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Category Archives: The Post-Racial Life

Little Caesars Pizza Founder Paid Rosa Parks Rent for 11 Years

And if you buy a Trump Schlepping Papa Johns after this, I hope you kids pimp slap you all the way to Birmingham.

Little Caesars founder paid Rosa Parks' rent for 11 years

Little Caesars founder paid Rosa Parks’ rent for 11 years

The civil rights icon and fierce political activist was supported from an unlikely source

Less than a week ago, when the death of Little Caesars founder Mike Ilitch made news, his family shared stories of his vision, work ethic and love of the Detroit community. He was the son of immigrant parents. He opened his pizza franchise’s first location by the time he was 30. He owned two of the city’s major sports teams, the Red Wings and the Tigers.

He also paid the rent of civil rights icon Rosa Parks for 11 years.

“It’s important that people know what Mr. Mike Ilitch did for Ms. Rosa Parks because it’s symbolic of what he has always done for the people of our city,” federal appeals court Judge Damon Keith, a Detroit resident, told Sports Business Daily.

In 1994, a man broke into Rosa Parks’ residence in Detroit and assaulted and robbed Parks, who was 81 at the time. Following the attack, Keith put out an inquiry to find a safer home for Rosa Parks. Ilitch read about the plan in the newspaper and called to offer his support. Ilitch pledged to pay Parks’ rent indefinitely.

Mike Ilitch paid her rent until she died in 2005.

Rosa Parks was most known for launching the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama. But Parks’ activism work began more than a decade prior. She joined the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP in 1943 and remained a fierce advocate for civil rights and against domestic violence and sexual assault until the end of her life.

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Mike Illich

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Yale to Change Calhoun College to Grace Hopper College

John C. Calhoun was a Southern Congressman prior to the Civil War from South Carolina. He was know for two things, his ardent support of slavery, and along with Henry Clay, in being one of the principal causes of the Civil War, with Clay rallying Southern states to secede from the Union. The blood on this man’s hands included not only the 650,000 Americans on both sides who died during the Civil War – but countless civilian casualties.

Admiral Grace Hopper was a Washington area heroine. She is credited with creating the first structured programming language, COBOL. Met her several times first professionally as a Department Head while working at the Old Navy Yard, and second, as she would come to the University to give talks about technology and technology history. She was an icon for all of us to try and emulate.

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Yale to Rename Calhoun College for Computer Scientist Grace Hopper

Yale’s Calhoun College — named after the nation’s seventh vice-president and prominent defender of slavery, John C. Calhoun — has long been a source of controversy, with students calling for the university to rename it, most recently in a wave of protests that began in fall 2015. On Saturday, the university announced that they would be dropping John C. Calhoun’s name from the college and naming it after a female computer-programming visionary, Grace Hopper.

Back in April 2016, Yale president Peter Salovey said that they would not be renaming Calhoun College, which he explained by saying that “erasing Calhoun’s name from a much-beloved residential college risks masking this past, downplaying the lasting effects of slavery, and substituting a false and misleading narrative, albeit one that might allow us to feel complacent or, even, self-congratulatory.”

He’s since appeared to have come around to the arguments against the name. “John C. Calhoun’s principles, his legacy as an ardent supporter of slavery as a positive good, are at odds with this university,” Salovey told reporters following news that the university would in fact be dropping Calhoun’s name.

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, the new namesake of the residential college, was a visionary computer programmer who earned her master’s and Ph.D. at Yale. She served in the Navy during World War II and was a pioneer in automatic programming (and, unsurprisingly, faced resistance from the heavily male tech world at the time). In 2016, Hopper received the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.

The change is expected to take place sometime between now and the fall.

Someone the Yale students can be proud of!

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2017 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Healing the Disconnect Between Race and Science

There is a planned March fo Science on the 22nd of February. Whether that march turns into another monster like the Women’s March or barely inconvenience the subway system is really dependent on the “Scientists” making alliances with other groups. Science in particular hasn’t always been good news for black folks, who were often used and abused in horrendous scientific “experiments”. Tuskegee still resounds in the psyche of many black people, who as a result have a inborn distrust of Science.

