06-19-2018  1:43 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

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...

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...

Police seize 2,500 marijuana plants from 6 Tacoma homes

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say eight people have been arrested after police searched six Tacoma houses connected to an illegal marijuana growing operation.The News Tribune reports authorities seized at least 2,500 marijuana plants from the properties that police searched Monday...

OPINION

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

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...

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...

School honoring Confederate general to be renamed for Obama

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia city is rebranding its only school named after a Confederate general to honor the United States' first black president.The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Richmond School Board voted 6-1 Monday to rename J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School to Barack Obama...

ENTERTAINMENT

List of winners from the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Winners of the MTV Movie & TV Awards, presented Saturday at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California:Movie of the year: "Black Panther"Actor in a Movie: Chadwick Boseman, "Black Panther"Show of the Year: "Stranger Things"Actor in a Show: Millie Bobby Brown,...

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...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

On a big night for 'Panther,' Boseman honors real-life hero

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — The MTV Movie & TV Awards gave "Black Panther" its first taste of awards...

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...

Looking for signs of global warming? It's all around you

GOTHIC, Colo. (AP) — David Inouye is an accidental climate scientist.More than 40 years ago, the University...

3 men die of 6 wounded in southern Sweden drive-by shooting

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Three of the six men who were injured in a drive-by shooting in the center of...

In Mexico, longtime foes 'AMLO' and elite getting pragmatic

MEXICO CITY (AP) — On the campaign trail, presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has railed...

AP Explains: War games between South Korea and United States

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States has formally suspended a major military exercise with South...

Former baseball star Jackie Robinson, center, appears with demonstrators in a civil rights march on the capitol in Frankfort, Ky.March 5, 1964. Robinson is the subject of a two-part documentary, "Jackie Robinson" directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon airing Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m. on most PBS stations. (AP Photo, File)
DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — PBS' documentary on the life of Jackie Robinson gets most interesting when the gloves and bats are put away for good.

The two-part film directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon airs Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m. EDT on most PBS stations.

The first part details Robinson's early life and his baseball career, when he became the first black player in Major League Baseball in 1947. The second part is more complex, showing Robinson navigating a civil rights era that he helped put in motion.

Burns' team was nudged into making "Jackie Robinson" by Jackie's 93-year-old widow Rachel. They had gotten to know each other when Burns made his documentary series on baseball, which aired in 1994. She wanted Burns to make a film solely on Robinson but he didn't have time, and two attempts with other directors didn't work out.

Finally, Burns, his daughter and son-in-law found time, although he gently reminded her that "you can't fire me."

"You can tell in the moments that she's on (screen) that she wants you to understand how complicated this was, that it wasn't just this simple mythology that we have," he said.

The film illustrates how pressure had been building to integrate baseball, particularly after blacks served with distinction in World War II. Robinson was urged to turn the other cheek when he endured taunts and insults, and this took effort — it wasn't in Robinson's nature.

They cast doubt on a moment that has been immortalized with a statue in Brooklyn. Early in Robinson's rookie year, teammate Pee Wee Reese supposedly put his arm around Robinson to signal acceptance by a white player who grew up in Kentucky.

But there are real questions about whether this happened at all. It would have required Reese, a shortstop, to cross the field to Robinson, who played first base. There was no mention of it in newspaper accounts of the game in Cincinnati when it supposedly took place. Rachel Robinson had urged a different statue depicting the two players shaking hands. Robinson himself indicated in an autobiography that something like it had happened — but a year later, when he played second base.

Burns also detailed the supposed embrace in his 1994 documentary series.

"It's white people wanting to have skin in this game," Burns said. "We want to feel that we were good enough and forward-thinking enough. It's a good story, but it's mythology."

After being traded to the New York Giants in 1957, Robinson retired rather than play for the Dodgers' hated rivals. He became an executive at Chock Full 'O Nuts, and active in civil rights.

His post-baseball public life was complicated. As the film states at the opening of the second night, "Americans would see the real Jackie Robinson, and they would not always like him."

Robinson was a Republican, a member of the party of Lincoln, and supported Richard Nixon in the 1960 election against John F. Kennedy. During the campaign, he urged Nixon to reach out to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when the minister was jailed. Nixon didn't, but Kennedy did, and narrowly won the election with newfound black support.

After Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson signed civil rights legislation, Robinson supported him in 1964 and urged other blacks to do the same. He was essentially there at the birth of the Republicans' strategy of appealing to Southern whites, and Nixon snubbed him after he was elected president in 1968.

Although he pushed for civil rights progress and held fundraisers at his Connecticut home, Robinson worked for a Republican in New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. He clashed with Malcolm X and more militant black activists. Twenty years after he broke baseball's color barrier, some blacks called him an "Uncle Tom."

All along, the Robinsons dealt with the difficulties of being parents in the 1960s. Jackie Robinson Jr. returned from Vietnam with a drug addiction that he struggled for years to beat, and just as it seemed he had, he died in a car accident.

Robinson threw out the first pitch at the 1972 World Series, and spoke out on the need for baseball to hire a black manager. He died of a heart attack shortly thereafter at age 53.

The end of the film — and the end of Robinson's life — is filled with pessimism. He realizes that he never had it made, that despite the progress he embodied, he was still a black man in a white man's world, Burns said.

The filmmaker said he gets criticism, even hate mail, for talking about race frequently in his projects, but said it's an important, ongoing part of the American story. He's eager to make a documentary on President Barack Obama, who is interviewed for "Jackie Robinson," but figures that needs 15 or 20 years of perspective.

 

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