06-28-2022  12:23 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Summer of Sound Celebrates Portland’s Black Jazz and Soul Legacy, Elders

The World Arts Foundation and Albina Music Trust put North Portland’s music history back onstage.

LIV Golf Heads to Oregon, Where Local Officials Aren't Happy

Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf is getting a chilly reception in Oregon, its first stop in the United States.

Abortion Remains Legal, Accessible in Oregon in Wake of Supreme Court Ruling

Decision has no effect on Oregon’s Reproductive Health Equity Act that guarantees right to receive abortion, health care providers’ right to provide it

Black Man Police Killed in Clackamas County ID'd, Police Say He Had Gun

The shooting is being investigated by the Oregon City and Lake Oswego police departments.

NEWS BRIEFS

KGW and TEGNA Foundation Award $40k in Community Grants to Aid Four Oregon Nonprofit Organizations

Among the grant recipients are Urban Nature Partners PDX, Self Enhancement, Inc (SEI), Portland YouthBuilders (PYB), and p:ear. ...

Hawthorne, Morrison Bridges Will Close to Motorized Vehicles for July 4 Fireworks Show

The bridges will remain open for bicyclists and pedestrians. ...

Increased Emergency Snap Benefits Continue in July

Approximately 422,000 households will receive an estimated million in extra food benefits ...

Opacity of Performance: Takahiro Yamamoto Opens at PAM

The Portland Art Museum marks a return to live art inside its galleries with a dance installation by Takahiro Yamamoto, the museum’s...

Portland's First Black Book Festival Launches on Juneteenth Weekend

She’s bringing together the community through books! ...

Conservationists call for action on Northwest wolf poaching

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Wildlife advocates say there has been a distressing uptick in wolf poaching cases in the Northwest in the past year and a half. Four dead wolves were discovered in the northeastern corner of Washington state in February. That followed the poisoning of eight...

Police: 8 wounded in shooting after music event in Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Eight people were wounded in a shooting after a music event and five people were shot, one fatally, in separate incidents in Tacoma, Washington, over the weekend. Tacoma Police spokesperson Wendy Haddow said in a statement that at 12:45 a.m. Sunday, people...

OPINION

Quenn Tiye’s Kitchen

Centuries of indoctrination have ingrained into the minds of white and Black Americans that any aspect of Africanness is negative. ...

The Plan for Transforming Public Safety and Policing in the U.S.

Rising crime leaves communities feeling unsafe, however, police violence and killings of unarmed civilians demonstrate that pouring more money into more-of-the-same policing is not the answer. ...

What Is Afrofuturism? An English Professor Explains

Chambliss defines Afrofuturism as an intersection of speculation and liberation that’s inspired by the concerns of people of African descent. ...

Reflections on the Massacre of the Buffalo 10 & Racism

Former NY state senator and Buffalo native knew many of the people killed ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Anti-Black, gay, Asian bias fuel California hate crime surge

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hate crimes in California shot up 33% to nearly 1,800 reported incidents in 2021, the sixth highest tally on record and the highest since after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday. Attorney General Rob Bonta said...

Crump to represent Randy Cox, Black man hurt in police van

Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump said Tuesday he will lead the legal fight on behalf of Randy Cox, a Black man who was seriously injured in the back of a police van in Connecticut when the driver braked suddenly. Crump also called for a federal civil rights investigation into...

Red Bull fires reserve driver Vips for using racial slur

MILTON KEYNES, England (AP) — Red Bull terminated the contract of Formula One test and reserve driver Jüri Vips on Tuesday for using a racial slur during an online gaming stream. The 21-year-old Estonian was suspended by Red Bull last week pending an investigation into the language...

ENTERTAINMENT

Sean 'Diddy' Combs receives lifetime honor at BET Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With a speech about his own inspirational dream for the Black community, Sean “Diddy” Combs channeled the spirit of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. while accepting the BET Awards' highest honor Sunday night. After Combs received his Lifetime Achievement Award,...

'Elvis,' 'Top Gun' tie for box-office crown with .5M each

NEW YORK (AP) — Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic “Elvis” shook up theaters with an estimated .5 million in weekend ticket sales, but — in a box-office rarity — “Elvis” tied “Top Gun: Maverick," which also reported .5 million, for No. 1 in theaters. Final...

MSNBC appoints Alex Wagner as 4-night prime-time anchor

NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC on Monday solidified its prime-time lineup by appointing Alex Wagner to fill Rachel Maddow's time slot four nights a week, Tuesday through Friday. Wagner, who has worked at CBS News, as a co-host of Showtime's “The Circus” and as an editor at The Atlantic,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

G-7 leaders united behind Ukraine, aim at Kremlin oil money

ELMAU, Germany (AP) — Leaders of the world’s biggest developed economies said Tuesday they would explore...

Fire kills 51 after apparent riot attempt at Colombia prison

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — A fire at a prison in southwestern Colombia has killed at least 51 people and injured a...

Ex-GOP Rep. Fortenberry gets probation for lying to feds

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Former Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska was sentenced Tuesday to two years...

Navalny appeal rejected; another Kremlin critic jailed

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court has rejected an appeal by imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who...

G-7 aims to create club of nations to boost climate action

BERLIN (AP) — Members of the Group of Seven major economies pledged Tuesday to create a new " climate club " for...

