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NORTHWEST NEWS

PCC Cascade Expands its Food Pantry for Students

The majority of PCC students are food insecure, with up to 15% homeless

Controversial Washington Lawmaker Spreads Views Across West

Republican Rep. Matt Shea was suspended from the Republican caucus in the wake of a December report that found he was involved in anti-government activities and several lawmakers have called on him to resign, something he says he will not do

2020 Census Begins in Remote Toksook Bay, Alaska

Census takers begin counting remainder of 220 remote Alaska villages as part of national headcount

St. Andrew Parish Presents 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

The awards are given to people whose service embodies the values of Dr. King, who used nonviolence, civil disobedience, and Christian teaching to advance the cause of civil rights in America

NEWS BRIEFS

States Sue Trump Administration Over New 3D-Printed Gun Rule

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Shari's Restaurants Celebrate National Pie Day

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Nashville Airport Store Seeks Works by African American Authors

The store, a namesake project of Mrs. Rosetta Miller-Perry and The Tennessee Tribune, will open March 2020 ...

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Rukaiyah Adams, Chair of Oregon Investment Council & Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust....

Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

Local author and writing instructor Joanna Rose will lead thegroup of young writers at the event to be held on Wednesday, January 22 ...

Groups want federal protection for wolverines

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Seaside man gets 20 years for encouraging child sex abuse

SEASIDE, Ore. (AP) — A Seaside man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday for encouraging child sex abuse.Joshua Allen Pickering, 36, pleaded guilty to eight counts of encouraging child sex abuse in the second degree. He was originally charged with 18 counts of possession of child...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

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

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OPINION

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Georgia inmate who came close to execution in 2017 dies

ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia death row inmate whose planned execution was halted in September 2017 by the U.S. Supreme Court after his lawyers argued his death sentence was tainted by a juror's racial bias has died, according to the state Department of CorrectionsKeith “Bo” Tharpe,...

Germany urged to fight anti-Semitism to avoid Jewish exodus

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's foreign minister is calling for strengthened efforts against anti-Semitism to ward off the possibility that many Jews decide to leave the country.Heiko Maas said in an article Sunday for the weekly Der Spiegel that German politicians must do more “but there is...

Simmons doc, sans Oprah, receives huge ovation at Sundance

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Without Oprah or Apple, the Russell Simmons documentary “On the Record” went ahead with its premiere Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, where the women who came forward with sexual assault allegations against the hip-hop mogul received one of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Haden Triplets sustain tradition of sibling harmony

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Rapper YG arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of robbery

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rapper YG was arrested Friday at his Los Angeles home on suspicion of robbery just two days before he is scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards, officials said.Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies took YG, whose real name is Keenon Jackson, into custody at his...

Actress Rosie Perez says she was told of Weinstein rape

NEW YORK (AP) — "Do the Right Thing" actress Rosie Perez testified Friday that fellow screen star Annabella Sciorra told her in the mid-1990s that Harvey Weinstein had raped her but that she couldn't go to the police because “he'd destroy me.”Taking the stand at the former...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Diddy calls out Grammys and demands change in fiery speech

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'Sesame Street' comforts children displaced by Syrian war

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'This is huge': Locust swarms in Africa are worst in decades

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New documentary cloaks anonymous sources in 'face doubles'

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Israeli backpacker jailed in Russia files for pardon

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McMenamins
A. Bruce Crawley Special to the NNPA from the Philadelphia Tribune

During a brief conversation at an event last week two apparently well-educated African Americans tried to carefully "explain" to me that President Barack Obama has no choice other than to ignore Black political issues because he wants of course to be re-elected and "there are more white voters than Black voters."

I was deeply disappointed by their easy acceptance of what has become a predictable pattern of second-class economic and political treatment for the Black community over the past few years. Not only did they seem willing to endure 16.2 percent Black unemployment levels (as long as it didn't include the loss of their own jobs, I guess) but they were also apparently resigned to having four more years of the same if that's what it will take to return the Obama family to the White House.

There are "more white voters than Black voters?" Is that what went through Harriet Tubman's mind as she fought to navigate the Underground Railroad and free Black slaves?

Did the fact that there were virtually no "legal" or unharrassed Black voters in many of the Southern states prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act stop Blacks in those states from speaking out for what was fair and reasonable and for social and economic inclusion?

Did their lack of a voting majority ever stop Black Americans from expressing their outrage over having their men lynched by Klansmen?

Have African Americans ever had a voting majority in any national election in the history of this country anyway? Did that ever stop us from pressing our political issues?

What has happened to us? Why the recent complacency? How dare we try to characterize this curious new brand of self-defeatism and cowardice as "political sophistication?"


