Boing Boing 

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.

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.

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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).

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.”

The Boston Globe reports that Boston Police have arrested two brothers from South Boston for ambushing a 58-year-old homeless man while he slept at a bus stop. The man was targeted because he is Latino.

One of the men who beat the victim so severely that he nearly died said that he was inspired to this act of violence by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. As we have chronicled here at Boing Boing, Trump is in the habit of saying horribly xenophobic, racist things about people from Mexico and Latin America in general. Like, the Mexicans are all rapists thing, but also something equally insane and racist every single day on the campaign trail. It's no surprise that crazy assholes would use crazy stuff said by a crazy rich guy to justify crazy racist violence. Wonder if they'll be convicted of a hate crime, or of anything at all.

[The victim] told police he was awakened by two men urinating on his face. He said they ripped away his blankets and sleeping bag, and started rummaging through his things.

“Next thing . . . he was getting hit in the face and head,” according to the State Police report. “He remembers being punched several times and hit with the metal pole.”

The man was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he remained in fair condition Wednesday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said. The police report said he had a broken nose, bruises on his head, and a large bruise across his torso.

The brothers walked away from the scene laughing, a witness told State Police.

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.

David Borst is now out of a job.

“The South's gonna do it again,” Klansmen in the South who are bitter over losing the War of Northern Aggression are fond of saying.

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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

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.

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The US Civil War was fought over slavery

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

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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."

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.

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

Image: Wikipedia.

Image: Wikipedia.

The ACLU today hosted a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” chat with #BlackLivesMatter activists DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie, and the ACLU’s Nus Choudhury. Together, they discussed policing and police reform in America, and the surveillance of #BLM activists will impact the movement.

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Carry the frustration of injustice in this game about racist police violence

Akira Thompson's striking work challenges one of the biggest misconceptions about police violence against black people in America, and offers privileged players the chance to experience the truth. Read the rest

Privatized, for-profit immigration detention centers force detainees to work for $1-3/day

"We have a name for locking people up and forcing them to do real work without wages. It's called slavery."

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Top Gear team moves to Amazon

Jeremy Clarkson who finally got himself fired by physically attacking a BBC producer, is moving to Amazon. There, the racist buffoon will be joined by symbiotes Richard Hammond and James May. The new show, as yet unnamed, will air on Amazon Prime in 2016.

American cities more ethnically diverse, but not well-integrated

Protesters chant during a peaceful demonstration as communities continue to react to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri

Racial segregation is not a thing of the past, writes Alana Semuels, and is in fact increasing in many American communities. White Flight never ended.

“Ferguson became recognized as a ‘black suburb’ that could be distinguished from other nearby suburban communities that made different zoning and administrative decisions,” the authors write. … On the flip side, white communities make decisions that keep minorities out. Exclusionary zoning laws make it difficult to build mixed-income housing or apartment buildings in some towns, despite court cases seeking to make cities more diverse. These housing policies mean that cities compete for different types of people, and by banning apartment buildings or affordable housing, cities can better attract affluent white taxpayers.

"Redneck" talks about racism

A "redneck" explains racism and privilege for the benefit of anyone listening. The message is sound, but the delivery ain't quite right, even if the accent is spot-on: it's an actor playing a character.

Why "All Lives Matter" instead of "Black Lives Matter" is such a stupid thing to say

Image: Wikipedia.

Image: Wikipedia.

Reddit has been in the news of late for hateful, harrassing content--mobs of trolls piling on people and ruining their lives, under cover of anonymity. That happened, yes, but so do threads of greatness. Here's one: in the very interesting “Explain it Like I'm Five” subreddit, a thread titled “Why is it so controversial when someone says "All Lives Matter" instead of "Black Lives Matter"?.” A wonderful and useful response.

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Sousaphone turns KKK rally into party

A sousaphonist added the most fitting soundtrack to this Ku Klux Klan rally.

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