Daily Dose: 9/19/16
Suspect in custody following New York City explosion
2:00 PMMy colleague Mike Wise wrote an incredibly personal column about how his life relates to the situation at Penn State University. We’ll have him on the All Day Podcast to discuss it. Be sure to tune in.
An explosion went off in New York City over the weekend and the effects are still being felt across the region. There was confusion from the beginning. Facebook immediately set up a safe check-in system and politicians were using it for their campaign gain. But, behind all that, the blast that was previously not considered to be affiliated with terrorism maybe sort of is now. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump thinks we should be profiling people, by the way. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was on Good Morning America on Monday, trying to ease peoples’ fears. A suspect has been caught.
Bears are tremendous animals. They’re almost fun to watch. They get a bad rap as overly dangerous because people have these fears about getting mauled or their children being eaten or whatever. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with them. From Berenstain to Yogi to Chicago, bears have always been good to me. Plus, how can you dislike anything you can watch catch their own fish? In certain residential areas, though, bears are a real problem. On this week’s What’s The Point podcast, FiveThirtyEight’s team discusses the secret to tracking bears.
When Washington and Dallas faced off on NFL Sunday, it was a heated battle. Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman faced off against Dallas Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant a couple of times, but ultimately, the Cowboys prevailed, 27-23, after Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins couldn’t hit any receivers open downfield. Anyways, after said loss, the league decided it wanted to drug test Norman. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy. Why is not exactly clear, but he felt that making someone urinate in a cup instantly after a game is insulting. ESPN’s John Keim reports.
Courtney B. Vance is that dude. The longtime actor who portrayed Johnnie Cochran in FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson won the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a limited series Sunday night, and his speech was tremendous. These things are not always easy to pull off without going fully rogue, but Vance nailed it. Check out that little punch move he pulls on Cuba Gooding Jr. before hitting the stage. He then proceeded to shout out his wife, Angela Bassett, then walked off with a hilarious kicker.
Coffee Break: If you’re not familiar with the concept of “guarantee games,” it’s when big college football programs pay smaller schools to come play them at home. The money is guaranteed for the smaller program and the win is guaranteed for the big school. But, there is a psychological cost, at some point.
Dessert: Danny Brown’s new song is mega fire. Give it a spin.
Daily Dose: 9/16/16
Step right up, get your iPhones
Guess what, folks? President Barack Obama was born in the United States! Who knew? For years, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wasn’t one of those people. The man who rose to prominence politically when he publicly demanded that Obama release his birth certificate is suddenly acting like Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is the one who created this issue. This is truly remarkable in its audacity, if we’re being honest. My man is literally just lying to people’s faces then telling you he’s not. ABC News has the story.
People are still lining up for phones. We’ll know that society has advanced as a populous when this is no longer a thing, but until then, we’ll keep talking about it. The culture of the people who do this is fascinating to me. Who are these people who have the disposable income and, more importantly, the time to just sit around outside on a lawn chair waiting for a piece of technology to be released? Anyway, Apple has released the iPhone 7, which is the first version to not have a headphone jack, if you care about that. ABC News reports.
Since the Emmys are around the corner, let’s talk some more TV. A lot of people are on television for a long time, sometimes playing different, but mainly similar roles. There are actors who excel on multiple programs, but others who have only been solid in one role. For example, Kadeem Hardison will always be Dwayne Wayne from A Different World. How that dynamic of intertextuality plays into who gets what awards is a fascinating discussion. FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey breaks down stars who were basically great in one role.
Megan Rapinoe is a real one. She took her protest game to the next level, after Washington Spirit owner Bill Lynch threw shade during a National Women’s Soccer League game. She knelt during the national anthem before a game she was playing with the U.S. women’s national team in Columbus, Ohio. Worth noting that in that city, a 13-year-old was killed by police just this week. Anyway, it’s a completely different thing to do this when you’re actually wearing the flag on your jersey, so good for her. ESPN’s Graham Hays reports.
