05-20-2018  2:54 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Portland jury issues million verdict against landlord

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has ordered a rental-property company to pay more than million after a man fell through a rotting walkway at his Portland apartment complex.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Robert Trebelhorn argued that Los Angeles-based Prime Group, which owns the...

University of Oregon sorry for statement on student death

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon has apologized for a statement it put out after a student was found dead during a trip to Shasta Lake in Northern California.The 21-year-old student, identified as business administration major Dylan Pietrs, was found dead at a boat-in campground...

Responders searching for missing vessel find oil sheen

OCEAN PARK, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says crews searching for a missing vessel in Willapa Bay have found an oil sheen and debris where they believe the 43-foot boat went down.Authorities say the wife of a man who took the fishing boat Kelli J out reported him overdue on Saturday....

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle.They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and...

OPINION

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 ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Principal apologizes for 'insensitive' prom tickets language

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) — The principal of a New Jersey high school has apologized for what he called "insensitive" language on tickets for the upcoming senior prom.The Courier Post reported the Cherry Hill High School East senior prom tickets urged students to "party like it's 1776" during...

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...

ENTERTAINMENT

'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning...

'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or, grand prize to Spike Lee

A tumultuous Cannes Film Festival concluded Saturday with the Palme d'Or awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Shoplifters," a tender portrait of a poor, impoverished family, while Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento vowed justice will come to all sexual predators.At the closing...

'Jurassic Park' dinosaur expert's next big thing: holograms

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the "Jurassic Park" movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster's comb.Horner,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion...

Iraq's al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric whose political coalition beat out Iran's...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering...

Iraq's al-Sadr says next government will be 'inclusive'

BAGHDAD (AP) — Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in Iraq's...

Cubans mourn plane crash dead, officials ID 20 bodies

HAVANA (AP) — At morgues and in church services, tearful Cubans on Sunday mourned loved ones who died in...

Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday revealed his latest picks to be cardinals in the Catholic...

By Cornell William Brooks (President and CEO of the NAACP)
By Cornell William Brooks (President and CEO of the NAACP)

When we think about the right to vote, it is and should be understood to be a civic sacrament in the temple of democracy. However, this presidential election will be the first in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act.

In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was enacted with the blood, sweat and tears of Americans from all across the country. But 50 years later, we’re still dealing with a multi-hued, multi-racial, multi-ethnic form of bias and discrimination at the ballot box.

To combat this assault on the right to vote, the NAACP has come together with more than 260 organizations – representing the labor, peace, environmental, student, racial justice, civil rights and money in politics reform movements – to stage a mass convergence this month on Washington, D.C. and call for democracy reforms.

On April 16-18, thousands of activists will mobilize in the nation’s capital for Democracy Awakening, a three-day event featuring a rally, march, teach-ins, lobbying and civil disobedience.

Democracy Awakening plans to fight back against business as usual in Washington, D.C., and demand a democracy that works for everyone. This means restoration of full voting rights, breaking the stranglehold corporations and the wealthy have on elections, and and demand Congress hold hearings and vote to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy.

People all across the country, African-Americans, Latinos, students, and senior citizens feel as though the civic sacrament of the right to vote is being threatened. As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s misguided Shelby County decision in 2013, which invalidated Section 4(b) of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, millions of Americans are now denied the strong protection of their right to vote.

Since then, we have seen state legislature after state legislature engage in a Machiavellian frenzy of voter disenfranchisement.

More than 30 states have imposed voter ID laws, which on their face seem innocuous. But, when we keep in mind which American voters don’t possess these ID’s, we have reason to be alarmed.

Consider the state of Texas. Because of voter ID laws, it is estimated that between 500,000 to 700,000 eligible citizens do not possess the prerequisite I.D. – disproportionately affecting low-income citizens, African-Americans, and Latinos.

We know that voter ID laws also disproportionately disenfranchise the elderly. For example, 93-year-old Rosanell Eaton is legally challenging North Carolina’s voter ID law. She has voted for 70 years – but, because she was born at home, because her name does not match the name on the birth certificate or match the name on the voting roll, her franchise – notwithstanding the fact that she voted for 70 years – is at risk.

Students also are being put at risk. In Texas, a law essentially said, if you have an ID that allows you to carry a concealed weapon, it is deemed sufficient as civic proof of identification to vote. But a library card – an I.D. that allows you to carry a book of Shakespeare or of chemistry – is deemed an insufficient form of proof to vote.

Consider North Carolina, once the most progressive state in the country with respect to voting rights. But, in a few short years in the wake of Shelby, we saw a massive rollback in terms of that franchise. Among the measures that were curtailed or constrained: “pre-registration,” which allowed 17-year-olds who were about to turn 18 in time for a new election to register early; Sunday voting and early voting.

Instead of curtailing and restraining the right to vote, we should be expanding it. It is, once again, the time to stand up and fight for our right to vote.

The NAACP is committed to breaking down barriers to the ballot box and maximizing the vote. We don’t argue or campaign for any candidate, for any party. But, we do campaign against any threat to make any citizen less of a citizen and less of a member of this democracy.

From April 16-18, activists will call for solutions. Together, we will demand fundamental reform that makes our democracy work and enables us to tackle our great challenges. Please join us. Learn more at DemocracyAwakening.org.

 

Cornell William Brooks is the president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most widely respected grassroots-based civil rights organization. In 2014, he became the 18th person to serve as chief executive of the Association, whose members in the United States and worldwide are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.

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