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Dr. Dre's apology: It's a small token but often a huge victory for survivors to hear abusers own up.

And the Internet is turning into quite a tool to make sure history isn't rewritten by those with power and money.

Dr. Dre's apology: It's a small token but often a huge victory for survivors to hear abusers own up.

Victims left out of an abuser's movie — honest mistake or convenient sleight of hand?

"Straight Outta Compton," the blockbuster film chronicling the rise and fall of hip-hop group N.W.A is an important cultural touchpoint for its depiction of several really important themes: police brutality, race, youth culture, and the role of art in protest to name a few.

But when the movie, produced by N.W.A founding members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, was released, there were significant players in the story whose roles were conveniently left out. Dee Barnes, a journalist who Dr. Dre beat up in a nightclub, wrote that some reference to the occurrence would have been appropriate.


And when asked why she wasn't represented in the film, Dr. Dre's ex-fiancee Michel'le and former record labelmate said:

"But why would Dre put me in it? ... I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat up and told to sit down and shut up."

It turns out, Dr. Dre's violent past was omitted entirely, and the Internet wasn't going to let it slide. The story blew up big time.

Image from Death Row Records.

Maybe recent backlash has taught abusers some lessons on how to deal with their crimes publicly.

In what seems to be a savvy PR move cribbed from seeing just how off-the-rails avoidance and denial can go for others (see Bill Cosby), Dr. Dre has issued an official apology. As told to The New York Times today:

"Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I've been married for 19 years and every day I'm working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I'm doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again. I apologize to the women I've hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives."

An apology is not a criminal conviction or compensation for years of pain and suffering, but it's also not nothing.

Image by Leyram Odacrem/Flickr.

One of the things to understand about abuse victims who never hear an acknowledgment or apology from their abusers is that it can be a form of gaslighting. It leaves the survivor to not only wrestle with the physical and emotional wounds from what they experienced, but to also reconcile conflicting accounts from the abuser and outsiders with what they experienced firsthand. When an abuser is twisting what occurred and the public (or friends and family, for those who aren't famous) seems to be buying it or just letting them move on, it can mess with a survivor's sense of reality and ultimately, their trust in their own perceptions.

The lack of an apology can leave a survivor without official closure. As Dee Barnes said in her piece on Gawker, it's not that she's holding on to the past but that the past is holding on to her. In her case, she means physically as well as emotionally, in the form of recurring pain. But that statement can be applied for abuse victims in numerous forms. Without official closure, a survivor must learn to be at peace with an unresolved part of their past.

Seeing an abuser finally own up to what they did and be held accountable in the eyes of the public can be an important step toward healing and a powerful way to shine light on the truth of abuse for all to see.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less