08-04-2020  10:32 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Police Declare Unlawful Assembly During Protest

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty addressed event organised by NAACP focused on Black Lives Matter

Shootings Increase During Portland Protests

Between June 1 and end July 31, 2020 there were 125 reported shootings compared to a total of 59 shootings in 2019

Portland Protest Scene Relatively Calm After US Drawdown

Under the deal announced by Governor Kate Brown, the federal agents will withdraw in phases.

Portland Approves $114 M Relief Budget with Focus on Communities of Color

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty voted no, arguing for better houseless resources.

NEWS BRIEFS

New Rule by The U.S. Department of Education Would Misdirect $11M from Oregon Public Schools

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Reps. Peter DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer called a...

Barbara Bush Foundation Partners with Barbershop Books and Penguin to Provide Child-Friendly Reading Spaces in Baltimore and Detroit Barbershops

Developed in Harlem, Barbershop Books is a community-based program that leverages the cultural significance of barbershops in...

All Classical Portland Awards Grant to Support Emmanuel Henreid's 'Livin' in the Light'

Livin’ in the Light documents Onry’s experience as a Black, male, professional opera and crossover singer in Portland, Ore. ...

House Approves Legislation to Stop Trump Attack on Fair Housing

Ocasio-Cortez, Blumenauer amendment would block rollback of anti-discrimination rule ...

Louis Mair Named as New Principal at Harriet Tubman Middle School

Louis comes to Harriet Tubman from Georgia, where he was a leader in building an inclusive and supportive learning community. ...

Inslee, Culp advance to November ballot in governor's race

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Democratic incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Loren Culp advanced through Washington's top-two primary to the November ballot Tuesday night.In early returns, Inslee had 52% of the vote. With nearly 17% of the vote, Culp, the police chief of Republic,...

Seattle mayor, police chief urge slow down of police cuts

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and police Chief Carmen Best said Tuesday they are against proposals by City Council members to reduce the police force by as many as 100 officers this year through layoffs and attrition.In a remote news conference, Durkan and Best urged the council...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

OPINION

Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

Even before I returned to the United States from my combat tour in Vietnam, I had decided that we were fighting an unjust war. ...

Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

Multiple Crises, Multiple Obstacles ...

Bill Deiz urges Oregonians to Defend their Constitutional Rights

Elements of federal police, sent in by our president, are nightly tormenting our citizens with tear gas, impact munitions, kidnappings and beatings, and other criminal acts, in order to suppress our rights of free speech and free assembly ...

The Power of Love

Powerful lessons for me today on forgiveness. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

St. Louis prosecutor chided by Trump wins primary race

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, whose job performance has been lauded by some civil rights activists and criticized by President Donald Trump and other leading Republicans, held off a challenge from a former homicide prosecutor in Tuesday’s primary...

Police facing scrutiny in Elijah McClain case get new chief

DENVER (AP) — The interim chief of a suburban Denver police department has become the first woman to permanently lead the agency that's looking to regain public trust following a tumultuous year since the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man officers stopped on the street and put...

Washington lawsuit says protective gear costs impede protest

SEATTLE (AP) — A lawsuit filed in Washington state claims the costs of protective clothing and equipment has impeded the civil rights of Black Lives Matter protesters.The lawsuit filed by five plaintiffs in U.S. District Court in Seattle alleges their right to peacefully demonstrate is hurt...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: More supernatural horror from ‘The Strain’ writers

“The Hollow Ones: The Blackwood Tapes Vol. 1,” by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (Hachette Book Group)The writing team behind “The Strain” trilogy is back with a new evil incarnate. This time it’s more demonic than vampiric, possessing bodies and driving them...

Winfrey picks Isabel Wilkerson's 'Caste' for her book club

NEW YORK (AP) — If not for the coronavirus, Oprah Winfrey says, she would be out in the streets and marching with the Black Lives Matter protesters. She has instead found other ways to add her voice. She is working with Lionsgate on a multimedia adaptation of The New York Times' “1619...

Review: A sweet fable in Seth Rogen’s ‘An American Pickle’

The funniest part of “ An American Pickle ” isn’t even really in the movie. It’s a little scene in the middle of the credits in which Seth Rogen’s Herschel Greenbaum, a 1920s laborer who wakes up 100 years after falling into a vat of pickle juice, watches...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US sending highest rep to Taiwan since 1979 break in ties

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is scheduled to visit Taiwan in...

Hiroshima survivors worry that world will forget

HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) — The atomic bomb that exploded over Hiroshima 75 years ago didn't just kill and...

AP PHOTOS: Terror, death, devastation in Lebanon explosion

As they watched a huge mushroom cloud rise over the seaport capital, many who felt the massive explosion in Beirut...

Hiroshima survivor recalls working on tram after A-bomb

HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Tetsuko Shakuda was a frightened 14-year-old when she resumed her work as a...

AP PHOTOS: Kashmir schooling now more challenging with virus

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Children in Indian-controlled Kashmir are no strangers to lockdowns. Curfews,...

