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CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, July 2, 2015 i1:~ .... ct" + ~=~ = The following June 29 edito- rial from the Panama City News Herald may or may not reflect the views of the Cheney Free Press editorial board. In the wake of the mur- ders at a Charleston, S.C. church, details are sinking in - and with them, the rec- ognition that racism lives, breathes and festers, even as we dream that it is a thing of the past. A man just 21 - looking more like a schoolboy than a hard-core white suprema- cist - stands accused of killing nine respected com- munity members, all black, at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episco- pal Church. They were kind to him as he joined them in Bible study. Then, accord- ing to police, he gunned them down with a pistol. His motive, emerging in multiple witness reports, was racial animosity. He wanted to start a "race war" to keep blacks from "taking over the world," one friend reportedly recalled. The accused killer, iden- tified as Dylann Roof, spewed his racism from time to time, people said, but they didn't think he'd act on it. How might things be different, we wonder, if more people had challenged his views - speaking out against the toxic prejudice at its core? Roof's mental state is a point of speculation. But if he genuinely believes blacks are gaining more power than whites, he's not living in reality. This is a country where black life expectancy, income, employment and political representation are all far below rates for whites. But racism runs on emotional bile, not logic or understanding. In the sad assessment of Pastor Donte Hickman, who was visiting Charleston for an interfaith convocation the night of the shootings, "This guy's a kid from a gen- eration that we thought was long gone. It's just another picture of how far we have not come," Hickman told the Baltimore Sun. It is with no small irony that the accused was ar- raigned on Juneteenth - the day in 1865 when Texas slaves finally got the news that the Civil War was over and that they were "free." The proclamation read by a Union general said, "This involves an absolute equal- ity of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves." But in the ensuing 150 years, "absolute equality" remains a struggle in pursuit of an elusive goal. To be sure, progress in racial attitudes has been remarkable - so much so, in fact, that white-suprema- cist ideology now resides on the fringe, not the center, of American life. Yet shootings like this and violence con- tinue to cast a chilling cloud, and after last week's abomi- nation in Charleston, how can trust be built on ground so poisoned by such events? There are so many ques- tions yet to be answered: Why was Roof, who had been arrested last winter, able to buy a gun? What was his mental state? Did he act alone? What fed his atti- tude? It is w.orth noting that the crime occurred in Charles- ton -- gracious jewel of the South, built on the cruelties of slavery, a city where the Civil War began and where the Confederate flag still flies. Answers may come in time. For now, the Justice Department is investigating the slayings as a hate crime, while others argue it could more justly be called terror- ism, if the "race war" motive is true. What we know for certain is that nine remarkable lives were snuffed out - accom- plished mentors who gave of themselves for the sake of others - just wheri their presence was so desperately needed. Their deaths must do more than measure "how far we have not come." They should spur us on to that destiny - long envisioned, long denied - of true equal- ity. ution's matchstick rans- fic nership By RIVERA SUN Contributor Rolling down the corpo- rate-political assembly line is a trade deal so treasonous to the people of the world that it should serve as revolution's rdatchstick. The treaty is secret, but one fact is well known: the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is being ne- gotiated by transnational corporations Rivera Sun without a sin- gle U.S, legislator present. Each time I hear this, my eyes blink in disbelief. Without a single legislator present..: without their pres- ence at negotiations, without so much as seeing a draft of the deal, and most treacher- IIl% ra ctra: ItSct/fl ously, without objection or outcry at their exclusion! ' President Obama has re- quested our legislators to "fast track the TPP," which would allow him to sign the deal prior to sending it to Congress for approval or disapproVal. If they agree to this, then Con- gress eschews its right -- and its responsibility -- to reject parts of the trade deal and reopen negotiations. This complicity on the part of our legislators sinks an iron weight in my gut. It smacks not of exclusion, but of willing collusion with transnational corporations that have a proven track re- cord of criminality, destruc- tion and abuse. In my short lifetime, large