12-07-2022  8:54 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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US Judge Gives Initial Victory to Oregon's Tough New Gun Law

A federal judge delivered an initial victory to proponents of a sweeping gun-control measure to take effect this week while giving law enforcement more time to set up a system for permits

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

Portland Settles Lawsuit Over Police Use of Tear Gas

The lawsuit was originally filed by Don't Shoot Portland in June 2020. “Our freedom of expression is the foundation of how we make social change possible,” Teressa Raiford said in a news release. “Black Lives Still Matter.”


Volunteers of America Oregon Receives Agility Grant From the National Council on Problem Gambling

The funds will support the development of a Peer Driven Problem Gambling Prevention Campaign targeting high school and college-age...

Commissioner Jayapal Invites Community Members for Coffee

Multnomah County Commissioner will be available for a conversation on priorities and the county's work ...

GFO African-American Special Interest Group Meeting to Feature Southern Claims Commission

The Dec. 17 meeting of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon will feature Shelley Viola Murphy, PhD via ZOOM. Murphy will discuss the...

Charter Commission Concludes Study, Issues Report

The Portland Charter Commission have concluded their two-year term referring nine proposals to the November 2024 election and...

PBS Genealogy Show Seeks Viewers’ Brick Walls

The popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” is putting out a nationwide casting call for a non-celebrity to be featured on season...

Emboldened athletes push back on old-school coaching methods

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some of Geoff Bond’s rowers loved and appreciated his demanding style. They thrived on how the coach at the University of California-San Diego pushed them to the limit while preparing them to take on the real world. But for others, Bond was a nightmare, with...

Emboldened athletes push back on old-school coaching methods

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some of Geoff Bond’s rowers loved and appreciated his demanding style. They thrived on how the coach at the University of California-San Diego pushed them to the limit while preparing them to take on the real world. But for others, Bond was a nightmare, with...

UNLV hires former Missouri coach Barry Odom to head program

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV hired former Missouri football coach Barry Odom on Tuesday for the same position. He coached the Tigers from 2016-19, going 25-25 with two bowl appearances. Odom was Arkansas' defensive coordinator and associate head coach the past three...

Wake Forest, Missouri meet for first time in Gasparilla Bowl

Wake Forest (7-5, ACC) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m. EST LOCATION: Tampa, Florida TOP PLAYERS Wake Forest: QB Sam Hartman ranked second among ACC passers with 3,421 yards and tied for first with 35 touchdowns despite missing a game because of...


‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...


Sharpton says film debuts at 'critical point' in US politics

NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton has been called a lot of names in his public life: a hustler, a racist, an opportunist, a fraud, a rat, a jester. He embraces at least one of the intended insults, a name often hurled by his critics on the right and the left: “Loudmouth.”...

Friction over LGBTQ issues worsens in global Anglican church

Friction has long-simmered within the global Anglican Communion over its 42 provinces’ sharp differences on whether to recognize same-sex marriage and ordain LGBTQ clergy. The divisions widened this year as conservative bishops affirmed their opposition to LGBTQ inclusion and demanded...

Friction over LGBTQ issues worsens in global Anglican church

Friction has been simmering within the global Anglican Communion for many years over its 42 provinces’ sharp differences on whether to recognize same-sex marriage and ordain LGBTQ clergy. This year, the divisions have widened, as conservative bishops – notably from Africa and Asia – affirmed...


The women at the center of Harvey Weinstein's LA rape trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors called 44 witnesses to make their case against Harvey Weinstein, but a jury's decision at his Los Angeles trial will hinge largely on the testimony of four: the women he is charged with raping or sexually assaulting, all known simply as “Jane Doe” in court. ...

5 plants that say `holiday season,' and how to care for them

Holiday horticulture tends to revolve around the same handful of plants. So if you don’t already have any or all of these five holiday plants, now is the time to get them: PAPERWHITES The bulbs of these daffodil family members are pre-chilled so they can be planted now...

Kirstie Alley, Emmy-winning ‘Cheers’ star, dies at 71

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kirstie Alley, a two-time Emmy winner whose roles on the TV megahit “Cheers” and in the “Look Who's Talking” films made her one of the biggest stars in American comedy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died Monday. She was 71. Alley died of cancer that...


Africa forum hails 'circular economy' solutions for climate

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — Reducing waste while boosting recycling and reuse, known as the ‘circular economy,’...

Duke Energy: All equipment damaged in NC shooting now fixed

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy said Wednesday that it has completed repairs on substation equipment damaged...

US Jews fear collision with expected Israeli government

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s ties to the Jewish American community, one of its closest and most important allies,...

Across vast Muslim world, LGBTQ people remain marginalized

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — On the outskirts of Yogyakarta, an Indonesian city that’s home to many...

Albania's last captive bear rescued to Austrian sanctuary

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s last brown bear in captivity was rescued by an international animal welfare...

Indonesia releases bombmaker in Bali attacks on parole

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A bombmaker in the 2002 Bali attacks that killed 202 people was released from an...

