03-05-2024  3:47 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State Agrees $8 Million a Year for Tribes Hit By Opioid Deaths

With Native Americans and Alaska Natives in Washington dying of opioid overdoses at five times the state average Washington lawmakers have agreed to allocate milliona year to 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington from a half-billion-dollar settlement between the state and major opioid distributors. The funds will help tribes address the opioid crisis

Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump Receives Honorary Doctorate from Lewis & Clark College

Crump has represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Henrietta Lacks. 

Washington State House Overwhelmingly Passes Ban on Hog-tying by Police

The vote on Wednesday came nearly four years after Manuel Ellis, a 33-year-old Black man, died in Tacoma, Washington, facedown with his hands and feet cuffed together behind him.

NEWS BRIEFS

Senate Passes Emergency Housing Stability and Production Package with Bipartisan Support

Major legislation works to stabilize and house Oregonians living on the streets, put affordable housing within reach for everyone ...

House Passes Oregon Drug Intervention Plan (ODIP)

New approach to crisis response aims to increase opportunities for treatment, reduce recidivism, and prevent overdoses ...

House of Representatives Addressed Oregon’s Addiction Crisis

We are committed to closely monitoring the rollout of this bill, particularly with concerns to racial disparities. ...

Moving Ahead to 'A Better Red'

Tri Met’s MAX Red Line trains will begin serving the new Gateway North MAX Station on Monday, March 4. ...

Portland Value Inn Is Renamed Jamii Court

The new name for this affordable housing redevelopment, Jamii, means community and togetherness in Swahili ...

Oregon lawmakers voted to recriminalize drugs. The bill's future is now in the governor's hands

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The future of an Oregon bill that would roll back the state’s first-in-the-nation drug decriminalization law is now in the hands of Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek. The bill — which would make the possession of small amounts of drugs a crime once more — has...

History-rich Pac-12 marks the end of an era as the conference basketball tournaments take place

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tara VanDerveer managed to compartmentalize her emotions as she chased down and eclipsed Mike Krzyzewski’s all-time wins record earlier this season, determined to focus only on the moment ahead. And that's how the Hall of Fame Stanford coach is approaching the...

Georgia hosts Ole Miss after Murrell's 21-point game

Ole Miss Rebels (20-9, 7-9 SEC) at Georgia Bulldogs (15-14, 5-11 SEC) Athens, Georgia; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Bulldogs -2; over/under is 149 BOTTOM LINE: Ole Miss plays the Georgia Bulldogs after Matthew Murrell scored 21 points in Ole...

East leads Missouri against No. 13 Auburn after 27-point game

Auburn Tigers (22-7, 11-5 SEC) at Missouri Tigers (8-21, 0-16 SEC) Columbia, Missouri; Tuesday, 9 p.m. EST FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Tigers -11.5; over/under is 149 BOTTOM LINE: Missouri hosts the No. 13 Auburn Tigers after Sean East scored 27 points in...

OPINION

Message from Commissioner Jesse Beason: February is 'Black History and Futures Month'

I am honored to join the Office of Sustainability and to co-sponsor a proclamation to mark “Black History and Futures Month” ...

Ending Unfair Contracts Harming Minority Businesses Will Aid Gov. Kotek’s Affordable Housing Goals

Senate Bill 1575 will protect small businesses from state and local government’s unfair contract practices while also allowing the building industry to help the governor meet her affordable housing project goals. ...

February is American Heart Month

This month is a time to recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, especially in the African American community ...

Thrilling History of Black Excellence in Our National Parks

In every facet of American life -from exploration; conquest; defense; economy; resistance; conservation and the pursuit of human rights – I can show you a unit of the National Park System where the event took place, where African Americans made the...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Miami Beach is breaking up with spring break — or at least trying to

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Miami Beach is trying to break up with spring break, but it's not yet clear whether spring break will take the hint. After three consecutive years of spring break violence, Miami Beach officials are implementing monthlong security measures aimed at curbing...

Crowded race for Alabama's new US House district, as Democrats aim to flip seat in November

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The race for Alabama's 2nd Congressional District, which was redrawn by a federal court to boost the voting power of Black voters, has sparked congested and competitive primary contests. Democrats see an opportunity to flip the Deep South congressional seat...

Girl Scouts were told to stop bracelet-making fundraiser for kids in Gaza. Now they can't keep up

Missouri Girl Scout leaders threatened legal action against a troop that made bracelets to raise funds for starving children in Gaza, provoking outrage and ridicule from the girls’ supporters and advocates for people trapped in the Palestinian territory by the latest humanitarian crisis. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Ned Blackhawk’s 'The Rediscovery of America' is a nominee for ,000 history prize

NEW YORK (AP) — Ned Blackhawk's “The Rediscovery of America,” winner last fall of a National Book Award, is a finalist for a history honor presented by the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project. Blackhawk's account of Native Americans over the past five centuries is among five nominees...

Once doomed to cult status, the animated satire 'Clone High' finds a new life on Max

NEW YORK (AP) — In one of the weirdest high schools in history, Cleopatra is dating class president Frida Kahlo and John F. Kennedy's best friend is Abraham Lincoln. This is “Clone High,” a cult animated show that's enjoying a new life on the streamer Max some two decades after...

