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Why policing in America is rotten to the core

Photo by ludovikus at Canstock

Consider this hypothetical scenario: You’ve got a box full of apples. The majority of them, say 65, are ripe. But there’s also another 35 that are rotten. Unfortunately for you, there’s only one box and you’re transporting them on a very long road trip, so you have to keep all of the apples together.

You’re so happy that you have more ripe apples in the box; you don’t even think about the rotten ones.

Somewhere along the way, though, you notice a pungent odor coming from the decaying fruit.

You take a moment to check the box and see that…


This Week in Racism

It’s an embarrassment of riches in our weekly roundup of the world’s most preventable disease!

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life. But no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we created a weekly racism surveillance machine. …


When do we finally look beyond colour?

Photo: Dmitry Ageev/Getty Images

According to writer Gyles Brandreth, the average person speaks around 860,341,500 words during their lifetime. If you start talking at one and live to be 80, that’s about 30,000 words a day.

Most will be forgotten by everybody, including you, as soon as they’re out of your mouth. Others will stick around for a few weeks before drifting into obscurity. But now and then, someone says something we’ll remember for years or even generations afterward. Their words express just the right idea, in just the right way, at just the right time.

If you ask me, there’s no better example…


Pandemic Reflections

Last March, I was about to head into a new phase of my life. Turns out we all were.

Pfizer vaccine doses at a vaccine site in Porter Ranch, California, on March 15, 2021. Photo: Sarah Reingewirtz/Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG/Getty Images

Before the world as I understood it was flipped on its head one year ago, I thought I was heading toward a different phase of my life. Things weren’t perfect by any stretch, but I could feel a shift on the horizon. I was preparing to move. My student loans, the bane of my existence and the subject of a solid chunk of my writing, were still annoying but no longer totally diminishing my quality of life. In fact, I was beginning to pay some of those loans off. …


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Whose bright idea was this, anyway?

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium. Source: Getty Images.

5. No one remembers until it’s too late

These things play out the same way every spring: You’re either out in the streets or at home enjoying life and a late Saturday night transitions into early Sunday morning. Next thing you know, all of the clocks in your vicinity quantum leap from 1:59 a.m. to 3 a.m. and it’s officially late as hell — one hour closer to Monday. Either that, or you sleep through the time warp and wake up at, like, noon, in a state of confusion, contemplating life and wondering how the hell you slept the whole morning away. Bring on the Sunday blues.

4. It’s unsafe

Daylight…


This Week in Racism

It’s an embarrassment of riches in our weekly roundup of the world’s most preventable disease!

Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life. But no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we created a weekly racism surveillance machine. …


This Week in Racism

It’s an embarrassment of riches in our weekly roundup of the world’s most preventable disease!

Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life. But no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we created a weekly racism surveillance machine. …


Turning lemons into unapologetically Black cartoon characters

Photo; Jean-Marc Zaorski

Anyone who watches Dragon Ball Z knows that Piccolo is Black. Yes, he’s green. Yes, he was born from an egg. And yes, I know that technically he comes from Planet Namek. But to me, and to millions of other Black viewers, Piccolo is Black.

It’s not just Piccolo. It’s Raven from Teen Titans. Knuckles from Sonic the Hedgehog. Skeeter from Doug. Whenever there isn’t a Black character on a beloved animated show, Black people say to hell with it and just create our own.

Why is that? Well, first of all, representation matters. For children, in particular, not seeing…


Black people have been telling America about itself for a long time. Someday it might listen.

James Baldwin at home in Saint Paul de Vence, France in September 1985. Photo: Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Very little about America surprises Black people. We are only startled by things that happen, never by the potential for things to happen. When Trump supporters attacked the Capitol on January 6, Black people collectively checked our watches, muttering, “Oh, is today when that’s going down? Guess we’re not going south of Massachusetts Ave. today.” Shocked, but not surprised.

By contrast, White America’s reaction to the attack on Capitol Hill was marked with unadulterated surprise, as if it truly did not know itself, as if Sam Cooke did not mention it in the very first line of “Wonderful World” (which…


In some ways, I feel like I’m just getting started. Don’t wait until you feel the same.

Photo: courtesy of the author

As I write this I am turning 50. The plan is to spend my semi-century in bed — or, if I’m feeling cosmopolitan, on the couch. Lying prone is not how I normally spend birthdays, but it is how I will be spending this one. It is not a pandemic-based decision; it is an If-I-Must resignation.

I get that I should be thankful. A lot of people don’t make it to 50, especially Black men. I’m fortunate to have made it through the pandemic this far without being tagged with a life-threatening virus or worse. I have my health, my…

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