09-23-2020  2:52 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle City Council Overrides Mayor's Veto of Policing Cuts

Seattle will reduce the police department’s budget and reallocate some money to community programs

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Black and Jewish Community Join to Revive Historic Partnership

United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

Federal officials were told that Portland police officers were explicitly told not to respond to the federal courthouse

NEWS BRIEFS

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

Oregon Receives Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Wildfires

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Former detective who sexted informant sentenced to jail

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A former Redmond Police detective who sexted with an undercover informant will serve five days jail and 18 months probation, a judge ruled Tuesday.The Deschutes County jail will make “special accommodations” to protect Cory Michael Buckley because of his...

Oregon Lottery games offline for Portland, coast after fires

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Lottery games in Portland and on the coast went dark after damage caused by wildfires.Matt Shelby, an Oregon Lottery spokesperson, said 95 retailers in the Portland area and 25 on the northern Oregon coast lost connection to lottery games when fires damaged the...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz: transparency trumps competitive edge

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz could have kept private the COVID-19 testing numbers within the Missouri football program.The new coach of the Tigers could have pleaded ignorance when it came to the number of positive results, or the amount of contact tracing that has been done. He...

College Football Picks: SEC start in most unusual season

The Southeastern Conference is set to kick off its 10-game, league-only schedule, making this Saturday the most normal-feeling yet of a most unusual season. As of Wednesday, all the SEC openers were still on. The Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference were also scheduled to have all their teams...

OPINION

ACLU Statement on Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Verdict

Carl Takei, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project, issued a statement about today's charges ...

True Justice Denied to Police Murder Victim Breonna Taylor, Greenlining Institute Says

The organization's president and CEO releases a response to today’s announcement of only minor charges -- "wanton endangerment" -- for one of the Louisville police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor. ...

Defeating a Demagogue: A Reminder from History

Mel Gurtov dedicates this column to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom he calls "a warrior for human rights, decency, and the rule of law" ...

SPLC Statement on the Passing of Rev. Robert S. Graetz Jr.

Graetz was the only white clergyman to publicly support the Montgomery Bus Boycott ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Celebs, long vocal about Breonna Taylor case, decry decision

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — For months, actors, sports stars, musicians and other celebrities have been using their platforms to call for justice in the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor, including at Sunday's Emmy Awards. Her picture was used on the cover of O:The Oprah Magazine this year...

Police officers not charged for killing Breonna Taylor

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police for the killing of Breonna Taylor during a drug raid gone wrong, with prosecutors saying Wednesday that two officers who fired their weapons at the Black woman were justified in using force to protect...

Lawyers eye neo-Nazi website founder's assets for M award

Attorneys for a Montana real estate agent are eyeing the assets of a neo-Nazi website operator to collect a million court judgment against the man for an anti-Semitic online “troll storm” that he orchestrated against the Jewish woman and her family, court filings show.More than a...

ENTERTAINMENT

Success of Ginsburg film inspires CNN look at John Lewis

NEW YORK (AP) — Indirectly, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired CNN Films' new documentary on the life of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis.The unexpected commercial success of the “RBG” film in theaters two years ago had CNN looking for another...

Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs top CMT noms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ashley McBryde, Dan + Shay, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Sam Hunt and Thomas Rhett top the 2020 CMT Music Awards nominations with three each.In nominations announced Wednesday for the pandemic-delayed show, 14 videos are vying for the top prize of video of the year....

Celebs, long vocal about Breonna Taylor case, decry decision

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — For months, actors, sports stars, musicians and other celebrities have been using their platforms to call for justice in the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor, including at Sunday's Emmy Awards. Her picture was used on the cover of O:The Oprah Magazine this year...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Carole Baskin of 'Tiger King' fame sued for defamation

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Carole Baskin, who became a pop culture sensation due to Netflix’s docuseries...

Utility equipment eyed as possible source of fire near LA

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Trump, social media, right-wing news stir up antifa scares

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'The port came to us': Story behind AP photo of Beirut blast

JIYYEH, Beirut (AP) — When Mustafa Kinno felt the ground shake and heard the deafening blast toward the...

Cold diggers? UN finds a record low in Greenland ice in 1991

GENEVA (AP) — For all the recent talk of global warming, climate historians hunting for past temperature...

They said it: Leaders at the virtual UN, in their own words

Lots of leaders saying lots of things about lots of topics — topics that matter to them, to their regions,...

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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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