04-21-2024  6:00 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Don’t Shoot Portland, University of Oregon Team Up for Black Narratives, Memory

The yearly Memory Work for Black Lives Plenary shows the power of preservation.

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

Four Ballot Measures for Portland Voters to Consider

Proposals from the city, PPS, Metro and Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District.

Washington Gun Store Sold Hundreds of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in 90 Minutes Without Ban

KGW-TV reports Wally Wentz, owner of Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as “magazine day” at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington.


Governor Kotek Announces Chief of Staff, New Office Leadership

Governor expands executive team and names new Housing and Homelessness Initiative Director ...

Governor Kotek Announces Investment in New CHIPS Child Care Fund

5 Million dollars from Oregon CHIPS Act to be allocated to new Child Care Fund ...

Bank Announces 14th Annual “I Got Bank” Contest for Youth in Celebration of National Financial Literacy Month

The nation’s largest Black-owned bank will choose ten winners and award each a $1,000 savings account ...

Literary Arts Transforms Historic Central Eastside Building Into New Headquarters

The new 14,000-square-foot literary center will serve as a community and cultural hub with a bookstore, café, classroom, and event...

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Announces New Partnership with the University of Oxford

Tony Bishop initiated the CBCF Alumni Scholarship to empower young Black scholars and dismantle financial barriers ...

Oregon lodge famously featured in 'The Shining' will reopen to guests after fire forced evacuations

GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's historic Timberline Lodge, which featured in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film “The Shining,” will reopen to guests Sunday after a fire that prompted evacuations but caused only minimal damage. The lodge said Saturday in a Facebook post that it...

Record numbers in the US are homeless. Can cities fine them for sleeping in parks and on sidewalks?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The most significant case in decades on homelessness has reached the Supreme Court as record numbers of people in America are without a permanent place to live. The justices on Monday will consider a challenge to rulings from a California-based appeals court that...

Two-time world champ J’den Cox retires at US Olympic wrestling trials; 44-year-old reaches finals

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — J’den Cox walked off the mat after dropping a 2-2 decision to Kollin Moore at the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials on Friday night, leaving his shoes behind to a standing ovation. The bronze medal winner at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 was beaten by...

University of Missouri plans 0 million renovation of Memorial Stadium

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri is planning a 0 million renovation of Memorial Stadium. The Memorial Stadium Improvements Project, expected to be completed by the 2026 season, will further enclose the north end of the stadium and add a variety of new premium...


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...

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...


Councilwoman chosen as new Fort Wayne mayor, its 1st Black leader, in caucus to replace late mayor

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A Fort Wayne city councilwoman was chosen Saturday as the new mayor of Indiana’s second most populous city, and its first Black leader, during a caucus to replace its late mayor, who died in March. Councilwoman Sharon Tucker, a Democrat, will also become...

The drug war devastated Black and other minority communities. Is marijuana legalization helping?

ARLINGTON, Wash. (AP) — When Washington state opened some of the nation's first legal marijuana stores in 2014, Sam Ward Jr. was on electronic home detention in Spokane, where he had been indicted on federal drug charges. He would soon be off to prison to serve the lion's share of a four-year...

Lawsuits under New York's new voting rights law reveal racial disenfranchisement even in blue states

FREEPORT, N.Y. (AP) — Weihua Yan had seen dramatic demographic changes since moving to Long Island's Nassau County. Its Asian American population alone had grown by 60% since the 2010 census. Why then, he wondered, did he not see anyone who looked like him on the county's local...


Celebrity birthdays for the week of April 21-27

Celebrity birthdays for the week of April 21-27: April 21: Actor Elaine May is 92. Singer Iggy Pop is 77. Actor Patti LuPone is 75. Actor Tony Danza is 73. Actor James Morrison (“24”) is 70. Actor Andie MacDowell is 66. Singer Robert Smith of The Cure is 65. Guitarist Michael...

What to stream this weekend: Conan O’Brien travels, 'Migration' soars and Taylor Swift reigns

Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver” landing on Netflix and Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” album are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. Also among the streaming offerings worth your time as...

Music Review: Jazz pianist Fred Hersch creates subdued, lovely colors on 'Silent, Listening'

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch fully embraces the freedom that comes with improvisation on his solo album “Silent, Listening,” spontaneously composing and performing tunes that are often without melody, meter or form. Listening to them can be challenging and rewarding. The many-time...


2 killed and 6 injured in shooting at Memphis park party, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Eight people were shot including two men who were killed at an unsanctioned public party...

Autoworkers union celebrates breakthrough win in Tennessee and takes aim at more plants in the South

DALLAS (AP) — The United Auto Workers' overwhelming election victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is...

Marijuana grow busted in Maine as feds investigate trend in 20 states

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The high electricity consumption of a home, its cardboard-covered windows and odor of...

At least 20 dead after a ferry sinks in Central African Republic, witnesses say

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — At least 20 people have drowned in Central African Republic after a...

Pakistani province issues a flood alert and warns of a heavy loss of life from glacial melting

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani province has issued a flood alert because of glacial melting and warned of...

