What Black Parents Tell Their Sons About the Police

"Growing up in Gary, Indiana, the so-called murder capital of America, has shaped my experience. We saw cops attack first and ask questions later. So the first lessons came as microaggressions. Barbershop banter about the newest black celebrity victim, showing you that socioeconomic status didn’t matter because you’ll still look black. Seeing your parents shrink into themselves when talking to officers, going back to "servant talk," as it was called it back then.

The big talk came after we were disrespected in our own home by police. When my mom came home, she was furious! Ranting mad! Now was the time for the talk. “Cops don’t care about black people.”

No sugarcoating. There it was. “Look, stay away from cops. They are not your friends. You answer their questions if they ask you with ‘yes sir’ and ‘no ma’am’ unless it is incriminating, then you exercise your right to be silent. Don’t talk back, don’t even slouch, pull up your pants. Be polite, no sudden movements. Don’t give him a reason because these cops will shoot you and not think twice about it.” She used choice other words, but that was it. All our suspicions, fears about police vocalized by the smartest person we knew.

My kids will get all the talks. I’ll teach them to respect the law and the people tasked to uphold it, but to be weary of them as well, because they are still people, too. Flawed people. I will teach them that hate has many forms and racism is but one head of the hydra. I will teach them to speak out when their rights are violated and treat every injustice with the incredulity it deserves.

Because I never want my kids to be used to it. To think it’s normal behavior to be dehumanized by others. I will teach that no reason is enough to justify their demise. I will teach them that they are human, too, regardless of their hue and their personhood doesn’t need to qualified with descriptors like “honor roll student,” “good kid,” or “nice to everyone.” Maybe we’ll get justice before that time comes. Just maybe.” - Nico Davis, 25, Gary, Indiana. 

Comfort Women have been the focal point of a festering controversy in intra-Asian relations for decades. Some of these women are still alive. Their fight to gain recognition has recently resulted in a memorial statue in Glendale that is currently being protested by the Japanese government and its apologists, both in Japan and Stateside. While American and colonized Asian history books are clear about the war crimes committed against Asian women during WWII, the Japanese have opted to completely omit this atrocity from their history books, exerting a concerted effort on all mainstream media platforms to suppress, deny, and erase the voices of these women.

Valleywag’s cynical, flippant clickbaiting only adds to this silencing; by reducing Comfort Women to a punchline, they erase the history and struggles of hundreds of thousands of women who have fought so long and hard to bring their painful realities to light and their abusers to justice. Valleywag’s joke, and Gawker’s refusal to apologize fully on behalf of its authors and editors and change their editorial policies, are salt in the wounds inflicted upon Comfort Women. Gawker and Valleywag are profiteers and collaborators; they convert suffering into gold in a cynical alchemy; they create revenue off the backs of the women whose physical and now digital bodies are continually abused and violated. They are a travesty.
We’re witnessing a week in which journalists are risking their own safety and well-being covering one of the year’s most important stories, a story where their very presence has done a traceable good — and then here comes the story of another journalist who lost his life while doing the same. But as quickly as that life is lost, the worst elements of the profession turn around and exploit it.

Be careful what you memo for.

The 4 Worst Corporate Attempts to Bond With Employees

#4. Walmart Asks Employees for Good Reviews, Gets the Opposite

This month, Gawker put out another in their series of articles featuring real horror stories from Walmart employees … This time, however, Walmart noticed and decided to strike back. How? By sending a memo asking the same underpaid employees they treat like crap to bombard Gawker with stories about the “real” Walmart.

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Internet slang. We used to make an effort to avoid this, and now I see us all falling back into the habit. We want to sound like regular adult human beings, not Buzzfeed writers or Reddit commenters. Therefore: No “epic.” No “pwn.” No “+1.” No “derp.” No “this”/”this just happened.” No “OMG.” No “WTF.” No “lulz.” No “FTW.” No “win.” No “amazeballs.” And so on. Nothing will ever “win the internet” on Gawker. As with all rules there are exceptions. Err on the side of the Times, not XOJane.
—  Max Read, Editor, Gawker, in a memo to staff, via Poynter. Gawker bans ‘Internet slang’.
How Much Are My Friends Gonna Love It When I Piss In Their Sinks?

