02-20-2020  12:08 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
The Skanner Black History Month
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Rep. Blumenauer Joined by Sens. Markey, Sanders, and Warren to Introduce Bill to Hold Big Oil Companies Accountable

"Amidst the growing climate emergency, closing this loophole is a small step we must take to hold Big Oil accountable and to protect our communities," said Blumenauer. 

Trump Appointees Weigh Plan to Build Pipeline in Oregon

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the project, which lacks state permits, it would likely set up a court battle over state's rights

Oregon Lawmakers Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Whether Local Police Violated Black Man’s Civil Rights

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said this racial targeting of Michael Fesser "reflects the worst abuses of African-Americans in our nation’s modern history"

DA to Investigate West Linn Cops Handling of Wrongful Arrest

Former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus had his officers initiate an unwarranted, racially motivated surveillance and arrest of a Black Portland man as a favor to the chief’s fishing buddy

NEWS BRIEFS

DOJ to Investigate Wrongful Arrest of Black Man in Oregon

The decision comes a week after U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer urged a federal probe into...

Wednesday, February 19 Will Be Declared 'Rip City Day'

Ceremony at City Hall will honor the rich history of the organization ...

Seattle Pacific University Hosts Music Events

Seattle Pacific University invites the public to a series of free music events during the months of February and March ...

A Celebration of Portland’s Role in the Negro Leagues to be Held Thursday, Feb. 20

The community is invited for a celebration of Black History Month and the 100th anniversary of Negro League Baseball in America ...

Kresge Foundation Selects PCC To Participate in Its National Boost Initiative

The $495,000 grant awarded to PCC and Albina Head Start will help connect low-income residents and students to services and...

Concordia University in Missouri to own Boise law school

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota has agreed to become the new “parent institution” for Concordia Law in Boise, law school officials announced Thursday. The law school has been looking for a new owner since its current parent parent institution,...

Oregon denies permit for pipeline before federal decision

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development says a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Coos Bay would have significant adverse effects on the state’s coastal scenic and aesthetic resources, endangered species and critical...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Israel calls on Belgium to scrap parade over anti-Semitism

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Thursday called on Belgium to scrap this weekend's annual Carnival parade after last year's featured a float with anti-Semitic caricatures.The carnival in the industrial city of Aalst has its roots in the Middle Ages and often features satirical floats that take...

German gunman calling for genocide kills 9 people

HANAU, Germany (AP) — A 43-year-old German who posted a rant calling for the “complete extermination” of many “races or cultures in our midst” shot and killed nine people of foreign background, most of them Turkish citizens, in an attack on a hookah bar and other...

Syracuse University lifts suspensions of racism protesters

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud has lifted the suspensions of 30 student protesters to allow the university to "step back from the edge” and address reports of racist graffiti and other bias-related incidents on campus, he told the university's...

ENTERTAINMENT

Success of 'To All the Boys' puts stars on Hollywood's radar

NEW YORK (AP) — The 2018 release of the Netflix teen rom-com "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," changed the lives of its stars, Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, by putting them on Hollywood’s radar."People are taking me more seriously," said Condor, a 22-year-old Vietnamese American....

No conspiracy this time: Dan Brown writing children's book

NEW YORK (AP) — Dan Brown's next book will have a lighter, more musical touch. The “Da Vinci Code” author is working on a picture story, “Wild Symphony," scheduled to be published Sept. 1. Rodale Kids, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, announced the...

Review: A CGI canine yearns to be free in 'Call of the Wild'

Does the dog movie have any new tricks? Do we want it to?For the most part, we want our dog movies like our pooches: comforting, obedient and slightly slobbery. “The Call of the Wild,” the latest adaptation of Jack London’s 1903 novel, is all those things but adds a new twist....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

In rough US flu season for kids, vaccine working OK so far

NEW YORK (AP) — It may end up being a bad flu season for kids, but early signs suggest the vaccine is...

Turkish soldiers killed in Syria amid threats of escalation

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Two Turkish soldiers were killed Thursday in an airstrike in northwestern Syria,...

Israel to probe failed company of Netanyahu's challenger

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli prosecutors on Thursday announced the opening of a criminal investigation into the...

Amid protests, Portugal lawmakers vote to allow euthanasia

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s parliament voted Thursday in favor of allowing euthanasia and...

Defense lawyers say they will seek French asylum for Assange

PARIS (AP) — Julian Assange's European defense team said Thursday it will try to seek asylum in France for...

Germany's immigrant community in Hanau reeling after attack

HANAU, Germany (AP) — In the German town of Hanau, a longtime immigrant destination with decades of...

McMenamins
Jesse J. Holland Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Herman Cain's rise as a presidential contender was supposed to prove that race didn't matter in the Republican Party. Cain is fast making it the only thing that does.

