05-08-2021  12:29 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Extends COVID Workplace Mask Rule Indefinitely

State officials say the rule, which garnered thousands of public comments, will be in place until it is “no longer necessary to address the effects of the pandemic in the workplace.”

As Reparations Hit Roadblock, Oregon Lawmakers Look to U.S. Congress and Cities

Sen. Frederick pushed for eligible Black Oregonians to receive a lifetime annuity as remedy for slavery, systemic racism.

Landmark Gun Safety Bill Clears Final Vote

The Oregon Senate repassed Senate Bill 554 – approving modifications made in the House to add storage and safety requirements among the bill’s components.

Shooting Highlights Lack of Body Cams Among Portland Police

Two police officers raised their weapons while sheltering behind a tree in a Portland park. They yelled at a homeless man to put up his hands. Moments later, two shots rang out.

NEWS BRIEFS

Street Gallery: Crossing the Redline

Street Gallery, invites the public to an intergenerational art exhibit: “Crossing the Redline” ...

Unemployment Fix Passes Oregon Senate, Helps Get More Oregonians Back to Work

Many Oregon employers believe this policy will help support their rapidly changing workforce needs, COVID-19 regulations, and worker...

Concrete Wall Around Seattle Police Precinct Comes Down

The city decided to take the wall down after hearing from the community ...

Peloton Recalls Treadmills, Halts Sales, After a Child Dies

Peloton is recalling about 125,000 of its treadmills less than a month after denying they were dangerous and saying it would not pull...

Free Online Classes Promote Sustainable Living

Clark County’s Master Composter Recycler program is offering a series of free sustainable living webinars this spring. ...

Judge nixes reduced Klamath River flows for sucker fish

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A judge has ruled against the Klamath Tribes in a lawsuit that accuses federal regulators of violating the Endangered Species Act by letting water levels fall too low for sucker fish to spawn in a lake that also feeds an elaborate irrigation system along the...

Portland: Feds to blame for cops failure in settlement deal

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland city officials said they welcome constructive criticism from federal Justice Department lawyers who found the Police Bureau has failed to adhere to a settlement governing officers’ use of force. But officials also blame the federal government for contributing to...

OPINION

OP-ED: The Supreme Court Can Protect Black Lives by Ending Qualified Immunity

The three officers responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor are not the first to walk free after killing an unarmed Black person, and unfortunately, especially if things continue as they are, they will not be the last. ...

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trade Arron Rodgers

Give Aaron Rodgers a break, Green Bay. Just like Bart Starr & Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers has been a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Packers for 16 years. ...

Editorial From the Publisher - Council: Police Reform Needed Now

Through years of ceaseless protest, activists have tried to hold Portland Police to account. ...

After the Verdicts

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum shares her thoughts after the verdicts ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In the French language, steps forward and back for women

LE PECQ, France (AP) — The fight to make the French language kinder to women took steps forward, and back, this week. Warning that the well-being of France and its future are at stake, the government banned the use in schools of a method increasingly used by some French...

Rachel Zoll, much-admired AP religion writer, dead at 55

Rachel Zoll, who for 17 years as religion writer for The Associated Press endeared herself to colleagues, competitors and sources with her warm heart and world-class reporting skills, died Friday in Amherst, Massachusetts, after a three-year bout with brain cancer. She was 55. ...

Man charged in stabbings of 2 Asian women a no-show in court

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The arraignment of a man who allegedly stabbed two older women without warning at a San Francisco bus stop was postponed Friday after he refused to leave his jail cell and appear in court. Patrick Thompson's arraignment on charges of attempted murder,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jhené Aiko, Saweetie to perform on AAPI advocacy TV special

NEW YORK (AP) — Platinum-selling performers of part-Asian descent, including R&B singer Jhené Aiko and rapper Saweetie, will perform on a TV special produced by The Asian American Foundation, the newly formed organization launched to improve AAPI advocacy. TAAF announced...

In the shadow of COVID-19, a toll on entertainment workers

NEW YORK (AP) — Like so many, the pandemic upended life for actor and dancer Rena Riffel. The Los Angeles-based performer needed help with rent, utilities and counselling when jobs suddenly dried up. “Being an artist, we are already very fragile with our finances," she...

David Oyelowo fulfills new directing passion in 'Water Man'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — While starring in films like “Selma” and “Lee Daniels' The Butler,” actor David Oyelowo discovered a new passion: directing. Oyelowo was inspired to step behind-the-camera after learning different nuances of the craft from respected directors like...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Sherpa guide scales Mount Everest for record 25th time

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A Sherpa guide scaled Mount Everest for the 25th time on Friday, breaking his own record...

Last wild macaw in Rio is lonely and looking for love

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Some have claimed she’s indulging a forbidden romance. More likely, loneliness compels...

Texas GOP's voting restriction bill passes House

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has become the latest Republican-dominated state to advance sweeping new limits on...

Ethiopian Orthodox Church patriarch blasts Tigray 'genocide'

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in his first public comments on the war in the...

