09-27-2020  4:40 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Braces as Right-Wing Extremists Rally

Gov. Kate Brown warned violence would not be tolerated as right wing extremists converge on Portland "looking for a fight"

A Reminder: Delta Park is Vanport

As extreme right-wing, white supremacist groups prepare to converge on Portland tomorrow, here is a reminder of the historical significance of the place they plan to overrun and the stories of the people that lived there.

Wildfires Taint West Coast Vineyards With Taste of Smoke

No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity.

Black Lives Matters Protestors, Organizers Keep Up Momentum

Hazardous air quality stopped protests for a week, interrupted the more-than-100 nights of demonstrations.

NEWS BRIEFS

Blumenauer Statement on Planned White Supremacist Rally in Portland

“These are evil people looking for a fight and national media attention. Let’s not give them what they want." ...

Wish Launches $2 Million Fund To Support Black-owned Businesses

The Wish Local Empowerment Program is set to impact more than 4,000 small businesses across the US ...

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. ...

Arrests in Portland protest follow fairly calm rally

PORTLAND (AP) — Several people in Portland, Oregon, were arrested in anti-police brutality protests that continued into early Sunday, hours after demonstrations ended with few reports of violence.The protests that began Saturday night were declared an unlawful assembly and police began...

Portland, Oregon, largely peaceful after right-wing rally

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police say a right-wing rally and counter-protests in Portland, Oregon, have largely dispersed without serious violence Saturday, though they are investigating an assault after one person who was documenting the event was pushed to the ground and kicked in the...

No. 2 Crimson Tide rolls on offense to 38-19 win over Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nick Saban has never lost a season opener while coaching Alabama.Then again, he'd never had one like this.Yet despite an offseason largely scrapped by the coronavirus pandemic, and a delayed start to the season, Saban's second-ranked Crimson Tide looked just fine as they...

No. 2 Alabama visits Missouri to begin SEC-only campaign

No. 2 Alabama at Missouri, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).Line: Alabama by 27 1/2.Series record: Alabama leads 4-2.WHAT’S AT STAKE?The second-ranked Crimson Tide will go for their fifth straight win over Missouri when the teams open their SEC-only schedule at Faurot Field. The Tigers will be...

OPINION

When Black Women's Lives Matter All Lives Will Matter

Brazen disregard for the lives and safety of Black women goes back over 400 years in U.S. history with the definition of Black women’s bodies as property at the complete disposal of white slave-owners ...

Sarah Iannarone Demands Action from Mayor Regarding Planned Right-Wing Demonstrations; Opens Safe Space for Portlanders

BIPOC, Queer, and other marginalized Portlanders will bear the brunt of these attacks simply because of their identity or the color of their skin. ...

National Bar Association Statement on Breonna Taylor Decision

Not only was justice not served, the desultory and insufficient result we received today was also unacceptably slow in manifesting. ...

All Officers Responsible for Breonna Taylor’s Murder Must Be Held Accountable

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued a statement in response to the grand jury’s findings regarding the police who murdered Breonna Taylor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Organizer arrested after driving car into California protest

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An organizer of a Southern California demonstration against racism was in jail Sunday on suspicion of attempted murder after authorities say she drove through a crowd and struck two counterprotesters. Tatiana Turner, 40, was arrested Saturday in Yorba Linda after speeding...

Minnesota mayor disputes harassment of COVID-19 survey team

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The mayor of a southern Minnesota city is disputing state health department claims that a COVID-19 survey team was threatened there earlier this month.State health officials on Friday reported cases of health workers being subjected to hostility — including racial...

Insider Q&A: Accenture directs capital to Black start-ups

NEW YORK (AP) — Kathryn Ross was one of just two Black women in Accenture's Miami office when she first joined the global consulting firm nearly 27 years ago. Now a managing partner, Ross was tapped in December to create the inclusion and diversity agenda for Accenture's venture capital...

ENTERTAINMENT

Q&A: Underwood on holiday album and her little drummer boy

NEW YORK (AP) — The Grammy Award for cutest collaboration of the year goes to Carrie Underwood and her 5-year-old son Isaiah.He’s the little singing boy providing the adorable vocals on “Little Drummer Boy,” one of the 11 tracks on the country superstar’s new...

Billie Lourd introduces newborn son in surprise announcement

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress Billie Lourd has announced the birth of her son.Lourd announced on her social media Friday that she and her fiance, Austen Rydell, welcomed their newborn son into the world. She is the daughter of the late Carrie Fisher, who died in 2016 at the age of 60 following...

'Beginning' triumphs at San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain

SAN SEBASTIÁN, Spain (AP) — Georgian writer-director Dea Kulumbegashvili’s first feature film “Beginning” triumphed at Spain’s San Sebastian International Film Festival, scooping up four of its top prizes including best film and best director. The story about...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Nearly a year after sudden exit, Shepard Smith returns to TV

NEW YORK (AP) — Two weeks shy of a year after abruptly quitting Fox News Channel with a declaration that...

Appellate court halts Wisconsin ballot-counting extension

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Sunday temporarily halted a six-day extension for counting...

Joe Montana, wife block attempted kidnapping of grandchild

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and his wife confronted a home intruder who...

Fighting erupts between Armenia, Azerbaijan; 18 killed

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces has erupted again over the...

Greek police arrest 3 human traffickers, free 7 captives

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greek police said Sunday they have arrested three men of Pakistani origin for...