Hazel Trice Edney, NNPA Editor-In-Chief

WASHINGTON (NNPA) - On Nov. 3, 2008, an important telephone conference was held in Black America. That was the day that then candidate Barack Obama, on the eve of his historic election to the presidency, promised African-American leaders and representatives across the nation that if elected, he would never forget that Black people are specifically and disparately hurting from social ills. 
"Everyone under the sound of my voice understands the struggles we face. Everyone understands the fierce urgency of now. You all know what's at stake in this election," Obama said on the teleconference, covered by the NNPA News Service.
He mentioned crime, civil rights, education, health and the economy as just a few of the categories in which African Americans are clearly in worse statistical categories than any other race. 
"I mention these issues because this community, our community, the African American community, during these challenging times, suffers more than most in this country." he said. "Double-digit inflation, double digit unemployment, stagnant wages, our kids are more likely to drop out, more likely to be in jail, more likely to die. We're going to have to do better. And if we continue the momentum we've seen across this country over the last several weeks, we can do better."
But, one year after his historic election – which has often been described as the fulfillment of the "dream" of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — has now President Obama kept his campaign promise to the Black community?
Political observers pondered this question in anticipation of the National King Holiday on Monday and the Jan. 21 anniversary of the historic inauguration. Some say that Obama, who enjoys studying past presidents for their wisdom and leadership styles; especially Abraham Lincoln, should learn lessons from some — especially Lyndon B. Johnson.
"In so far as he has announced a position of public policy which says that he is not taking ethnicity into consideration, this belies the approach of previous presidents like Lyndon Johnson and obviously his relationship to Dr. King, who actually, I think was won over by Dr. King," says political scientist Dr. Ron Walters. Johnson ultimately signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
"[Johnson] was playing with race at first. But, I think he came to believe that he had to do something special for African Americans. And one suggestion was that it was the pressure that the civil rights movement put on him."
Walters continues, "If you go all the way back to Abraham Lincoln (who is credited for freeing Black slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation) and come all the way forward to Bill Clinton (who established the White House's first race office), presidents have felt that given the differential socio-economic status of Black people, that they had to at least consider doing something special."
Thomas N. Todd agrees. The veteran civil rights lawyer, who was former president of the Chicago chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Operation PUSH, says past presidents have often listened to civil rights leaders who ultimately influenced policy.
During World War II civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph put pressure on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to include Blacks in an executive order to make sure they got contracts. That was executive order 88-02, he cited. Dr. King put pressure on President Lyndon Johnson to issue executive order 11-246 to make sure that Blacks were protected against employment discrimination.
"Then, although Lyndon B. Johnson was a friend of the Negro, when Dr. King disagreed with him on Vietnam, he challenged him. We need to learn the lessons from history," Todd said. "What Blacks must do now is separate the presidency from the person and separate the institution from the individual. There are only three branches of government and if you concede the presidency without putting pressure on the president, we've lost."
Some prominent Black leaders, including Actor Danny Glover, Ben Jealous of the NAACP, Marc Morial of the National Urban League, the Rev. Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, and the Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, have expressed disappointment at what they view as Obama's lack of attention to issues that are disparately damaging in the Black community – especially joblessness.
The latest example happened on Friday, Jan. 8, the same day that the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced its new monthly jobs numbers, showing that the Black unemployment rate had risen from 15.6 percent to 16.2 percent and that the White unemployment rate had fallen from 9.3 percent to 9.0 percent, still under the average rate of 10 percent.
In a televised speech on jobs and clean energy that day, the president briefly paused from his focus on the progressing health care bill and his refocusing on the "war on terror" in order to speak publicly about the jobs situation. But, he again failed to mention the fact that while the average unemployment rate held at 10 percent, the Black unemployment rate continued to creep upward to record numbers.
"The jobs numbers that were released by the Labor Department this morning are a reminder that the road to recovery is never straight, and that we have to continue to work every single day to get our economy moving again. For most Americans, and for me, that means jobs.  It means whether we are putting people back to work," he said.
But, Walters says he has reviewed executive orders that President Obama has promulgated since he's been in the White House and he does in fact consider race in certain decisions – just not pertaining to Black people.
One executive order mandated that heads of executive agencies consult with Indian tribal governments. Another mandated the increased participation of Asians and Pacific Islanders in federal programs. He also told the Hispanic Caucus that when their unemployment number reached over 10 percent, that was not just a problem for Hispanics, "it was a problem for the nation."
Walters argues, "It seems to me that you can't have it both ways. You can't announce a policy which says in affect that I'm not going to do that and on the other hand write executive orders that in fact does it, which means that he's got a problem with us."
Looking at the depth of issues in the Black community, Walters says he would not have expected major change so soon, "but at least I would have wanted a president who would make sure that his statements are moving in that direction."
Others feel that it is much too soon in Obama's presidency to make such judgments. "We cannot rush to judgment," says Gary Flowers, executive director and CEO of the Black Leadership Forum, a loose knit coalition of 32 major Black organizations which meets with Obama administration officials every month.
But, Flowers, who was on that Nov. 3 teleconference, warns that African Americans must and will wield their political savvy if the president does not follow through with his promises.
"We are early in the administration. Yet, Black people are among the most sophisticated voters in American History as evident from the 1960s to the present. Democracy percolates up. Therefore, people must hold politicians accountable to their promises as a matter of civic engagement."
On that Nov. 3 teleconference, Obama was clearly hat-in-hand in front of the Black community, which he credited for having brought him through the Democratic nomination and to the threshold of the historic election.
"Our campaign is alive and thriving ... And mainly it's because of an energized African American community. You have done this," he said.
Now, they can only hope that he will keep faith with his promises for change:
"I'm convinced that not only are we going to change this country, but we're going to change this community," he said on the phone that day. "We're going to change our sons, our daughters, our grandchildren, how they look at themselves. We're going to transform barriers in the world. We're going to change the hearts and minds of people around the world. That's a powerful thing. That's more powerful than any policy out there and any governmental program."

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