflaming political tensions with Serbia, the head of...

Sweden player condemns racist abuse after World Cup loss

KRASNODAR, Russia (AP) — Sweden midfielder Jimmy Durmaz says the racist abuse aimed at him over social...

DJ Calvin Harris stoked by Harry Kane nod to 'One Kiss'

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) — Harry Kane led England into the round of 16 at the World Cup then gave a nod...

Ben Chavis
Ben Chavis

More than any other first lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama continues to stand above those who would attempt to distort her leadership.

First Lady Obama’s recent commencement address at the Tuskegee University in Alabama exemplified her courage to speak truth to the world without fear of repercussions. Michelle Obama’s resilient optimism is refreshing as well as sobering.

I am certain the class of 2015 at Tuskegee will always remember the strong and poignant words of wisdom that they were given during their graduation ceremonies. But we all can learn from her timely remarks. We live today in an increased atmosphere of racial polarization in America since the election and re-election of President Barack Obama. We, therefore, should welcome public utterances that transcend the prevalent negativity surrounding any attempt to address the question of race in the United States.

Michele Obama is perfectly qualified and strategically positioned to use her leadership in a constructive manner to advance the interests of Black America and all those who struggle and cry out for freedom, justice and equality. As a talented Harvard Law School graduate, devoted mother, and loyal spouse to the president, the first lady has risen to become one of the most admired persons in the world.

The first lady eloquently stated, “But here’s the thing – our history provides us with a better story, a better blueprint for how we can win. It teaches us that when we pull ourselves out of those lowest emotional depths, and we channel our frustrations into studying and organizing and banding together – then we can build ourselves and our communities up. We can take on those deep-rooted problems, and together – together – we can overcome anything that stands in our way.” In other words, we should strive to avoid complacency and the cynicism of hopelessness. 

The history and the centuries-old legacy of African people in America and throughout the world proves our ability to overcome the hardships of oppression and injustice. It was also good to hear Michelle Obama call for Black American unity and “banding together.”

Our families and communities across the nation are certainly in critical need of greater unity and collective resolve to stand up together to provide leadership and direction in particular for our youth and young emerging leaders. We cannot afford to permit the evolution of an ahistorical generation of young people who have not been given the truth of our history nor given the encouragement that they need to excel and make their mark on history today. 

Over the next weeks we will witness numerous graduation ceremonies in particular at other Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The good news is that thousands of Black American college graduates from HBCUs and from other institutions of higher learning will be pushing forward to demand greater access to wealth-building careers with the intent on giving more back to the communities from which they have emerged.

Like the first lady, I am optimistic about the future to the extent to which we continue to stand up to injustice while at the same time pressing forth to economically empower our families and communities. Education and empowerment are both goals that must be attained and each generation has to rise to the occasion with persistence and focus. T

here will be setbacks and sometimes disappointments in everyone’s life. Yet, the enduring lesson from Michelle Obama’s magnificent address was that when those life challenges happen, do not let your problems or critics define who you are. We have to have faith in our own capacity to rebound and to stand for truth even when it might not be the popular or politically expedient.

We are a resilient people. We resist oppression. We are against inequality and injustice. We stand for liberation and freedom for ourselves and for all people. The more we stand together, the more we make progress.

We are grateful that in our lifetime we are privilege to witness how the first lady epitomizes what it means to be a freedom fighter with courage and grace, but most of all, with a glowing resilience that motivates and inspires others to excel.

 

Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is the President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association: dr.bchavis@nnpa.orghttp://drbenjaminfchavisjr.wix.com/drbfc

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