The US military will begin plans to withdraw troops from Niger

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The United States will begin plans to withdraw troops from Niger, U.S. officials said...

Jazelle Hunt NNPA Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – "My office says my name, Rachel, on the door. I am the only one who sits in it. People constantly walk in, see me, and say, 'Oh, I'm sorry…I'm looking for Rachel.' I'm half black."

"Upon hearing that I had secured an internship for the summer, my roommate said 'I would have on[e] too if I was a minority. I have everything but that minority 'it' factor.'"

"'Sometimes I forget that you're black.' Pissed off, how dare she! I love how she has no idea what the hell she said by that. I[t] just—it kills me. This kills me. These little jabs at my blackness"

WARNING: What might seem little jabs, can have a major impact on Black longevity. There's a term for this death-by-a-thousand-cuts phenomenon: Microaggressions. It might not be in most Whites' everyday vocabulary, but Black and Brown people in the United States know the meaning intimately. It's in the way they're passed up for well-deserved promotions. In the way a teacher refuses to remember or pronounce their names correctly. And it's in being the token in your group of White friends.

The italicized quotes above are real. In fact, they were submitted to the Tumblr blog, Microaggressions (microaggressions.tumblr.com). Co-creator David Zhou explains, "Microaggressions are the subtle interactions that convey hostile language. Or, subtle expressions of what some would call bigotry or prejudice that express power in a social setting."

Scrolling through Microaggressionsyields more than 1,000 similar anecdotes from marginalized people across the nation and in other Western countries. According to its "about" section, the project began in 2010 and aims to [show] how these comments create and enforce uncomfortable, violent and unsafe realities onto people.

"I think this is important because…there are still so few ways to talk about types of racism other than obvert forms of discrimination," Zhou explains. "Without the ability to talk about that, people think, well, if we just get rid of hate crimes and slurs we'll have an equitable society. That's not actually the case. There's a hostile society climate that creates huge ramifications."

An emerging body of research supports Zhou's assertion. Over time, these racialized slights incubate and fester into alarming health ramifications, ranging from higher rates of depression, more severe cases of high blood pressure, and even mortality rate disparities.

David Williams, a professor of public health, sociology, and African and African American studies at Harvard University, has been studying these links for the past few decades. Three statistical instruments he crafted—the Major Experiences of Discrimination, Everyday Discrimination, and Heightened Vigilance scales—are making it possible to quantify discrimination for the first time, which is helping drive more rigorous research on the topic. He recounts an incident 10 years ago, when he submitted a paper on discrimination for peer review and one of his colleagues commented, "The word 'racism' doesn't belong in a scientific paper because it's just a social term that can't be measured."

Williams recounted, "From a scientific point of view, researchers were very worried [about discrimination measures] that people were just saying how they felt. But now we have actual discrimination predicting incidence of disease. Evidence today is overwhelmingly finding that this type of stress is greatly and adversely affecting our physiological functions."

Professor Williams' and other studies are finding that those who report higher levels of discrimination also report high levels of inflammation in the blood and visceral fat inside organs – both of which increase risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

One study in the February 2013 issue of Sociological Inquiry finds that physical or emotional stress stemming from discrimination predicts an increase in poor mental and physical health days. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2007 found that in African American women, breast cancer risk increased 20 percent for those who reported discrimination at work. Another from 2006 asserted that chronic discrimination might increase risk of early artery plaque build-up in African American women.

Camara Jules P. Harrell, a psychology professor at Howard University, has studied stress, psychophysiology, and how discrimination intersects the two.

"Just being in this environment has physiological reactions, often outside of awareness," he says. "I take the extreme position, but I emphatically believe in how so much of [microaggressions]—well over 60 percent—is processed outside awareness."

Harrell and Williams agree that it is the small indignities that have the biggest impact.

"What we're finding with discrimination is that chronic, ongoing stress has a bigger effect than big, one-time stress events," Williams says. He likens it to the effect of dripping water on concrete; each drip on its own doesn't matter much. But over time, the damage is considerable.

Not only does the constant barrage of negative feedback erode a sense of safety and belonging, it also creates an underlying hyper-awareness, or vigilance.

A study published in the May 2012 American Journal of Public Health finds: "…merely anticipating prejudice leads to both psychological and cardiovascular stress responses. These results are consistent with the conceptualization of anticipated discrimination as a stressor and suggest that vigilance for prejudice may be a contributing factor to racial/ethnic health disparities in the United States."

Williams says, "People who report higher levels of vigilance also report poorer sleep. It's as if you can never fully relax; you're always on alert to protect yourself."

Although the link between health and the effects of discrimination is now firmly established, Williams says it will take time for these considerations to trickle into health professional training and academic programs, but there are already some signs of progress, according to Harrell.

"There's a big demand on therapists to have that [understanding]. I think [health providers] curtsey to it, they say the right things, but they have no idea what this experience means," Harrell says. "It's got to be saturated into every form of health learning. It's tough, but if you want to be effective that's what you got to do."

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast