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raceAhead: Dr. Suess is Racist, We Can’t Quit Football, and Wisdom Comes With Age

Your week in review, in haiku.



Puerto Rico is

an island. It’s in the sea.

A very big sea



Don’t get comfortable

Bodak earned tha love: Fenty

basket, Swift flowers.



Weiner heads to jail,

Kush’s bad at emails, pronouns.

Politics is hard.



Idea: give the

taxpayers all of Price’s

frequent flyer miles



Time to look within:

Afflicted souls, close the gate.

Forgive, atone, joy.


Wishing you a good and sweet weekend.

On Point

The complicated life of Dr. SeussDr. Seuss is back in the news today after an award-winning librarian rejected a gift of Seuss books sent by First Lady Melania Trump, in part because Seuss filled his work with “racist propaganda” and “harmful stereotypes.” She’s not entirely wrong. Theodor Geisel drew deeply disturbing cartoons and advertisements in the 1920-1940s, and drew similarly racist cartoons of the Japanese during World War II. He seemed to have had a change of heart later in life, creating anti-racist cartoons, and expressing regret for his role in the propaganda work he did. But, it’s complicated. Click through to see a collection of the images. Warning, they are upsetting.Business Insider

CEOs weigh in on diversity
I was lucky enough to moderate a panel at Ad Week on Monday, which celebrated the work of the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, the corporate alliance to foster inclusion that Fortune has covered since its inception. It was a candid conversation, starring Scott Kauffman (CEO, MDC Partners), Heather Brunner (CEO, WP Engine), Michael Roth (CEO, Interpublic Group), Clifford Hudson (CEO, Sonic), John Rogers (CEO and chief investment officer, Ariel Fund), Keith Cartwright (Saturday Morning co-founder). The advertising world has a significant role to play. “If there’s anything we have the ability to do it is to change hearts and minds,” said Cartwright. “If there’s any good that’s come of [the current administration], it’s that it’s a great awakening,” he says. “There is no such thing as going backward. Sometimes it feels that way, but there’s no such thing as going backward.”
Ad Week

Jamil Smith: Football is us
A couple of years ago, Jamil Smith, then with the New Republic, declared that our national preoccupation with football said something important about us. “We need it partially because football serves as a kind of fun-house mirror for our national character,” he says. He’d started his career as an associate producer at NFL Films, “the cinematic and mythmaking arm of professional football,” and spent hours watching clips looking for the best collisions to turn into thrilling montages. Later in the piece, Smith goes into necessary detail on the lives of beloved players ruined by game-related brain disease. But Smith is at his best when he explores the military-as-performance essence of the game, the nostalgia for a simpler time it suggests but never delivers, and how hard football is for a fan to give up. It ends with a photo of Smith as a young footballer that will touch your heart. A must read.
New Republic

Beer stores in Whiteclay Nebraska to remain closed, says Nebraska Supreme Court
I’ve visited Whiteclay, Nebraska, a small strip of land that runs barely a few blocks, yet seems to exist only to sell millions of cans of beer into the neighboring dry Pine Ridge Reservation. It was a horrible place. Four beer stores will now remain permanently closed by order of the Nebraska Supreme Court and activists are declaring victory. “Wow. Outstanding. Outstanding. Wow. Tremendous,” John Maisch, an Oklahoma attorney, told the Lincoln Journal Star. His 2014 documentary film about Whiteclay, Sober Indian, Dangerous Indian helped reignite the effort to halt beer sales.
Lincoln Journal Star

The Woke Leader

When history majors hate
Clubs, helmets, shields, and torches are now part of the unsubtle signaling of modern-day white supremacists who are styling themselves, even naming themselves, after the Crusades, the medieval offshoot of the Catholic church which fought Muslims for Jerusalem. “There are people pretending to be Vikings but preaching white supremacy,” explains David M. Perry, a columnist and former medieval history professor. Turns out, neo-Nazis are looking to the past to give their movements meaning, and the Crusades fills the bill as a lost, romantic cause. When one of the Charlottesville supremacists turned out to be a medieval history student, Perry wonders, “how many guys in my medieval history class have been like him? Did I refute him?”

Learn more about the modern white supremacy movement
Check out the American Renaissance website, the home of one of the more serious “white movement” organizations. Jared Taylor, the ever-present host, is a grandfatherly Yale grad who shares calmly articulated views and wholeheartedly believes in the revolutionary nature of the alt-right. “[O]ur movement tends to be male-oriented, but every dissident or revolutionary movement tends to be for that matter,” he says, citing Martin Luther and Lenin. “It’s only later that the people who want to change society are joined by women.” Recruiting women is the purpose of this 28-minute conversation is with Lana Lokteff, a lovely young millennial who is active in white supremacy circles. They begin with feminism – the domain of bougie-bored housewives, spinsters, minorities and ugly women. Although it’s unlikely that you’ll be persuaded by their arguments, it’s worth understanding how seriously they’re taking them – and how closely they track with “traditional” American values.
American Renaissance

Wisdom comes with age. Really
While there are certain stresses that come with aging – physical things like decreased health and mobility, this Q&A with Dilip Jeste, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience and director of the UCSD Center for Healthy Aging, explores the psycho-social elements of aging, which bring lots of benefits. “It includes things like well-being, happiness, quality of life, control of emotions, socialization,” he says. That brings better decision-making, more resilience, and compassion. “Successful aging mainly refers to better well-being, greater happiness, and not just arriving at old age, but thriving and even flourishing.”


Finally getting out of the camps was a great day. It felt so good to get out of the gates, and just know that you were going home…finally. Home wasn’t where I left it though. Getting back, I was just shocked to see what had happened, our home being bought by a different family, different decorations in the windows; it was our house, but it wasn’t anymore. It hurt not being able to return home, but moving into a new home helped me I believe. I think it helped me to bury the past a little, to, you know, move on from what had happened.
—Aya Nakamura