03-18-2019  3:21 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Colson Whitehead to Receive Stone Award at Oregon State

Pulitzer Prize winner to visit OSU campus April 1 to receive Stone Literary Award ...

AG Rosenblum Asks Oregon Legislature to Strengthen Hate Crime Laws

The proposed legislation would require law enforcement to refer all complaints of hate-motivated conduct that they do not investigate...

AG Rosenblum Announces Large Settlement with Pfizer for Misleading Drug Pricing Coupons

Oregon has recouped over million in civil settlements from Pfizer since 2003 ...

Portland Parks Foundation Hosts Series of March Events

‘Green Dreams: Seeding Portland's Next Parks Movement’ to take place at Portland Center Stage at The Armory ...

Wheeler Announces Departure of Senior Policy Advisor

Berk Nelson leaving office for private sector ...

Vancouver-area measles epidemic grows to 78 confirmed cases

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — County health officials say one more person has been diagnosed with measles linked to a Vancouver-area outbreak.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the total number of people diagnosed in Oregon and Washington due to the outbreak since Jan. 1 is now at 78.The Clark...

9 arrested in school basketball game riot expelled

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Officials say nine students who were arrested after a riot broke out at an 8th grade basketball tournament in southwest Washington have been expelled from their schools.Vancouver School District officials said Monday that that the students arrested were emergency...

Missouri appeals NCAA sanctions levied against 3 sports

Missouri filed a notice of appeal with the NCAA's committee on infractions Thursday, beginning what could be a lengthy fight of what it considers overly harsh sanctions levied against three of its programs for academic misconduct involving a former tutor.The NCAA banned the football, baseball and...

Indiana St gives Mallory contract extension through 2023

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana State coach Curt Mallory has agreed to a two-year contract extension that will run through 2023.Athletic department officials made the announcement Tuesday.Last season Mallory led the Sycamores to a 7-4 mark, a No. 22 ranking and a third-place finish in the...

OPINION

Backyard Birding in Portland-A Lesson in Flight

A few minutes from our homes in North Portland, Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area is a 2000 acre natural wetland known to host over 100 species of birds. Armed with a single pair of binoculars and our eyes, we set off for adventure. ...

House Chair Waters Leads Charge to Return Consumer Protection to CFPB

Although Director Kraninger announced a plan to suspend the payday rule, changes in how the Bureau operated with regard to these lenders began under Mulvaney. While at CFPB, he urged Congress to repeal the rule and joined a lawsuit brought by a payday lender...

The Skanner Editorial: Consumers Need Transparency in Medication Pricing

Prescription drug prices have been rising so fast that people who depend on them to stay alive and healthy can't afford them ...

Memphis-Area Student to School District: Students Need Representation on School Board

According to the Shelby County Schools’ website, the district serves more than 100,000 students in 200 schools. However, there is no collective representation of these 100,000 students. A student board member would be able to close the gap left through the...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Supreme Court struggles with Virginia redistricting case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seemed to struggle Monday with how to resolve a case that could help flip control of the Virginia House of Delegates to Democrats.The justices heard arguments in a case about the map Virginia has used to choose House delegates, a map a lower court ruled...

R. Kelly case spotlights abuse of girls in the era of #MeToo

NEW YORK (AP) — The girls, a dozen of them 15 to 18 years old, file into a conference room in a downtown Brooklyn office building, taking seats in chairs carefully arranged in a circle. On the floor in front of them is a makeshift altar of comforting objects: A string of Christmas lights,...

Sri Lanka media rights activists decry new anti-terror laws

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Media rights activists on Monday urged the Sri Lankan government to withdraw proposed anti-terror legislation, calling it is a set of draconian laws aimed at suppressing the media freedom and democratic rights.The new Counter-Terrorism bill approved by the cabinet...

ENTERTAINMENT

Library opens archive dedicated to rocker Lou Reed

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Public Library has opened an archive dedicated to pioneering alternative rock musician Lou Reed.The library acquired the archive after performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson, who was married to Reed, decided to share it with an institution that could...

Oregon Blockbuster outlasts others to become last on Earth

BEND, Ore. (AP) — There are challenges that come with running the last Blockbuster Video on the planet.The computer system must be rebooted using floppy disks that only the general manager — a solid member of Gen X — knows how to use. The dot-matrix printer broke, so employees...

R. Kelly case poses challenge: Separating artist from anthem

DETROIT (AP) — When the recordings of the basic track arrived in Detroit from Chicago, Paul Riser Sr. knew it was time to get to work. But the orchestral arranger also knew he had something special to work with."It hit me the same way like everyone else in the world: The lyrics are so...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Facebook says service hindered by lack of local news

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's effort to establish a service that provides its users with local news and...

Truck-driving preacher charged with killing Alabama teens

OZARK, Ala. (AP) — A truck-driving preacher charged with killing two Alabama teenagers found shot to death...

'We need a million -- and quick!' Dem candidates' playbook

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, little known outside his home state, boasts he raised over jumi...

