06-21-2018  5:31 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Ex-basketball coach sentenced to 60 days for sex abuse

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A former Beaverton basketball coach has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and five years of probation for sexually abusing a teenage girl he met through work.KOIN-TV reported Wednesday 34-year-old Laurence Metz was convicted of two counts of sex abuse.Metz was a coach...

Legal pot will roll out differently in Canada than in US

Mail-order weed? You betcha!With marijuana legalization across Canada on the horizon, the industry is shaping up to look different from the way it does in nine U.S. states that have legalized adult recreational use of the drug. Age limits, government involvement in distribution and sales, and...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio State University said he acted as a team physician at other universities, most of which won't say if they are reviewing those connections or whether any concerns were raised about him.Ohio...

Trudeau: Canada to legalize marijuana on Oct. 17

TORONTO (AP) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country's youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley...

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it's not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so .Throughout American history,...

The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday at the World Cup (all times local):12:16 a.m.Lionel Messi is going to have a hard time keeping up with Cristiano Ronaldo at this year's World Cup.Ronaldo has all of Portugal's goals, a tournament-leading four so far, and has been getting in digs at Messi...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dig it: Archaeologists scour Woodstock '69 concert field

BETHEL, N.Y. (AP) — Archaeologists scouring the grassy hillside famously trampled during the 1969 Woodstock music festival carefully sifted through the dirt from a time of peace, love, protest and good vibes.Perhaps they would find an old peace symbol? Or a strand of hippie beads? Or Jimi...

Behind the making of Jack-Jack, the summer's breakout star

NEW YORK (AP) — The breakout star of the summer moviegoing season isn't a dinosaur, an Avenger or anyone aboard the Millennium Falcon. It's a giggling pipsqueak in diapers."The Incredibles 2," which last weekend set a new box-office record for animated films with 2.7 million in ticket...

Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson are engaged

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's true, Pete Davidson says: He and Ariana Grande are engaged.The "Saturday Night Live" cast member confirmed their rumored engagement to Jimmy Fallon on NBC's "Tonight Show."Fallon put Davidson on the spot Wednesday, telling him he didn't have to get engaged to the pop...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

New Zealand leader welcomes newborn girl 'to our village'

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a daughter Thursday...

Science Says: What makes something truly addictive

CHICAGO (AP) — Now that the world's leading public health group says too much Minecraft can be an...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio...

Voting machines raise worries in Congo ahead of elections

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Congo's government is moving forward with plans to use electronic voting machines in...

Japan to scrap evacuation drills for NKorean missile threat

TOKYO (AP) — Japan plans to suspend the civilian evacuation drills it started last year while North Korea...

Official: Polish leader's ill health not sparking infighting

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A government official is denying rumors that the illness of Jaroslaw Kaczynski,...

Cynthia Moreno Vida En El Valle

SACRAMENTO -- For those who believe music does not play a role in shaping Latino identity-think again says Jorge Andrés Herrera, an adjunct professor at California State University, Fullerton, who teaches Chicano Studies courses and is a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA.

He is studying the role music plays in shaping Latino identity with an emphasis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"When a Latino crosses the border, they automatically start to assimilate culturally and a big part of that assimilation comes in the form of musical tastes and musical preferences which also transform and assimilate to the dominant culture," said Herrera.

The UCLA graduate -- who obtained both his bachelor's and master's degrees in ethnomusicology, the study of how music influences and affects culture and vice versa -- became fascinated by the role music plays in shaping Latino identity and how it transforms and affects Latino culture.

"Everything that happens in our society is reflected in music and people don't really stop to think about that. For example, in the last five years, there has been a rise in narco corridos coming out of Mexico and that can be attributed to the record levels of violence we so often hear about on television," said Herrera during a telephone interview.

Two of the most important genres Herrera is studying are norteño and jarocho music. Norteño music -- which is traditionally found in the northern regions of Mexico and customarily recognized by the accordion sound -- changes the moment it crosses the border.

"When you cross the border from Mexico to the United States, music becomes more politicized and is usually used as a vehicle to express ideologies about life, about culture, relationships and life in general. But, if you cross the border from the United States to Mexico, it has more of an entertainment, traditional and regional value," said Herrera.

He noticed the difference in the ways his Latino and specifically, Mexican friends in college thought about music, how it helped define who they were while living in a country that encourages assimilation.

"When I first arrived at UCLA as an undergraduate student, I noticed my Latino friends didn't listen to Spanish or Mexican music and if they did it was something like Intocable, a norteño band whose style is quite different from traditional norteño music, and that is as far as they identified," said Herrera.

"Others jumped on the bandwagon but were hesitant to admit they liked or listened to Spanish music. It was almost as if, they were ashamed to identify as being Latino," said Herrera.

But when those same friends began to take Chicano studies courses and began to learn about their culture, history and roots; when they ultimately realized they were "different and Latino," something began to dramatically change, said Herrera.

"Most Latinos growing up in the United States listen to English music for the most part like mainstream pop, hip-hop, country, rock and jazz. Some like Spanish music and may listen to it at home, but for the most part, it's not the first they are quick to identify with," said Herrera.

"But, something happens in the classroom. A switch goes off. Something tells them, it's important to be a brown face in academia and it's important to relate to one's own culture by way of food, language and especially music," he said.

Herrera recalls his own experience when he first began taking courses at UCLA as a freshman. The one-time jazz major discovered he was the only Latino in his classes studying jazz music. The piano player felt out of place, but as he enrolled in several Chicano studies courses and learned about the different genres of music in Mexico, he began to change his notion of studying mainstream music he had little in common with and could not identify with personally.

"When I realized I was Latino I asked myself, what am I doing in these courses? Why am I not studying the music of my culture? If there is anyone who is more equipped and more connected to the sounds emanating from our country of origin, it is me. If Latinos don't get back in touch with their roots, who will keep our musical traditions alive?" said Herrera.

Herrera believes music helps shape Latino identity by empowering and helping those who have assimilated to mainstream music in the United States, reconnect with their true selves.

"I believe there is a strong need and sense for Latinos to reclaim their heritage. Too many times, we have read our history books that have been written by Europeans and it has had a tremendous impact in the ways we view our culture and listen to our music. I do think our identity is lost with it and at some point, we try to find it again later in life," said Herrera.

Music is just one of those avenues, he says.

"Latinos in the United States are growing up bicultural and bilingual. It is easy for us to speak to our American friends and our Mexican friends. But there is also this notion of categorizing our identity based on comparisons we make amongst one another based on music," said Herrera.

Several of his students, for example, pointed to levels of Mexican-ness by way of music. If you are a "hard-core Mexican," you listen to narco corridos. If you are really hard-core, you listen to corridos alterados. If you listen to Vicente Fernández too often, you are a "paisa," but if you only listen to his music occasionally, you are not a true Mexican.

"I reject the notion of creating a caste system based on what kind of music we listen to, but Latinos so often do it. It's not just with music, but also with how often we visit Mexico, how well we speak or don't speak Spanish, do we favor rancheras, norteñas, cumbias, mariachi? Somehow there is always this notion that someone is more Mexican than someone else," said Herrera.

Despite the ways Latinos try to identify themselves, Herrera says there is no denying the comparisons bring about one important aspect; Latinos are becoming more accepting of who they are and where they come from, despite the comparisons.

"I think we are finally coming to terms with who we are. We are beginning to embrace our biculturalness, the fact that we can listen to English music and Spanish music and still identify. This new Mexican-American identity that is surging will be an interesting one to read about in the history books," said Herrera.

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