06-19-2018  5:37 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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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 ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Prosecutor: Oregon man justified in shooting near hotel

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A heavy equipment operator was legally justified when he shot and wounded a knife-wielding man last month outside an Oregon hotel, a prosecutor said Monday.However, Robert Garris was foolish to appoint himself "sheriff of the Days Inn" and initiate a confrontation with the...

Some forest trails remain closed long after 2017 wildfire

IDANHA, Ore. (AP) — Some trails in Oregon's Willamette National Forest remain closed because of damage from a wildfire that scorched the area last year.The Whitewater Trail into the Jefferson Park area remains closed. Other trails, including some in the Fall Creek area near Eugene, also are...

Border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Wrenching scenes of migrant children being separated from their parents at the southern border are roiling campaigns ahead of midterm elections, emboldening Democrats on the often-fraught issue of immigration while forcing an increasing number of Republicans to break from President Donald Trump on...

Spokane man convicted in 2015 deadly shooting

MOSES LAKE, Wash. (AP) — A Spokane man has been convicted of killing a Moses Lake teenager during a 2015 robbery attempt.The Columbia Basin Herald reports Jeremiah Smith was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession...


What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...


Border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Wrenching scenes of migrant children being separated from their parents at the southern border are roiling campaigns ahead of midterm elections, emboldening Democrats on the often-fraught issue of immigration while forcing an increasing number of Republicans to break from President Donald Trump on...

Germany: Syrian teen on trial over anti-Semitic assault

BERLIN (AP) — A 19-year-old from Syria is on trial in Berlin over an assault in the German capital on an Israeli wearing a skullcap.The young man is charged with bodily harm and slander. The April 17 attack caused nationwide outrage and fueled concerns over anti-Semitism in Germany.German...

City where many slaves entered US to apologize for slavery

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina city where almost half of all the slaves brought to the United States first set foot on American soil is ready to apologize for its role in the slave trade.The resolution expected to be passed by the Charleston City Council on Tuesday offers a...


In 'Jurassic World,' a dino-sized animal-rights parable

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" are many things. They are special-effects wonders. They are unruly house guests. And they are some of the biggest, most foot-stomping metaphors around.Since Steven Spielberg's 1993 original, the dinos of "Jurassic Park" — many of them...

Immigration detention policy becomes major issue in media

NEW YORK (AP) — In a phone conversation with her executive producer over the weekend, "CBS This Morning" anchor Gayle King wondered if there wasn't more the network could do on the story of children being separated from parents through the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration...

Adam Levine, Behati Prinsloo share baby photo

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine spent his first Father's Day as a dad of two.Supermodel Behati Prinsloo shared a photo on Instagram of the 39-year-old holding their second daughter, Gio Grace, who was born in February. Their first daughter, Dusty Rose, is nearly 2 years...


Yemeni officials say fighting rages around Hodeida airport

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Fierce fighting raged Tuesday outside the airport of the vital Yemeni city of Hodeida,...

US could back 1st pot-derived medicine, and some are worried

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on whether...

Army splits with West Point grad who touted communist revolt

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — The images Spenser Rapone posted on Twitter from his West Point graduation were...

China hopes for implementation of NKorea-US summit outcome

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday he hopes...

Twin brothers reunited 74 years after WWII death at Normandy

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — For decades, he was known only as Unknown X-9352 at a World War II...

France's Macron admonishes teenager; video goes viral

PARIS (AP) — A video of French President Emmanuel Macron strongly admonishing a teenager who called him by...

Rev. Terry McCray Hill, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Portland, helps a community member light a candle at a vigil for victims of last's week's shooting in Charleston, S.C.
By Christen McCurdy | The Skanner News

Faith, hope, fear, grief, rage and fellowship all rose to the surface last Thursday at the Bethel AME Church.

About 300 people came together Thursday at the church for a vigil to honor victims of last week’s racially-motivated shooting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Dr. Leroy Haines of the Allen Temple and the Albina Ministerial Alliance told the congregation the shooting was a “crime against humanity.”