Image result for Tuskegee syphilis experiment

Race, History and the #ScienceMarch

Donald Trump is an anti-science president. In fact, his entire raison d’être — perhaps unsurprisingly — stands at cross-purposes with the scientific method, systematic inquiry, and even the basic notion of evidentiary support. In the few days since his inauguration, Trump has already prohibited scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from speaking to the public about their research. Moreover, the White House recently expunged U.S. National Park Service (NPS) Twitter content highlighting the threat of climate change. In the wake of Trump’s dictates, concerned scientists have taken to social media to plan a protest in Washington, DC that they are dubbing the #ScienceMarch. The Twitter account associated with the action — @ScienceMarchDC — has amassed over 240,000 followers since it came online a week ago.

The #ScienceMarch has great potential to underscore the need for public policy to be grounded in scientific study. Securing widespread participation, however, will require that the organizers pull together multiple constituencies in a broad-based multi-racial and bi-partisan alliance. To be sure, the coalitional nature — and, therefore, efficacy — of this fledgling movement will be predicated on the extent to which its organizers are willing to acknowledge the racialized nature of the history of science itself. That is, the organizers must understand the manifold ways in which so-called scientific experimentation and discourse have been marshaled to ratify and propagate white supremacy and to degrade the bodies, minds, and experiences of people of color.

Whereas event organizers claim that “[science] is a not partisan issue,” history unequivocally proves otherwise. Science is and always has been a function of power and politics. The historical record is replete with examples of the ways in which scientific inquiry and experimentation have sought to naturalize and rationalize the inferiority of people of color and justify their oppression through the language of pathology, deviance, and abnormality. Further, people of color have long served as laboratories for dangerous scientific experimentation. Exposing this lurid history is the first of many steps in forcing mainstream science — often implicitly racialized as white — to confront a historical past that exerts an enduring political force over our historical present.

“Because of science,” 21-year-old Black South African Saartjie Baartman was brought to Europe under false pretenses in 1810 by physician William Dunlop and paraded around London’s Piccadilly Circus as a “theatre of human oddities” on the basis of her large buttocks and protruding vulva. For years, Baartman’s body was the object of spectacle, scientific fascination, and degradation. Dr. Dunlop and other medical professionals used her large buttocks and extended labia to claim that Black people were morphologically similar to Orangutans. When Baartman died in 1815 at the age of 26 her corpse became the property of scientist Georges Cuvier. Cuvier fabricated a plaster cast of her body before dissecting it and preserved her skeleton, brain, and genitals. Baartman’s sexual organs were displayed in a Paris museum until 1974, when activists successfully petitioned to have her remains returned to her birthplace in South Africa. Baartman’s body was not repatriated and buried until 2002.

“Because of science,” Samuel Cartwright, a New Orleans physician and Confederate loyalist, argued that high rates of physical and mental illnesses afflicting enslaved black persons were products of the ostensible biologically inferior mental capacity of the “black race.” In his 1815 “Report on the Disease and the Physical Peculiarities of the Negro Race,” Cartwright introduced what he called “Drapetomania,” known as the “Disease Causing Slaves to Run Away.” Unconvinced that enslaved Black children, women, and men might naturally seek freedom, Cartwright instead claimed that Drapetomania could be cured by “kindness.”

“Because of science,” Ota Benga, a young Congolese man, was put on display in an iron monkey cage at the Bronx Zoo in 1906. Benga was brought to the United States by Samuel Verner, a well-known white supremacist from South Carolina. Benga’s captivity — justified under the impress of scientific exploration — was sanctioned by zoological society officials, the mayor of New York City, prominent scientists, much of the public, and many major U.S. newspapers, including The New York Times. Officials at the Bronx Zoo said that “Benga, according to our information, is…closer to the anthropoid apes than the other African savages…” Four years before Benga’s exhibition, Dr. Daniel Brinton published his text The Basis of Social Relations: A Study in Ethnic Psychologywhere he first claimed that Africans were “midway between the Oranutang [sic] and the European white.”

