12-09-2019  10:04 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

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NEWS BRIEFS

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

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North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

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Person dies when travel trailer catches fire, explodes

ALFALFA, Ore. (AP) — One person died when a travel trailer caught fire and exploded east of Bend, authorities said.KTVZ-TV reports Crook County deputies were sent shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday for a welfare check on someone living in the trailer near Alfalfa, according to Sheriff John...

Portland police release names in officer shooting of man

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police have released the name of the officer who shot and killed a man Sunday afternoon outside a coffee shop on Portland's southeast side. The Portland Police Bureau said Monday that Officer Justin Raphael shot the man while Officer Daniel Leonard used less lethal...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

AP Source: Mizzou hiring Appalachian State's Eli Drinkwitz

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri reached an agreement Sunday with Eliah Drinkwitz to take over the Tigers' once-proud football program, a person with knowledge of the hiring told The Associated Press, making Appalachian State's successful coach the second-youngest in a Power Five...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NHL Commissioner: We will not tolerate abusive behavior

MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) — Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday the NHL will work swiftly to make changes to better deal with personnel conduct issues in the wake of incidents that surfaced in recent weeks.Speaking at the end of the first day of the Board of Governors meeting at the Inn at...

Jury selection starts for trial in college student's killing

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — Jury selection began Monday for the trial of a white man charged with a hate crime in the fatal stabbing of a black college student on the University of Maryland’s campus.Jurors are expected to hear opening statements for Sean Urbanski’s trial later...

Nevada third to vote, still up for grabs for 2020 Democrats

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ENTERTAINMENT

‘Benson,’ ‘Star Trek’ actor René Auberjonois has died at 79

LOS ANGELES (AP) — René Auberjonois, a prolific actor best known for his roles on the television shows “Benson” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and his part in the 1970 film “M.A.S.H.” playing Father Mulcahy, has died. He was 79. The actor died...

Broadcast TV shut out of Globe nods, Netflix edges HBO

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Golden snubs and surprises, including little 'Cats' love

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Spy Harder: Patriots caught videotaping in Spygate sequel

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George Laurer, inventor of ubiquitous UPC, dies at 94

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Broadcast TV shut out of Globe nods, Netflix edges HBO

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Michelle Obama promotes girls education in Vietnam school

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Boy on hospital floor dominates Britain's election campaign

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McMenamins
By Chris Levister for the NNPA from the Blackvoicenews.com

Praised for his "ferocious moral vision" Cornel West wasted little time living up to his reputation as one of America's most provocative public intellectuals. Speaking to a crowd of more than 1,000 people at Riverside City College (RCC) recently, the fiery orator took direct aim at President Barack Obama's policies toward the poor and working class calling them 'elitist and disappointing'.

"There's a Black man on top and millions of Black folks in the basement," said West.

"I applaud his brilliance and charisma, he changed the image of America, but where is the discourse on jobs for the working class and poor. He's giving speeches in Detroit but I won't hear him talking about that city's 25 percent unemployment among Black men. Job creation has been pushed to the margins." he said.

The culprit? Greed, says West, manifest in the action of players on Wall Street, "our televisual culture that's obsessed with superficial spectacle" and the education system "where the model becomes central."

He said the 'persistence of poverty produces levels of despair that deepen social conflict; the escalation of paranoia produces levels of distrust that reinforce cultural division'.

"There's a sense that the country is in paralysis. Americans like to believe they can solve any problem. When they're in paralysis they start blaming folk. Unfortunately, they blame the weak they scapegoat," said West in interviews before and after his lecture.

West urged President Obama to resists calls from Republicans, who this month took control of the House of Representatives and closed in on the Democrat's Senate majority.

"He loves consensus, he loves bipartisan agreement and that's fine, but when it's clear that the other side has absolutely no interest whatsoever in that kind of consensus, you got to draw a line in the sand and dig in," he said.

"He's got an active right wing out there, a recession inherited from Bush, an unpopular war in Afghanistan, massive unemployment and soaring poverty. With those kinds of weighty issues you can't move into a kumbaya mode of existence. Instead, he's got to show backbone."

West said like Abraham Lincoln who led the abolitionist movement, like Franklin D. Roosevelt who led the labor movement, the president must create his own progressive movement to push his agenda for hope and change.

He warned that if President Obama fails to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and other great civil rights leaders he will end up as "just another colorful caretaker of an empire in decline and a culture in decay."

Throughout his lecture, West, a professor of Religion at Princeton University, spoke of paideia. Paideia is Greek for education and instruction. "Students go to school and are still not educated. I don't hear our president talking about the new Jim Crow, the prison industrial complex. There is this pervasive notion that Black and Latino men are better off in the prison than in the classroom."

He had harsh words for the Black church "you see an ATM before you see the cross," he said. "There's a spiritual malnutrition tied to moral constipation, where people have a sense of what's right and what's good. They can't get it out because there's too much greed. It's just stuck. There's too much obsession with political and social reputation and addiction to narrow conceptions of success."

Following his talk, West sat on the stage with about 20 RCC students. He highlighted some of his philosophy on blues music, ideas on social justice, and universal love, which he called "spillover love." He made connections between music, social problems, democracy, and philosophy.

He challenged the students to "Lift Every Voice." "You need to look beyond the words in the book and understand the true philosophy behind them," he said. "People need to find their own voice and not be an echo and be original."

He related this back to modern music and how some artists' are copying from the greats such as Duke Ellington and Nina Simone.

Many of the students and members of the audience appeared awestruck by the colorful scholar, who has been described as an "intellectual provocateur". Not many of them knew that West was kicked out of school in the third grade. He refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. "My uncle was lynched and then wrapped in the flag," West recalled. He credits the power of love in the West family. "They provided a positive outlook for the rage instilled in me."

When a student asked if America could ever be free of racism, West struggled lacing his fingers his exuberant expression sat on pause.

"I pray for America. I pray hard for America. I pray for our president" he said, leaving the question unanswered.

"Race is the most explosive issue in American life precisely because it forces us to confront the tragic facts of poverty and paranoia, despair and distrust," he said as he signed autographs after the event.

West burst onto the national scene in 1993 with his bestselling book Race Matters, a searing analysis of racism in American democracy. In his life story Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, he offers a compelling exploration of his heart behind the human mind.

He has published 19 other books and was an influential force in developing the storyline for the popular Matrix movie trilogy. Dr. West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and has a Ph.D. from Princeton.

"His viewpoints are radical and passionately felt," said retired civil rights attorney, Evan Babitsky who traveled 90 miles to hear West.

"He is not afraid to speak frankly and from the heart," said Babitsky "While he presents many criticisms, he also offers many solutions. Not everyone will agree with his point of view, but if one of his objectives is to make people at least think about the problems he has dissected then he has succeeded admirably."



PHOTO: Dr. Cornel West talks with the President of Norco College, Dr. Brenda Davis, before his appearance at Riverside City College

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