“We’re here because a young, white racist, possibly with mental issues, decided to deliberately and intentionally strike a blow for white supremacy,” Haines said. “We’re here to let the world know that God’s church cannot be stopped by terrorism.”

Within hours after the Wednesday-night slaying, Charleston police were describing the crime, which claimed nine lives, including that of pastor and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, as a hate crime.

Civil rights activists across the country have called the shooting a terrorist act. They have noted that writings attributed to shooter Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man arrested Thursday morning in connection with the shooting, say he was inspired by organized far-right groups. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has declined to characterize the crime as terrorism.

Rev. W.J. Mark Knutson of the Augustana Lutheran Church in Northeast Portland said the Charleston shooting was the violation of a sanctuary. Roof had participated in a Bible-study activity before opening fire on the congregants.

“There is a disease in this nation called racism,” Knutson said in reference to speculation that Roof may have been mentally ill. He also said the notion that racism will die out with the older generation is false: “You have to teach every generation.” Churches, synagogues and mosques must come together to stand for justice and pray for a new day, he said.

Rev. Terry McCray Hill, pastor of the Bethel AME Church, presided over the gathering, which included music, prayer, a moment of silence and the reading of the names of the victims – and short remarks from leaders from several different faith communities. Hill also asked clergy and lay people of faith in the audience to introduce themselves as a show of solidarity and support.

“I just stopped by to tell you, it’s well in Charleston, South Carolina, because God is listening and he cares,” McCray Hill said at the onset of the service. She also quoted Rev. Martin Luther King: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”

McCray Hill described South Carolina as one of her “favorite places” and noted the strong presence of AME  churches in the state. The Mother Emanuel Church was founded in 1816 and it will last until eternity, she said.

Though urging a message of hope and faith, McCray Hill also told the audience she had not slept the previous night. She had stayed on the phone with a fellow AME pastor in Philadelphia, who had to end the conversation to talk to law enforcement about a possible threat to his church. She said before they hung up, he urged her to go to bed so she could be there for her congregation and for the community.

The vigil closed with a candle-lighting ceremony to honor the shooting victims. McCray Hill urged those in the congregation to make contact with two or three people they had never met before.

Shortly before the vigil, the Portland Police Bureau announced that it would have officers in the neighborhood while it took place. In addition to having a presence in the surrounding area, four uniformed officers stood in the lobby during the ceremony. Friday PPB announced it would provide extra patrols in areas neighboring houses of worship in Portland.

“Basically, it’s a response to what happened in Charleston and recognizing that people here in Portland are going to feel affected by it and apprehensive about going to their places of worship, not just at Black churches but all churches,” PPB spokesperson Sgt. Pete Simpson told The Skanner News.

Each precinct is responsible for determining coverage in its own area.

“It started over the weekend. I’ve not heard anything negative about the weekend or that there were any problems or issues.”

Nationwide discussion about the Confederate battle flag has turned a spotlight on the presence of the Mississippi flag – which incorporates the Confederate flag into its design – near the state capitol Salem. The Oregonian reported on the flag’s presence at a park near the capitol building in Salem, and have noted other state governments have passed laws prohibiting flying of the battle flag on their property. On Tuesday, Rep. Tobias Read (D-Beaverton) announced he planned to introduce a resolution calling for replacement of the flag.

The Willamette Week also reported this week on the presence of the battle flag at the Jefferson Davis Park in Ridgefield, Wash., outside Vancouver, just south of the Gee Creek Rest Area on I-5. The park, which opened in 2008, sits on a small parcel of privately-owned property owned by a group called the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The group describes itself as “non-political and non-Racist,” but Vancouver leaders from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People told The Columbian Monday that the park and flag send a message of “bigotry, and divisiveness and hatred.”

Retailers, including Elmer’s Flag Shop in Northeast Portland as well as major sellers like Wal-Mart, Amazon and EBay, all announced Tuesday they would no longer be selling Confederate battle flags.

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