I fit the description. I was a black man.
Could it be that, in a nation that has legalized racial profiling through such policies as "stop-and-frisk," the persecution of pigmentation makes African Americans indistinguishable from each other in the eyes of the law -- so much so that all are feared as imminent threats?
The shock is not only that a police officer killed an unarmed black teenager. That, tragically, has happened too many times before, and when the details remain murky, many people withhold judgment. The shock was that the police response to the protests was so hugely disproportionate, "like an invading army."
Hogwarts is run by white people, and let's not touch racism and Tolkien. Where are the South Asian superheroes? The Black people in Dr. Seuss? Make sure your kids know the world they see has missing pieces, missing people and missing stories.
If a black person can be gunned down and left in the street for over four hours with no disciplinary action taken against the government representative responsible, what does "equal protection" mean?
When I started writing about the gender disparity I saw in Silicon Valley, I took intense fire from the boys club. They could get away with this because such frat-boy behavior was considered acceptable in Silicon Valley. But things are changing for the better.
The profound division of American society along racial lines is part of a vicious circle exacerbating a host of social problems, from excessive use of force by the police to mass incarceration and wealth inequality.
I believe that having hard conversations is hard because we haven't put ignorance in its proper place. Ignorance has become synonymous with choice and that's not always true. If I can't ask an ignorant question, how will I become enlightened to the truth?
No matter where you are in life, finances can be a big pain in the you-know-what. It doesn't get easier, no matter how much older you get. So to help, we've devised a little roadmap of goals that everyone can follow to make sure they are meeting the right financial goals for their age.
Only by participating in the political process, building trust and cooperation with people unlike us, and using our smartphone cameras to expose official misconduct can we make America -- to borrow Dr. King's words -- be true to what we said on paper.
The words "college life" and "savings" are typically not used in the same sentence today. However, for college students preparing to move onto campus this fall, finding ways to save money may very well be as important as their academic major.
The election of Barack Obama was the Lexington and Concord in the latest great battle of race in America. We are a nation at war with itself. For all of our desire to move beyond the narrow confines of many of the events of our tragic history, we cannot. The president's election gave new life to what had been lying dangerously dormant for the better part of 50 years.
Black people have been dehumanized and disregarded in America since its inception; and it is thus time for us to truly realize that this country is not "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The expedient historical analogy alleviates any pressure to understand the moment at hand. One is free to return to the caldron and pull out the example that support one's preconceived notion.
As a lawyer in that system, I know that the American criminal justice system is institutionally racist, even though the vast majority of people that work within it are people of good will. We can change the system, but that requires us to recognize the problem and commit to making the necessary changes.
Just look at the facts, and it becomes clear that America's egregious rates of incarceration of blacks and Latinos stem from the enforcement of unfair sentencing laws -- laws that are grounded in racist policy, and that are desperately in need of reform.
Honestly, it seems like there is maybe one week of summer we can actually enjoy. I don't care if there is pumpkin spice lattes to be had and school supplies to be bought. Summer doesn't end for weeks. Let's stop rushing through the season.
A LESSON FOR THE CRYING
A lot of black women are in an uproar over black, famous rich men dating women who are not black. From splashy magazine covers (Essence) to popular reality shows ('Kendra'), biracial dating seems to be more than just a trend. There's a new book called 'Don't Bring Home a White Boy' hitting shelves soon, where attorney and writer Yolanda Young urges black women to take some tips from Kim and Khloe Kardashian and date outside of their race. As many know, the two half-Armenian TV personalities have nailed down two successful and wealthy black athletes: New Orleans Saints Superbowl winner Reggie Bush and Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom, respectively. Young says that instead of hating, people should look at how the Kardashian sisters have "advanced the careers of their boyfriends." She suggests that black women should focus their attention on "those who appreciate it," whether black or otherwise. Interesting... [Huffington Post]
FILLING UP ON MILK
Jennifer Hudson recently shot a Got Milk? ad. The Oscar and Grammy winner's new ad reads: "Center stage, silver screen, joyful new mom. How do I keep this show on the road? Milk. Its wholesome goodness helps make my family strong at every stage. Talk about a powerful performance." The Chicago native is psyched that her new ad hits magazines during Black History Month. "I feel like if I'm going to lead somebody in the right direction it might be in the right direction of health with milk, right?," she said. Maybe she should get her fiance David Otunga to have some milk, too. He's bulked up for his WWF debut. It's sure to help him with a long future in wrestling. [StyleList.com]
One of the sexiest men in the NFL seems to be crying out for more attention. Buffalo Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens already stripped down to his birthday suit to launch his VH1 reality show last year. Now, he seems to be getting all gussied up for the fashion scene.
On Feb. 17, the Alabama born stud hit the runway during New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Looking like a cross between Eddie Murphy as James Brown (on vintage 'Saturday Night Live') and Ben Stiller as 'Zoolander' – the world's first white male supermodel, Owens strutted his stuff at the A*Muse Fashion Show at Amnesia NYC. [GossipOnThis]
ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL
Chris Brown is on the right track, according to his Richmond, Va., judge. The pop star reported back to court to discuss how much community service he's completed so far.
Right now, the 'Crawl' singer has done 32 of the mandated 180 days of work, as well as attended a majority of his domestic violence classes. Judge Schnegg said, "Looks like you're doing really, really, well," before approving Brown's plans to travel abroad. Go Chris. [YBF]
He's been to hell and back. And 'Diff'rent Stokes' star Gary Coleman seems to still be dancing with the devil. In one of the wildest viral videos that ever circulated on the web, the pint-sized former child star took no tea for the fever when he appeared on the TV show, 'The Insider,' last week.
Watch what happens when Coleman talks for the first time about his now infamous mug shot. He discusses his recent time in jail and answers the question of what led him there. The panel asks "WHAT HAPPENED GARY??" And boy oh boy did he have some choice words for them.