7 things you might hear from a 19th century slaveholder with a modern take on racism.

Racism today is different than it was in centuries past.

Society may have evolved beyond the rule of mob terror against people of color, but it's impossible to argue racism is behind us.


Photo by Luke Vargas/Flickr.

Today's racism is just a little harder to identify at times. The language is coded with HR-friendly euphemisms. And the struggles of many are dismissed as individual — not systemic — failures because of the exceptional achievements of a few. (Thanks, Obama.)

But have you ever wondered how today's brand of subliminal racism might sound in, say, the 1800s?

Poet Anthony McPherson did. In a performance (watch it below), he explores what the tension between "Black Lives Matter" and the seemingly well-meaning but totally off-the-mark counter cry of "All Lives Matter" might have sounded like in the 19th century United States.

It's old school bigotry with a modern twist. Here are seven examples:

1. On ownership

All GIFs from Button Poetry/YouTube.

2. On friendship

3. On inheritance

4. On freedom and accountability

5. On unity

6. On the "real" enemy

7. On the fight for a better world

Black Lives Matter matters because even centuries after the racially abhorrent founding of the U.S., skin color still plays a role in how people are treated.

Photo by Fibonacci Blue/Flickr.

If you're still grappling with it, check out this explainer from the subreddit Explain Like I'm Five. The analogy they draw is so powerful, it actually changed other users' minds on the issue. Here's the key takeaway:

"It's a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means 'only black lives matter,' when that is obviously not the case. And so saying 'all lives matter' as a direct response to 'black lives matter' is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem." — GeekAesthete on Reddit


Now you know why Black Lives Matter is important. It's about the role of the past in shaping the present. Hopefully more of us will use that awareness to speak up for a better future.

Watch McPherson's mic-dropping (sans the mic-drop) performance:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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