North Korea accuses South of intrusion to find dead official

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea accused South Korea of sending ships across the disputed sea boundary...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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Freddie Allen NNPA Washington Correspondent

Black FarmersWASHINGTON (NNPA) – For decades, Black farmers fought the United States Department of Agriculture over racial discrimination. The farmers, mostly in the south, lost crops, their farms and their homes. Some farmers grew old and died waiting for the slow hands of justice to turn in their favor, but those that still toil in the fields can proclaim victory, the government has finally started cutting checks in the $1.2 billion settlement case known as "Pigford II."

Tim Pigford, a corn and soybean farmer from southeastern North Carolina, said that USDA officials denied his loan application because he was Black. He even testified before Congress in 1984. By 1998, what became known as the Pigford's case evolved into a class action racial discrimination lawsuit that included Black farmers who were denied loans and other federal aid from the government from 1981 to 1996. The government settled the case in 1999.

Pigford, eventually backed out of the landmark case that bears his name and was awarded a separated individual payout.

"Pigford II" included Black farmers who missed the filing deadline, but also suffered hardships in receiving aid from the USDA. The farmers, roughly 18,000 of them, will each receive $50,000 plus an additional $12,500 for debt associated with federal taxes.

The judgment is the largest civil rights settlement in United States history.

Even as some advocates for Black farmers declared victory in the case, most agree that the settlement payments won't go far enough to make up for the wholesale devastation of rural Black communities and the loss of land ownership at the hands of government officials.

"For many Black farmers, the settlement is not going to buy them a new farm with new equipment and put them back into business. That's not what it's going to do," said John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association.

Boyd said, for an elderly Black farmer over 65 years old, the settlement would make the coming years a little more comfortable, pay some bills or help grandkids with college tuition.

Boyd, who has advocated for Black farmers for nearly 30 years, added: "The settlement was never designed to make us completely whole. I don't know if you can put a dollar figure on that."

Still, Boyd said the settlement was a big victory for Black farmers and a big victory for Black people.

Boyd said at times he wanted to give up and that he heard "no" so many times he began to think of "nos" as "maybes."

When Boyd wanted to give up, he remembered the pain and suffering carved into the faces of Black farmers that he met and tried to over the years. Many of them had worse stories than his own encounter with a county supervisor that they said spit on him after denying him a loan.

"That's what kept me going it was the faces, it was the stories, it was the pain and suffering it was all the land that was lost," said Boyd.

According to the USDA, Black farm ownership peaked in 1920 at 925,710. By 1982, the number of Black-owned farms had plummeted to 33,250. A 1998 USDA report found that, "The decline of the African American farmer has taken place at a rate that is three times that of white farmers."

Since 1920, nearly 12 million acres has slipped from the hands of Black farmers.

The United States Commission on Civil Rights found that the Farmers Home Admistration, "may have hindered the efforts of black small farm operators to remain a viable force in agriculture" and that the USDA and FHA failed to "provide equal opportunities in farm credit programs."

Critics have charged that the Pigford settlement and claim process is rife with fraud, and that some who alleged discrimination never attempted to farm or receive loan assistance from the USDA. But Boyd said that those allegations are an insult to Black farmers.

"We made the South what it is, we made this country what it is. We made cotton king," said Boyd. "…If that Black farmer or Black land owner felt that they were discriminated against by the government, they deserved a right to go through that process. I didn't say everybody deserved a check. I never said that."

Gary Grant, head of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, said that from 1981-1996. Black farmers in North Carolina lost nearly 300,000 acres totaling $1.2 billion in lost assets in North Carolina alone.

"Fifty thousand dollars to a farmer is not a lot of money," said Grant.

Farmers didn't get their land back, they didn't get their equipment back they didn't get their homes back, and Grant said, that tax-burdens often put Black farmers in worst shape than they were in before the settlement.

In a press statement on the Pigford II settlement payments, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) said: "The Pigford I and II class action lawsuits attempted to address a history of discrimination by the Department of Agriculture.  Between 1983 and 1997, thousands of African American famers were denied loans solely because of their race. These discriminatory practices resulted in severe economic consequences for farmers, often preventing them from maintaining and keeping their farms."

Fudge continued: "Nearly 14 years after the first Pigford case was filed, I am pleased this chapter of discrimination in the history of the Department of Agriculture is closed and bureaucracy will no longer keep these farmers from receiving their due justice."

Some argue, however that the chapter is still open and Black farmers face extinction if they don't continue to fight.

Even as the settlement checks go out, the future of Black farming looks grim. Black farmers are counting on a youth infusion to revitalize industry.

"Nothing has changed at the USDA, despite the settlement," said Grant, who still doesn't trust the USDA. "We can't leave it alone."

Grant added: "This country has destroyed a way of life (family farming and that doesn't matter if you're Black or White) and devastated Black communities by the destruction of the agricultural plain, which was the economic engine in rural society."

Grant acknowledged that sharecropping memories still haunt southern Blacks, because it was such a painful part of our history. But he maintains that Black farmers sent their children off to college and forgot to teach them about the power of land ownership. That was a mistake.

Boyd said that the Black community needs to improve awareness of the value of land ownership.

"A landless culture is a powerless culture. If you don't have any land you don't have any power in this country," said Boyd.

Boyd added: "If you can buy a new Cadillac or a new Mercedes Benz you can also afford five acres in the country. Whatever you need to do in this [nation], if you have land, you can get it done."

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