05-18-2024  5:31 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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AP Decision Notes: What to Expect in Oregon's Primaries

Oregon has multiple hotly contested primaries upcoming, as well as some that will set the stage for high-profile races in November. Oregon's 5th Congressional District is home to one of the top Democratic primaries in the country.

Iconic Skanner Building Will Become Healing Space as The Skanner Continues Online

New owner strives to keep spirit of business intact during renovations.

No Criminal Charges in Rare Liquor Probe at OLCC, State Report Says

The investigation examined whether employees of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission improperly used their positions to obtain bottles of top-shelf bourbon for personal use.

Portland OKs New Homeless Camping Rules That Threaten Fines or Jail in Some Cases

The mayor's office says it seeks to comply with a state law requiring cities to have “objectively reasonable” restrictions on camping.


Rose Festival Announces Starlight Parade Grand Marshal

The Portland Rose Festival announced today the 2024 CareOregon Starlight Parade Grand Marshal is Jenny Nguyen, founder and CEO of The...

Oregon Community Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

Oregon Community Foundation’s Board of Directors has elected two new members who bring extensive experience in community engagement...

Governor Kotek Issues Statement on Role of First Spouse

"I take responsibility for not being more thoughtful in my approach to exploring the role of the First Spouse." ...

Legislature Makes Major Investments to Increase Housing Affordability and Expand Treatment in Multnomah County

Over million in new funding will help build a behavioral health drop in center, expand violence prevention programs, and...

Poor People’s Campaign and National Partners Announce, “Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington, D.C. and to the Polls” Ahead of 2024 Elections

Scheduled for June 29th, the “Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington, D.C.: A Call to...

For decades, states have taken foster children's federal benefits. That's starting to change

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — By the time Jesse Fernandez turned 18, the federal government had paid out thousands of dollars in Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother. But Jesse's bank account was empty. The money had all been used by Missouri's foster...

A man investigated in the deaths of women in northwest Oregon has been indicted in 3 killings

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man who has been under investigation in the deaths of four women whose bodies were found scattered across northwest Oregon last year has been indicted in two of those killings — as well as in the death of a woman whose body was found in Washington state. A...

Defending national champion LSU boosts its postseason hopes with series win against Texas A&M

With two weeks left in the regular season, LSU is scrambling to avoid becoming the third straight defending national champion to miss the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers (31-18, 9-15) won two of three against then-No. 1 Texas A&M to take a giant step over the weekend, but they...

The Bo Nix era begins in Denver, and the Broncos also drafted his top target at Oregon

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — For the first time in his 17 seasons as a coach, Sean Payton has a rookie quarterback to nurture. Payton's Denver Broncos took Bo Nix in the first round of the NFL draft. The coach then helped out both himself and Nix by moving up to draft his new QB's top...


The Skanner News May 2024 Primary Endorsements

Read The Skanner News endorsements and vote today. Candidates for mayor and city council will appear on the November general election ballot. ...

Nation’s Growing Racial and Gender Wealth Gaps Need Policy Reform

Never-married Black women have 8 cents in wealth for every dollar held by while males. ...

New White House Plan Could Reduce or Eliminate Accumulated Interest for 30 Million Student Loan Borrowers

Multiple recent announcements from the Biden administration offer new hope for the 43.2 million borrowers hoping to get relief from the onerous burden of a collective

Op-Ed: Why MAGA Policies Are Detrimental to Black Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE – MAGA proponents peddle baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to justify voter suppression tactics that disproportionately target Black voters. From restrictive voter ID laws to purging voter rolls to limiting early voting hours, these...


Even with school choice, some Black families find options lacking decades after Brown v. Board

Since first grade, Julian Morris, 16, has changed schools six times, swinging between predominantly white and predominantly Black classrooms. None has met all his needs, his mother said. At predominantly white schools, he was challenged academically but felt less included. At...

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gave few pardons before rushing to clear Army officer who killed a protester

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — In issuing a full pardon to a former Army sergeant convicted of murder in the shooting death of an armed Black Lives Matter protestor, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pushed a limited executive power to its absolute limit to get a desired outcome in a politically charged...

Missouri candidate with ties to the KKK can stay on the Republican ballot, judge rules

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A longshot Missouri gubernatorial candidat e with ties to the Ku Klux Klan will stay on the Republican ticket, a judge ruled Friday. Cole County Circuit Court Judge Cotton Walker denied a request by the Missouri GOP to kick Darrell McClanahan out of the...


Book Review: Anonymous public servants are the heart of George Stephanopoulos' 'Situation Room'

The biggest challenge for an author tackling the history of the Situation Room, the basement room of the White House where some of the biggest intelligence crises have been handled in recent decades, is the room itself. As a setting, it's pretty underwhelming. In “The Situation...

Book Review: A grandfather’s 1,500-page family history undergirds Claire Messud’s latest novel

Secrets and shame — every family has its share. When it came time to write her most autobiographical novel, Claire Messud relied on a 1,500-page family history compiled by her paternal grandfather. The result, “This Strange Eventful History,” sprawls over a third as many pages — 423, to be...

Movie Review: Brooke Shields and Benjamin Bratt deserve more than Netflix's ‘Mother of the Bride’

Romantic comedies are in a destination wedding rut. Perhaps it’s a collective post-COVID wanderlust kicking in, or, more cynically, some combination of tax credits and a place producers want to spend time. But between “ Ticket to Paradise,” “Anyone But You,” “ Shotgun Wedding ” and...


Duchene scores winner in 2nd OT, Stars advance to Western Conference final with 2-1 win over Avs

DENVER (AP) — Matt Duchene took off down the ice, slid on his knees and pumped his right glove. ...

