06-19-2018  1:41 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Prosecutor: Oregon man justified in shooting near hotel

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A heavy equipment operator was legally justified when he shot and wounded a knife-wielding man last month outside an Oregon hotel, a prosecutor said Monday.However, Robert Garris was foolish to appoint himself "sheriff of the Days Inn" and initiate a confrontation with the...

Some forest trails remain closed long after 2017 wildfire

IDANHA, Ore. (AP) — Some trails in Oregon's Willamette National Forest remain closed because of damage from a wildfire that scorched the area last year.The Whitewater Trail into the Jefferson Park area remains closed. Other trails, including some in the Fall Creek area near Eugene, also are...

Spokane man convicted in 2015 deadly shooting

MOSES LAKE, Wash. (AP) — A Spokane man has been convicted of killing a Moses Lake teenager during a 2015 robbery attempt.The Columbia Basin Herald reports Jeremiah Smith was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession...

Police seize 2,500 marijuana plants from 6 Tacoma homes

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say eight people have been arrested after police searched six Tacoma houses connected to an illegal marijuana growing operation.The News Tribune reports authorities seized at least 2,500 marijuana plants from the properties that police searched Monday...

OPINION

What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Wrenching scenes of migrant children being separated from their parents at the southern border are roiling campaigns ahead of midterm elections, emboldening Democrats on the often-fraught issue of immigration while forcing an increasing number of Republicans to break from President Donald Trump on...

City where many slaves entered US to apologize for slavery

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina city where almost half of all the slaves brought to the United States first set foot on American soil is ready to apologize for its role in the slave trade.The resolution expected to be passed by the Charleston City Council on Tuesday offers a...

School honoring Confederate general to be renamed for Obama

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia city is rebranding its only school named after a Confederate general to honor the United States' first black president.The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Richmond School Board voted 6-1 Monday to rename J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School to Barack Obama...

ENTERTAINMENT

List of winners from the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Winners of the MTV Movie & TV Awards, presented Saturday at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California:Movie of the year: "Black Panther"Actor in a Movie: Chadwick Boseman, "Black Panther"Show of the Year: "Stranger Things"Actor in a Show: Millie Bobby Brown,...

In 'Jurassic World,' a dino-sized animal-rights parable

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" are many things. They are special-effects wonders. They are unruly house guests. And they are some of the biggest, most foot-stomping metaphors around.Since Steven Spielberg's 1993 original, the dinos of "Jurassic Park" — many of them...

Immigration detention policy becomes major issue in media

NEW YORK (AP) — In a phone conversation with her executive producer over the weekend, "CBS This Morning" anchor Gayle King wondered if there wasn't more the network could do on the story of children being separated from parents through the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

On a big night for 'Panther,' Boseman honors real-life hero

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — The MTV Movie & TV Awards gave "Black Panther" its first taste of awards...

US could back 1st pot-derived medicine, and some are worried

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on whether...

Looking for signs of global warming? It's all around you

GOTHIC, Colo. (AP) — David Inouye is an accidental climate scientist.More than 40 years ago, the University...

Engine catches fire on plane with Saudi WCup team, none hurt

MOSCOW (AP) — Officials say an engine of a Russian plane carrying the Saudi Arabian soccer team to a World...

3 men die of 6 wounded in southern Sweden drive-by shooting

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Three of the six men who were injured in a drive-by shooting in the center of...

In Mexico, longtime foes 'AMLO' and elite getting pragmatic

MEXICO CITY (AP) — On the campaign trail, presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has railed...

In Sacramento politicians discuss the bill to remove ban on affirmative action
Juliet Williams, Associated Press

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Nearly 20 years after California became the first state to ban the use of race and ethnicity in college admissions, a proposal to reinstate affirmative action has sparked a backlash that is forging a new divide in the state's powerful Democratic Party and creating opportunity for conservatives.

The debate is unfolding in the nation's most populous and most ethnically diverse state as an unrelated U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholds voters' rights to decide whether racial considerations should factor into university selections.

The California proposal would allow voters to rescind their state's affirmative action ban, but unexpected pushback from families of Asian descent who mobilized through Chinese-language media, staged rallies and organized letter-writing campaigns has all but killed the measure this year.