“Because of science,” Alice Jones, who had recently married Leonard Rhinelander, a wealthy white man from Manhattan, was forced to “prove her race” in a New York court in 1924. During her trial Jones was forced to expose her naked body to an all-white, all-male jury and judge. She was made to remove various articles of clothing so the jury and judge could determine her race by examining the color of her nipples, back, and legs. The court concluded that Jones was not fully white.

“Because of science,” Dr. John Cutler, a physician with the U.S. Public Health Service, deliberately infected over 400 Guatemalan prisoners and sex workers with syphilis from 1946–1948. None of the research subjects were asked for their consent. Seventy-one subjects died during the experiments.

“Because of science,” doctors and public officials deliberately withheld syphilis treatment from hundreds of black men in Alabama as part of the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.” The experiment — conducted from 1932–1972 — resulted in hundreds of deaths. To this day, there is no evidence that researchers informed the men of the study or its real purpose.

“Because of science,” the University of Cincinnati, with the help of the Pentagon, conducted experiments on 88 cancer patients from 1960–1971 by exposing them to intense doses of radiation and recording their physical and mental responses. They endeavored to answer the following question: “In the event of a nuclear explosion, how much radiation could a soldier withstand before becoming disoriented or disabled?” According to reporting in The New York Times, “most were poor; 60 percent were black.”

“Because of science,” psychiatrists Walter Bromberg and Frank Simon diagnosed Black Power as a form of “protest psychosis” in 1968. They described it as a form of “delusional anti-whiteness.” Four years later, in “Symbolism in Protest Psychosis,” they said the disorder was “a psychotic illness with strong elements of racial hostility and black nationalism [that entails] the release of previously repressed anti-white feelings, which combine with African ideology and beliefs.” In short, “[the illness is oriented toward] reversing the white supremacy tradition or stating an objection to the accepted superiority of white values in terms of an African ideology.”

“Because of science,” over 310 HIV+ Haitian asylum seekers were detained at a Guantánamo Bay prison campfrom 1991–1993. At the time, federal law prohibited individuals with HIV from entering the United States even if they qualified for political asylum.

“Because of science,” over 60,000 women and men — the majority of whom are women of color — were involuntarily sterilized from 1907–2003 in 32 U.S. states. Black and Latina women in Puerto Rico, New York, North Carolina, and California were targeted by the U.S. government for sterilization throughout the 20th century. North Carolina involuntarily sterilized 7,600 people from 1929–1974. During that time period, 85 percent of the victims were women and 40 percent were people of color. Native American women were also subjected to coercive and involuntary population control practices throughout much of the 20th century. The Indian Health Service (IHS) began providing family planning services to Native American families in 1965. According to the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, over 25 percent of Native American women were sterilized between 1970 and 1976.

“Because of science,” nearly 150 women prisoners — most of whom are Black and Brown — were sterilized between 2006 and 2010 by doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). A May 2013 state audit reported that some of the tubal ligations in that time were done illegally without informed consent.

These histories matter.

The #ScienceMarch organizers have recently written that “people from all parts of the political spectrum should be alarmed by [Trump’s] efforts to deny scientific progress.” And they are correct. We should be alarmed. Such a claim, however, seems to leave unacknowledged the ways in which communities of color — based on the histories outlined above — might not take the unqualified promise of science at face value. To be sure, the history of science is a history of power — the power to name problems and legitimize solutions, the power to dictate political agendas, and the power to hierarchize social order. Certainly, the #ScienceMarch is an idea worthy of merit. Its success, however, will depend on acknowledging the racialized histories of science itself.

 

 

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Another Chumph White House Appointement…Another Racist

I would seem that the Chumph is surrounding himself the White People’s House with racists…

Ivanka Trump and Reed Cordish (Screngrab)

Ivanka pal-turned-White House advisor banned black people and ‘n****r music’ from his nightclubs: suit

Donald Trump this week announced his latest White House advisor, a man whose real estate management company is currently being sued for racial discrimination, the Daily Beast reports.

