raceAhead: A Kindr Grindr

September 21, 2018, 6:28 PM UTC

Here’s your week in review, in haiku



Where were you when the

waters rose and your dreams died?

Eyes were watching God



One of the wettest

ever seen from the standpoint

of water. Not good.



Supreme Memory:

accuser in the crosshairs.

Tears on my Zillow



A very big phone

takes center stage. Upgrade,

ye true believers



Today and ev’ry

Day: Look for the helpers. You

will always find them.


Wishing you a neighborly weekend.

On Point

Be Kindr out thereThis week Grindr, the dating platform for LGBTQ people, has announced a new initiative and terms of service update to minimize bullying and racist behavior on the app. Under the new rules, people who post racist things to their profiles can be flagged by users and banned from the app. The “Kindr” campaign also includes a video series of users talking about how discriminatory language has hurt them in the past. This summer, Asian American actor Sinakhone Keodara, threatened to sue the company. “Please spread my call for co-plaintiffs to all your gay Asian men in your life that has been offended, humiliated, degraded and dehumanized by Grindr allowing gay white men to write in their profiles ‘No Asians,’ ‘Not interested in Asians,’ or ‘I don’t find Asians attractive,’” he tweeted.New York Post

Pushing back on Pew
Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams weighs in with a hopeful message, after a new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that nearly half of respondents say men will continue to hold more high political offices and executive positions than women in the future. Don’t believe the hype, says the woman who hopes to be the first black, female governor of any U.S. state. “With numbing regularity, annual studies remind us how few women lead our biggest companies, and how we can practically fit the name of every CEO with melanin on a single Post-it.” Forget the firsts, the outliers, the ground-breakrs, “we must continue to demand more, to demand parity. So let’s get it done.” 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before
This piece from The Economist argues that Europe’s preoccupation with “the booming markets” of Asia comes at the expense of an already existing interdependence with post-colonial Africa. “Europe is too busy rushing into Asia’s arms to embrace a continent on its doorstep which may be even more significant in the long term,” they write. Instead of Eurasia, they suggest making “Eurafrica” a thing. “Europe is increasingly reliant on Nigerian and Liberian minerals, and German environmentalists dream of giant Saharan solar plants feeding clean energy to Europe.”

Golf Digest has done a very good thing
Valentino Dixon loves golf. So much so, that the self-taught artist has made a name for himself creating gorgeous colored pencil portraits of golf courses. He was also, until recently, an inmate serving a 39-years-to-life sentence for a murder he didn’t commit. Dixon has never hit a ball or even seen a course, but when he was profiled for his work by Golf Digest, it set in motion a series of events that led to justice. “It took about a hundred drawings before Golf Digest noticed, but when we did, we also noticed his conviction seemed flimsy,” writes Max Adler in this follow-up. “So we investigated the case and raised the question of his innocence.” After 27 years in prison, Dixon is now free and his conviction has been vacated.
Golf Digest


The Woke Leader

The performative love of Serena and Alexis
Slate has weighed in with a [tone deaf] take on the public displays of affection from Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian towards his wife, Serena Williams. There have been billboards, video tributes, and adorable Instagram posts, and yes, I agree it seems effusive. “Though these actions are objectively romantic—they feel straight out of a rom-com, in fact—they also play as strangely performative, like Ohanian is the too-good-to-be-true Justin Trudeau of tennis spouses.” Okay. If they were just rich people, maybe. But here are some things to consider: It's rare to see black women publicly adored by their partners in media or real life; it's a lovely counterpoint to the hate speech and misogynoir that’s been directed at her for most of her life; seeing her happy and supported is an inspiration to other black women. My two cents.

Did the Middle Ages give birth to white supremacy?
Pity the poor medievalists. As an academic community, they’ve been a small but stalwart cohort of researchers and historians. But lately, they’ve been besieged by racists who are flocking to their departments to immerse themselves in what they believe to be the early roots of white supremacist thinking. Last year, The Public Medievalist published the first of a series of academic essays designed to explore the history of racist ideas in medieval studies and history. “Issues of race lie at the heart of our understanding of the medieval world; racists—even within the ranks of the academic medievalist community—have, for far too long, warped our understanding of the past.” By God’s nails, this cannot stand! There are now XLII entries. It is an impressive body of work. I haven’t read them all, but Part XXXVII wonders aloud if Marco Polo was a racist (not exactly) and Part XXXVIII goes deep: Did medieval Christians believe that the Virgin Mary was black?
Public Medievalist

Ba de ya, say that you remember
Comedian and current Late Late Show writer Demi Adejuyigbe is a national treasure and proof positive that diversity in entertainment is making the world a better place. Just click. Really. Do you remember? Dancing in September? Do you? Remember?
New York Magazine


We live in a negative society. Most people can’t see beauty and love. I see our music as medicine.
Maurice White

Read More

Great ResignationDiversity and InclusionCompensationCEO DailyCFO DailyModern Board