Ahead of Harris meeting, Mexico president accuses US

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Just before an online meeting with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris Friday, Mexico President...

Deadly police shootout prompts claims of abuse in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A bloody, hour-long gunbattle in a Rio de Janeiro slum echoed into Friday, with...

Cynthia Moreno Vida En El Valle

SACRAMENTO -- For those who believe music does not play a role in shaping Latino identity-think again says Jorge Andrés Herrera, an adjunct professor at California State University, Fullerton, who teaches Chicano Studies courses and is a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA.

He is studying the role music plays in shaping Latino identity with an emphasis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"When a Latino crosses the border, they automatically start to assimilate culturally and a big part of that assimilation comes in the form of musical tastes and musical preferences which also transform and assimilate to the dominant culture," said Herrera.

The UCLA graduate -- who obtained both his bachelor's and master's degrees in ethnomusicology, the study of how music influences and affects culture and vice versa -- became fascinated by the role music plays in shaping Latino identity and how it transforms and affects Latino culture.

"Everything that happens in our society is reflected in music and people don't really stop to think about that. For example, in the last five years, there has been a rise in narco corridos coming out of Mexico and that can be attributed to the record levels of violence we so often hear about on television," said Herrera during a telephone interview.

Two of the most important genres Herrera is studying are norteño and jarocho music. Norteño music -- which is traditionally found in the northern regions of Mexico and customarily recognized by the accordion sound -- changes the moment it crosses the border.

"When you cross the border from Mexico to the United States, music becomes more politicized and is usually used as a vehicle to express ideologies about life, about culture, relationships and life in general. But, if you cross the border from the United States to Mexico, it has more of an entertainment, traditional and regional value," said Herrera.

He noticed the difference in the ways his Latino and specifically, Mexican friends in college thought about music, how it helped define who they were while living in a country that encourages assimilation.

"When I first arrived at UCLA as an undergraduate student, I noticed my Latino friends didn't listen to Spanish or Mexican music and if they did it was something like Intocable, a norteño band whose style is quite different from traditional norteño music, and that is as far as they identified," said Herrera.

"Others jumped on the bandwagon but were hesitant to admit they liked or listened to Spanish music. It was almost as if, they were ashamed to identify as being Latino," said Herrera.

But when those same friends began to take Chicano studies courses and began to learn about their culture, history and roots; when they ultimately realized they were "different and Latino," something began to dramatically change, said Herrera.

"Most Latinos growing up in the United States listen to English music for the most part like mainstream pop, hip-hop, country, rock and jazz. Some like Spanish music and may listen to it at home, but for the most part, it's not the first they are quick to identify with," said Herrera.

"But, something happens in the classroom. A switch goes off. Something tells them, it's important to be a brown face in academia and it's important to relate to one's own culture by way of food, language and especially music," he said.

Herrera recalls his own experience when he first began taking courses at UCLA as a freshman. The one-time jazz major discovered he was the only Latino in his classes studying jazz music. The piano player felt out of place, but as he enrolled in several Chicano studies courses and learned about the different genres of music in Mexico, he began to change his notion of studying mainstream music he had little in common with and could not identify with personally.

"When I realized I was Latino I asked myself, what am I doing in these courses? Why am I not studying the music of my culture? If there is anyone who is more equipped and more connected to the sounds emanating from our country of origin, it is me. If Latinos don't get back in touch with their roots, who will keep our musical traditions alive?" said Herrera.

Herrera believes music helps shape Latino identity by empowering and helping those who have assimilated to mainstream music in the United States, reconnect with their true selves.

"I believe there is a strong need and sense for Latinos to reclaim their heritage. Too many times, we have read our history books that have been written by Europeans and it has had a tremendous impact in the ways we view our culture and listen to our music. I do think our identity is lost with it and at some point, we try to find it again later in life," said Herrera.

Music is just one of those avenues, he says.

"Latinos in the United States are growing up bicultural and bilingual. It is easy for us to speak to our American friends and our Mexican friends. But there is also this notion of categorizing our identity based on comparisons we make amongst one another based on music," said Herrera.

Several of his students, for example, pointed to levels of Mexican-ness by way of music. If you are a "hard-core Mexican," you listen to narco corridos. If you are really hard-core, you listen to corridos alterados. If you listen to Vicente Fernández too often, you are a "paisa," but if you only listen to his music occasionally, you are not a true Mexican.

"I reject the notion of creating a caste system based on what kind of music we listen to, but Latinos so often do it. It's not just with music, but also with how often we visit Mexico, how well we speak or don't speak Spanish, do we favor rancheras, norteñas, cumbias, mariachi? Somehow there is always this notion that someone is more Mexican than someone else," said Herrera.

Despite the ways Latinos try to identify themselves, Herrera says there is no denying the comparisons bring about one important aspect; Latinos are becoming more accepting of who they are and where they come from, despite the comparisons.

"I think we are finally coming to terms with who we are. We are beginning to embrace our biculturalness, the fact that we can listen to English music and Spanish music and still identify. This new Mexican-American identity that is surging will be an interesting one to read about in the history books," said Herrera.

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