Young women in a Rio favela hope to overcome slum violence to play in the Women's World Cup in 2027

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A 20-minute drive separates the historic Maracana Stadium from the Complexo do Alemao, one...

Trucks are rolling across a new US pier into Gaza. But challenges remain to getting enough aid in

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trucks carrying badly needed aid for the Gaza Strip rolled across a newly built U.S. pier and...

It was once a center of Islamic learning. Now Mali's historic city of Djenné mourns lack of visitors

DJENNE, Mali (AP) — Kola Bah used to earn a living as a tour guide in Mali's historic city of Djenné, once a...

Argentine president begins unusual visit to Spain, snubbing officials and courting the far-right

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Even before kicking off a three-day visit to Madrid on Friday, Argentina's...

US ambassador to Japan visits southern islands at the forefront of China tension

TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to Japan stressed Friday the importance of increased deterrence and his...

Janay and Ray Rice
By Omar Tyree, The Black Athlete

In this May 1, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice holds hands with his wife, Janay Palmer, as they arrive at Atlantic County Criminal Courthouse in Mays Landing, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

On the first week of September, I wrote a sports column about domestic violence, triggered by the NFL case of Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice and his wife Janay. At the time, we had all witnessed the first video of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée out of a New Jersey casino elevator after an argument and scuffle between them in February. By the second week of September, we were overwhelmed with a second video of what went on before and during the elevator ride, and everything changed… for the worse.

Based on Ray Rice’s summer meetings with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Baltimore Ravens team and staff, and his agreements made with law officials—which included Janay’s admission of participating in their spousal incident—Rice was prepared to serve only a two-game suspension, while involved in domestic violence counseling with his wife. But after the second video footage was released on every television network imaginable, Rice was quickly terminated from the team, forced to serve an indefinite suspension from the NFL, and labeled a monster who should never be allowed to play football again, all while the national media presented his wife Janay as the new face of domestic violence.

Months later, the initial heat of the case has cooled—albeit with serious ramifications and penalties for any and all other athletes in any sport, who are charged with domestic violence. Meanwhile, Ray Rice recently appealed his indefinite suspension from the league, claiming that he was charged twice for the same offense. The league agreed with him and reinstated Rice immediately, allowing him to play NFL football again for any team with tough enough skin to sign him.

Since her husband’s reinstatement to the league, Janay Rice has come forward with several major network interviews, including ESPN and the Today show on NBC, reinforcing her consistent statements that she and her husband have never engaged in the kind of physical disputes that would properly categorize her as a “victim” of domestic violence. Janay went so far as to have her mother, Candy Palmer, join her on interviews to clarify any and all assumptions about a family history with domestic abuse and violence.

Palmer said that it was the hardest thing she’s ever had to go through in her life to see her daughter publicly victimized on national television. “Everyone was talking about her, making statements, and they know nothing about her,” she said.

Janay refused to even look at the second video, because she did not want the obvious shock and embarrassment of being caught on camera to change who she is and what she stands for. From the beginning, she admitted from the beginning that she and Ray had been very intoxicated on the evening of their quarrel in New Jersey, which led to both of them acting out of character, and that the reality of being caught on camera made the altercation impossible for them to explain. “So of course people are going to read into everything and pick at everything about the situation,” Janay said.

I agree with Janay and her mother wholeheartedly after reading and hearing plenty of assumptions being made about them and their family. Janay was supposedly “in denial” and “in need of help” to get away from “that abusive monster” before “he beats her again” and possibly “kills her the next time.” Domestic violence research included extensive information about family upbringings and a history of violent behavior and victimization being passed down through generations. Therefore, Janay’s mother felt it was imperative to speak up on her own behalf and for the reputation of her husband, Joe, who has been a reported father figure to Ray Rice since his high-school days in Northern New Jersey, where the embattled football star first met his daughter Janay more than a decade ago. In other words, the Rice and Palmer families know each other well enough to know how to handle their own disputes.

I can’t speak for the rest of America, but the more the media played that second video inside the elevator, the more I thought about Janay, the history of Black women, and of Black America as a whole. Why would anyone want to see herself in such an embarrassing and compromised circumstance, repeatedly, while millions of people, who have never known you and cared about you or your family, now want you to become the face and voice of their issue? How presumptuous and disrespectful of thousands of Americans to automatically believe or to assume that Janay would want or should be a part of the national conversation on domestic violence, merely because she happened to be married to a popular football player and they were unceremoniously caught on camera.

Let’s be perfectly clear: domestic violence is wrong and the issue needs a recognizable spokesperson, or that the issue does not need a popular spokesperson. But I can’t help but wonder if mainstream America would have allowed the face of a White woman and of her family to be so repetitively aired and tarnished in the cause of domestic-violence prevention. All of a sudden America cares that much about the plight of the Black woman? Or do they simply see her as some type of sacrificial pawn?

Janay’s merits respect for her determination to control her own life, her dignity, and her family story by not allowing herself to become a puppet for anyone else’s agenda, unless she and her family agree to be a part of the ongoing dialogue.

Call me naïve, but I believed Janay from day one. She is not a “victim,” simply a woman who got caught up in the unpredictability of real life in a new, all access era of social media gone wild. Since the video went viral, she and her family now must to live with the hypocrisy of everyone else picking through her family’s clean and dirty laundry, whether Janay likes it or not.

Omar Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, an NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction, and a professional journalist, who has published 27 books, including co-authoring Mayor For Life; The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr. View more of his career and work @ www.OmarTyree.com

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast