In a deeply personal interview, Kobe Bryant once shared how education can combat racism

While basketball fans mourn Kobe Bryant's sudden passing, others demonstrate inadvertent racism when speaking of the basketball legend's death. The BBC ran a photo of LeBron James instead of Bryant when reporting on Bryant's helicopter crash. Sure, they played on the team, but they don't even look alike. The BBC apologized for the mistake, calling it "human error." But it's hard not to think the human error being committed was the error of being racist.


During his life, Bryant spoke out against racism. Just before his passing, Bryant spoke to CNN at a Major League Soccer event and opened up about the racism he saw while living in Italy between the ages of six to 13. Bryant's father, Joe Bryant, played professional basketball for various teams in Italy, and Bryant became fluent in Italian. Unfortunately, he was exposed to hate. "When I was growing up in Italy, I've obviously witnessed it first-hand going to certain soccer matches and things of that nature," Bryant told CNN. "My parents have taught me and educated me on how to deal with those sorts of things."

Recently, Italian soccer league Serie A came under fire for the "No-to-Racism" campaign posters featuring the faces of monkeys as a way to somehow deter racism, while simultaneously being super racist. Go figure, it inspired even more racial slurs and people threw bananas at black players. Serie A apologized for the incredibly inappropriate posters.

But racism isn't something that we have to live with, and Bryant advocated education as a way to combat racism. "It's always education and understanding that racism is a thing that's been a part of our culture for a while," Bryant told CNN. "Even though now we've come such a long way but there's still so much to be done and I think education is always the most important thing."

Bryant pointed to other sports legends as inspirations, legends who are remembered for their amazing accomplishments in addition to the barriers that they broke. "I think speaking up and taking a stand, a significant stand [is important]," Bryant told CNN. "Looking at various muses that have handled things extremely well, from Jackie Robinson to Bill Russell and so forth and so on, so I think education is very important."

Italy is kinder to Bryant after his passing. "All of the NBA players are important, because they're legends, but he's particularly important to us because he knew Italy so well, having lived in several cities here," Italian federation president Giovanni Petrucci told the Associated Press. "He had a lot of Italian qualities. He spoke Italian very well. He even knew the local slang."

RIP, Kobe. You will be missed.

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels.com

The Delta Baby Cafe in Sunflower County, Mississippi is providing breastfeeding assistance where it's needed most.

Mississippi has the third lowest rate of breastfeeding in America. Only 70% of infants are ever-breastfed in the state, compared to 84% nationally.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants be exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life. However, in Mississippi, less than 40% are still breastfeeding at six months.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We've heard from U.S. intelligence officials for at least four years that other countries are engaging in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the U.S. and interfere with our elections. According to a recent New York Times article, there is ample evidence of Russia attempting to push American voters away from Joe Biden and toward Donald Trump via the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which has created a network of fake user accounts and a website that billed itself as a "global news organization."

The problem isn't just that such disinformation campaigns exist. It's that they get picked up and shared by real people who don't know they're spreading propaganda from Russian state actors. And it's not just pro-Trump content that comes from these accounts. Some fake accounts push far-left propaganda and disinformation in order to skew perceptions of Biden. Sometimes they even share uplifting content to draw people in, while peppering their feeds with fake news or political propaganda.

Most of us read comments and responses on social media, and many of us engage in discussions as well. But how do we know if what we're reading or who we're engaging with is legitimate? It's become vogue to call people who seem to be pushing a certain agenda a "bot," and sometimes that's accurate. What about the accounts that have a real person behind them—a real person who is being paid to publish and push misinformation, conspiracy theories, or far-left or far-right content?

Keep Reading Show less