EU regulator considers clearing smallpox shot for monkeypox

LONDON (AP) — The European Medicines Agency says it will begin reviewing data to decide if a smallpox vaccine...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

By Aaron Morrison, Loop 21

On the evening Trayvon Martin was killed in a Sanford, Fla. gated community, it was a school night. However, the 17-year-old Miami student would not have returned to classes with his friends the following morning.

Martin was serving a 10-day out-of-school suspension in the central Florida town, after officials reportedly removed him for marijuana possession, under a "zero tolerance" policy.

If he had been back in Miami – not shut out from a whole week's worth of learning opportunities – Martin may not have come face-to-face with George Zimmerman, the volunteer neighborhood watch captain, who pursued him because he looked "up to something" and shot him during an apparent scuffle.

Martin, an African American, shared the experience of many young black students in American public schools, who are given suspensions and expulsions at a disproportionate rate to other groups. That fact isn't news. But for decades, the disparity has grown exponentially, as some teachers and other education professionals still believe that casting away minority students keeps others safe, and teaches the offending student a lesson.

 Read more about this topic in our local community on The Skanner News' Schools to Prisons Pipeline page

"We should not believe that just because they are in a classroom that (some teachers) are any different than George Zimmerman," said Judy Browne Dianis, co-director for D.C.-based civil rights group, Advancement Project.

Dianis, who spent 20 years as a civil rights attorney, says there is a patent overreaction by teaching professionals to the misbehavior of black males in public schools. Federal data measuring school equities supports what she called a "rush to judgment" when doling out discipline.

Data collected by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights shows minority students face harsher discipline. African American boys "are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers," read a DOE statement released earlier this month.

The newest data available, from a 2009 survey of public schools, show black students make up 18 percent of the sample. But 35 percent of them are suspended at least once, and 39 percent are expelled. Latino students come in at a close second.

In Miami-Dade County Public Schools, where Martin was enrolled, half of all students who received multiple out-of-school suspensions in 2009 were black. At Dr. Michael M. Krop High School, where Martin reportedly attended, nearly half of the 105 suspensions in 2009 were given to black students, who made up only 35 percent of the school's enrollment.

A spokesman for Miami-Dade schools said out-of-school suspensions dropped from 24,061 to 22,386, over the last two school years. There are 435 schools in the district.

The suspensions "can be expected to drop more for the current year," said spokesman John Schuster. The district also offers in-school suspensions, which were down last year.

Dianis, who did some work with the district on these issues, said individual schools in Miami-Dade have made improvements, but that it's not true across the board.

"These suspensions are for things that are very subjective," Dianis said.

In Martin's case, he had been suspended three times from his high school. In October, he was suspended with friends for writing "W.T.F." on a locker, according to a Miami Herald report.

The first time Martin was suspended, it was for truancy and tardiness. Whether or not the incidences were subjectively assessed, the punishments don't always fit the crimes.

"Why would you suspend a child who is late? What sense does that make," said Marguerite Wright, a clinical psychologist and author of the parenting guide, "I'm chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World."

"The biggest thing is that it tells (students) that they are failures," Wright said. "You're not going to close the achievement gap…because they are not in school."

Wright and Dianis both agreed that the seed of failure could be planted in a student's psyche as early as pre-school.

"At the heart of children doing well in school is forming relationships with their teachers," Wright said. "If you are growing up in these at-risk environments, you start getting these messages early on."

Many learning institutions have effective alternatives to out-of-school suspension. Restorative justice programs commute a normal off-site dismissal to in-school intervention. The restorative model gets students to take responsibility for their actions, in the same way that conflict resolution programs do.

At Rosa Parks Elementary School in San Francisco, Principal Paul Jacobsen used grant money to institute a successful restorative justice program, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday.

Reacting to the Education Department report on school suspensions, state lawmakers in California have proposed a measure to limit out-of-school suspensions. A second proposal would require alternative behavioral and intervention programs, particularly in schools with high rates of suspension or expulsion, the Chronicle reports.

But Dianis said restorative programs are just the half of it. Bluntly, she says racial profiling is as much of a problem in schools as it is in law enforcement – or in Martin's case, supposed vigilante justice.

"In cases where white kids get suspended, it's either you had the drugs, or you didn't," Dianis said. "Either you had the knife, or you didn't."

The color of a student's skin, Dianis added, makes subordination and wearing baseball caps in school suspension worthy offenses. There is no restorative process. They are sent on "vacations" from school, which are frequently unsupervised.

In Trayvon's case, his father Tracy Martin and mother Sybrina Fulton wanted him in Sanford, away from his friends back in Miami, a close family friend told CNN. Martin's suspension was supervised.

Dianis said students who are put out on the street, thanks to swift suspension from school, are at-risk for more of the same trouble that got them the suspension in the first place.

It's been reported that Trayvon had aspirations in the field of aviation. An e-mail account belonging to the teen, which was apparently hacked by an anarchist group, showed Trayvon was looking for colleges to attend and was preparing to take the SATs.

Although Martin family lawyers have not confirmed the breach, it's clear there was more to Trayvon, the student, than occasional mischief and a few suspensions.

Jan. 6 Committe Hearings - Day 6

A suprise hearing with newly discovered evidence will be held Tuesday, June 28 at 9:45 a.m. PT (12:45 p.m. ET).

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events