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raceAhead: White Supremacist Candidates, Puerto Rico Trails in the Ratings and Five Breaking News Haikus

Here is your week in review, in haiku.



Ambien looks up

from phone. “Let’s get the Tiki

Torch folks to consult.”



If only Anna

Marie Johnson had appeared

on The Apprentice



“Class, what did you learn

this week?” Pusha T’s name, the

meaning of “feckless.”



Cohen: Now hear this!

LeBron: Here 51 points

Wyoming: Here, Ye?



A rare Golden day!

Fibonacci lovers, the

ratio is yours


Have a gloriously symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing weekend.

On Point

At least eight white nationalists are running for state or federal office during the midtermsThis story is best served by video, specifically in the hands of MSNBC’s Morgan Radford who trailed several candidates, all of whom are espousing openly white supremacist platforms. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, this is the highest number of racists running for office in recent history. “The average IQ of a black person is about twenty points lower than a white person,” explains Art Jones, who resembles an amiable grandfather until he doesn’t. Jones is a member of the American Nazi Party, a holocaust denier and is running on a platform to keep Chicago’s third district neighborhoods 90% white.MSNBC

A twenty-two-year-old is running for Chicago mayor because, well, you know why
Ja’Mal Green originally thought of politics as a less-than-noble profession. “I’d always look at leadership and saw that politics were corrupt, and I thought we could do better on the outside,” he tells Lily Herman. Green is one of dozens of young people in their late teens and early twenties who have decided to put their policy ideas into the public arena by running for seats big and small in their communities. Herman has found a wonderful list of young candidates, who seem driven less by a drive for power and more by a desire to get fresh ideas into a jaded system. Green is no exception: He was a busy police reform activist and community leader as a teen and met with current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel about releasing the police dashcam videos that recorded an officer killing teenager Laquan McDonald.
Teen Vogue

Roseanne beat Puerto Rico in the ratings
Media literacy is essential in a modern age, so here’s another data point to chew on: the watchdog group Media Matters for America found that cable news networks covered Roseanne Barr’s tweet and her subsequent downfall 16 times as much as the news of the revised death toll of U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico. Here’s another aspect to consider, says CJR. “We’re comfortable calling individual actions or comments racist, but struggle to paint systemic issues—the criminal justice system or the lack of attention to Puerto Rico, for example—with the same clear strokes.”
Columbia Journalism Review

Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” may have a slight diversity problem
And it may be an easy fix, according to Stefani Robinson, 26, the only woman in the show’s writer’s room. Although the FX show has received rave reviews, it has received some criticism for its treatment of female characters and storylines, which typically causes problems for Robinson. “I just see my name get thrown around, like, ‘Well she’s the only one, so she’s responsible. Is that how she thinks of all women?’” she said in a recent interview. “But I think when you are the only one of anything you are suddenly the voice for everyone. And it’s such a hard place to be in and, I think, not a fair place to be in.” For fans looking to find her voice, she wrote “Value” and “Juneteenth” for the first season – which focused more on Van, the female lead; and “Barbershop” and “Woods” – which focused on male character Paper Boi – for the second season.
The Wrap


The Woke Leader

Why Pride?
June is Pride Month, a time to better understand and celebrate LGBTQ history. There is always an inevitable outcry – why not a Straight Pride celebration? Toronto-based writer Chris Hanna is here with a clear, intersectional and easily shareable take: “Never has a person lost their job for being white or straight in North America, or been denied an apartment for being white and straight, or been leered at or attacked by strangers for simply holding hands with their significant others,” they write. This is a time to understand where we are, where we’ve been and how far we still need to go.
USA Today

Andre Leon Talley’s quiet fashion tragedy
If you consider the list of black trailblazers of extraordinary achievement who died in obscurity (Zora Neale Hurston, Josephine Baker, Joe Louis) then this poignant tale of style icon Andre Leon Talley should not come as a surprise. And yet, it still stings. I’ve not yet seen the documentary of his life released earlier this year, but it describes an American journey from the Jim Crow South to the inner sanctum of fashion via his ground breaking work as creative director of Vogue, his imprint on Paris and his reign at the Met Gala. And yet, at age seventy, he finds himself broke and alone. “I wish fashion was an easier zone to navigate through. It’s arctic: You have to get through so many icebergs,” he told The New York Times. “I live alone. I’ll die alone, I climbed up alone, and I’ll go down alone.”
New York Times

Nerd alert: A teen from Ireland may have figured out a way to remove plastic from the ocean
Fionn Ferreira, a 17-year-old at Schull Community College in Cork, wowed the crowd at a pre-college science fair with his inventive idea to use a natural magnet to extract plastic micro-particles from the ocean. Click through for the scientific brilliance – which includes a home-made spectrometer – but also the Silicon Valley communities who are recognizing that smart ideas can come from surprising places. He won a student award from Intel with a chance to present his ideas in the U.S., and Nathan Myhrvold, former Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft and co-founder of Intellectual Ventures Lab is arranging to have him work alongside more established scientists to develop his idea into a prototype in Washington DC this summer. Adh mór in the swamp, young lad.
Green News


More than twenty-five years ago, one of the southern states adopted a new method of capital punishment. Poison gas supplanted the gallows. In its earliest stages, a microphone was placed inside the sealed death chamber so that scientific observers might hear the words of the dying prisoner to judge how the human reacted in this novel situation. The first victim was a young Negro. As the pellet dropped into the container, and the gas curled upward, through the microphone came these words: “Save me, Joe Louis. Save me, Joe Louis. Save me, Joe Louis…”
Martin Luther King, Jr.