AP Explains: Kashmir on edge 1 year after major Indian shift

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Indian-controlled Kashmir has remained on edge in the year since New Delhi scrapped...

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By Kenneth J. Cooper of Americas Wire for The Skanner News

Since 2005, Shirley J. Wilcher has directed the American Association for Affirmative Action, a professional organization that is based in Washington, D.C., and has 1,000 members. During the Clinton administration, she ran the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, a Labor Department agency that enforces a legal mandate that government contractors practice affirmative action.
Her experience in civil rights law extends back three decades to summer internships at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund when she was a student at Harvard Law School.
In a recent interview with America's Wire, Wilcher asserted a continuing need for affirmative action, criticized ill-defined diversity programs at some colleges and companies, urged federal investigations of employers that have stopped advertising jobs in minority-oriented publications and rejected proposals to limit affirmative action to native-born African-Americans or low-income members of minority groups. She also said the George W. Bush administration had prohibited civil rights officials from using the term "affirmative action." Here is an edited transcript of her remarks:

Q. Is affirmative action still needed?
A. "All you have to do was go to the EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] website to look at the number of [discrimination] charges that are being filed. Ninety-something thousand last year. Affirmative action's purpose is to prevent discrimination as well as to remedy past discrimination, the theory being that if a company is vigilant and it looks at its employment practices, including pay, that it will fix the problem and promote equal opportunity. We are not talking about 'preferences.' We are talking about opportunities. We still need affirmative action.
Some [employers] now are assuming that if you went to an Ivy League school and you are African-American, you were admitted through affirmative action and you're not as good. So you're still a victim if you graduated from Harvard or Penn or Yale. Somehow they can't quite believe you're good enough even though nobody [else] takes your exams.

Q. So what is the state of affirmative action today?
A. Clearly, there have been attacks on affirmative action so much that people are even afraid to even use the term anymore. We've even had debates within my group, the American Association for Affirmative Action—should we change the name? So far, the group view is we will not change the name because it has somehow fallen out of favor.
In private industry, they use the term 'diversity' now. [There are] a lot of diversity programs. But if they don't deal with the issue of opportunity in hiring and promotions, the representation of women and minorities in the workplace, you might as well call them "Kumbaya programs," as far as I'm concerned. "Let's celebrate Black History Month." Maybe they go out and give speeches about the importance of diversity and the bottom line. A lot of affirmative action/diversity programs make you feel good. Maybe they're good for morale, but they make no change, so therefore they make no difference.
Some of our members who used to report to the chancellor now report to the head of [human resources]. It creates conflicts of interest. You lack the independence you had when you could monitor every office. Our staffs are being cut. Some of them now have diversity jobs on top of what they did to [prepare] affirmative action plans and deal with equal opportunity complaints or discrimination complaints.

Q. Some companies have stopped advertising jobs in minority-owned publications because, the employers say, openings are posted on the employers' websites. Is that adequate or effective outreach to assemble a diverse pool of candidates?
A. It's not enough, because not everyone is going to go to their website. Unless you know about a job, why would you go to some company's website? When I was hired by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities [in 1990], I learned about that job from reading Black Issues in Higher Education [now Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a biweekly magazine].
If they're federal contractors, they really do need to cast that net widely and advertise with the minority media. I don't think they're really touching the population they claim they want to reach. Frankly, maybe the federal agencies need to look into this.

Q. Some people have suggested narrowing affirmative action for blacks to those descended from Africans enslaved in this country, leaving out immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa. Others, including President Barack Obama, have suggested that black children from prosperous families should be excluded from affirmative action in college admissions.
A. I don't support either concept. I wouldn't want a college or university to have students declare that they're a descendant of African slaves. It flies in the face of the reality that if you're perceived as African-American, undoubtedly, you're treated that way. It's the treatment that this turns on, or the potential treatment. It is not ancestry per se.
I do believe that colleges and universities need to do a better job of recruiting African-American students in the inner cities, instead of taking, to me, a kind of line of least resistance in simply admitting students from certain ethnic and national backgrounds.
I have no problem with colleges recruiting first-generation whites whose families never went to school. I do have a problem with excluding African-Americans because they're middle class or upper middle.

Q. What do you think of President Obama's record on affirmative action? Does his not talking much about it impact what the private sector does or doesn't do?
A. I think we understand why he doesn't—because of the flak he gets when he addresses any issue involving race. It's as though those who didn't even vote for him are fearful that he will be the president for one group instead of for everyone. So it puts him in a box, and that's unfortunate.
But judging his administration [should be determined] by what the civil rights agencies do—[the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in] the Department of Labor, [the Civil Rights Division in] the Justice Department, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Frankly, [their leaders are] all my friends, colleagues who were in the civil rights community and very deeply believe in equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. I believe they're even using the term [affirmative action] again. You know, during the Bush administration, they weren't using the words. They couldn't use it. I'm not joking.
I think the [Obama] administration should be judged by what happens with the agencies and, from what I can see, they're in the business of enforcing the law. So I'm very encouraged.



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