Thatz Not Okay, 30 January 2014:

I have been peeing in my own bathroom sink for a couple years now (I’m a guy) as it’s more convenient, I save a ton of water, urine is sterile, and everything goes to the same pipes. I recently have started wondering if I should start doing that in friends’ homes as well to conserve water at a greater scale. I would of course clean up any drops with some hot water and antibacterial soap. Is that okay?

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Here is what we’re trying to tell you, young writers of the world: You don’t have to do shit just because some media outlet asks you to. You are a writer. You are not a ‘brand.’ You can write about any topic in the whole wide world. You do not have to write about yourself. You do not have to write sexy, salacious, crazy, wild, demeaning, shocking, depressing, or self-glorifying stories about your own life in order to get published. The fact that such stories may be easier to sell does not mean that you have to write them. You can write about—never forget this—other people.

Writing about yourself as a character is a process that feeds on itself. If you set out with the intent of making yourself a ‘brand’ with a certain image and persona, you are locking yourself in a prison of your own creation. Media outlets will always be interested in cheap thrills. Your mom died in a fire? You were molested as a child? You slept with five different dudes a night every year at Harvard? You did something, anything, that will titillate a bored office drone slacking off on the internet? Sure, write it up. It’s ‘exposure!’ It’s good for your career! Blah blah blah!

Do not believe it. It is not necessarily bad to write about yourself; but remember that there are six billion other people in the world with equally compelling stories. Part of the reason that media outlets like to publish these types of confessional first-person essays is so that we, the readers, can mentally scold the writer for being so self-absorbed and unwise. First person writing about ourselves should be unleashed only on special occasions, like that Christmas sweater in your closet. Don’t rock it every day. You’ll just look ridiculous.
— 

Hamilton Nolan, "The ‘Writing About Yourself’ Trap

I spent half an hour today trying to remember where I read this article and what it was titled. I’m linking to it here partially so that I’ll be able to find it in the future.

Evil Triumphs: Satanic Birds Attack Pope’s Peace Doves (via Gawker)

In the Vatican earlier today, two peace doves were viciously attacked by a crow and a seagull when they were set free by Pope Francis from a window at Apostolic Palace. We’ve spent countless years of our precious time on this planet debating over whether evil would triumph over good, whether the Dementors would eventually find us, and if birds — despite our blame in their pitiful helplessness — were actually hotblooded, malevolent predators searching fiendishly to corrupt their own.

It was confirmed today in St. Peter’s Square that the search for these answers was over when the malicious crow and its seagull henchman overtook the two peace doves as a horrified group of children watched from the window. The children were young, impressionable, and are now likely ruined.

Blood dripping from its beak, the seagull repeatedly went after one dove, pecking and taunting it, while the crow chased after the other, its mouth agape, ready to impart a Dementor’s kiss. The doves struggled beneath the grasps of their dark winged brethren, and it’s clear from the images above and below who the real victor is: unforgiving evil and soulless villainy. A Hitchcock film brought to life, the scene shook the tens of thousands of people watching below, a reminder that birds are not only angry, they also cannot be trusted, a notion that has been supported since biblical times:

Has not my inheritance become to me like a speckled bird of prey that other birds of prey surround and attack? Go and gather all the wild beasts; bring them to devour.Jeremiah 12:9

Prior to the fight, Pope Francis had prayed for peace in the Ukraine, where violent protests in Kiev turned deadly last week. Speaking from the palace, Pope Francis told the crowd below, “I hope that a constructive dialogue between the institutions and civil society can take place, that any resort to violence is avoided and that the spirit of peace and a search for the common good is in the hearts of all.”

