How a car ride prompted Serena Williams to join the fight against police violence.

'I won't be silent.'

Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes of all time. Full stop.

She's won 22 grand slam tennis titles, 307 victories in grand-slam play, and four Olympic gold medals. She is a dominant player, beloved by millions of fans, charities, and brands.

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.


But on Sept. 27, 2016, Williams took on a challenge she can't win alone: police violence.

In a viral Facebook post, Williams explained that she asked her nephew to drive her one day so she could work on her phone between meetings.

Two people embrace during a demonstration for Philando Castile outside the governor's mansion in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.

But what should've been a simple task left Williams feeling anxious and tense, something many black Americans can't help feeling at the moment.

Here's her Facebook post:

Read the full text below, emphasis mine.

Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he's black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone...

Posted by Serena Williams on Tuesday, September 27, 2016
"Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he's black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone #safteyfirst. In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He's so innocent. So were all 'the others'
I am a total believer that not 'everyone' is bad It is just the ones that are ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive that is affecting millions and millions of lives. Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on — for it's not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.
I than wondered than have I spoken up? I had to take a look at me. What about my nephews? What if I have a son and what about my daughters?
As Dr. Martin Luther King said 'There comes a time when silence is betrayal'.

I
Won't
Be
Silent
Serena"








Williams may be one of the most recognizable faces in sports, but all the money, fame, and endorsements in the world won't stop a badge or a bullet.

Flowers and a short note found at a memorial at the scene of the death of Keith Scott. Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images.

That's why she decided she couldn't be silent about this issue anymore.

Her message comes just days after the shooting deaths of Alfred Olango, Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of police. And weeks after NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest injustices that black Americans face each day.

What does a celebrity like Williams have to lose by speaking out? Start with her life and work backward.

It's unclear how Williams will mobilize against police violence. But regardless of the method, her critics will be ready to argue, or worse.

Since Aug. 27, 2016,  Kaepernick and some of the professional and amateur athletes who've joined him (including children as young as 11) have received death threats.

"If something like that were to happen, you've proved my point,” Kaepernick told The Mercury News. “It'll be loud and clear for everyone why it happened..."

Eric Reid, Colin Kaepernick,  and Eli Harold of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sidelines during the national anthem. Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images.

That's white supremacy disguised as love of country.

"It's rude and disrespectful to protest like that," they jeer, invoking veterans and the "American way" for their cause. Still others claim it's just not the right time or place to speak out.

But there will never be a right time or place for this because these critics don't want people like Williams or Kaepernick protesting at all. They don't want a reminder that America may not look or feel the same to everyone who calls it home.

And while many people will line up to throw their support behind Serena Williams, do not begin to think this is an easy decision for her. Her fan base, endorsements, clothing line, and appearances are assuredly all in jeopardy.

This is no small move, but she's doing it anyway. That's courage.

Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for USTA.

So if Serena Williams can risk it all, what will you do?

Will you speak out? Will you march? Will you write letters? Will you lift up the voices of people of color calling for justice? Will you vote? Will you shut down your racist uncle or grandmother who "just doesn't know any better"?

People are dying. The time for hypotheticals, small moves, and silence is over.

Protesters march in Charlotte, North Carolina, following the shooting of Keith Scott by police. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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