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Frat boys made a racist video that went viral. Many think they're getting off too easily.

*trigger warning: this post alludes to sensitive, racist content.

A disturbing video starring University of Georgia fraternity members went viral last week, reopening an important discussion about racism and inclusivity.

“Pick my cotton, b****!” a seemingly intoxicated University of Georgia college coed jeers, while hitting one of his pals laying under the covers in a bed. The group laughs hysterically as the phrase is repeated more than once. “You aren’t using the right words," chides one of the boys, to which the ring leader excitedly responds “Pick my cotton, nig***!”


This blatantly racist, 30-second encounter was recorded by four members of the southern university’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and started going viral on social media on March 22. Sadly, it’s just the latest example of flagrant racism caught on camera involving members of a national fraternal organization.

Hours after the release of the video, both the fraternity’s national headquarters and UGA’s StudentGovernment Association responded appropriately to the situation.

They revealed that the Xi-Lambda chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon had been suspended effective immediately, and also confirmed an investigation was underway regarding the boys in the video.  

The fraternity’s national headquarters noted they were "disgusted, appalled and angered by the remarks shown in the video. TKE will not tolerate any actions such as these that would bedefined as racist, discriminatory and/or offensive." They specified that while the incident did not take place on the chapter’s premises, the four boys in the video were promptly expelled from the organization.

The University itself did respond to the student government, also confirming that it “condemns racism in the strongest terms.” They continued, “Racism has no place on our campus. We will continue our efforts to promote a welcoming and supportive learning environment for our students, faculty and staff.”

In order to take the first step in opening up the conversation about racism between students and administrators, the school announced on Monday morning they would be hosting a discussion about racism on campus dubbed “In Solidarity.”

But is that response enough? Some students don’t think so.

It’s possible the University needs some more time to formally investigate the incident before taking more severe action against the individuals depicted in the viral video, for legal purposes. But in general, are fraternity and university officials really doing enough in response to such heinous and despicable act of racism, considering that these types of instances seem to be a reoccurring theme in colleges and universities across the country?

“It is just unfathomable that stuff like this is going on at the school I go to, learn at and attend. We are extremely outraged and offended by the ignorance on a modern-day college campus,” Obinna Ibebunjo, a senior and member of the historically black fraternity Omega Psi Phi at UGA, told the NewYork Times.

“They were suspended from the fraternity but they were not reprimanded by the school, so it was a slap on the wrist. We think colleges are moving to a more liberal state and being more progressive, but just the fact that you would record it and post it is extremely ridiculous.”

The university’s NAACP chapter also formally responded to the “inappropriate and derogatory” video, blaming the educational institute. “This video only touches the surface of the long history of racism that has existed on this campus and within the state of Georgia. We hope that the university will take action,” they wrote in a statement released Saturday.

This is far from the first incidence of racism in the Greek system.

While it’s likely racism has been prevalent in the Greek system dating back to its origin, it has become more publicized in recent years. With the advent of media and the fact that almost everything gets caught on camera, it’s nearly impossible to sweep these instances under the rug these days.

In 2015, Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s University of Oklahoma chapter was shut down and two students were expelled when a shocking video of fist-pumping students chanting, "There will never be a ni**** at SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me," made the rounds.

Additionally, just last year 15 members of Syracuse University’s Theta Tau engineering fraternity were suspended and the fraternity was expelled after the release of a video in which they used racial and anti-Semitic slurs and mocked people with physical and intellectual disabilities. The students went on to appeal the suspension, however, the decision was upheld in January of this year.

So how can we prevent blatant racism in our youth? It’s starts with having perhaps uncomfortable, but necessary conversations about discrimination.

It’s clear that we aren’t doing enough as a society to educate our children that any racist, discriminatory and blatant hate acts are not okay. While it might seem that we have made great strides in regard to inclusivity, we still have a long way to go.

While taking an aggressive and unapologetically strict approach to disciplining any students who engage in such acts is a step in the right direction, they would no doubt happen less if kids learned they were wrong long before leaving home for college. Taking preventative measures — possibly by opening up the conversation about inclusivity when kids are younger and more impressionable — is crucial in order to keep situations like this from happening again and again.  

Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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