Trump on Monday tapped Reed Cordish, president of Entertainment Concept Investors—a real estate management company that owns bars and clubs throughout the U.S.—to be his assistant to the president for Intergovernmental and Technology Initiatives. As New York Magazine reports, the president-elect is friends with David Cordish, who owns ECI’s parent company; Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump even facilitated Reed Cordish’s engagement to his current wife.

According to the Daily Beast, ECI currently faces two discrimination lawsuits stemming from a Kansas City, Missouri project Cordish partnered on with incoming White House adviser Jared Kushner. The project was on a building in the city’s Power and Light District, which according to two separate lawsuits is commonly referred to as the “Power and White District.”

Dante Combs and Adams Williams filed a class action racial discrimination against Cordish’s business in 2014 claiming they were beaten and harassed by white employees. During testimony in that case, Christian Martinez—a former floor manager at Tengo, a club owned by Cordish—told the court, “Reed Cordish’s code words for blacks was ‘urbans’ or ‘Canadians.’”

She also said Jake Miller, vice president of ECI, “did not want any African-Americans” at Tengo. According to Martinez, she once overheard Miller demand the DJ change the music, demanding, “Get that fucking n**ger music off here.”

A black former employee, William Whitlock, said Miller threatened him over the presence of black people in his club.

“He made the comment that if he ever saw this many n**gers in the building again, he would chain the doors and burn it down with me inside,” Whitlock testified. “He was embarrassed and horrified to see what we had done to his club.”

Another man, Thomas Alexitch, told the court he was hired at Cordish-owned Mosaic club to “start altercations with certain groups of people. By starting these altercations, I ensured that these groups of people would be kicked out of the club,” alleging supervisors told him who to target.

“I would estimate that 90 percent of the people I started altercations with were African Americans,” Alexitch said in a sworn testimony.

ECI won an initial ruling in the suit, but as the Daily Beast reports, Combs and Williams are appealing the decision.

Another lawsuit filed by Shelton McElroy in 2015 said a Cordish-owned club discriminated against him under the guise of the club’s dress code.

After initially denying McElroy access to the club, the suit alleges “the music abruptly switched [from hip hop] to country music” once he was inside. A bouncer later approached him to say he’ was in violation of the dress code because his pants were “sagging.”

According to McElroy, he was wearing “a polo and khaki slacks” while he watched “three white men are dancing on top of the bar completely shirtless while the female bartender poured drinks in their mouth.” McElroy was eventually arrested for second-degree criminal trespassing stemming from his night at the club.

In a statement, Cordish said “an ethos of public service” is a “core foundation” of his family’s companies.

“It is a true honor for me to be appointed as an assistant to the president,” Cordish said in a statement. “The core foundation of the Cordish Companies was built upon an ethos of public service and a commitment to transforming American cities across the country. Accepting this position is in keeping with those values and I am proud to serve our country in this capacity,”

The Trump transition team called the allegations against Cordish “baseless.”

“The allegations referenced against the company were determined to be baseless and dismissed by summary judgment with no finding of wrongdoing,” a statement reads. “In fact Cordish has been recognized from leading civil-rights groups as a model company for inclusiveness. In its 100-year history, including welcoming over 50 million visitors per year to its developments and with a work-force of over 10,000 employees, the company has a truly exemplary civil-rights record without a single finding against the company or its principals.”

 

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Barnes and Noble Founders Donate $1 million to Spellman

A magnanimous gift to Spelman College.

Barnes & Noble founder gives Spelman College $1 million gift

The founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble Inc. and his wife have given $1 million to Spelman College in Atlanta.

The college said it planned to use the gift from Leonard and Louise Riggio to fund a scholars program in his name, and to support its planned arts and innovation center.

Leonard Riggio, founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble Inc. (center).

Leonard Riggio, founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble Inc. (center).

