Eureka’s NAACP held a virtual event to Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

EUREKA, Calif.(KIEM)- Each year, we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s day on the third Monday of January. The day honors MLK, a civil rights leader and minister, assassinated in 1968.

Pre-covid, we honored the day by participating in a march or an MLK parade. Unfortunately, events were canceled throughout the country due to the ongoing pandemic.

This January 17th Eureka NAACP held the 27th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday and day of service. Members of Eureka NAACP and other community members commemorated Dr.King. But they started their presentation by first acknowledging the land Eureka is on.

“We acknowledge that the land many of us are on is the land, the unceded territory of the Wyatt peoples…And it has been a place for the Wyatt to take a break when traveling north in a canoe from the south bay… to the mad river,” said Sharonne Blanck, President for Eureka NAACP.

They had performances throughout the event by black artists, spoken word artists, and community members. 

“To my black king better yeat… my lord. Don’t you know you are our protector, full armor plus the sword? And your armor is your strength. It is your skin that mesmerizes melanin and your sword the words that pour from your lips,” said Sandra Martin, Spokenword Artist.

NAACP President shared her favorite Dr. King quote.

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward,” said Sharonne Blanck.

President Blank announced the David Josiah Lawson Scholarship that will be awarded to 3 local high school students for one thousand dollars each.

In the end, community members were invited to a virtual vendor lobby to shop virtually from local businesses.

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American Visionary Art Museum Hosts MLK Day Poetry Slam

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore held a poetry slam event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It’s just a really important day for us to think about what Martin Luther King was doing and saying and how his words are still relevant today and the lessons we still need to continue to learn from him,” American Visionary Art Museum Director of Education Beka Plum said.

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The museum, located in Federal Hill, offered free admission Monday so that people could come to see the art and experience spoken word poetry.

Normally, the museum is full of people for the annual event.

“This event is usually our biggest free day of the year where we have birthday cake that we serve for 1,000 people,” Plum said.

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This year, the submissions were made virtually. The museum also played them inside for those who came to visit.

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“It’s a testament to the vitality of human spirit,” museum visitor Karishma Habbu said. “We always keep going. There is always hope. You’re never going to erase it.”

The museum also highlighted art made by black artists and promoted their gallery dedicated to compassion.

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“We hope we can inspire people and they can find those same values in our museum that Dr. Martin Luther King embraced: tolerance, dignity and respect for the individual and all the gifts they can give.”

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‘Traveling While Black’ art exhibit features an iconic DC restaurant

Ben’s Chili Bowl acted as a safe haven for Black travelers in the 1950s and ’60s.

MCLEAN, Va. — In the 1950s and ’60s, navigating your way around the country, while Black, wasn’t always safe. A traveling virtual reality exhibit currently at the McLean Community Center highlights the travel perils Black people faced. 

“Traveling While Black” shares the history of the Green Book, a tool created to help Black people travel around the country safely. The virtual experience allows you to travel as if you were a Black person in the ’50s and ’60s. 

“For a moment, it gives you the perception of what it might be like to be in a Black person’s life,” said Daniel Singh, the director of McLean Community Center. “Where you can’t escape it, it’s all around you.”

One of the first experiences visitors will have is stepping inside an iconic D.C. restaurant: Ben’s Chili Bowl. Owner Virginia Ali shares her own stories about the harsh realities of travel at that time, illustrating why the Green Book became a vital resource to know safe places to stop for gas, food, etc.  Ali created Ben’s to be both a safe haven for fellow Black travelers, as well as a community center for locals. 

“It’s not just about what happened in the past, but what’s happening right now,” Singh said. “I think this film is helping them sit back and listen a little bit and say there are things I don’t know, but I need to learn. The biggest thing that we find surprising is that people don’t know how prevalent racism is in our country in our backyards.”

After the virtual tour, guests can write messages about their experiences on cards. 

“Hopefully they’ll continue to learn more of what they didn’t know and start working to fix those problems,” Singh said. “We can also all be part of the solution. And to me, that’s what’s exciting, is to undo the systemic racism, the institutional racism, and start working towards … making it safe for everyone to be a part of this community.” 

