10-31-2020  4:12 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Anguish Over Fatal Police Shooting in Vancouver Washington

Hundreds march and shots are fired in Vancouver as grief over death of a young father, 21-year-old Kevin E. Peterson Jr., boils over into unrest

Judge Cites Trump Tweets in Restricting Feds at Protests

U.S. District Judge Mosman said he couldn’t ignore the tweets, and remarked how odd and new it is for a court to be asked to examine Twitter messages to determine the intent of the executive branch.

Father: 21-Year-Old Black Man Killed by Washington Deputies

Law enforcement remained tight-lipped about the Thursday night shooting, but Kevin E. Peterson Sr. told the media the person killed was his son, Kevin E. Peterson Jr.

Hundreds of Shelter Dogs, Cats Flown Across the Pacific

The rescue flight arriving in Seattle Thursday, was necessary because the coronavirus pandemic has led to overcrowding in Hawaii pet shelters.


Oregon Leaders Unite Against Hate & Election-Related Violence

Mayor Wheeler, Governor Kate Brown, and more than sixty other individuals and organizations signed a joint letter to, “unequivocally...

COVID-Related Assistance Applications Open Friday, Oct. 30

Portlanders struggling from health or financial impacts of COVID-19 will have the opportunity to apply for 0 in household...

Providence Launches African American MS Registry

The goal is to foster better treatment for Black patients ...

SPLC Launches $25,000 Ad Campaign Supporting Mississippi’s Ballot Measure 2

Measure would change statewide elections process, replacing Jim Crow-era law ...

Confederate Flag Not Welcome in Oregon Historic Cemeteries

Oregon’s Commission on Historic Cemeteries recommends Confederate flags not be allowed in historic cemeteries, but cemeteries that...

Oregon matches highest daily reported COVID-19 death toll

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon health authorities reported Saturday that 14 more people in the state have died from COVID-19, matching the highest death toll reported in a single day as the state struggles to contain the coronavirus.The latest deaths occurred from Sept. 26, when an 80-year-old...

Judge orders Postal Service to take extraordinary measures

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Postal Service to take “extraordinary measures” to deliver ballots in time to be counted in Wisconsin and around Detroit, including using a priority mail service.Chief U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima,...

Week 9: Ohio State faces its biggest test; Florida returns

The potential Big Ten game of the year lost some luster last week. No. 18 Penn State was upset by Indiana so instead of returning to Happy Valley to host No. 3 Ohio State with an unbeaten record, the Nittany Lions are trying to avoid going 0-2 for the first time since 2013.No Big Ten team has...

No. 10 Florida plays 1st game in 3 weeks, hosts hot Missouri

Missouri (2-2 SEC) at No. 10 Florida (2-1), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network Alternate).Line: Florida by 12 1/2.Series record: Missouri leads 5-4.WHAT’S AT STAKE?Florida returns to the field for the first time in three weeks after a COVID-19 outbreak. More than 30 players and coaches...


Black Voters Cannot Afford Four More Years of Trump

It is more imperative than perhaps at any other period in many of our lifetimes that we vote at record numbers this year. ...

Open Letter to the Community on the Multnomah County Circuit Court Judicial Election

History has shown us that judges impact systemic change and have the opportunity to include the voices of our communities in the process. ...

Squaring Away the Cube

When I first heard that entertainer Ice Cube is supporting Donald Trump in his 2020 re-election bid, I did not believe it. ...

The Skanner News National 2020 Election Endorsements

Vote like your life depends on it. Read The Skanner News' endorsements for US President, and more ...


Obama: Trump failed to take pandemic, presidency seriously

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Calling Joe Biden his “brother,” Barack Obama on Saturday accused Donald Trump of failing to take the coronavirus pandemic and the presidency seriously as Democrats leaned on America's first Black president to energize Black voters in battleground Michigan...

Canfield, Stars+Stripes win Gold Cup, match racing title

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — Skipper Taylor Canfield and Team Stars+Stripes have won the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup and 2020 Open Match Racing World Championship.The victory was Canfield’s third at the Bermuda Gold Cup and second Open Match Racing World Championship.“I can’t...

Noose displayed at Missouri poll covered up amid complaints

GALENA, Mo. (AP) — A replica hangman's noose on display near voting booths in a southwest Missouri county building has been covered up following complaints from Democrats that it amounted to intimidation of Black voters.The Missouri Democratic Party released a photo Friday of the display...


Sans gala or red carpet, a stylish fashion show at the Met

NEW YORK (AP) — The annual hoopla around the celebrity-studded Met Gala is so intense, it's often forgotten who the real star is: the fashion exhibit inside.This year, it's the only star. A stylish Costume Institute show at the Metropolitan Museum has opened, six months behind schedule. But...

Curious about going to a movie theater? 7 things to know

It’s been over two months since movie theaters started reopening in the U.S., but there is still a fair amount of consumer confusion about moviegoing in the COVID-19 era.Movie studios and theater owners have found themselves in the unique position of having to re-educate audiences on how to...

Actor Lori Loughlin reports to prison in college scam

BOSTON (AP) — “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin has reported to a federal prison in California to begin serving her two-month sentence for her role in the college admissions bribery scandal, authorities said Friday.The U.S. Attorney's office in Boston said Loughlin was being...


QB Uiagalelei rallies No. 1 Clemson to 34-28 win over BC

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Freshman DJ Uiagalelei already made Clemson history by leading the biggest comeback in...

Exorcism: Increasingly frequent, including after US protests

In popular culture, exorcism often serves as a plot device in chilling films about demonic possession. This month,...

Mystery surrounds former Marine's imprisonment in Venezuela

MEDELLIN, Colombia (AP) — “Don’t WORRY!,” reads the cryptic note scribbled on a scrap...