“From the moment I was surrounded by its warm embrace, I was head over heels in love with Spelman College, and especially with the beautiful people who study and teach there,” Riggio said of his visit to the college. “The whole of the place seems to have been lifted from the depths of our spirits, to the full realization of our hopes and dreams for a better America. If Spelman is not the paradigm of a great college, I do not know what is. The gift to the scholarship program and to the arts and innovation center from Louise and me commemorates one of the best days I’ve ever had.”

Half of the Riggios’ gift will be used to underwrite six outstanding Spelman students who have demonstrated stellar academic achievement and who are actively engaged in community service, the university said in a statement. The remaining $500,000 will be designated for the design and construction of an arts and innovation center that will house Spelman’s arts programs and Innovation Lab, which encourage creative collaborations at the intersection of the arts, technology, science and other liberal arts disciplines. Program planning for the facility is underway, according to the December announcement.

“Leonard and Louise Riggio have been longstanding supporters of education and the arts,” said Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell. “We welcome them as new donors to Spelman and welcome, too, their enthusiasm and faith in the values and mission of the College. Their generous gift supports the academic success of a group of talented, socially engaged students and, at the same time, helps the College launch the planning of a new facility that will encourage campus wide collaborations and community engagement.”

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2017 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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KKK Members Renounce Membership After Meeting Black Musician

The amazing story of Darryl Davis, a well known black musician who reached out to KKK Members – and through taking and developing relationships has caused a number of KKK Members to renounce the KKK, and their racist beliefs. Proving you can deprogram bigots from the constant stream of racism from Fox News and Brietbart by showing them the truth.

 

Darryl Davis, a renowned black American blues musician, took the initiative to reach out to members of the Ku Klux Klan, the US white supremacist organisation, which has led to more than 200 leaving the group.

Klan members leave the KKK after befriending black musician

He has travelled across the country, sometimes with ex-KKK members, to give lectures aimed at curbing racism.

Davis has written a book on the KKK called Klandestine Relationships. And an award-winning documentary about his unique efforts to combat racial hatred – Accidental Courtesy – is set to be aired across the United States in February.

Hate acts have been on the rise in the US since president-elect Donald Trump, who made many statements against minority groups during the election campaign, saw a drastic rise in popularity last year.

Davis talked to Al Jazeera about his journey in confronting the KKK, and what Trump’s election means for the country.

Al Jazeera: What inspired you to reach out to the KKK? Davis: My parents worked in the US foreign service so I was an American embassy brat. I spent a lot of my youth in the 1960s living overseas and when I attended schools abroad my classmates were from around the world.

At that time there was not that kind of diversity at home in the US. When I would come back to the US I would be in all black schools or black-and-white newly integrated schools.

When I was overseas I felt like I was living 12 to 15 years ahead of my time, and when I came back home I did not understand why people had a problem with skin tone.It was the norm for me, but not my country.

One time I was attacked because of the colour of my skin. And that made me ask: How can you hate me when you don’t even know me? No one had been able to answer it.

So who better to ask that question than those who hate others that do not look like them? I reached out to Klan members all over the country. Right here in the state of Maryland where I live, I would put out these questions, but was never set out to change anybody and never under the impression they could be.

I wanted to know why they made a judgement on my ability to learn and work … and why they assumed we all sold drugs, raped white women, or were on wellfare.

Over a course of time, a number of them began shedding their racist ideologies and left the Klan.

I have changed a number of hearts and minds by having these conversations. They started to see me as a human being, as someone who wants the same as them.

If you sit with your worst enemy for five minutes, you will find out you have something in common and if for 10 minutes, you will discover more similarities.

If you build on those commonalties, the things you do not have in common matter less and friendship can be formed. Even if you disagree – and this has to do with all matters, whether its about abortion or whatever – when two enemies are talking they are not fighting.

They may be yelling and fighting to make a point. But without talking the ground may be fertile for violence.

The problem is that in the US media, people talk about each other or at each other but not with each other. People refuse to do that. Many will hide behind social media, but they will not sit and meet with the person.

