If you're wondering why people always seem to be talking about racism lately, here's an explainer.

"Black lives matter. It's OK. We do matter. You don't matter any less."

We're still talking about racism.

It's been over a year since a nation long at odds over racial tensions erupted with the molten hot feelings on both sides coming to a head in Ferguson, Missouri, when Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson.

Yes, we're still talking about it.

The conversation hasn't cooled; no glassy obsidian aftermath has worn smooth with the sands of time. Instead, it continues to bubble and simmer, promising to overflow at each next inflection point. Those inflection points are going to be many because we still have a nation made up of thousands of municipalities, many unfair in their own ways and to varying degrees. And with a world still divided on the value of black lives and the appropriate measure of force and punishment for even tiny malfeasances, Eric Garners and Sandra Blands will continue to surface. Knee-jerk reactions, outdated training, and the safety of knowing how very rarely officers will be punished almost ensure it.


"Why are we still talking about racism?" one might exasperatedly say.

Because we're not done having this conversation. Because we haven't all learned from it yet. Because the conversation hasn't turned into action in the form of police reforms and criminal justice reforms — in a few forward thinking places, maybe, but not at all in the sweeping way it would take to prevent injustices from being so prevalent.

We all feel a lot at stake when we talk about racism.

That conversation may feel threatening at times. That doesn't mean the answer is to not have it. Like an ancient volcanic lava cesspool that's in need of a good purge, this topic will keep coming to the surface until we finally get it right or until it wipes us all out.

Can we calm the fiery cauldron in some way?

Part of quelling the vitriol that heats everything up so much is learning to really listen. If we can do that, we can perhaps start to manage the escalating heat and pressure and develop a strategy that allows everyone to feel safe again.

Are we ready? Because this video on why we're still talking about racism is ready to reach us, if we let it. And if you think we could use more (constructive) conversation, not less, consider sharing with your friends, too.

More
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular