05-07-2021  11:25 pm   •   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

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

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Concrete Wall Around Seattle Police Precinct Comes Down

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Peloton Recalls Treadmills, Halts Sales, After a Child Dies

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Free Online Classes Promote Sustainable Living

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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

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,...

4 ex-cops indicted on US civil rights charges in Floyd death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted the four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest and death, accusing them of willfully violating the Black man’s constitutional rights as he was restrained face-down on the pavement and gasping for air. ...

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

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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

Angelina Jolie lets Taylor Sheridan drag her through hell

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Sherpa guide scales Mount Everest for record 25th time

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Ukraine says 2 soldiers killed in east amid Russia tensions

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian military said Friday two soldiers were killed and another was wounded under...

Ethiopian Orthodox Church patriarch blasts Tigray 'genocide'

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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...

Pharoh Martin NNPA National Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) Some Black church leaders are calling for the head of the California NAACP to step down over her group's support for the legalization of marijuana in her state as well as over alleged ties to the marijuana lobby.
Rev. Anthony Evans, president of National Black Church Initiative, and Bishop Ron Allen, president and chief executive officer of the International Faith Based Coalition took issue with an editorial California NAACP president Alice Huffman wrote in a popular online newspaper The Huffington Post outlining reasons why her organization supports California Proposition 19 - the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act 2010 - a measure that would make California the first state to legalize marijuana.
"The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is legal and we support that because we advocate health but those are prescribed by a physician and are prescribed for certain conditions," Evans said. "But when the NAACP just says legalize marijuana we believe that it sends out the wrong message given that over the last 30 years we have lost over 200,000 people to drug-related crimes in the African-American community. How can the church be in the business of promoting illegal drugs? It just doesn't fit into the proper role of the faith community or an organization that came out of the Black church."
The reverend is calling on all of their member churches to publicly denounce the NAACP for supporting this legislation and he is also asking them to withdraw all monetary contributions and support for using Black churches for their meetings until Jealous repudiates Huffman and the California NAACP.
Evans said that his 34,000 Black church-backed group no longer believes that the nation's oldest civil rights organization represents the best interests of the Black family.
"How can they say they are for Black people when they are legalizing drugs that has killed tens of thousands of African-Americans?" Evans asked. "It makes no sense."
State conferences can independently take position on issues on which there is no national policy, so she and the California State Conference were within their right to do this.
"The focus for the California State conference is not decriminalization of Marijuana," said Benjamin Jealous, president and chief executive officer of the NAACP. "The emphasis is getting a handle on out of control and racially disparate enforcement strategies. And it's a problem across the country. For example, in New York City, Black children, are 20 percent less likely to have drugs in their pockets when the cops stop them, but they're 500 percent more likely to be stopped."
He said, "This is a very serious issue" that deserves more digging into beyond the controversy or salaciousness.
"The National [NAACP] just passed a resolution to study the issue more deeply because there is a high level of concern by Black leaders who are engaged with the crisis of the mass overcriminalization of our young people and about misguided enforcement strategies. And so we'll need to study this nationally to see where we should go," Jealous said.
Huffman's stance is centered on the decriminalization of a drug that unfairly penalizes African-Americans at a higher rate than other races.
In her article, published in The Huffington Post on July 6th, Huffman wrote that Rev. Martin Luther King was "roundly criticized by friend and foe alike for speaking out on an issue considered outside the purview of civil rights' leaders" for taking a radical stance against the Vietnam war in 1967.
"The California NAACP does not believe maintaining the illusion we're winning the 'war on drugs' is worth sacrificing another generation of our young men and women," she wrote. "Enough is enough. We want change we can believe in; that's why we're supporting Prop. 19. Instead of wasting money on marijuana law enforcement, Prop. 19 will generate tax revenues we can use to improve the education and employment outcomes of our youth. Our youth want and deserve a future. Let's invest in people, not prisons. It is time to end the failed war on drugs by decriminalizing and regulating marijuana to save our communities."
Huffman cited Drug Policy Alliance report that supports the legalization of marijuana because African- Americans disparately represent 22 percent of California's marijuana arrests, a percentage that is more than three times the state's Black population.
"We believe whatever potential harms may be associated with using marijuana are more than outweighed by the immediate harms that derive from being caught up in the criminal justice system," Huffman reasoned in her article.
While the California branch of the NAACP publicly supports Proposition 19 the NAACP national chapter has not issued any public statements denouncing their state affiliate's position. In Evans' eyes, their silence means that they support Huffman's position.
"We have not heard that the National is denouncing them in any way," Evans said. "What we have concluded is that the national wouldn't allow their affiliates to do whatever they wanted because if they did they would have chaos."
He also implied that Huffman has receive money from pro-marijuana groups which has influenced her decisions.
Huffman denies receiving any money from pro-marijuana groups, according to the Los Angeles Times. Despite Evans and Allen's unsubstantiated claims, Huffman does have a well-reported history of allegations involving entanglings with her organization's civil rights agenda with the business agenda of her successful political consulting firm A.C. Public Affairs, Inc.
For years, mainstream California newspapers have reported on suspected corruption of Huffman as the head of the California NAACP.
For example, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2006 that Huffman received $100,000 in consultation payments from tobacco giant Philip Morris. The California NAACP, at the same time, opposed a California measure to raise taxes on cigarette companies. The national NAACP supported the measure.
Similar allegations were reported in other instances involving the California NAACP endorsing measures that Huffman's special interest clients such as AT&T and the pharmaceutical industry have pushed.
"The campaign payments to Huffman's political company, A.C. Public Affairs, come only a year after the firm was paid $330,000 in consulting fees by the pharmaceutical industry. In 2005, the state NAACP sided with the drug companies' position on two ballot measures," the Los Angeles Times wrote in 2006.
In 2008, The Sacramento Bee reported that Huffman and the NAACP together received more than $100,000 dollars from a coalition of Indian tribes while at the same time endorsing ballot measures that those same tribes backed.
The marijuana issue in California is just the latest split between Black church leaders like Evans and the nation's foremost Black civil rights leaders and organizations. The reverend is planning on challenging the NAACP on a number of hot button issues such as same sex marriage, which the NAACP supports but so do some other prominent leaders such as Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson and organiziations like the National Urban League.
He said, "We're taking a critical look at all of the civil rights organizations in making sure that they are standing to protect the Black family and the Black community, and most of these organizations are not."

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