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New Publication Seeks to Change Narratives Around Race

When The Emancipator was first published in 1820, it was created with an intention that was radical at the time: to abolish slavery in the United States.

More than 200 years later, Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research and The Boston Globe are planning a project by the same name. Their objective is just as bold.

“Our goal is to end racism now,” Amber Payne, The Emancipator co-editor-in-chief, told VOA. “It may feel very pie in the sky and very idealistic, but it really shouldn’t feel that way, and it shouldn’t be that way.”

Deborah D. Douglas, fellow co-editor in chief, said that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed inequalities in the U.S., especially for those historically marginalized.

Additionally, widespread protests following police killings of Black Americans, including George Floyd in May 2020, have sparked conversations about race and inequality.

The Emancipator seeks to provide context for those issues and more, Douglas said.

The official launch is tentatively planned for June 2022. But they hope to begin releasing a weekly newsletter, Reframe, as early as February.

The Boston-based team plans to reach audiences in the U.S. and worldwide with reporting on issues such as voter suppression and inequality in health care or the criminal justice system, and features on art, television and movies.

The Emancipator will be about “meeting the moment” and unpacking systemic issues related to current events, Douglas said.

“We’re really at a tipping point right now,” Douglas told VOA. “And there’s not just one place that talks about antiracism. There’s nothing that really unpacks structure, and how that impacts all of us, and how it implicates all of us in the negative impacts of white supremacy. The Emancipator can do that.”

Solutions-oriented journalism

Their approach reflects a change in how people think about journalism, media ethics experts say.

Traditionally, news outlets provide objective, neutral coverage, but journalists do not need to maintain neutrality on every issue, said Kelly McBride, chair of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at the Poynter Institute.

“I think it’s an easy decision for a news organization to say we are not going to be neutral on those issues — we are for equality, we are against racism, and we are in favor of creating a news product that helps our community understand these issues better and recognize, as a news consumer, what your role is in in making the community better,” McBride told VOA.

Both Douglas and Payne stress that The Emancipator will not only address issues related to racism, but also offer solutions.

“We’re really thinking very, very deeply about knowledge and solutions, and helping people to take on real life issues,” said Payne. “That could be arming people to be better voters or be better equipped to have that uncomfortable conversation with a neighbor, or raise their hand at the school board meeting and present an idea very confidently and feel self-assured and researched about it.”

The Emancipator will help people “go beyond hashtag activism and black-square activism and create the pathway to change their life, their world and their community,” Payne said, referring to social media campaigns where users post a black square to show solidarity with groups calling for racial justice.

To that end, The Emancipator will be based in what is known as “solutions journalism” — reporting that explains events and offers information about how communities are successfully responding to those issues.

The ‘whole story’

“We call it the whole story,” said David Bornstein, co-founder and chief executive of the Solutions Journalism Network. “It’s rounding out the narrative so that you have all the information you need in order to respond to the problems and hopefully build a better community and a better society.”

When the media focus solely on challenges faced by certain communities, it influences public perception of people who live in those areas, Bornstein said.

Perception in turn shapes policies and also influences everyday “micro decisions” such as checking a person’s purse in a department store or whether to stop for someone at a taxi stand, he added.

In other words, focusing exclusively on challenges creates more exclusion, more stereotyping and more division.

“Narrative determines identity, it determines our behavior, it determines our beliefs,” Bornstein told VOA. “If you take the metro daily newspaper of any large city in the United States, and you look at the communities that have been historically excluded, whether it’s poverty or communities of color, you will find that the majority of stories about those communities are about problems and challenges.”

Asset framing

Key to changing that is a technique called asset framing — a concept coined by Trabian Shorters, board member of the Solutions Journalism Network and founder of BMe, an organization that leads training on ending racial stigma.

Shorters explained the concept to VOA, saying, “If we first define people by their aspirations and their contributions before we talk about the challenges, that’s a fuller narrative and a more accurate depiction of who we are.”

