Arkansas' racist Capitol Hills statues are being replaced by two incredible icons.

After the Charleston church shooting in June 2015, municipalities throughout the U.S. began removing Confederate statues from state buildings and parks. This accelerated in 2017, after the after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The state of Arkansas has just realized that it’s not 1865 and will replace the two statues of racists representing the state in the Statuary Hall collection on Capitol Hill.

One statue is of Uriah Milton Rose, an attorney who sided with the Confederacy. The other is James P. Clarke, a United States senator (1903-1916) and governor of the state (1895 - 1897), who as a strident white supremacist.


Arkansas Republican governor Asa Hutchinson made no mention that racism had anything to do with the removal of the statues. “Most everyone who was involved in the discussion agreed we needed to update the statues with representatives of our more recent history,” he said.

However, the state has made two great choices on the two new statues that will represent the state: music icon Johnny Cash and civil rights activist Daisy Lee Gatson Bates.

via unknown / wikimedia commons and RV1684 / Flickr

Bates served as the President of the Arkansas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and organized the Little Rock Nine.

The Little Rock Nine was a group of African-American children who were prevented from entering the recently-desegregated Little Rock Central High School by governor Orval Faubus in 1957.

Bates bravely guided, protected, and advised the nine students until President Eisenhower dispatched the 101st Airborne Division to ensure the children were allowed to attend the school.

Gatson also published the The Arkansas Weekly, one of the few African-American newspapers of that time solely dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement.

Johnny Cash, a.k.a. “The Man in Black,” from Kingsland, Arkansas, is one of the biggest selling musical artists of all time. The country outlaw is famous for such hits as “I Walk the Line,” “Ring of Fire,” and “Folsom Prison Blues.”

Cash was also an advocate for Native American rights, pushed president Richard Nixon for prison reform, and protested against the Vietnam and Iraq wars.

When asked in the late ‘70s why he still wore black he replied: “The old are still neglected, the poor are still poor, the young are still dying before their time, and we’re not making any moves to make things right. There’s still plenty of darkness to carry off.”

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

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Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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