 Al Jazeera: How many KKK members left the group because of your efforts? Davis: I know that I have directly been the impetus for up to 40 Klan members leaving and indirectly for about 200 others.

I continue to get emails from those who I don’t even know after they hear me speak or read my book.

The leader of the KKK’s Maryland branch and I became friends. After he and his top members quit, their group fell apart here.

There is no more organised racist organisation in Maryland.

Al Jazeera: What type of conversations would you have with them and what did you learn from that? Davis: I would find out why the joined the Klan, what their goals were, and what their educational background was.

And what you find out is this that the common thread is hatred and ignorance. In terms of education and jobs, they are all over the board.

They come from all walks of life: college dropouts, lawyers, and doctors. We even had presidents who were KKK members.

Al Jazeera: What do you think about Donald Trump’s impact on racism in the country?Davis: I think Donald Trump is the best thing that happened to the country. He is not the best choice for the presidency.

But as a residual effect of the election all these racist people are coming out and making themselves known.

America is hypocritical because we deny racism exists. Now they can no longer deny it. Now we are seeing “KKK” spray painted on peoples cars. Talks on racism have been taboo, but now more conversations about it are starting.

You can not solve any problem unless you see it and then you can talk about it. This country did not want to address racism. Well, now they are seeing it and are obligated to address it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIrmHV_xqKE

 

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Letting You Mouth End Your Career – Kim Burrell

The rather cruel thing here is Gospel singer Kim Burrell was speaking to a congregation of folks who probably believe just as she does.Her is her rant about the KGBT community –

Now, Kim makes her living by singing Gospel music. A living which depends on people who can advance her career, and are willing to buy or sell her music. A lot of those folks are gay. Her tirade here was two days before she was scheduled to appear on the Ellen Degeneres Show, Ellen being one of the most prominent Lesbian performers and activists in the country.

So, Kim your hypocrisy is the excuse of religion in wanting LGBT people to all die, but its OK to try and make some money off that group of people and advance your career…before they do.

What I would call a “Career Limiting” performance. Obviously you missed the assembly station …Where God passed our brain cells.

And to be brutally honest – Kim didn’t do too well at the “Singing” station either.

Gospel singer canceled by Ellen after she was caught in homophobic rant now loses radio show

Kim Burrell’s career took another hit Wednesday after it was announced the gospel singer who was recorded in the midst of a homophobic rant is losing her radio program.

Texas Southern University canceled Burrell’s program, “Bridging the Gap,” which debuted on KTSU in June 2016.

“The Kim Burrell show is no longer airing as part of KTSU Radio programming,” Texas Southern University said in a statement.

A video of Burrell surfaced on New Years Eve featuring the singer—who’s performed with the likes of Pharrell and Frank Ocean—railing against “the perverted homosexual spirit” at the Love & Liberty Fellowship Church in Houston.

“That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women,” she said. “You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted. You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.”

Burrell was supposed to appear on Ellen Degeneres’s show Thursday, but the comedian—who was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in part, for her courage to come out in public almost 20 years ago—told fans the singer would not be attending. She was slated to perform “I See A Victory” with Pharrell.

Instead, Pharrell sat down with Degeneres solo and issues a powerful rebuke of Burrell’s remarks:

“There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on … We all have to get used to everyone’s differences and understand that this is a big, gigantic, beautiful, colorful world, and it only works with inclusion and empathy. It only works that way.

Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and you feel like it doesn’t pertain to you because you may not have anything to do with that, all you got to do is put the word black in that sentence, or put gay in that sentence, or put transgender in that sentence, or put white in that sentence, and all of the sudden it starts to make sense to you.”

“I’m telling you, the world is a beautiful place but it does not work without empathy and inclusion. God is love. This Universe is love and that’s the only way it will function. And I get it that sometimes some of the divisive stuff works. We learned that lesson last year that divisiveness works. But you have to choose what side you’re on. I’m choosing empathy; I’m choosing inclusion; I’m choosing love for everybody just trying to lift everyone. Even when I disagree with someone, I’m wishing them the best and hoping for the best because we can’t win the other way.”

 

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