Coffee Break: If nothing else, rapper Bobby Shmurda is a good friend. The Brooklynite, who’s been wrapped up in legal battles for what seems like forever, managed to get less jail time for his friend Rowdy Rebel. How’d he do it? By taking a longer sentence himself. That’s loyalty.
Snack Time: You know you’ve got a pretty disgusting mass transit system if you have to try to design a paint that actually repels urine. Alas, that’s exactly what they’re doing in Philadelphia, if you’re visiting anytime soon.
Dessert: So, they’re making real life Transformers now. Very cool.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is beyond real
and it might be too much for some people to handle
4:00 PMAfter visiting America’s black history museum Wednesday, I have one major concern. It’s not with the content. That’s incredible. It’s not with the building. It’s majestic. It’s with the application of the reality. The exhibit starts on a subterranean level that takes you back not just to slavery as a loose and overarchingly complex and terrible moment in time, but to a very specific creation of America from a historical standpoint. Many people just plainly might not be able to deal.
It explains how race was an important factor in solidifying the social order that would make such a thing as slavery possible. It points out that slavery among Africans as a system, not dissimilar to systems of servitude that also ruled Europe, was brutal but somehow sustainable. There are multitudes of graphics pointing out very specifically which European nations did what, and how they profited. What’s made clear in no uncertain terms is exactly how white settlers and landowners profited from free labor, and not just in an ethereal “oh, this was horrible” kind of way.
There is a portion that points out why, for many plantation owners, it was literally more profitable to work African slaves to death, rather than keep them alive. Even for someone who’s seen slave-dealing ports in Africa and the Deep South, there is a very jarring historical reality to having it all laid bare in such a clear manner. It wouldn’t surprise me to see people getting into arguments at the museum over the content. And if a white guy named Davenport and a black guy named Davenport are doing it, that’s an awkward reality to confront right there in the exhibit.
Just think of a room full of people doing their best “well, actually” lines in a Smithsonian museum because they can’t deal with the basic reality of their own roots. The tour guides are going to have the hardest jobs in the world. That’s the problem with supremacy and privilege. When it’s challenged or questioned, you begin to believe that you are, in fact, the one dealing with oppression because it’s a dramatic paradigm shift from your world.
So to walk by column after column detailing the hundreds of thousands of people who were brought to each state for a specific reason, there’s no way that the “oh, my grandma’s racist, but she’s not deplorable because she baked me cookies” argument even begins to fly. Reading the numbers of exactly how much wealth was obtained via black backs on a Smithsonian wall is beyond moving. The fact is it’s not about Ku Klux Klan gear-waving white folks or sellout black folks, it’s basically greed that fueled the largest human trafficking operation in history. Reconciling that is not an easy thing to do.
I’m not a historian, but I’ve learned a few things, to borrow and bastardize a relatively famous lyric. There are artifacts and trinkets that will widen the eyes of history geeks. But there are plenty of people who will be moved by the basic amount of information available about this country’s and perhaps more specifically the globe’s original sin. You don’t have to walk up to every placard and read the fine print to get a VAST education on how slavery created the very concept of industry.
Before this, the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam was the best museum-level application of telling the story of slavery I’d ever seen. The NMAAHC outdoes it by a wide margin. Upstairs, there are tons of more fun, enriching and celebratory installations and things to make you smile through the struggle. But that bottom floor is as hardcore as it gets.
Daily Dose: 9/15/16
America’s black history museum is ready for its close-up
Another day, another black kid gets killed by police in Ohio. This time it was in Columbus, Ohio, where a kid was carrying a BB gun that apparently is a replica of a police weapon. He’s alleged to have been involved in an armed robbery, which means that if you’re black, you deserve to die, apparently. Unsurprisingly, the mayor of the city came out and said we of course need to have “patience.” Funny how in this scenario the authorities never seem to say that we need to find, say, “justice” or “peace.” ABC News reports on Tyree King’s death.
The Emmys are coming up on Sunday. You can prepare yourself for a night full of white people walking on stage to accept their trophies. Oh, wait, what’s that? The voting mechanism was changed up, and there’s now a lot more shows with people of color involved? Yippee. I guess that means we’re really not sure who’s going to win anything. Meanwhile, we’ve got newspapers asking us if “diverse TV” is here to stay. Anyway, FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey breaks down the strongest Emmy categories of all time.