Both Bornstein and Shorters are careful to note that solutions journalism and asset framing do not mean focusing only on the positive. They are about leading with humanity, what motivates people to get out of bed in the morning, Shorters said.

“If we’re going to end racism, news media absolutely has to lean in and journalists have to learn how to tell stories in ways that don’t stigmatize people. They have to learn how to tell stories that actually lead to solutions and solutions-oriented thinking,” Shorters added.

McBride at Poynter said that “solutions-oriented journalism gives people a pathway to make the news relevant” because it not only informs readers about issues, it provides steps for those who seek change.

Even though the terms solutions journalism and asset framing were not around when the original Emancipator was published, Shorters said the paper was still based on these principles.

“When The Emancipator was created originally, I promise you it was to fulfill Black people’s aspirations to live free,” Shorters said. “It was not focused on just what’s broken and what’s damaged and what’s wrong.”

Although the new version will be taking on weighty issues, The Emancipator’s editors, Payne and Douglas, plan to do so in a way that is encouraging and engaging.

“We’re hoping that with the power of journalism, of stories, of perspective, of solutions journalism, that’s how you shift culture. That’s how you shift narrative. And that’s how you make community change,” Payne said.

With Racial Rationing of COVID Treatments, What Can’t States Dictate on the Basis of Race?

Commentary

The Chinese coronavirus has been manipulated and exploited to the detriment of liberty and justice in myriad ways, from the erosion of vote integrity, to the usurpation of our natural rights via lockdowns, pervasive censorship by Big Tech, and the advent of a biomedical security state mandating vaccines and demanding total submission to its whims.

But the seemingly blatantly illegal and unconstitutional, not to mention immoral and repugnant, racial rationing of COVID-19 treatments might represent the most pernicious development of all.

It combines the worst elements of our new regime of Wokeism and Scientism. It’s racist under the guise of “anti-racist” “equity,” and political under the guise of medicine.

Fundamentally, it means states will determine who lives and who dies based on their skin color.

That such an anti-American policy is being foisted on citizens across the country in places as diverse as New York, Utah, and, until the last several days, Minnesota, makes this an issue that should be of paramount importance to every single American.

Yet where are our purported political leaders on this? This policy implicates, as we will demonstrate momentarily, not just state officials, but the federal government. The silence across the board therefore is deafening.

If the life-and-death consequences raised herein seem overstated, consider the policies states are enacting in doling out limited supplies of COVID-19 treatments that, it bears noting, serve as an inadvertent admission as to the inefficacy of the vaccines—at the very moment the Biden administration is imposing a mandate to coerce millions of Americans into getting jabbed.

New York has deemed being non-white a COVID-19 “risk factor” that gives such infected patients priority in receiving oral antiviral treatments that are being allocated according to specific criteria given their limited supply. Those who aren’t white automatically become eligible (pdf) to receive treatment provided they’re of a certain age, exhibit mild-to-moderate symptoms, and can start treatment within five days of disease onset.

Glenn Greenwald raises one hypothetical demonstrating the perverse and discriminatory nature of the policy: “a healthy twenty-year-old Asian football player or a 17-year-old African-American marathon runner from a wealthy family will be automatically deemed at heightened risk to develop serious COVID illness … while a White person of exactly the same age and health condition from an impoverished background would not be automatically eligible.”

Setting aside class-based critiques, others have noted there are significant differences in COVID-19 outcomes based on one’s sex, which virtually all treatment allocation rubrics ignore.

Minnesota originally gave those of BIPOC status—again being non-white—priority pursuant to the calculation laid out in the state’s “Ethical Framework for Allocation of Monoclonal Antibodies during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

As law professor Eugene Volokh writes:

people who lack “BIPOC status” (basically, non-Hispanic whites) would be “deprioritiz[ed]” precisely based on their race and ethnicity, not wealth, access to health care, being in a nursing home, or anything else. A rich non-white patient would be given priority over a poor white patient with precisely the same age and health conditions.

