06-24-2018  1:32 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.A demonstration was planned for Sunday afternoon at a police precinct headquarters and a vigil near the north Minneapolis...

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

Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to...

Trump officials pledge to reunite families amid border chaos

Trump administration officials say the U.S. government knows the location of all children in its custody after...

Trump tweets, hard-right voters hamper GOP immigration push

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican apprehension over President Donald Trump's next tweet and fear of riling...

Kushner rips Abbas, says Mideast peace plan due 'soon'

JERUSALEM (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser said in an interview published...

US Defense chief to visit China amid S. China Sea tensions

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has accused China of "intimidation and coercion" in...

Libyan coast guard intercepts 450 migrants bound for Europe

CAIRO (AP) — Libya's coast guard intercepted Sunday some 460 African migrants, including dozens of children...

Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman

On November 14, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia announced the university will rename two buildings on campus named for two 19th century Georgetown University presidents: Thomas F. Mulledy, who in 1838 arranged the sale of 272 slaves from Jesuit-owned Maryland plantations and used the profit to pay Georgetown’s construction debts, and William McSherry, who also sold other Jesuit-owned slaves and was Mulledy’s adviser. The sale ignored the objections of some Jesuit leaders who believed using the money to pay off debt was immoral and their demands that families be kept together.

Georgetown’s action followed a student sit-in outside President DeGioia’s office but it was part of a longer ongoing process examining the university’s historical connections to slavery. The renaming was one step recommended by the Working Group on Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation established by the President this school year.

Recently student protesters at Yale University repeated calls to rename its Calhoun College honoring slave owning Vice President and South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun, already a subject of campus wide discussion. For years the college featured a stained glass window depicting Calhoun with a chained Black slave kneeling in front of him. After complaints, the slave’s image was removed, but Calhoun’s remains, as does his shameful legacy that haunts our nation still.

Georgetown and Yale are among the growing number of colleges and universities struggling to come to terms with their historical connections to slave owners, slave labor, and slave profits and the scars they leave on campuses and our nation today. What values do we want to hold up for our young as worthy of honor and emulation?

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island was the first Ivy League university to move forward with a large-scale investigation of its history under the leadership of former president Ruth Simmons. In 2003 she appointed a Committee on Slavery and Justice to learn more about Brown’s past ties to slavery and wealthy benefactors involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The Brown family included slave owners and slave traders as well as at least two members who became active abolitionists. The committee learned 30 members of Brown’s governing board owned or captained slave ships and slave labor was used for some of the school’s construction.

Brown is far from alone. In his groundbreaking 2013 book Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scholar Craig Steven Wilder documented many of these connections.

In the book’s prologue he says: “In short, American colleges were not innocent or passive beneficiaries of conquest and colonial slavery . . . The academy never stood apart from American slavery—in fact, it stood beside church and state as the third pillar of a civilization built on bondage.”

The nation’s oldest colleges depended on direct and indirect wealth from slavery and the slave trade. Slaves helped build many university buildings including some at Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia. Students sometimes brought slaves to college to serve them, as George Washington’s stepson did when he attended King’s College in New York City, now Columbia University.

Many university founders and early presidents owned personal slaves including Dartmouth, Harvard, the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and more, and some colleges owned slaves. William and Mary, one of the slave owning colleges, produced one of the most awful stories Wilder shares—that of founding trustee Reverend Samuel Gray, who “murdered an enslaved child for running away”:

“Rev. Gray struck the boy on the head, drawing blood, and then put a hot iron to the child’s flesh. The minister had the boy tied to a tree, and then ordered another slave to whip him. The boy later died. Gray argued that ‘such accidents’ were inevitable, a position that seems to have succeeded, as a court declined to convict him.”

Slave corpses were used in a number of the colleges’ medical and scientific experiments. In one of Wilder’s examples, Dartmouth College founder Eleazar Wheelock’s personal doctor arranged for a slave’s skeleton to be wired up for study and his skin tanned at the college shop and made into a cover for his instrument case. Ongoing university “research” throughout the nineteenth century bolstered many of the race-based claims used to support slavery.

Across our country this ugly and profoundly morally defective past is finally being brought into the light. Brown University’s Committee on Slavery and Justice said: “We cannot change the past. But an institution can hold itself accountable for the past, accepting its burdens and responsibilities along with its benefits and privileges.”

More universities and institutions must follow Brown’s example and engage in a thoughtful process of truth telling of their own and America’s history in order to lift the indefensible blot of slavery on America’s dream which plagues us still. College students, faculty, and administrators seeking an honest historical accounting on their campuses are to be applauded. Only the truth will make us free and move us forward together.

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information, go to www.childrensdefense.org.

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