06-23-2018  4:43 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 ...

No longer behind a mask, Eugene umpire is being recognized

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — After 31 years behind the plate as an MLB umpire, Dale Scott knows how to recognize a strike.Throwing one is, uh, another matter.When the Los Angeles Dodgers asked Scott to throw a ceremonial first pitch earlier this month, he was honored of course, but also a little...

Lawsuit seeks lawyer access to immigrants in prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers' access to immigrants in a prison in Oregon.Immigration and Customs...

Evacuation orders lifted in wildfire near Vantage

VANTAGE, Wash. (AP) — Evacuation notices have been lifted for residents in about 30 homes as a wildfire burning in central Washington reaches 50 percent containment.The Yakima Herald-Republic reports fire crews were hoping to fully contain the fire near Vantage and the Columbia River by...

Central Washington suicide rate rises 23 percent

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — On June 7, 2016, Kori Haubrich thought she found a solution to the problems that had been gnawing at her for weeks.That Monday, the Sunnyside native sat outside her Bellingham apartment struggling to figure out what she would do after graduating from Western Washington...

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

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface, a form of makeup that...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

The Latest: Germany, Mexico, Belgium headline Saturday games

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the World Cup (all times local):1:13 a.m.Will Germany follow Brazil's lead in righting the ship after a rocky World Cup start, or will the defending champ find itself keeping company with Argentina, needing help if it hopes to advance?The World Cup could...

ENTERTAINMENT

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

MOSCOW (AP) — Wrapped in national flags, jubilant fans dance at midnight in the streets of Moscow, smiling,...

First lady's 'don't care' jacket is a gift to memers online

NEW YORK (AP) — I really don't care, do u?Perhaps one day first lady Melania Trump will use her own words...

Justices adopt digital-age privacy rules to track cellphones

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police generally need a warrant to look at records that reveal where cellphone users have...

Popular hashtags take sides on Egypt president's leadership

CAIRO (AP) — Tens of thousands of Egyptians have set social media alight with tweets on opposing hashtags,...

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

MOSCOW (AP) — Wrapped in national flags, jubilant fans dance at midnight in the streets of Moscow, smiling,...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for...

Jazelle Hunt NNPA Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – "My office says my name, Rachel, on the door. I am the only one who sits in it. People constantly walk in, see me, and say, 'Oh, I'm sorry…I'm looking for Rachel.' I'm half black."

"Upon hearing that I had secured an internship for the summer, my roommate said 'I would have on[e] too if I was a minority. I have everything but that minority 'it' factor.'"

"'Sometimes I forget that you're black.' Pissed off, how dare she! I love how she has no idea what the hell she said by that. I[t] just—it kills me. This kills me. These little jabs at my blackness"

WARNING: What might seem little jabs, can have a major impact on Black longevity. There's a term for this death-by-a-thousand-cuts phenomenon: Microaggressions. It might not be in most Whites' everyday vocabulary, but Black and Brown people in the United States know the meaning intimately. It's in the way they're passed up for well-deserved promotions. In the way a teacher refuses to remember or pronounce their names correctly. And it's in being the token in your group of White friends.

The italicized quotes above are real. In fact, they were submitted to the Tumblr blog, Microaggressions (microaggressions.tumblr.com). Co-creator David Zhou explains, "Microaggressions are the subtle interactions that convey hostile language. Or, subtle expressions of what some would call bigotry or prejudice that express power in a social setting."

Scrolling through Microaggressionsyields more than 1,000 similar anecdotes from marginalized people across the nation and in other Western countries. According to its "about" section, the project began in 2010 and aims to [show] how these comments create and enforce uncomfortable, violent and unsafe realities onto people.

"I think this is important because…there are still so few ways to talk about types of racism other than obvert forms of discrimination," Zhou explains. "Without the ability to talk about that, people think, well, if we just get rid of hate crimes and slurs we'll have an equitable society. That's not actually the case. There's a hostile society climate that creates huge ramifications."

An emerging body of research supports Zhou's assertion. Over time, these racialized slights incubate and fester into alarming health ramifications, ranging from higher rates of depression, more severe cases of high blood pressure, and even mortality rate disparities.

David Williams, a professor of public health, sociology, and African and African American studies at Harvard University, has been studying these links for the past few decades. Three statistical instruments he crafted—the Major Experiences of Discrimination, Everyday Discrimination, and Heightened Vigilance scales—are making it possible to quantify discrimination for the first time, which is helping drive more rigorous research on the topic. He recounts an incident 10 years ago, when he submitted a paper on discrimination for peer review and one of his colleagues commented, "The word 'racism' doesn't belong in a scientific paper because it's just a social term that can't be measured."

Williams recounted, "From a scientific point of view, researchers were very worried [about discrimination measures] that people were just saying how they felt. But now we have actual discrimination predicting incidence of disease. Evidence today is overwhelmingly finding that this type of stress is greatly and adversely affecting our physiological functions."

Professor Williams' and other studies are finding that those who report higher levels of discrimination also report high levels of inflammation in the blood and visceral fat inside organs – both of which increase risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

One study in the February 2013 issue of Sociological Inquiry finds that physical or emotional stress stemming from discrimination predicts an increase in poor mental and physical health days. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2007 found that in African American women, breast cancer risk increased 20 percent for those who reported discrimination at work. Another from 2006 asserted that chronic discrimination might increase risk of early artery plaque build-up in African American women.

Camara Jules P. Harrell, a psychology professor at Howard University, has studied stress, psychophysiology, and how discrimination intersects the two.

"Just being in this environment has physiological reactions, often outside of awareness," he says. "I take the extreme position, but I emphatically believe in how so much of [microaggressions]—well over 60 percent—is processed outside awareness."

Harrell and Williams agree that it is the small indignities that have the biggest impact.

"What we're finding with discrimination is that chronic, ongoing stress has a bigger effect than big, one-time stress events," Williams says. He likens it to the effect of dripping water on concrete; each drip on its own doesn't matter much. But over time, the damage is considerable.

Not only does the constant barrage of negative feedback erode a sense of safety and belonging, it also creates an underlying hyper-awareness, or vigilance.

A study published in the May 2012 American Journal of Public Health finds: "…merely anticipating prejudice leads to both psychological and cardiovascular stress responses. These results are consistent with the conceptualization of anticipated discrimination as a stressor and suggest that vigilance for prejudice may be a contributing factor to racial/ethnic health disparities in the United States."

Williams says, "People who report higher levels of vigilance also report poorer sleep. It's as if you can never fully relax; you're always on alert to protect yourself."

Although the link between health and the effects of discrimination is now firmly established, Williams says it will take time for these considerations to trickle into health professional training and academic programs, but there are already some signs of progress, according to Harrell.

"There's a big demand on therapists to have that [understanding]. I think [health providers] curtsey to it, they say the right things, but they have no idea what this experience means," Harrell says. "It's got to be saturated into every form of health learning. It's tough, but if you want to be effective that's what you got to do."

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