Book Review: Thomas Mullen’s portrayal of a divided nation in 1943 draws parallels to today

It’s 1943, a quarter century after the armistice that ended the so-called Great War, and Americans are once again fighting in foreign lands, battling the ascendant Empire of Japan in the Pacific and confronting Germany’s Afrika Corp along the southern rim of the Mediterranean Sea. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

China sets an economic growth target of around 5% but acknowledges it will not be easy to achieve

BEIJING (AP) — China aims to achieve 5% economic growth this year, Premier Li Qiang said Tuesday, acknowledging...

Industrial fire and multiple explosions shoot debris into the air in Detroit suburb

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A fire raging at an industrial facility caused multiple explosions that rocked...

Democrats make play for veteran and military support as Trump homes in on GOP nomination

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Highway signs welcome drivers entering North Carolina to “the nation's most military...

France becomes the only country to explicitly guarantee abortion as a constitutional right

PARIS (AP) — French lawmakers on Monday overwhelmingly approved a bill to enshrine abortion rights in France's...

3 Red Sea data cables cut as Houthis launch more attacks in the vital waterway

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Three cables under the Red Sea that provide global internet and...

Transit of migrants through the Darien Gap resumes as Colombian boat companies end work stoppage

BOGOTÁ, Colombia (AP) — Migrants bound for the U.S. are once again crossing the Darien Gap in large numbers,...

By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

MACON, Ga.— There are two First Baptist Churches in Macon — one black and one white. They sit almost back-to-back, separated by a small park, in a hilltop historic district overlooking downtown.

About 170 years ago, they were one congregation, albeit a church of masters and slaves. Then the fight over abolition and slavery started tearing badly at religious groups and moving the country toward Civil War. The Macon church, like many others at the time, decided it was time to separate by race.

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Ever since — through Jim Crow, the civil rights movement, desegregation and beyond — the division endured, becoming so deeply rooted it hardly drew notice.

Then, two years ago, the Rev. Scott Dickison, pastor of the white church, and the Rev. James Goolsby, pastor of the black church, met over lunch and an idea took shape: They'd try to find a way the congregations, neighbors for so long, could become friends. They'd try to bridge the stubborn divide of race.

They are taking up this work against a tumultuous backdrop, including the much-publicized deaths of blacks at the hands of law enforcement and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Next month, they will lead joint discussions with church members on racism in the history of the U.S., and also in the history of their congregations.

"This is not a conversation of blame, but of acceptance and moving forward," Goolsby said.

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Like many American institutions, houses of worship have largely been separated by race, to the point that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called Sunday mornings "one of the most segregated hours." Recently, several denominations, from the Episcopal Church to the Southern Baptist Convention, have tried to look critically at their past actions going back centuries.

In the early 1800s, in Baptist churches of the South, whites and blacks often worshipped together, but blacks were restricted to galleries or the back of the sanctuary. Eventually, black populations started growing faster in many communities. Whites, made uneasy by the imbalance, responded by splitting up the congregations.

This was apparently the case for First Baptist in Macon, which built a separate church for blacks in 1845, then finalized the separation two decades later soon after the Civil War ended.

Goolsby and Dickison said their respective churches were enthusiastic about plans to work together, under the auspices of the New Baptist Covenant, an organization formed by former President Jimmy Carter to unite Baptists.

Yet excitement mixed with apprehension, since the effort would inevitably require "some challenging conversations," Dickison said, including a re-examination of the official church history, which had been recorded in mostly benign terms, with almost no recognition of racism.

"We need to go through this kind of conversion experience of confession, of repentance and of reconciliation. We need to have that when it comes to race, not just in the country but within the church," Dickison said.

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Goolsby recalled that after the massacre last year at the historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, he was outside a store, awaiting his wife, when Dickison called.

"Scott shared how he felt, how he was struggling with what he would share with his congregation," Goolsby said. Dickson asked how he could show support.

"I said, 'We're already doing it,'" Goolsby said. "The mere fact he thought to call me was huge."

The stakes were even more personal months later, when the white church invited black church members for a youth trip to Orlando.

Goolsby's teenage son was among those invited. But Goolsby had considered Florida a danger ever since Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black 17-year-old, was fatally shot in Sanford by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who was later acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

The pastor could not let his son go on the trip. "If you put a hoodie on him," he said, "he looks just like Trayvon."

The concerns of anxious black parents had been much in the news, but the white church members hadn't had to confront the issue directly until Goolsby raised it.

After reassurances from a white chaperone, Goolsby allowed his son and the other young people to participate.

"The fact that that was so easy to share — we've already made progress," Goolsby said.

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Dickison strode into the basement hall of his church with a box under one arm. Inside, were copies of "Strength to Love," a collection of sermons and writings by King. The book was at the center of classes at the white church that Dickison organized in preparation for the joint talks on racism next month.

This class was held on the Sunday in July after the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, and the fatal ambush on white Dallas police officers.

With the stifling humidity of a Georgia summer building outside, Dickison launched into a discussion of King's sermon on the Good Samaritan, about despised groups and showing mercy.

"We have our tribes. We see ourselves over and against others," he said, then asked church members to reflect.

One man said when you reach out to someone from another group, "you're perceived as unpatriotic," or disloyal. A woman said she was upset to see some disrespect of the police. "They rush toward danger when others run," she said.

The next night, the black church hosted the city's Black Lives Matter vigil, marking the tragedies of the preceding week.

Clergy from across the city filled the pulpit. Goolsby and Dickison stood together to speak. Dickison compared racism to "a cancer that roams inside the body of this nation, and yes, even in the body of Christ." Goolsby urged people to maintain hope "in spite of our circumstances," and he added, "We know there will be change."

Then both men said, "Amen."

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast