An interview Malcolm X gave in 1964 is shockingly relevant in 2016.

In the 1960s, New York City Police Commissioner Michael J. Murphy enacted a series of policies that put Harlem under what was effectively a police state.

It was the dawn of the modern civil rights movement, and racial tensions were high. Murphy promised to be tough on "racial extremists" and even refused several times to listen to the pleas of civil rights groups who wanted an investigation into police brutality.

The Harlem riot of 1964. Photo via Dick DeMarsico/New York World Telegraph & Sun/Wikimedia Commons.


On July 16, 1964, New York Police Department officer Thomas Gilligan shot and killed a black teenager named James Powell on the Upper East Side. Hundreds protested in the streets, sparking the infamous Harlem riot.

The officer was investigated and then cleared of any wrongdoing.

"In our estimation this is a crime problem and not a social prob­lem," said Commissioner Murphy.

In a 1964 interview, civil rights leader Malcolm X spoke out against Commissioner Murphy.

He said Muphy's policies and rhetoric had led to a deep distrust between the black community and the NYPD, as well as an increase in violence.

Shaun King, senior justice writer for the New York Daily News and a leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, recently tweeted a video of that interview.

King noted that 52 years later, Malcolm X's words are as "shockingly relevant" today as when they were first spoken.

GIF via YouTube.

"This gives the police the impression that they can then go and brutalize the Negroes or suppress the Negroes or even frighten the Negroes," Malcolm X continues in the interview.

"Whenever something happens, 20 police cars converge on one area."

While the civil rights movement of the '60s made great progress for racial equality, all you need to do is turn on the news to see that the distrust between the black community and police is still prevalent.

Hundreds of protestors are marching through the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, in response to the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man who police say was armed, though his family disputes that claim. The story is still developing.

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

That's only the most recent example. In fact, it's only the most recent example in Charlotte, North Carolina. There have been dozens of similar stories from communities across the country over the past few years — stories of unarmed black men and women being brutalized or killed by the cops sworn to keep their communities safe.

You can see a palpable anger on the streets of Charlotte just as you could see it in the streets of Baton Rouge, Dallas, Tulsa, St. Paul, Chicago, Seattle, Baltimore, New York, Boston, Salt Lake City, and more. It's in Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest, and in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Malcolm X's words are especially worth remembering as presidential candidate Donald Trump has proposed a stop-and-frisk policy that certainly would not help matters.

In response to a question about violence in black communities, the Republican presidential nominee recently said that he would enact a wide-reaching version of the policy known as stop-and-frisk, which empowers police officers to search virtually anyone they find suspicious.

"I would do stop-and-frisk," Trump said. "I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well."

No, it didn't. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

While Trump later clarified that he only meant Chicago, that doesn't stop his proposal from being deeply troubling.

Despite Trump's claim to the contrary, all evidence shows that stop-and-frisk didn't work in New York City.

Studies show that the vast majority of individuals stopped by the police under stop-and-frisk were black and Latino, despite the fact that white people were more likely to be carrying weapons or drugs. So all the policy accomplished was to deepen the existing distrust between police and minority communities.

Like Murphy in 1964, Trump has a poor grasp of the facts when it comes to addressing issues of race relations and crime — whether he's tweeting false crime statistics, threatening to fight Black Lives Matter protesters, or saying things like this:

We need to get better, not worse. Enacting a policy rooted in racism — especially without proposing any policies to counter the systemic racial bias that the Justice Department continues to uncover in police departments across the country — that continues to treat the black community as dangerous-until-proven-otherwise is categorically worse.

It's scary to think that Malcolm X's words from half a century ago can still be applied to society today.

It's even more remarkable that a potential world leader is proposing policies and spouting rhetoric in 2016 that would feel right at home in 1964.

It shows that while we've come a long way, not nearly enough has changed — and if we continue to ignore the mistakes of the past, we will surely be doomed to repeat them.

Click here to make sure you're ready to cast a ballot on Nov. 8, 2016.

via Pixabay

Talking about politics at work can be a really touchy situation. It's good for people to be able to express themselves in the office. But it can lead to serious tension when people don't see eye-to-eye. It can be especially difficult when a company takes a hard line on a controversial issue that employees are forced to stand behind.

So Basecamp, a project management software company based in Chicago, has just decided to ban talking about politics at work altogether. It seems the company tried to foster an open atmosphere but it backfired.

"Sensitivities are at 11, and every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy, or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant," co-founder Jason Fried wrote in a post on the company website.

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via Pixabay

Talking about politics at work can be a really touchy situation. It's good for people to be able to express themselves in the office. But it can lead to serious tension when people don't see eye-to-eye. It can be especially difficult when a company takes a hard line on a controversial issue that employees are forced to stand behind.

So Basecamp, a project management software company based in Chicago, has just decided to ban talking about politics at work altogether. It seems the company tried to foster an open atmosphere but it backfired.

"Sensitivities are at 11, and every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy, or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant," co-founder Jason Fried wrote in a post on the company website.

Keep Reading Show less
True

Each year, an estimated 1.8 million people in the United States are affected by cancer — most commonly cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and blood cancers such as leukemia. While not everyone overcomes the disease, thanks to science, more people are surviving — and for longer — than ever before in history.

We asked three people whose lives have been impacted by cancer to share their stories – how their lives were changed by the disease, and how they're using that experience to change the future of cancer treatments with the hope that ultimately, in the fight against cancer, science will win. Here's what they had to say.

Celine Ryan, 55, engineer database programmer and mother of five from Detroit, MI

Photo courtesy of Celine Ryan

In September 2013, Celine Ryan woke up from a colonoscopy to some traumatic news. Her gastroenterologist showed her a picture of the cancerous mass they found during the procedure.

Ryan and her husband, Patrick, had scheduled a colonoscopy after discovering some unusual bleeding, so the suspicion she could have cancer was already there. Neither of them, however, were quite prepared for the results to be positive -- or for the treatment to begin so soon. Just two days after learning the news, Ryan had surgery to remove the tumor, part of her bladder, and 17 cancerous lymph nodes. Chemotherapy and radiation soon followed.

Ryan's treatment was rigorous – but in December 2014, she got the devastating news that the cancer, once confined to her colon, had spread to her lungs. Her prognosis, they said, was likely terminal.

But rather than give up hope, Ryan sought support from online research, fellow cancer patients and survivors, and her medical team. When she brought up immunotherapy to her oncologist, he quickly agreed it was the best course of action. Ryan's cancer, like a majority of colon and pancreatic cancers, had been caused by a defect on the gene KRAS, which can result in a very aggressive cancer that is virtually "undruggable." According to the medical literature, the relatively smooth protein structure of the KRAS gene meant that designing inhibitors to bind to surface grooves and treat the cancer has been historically difficult. Through her support systems, Ryan discovered an experimental immunotherapy trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD., and called them immediately to see if she was eligible. After months of trying to determine whether she was a suitable candidate for the experimental treatment, Ryan was finally accepted.

The treatment, known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy, or TIL, is a testament to how far modern science has evolved. With this therapy, doctors remove a tumor and harvest special immune cells that are found naturally in the tumor. Doctors then grow the cells in a lab over the next several weeks with a protein that promotes rapid TIL growth – and once the cells number into the billions, they are infused back into the patient's body to fight the cancer. On April 1, 2015, Ryan had her tumor removed at the NIH. Two months later, she went inpatient for four weeks to have the team "wash out" her immune system with chemotherapy and infuse the cells – all 148 billion of them – back into her body.

Six weeks after the infusion, Ryan and Patrick went back for a follow-up appointment – and the news they got was stunning: Not only had no new tumors developed, but the six existing tumors in her lungs had shrunk significantly. Less than a year after her cell infusion, in April 2016, the doctors told Ryan news that would have been impossible just a decade earlier: Thanks to the cell infusion, Ryan was now considered NED – no evaluable disease. Her body was cancer-free.

Ryan is still NED today and continuing annual follow-up appointments at the NIH, experiencing things she never dreamed she'd be able to live to see, such as her children's high school and college graduations. She's also donating her blood and cells to the NIH to help them research other potential cancer treatments. "It was an honor to do so," Ryan said of her experience. "I'm just thrilled, and I hope my experience can help a lot more people."

