12-01-2021  10:10 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Attorney General Rosenblum Says She Won’t Run for Governor

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Monday put to rest rumors and officially said she will not enter Oregon’s crowded race for governor.

Portland’s Black Population Grew in the Last Decade, but That’s Not the Whole Story

The Black population in North and Northeast Portland declined by 13.5% over the last 10 years as more than 3,000 Black residents moved away, new numbers from the 2020 census show.

City’s Budget Windfall Means More for Police, Despite NAACP Demands

Group calls out lack of engagement from City Hall.

Oregon Resists Dropping Controversial Investments

Oregon residents are increasingly pushing for the state to divest from fossil fuel companies and other controversial investments, but the state treasury is resisting and putting the onus on the Legislature.

NEWS BRIEFS

Open Enrollment Deadline Is Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Coverage Starting Jan. 1, 2022

Help applying and financial assistance is available through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace ...

Commissioners From Three Counties Select Lawrence-Spence to Fill Senate District 18 Vacancy

District 18 includes portions of west Portland and Tigard. ...

Congressional Black Caucus Issues a Statement on the Passing of Former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28 at her...

Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Shop Local and Earn Free Parking With Parking Kitty

Find the purrfect gift for your loved ones by supporting small businesses and shopping local this holiday season, thanks to the...

Heat, no food, deadly weather: Climate change kills seabirds

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The warming of the planet is taking a deadly toll on seabirds that are suffering population declines from starvation, inability to reproduce, heat waves and extreme weather. Climate-related losses have hit albatrosses off the Hawaiian islands, northern...

Dozens of Oregon workers fired for not getting COVID shot

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials in Oregon say at least 99 state workers have been fired for failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. KOIN reports the figures from the Department of Administrative Services show that out of more than 40,000 state workers, 84.7% received the...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Death of bullied Utah girl draws anger over suicides, racism

DRAPER, Utah (AP) — When her 10-year-old daughter tried spraying air freshener on herself before school one morning, Brittany Tichenor-Cox suspected something was wrong with the sweet little girl whose beaming smile had gone dormant after she started the fifth grade. She...

Editorial Roundup: U.S.

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: Nov. 30 The Wall Street Journal on U.S. Supreme Court at abortion crossroads: The Supreme Court takes up its most important abortion case in years on Wednesday, and the...

Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack

CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett is on trial this week on charges that he lied to Chicago police when the former “Empire” actor and R&B singer reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack nearly three years ago. Some key moments in the story: Jan. 22,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Gucci heirs says ‘House of Gucci’ narrative is inaccurate

The Gucci family is not pleased with the depiction of their relatives in the new film “ House of Gucci.” In a statement issued this week, they said the narrative is “anything but accurate” and that the filmmakers did not consult them at all. The Guccis, who have no...

Weather vanes: Exhibit looks at artworks with a purpose

Perched atop churches, barns, businesses, homes and seats of government, weather vanes have over hundreds of years taken the form of everything from farm animals to pets, storybook figures to race cars. They were invented for one important job: telling which way the wind was...

Q&A: Mel Brooks, 95, is still riffing

NEW YORK (AP) — Leave it to Mel Brooks to blurb his own memoir. There, along with laudatory quotes from Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Conan O'Brien and others is one from “M. Brooks," who hails “All About Me!” as: "Not since the Bible have I read anything so powerful and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Jan. 6 panel to vote on contempt against former DOJ official

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection will vote on pursuing...

Explosion of WWII bomb in Munich injures 4, disrupts trains

BERLIN (AP) — A World War II bomb exploded at a construction site next to a busy railway line in Munich on...

Putin demands NATO guarantees not to expand eastward

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow would seek Western guarantees precluding any...

Slovakia eyes bonus to boost vaccinations for 60 and overs

BRATISLAVA, SLovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s government has proposed a plan to give people 60 and older a 500-euro...

Official: Blinken, Russian FM to meet amid Ukraine tensions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet separately with his Russian and Ukrainian...

German court OKs ban on Cyprus-based porn sites

BERLIN (AP) — A court has ruled that German authorities are justified in banning three pornographic websites...

Suzanne Gamboa the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- At first, the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a white neighborhood watch volunteer was playing out like many previous tragedies that cut short the lives of young black men.

Soon however, it became obvious that sorting out racial dynamics in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin would not be simple. Police described the shooter, George Zimmerman, as white. His father called him a "Spanish speaking minority" with many black relatives and friends.

