10-14-2019  8:15 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Black Women Help Kick off Sustainable Building Week

The event will be held at Portland’s first and only “green building” owned and operated by African-American women ...

Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

The Special Election in Multnomah County will be held on Nov. 5, 2019 ...

Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Founder of Black Panther Challenge Creates Brand To Support Mental Health

The launch comes during Mental Health Awareness Week. The creators say they want people around the world to know that they aren’t...

Oregon may allow BYO food containers in stores, restaurants

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon may soon allow customers to bring their own reusable food containers to grocery stores and restaurants in an effort to curb plastic waste.The Statesman Journal reports that's not currently allowed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, which Oregon has...

Some states honoring indigenous people instead of Columbus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A handful of states are celebrating their first Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday as part of a trend to move away from a day honoring Christopher Columbus.From Minnesota to Vermont, at least five states and Washington, D.C., have done away with Columbus Day...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

OPINION

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Ole Miss honors student wears blackface, prompts warning

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A University of Mississippi honors student has reported himself to the college for posting a photo online of him wearing blackface, prompting the school to issue a warning about costumes.Citing a school email, news outlets report the student told the college he...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and has made a new request for information on recipients of government assistance, alarming some civil rights advocates.The two approaches, documented by The Associated Press, come amid...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Robert Forster, Oscar nominee for 'Jackie Brown,' dies at 78

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert Forster, the handsome and omnipresent character actor who got a career resurgence and Oscar nomination for playing bail bondsman Max Cherry in "Jackie Brown," died Friday. He was 78.Publicist Kathie Berlin said Forster died of brain cancer following a brief illness....

Jessye Norman, opera icon, memorialized at hometown funeral

Jessye Norman's illustrious opera career and extraordinary artistry was honored at her public funeral. So was Jessye Norman the loyal friend, the humanitarian, the teacher and the person not only celebrated for her golden voice, but for her heart of gold.Several speakers at Saturday's four-hour...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

Japan looks for missing after typhoon kills dozens

NAGANO, Japan (AP) — Rescue crews dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and...

Far-right groups protest Ukrainian president's peace plan

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Shooting off flares and shouting "glory to Ukraine," thousands of far-right and...

Trump says he'll look into case after Fox appearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he'll "be looking into" the case of a U.S. financial adviser...

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

McMenamins
Greg Bluestein of the Associated Press for The Skanner

ATLANTA (AP) Federal agents are seeking to hire Ebonics translators to help interpret wiretapped conversations involving targets of undercover drug investigations.  The Skanner News Video
The Drug Enforcement Administration recently sent memos asking companies that provide translation services to help it find nine translators in the Southeast who are fluent in Ebonics, Special Agent Michael Sanders said Monday.
Ebonics, which is also known as African American Vernacular English, has been described by the psychologist who coined the term as the combination of English vocabulary with African language structure. At least one blogger - who says he is a former federal investigator -- charges that the agency will make sure the translators give them exactly the incriminating evidence they want.
Some DEA agents already help translate Ebonics, Sanders said. But he said wasn't sure if the agency has ever hired outside Ebonics experts as contractors.
"They saw a need for this in a couple of their investigations," he said. "And when you see a need it may not be needed now, but we want the contractors to provide us with nine people just in case."
The DEA's decision, first reported by The Smoking Gun, evokes memories of the debate sparked in 1996 when the Oakland, California, school board suggested that black English was a separate language. Although the board later dropped the suggestion amid criticism, it set off a national discussion over whether Ebonics is a language, a dialect or neither.
The search for translators covers a wide swath of the Southeast, including offices in Atlanta, Washington, New Orleans, Miami and the Caribbean, said Sanders. He said he's uncertain why other regions aren't hiring Ebonics translators, but said there are ongoing investigations in the Southeast that need dedicated Ebonics translators.
Linguists said Ebonics can be trickier than it seems, partly because the vocabulary evolves so quickly.
"A lot of times people think you're just dealing with a few slang words, and that you can finesse your way around it," said John Rickford, a Stanford University linguistics professor. "And it's not _ it's a big vocabulary. You'll have some significant differences" from English.
Critics worry that the DEA's actions could set a precedent.
"Hiring translators for languages that are of questionable merit to begin with is just going in the wrong direction," said Aloysius Hogan, the government relations director of English First, a national lobbying group that promotes the use of English.
"I'm not aware of Ebonics training schools or tests. I don't know how they'd establish that someone speaks Ebonics," he said. "I support the concept of pursuing drug dealers if they're using code words, but this is definitely going in the wrong direction."
H. Samy Alim, a Stanford linguistics professor who specializes in black language and hip-hop culture, said he thought the hiring effort was a joke when he first heard about it, but that it highlights a serious issue.
"It seems ironic that schools that are serving and educating black children have not recognized the legitimacy of this language. Yet the authorities and the police are recognizing that this is a language that they don't understand," he said. "It really tells us a lot about where we are socially in terms of recognizing African-American speech."
Rickford said that hiring Ebonics experts could come in handy for the DEA, but he said it's hard to determine whether a prospective employee can speak it well enough to translate since there are no standardized tests. He said the ideal candidate would be a native speaker who also has had some linguistics training.
Finding the right translators could be the difference between a successful investigation or a failed one, said Sanders. While he said many listeners can get the gist of what Ebonics speakers are saying, it could take an expert to define it in court.
"You can maybe get a general idea of what they're saying, but you have to understand that this has to hold up in court," he said. "You need someone to say, 'I know what they mean when they say 'ballin' or 'pinching pennies.'"  The Skanner News Video

PHOTO: Image From The Boondocks animation by Aaron Magruder The Skanner News Video: DJ Chedda

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