UK speaker stymies PM May's bid for 3rd vote on Brexit deal

LONDON (AP) — The speaker of Britain's House of Commons dealt a potentially fatal blow to Prime Minister...

The Latest: Turkey condemns Dutch tram attack

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Latest on a shooting in a tram in the Netherlands (all times local):8...

The Latest: Alleged gunman entered Hungary by train in 2018

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — The Latest on the mosque shootings in New Zealand (all times local):6...

McMenamins
Patrick Walters Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The painful images and graphic stories of repeated violent assaults and vandalism by mobs of black teenagers had gotten to be too much for Mayor Michael Nutter.

As an elected official and a "proud black man" in the nation's fifth-largest city, Nutter felt he had to go a step beyond ordering a law enforcement crackdown.

So he channeled the spirit of another straight-talking Philadelphian: Bill Cosby. Nutter took to the pulpit at his church last weekend and gave an impassioned, old-fashioned talking-to directed at the swarms of teens who have been using social networks to arrange violent sprees downtown, injuring victims and damaging property. Moreover, he called out parents for not doing a better job raising their children.

"You've damaged yourself, you've damaged another person, you've damaged your peers and, quite honestly, you've damaged your own race," Nutter said at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.

The 54-year-old mayor, married with a teenage daughter and a grown son, called out absentee fathers and neglectful parents. He did not mince words, saying they need to be more than just a "sperm donor" or a "human ATM."

"That's part of the problem in our community," Nutter told the congregation. "Let me speak plainer: That's part of the problem in the black community. ... We have too many men making too many babies they don't want to take care of and then we end up dealing with your children."

It's a version of the tough-love message Cosby and others have telegraphed for years.

"I am a proud black man in this country," Nutter said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It was a message that needed to be said. It needed to be said at this time. ... People have had enough of this nonsense, black and white."

At a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People gathering in 2004, Cosby chided the black community in a speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the legal case that toppled segregated education.

"These people marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around," Cosby said then.

"I can't even talk the way these people talk, `Why you ain't,' `Where you is' ... and I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk," the entertainer said.

Nutter's words also harkened back to a 2008 Father's Day speech by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

"If we are honest with ourselves, we'll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing - missing from too many lives and too many homes," Obama told a church in Chicago. "They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men."

Now, it's Nutter taking up the mantra.

Some feel his message was needed. Others say he's airing private community matters now that crime is sprouting downtown, near businesses and popular tourist attractions in a sprawling city with many other sections already plagued by persistent gun violence.

Bill Anderson, a talk show host on the black radio station WURD-AM, estimated that about 60 percent of callers commenting on Nutter's address supported him. But quite a few, Anderson said, believe Nutter simply doesn't have the community standing to make such strong remarks.

"The perception is that he is not necessarily a `community guy. ... He has been perceived as more of a business guy," Anderson said, noting that he didn't have a problem with the comments himself.

Anderson cited concerns among the black community, such as Nutter's perceived focus on the city's downtown over other neighborhoods, a newly enforced curfew for teens and Nutter's endorsement of "stop-and-frisk" searches, a tactic police credit with reducing crime but that some feel unfairly targets minorities.

Annette John-Hall, a black columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote this week that the mayor crossed a line when he said, "You've damaged your own race."

"We can deal with the public tongue-lashing, even if his intended targets were nowhere to be found among the law-abiding churchgoers in their Sunday best," John-Hall wrote. She went on to say, "But what really bothered me was when Nutter fired the age-old salvo that has historically evoked head-hanging shame among black folks."

Nutter said things that needed to be said, according to J. Whyatt Mondesire, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP.

"It's like Cosby did. It's like the president did when he was running for office," Mondesire said. "Something is wrong in many African-American homes, and we've got to come to grips with it."

Some have questioned Nutter's support among blacks at the polls, where he has fared better in white wards. Black politicians have taken shots as well.

At a mayoral debate in 2007, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who is black, challenged his fellow candidate Nutter on the issue of race, suggesting Nutter has to "remind himself he's an African-American." Last year, former Mayor John F. Street, Nutter's predecessor and longtime political adversary, told a newspaper that Nutter was "not a black mayor ... just a mayor with dark skin." Nutter called Street's remarks "ignorant."

Race has again risen to the foreground for Nutter in the wake of the mob assaults.

In one attack last month, a man ended up in the hospital with broken teeth and a wired jaw after a group of teenagers attacked him downtown. Hours later, a crowd of young people assaulted four other men. The city plans to increase legal sanctions for parents whose children participate in the attacks. Nutter has also said strict enforcement of a curfew will continue and more programs at youth centers will be offered.

For his part, the mayor said he felt he had no choice but to go to the pulpit Sunday, regardless of the reaction.

"This is about personal responsibility," he told the AP. "We have to be very straightforward."

Philadelphia's first black district attorney, Seth Williams, also lauded the mayor for using his position as one of the city's most visible leaders to confront a public problem.

"What he was saying was perfectly accurate. People need to hear that," Williams said. "Call it for what it is."

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