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September 10, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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September 10, 2015
 

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CHENEYFREE PRESS Thursday, September 10, 2015 , or sitive with ion. A pair of news items last week has left us wondering if we aren't becoming too sensitive in our approach to race and cultural relations in society. The first was the incident of five Whitworth University . women soccer players who were suspended by their head coach for posting photos of themselves on social media in costumes that included the use of blackface makeup. Blackface is a form of theatrical makeup used by performers to portray black people that began being used in the early 19th centu- ry. The practice contributed to the proliferation of nega- tive and often harmful ste- reotyping of blacks, helping propagate racist images and attitudes through the years, but came to an end as the mentality began changing in the mid-20th century. Whitworth officials said the athletes were not aware of the history of blackface, and were merely dressing to appear at an event at a local bowling alley as the pop group "The Jackson Five." The Jackson Five were among the first all-black per- forming groups to achieve crossover audience popu- larity, and made history in 1970 as the first recording act whose first four singles reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 list. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Whitworth officials did not immediately punish the players; leaving that up to head coach Jael Hagerott, who elected to suspend them for one game. "While their intentions were not malicious, the outcome of their actions was painful for many in our community," Hagerott told the Spokes- man-Review. The second news item was the incident at Washington State University involving several instructors in the university's Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies who are ac- cused of violating students' First Amendment rights by banning the use of a num- ber of words in the class- room and on assignments. Those words include "illegal alien," "The Man, .... ille- gals," and even "male" and "female." The instructors noted in their course syllabi that students using these and other words deemed of- fensive by the instructors would be docked points on assignments or even run the possibility of failing the class. Those classes ranged from the 100- to 300-level on topics such as Women in Popular Culture, Intro- duction to Multicultural Literature and Comparative Ethnic Studies. The instructors' bans elicited opinion pieces from several conservative media outlets attacking the prac- tices, and prompted WSU officials to ask all instruc- tors to evaluate their course policies so students' rights to free speech are protected. Officials added in a state- ment that no students would "have points docked merely as a result of using terms that may be deemed offen- sive to some." It seems that these days, it's getting to be rare that anything that is said or worn is not somehow "deemed offensive to some" in some form. It seems like people are easily offended, some- times over the littlest things. Those viewing the Whit- worth soccer players' post didn't see their attire as a costume, but rather immedi- ately viewed it as a potential offense. The instructors at WSU sought to control their courses' dialogue by elimi- nating use of what they termed oppressive and hate- ful language. Since when did "male" and "female" become op- pressive and hateful? There is much in society today that is hateful and racist, and it's important to point these attitudes out when and where they occur. This allows us to deal with them in a manner that hope- fully educates those espous- ing these feelings on the impacts they have on those their views are directed against, and to society as a whole. But there are also times when the words "hate" and "racist" are used too fre- quently. People use these words too quickly to de- scribe their feelings about people and things, thus di- luting instances where actu- al hate and racism have led to unwanted consequences. The racial climate in this country is some of the worst seen in many years, and it needs to be changed. But in trying to address this, we are letting the extremist views on both sides dictate the argument. It's beginning to impact our ability to communicate successfully among our- selves. People are scared they may offend, but are also too easily offended. ,+ More revenue By JOHN HENSLEY Contributor The Cheney Police Depart- ment (CPD) is a small, but professional police agency, staffed with caring and com- passionate public safety pro- fessionals. For several years, the CPD has been a state-ac- credited police department and serves as a model to others in this area. However, behind this faqade of excel- lence and exceptional service, the CPD suffers from a lack of funding support in several key areas. As I near the completion of my fourth year as your chief sources needed for Cheney police to operate better vehicles, technology, training and facilities. The Cheney Police Depart- ment is staffed with 14 police officers to patrol a city that has a daytime population in excess (full-time population of 11,251) in the state of Washington. We would need to add an additional four officers to move up to the next city on the bottom of this list. This is the staffing problem day and age. Our society has become far too dangerous and complex to rely upon one police officer per shift to sort through the labyrinth of issues that arise each day. We would not expect of police, I find myself exam- ining the state of the police department. Frankly, I am concerned about the future of public safety in our city. With a decade of state funding take- aways, and a slow-in-recover- ing economy, public safety that relies upon the city's general fund has been hit particularly hard in five areas -- staffing, of 24,000. Cheney has the fewest as I see it - police officers police officers for a city of its size should never work alone in this See Hensley page 5 L~E PRESERVER NEEDED... FREE SS Vol. 119-No. 21 Press Production Manager Randy Warwick Pressman Mark Cordes Sales Steve Barge DeeAnn Gibb Front Office Dawn Chernak Rachel Stuart Editor John McCallum Reporters Paul Delaney AI Stover Graphics Brittani Montecucco John Myers Bookkeeper/Office Manager Debi Labish Publisher Harlan Shetlabarger The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, Al Stover, Brittani Montecucco, John McCallum and Harlan ShellabarEer The Cheney Free Press is published every Thursday by the Free Press Publish- ing Company, william Ifft, president. Periodical post- age paid at Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. First Street, Cheney, Wash. 99004. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Cheney Free Press, P.O. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 The Free Press re- quests that contributors observe the following dead. lines, which will be strictly enforced: OBITUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 a.m. CHURCH, CLUB MEETINGS, ALL SOCIAL NEWS -- Monday, noon DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m. LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, 5 p.m. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING -- Tuesday, 11 a.m. Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235- 6184. Subscription cancellations are non-refundableI HOW TO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 emalh cfp@ cheneyfreepress.com www.cheneyfreepress.com John McCallum Al Stover Pau} Delaney Editor Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Main contact for all editorial content. Cov- Covers all Educa~'on (Cheney, Medical Covers all Business, Medical Lake High ers Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway Lake and Eastern Washington University) School and Eastern Washington Univer- Heights news as well as selected Cheney as well as selected Cheney High School sity sports. Contact for miscellaneous High School sports. Sports. sports. jmac @ cheney~epress.~m al @ cheneyfreepress.compdelaney @ cheneyfreepress.com