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13-year-old philanthropist, author & entrepreneur Maya Penn wows audience with TED Talk

13-year-old Maya Penn is the CEO of Maya’s Ideas 4 The Planet. She sells her own knit scarves and hats online, and recently gave a TEDtalk on entrepreneurship.

The Deadly Logic Behind Piers Morgan’s Awful Interview With Janet Mock

It was upsetting to watch for many reasons, but especially because Morgan’s questioning implied there’s an inherent deception involved in being transgender. It’s a logic that says that being transgender is a choice, a costume, a scheme put on to dupe cis men. It’s also the same logic at the core of so-called “trans panic” legal defenses, in which cis men accused of killing trans women have, often successfully, argued in court that they were “provoked” to attack their victims after discovering their biological sex. It’s a warped sense of power cloaked in patriarchy that has dug early graves for women like Gwen Araujo and Angie Zapata, teenagers who were violently killed for being themselves.

Mock kept her composure during the CNN interview, but later told Buzzfeed that Morgan was “trying to do info-tainment.” She added, “he doesn’t really want to talk about trans issues, he wants to sensationalize my life and not really talk about the work that I do and what the purpose of me writing this book was about.”

Cops Chemical Spray and Tackle Young Man Asking for a Spare Nickel to Board Train

Damian Barnes had just begun a new job in the city’s Dupont Circle neighborhood when on his way home via the Metro, he put his smarTrip card into the machine to discover he only had 15 cents left on the card.

After adding the dollar bill in his pocket to the card value he learned he was still a nickel short, caught by video footage, so he began asking customers for a coin.

“Knowing that it’s only five cents, I’m quite embarrassed to even ask. So I’m keeping my distance away from people, ‘Do you think maybe you can spare a quarter or five cents, so I can get home?” Barnes  told Fox 5 he asked.

The video surveillance than shows a Metro Transit Police officer arriving on the scene and having a brief conversation with Barnes. The officer then is seen applying chemical spray to Barnes’ face and tackling him to the ground.

How the Muth of the ‘Negro Cocaine Fiend’ Helped Shape American Drug Policy

Negro Cocaine “Fiends” Are a New Southern Menace. That was the headline of an article I came across while doing research for my PhD in 1996. It involved trying to understand the neurobiological and behavioral effects of psychoactive drugs like cocaine and nicotine. So I read everything that seemed relevant.

The provocatively headlined article had appeared in The New York Times on February 8, 1914. I was surprised by the title, although I knew it was once acceptable to print such blatantly racist words in respectable papers. But what really shocked me was how similar it was to modern media coverage of illegal drugs and how, from early on, the racialized discourse on drugs served a larger political purpose.

The author, a distinguished physician, wrote: “[The Negro fiend] imagines that he hears people taunting and abusing him, and this often incites homicidal attacks upon innocent and unsuspecting victims.” And he continued, “the deadly accuracy of the cocaine user has become axiomatic in Southern police circles…. the record of the ‘cocaine nigger’ near Asheville who dropped five men dead in their tracks using only one cartridge for each, offers evidence that is sufficiently convincing.”

Cocaine, in other words, made black men uniquely murderous and better marksmen. But that wasn’t all. It also produced “a resistance to the ‘knock down’ effects of fatal wounds. Bullets fired into vital parts that would drop a sane man in his tracks, fail to check the ‘fiend.’”

Florida Man Who Shot Black Teen After Loud Music Dispute Sent Racially Charged Letters From Jail

Letters by Dunn from jail released this week by the State’s Attorney’s Office reveal disturbing racial animus. In a letter to an unknown recipient highlighted by Jacksonville’s WTEV, he writes:

It’s spooky how racist everyone is up here and how biased toward blacks the courts are. This jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs.This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these **** idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.

In another letter to his girlfriend highlighted by HLNtv, he writes:

I just got off the phone with you and we were talking about how racist the blacks are up here. The more time I am exposed to these people, the more prejudiced against them I become.

And in another to his grandmother, he says:

I’m not really prejudiced against race, but I have no use for certain cultures. This gangster-rap, ghetto talking thug ‘culture’ that certain segments of society flock to is intolerable.