The black conservative is trying to navigate around allegations that he sexually harassed at least four women, implying that the accusations surfaced because he is black. Hours after the first claims were reported, Cain's supporters branded his trouble a "high-tech lynching." That's the term coined 20 years ago by another black conservative, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, after his confirmation hearings for the court were rocked by allegations of sexual harassment.

Cain's supporters have pinned blame on a white GOP presidential rival, on liberals afraid of a "strong black conservative" and on mainstream media interested in "guilty until proven innocent." But by playing the race card with the Thomas precedent, his backers belied the "post-racial" America that President Barack Obama was said to have brought about in the United States - and that they, too, promote.

It's not a post-racial world, "it's a partisan world," said Merle Black, an Emory University political science professor and author of "The Rise of Southern Republicans."

Cain's success in Republican straw polls was considered by many, especially black conservatives, proof that America was finally ready to consider candidates according to ideas, not race. Obama was elected the nation's first black president in 2008 behind a strong vote from minorities, liberals and independents. Few of them are affiliated with the GOP, the party of Abraham Lincoln that lost favor with minority voters behind its 1960s "Southern strategy" of wooing white voters who were unhappy over civil rights legislation.

The GOP is eyeing blacks with new appeal, as evidenced by the rise of conservatives such as Cain; two former secretaries of State, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice; former Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma; and current Reps. Allen West of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Blacks, in turn, are intrigued by conservative positions on gun rights, abortion and gay marriage, as well as disdain for tax increases. Conservatives and the current force in Republican politics, the tea party supporters, say this shows there is no bigotry on their end of the political spectrum.

"It's a new world," said Republican political operative Warren Tompkins of South Carolina, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired and where Republicans voted against a son of legendary Sen. Strom Thurmond in a GOP primary and sent Scott to Congress. "It's not about the package, it's about the message."

But that doesn't mean that talking about race for political advantage is passe. Conservatives immediately turned the narrative that way once the Cain allegations became public. "Just like they did to Clarence Thomas, they are engaging in a `high-tech lynching' by smearing Herman Cain's reputation and character," Jordan Gehrke of AmericansforHermanCain.com wrote in a fundraising appeal.

Not everyone on the Republican side appreciates the tactic.

"I think we need to get past the language of race on both sides," Rice, who succeeded Powell as President George W. Bush's secretary of state, told Sean Hannity of Fox News in an interview Tuesday.

Black conservative commentator Armstrong Williams, who worked for Thomas when he headed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said some Republicans are put off by Cain's claims of racism because they hate it when they are accused of being racist.

"Why is the first response from some conservatives that this must have to do with Cain's race? That makes them guilty of the same race-baiting we accuse Democrats of," Williams said.

Before his current troubles, Cain did not shy away from using race as a talking point, much to the consternation of liberal and independent blacks. He said blacks have been "brainwashed" into voting for Democrats in large numbers and he eschewed using the term "African-American," preferring to call himself an "American black conservative." He maligned Obama's mixed-race identity, saying the president "has never been part of the black experience in America" and that Democrats are "doubly scared that a real black man might run against Barack Obama."

"I don't believe racism in this country today holds anybody back in a big way," Cain told CNN in October.

But then again, Cain isn't worried about what the majority of the black or other minority voters think of him yet, because there are few to be found in the Republican primaries he needs to win to be considered a legitimate national candidate. Cain must survive a grueling start to the GOP primary season that begins in Iowa and New Hampshire - states with marginal black populations - before heading south into South Carolina and Florida and then west to Nevada.

In denying the sex harassment allegations, Cain's race talk became a defensive shield. He told Fox he thought his race influenced the decision to take the allegations public.

"I believe the answer is yes, but we do not have any evidence to support it," he said.

Cain also used race as a cover while lashing out at nameless foes. "I'm a black conservative, and it is causing their heads to explode," Cain told Hannity days after accusing GOP rival Gov. Rick Perry of Texas of leaking the sex harassment claims. Perry denies the charge.

If Cain survives his current predicament, the color of his skin will be negligible in the minds of Republicans, said Black, the political science professor.

"He's the type of African-American they really like to support because he is saying the same things they believe," Black said.

If Cain can seriously challenge for the GOP nomination, he would be moving onto rarefied turf.

With the notable exception of a former Ohio secretary of state, Ken Blackwell, few African-American conservatives have won statewide elections. Though few polls show that Americans are willing to admit they're less likely to vote for a black candidate for president, an Associated Press-Yahoo-Stanford University poll in 2008 showed that almost half of Americans have at least some anti-African American sentiments.

For example, activist and diplomat Alan Keyes polled highly in his attempts to gain the GOP nomination in 1996 and 2000, but did not come close to toppling nominees Bob Dole and George W. Bush, respectively.

So will Cain's popularity hold?

"All we have to look at now are the polls," Williams said. "And he's still winning."

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