07-03-2020  7:48 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Portland Police Declare Riot, Use Tear Gas

Several arrests were made as protests continued into early Wednesday morning.

Oregon Legislature Passes Police Reform Package Amid ‘Rushed’ Criticism

Six new bills declare an emergency in police protocol and are immediately effective. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

Violence mars Portland protests, frustrates Black community

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters in this liberal, predominantly white city have taken to the streets peacefully every day for more than five weeks to decry police brutality. But violence by smaller groups is dividing the movement and drawing complaints that some white demonstrators are...

Oregon thought it had controlled COVID-19, then came surge

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — It was early June when the mayor of Newport, a small city perched on Oregon's coast, received a phone call that he had been dreading.It was the county commissioner — two workers at a local seafood plant had coronavirus and others were being tested. “When he...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Several hundred protesters made a peaceful return trip Friday to the St. Louis mansion owned by a white couple whose armed defense of their home during an earlier demonstration earned them both scorn and support.Protesters marched along the busy public boulevard called...

K-State players end threat of boycott over Floyd tweet

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State football players have called off a threatened boycott in response to an insensitive tweet by a student about the death of George Floyd.The decision, announced on social media by several players, follows moves by the school to address diversity concerns....

Violence mars Portland protests, frustrates Black community

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters in this liberal, predominantly white city have taken to the streets peacefully every day for more than five weeks to decry police brutality. But violence by smaller groups is dividing the movement and drawing complaints that some white demonstrators are...

ENTERTAINMENT

Hugh Downs, genial presence on TV news and game shows, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Hugh Downs, the genial, versatile broadcaster who became one of television’s most familiar and welcome faces with more than 15,000 hours on news, game and talk shows, has died at age 99.Downs died of natural causes at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, said...

Review: A master class by Catherine Deneuve in 'The Truth'

Family may be the great subject of Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, but he doesn't draw straightforward portraits. In Kore-eda's hands, family is more malleable. He tends to shift roles around like he's rearranging furniture, subtly remaking familiar dynamics until he has, without you knowing...

Union tells actors not to work on pandemic film 'Songbird'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union that represents film actors told its members Thursday not to work on the upcoming pandemic thriller “Songbird,” saying the filmmakers have not been up-front about safety measures and had not signed the proper agreements for the movie that is among...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Paint schemes go political as NASCAR season heats up

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Many a fan is quick to insist they do not like politics in their sports — no...

Iran declines to disclose cause of mysterious nuke site fire

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An online video and messages purportedly claiming responsibility for a...

Epstein cohort's arrest becomes new test for plea deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Before Jeffrey Epstein’s jailhouse suicide last year, his defense hinged on a 2008...

US victims of FARC rebels win claim to Venezuelan's fortune

MIAMI (AP) — Three American defense contractors held for five years by leftist rebels in Colombia moved...

French government ministers investigated over virus crisis

PARIS (AP) — A special French court ordered an investigation Friday of three current or former government...

Russian Orthodox Church defrocks coronavirus-denying monk

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday defrocked a coronavirus-denying monk who has defied...

McMenamins
Helen Silvis of The Skanner News

Images of successful African American athletes inspire the dreams of millions of young Black men. That matters in a culture where athletes are viewed as demigods, yet positive images of Black masculinity are hard to find. Author Thabiti Lewis takes a hard look at sport, racism and images of Black masculinity in his groundbreaking new book 'Ballers of the New School: Race, Sports and American Culture.' A professor at Washington State University, Vancouver, Lewis has a full schedule that includes talking to young men and women in cities across the country about masculinity, sport and race. Teens are especially welcome at this event.
Lewis will speak at 2 pm Saturday, Jan. 29 at Reflections book store, 446 NE Killingsworth St., Portland. The Skanner interviewed Lewis by phone Jan. 25.

The Skanner: In your book, you write a letter. What's that about?
Thabiti Lewis: I write a letter to my cousin, who is turning 16. I had a call from my aunt who was a bit distraught. Previously he had been an honor student, but his grades had slipped. He'd decided that sport was going to be his route to a profession. So I wrote this letter for him and for all the other young people of all backgrounds. And I should also say that right now, today, he is finishing his last semester of his Masters degree in Engineering.
The Skanner: What do you want to tell Black teens?
Thabiti Lewis: I want to tell them that I understand the pressures they are under. That they are grappling with what it means to be an African American male, to be a male in America and dealing with the fact that it is not that cool to be smart, but it is really cool to be a jock. There's so much coming at you. So I'm just saying: Don't forget you can be involved in this in what I call 'the sweat free zone' – which is administrative, management, ownership, sales or writing about sports.
So what does it mean to be male, but also a "baller" someone who's living life in a certain way and they're in control. And to really be a baller, is to be a person who has political consciousness, who is intelligent and is a Renaissance person. Those people are really positioned to have really have their voice heard and to make an impact.

The Skanner: Your book is taking a hard look at how race and masculinity and sports impact African American men and women.
Thabiti Lewis: The book is about race and sports in American culture, so it is a vehicle to engage in a conversation about the nature of race progress. It explores what is valued in American culture, and looks at our notions of masculinity, particularly Black masculinity as reflected in sports. I look at some true and false ideas we have: the notion of sport and that upward mobility narrative that too many young folks see as their best opportunity. I pull the covers off that.
I'm saying, let's realize that's a long shot. I'm also saying you have a better chance of becoming an English professor, a physician, a nurse or a lawyer than you do of becoming a professional athlete because it's such a minute pool of individuals who make it to that level.

The Skanner: 'Ballers' questions a lot of what we accept without much thought?
Thabiti Lewis: Yes. How are people of color represented in sports culture? How are women represented? What does that say? Are they in positions of leadership, power? What does that show us? So that's what I try and do.
I try to offer solutions as well. Because there is a movement to change these things – to change these images, to change how intellectuals are seen. 'Ballers of the New School" is really about a movement to address these things.
So what I'm also doing in the book is examining how racial images can be good and how they are cast in negative ways in contemporary society. And we have do some control over this. We can change that by spinning different narratives. My projection is optimistic. How can we use sport to really take us toward the post-racial society that we would like to see? To do that we have to get past – we have to get post-racism and here's how we do that. And then we can be post-racial

The Skanner: Where did you grow up and how did you begin thinking about how our culture views Black men?
Thabiti Lewis: I'm from St. Louis Missouri. I was writing a column there while I was at university, but once I finished my doctorate I began to think about putting the things I'd been writing about into the book. I'm lucky. I was a good athlete, so I was socially accepted and it was permissible for me to be a pretty good student and show my intellectual ability. So I have been there. I went to a high school that had the worst football team so I refused to play because I had standards. I am very honest about my own experience in the book. The only way to look forward is to be honest.

The Skanner: You have two daughters, so you are having to practice on other people's sons. You are welcome to work with mine.
Thabiti Lewis: I'm trying to clear the social landscape so that they are dealing with young men who are confident and unwed to notions of patriarchy. How about that? (Laughs.) Can't raise them to be different sorts of women, and face men who aren't prepared or ready for such women.

PHOTOS: From top, Thabiti Lewis, Book jacket.

If you miss Dr Lewis at Reflections, you can also see him speak at noon March 1, in the library at Washington State University, Vancouver.

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