More

He was yelling for help, begging for the beating to stop. Now his classmates have his back.

A campus comes together in solidarity with their classmate after he was beaten by police.Trigger warning: graphic visuals of police violence.

He was yelling for help, begging for the beating to stop. Now his classmates have his back.

After a video surfaced of police beating 20-year-old University of Virginia student Martese Johnson, his classmates, teachers, and school administrators rallied together in solidarity.

The beating filmed in the video took place after police went to apprehend Johnson, who had been denied entry to a bar for allegedly using a fake ID. He was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, obstructing justice without threats of force, and profane swearing or intoxication — two misdemeanors.


Johnson's mugshot

UVA students mobilized, rallying on campus to demonstrate their support for Johnson and demanding answers.

Mary Topp, a third-year student at UVA, tweeted a picture of the massive gathering of students standing in solidarity with their beaten classmate.


Many were quick to point out that Johnson had done things "right."

This logic pulls from the common argument that violence against people of color is avoidable if the victim had looked or presented a certain way. The implication there is that violence is justified when someone doesn't look or behave in that way. See the problem?

That argument is racist (even if it isn't meant to be racist) because it dehumanizes the individual and apply stereotypes about how black people should behave and dress in place of reality.

And not only that, it simply isn't true. Here was Johnson, the only black member of the school's Honor Committee, finding himself in what has become an all-too-familiar scenario: on the ground and bloodied at the hands of the police. He did everything "right," but it didn't matter.

Others noted the disparity between how police treat white people and how they treat people of color.


University president Teresa Sullivan was on hand to show support for Johnson and the rallying students.

Sullivan sent out a letter to the university on Wednesday offering her full support and calling on the campus to stand united with Johnson.

“The safety and security of our students will always be my primary concern, and every member of our community should feel safe from the threat of bodily harm and other forms of violence. Today, as U.Va. students, faculty and staff who share a set of deeply held values, we stand unified in our commitment to seeking the truth about this incident."

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called for an investigation into Johnson's beating.

A spokesperson for the governor told BuzzFeed that McAuliffe has authorized an investigation into the question of whether or not the officers used excessive force.

Attorney General Mark Herring lauded the governor's quick action.

What happened to Johnson was reprehensible, but the response has be heartening.

Our culture remains largely indifferent to the lives of black men and women. Some victims of this brutality — like Johnson — have survived; others — like Eric Garner, Mike Brown, or even 12-year-old Tamir Rice — died at the hands of the authorities charged with protecting them. "Black lives matter" is more than a hashtag; it's a reality that eludes so many people in positions of power, and that's why it needs to be repeated over and over.

Martese's life matters. Black lives matter, and the students rallying in support of Johnson are doing their part to make sure the world learns this precious fact.

Video from local ABC affiliate WRIC:

And here's the video of Johnson's arrest. Trigger warning: audio and visual of violence, profanity.

Pexels
True
Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.