12-06-2019  1:06 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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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

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.


Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Man who 'freaked out’ on plane, forced landing pleads guilty

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Washington man who ingested methamphetamine before getting on a plane in Seattle and had what a prosecutor called a "freak out'' on board pleaded guilty Thursday to interfering with crew members after the California-bound flight was forced to land in Portland.The...

Owners of Thai restaurant chain get prison for tax fraud

SEATTLE (AP) — A couple that used software to hide more than jumi million in revenue at the Thai restaurant chain they owned have each been sentenced to several months in prison and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines.The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle said Thursday that Chadillada...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...


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 ...


Kansas judge accused of bigotry, profanities in courthouse

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A foul-mouthed Kansas judge accused of bigotry and racism who cursed at courthouse employees so often that a trial clerk kept a “swear journal” documenting his obscene outbursts is facing complaints that his conduct violates the central judicial canons of...

Buttigieg backs black leaders after Indiana event disrupted

HENNIKER, N.H. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is applauding African American leaders in his home city for “speaking their truth” after a protester disrupted an event held to demonstrate black support for the mayor in South Bend, Indiana.African American...

Panel calls for Virginia to purge dozens of old racist laws

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The laws are still on the books in Virginia: Blacks and whites must sit in separate rail cars. They cannot use the same playgrounds, schools or mental hospitals. They can’t marry each other either.The measures have not been enforced for decades, but they remain in...


Timberlake apologizes to wife for ‘strong lapse in judgment’

NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Timberlake has publicly apologized to his actress-wife Jessica Biel days after he was seen holding hands with the co-star of his upcoming movie.The pop star and actor wrote Wednesday on Instagram that he prefers to “stay away from gossip as much as I can, but...

Veteran producer of 'WarGames,' 'Blue Bloods," dies at 85

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Leonard Goldberg, a network and studio executive and producer whose TV credits ranged from “Starsky and Hutch” in the 1970s to the current drama series “Blue Bloods” and whose independent movies included “WarGames” and...

'Once Upon a Time,' 'Portrait' top AP's 2019 best films list

Associated Press Film Writers Lindsey Bahr and Jake Coyle name their choices for the best films of 2019.LINDSEY BAHR1. “Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood": Quentin Tarantino’s movie business fairy tale, featuring all-time performances from two of our great living movie stars, and the...


Mitchell Trubisky helps Bears beat Cowboys 31-24

CHICAGO (AP) — Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears appear to be hitting their stride, even if it might...

Chase with stolen UPS truck ends with shootout, 4 dead

MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) — Four people, including a UPS driver, were killed Thursday after robbers stole the...

Pearl Harbor vet’s interment to be last on sunken Arizona

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — On Dec. 7, 1941, then-21-year-old Lauren Bruner was the second-to-last man to...

Young and old march in unity, fear at French pension change

PARIS (AP) — Anger, solidarity, tear gas and frozen noses.That pretty well sums up the atmosphere inside...

Nobel body: ‘Highly problematic’ that peace winner silent

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute has called it “highly...

As 58 migrants drown off Africa, a call to stop smugglers

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) — The drowning of at least 58 migrants in the Atlantic Ocean off Mauritania...

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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