“We can’t keep raising generations of kids of color on the notion that there’s only room for them to be bad guys or doomed sidekicks or another generation of white kids thinking they’re closer to God because of how they look. We can’t keep promoting hetero/cis-normative sexist and racist ideas in our literature. That is the default setting. If you aren’t consciously working against it, you are working for it. Neutrality is not an option, and the luxury of thinking it is has to go.”—Daniel José Older, “12 Fundamentals Of Writing ‘The Other’ (And The Self)” (via larmoyante)
My father sincerely believes that science is a political plot, Christians are America’s most persecuted minority and Barack Obama is a full-blown communist. He supports the use of force without question, as long as it’s aimed at foreigners. He thinks liberals are all stupid, ignorant fucks who hate America.
I don’t recall my father being so hostile when I was growing up. He was conservative, to be sure, but conventionally and thoughtfully so. He is a kind and generous man and a good father, but over the past five or 10 years, he’s become so conservative that I can’t even find a label for it.
What has changed? He consumes a daily diet of nothing except Fox News. He has for a decade or more. He has no email account and doesn’t watch sports. He refuses to so much as touch a keyboard and has never been on the Internet, ever. He thinks higher education destroys people, not only because of Fox News, but also because I drifted left during and after graduate school.
I do not blame or condemn my father for his opinions. If you consumed a daily diet of right-wing fury, erroneously labeled “news,” you could very likely end up in the same place. Again, this is all by design. Let’s call it the Fox News effect. Take sweet, kindly senior citizens and feed them a steady stream of demagoguery and repetition, all wrapped in the laughable slogan of “fair and balanced.” Even watching the commercials on Fox, one is treated to sales pitches for gold and emergency food rations, the product cornerstones of the paranoid. To some people the idea of retirees yelling at the television all day may seem funny, but this isn’t a joke. We’re losing the nation’s grandparents, and it’s an American tragedy.
My father is only in his early fifties, and is still active in the workforce and his community, but I’m still saddened by how much I identify with this piece.
Update: On February 15, 2014, the judge in the murder trial of Michael Dunn declared a mistrial on the first-degree murder count after the jury could not come to a decision. The jury reached verdicts for the other charges Dunn faced, and he was found guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of throwing a deadly missile. Prosecutor Angela Corey said that she will retry Dunn for first-degree murder in Jordan Davis’ death.
Florida’s second sensational, race-tinged murder trial in less than a year is underway. Michael Dunn, a white, 47-year-old software developer, shot and killed Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old African American, as the teen sat in an SUV with three friends.
Charged with first-degree murder, Dunn is pleading self-defense.* He contends that he argued with the teens (over what a witness says he called their “thug music”) and fired on them after he claims he saw Davis brandish a shotgun. Police found no gun at the scene, andwitnesses say Davis never had one.
Like the George Zimmerman trial, during which the self-styled neighborhood watchman successfully argued that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in self-defense, Dunn’s case has raised questions about Florida’s broad Stand Your Ground law, racial profiling, and how the two issues intersect. Would Martin and Davis be alive if they weren’t black? Would they have been afforded the benefit of the doubt by their killers if they had been white? Their deaths didn’t happen in a vacuum. There’s evidence that just being black in the United States is often all it takes to arouse suspicion. Here are 21 examples from the last five years of some of the things black people can’t do without others thinking they’re up to no good.
Clarification: A previous version of this story stated that Dunn was pleading self-defense under Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.Dunn waived his right to an immunity hearing under Stand Your Ground, but it has played a significant role in Dunn’s defense. During the trial, Dunn’s attorney argued to the jury that Dunn had the right to “meet force with force”—language pulled directly from the law. The same language is also in the jury instructions, according to Dunn’s attorney. Return to the story.
App That Lets You Rent Other People's Toilets is Apparently Not a Joke
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is so packed that tourists are willing to pay cash for a comfortable place to poop, and now there’s an app that toilet owners can use to take their money.
Airpnp (Get it? Pee? Ha ha.) sounds like a dumb spoof of Airbnb, the sometimes controversial app that lets you turn your apartment into a hotel. And it is, but it’s also a dumb real thing.
According to toilet journalists at BuzzFeed, Airpnp was founded by two New Orleans residents who “found it too difficult to locate a loo during Mardi Gras.” It hasn’t caught on outside of New Orleans (and Antwerp, Belgium, for some reason), but anyone can theoretically list a toilet for rent and start collecting fees.
There are currently only two Airpnp locations in New York City: A fifth-floor walkup in Union Square ($5, no shoes allowed), and a “majestic 100-year-old Crown Heights mansion" ($10).
An Upper East Side resident came home to find his apartment cleaned out of everything but a TV and a PS3 video game system after a bumbling rubbish removal service carelessly hauled the contents of his unit 2D — instead of their assigned work order of 2B — to the city dump last October, according to a new lawsuit.
“Everything else was gone. My bed, everything,” 27-year-old Deloitte consultant Nilay Shroff told The Post Tuesday.
“I thought I’d been robbed. I just called 911,” Shroff said of his shock upon returning to his rent-stabilized East 74th Street pad.
“When the police came, they said they’d never seen anything like this,” Schroff continued, “because they said my TV and the PS3 would have been the first thing gone. And a New York City robbery would not involve your bed being taken.”
When he asked the management company for the five-story Yorkville building what happened, an employee admitted that the contractor had mistakenly targeted his apartment instead of the neighboring unit 2B, the suit claims.
“The next day, the landlord says, ‘We made a mistake,’ and that’s how I found out,” Shroff recalled.
“They were like, ‘Oh, it’s some 80-year-old contractor, he might be a little senile,’ that’s what the landlord was saying. For me, it’s like, ‘I don’t give a damn. It’s still your fault.’
“I mean, there’s dirty dishes in the sink. There’s a wet towel. Clearly someone’s living there,” Shroff fumed.
He said the landlord did not send anyone to oversee the clean-out of No. 2B. That apartment had just been vacated and the renter had left belongings behind, Shroff said.
Shroff lost everything — furniture, clothes, a government security clearance, photographs and Social Security documents — in the mix-up.
The sloppy job has left him at risk for identity theft and forced him to take a week off work to rebuild his life.
Shroff, a die-hard baseball fan, also lost a Mariano Rivera bobblehead — though the movers left behind two, less coveted figurines from the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland A’s.
“We had waited in line for like four hours at Yankee Stadium for it,” the upset tenant said. The apartment was his first home in New York City after graduating from college and moving out of his family’s house in New Jersey.
“It was kind of suspicious, because they took that bobblehead, which was right next to my stuff. At the time, it was going for like $400 on eBay because it was a really hot item.”
The workers even removed collectible magnets from ballparks around America off Shroff’s refrigerator, he says.
He salvaged only one magnet of Camden Yards that fell on the floor.
“I’ve done something like 22 out of 30 [ballparks]. My entire fridge was just magnets of all the stadiums I’ve been to. I had a lot of souvenirs,” Shroff said.
He was also robbed of family photographs, including snaps of his mom, who passed away when he was 13 years old.
Shroff is suing the management company, Mautner-Glick, his landlord and the contractor after he was told that his stuff would be replaced, but he still has not been compensated.
“My passport was here, my Social Security card, credit cards, all my bank accounts,” said the technology consultant, who travels frequently for work.
“I was distraught,” Shroff said.
He pegged the damage toll at around $40,000.
An attorney for the management company and the building owner declined to comment.
NEW YORK—A guy carrying a guitar case on a midtown Manhattan elevator was envied and admired by fellow passengers during the entirety of his 14-floor ride, the guitar-case- carrying man imagined Monday.