While public outrage simmered over perceptions that local police didn't do enough to investigate Martin's death, possible racial motives on Zimmerman's part became tough to pin down. His background and associations cut across racial lines, and his racial identity didn't fit neatly into a box.

"It's easy to label this as an act of white racism, but it's really an act of stereotyping, which many groups are capable of and it is occurring in the context of extraordinarily permissive laws," said Manuel Pastor, a professor of American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

On Twitter, there was genuine confusion about Zimmerman's race. Is he Latino or white? Is Hispanic a race, or not? Shouldn't he, a Latino, have known better than to engage in racial profiling? Might he be Jewish, based on his last name? Many said his Hispanic lineage had nothing to do with the fact that the justice system had failed Martin, while some said Zimmerman's identity was very important.

"I'm actually happy that George Zimmerman is Hispanic so the usual white people are all guilty by virtue of their skin color stuff won't work," said a March 22 tweet by John Hawkins, who described himself as a professional blogger at Right Wing News.

Hispanic people can be black, white, Asian or mixed. Some 18 million Latinos checked the "some other race" category on their 2010 Census forms - which admonished in bold letters that Hispanic is not a race. So many Hispanics identified themselves as white, the overall number of white people in the United States increased.

"We sit in this in between place in the United States. In the U.S., when we think about race, it's usually black and white. ... Latinos complicate that dichotomy," said Cynthia Duarte, associate director of research for the Institute of Latino Studies at Notre Dame.

On voter registration forms, George Zimmerman identified himself as Hispanic, as did his mother. His father, Robert, listed himself as white on voter registration forms. Zimmerman's mother, Gladys, is originally from Peru.

Ethnicities in Peru run the gamut. Descendants of the original people or Amerindians of Peru, those who were under rule of the Inca empire, are the largest ethnic group, followed by those who are a mix of Spanish and Amerindian ancestry, also known as mestizos. Whites are about 15 percent of the population, followed by blacks, Asians and other groups. Class distinctions based on race and language persist in Peru, with whites at the top of the societal hierarchy and indigenous people often at the bottom, a vestige of Spanish colonialism.

Kay Hall, a former neighbor of the Zimmermans when they lived in Manassas, Va., said Zimmerman's mother spoke fluent English and Spanish but she's not certain if George Zimmerman or his brother spoke Spanish. She didn't remember Gladys sharing any stories about her life in Peru or seeing the family carrying out any traditional Peruvian cultural activities.

"I saw Hispanics, blacks, all kinds of people visiting over there," Hall said. "I don't think they had any kind of racial problems."

Neither Zimmerman nor his family members were available to comment about their family history. Beyond what's in the police report, Zimmerman has yet to give his side of what happened the night of Feb. 26, when he called police to say he was following a "suspicious" person he believed was on drugs, while Martin, wearing a hooded sweat shirt, walked through the gated Sanford, Fla., townhome community where Zimmerman lives. Police have not charged Zimmerman, who told them he shot Martin in self-defense, something considered justified homicide under Florida's "stand your ground law."

What Martin's case represents most profoundly is how hazardous it is to judge people simply on the basis of the way they look, said Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza. The cautionary tale applies both to Martin and to Zimmerman, she said.

"The bottom line is you can't tell if someone is Latino simply by looking at them," Murguia said.

Where Zimmerman may fit within the range of Hispanic identity is another matter. Although Robert Zimmerman described his son as "Spanish speaking," it's clear from the 911 call made that night that George Zimmerman is comfortable speaking English. Some Latinos may not consider Zimmerman to be truly Latino, since only one of his parents is Hispanic.

Some Hispanics, mostly in the Southwest, will say they are Spanish to make clear they identify with Spanish explorers who came to the Americas in the 1500s. In Texas, Latino has only recently become an identifying term; Tejano, Chicano or Mexican American have been more common. Cubans, who make up a large share of Hispanics in Florida, are more likely to identify as white than Puerto Ricans, whose presence is growing in Florida.

Beyond that, there is the question of tensions between Hispanics and blacks. Florida also has had its share of this, namely last year's shootings of black men by Cuban-American officers in Miami.

As anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant rhetoric has intensified in recent years, many Latinos have come to hold their collective breath when a crime occurs, many thinking: Please don't let the perpetrator be Latino. Please don't let the perpetrator be an immigrant. Please don't let the perpetrator be in the country illegally.

"It pains me to see that someone who identifies himself as Latino was involved in this," Murguia said. "But I want to make very clear that being Hispanic does not excuse or absolve George Zimmerman of his actions."

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Follow Suzanne Gamboa on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/APsgamboa .

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