A 14-year-old girl disproves a college professor's published theory on racism ... by Googling it.

14-year-old Rebecca Fried wasn't planning to destroy the career of a college professor.

She was just avoiding her homework. As kids do.

One night, Rebecca's father shared an interesting article with his kids, as he often would, in hopes of starting a conversation. This time, it was an academic paper by professor Richard Jensen about the history of Irish discrimination in America — specifically, about how that discrimination had (apparently) never actually happened.


Published in 2002 in the Journal of Social History, Jensen's " No Irish Need Apply: A Myth of Victimization" claimed that, contrary to popular belief, there had never been any recorded instances of newspaper ads or shop signs that said "No Irish need apply" (or "NINA" for short).

Photo by Pattie (not Paddy) via Flickr.

Something about the story struck a chord with Rebecca, and she turned to Google to satisfy her curiosity. Within hours, she'd discovered irrefutable photo proof that Jensen's article was wrong.

At first, Rebecca she thought she was just missing something.

How could a simple Google search disprove an entire academic paper?

There's no way it could have been that easy, right? Sure, there are some shady sources on the Internet. But she'd found the evidence in newspaper archives and libraries.

Image via Wikimedia Commons. Yes, it was that easy to find.

With her father's help, Rebecca reached out to Kerby Miller, a recently retired professor and Irish history scholar.

Miller believed that Jensen's claims were right in line with the anti-Irish propaganda that had spread in the aftermath of the Irish Civil War. In fact, Miller says that when he contacted Jensen after the paper was published, Jensen accused him of being an IRA terrorist due to the fact that Miller had married a Catholic woman.

And if you thought a Ph.D. like Jensen would be able to employ a better comeback than "Well, you must be a terrorist," you'd be wrong.

Photo by Cathal McNaughton/Getty Images

With Miller's help, Rebecca published her own academic rebuttal to Jensen's article.

Her article, titled "No Irish Need Deny: Evidence for the Historicity of NINA Restrictions in Advertisements and Signs," was published in the Oxford Journal of Social History on (fortuitously enough) July 4, 2015. Rebecca thanks Miller in her foreword for his guidance and notes, but as he told the Daily Beast, "She didn't need any help from me on what she did. I'd be surprised if she changed a single word."

And of course, Jensen had to defend himself.

When the news of Rebecca's publication hit IrishCentral.com, Jensen took to the comments section (the best place for serious academic discourse) to defend himself and get a few patronizing jabs in at his adolescent adversary.

The two went back and forth in the comments for a bit, with Rebecca showing her trademark maturity in her responses to him while also pointing out the central flaws in his thesis. Jensen, meanwhile, continued to insist that "No Irish need apply" was the result of mass delusion. But Rebecca rightly pointed out that the burden of proof should lay with him rather than on the collective cultural memory of an entire nation.

Not only did Jensen get the last word in in the comments section (because of course he did), but he's since published a formal rebuttal to her rebuttal as well (because of course he did).

GIF from "In Bruges."

Rebecca's paper shows what we can learn from history and how it's applicable even today.

Did you know that Frederick Douglass wrote in 1846, "No people on the face of the earth have been more relentlessly persecuted and oppressed on account of race and religion, than the Irish people?" (He then went on to say that the Irish are also a bunch of violent drunkards responsible for their own plight. WHOOPS.)

Or did you know that the Irish weren't even considered "white" until the last hundred years? So while you probably won't witness much Irish racism in 2015, the reverberations from that suffering surely still exist.

An actual illustration from a 19th-century scholarly text. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

This fascinating history of discrimination — and of people like Jensen trying to deny it — isn't just relevant to the Irish. It's the classic idea of “those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it." And it applies in more ways than one.

We all know about the discrimination that many groups of people have endured throughout history. The Holocaust and slavery in America are the obvious examples that come to mind; there's also the Tutsi and the Armenians and indigenous Americans and the #BlackLivesMatter movement happening right now and — I could go on, but I'm gonna stop there before I get too depressed. The point is: It would be wrong to deny the existence of any of these atrocities. Doing so would make us no better than Jensen.

By re-writing (or flat out denying) the shameful facts of discrimination, past or present, we make it easier for the same suffering to happen again and again.

Here's the real "Matrix"-level lesson-within-a-lesson: Being on the right side of history means not denying oppression in the now, as it continues to happen all around us. If instead we study the details of those past struggles, it might help illuminate some important truths about class, race, and power dynamics in the modern world.

In the meantime, we hope that Rebecca can survive the most oppressive part of human history: freshman year of high school.

Good luck, Rebecca. You're gonna need it.

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

via Pexels and @drjoekort / TikTok

Gay sex and relationships therapist Dr. Joe Kort is causing a stir on TikTok where he explains why straight men who have sex with men can still be considered straight. If a man has sex with a man doesn't it ultimately make him gay or bisexual?

According to Kort, there can be a big chasm between our sexual and romantic orientations.

"Straight men can be attracted to the sex act, but not to the man. Straight men having sex with men doesn't cancel somebody's heterosexuality any more than a straight woman having sex with a woman cancels her [heterosexuality]," he says in the video.

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

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