“I was surprised,” said Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina, the author of the bill. “I didn't expect it.”

Asian-American students are enrolled at many of California's top schools in numbers far greater than their proportion of the state's population. Critics of Hernandez's plan worry that qualified students would be dismissed simply because of their ethnicity.

The ensuing debate has reopened an old fissure over the role of race in college admissions, divided Democrats along racial lines and created an opportunity for the California GOP.

California voters were the first in the nation to ban the use of affirmative action in university admissions in 1996. Hernandez's proposal was his fourth attempt to undo that action, which he says harms black and Latino students.

A similar voter-approved ban in Michigan was upheld by the nation's highest court Tuesday, but that ruling is not expected to change the discussion in California, where the prohibition is likely to remain in place independent of the court decision.

Hernandez's proposal sailed through the state Senate in January on a Democratic Party-line vote. Legislative leaders, however, pulled the bill before it could be debated in the Assembly after the harsh reaction.

The controversy highlights the complexity of racial politics in California, where the public school system has struggled for decades to improve achievement. Critics of the affirmative action ban say it's part of a school system that fails black and Latino students.

Blacks and Latinos are more likely to attend the state's lowest-performing schools than their white or Asian counterparts, affecting their ability to be accepted into four-year universities, where they are underrepresented.

Rather than debate Hernandez's proposal, lawmakers now plan to hold hearings about affirmative action and other aspects of campus equality.

The state's governing party has split along racial lines. Three Asian-American senators, all Democrats who were seeking higher office at the time, withdrew their support of the bill after being bombarded by public criticism.

Six black and Latino lawmakers have since withdrawn their endorsements of Sen. Ted Lieu, who is Chinese-American, in a Los Angeles-area congressional race where he faces another Democrat in the primary. And some black and Latino Assembly members this month withheld votes from unrelated legislation about the state's carpool program by Assemblyman Al Muratsutchi, D-Torrance, who is Japanese-American.

The Senate's Democratic leader, President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, acknowledged the animosity. He said in a statement that he wanted “a serious and sober examination” of affirmative action, adding “I am deeply concerned anytime one ethnic group turns on another.”

In recent statistics, the University of California system said 36 percent of its in-state freshman admissions offers for fall 2014 are to Asian-American students, 29 percent are for Latino students, 27 percent are for white students and 4 percent of offers are to black students.

At some campuses, including UC San Diego and UC Irvine, Asian-American students accounted for more than 45 percent of admitted freshmen last year.

Hispanics have slightly overtaken whites as the largest ethnic group in California, although both groups represent about 39 percent of the population. Asian-Americans — a population that includes Filipinos, Chinese, Indians, Japanese, Vietnamese, Laotians and others — comprise about 13 percent. Blacks are less than 6 percent.

Hernandez said nothing in his proposal would impose quotas based on ethnicity, which have been ruled unconstitutional. He said race, ethnicity and gender would be added to a list of factors college admissions officers already consider, such as extracurricular activities and family income.

“Rather than create a wedge, my idea is to have a real public debate about this,” he said. “What's wrong with talking about race?”

Asian voters are a rising political force in California, said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a political science professor at the University of California, Riverside and director of the National Asian American Survey.

While they typically lean Democratic, the voting bloc is not strongly loyal to either party, meaning “if you're trying to either win or defeat a statewide proposition, you ignore Asian-American voters at your peril,” Ramakrishnan said.

Republicans have struggled to attract younger and non-white voters since 1994, when Republican Gov. Pete Wilson supported Proposition 187, a proposal that banned immigrants in the country illegally from access to most social services, and the constitutional amendment that prohibited the use of racial considerations in education, state hiring and contracting, Proposition 209 in 1996. Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington subsequently adopted similar bans.

Republicans are now capitalizing on the controversy by targeting upwardly mobile Asian-Americans. Peter Kuo, a Republican candidate for state Senate, has been outspoken on the issue during his campaign for an eastern San Francisco Bay Area district that is 40 percent Asian-American.

“The Democratic Party is the party using the name of equality and diversity to lower the standard and preventing us from going into higher education,” said Kuo, who came with his family from Taiwan when he was 14.

“I can't go and tell my kids, 'Hey, because you're Asian you can't get into the school you want,'“ he said.

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