Playmobil pirate ship includes dark-skinned doll wearing "slave collar"


Ida Lockett of Sacramento, CA was helping her 5-year-old son put together a Playmobil pirate ship kit he'd been given for his birthday when she saw that the instructions told her to put a shackle around the neck of a dark-skinned figurine in torn clothing. Read the rest

Apple inventor Steve Wozniak was busted in high school for fake bomb

From Woz's Facebook:

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President Obama invites the boy who was arrested for making a clock to the White House


Here's an update to the story about a schoolchild arrested in Irving, TX for bringing his homemade clock to school: This morning, President Obama tweeted: "Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science." Read the rest

Arab-looking man of Syrian descent found in garage building what looks like a bomb


Omar Ghabra won Twitter with these photos, and this quip: “An Arab-looking man of Syrian descent in a garage w/his accomplice building what appears to be a bomb. Arrest them.” Read the rest

What it's like to be black and work in tech

Why aren’t there more Black people roaming the campuses of technology companies? Mark S. Luckie has some ideas.

Here's the video NYPD released of a plainclothes cop brutally attacking tennis star James Blake


James Blake made a terrible mistake. He was outside in public while black. Here is video proof, released today by the New York Police Department.

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Racist who threatened Lakota children at a hockey game found not guilty


Trace O'Connell, the racist asshole who ruined an award hockey game for some school kids, is not guilty of disorderly conduct.

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Interview with man picked by Kennedy administration to be the first black man in space


President Kennedy wanted a white man, a black man, and an Asian man to be the first men on the moon. Obviously, it didn't happen.

In this episode of The Memory Palace podcast, Nate DiMeo interviews Captain Edward Dwight, the first African American to be trained as an astronaut. Dwight was a United States Air Force test pilot in the 1950s, and in 1962 the Kennedy administration selected Dwight to join the astronaut program. He faced horrible discrimination from other white astronauts, but stayed in the program. When Kennedy was assassinated, racist government officials zoomed in and bullied Dwight until he retired in 1966. He never went into space. Read the rest

The "transactional love economy"

"Do you ever see a super-old guy…with a super-young girl…and wonder, how the hell did that happen?" Here's what we're calling it now. Read the rest

Citing Trump as their role model, 2 white guys in Boston beat homeless Latino man nearly to death

Scott Leader (left) and Steve Leader (right).
“The homeless man was lying on the ground, shaking, when police arrived early Wednesday. His face was soaked, apparently with urine, his nose broken, his chest and arms battered.”

Former Florida cop fired for KKK ties got a new job working in a Florida elementary school

David Borst is now out of a job.
The FBI found no criminal wrongdoing, or evidence that any other officers were involved with the KKK.

Memory Palace podcast about a Confederate monument honoring a real racist


Nate DiMeo, host of the always excellent Memory Palace podcast, points us to the new episode "about the history of the Nathan Bedford Forrest monument (and Confederate monuments in general) that the city of Memphis is planning on moving from a prominent place downtown to a nearby cemetery, because Forrest was, essentially, a racist monster."

The Memory Palace: Episode 73 Read the rest

Pointer Sister's collection of terrible and important black memorabilia


Anita Pointer, vocalist for famed 1980s R&B group The Pointer Sisters, is also a major collector of black memorabilia, from racist caricature cookie jars and mechanical banks to slave shackles and disturbing children’s books like Ten Little Niggers and Little Black Sambo. Read the rest

The US Civil War was fought over slavery


Why did the South fight? Why does this question remain controversial? Read the rest

Busting the myth that the Civil War was about "states' rights"


Confederate Flag wavers claim the the Civil War was all about "states' rights," not slavery. But in this video Colonel Ty Seidule, head of the history department at the US Military Academy at West Point, offers plenty of evidence that this isn't the case. For example, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens wrote "Our new government was founded on slavery." And slave states were happy to bow to federal law when it benefited them:

From Vox:

Mississippi once complained that New York's notion of states' rights was too strong — because it prevented Mississippi slaveowners from bringing their slaves up North. This war wasn't about the principle of federal power; it was about the threat that the federal government might eventually use that power to abolish slavery.

Ultimately, Seidule's point boils down to something very simple: Be honest. Americans should be able to admit that a huge part of the country was devoted to slavery, so much so that they were willing to die for it. But at the same time, Americans should be proud that their government waged a war to end slavery.

"It is to America's everlasting credit that it fought the most devastating war in its history in order to abolish slavery," Seidule concludes. "As a soldier, I am proud that the United States Army — my army — defeated the Confederates."

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Lowe's replaced black driver with white one at customer request


Marcus Bradley, a driver for hardware store Lowe's, was ordered to hand off a delivery to a racially-acceptable colleague following a customer complaint, reports WSET.

“Then I got a phone call on the phone telling me to bring the delivery back. Saying that I couldn’t do the delivery,” said Bradley to WSET. “I asked him why I couldn’t do it and he said because you’re black and they don’t want you at the house.”

Raw Story found the customer and reports that she has no regrets. She did, however, offer the perfect one-liner from the point where racism and privilege meet.

“I got a right to have whatever I want and that’s it,” she said.

It's not Lowe's first rodeo. In 2011, it conspicuously pulled its ads from the show "All-American Muslim," after a conservative group described it as a "danger to American liberties and traditional values."

After WSET exposed its latest act of conspicuous public bigotry, Lowe's found someone to fire: the store manager.

Diversity and inclusion is a core value at Lowe's. The situation brought to our attention was troubling and an investigation was immediately undertaken. Under no circumstances should a discriminatory delivery request be honored as it is inconsistent with our diversity and inclusion core values and the request should have been refused. The investigation has concluded and the individuals involved are no longer with company.

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#BlackLivesMatter activists are monitored by U.S. Homeland Security and cybersecurity firms

Image: Wikipedia.
In a Reddit AMA, activists DeRay McKesson, Johnetta Elzie and ACLU’s Nus Choudhury talked policing and police reform in America, and surveillance of activists.

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