via Christian Cooper and @DecodynLyfe / Twitter

Christian Cooper, the black birdwatcher who had the police called on him by a white woman after asking her to put her dog on a leash, has spoken out about the incident.

On Tuesday night he gave a thoughtful interview to CNN's Don Lemon where he responded to Amy Cooper's (no relation) apology.

"I think her apology is sincere," Cooper told Lemon. "I'm not sure that in that apology she recognizes that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist."

Christian Cooper is a Harvard University grad, former Marvel Comics editor and a current member of the board of directors for the New York City chapter of the Audubon Society.


In the video taken by Christian, Amy frantically tells the police "I'm taking a picture and calling the cops," she says. "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life."

The video is disturbing because Amy pretends as though her life is in danger, putting Christian in a dangerous situation. Who knows how the police will react to a black man they believe is threatening the life of a white woman.

Christian was completely aware that she was putting his life in danger during the incident.

"You know, the simple fact of my skin color means that I run the risk of being perceived as a menace or a threat despite the fact that I'm doing the exact same thing as anybody else in that park," he told NPR.

Amy issued a statement to CNN apologizing her behavior saying "I'm not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way," she said, adding that she also didn't mean any harm to the African American community.

She called police on him in Central Park. Hear his response www.youtube.com

Even though Amy threatened his life, Christian is still willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

"Is she a racist? I can't answer that," he told Lemon. "Only she can answer that. And I would submit probably the only way she's going to answer that is going forward. How she conducts herself and, you know, how she chooses to reflect on this situation and examine it."

Amy was fired from her job at Franklin Templeton after a video of the incident went viral.

"Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton," the company said on Twitter Tuesday.


Amy Cooper's actions were clearly racially motivated and she intentionally put Christian's life in danger. But he still hesitates to say her life should be forever ruined by the incident.

"Now, should she be defined by that, you know, couple-of-seconds moment? I can't answer that," he told NPR.

The video has prompted people to make death threats against Amy which Christian has condemned.

"I am told there has been death threats and that is wholly inappropriate and abhorrent and should stop immediately," Christian said.

"I find it strange that people who were upset that ... that she tried to bring death by cop down on my head, would then turn around and try to put death threats on her head. Where is the logic in that?" he said. "Where does that make any kind of sense?"

After having his life threatened by Amy, Christian has all right to demonize her in public. But, instead, he has chosen to provide a thoughtful response to her racist act, put it in context and condemned those who wish violence upon her. His calm reaction to her racist tirade should be praised as loudly as her actions should be criticized.

True
Firefox

This slideshow shows how you can protect your information.

View Slideshow

This week, viral photos from the first day of school in various Georgia counties showed students crowded together with few masks in sight. Schools in the same area had to shut down entire classrooms due to positive tests after the first day back, quarantining students and teachers for two weeks.

In these counties, students are "encouraged" to wear a mask at school, but they are not required. Mask-wearing is referred to as a "personal choice."

This week, a private Christian college in a town near where I live announced that is planning to resume in-person classes this fall. The school has decided that students will not be required to wear masks, despite the fact that the town itself has a mask mandate for all public spaces. "No riots. No masks. In person. This fall," the college wrote in a Facebook post advertising the school last month.

The supposed justification for not requiring students to wear masks is that it's a "personal choice," and that students have the freedom to choose whether to wear one or not.

That's a neat story. Except it is totally hypocritical coming from schools and school districts that have no problem placing limits on personal choice and freedom by mandating stringent dress codes for students.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo from Dole
True

As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

Keep Reading Show less

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

Keep Reading Show less
via The Hubble Telescope

Over the past few years, there has been a growing movement to fight back against some of the everyday racism that exists in America.

The Washington Redskins of the NFL have temporarily changed their name to the Washington Football Team until a more suitable, and less racist, name is determined.

The Dixie Chicks, a country band from Texas has decided to change their name to The Chicks to avoid any connotation with slavery, as has Lady Antebellum who now just go by Lady A.

(Although they stole the name form a Black woman who has been using it for over 20 years.)

Keep Reading Show less