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Forced to resign from his church for speaking out against racism, Rob Lee has no regrets.

The descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee did the right thing.

Pastor Robert Lee IV took the stage at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards to share a simple message.

Lee, a descendent of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, was there to introduce Susan Bro, the mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer. On stage, he denounced the use of his ancestor as "an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate" and claimed it was his "moral duty to speak out against racism."

GIF from MTV/Twitter.


He gave a shout-out to the Black Lives Matter movement, to everybody who participated in the Women's March, and of course, to Heyer herself. It was a powerful, moving call to action for people to take a stand against hate.

Not everybody was a fan of Lee's speech, and in the span of just over a week, he was out as pastor at Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

In a blog post on Auburn Seminary's website, Lee explained why he decided to resign his post in the church following his breakout appearance at the VMAs, noting that some congregants were uneasy with his vocal support of the Women's March, Black Lives Matter, and Heather Heyer; others were just as uncomfortable with the national attention they received.

Lee with Susan Bro during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

"The church’s reaction was deeply hurtful to me," he wrote, explaining that the church wanted to bring his tenure up for a vote after his appearance on MTV.

Instead, Lee resigned.

Doing the right thing isn't always easy. Often, that's even more reason to do it.

"A theologian I admire speaks of costly grace and sometimes speaking up costs more than we could have imagined," Lee told Spectrum News Charlotte. "I love my church and will always have fond memories there for my first pastorate."

"I'd just like people to know that a small group of voices is no match to the unwavering movement of justice in this world," Lee says in an email, declining to comment on the specific circumstances behind his resignation.

"I do want the hate-filled rhetoric to end so that we might focus on real issues like DACA being rescinded and continuing to keep in the public conscious the issues of racial inequality and the monuments that support those systems."

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

It may have cost Lee his job, but using his voice to resist the continued oppression of others was the right thing to do. For that, Lee is an inspiration to anyone who feels too small to make a difference in the world.

We all have a voice — it's just a matter of how we decide to use it.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.