As you’re driving along a busy road, assuming you’re not overly aggressive, there is a lot of give and take with other vehicles. Sometimes you’re letting them in, sometimes they’re letting you in. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a conventional way to signal, “Hey, thanks, friend!” that was a little bit more visible (and common) than a wave?
18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb on Saturday, just days before he was to leave for college. The fact that Brown was unarmed has generated outrage from his community and many others nationwide.
While an investigation into why a police officer opened fire on Brown is ongoing, people have turned to social media to decry the ways in which the media has reported the story. One particularly straightforward yet fascinating trend has been the “If they gunned me down” hashtag on Twitter.
To participate, young black men (and a few women, too) are sharing two pictures of themselves and rhetorically asking (with a strong dose of sarcasm) which photo we predict the media would use to tell their story if the police killed them. The point being, of course, that the media almost universally gravitates to photos that make a young, Black victim appear to be a thug, completely skipping other images that prove he was, in fact, as well-rounded and complete a human being as anybody else.
Let’s start with a couple pictures that Mike Brown himself might have posted if he’d had the chance to participate rather than motivate this sad but powerful protest. On the left is the photo that almost everyone is using to report his story, and on the right is another, obviously better photo that is just as available as the first, but that few news outlets have been using.
Participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge is simple. You dump a bucket of ice water over your head and then upload footage of your antics along with a list of friends who you now challenge to either do the same or to make a donation to an ALS charity.
If you’ve been online at all in the last few days, you have almost certainly seen it. Everyone from your next door neighbor to Martha Stewart has participated.
It started in the Boston area with former athlete Pete Frates who was diagnosed with ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease) two years ago and has been an outspoken advocate for those with the disease since.
The challenge quickly spread locally around Massachusetts, and thanks to the universal nature of social media, it is now a nationwide, if not worldwide, phenomenon.
And, of course, that amount of exposure has awakened the critics and complainers. For example…
Raymond Burse spent seven years as president of Kentucky State University before launching a 17-year career at General Electric Company in 1989. Two years after entering retirement, Burse rejoined KSU as their interim president, but had a unique salary demand.
He would come on board if the university raised the pay of every school employee to a livable wage.
But how would they pay for this? Burse had a plan…
This video is almost as sweet as the food it’s about. It will make you feel spoiled by the simple luxuries we take for granted, but at the same time you’ll find it wonderfully uplifting (and funny).
Several farmers and laborers in Ivory Coast who grow and harvest the key ingredient in chocolate — cocoa beans — have never tasted the finished product. In fact, they’ve never even heard of it.
One farmer says…
To be honest I do not know what they make of my beans. I’ve heard they’re used as flavoring in cooking, but I’ve never seen it. I do not even know if it’s true.
When they get a chance to taste the fruit of their labors in this mini-documentary, they are more than a little surprised. The video as a whole is quite heartwarming, but what they have to say about white people and chocolate is downright hilarious…
28-year-old Lindsey grew tired of catcalls from men on the street during her daily commute, so she decided to do something unusual about it. The Minneapolis attorney created Cards Against Harassment, a website dedicated to educating and exposing men who harass women.
When she hears a catcall, Lindsey now confronts the man and hands him one of these cards, which she makes available to other women who appreciate direct confrontation…
Since then, Suzanne and I have kept in contact, and a couple months ago I got the skinny on her planned “chapter two” of her project, officially called “The Playing House Project,” in which she and her stoic mannequin husband renew their wedding vows.
I took the opportunity to send Suzanne a few questions to get a deeper understanding of her project. She graciously took the time to thoughtfully answer them, and to give us an exclusive scoop on the renewal ceremony photos.
You’re the first to see these, so enjoy!
Suzanne, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. I came across your work in mid-February this year and was delighted by it. Since then, on our site alone, it’s been shared 150,000 times on Facebook. And I know you’ve had a lot of press elsewhere too. But you’ve been committed to this project for a long time. How does it feel to see something into which you’ve invested so much time and energy garner the exposure it has recently?
It’s just like jumping into a hot spring. Shocking at first, and wonderful once you get used to it. I’ve said before that I’m pleased as punch to be born at the time I was. Not only because as a woman, I’ve got more choices in life than any generation before, but I’m also amazed at how much opportunity, and exposure, living in the information age provides.
For a simple but profound project, Rethink Homelessness invited several of Orlando’s homeless residents to tell the rest of us one fact from their lives that, if we walked past them, we would never expect. As you can imagine, the results are poignantly humanizing…