Sudan says deal with US blocks further compensation claims

CAIRO (AP) — Sudan says it has signed an agreement with the U.S. that could effectively stop any future...

Tanzania, once envy of the region, watches democracy slide

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Vote-counting was far from over when Tanzanian opposition leader Seif Sharif Hamad...

AP Explains: Why France incites such anger in Muslim world

PARIS (AP) — Many countries, especially in the democratic West, champion freedom of expression and allow...

Vote like your life depends on it
Ravi Ventkataraman New America Media/ Iexaminer.org

A week before his wedding on a summer night in 1982, Vincent Chin was enjoying his bachelor party at a suburban Detroit strip club. As the party continued on, Chin came across two laid-off autoworkers, Ronald Ebens and his stepson Michael Nitz. Tensions ran high as they traded insults.

"It's because of you little m—f—s that we're out of work," Ebens was heard saying. Like many others during that time, Ebens and Nitz blamed the Japanese for the U.S. auto industry's decline. Its impact was particularly noticed in Detroit. Chin, a Chinese-American draftsman, was the scapegoat.

A fight ensued. The wedding party and the autoworkers were thrown out of the bar. But that wasn't the end of it. Ebens and Nitz searched the area for Chin; they reportedly paid $20 to a friend to help search. The two found Chin at a nearby McDonalds. They dragged him out. Nitz held him down as Ebens clubbed Chin four times with a baseball bat.

"It's not fair," Chin spoke his last words to a friend. Chin slipped into a coma and four days later, he died in a hospital.

Thirty years after his death, Asian Americans across the nation are paying their respects to Chin: a man who died needlessly and whose death sparked many Asian Americans to argue for their civil rights throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

"I remember being shocked when I learned what had happened," Ron Chew, a prominent community organizer in Seattle, said. "In my mind, it harkened back to the anti-Chinese violence of the late 1800s and the attitudes which fueled the Japanese American internment."

In 1983, Ebens and Nitz were found guilty of manslaughter and charged three years of probation, a $3,000 fine, and $780 in court fees. For the next five years, journalist Helen Zia and lawyer Liza Cheuk May Chan contested the outcome and led the fight for federal charges.

"I remember when suddenly we all realized that it wasn't just one person we knew who seemed to have been a victim of hate crime, that it was a larger issue," said Connie So, a senior lecturer in the American Ethnic Studies department at the University of Washington.

For the first time, the Asian American community crossed ethnic boundaries and fought together for justice. Groups such as Chinese for Affirmative Action, Japanese American Citizens League, Organization of Chinese Americans, Filipino American Community Council of Michigan, and Korean Society of Metropolitan Detroit staged rallies and organized demonstrations. They demanded in writ to politicians, the press and the U.S. Department of Justice for rightful punishment for the two men violating Chin's civil rights. The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) took initiative and spoke up.

"We tried to develop a campaign to get us and the American Citizens of Justice to bring a federal civil rights prosecution against the two killers," Steven Kwoh, president and executive director of APALC, said. Together, the APALC and American Citizens of Justice (ACJ) sent a memorandum outlining the case to the U.S. Department of Justice.

In 1984, all of these efforts led to a federal civil rights case. The court found Ebens guilty of violating Chin's civil rights; he was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but posted bail for $20,000. Nitz was cleared of charges. However, an appeal in 1986 overturned Ebens' conviction—because the federal appeals court discovered an attorney improperly coached witnesses. The retrial in 1987 in Cincinnati, Ohio cleared Ebens of all charges.

The generalized disparaging view of Asian Americans and a skewed justice system—a system that placed a retrial in a city where out of 200 potential jurors, only 19 had ever encountered an Asian American—made many Asian Americans take initiative.

"I think the whole pan-Asian civil rights movement began with Vincent Chin," said So. "It was a movement that had a lot of people thinking beyond just being Chinese, just being Japanese, just being South Asian or Asian Indian, because a lot of people saw that these issues impact everyone.

"Hate crimes is one that pulls people together. The Vincent Chin trial showed that it's pan-Asian. People really don't separate."

Organizations became stronger to protect communities.

"We were outraged that the court system failed in getting justice for the family," Kwoh said. "So, we have tried to strengthen our organization to help out more families. We helped initiate the Asian American Justice Center to work nationally to fight against crimes and civil rights cases. That started up in 1990. At the legal center, there's a hate crimes monitoring system we still track."

The Vincent Chin case opened up this nationwide issue to the public eye. Hate crime victims such as Navrose Mody in New Jersey and Jim Loo in North Carolina were given the due process of law because of the case.

Yet even with these civil rights protections, the Asian American community needs to be watchful. Existing social stigmas still aren't in favor of Asian Americans.

"When it comes to things like model minority, a lot of Asian Americans may think it's very positive, but actually, it's all yellow peril," So said. She added that the stereotype of Asian Americans as foreigners taking American jobs, plus the shift of military and economic rivalry from Japan to China contributes to the consistent viewpoint.

"In fact, every Asian group inherits each of these because people don't tell Asians apart," So said. "What we show is that it still continues on."

In the past three years, data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation show a rise in hate crimes directed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In 2008, 3.4 percent of race-related hate crimes were targeted toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. That percentage rose to 3.7 percent in 2009 and then to 5.1 percent in 2010. This resurgence is because of numerous aspects, most notably the economic state of the U.S. and the rise of the East.

"The hatred and distrust of Japan that we saw in the 1970s and 80s is mirrored in some of the growing public attitudes about China—and this has implications for Asians here in this country," Chew said. "It's important to be reminded of the Vincent Chin case because we need to be constantly vigilant against attitudes of intolerance fed by stereotypes and cultural differences during times of economic stress."

Mingus Mapps 2020
Port of Seattle S King County Fund 2020

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