On Jan. 11, after this policy received national coverage notably on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and in the Washington Free Beacon, Minnesota’s Department of Health revised its policy, stripping out language about BIPOC status.

The same could not be said of Utah’s policy, where “Non-white race or Hispanic/Latinx ethnicity” counts for two points in the state’s risk factor calculation for rationing monoclonal antibodies—same as diabetes, obesity, and being “severely immunocompromised,” and more than several other conditions like congestive heart failure and “shortness of breath.”

Only now, under political and legal pressure, is Utah “reevaluating” this policy—thought it still has not nixed it.

The Free Beacon reports that this effort to set aside the individual risk factors most correlated with coronavirus comes from the top, with Utah and Minnesota’s (original) policies referencing standards prescribed by the FDA. It notes:

When the FDA issued its emergency use authorizations for monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals, it authorized them only for “high risk” patients—and issued guidance on what factors put patients at risk. One of those factors was race.

The FDA “fact sheet” for Sotrovimab, the only monoclonal antibody effective against the Omicron variant, states that “race or ethnicity” can “place individual patients at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.” The fact sheet for Paxlovid, Pfizer’s new antiviral pill, uses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of “high risk,” which states that “systemic health and social inequities” have put minorities “at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.”

The guidance sheets are nonbinding and do not require clinicians to racially allocate the drugs. But states have nonetheless relied on them to justify race-based triage.

New York, too, references the FDA’s language regarding “high risk” patients and relies on similar documents from the CDC.

Using skin color as a stand-in for one’s health profile is as unscientific as it is illogical. People of a certain race may disproportionately make certain decisions, or be afflicted by certain conditions, that impact their risk vis-à-vis the Chinese coronavirus. That said, it’s an individual’s health profile that matters, not race. Race may be correlative, but it’s not causative—individuals are not more at-risk because of their skin color, but people of a certain skin color may on the average prove more at-risk.

Consider vaccination status, for example. Implicit in these policies is the fact that certain minorities—by their own volition—are less likely to be vaccinated, which according to public health authorities puts them at greater risk. But again, shouldn’t vaccination status, not race, be the controlling factor?

And are authorities simply trying to remedy systemic racism with still more racism here? Remember, places like New York City have imposed vaccine mandates that disproportionately harm the unvaccinated, who are frozen out of basic everyday life in the five boroughs. Certain minorities in New York, namely blacks, are disproportionately unvaccinated. Since blacks bear the brunt of vaccine mandates to a greater extent than others, by Woke standards, such mandates are systemically racist—outcomes trump intent. Prioritizing non-whites for receipt of COVID-19 treatments would seem to be a sort of racist corrective to this “systemic racism.”

It’s not just vaccination status, of course, that’s being elided to advance race-driven care. The same holds for many of the other underlying health conditions referenced by these public health authorities, including obesity—perhaps the greatest correlative with poor COVID-19 outcomes, which our authorities have been loath to acknowledge. Once again, though, one’s weight should matter, not the fact that people of the same skin color tend to be heavier or lighter.

People should—people must—be treated as individuals, not members of a group, when it comes to health, as with everything else in American life.

That they’re not today flows again from the top—from a Biden administration and progressive Ruling Class that has prioritized above all else “equity”—which is to say, egregiously unjust inequality. “Equity” is pervading every aspect of society, now impacting our health and well-being. Whole fields of inquiry in the Sciences and medicine are completely off limits; hospitals in some instances have begun implementing “anti-racist” policies explicitly calling for “preferential care based on race.”

Wokeism’s natural end can be seen in these COVID-19 treatment racial rationing schemes. They represent the perversion of law and morality—with life and death decisions made by the state on the basis of race.

The question that every American must be asking of their leaders is this: If governments can allocate life-saving treatments on the basis of race, is there anything governments can’t dictate on the basis of race?

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Benjamin Weingarten

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Ben Weingarten is a fellow of the Claremont Institute and co-host of the Edmund Burke Foundation’s “The NatCon Squad.” He is the author of “American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party.”