 Have Jewish Americans ever "bitten their tongue" when they sought support for their issues — here or in Israel— simply because they represented less than 2 percent of the U.S. population?

Where did we learn this new politically spineless behavior?

As much as I and others have been critical of the "Occupy Wall Street" organizers for their lack of true inclusion of Blacks and other diverse economically desperate people, at least the "Occupiers" have demonstrated the courage to stand up for what they believe to be right.


Do you think they took a headcount to determine if they were outnumbered before they put up their tents?

Probably not.


So where do we get this from?

Some of those who have adopted this new laid-back voiceless form of African-American politics seem to be oblivious to how far we continue to fall behind collectively as we express blind support for a presidential administration that treats us as an annoyance.


It was the "hope" of many of us that President Obama would simply find a way to broaden the national dialogue so as to include 40 million African Americans to their full economic and social potential. 


In the aftermath of the short-lived euphoria of 2008, however, what we have come away with — in addition to rampant African-American unemployment — is a recent report from the Federal Procurement Data System that informs us that Black-owned businesses received just 1.2 percent of all federal contracts in the fiscal year ended September 30 2011. To put that into context, Blacks constitute nearly 13 percent of the national population and own more than 7 percent of all U.S. businesses.


Adding insult to economic injury we also endured a $787 billion Stimulus Program that produced precious little business/contract stimulation in our community. Indeed nine months into the program $150 million in contracts had been let to companies for streets highway and bridge construction but "not a single dollar had been allocated to any African-American-owned business," according to the Transportation Equity Network.


Many of these economic disparities pre-dated Barack Obama, including the fact that only 14,500 of the nation's 1.9 million Black businesses report annual sales of $1 million or more or that 97 percent of Black firms report gross receipts of less than $250,000 per year.


But shouldn't the president using his bully pulpit establish a task force to explore why these challenges have existed for so long certainly not to disadvantage white Americans but rather to level the playing field once and for all.


Shouldn't we expect at least that much from a President to whom we gave 95 percent of our votes on Election Day in November 2008?

Here's the sad thing: We had grown to almost take for granted here in the U.S. dating back to the Kennedy Administration that our country would be working consistently if not always perfectly to bring about racial inclusion in the workforce and in the area of federal contract participation.

Then right after the 2008 election "post-racialism" broke out and all of those beliefs started to evaporate.

It's hard to believe that 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the use of the term "affirmative action" by the U.S. government. It wasn't until March of 1961 that President Kennedy's Executive Order #10925 was introduced and the Committee On Equal Opportunity was created.

That was the one that mandated that all projects financed with federal funds "take affirmative action" to ensure that hiring and employment practices would be free of racial bias.

It's been 39 years since President Richard Nixon in his own Executive Order #11625 established the national Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) contracting program. In that same vein the 28 years since President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order #12432 mandating each federal agency with substantial procurement authority to establish an MBE development plan seem to have just flown by.

And wasn't it just July 1995 (seems like only yesterday) when Bill Clinton after a 4 1/2- month review of federal affirmative action programs and under extreme political pressure from right-wing conservatives gave an historic public endorsement of the program by encouraging the nation to "mend it, don't end it?"


My, how some things have changed.

Unfortunately there's been a clearly evident and quantifiable shift in this country away from the spirit and letter of concepts such as "affirmative action," "equal opportunity," "minority business enterprise" and even "Black economic development."


Those who use such terms today in "polite company" risk being called "out of touch," being accused of "fighting a war that has already been won," and being branded as excessively hopelessly "politically correct." Right after those things are said, the term "playing the race card" is usually thrown in for good measure. There's also been the convoluted argument unsupported by any facts whatsoever of something called "reverse discrimination."


This is a monumental paradigm shift for this country and like all paradigm shifts the change in attitude that launched it has clearly "flowed down from the top."


We have a president who has consistently said to any media correspondent with a camera and microphone and to any Black person who has the courage to ask that he has no intention whatsoever of taking any action that would specifically correct years of economic disparities that still impact Black people and contribute directly to runaway Black unemployment levels.


Here's the question: If Mr. Obama doesn't want the responsibility, isn't there anyone else out there with the courage and skill set required to lead this nation in a fair, forceful and inclusive way?

Don't tell me that if the next president is not Barack Obama we may be stuck with a guy named Perry or a woman named Bachmann. There are more than 300 million Americans, 40 million of whom as I mentioned earlier happen to be Black.


Surely there must be at least one more capable person in this country who wants to do the job.


 

A. Bruce Crawley is president and principal owner of Millennium 3 Management Inc.

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