corporations have been responsible for poisoning two major gulfs with oil spills, blowing up more than 500 mountains, desfroying numer0us Wa- tersheds, wrecking the food system with toxins and caus- ing 1 in 6 Americans to be evicted from their homes. They have used the media apparatus to deny the exis- tence of climate change, fo- mented wars and obstructed truth and justice so often that it is practically an "in- dustry standard." The list of grievances can be only partial here, but these abuses alone must sound the alarm bells of our conscience. The largest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement is being writ- ten in secret by entities that have consistently abused the global population for the sake of profit. A single thought rings bell-like in my .mind. We must revolt .... It is a quiet statement. Prag- matic. Revolution is not a stir, ring thought. It evokes a great sadness in me, as if a member of my family had sunk so far into alcoholism that I must declare my separation and call on the collective strength of society to rein in his behavior so he does not cause death and destruction to us all, I am old enough to have cut through romantic ideal- izations of revolution, but smart enough to understand that this collusion of govern- ment and pathological cor- porations must be stopped. I regret that it has come to. this. Even as I steel my heart for the work ahead, I look to the seats of power and wish they would turn their self- involved gazes from their profits and see the suffering they are causing. Wishes alone will not change anything. Action is required. So, with pragmatic determination, I look out across the unlikely land- scape of my nation. Violence seethes just un- der the surface. Ignorance abounds. Despair, helpless- ness, and apathy afflict us along with addiction and ill health. Police brutality is on the rise. Authoritarian power is replacing democ- racy and civil liberties. The pervasiveness of the surveil- See Sun page 5 FREE PRESS Vol. 119-No. 11 Press Production Manager Editor Randy Warwick John McCallum Mailroom Supervisor Reporters Bryce Ryen Paul Delaney AI Stover Pressman Mark Cordes Graphics Brittani Montecucco Sales John Myers Steve Barge DeeAnn Gibb " Bookkeeper/Office Manager Debi Labish Front Office Dawn Chernak Rachel Stuart Publisher Harlan Shellabarger The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, AI Stover, Brittani Montecucco, John McCallum and Harlan Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press is ' published every Thursday by the Free Press Publish- ing Company, William Ifft, president. Periodical post- age paid at Cheraey, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. First Street, Cheney, Wash. 99004. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Cheney Free Press, P.O. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 The Free Press re- quests that contributors observe the following dead- lines, which will be strictly enforced: OBITUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 a.m. CHURCH, CLUB MEETINGS, ALL SOCIAL NEWS -- Monday, noon DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m. LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, 5 p.m. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING -- Tuesday, 11 a.m. Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235- 6184. Subscription cancellations are non-refundable! HOW TO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 email: cfp @ cheneyfreepress.com www, cheneyfreepress.com Another indictor of racial tensions in our country Before pointing too many fingers at our beleaguered Secret Service agency and its recent foibles, we should consider its success so far in its bottom line responsibility: to keep President Obama and family alive and injury-free. Interviewed during Obama's 2012 visit to Port- land, Ore., the Secret Service reported that "Obama faces more death threats than any other president. More than 30 a day." (Portland Oregonian, 7/28/12). This is consistent with the big spike in U.S. hate groups, spread quite evenly over all states except Hawaii, that the Southern Poverty Law Center documented follow- ing President Obama's 2008 election. Obama and his fam- ily have exhibited admirable magnanimity in the face of such huge constant danger. Nevertheless, the stress level and demands on current Se- cret Security personnel to do See Letters page 5 John McCallum A1 Stover Paul Delaney Editor Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Main contact for editorial coverage. Cov- Covers all Medical Lake government, Covets alI Medical Lake High School and era all Cheney government, community,, community and school district news, as Eastem Washington University sports school district news and events, as well well as Airway Heights news and Cheney and news. Contact for miscellaneous as Cheney High School sports.High School sports, sports. jmac@ chenejffmepress.com a/ @ cheneylreepm, ss.com pde~e~~