I went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Wednesday. The place is incredible. It’s got just about everything you could want and, if we’re being honest, is probably the best pound-for-pound museum that the Smithsonian has. The food was solid, too. It officially opens up next week and I imagined that it’ll basically be jam-packed for the better part of an entire calendar year. Which means, if you want tickets, you better sign up now. ABC News took a look inside of the facility.
My thoughts on Harambe jokes are well-known. They are basically all funny to me. College GameDay is awash in signs commemorating the slain gorilla and the meme has people making up fake stories about Chinese zoos and colleges handing out stuffed animals to remember the former Cincinnati Zoo resident. Harambe is the meme of 2016. So, of course, people want to get jerseys with his name on it. For whatever reason, someone thought this would be a good thing to ban. ESPN reports that said ban has now been reversed.
Coffee Break: If you’re wondering why NFL teams spend so much energy showing love to the troops, now we know why. It’s not because of their love of the military, or the flag, or the national anthem. It’s because the Department of Defense paid them. With tax dollars. Think of this the next time you worry about what San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick does.
Snack Time: The family of Sandra Bland has settled for $1.9 million in a wrongful death lawsuit. She died in a Texas jail cell after she was pulled over for failing to use a turn signal. The video of her arrest is heartbreaking.
Dessert: There’s new music from Play Action and Hit Boy. Dope track.
Daily Dose: 9/14/16
Infamous Cleveland gazebo will be moved
12:00 PMGot another podcast done. This time, Domonique Foxworth joined the squad. We talked about fall television, the Basketball Hall of Fame and national anthem protests. Give it a listen here. Also, I was on SportsCenter on Tuesday night. Check it out.
It’s been nearly two years since Tamir Rice was killed by police in Cleveland. As one of the first cases that got the entire country talking because of his age, where it happened is now a famous place. When a 12-year-old dies in a park from law enforcement gunfire and it’s on videotape, people aren’t going to forget that location. Now, the gazebo that you see in that iconic video is headed to a museum. Of course, since the incident, it’s become a memorial of sorts. ABC News reports.
The health of the two leading presidential candidates is important. If someone is potentially not going to be able to do the job, it certainly affects their electability. Both sides have been rather awkward about this. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s episode with pneumonia has created a bit of a nightmare for her campaign and Republican nominee Donald Trump keeps using really bizarre words like “astonishing” to describe his own medical situation. He is 70 years old and she is 68. FiveThirtyEight’s Clare Malone and Christie Aschwanden wonder: Can a candidate be too old to run for president?
Young Thug is a rather polarizing figure. The Atlanta rapper has been wearing what we typically consider to be women’s clothing for some time now, which has incensed the typically hyperidiotic world of old-school hip-hop heads. People seem to think that masculinity is only defined by bravado and anti-gay prejudice, so when he showed up on the cover of his new album in a dress, a lot of people weren’t sure how to handle it. VICE‘s Jon Shadel tries to answer the question: Why do people think men who wear women’s clothing are gay?
Dabo Swinney needs to get out of the paint. The Clemson football coach seems to think that people who think this country can improve need to leave because it’s not as bad as it once was. He actually said this, and it’s wild. And he did it while invoking the name of Martin Luther King Jr., which is always ill-advised. (Reminder: They killed him, too.) Meanwhile, over on the West Coast, Washington State football coach Mike Leach seems to believe that the police are unfairly targeting his players. ESPN’s Kevin Gemmell reports.
Coffee Break: You all know I love vinyl. And whenever I go to a new place, I try to find local shops as a way to gauge the musical flavor of the place. One such place where that’s fun to do is Los Angeles, where we now have very sad news. Amoeba Music, the legendary store, appears to be headed for demise in a couple of years, max.
Snack Time: If you want to get an idea of what’s wrong with policing policies in this country, this story about an officer being fired after not killing a suicidal man is a pretty good indicator.
Dessert: Donald Glover and Reggie Watts jamming out on television? Yes, please.