Whiteface in America has a long, hurtful history. The first mass distributed instance I remember is the Eddie Murphy SNL skit in the early 80’s. This was extremely hurtful because it followed the roundup and internment of white Americans from their native lands of Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. The next instance I recall was that “White Chicks” movie which followed the Supreme Court decision to restrict white voter rights. Then, here comes Dave Chappelle, playing his white faced reporter just after BET denied white reporters the right to work for their network, using an insidious “grandfather clause” as their basis for denial. There is a long, painful legacy of whiteface and I stand along with you to ensure that that tradition is killed, along with the practice of restricting white rights in this country.
—  Comment response on Gawker to the “White Chicks” Blackface deflection: Because Mere Blackface Wasn’t Offensive Enough For These Partiers

Not all those photos you’re seeing of burning cities and pitched urban battles are from Kiev. Even as the near-apocalyptic imagery of Ukraine’s violent protests have captured the top of the news, Venezuelan cities have gone from dangerous to “warzone” overnight. Here’s what you need to know.

Gawker’s Adam Weinstein has compiled an extensive breakdown on the increasingly violent demonstrations taking place in Venezuela, where at least five people have died as a result of clashes between protesters and government security forces in the last seven days.

We’re bad lovers, so we continue the cycle of hate and self-hate. We let the producers of 21 whitewash Asian characters. We let Spike Lee remake Oldboy and cast Josh Brolin as its lead. We let shows like Friends and Girls show only white relationships and use Asian and black actors and actresses to play interim lovers. We let SNL go thirty-nine years without casting a single Asian comedian. We make talented Asian actors come to America and play ninjas and yakuzas. We cast Asian actors and models with stereotypical Asian faces and un-stereotypical Asian bodies. We fetishize them by giving “sexiest man of the year” or “sexiest woman of the year.” And we ignore Baldwin’s warning that we could “lose our faith—and become possessed.”

We lose our faith in ourselves and lose our faith in our ability to love.

And instead, we partake in phony performances and dialogues of love. Drake singing “Shout out to Asian girls, let their lights dim-sum” is not love. A commercial saying “White, black, brown, yellow, purple, green, we’re all the same” is not love. I want to hear our pop culture honestly try to articulate love. I want to stop reading buzzwords like “safe space” that generate the false illusion of safety and the false sense of invasion. I want to see us love and fight for each other when no one is watching.

It is a complicated thing to be young, black, and male in America. Not only are you well aware that many people are afraid of you—you can see them clutching their purses or stiffening in their subway seats when you sit across from them—you must also remain conscious of the fact that people expect you to be apologetic for their fear. It’s your job to be remorseful about the fact that your very nature makes them uncomfortable, like a pilot having to apologize to a fearful flyer for being in the sky.

Another gem from the article I just linked.

The answer: Gawker writers are paid bonuses for attracting large numbers of unique visitors to the site, and its community platform — and the only thing that drives more responses than an accurate story is an inaccurate one. No wonder Biddle was “smh” at Buzzfeed stealing his traffic, and his cash reward, over the Sacco post.

Seriously. Do not visit Kotaku. Do not visit any Gawker blog. Encourage others not to visit these places. If you absolutely must, please be sure to use adblock. The entire network is worse than just being bad journalism; they actively post inflammatory, often inaccurate things to generate revenue. They are causing measurable harm to other people for profit.

How is that not despicable?

Fox News has reportedly paid a former PR executive “approximately $8 million in hush money” after firing him this summer.

Brian Lewis, a former executive vice president at Fox News, was fired in July amid reports that he had been giving information about the company to Gabriel Sherman, a New York magazinecontributing editor working on a (likely unflattering) biography of Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

Citing an unnamed network executive “with knowledge of the negotiations,” Gawker reports today that Lewis was paid roughly $8 million by the network as part of a settlement.

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