Patrice Lee, PhD, VP of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Exploratory Development at Pfizer

Photo courtesy of Patrice Lee

Patrice Lee got into scientific research in an unconventional way – through the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Lee never met Cousteau but her dreams of working with him one day led her to pursue a career in science. Initially, Lee completed an undergraduate degree in marine biology; eventually, her interests changed and she decided to get a dual doctoral degree in physiology and toxicology at Duke University. She now works at Pfizer's R&D site in Boulder, CO (formerly Array BioPharma), leading a group of scientists who determine the safety and efficacy of new oncology drugs.

"Scientists focused on drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry are deeply committed to inventing new therapies to meet unmet needs," Lee says, describing her field of work. "We're driven to achieve new medicines and vaccines as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety."

Among the drugs Lee has helped develop during her career, including cancer therapies, she says around a dozen are currently in development, while nine have received FDA approval — an incredible accomplishment as many scientists spend their careers without seeing their drug make it to market. Lee's team is particularly interested in therapies for brain metastases — something that Lee says is a largely unmet need in cancer research, and something her team is working on from a variety of angles. "Now that we've had rapid success with mRNA vaccine technology, we hope to explore what the future holds when applying this technology to cancers," Lee says.

But while evaluating potential cancer therapies is a professional passion of Lee's, it's also a mission that's deeply personal. "I'm also a breast cancer survivor," she says. "So I've been on the other side of things and have participated in a clinical trial."

However, seeing how melanoma therapies that she helped develop have affected other real-life cancer patients, she says, has been a highlight of her career. "We had one therapy that was approved for patients with BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma," Lee recalls. "Our team in Boulder was graced by a visit from a patient that had benefited from these drugs that we developed. It was a very special moment for the entire team."

None of these therapies would be available, Lee says without rigorous science behind it: "Facts come from good science. Facts will drive the development of new drugs, and that's what will help patients."

Chiuying "Cynthia" Kuk (they/them) MS, 34, third-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Kuk

Cynthia Kuk was just 10 years old when they had a conversation that would change their life forever.

"My mother, who worked as a translator for the government at the time, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and after her chemotherapy treatments she would get really sick," Kuk, who uses they/them pronouns, recalls. "When I asked my dad why mom was puking so much, he said it was because of the medicine she was taking that would help her get better."

Kuk's response was immediate: "That's so stupid! Why would a medicine make you feel worse instead of better? When I'm older, I want to create medicine that won't make people sick like that."

Nine years later, Kuk traveled from their native Hong Kong to the United States to do exactly that. Kuk enrolled in a small, liberal arts college for their Bachelor's degree, and then four years later started a PhD program in cancer research. Although Kuk's mother was in remission from her cancer at the time, Kuk's goal was the same as it had been as a 10-year-old watching her suffer through chemotherapy: to design a better cancer treatment, and change the landscape of cancer research forever.

Since then, Kuk's mission has changed slightly.

"My mom's cancer relapsed in 2008, and she ended up passing away about five years after that," Kuk says. "After my mom died, I started having this sense of urgency. Cancer research is such that you work for twenty years, and at the end of it you might have a fancy medication that could help people, but I wanted to help people now." With their mother still at the forefront of their mind, Kuk decided to quit their PhD program and enter medical school.

Now, Kuk plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine – not only because they are drawn to the excitement of the emergency room, but because the ER is a place where the most marginalized people tend to seek care.

"I have a special interest in the LGBTQ+ population, as I identify as queer and nonbinary," says Kuk. "A lot of people in this community and other marginalized communities access care through the ER and also tend to avoid medical care since there is a history of mistreatment and judgement from healthcare workers. How you carry yourself as a doctor, your compassion, that can make a huge difference in someone's care."

In addition to making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ patients, Kuk wants to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer as well, like their mother had.

"We've diagnosed patients in the Emergency Department with cancer before," Kuk says. "I can't make cancer good news but how you deliver bad news and the compassion you show could make a world of difference to that patient and their family."

During their training, Kuk advocates for patients by delivering compassionate and inclusive care, whether they happen to have cancer or not. In addition to emphasizing their patient's pronouns and chosen names, they ask for inclusive social and sexual histories as well as using gender neutral language. In doing this, they hope to make medicine as a whole more accessible for people who have been historically pushed aside.

"I'm just one person, and I can't force everyone to respect you, if you're marginalized," Kuk says. "But I do want to push for a culture where people appreciate others who are different from them."