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A useful response to the bigoted copy-and-paste post your  acquaintances keep sharing

The U.S. has long engaged in discussions and debates over civil rights and social justice—issues that certainly don't seem like they should be controversial, but somehow turn out to be. In an ideal world, no one would ever have to fight for their rights or beg for equal justice, but we've never lived in an ideal world. And while much of the work that needs to be done to get there lies at the level of systems and institutions, those systems and institutions are run and upheld by people. So by extension, people's individual beliefs and attitudes matter.

A post shared on Reddit shows a viral copy-and-paste post that has been circulating on social media that reads:



"YOU KNOW FOLKS, I never cared that you were gay, until you started shoving it down my throat, and I never cared what color you were, till you started blaming me for your problems, and I never cared about your political affiliation, until you started condemning me for mine. I really never even cared where you were born, until you wanted to erase my history, and blame my ancestors for your problems...you know I never even cared if your beliefs were different than mine, until you said my beliefs were wrong, but now I care, my patience and tolerence [sic] are gone, and I am not alone in feeling this, there are millions of us who feel like this..."

u/beerbellybegone/Reddit

The screenshot was shared along with a response that the poster called "as devastating a response as they come." It reads:

"'I never cared that you were gay, I just supported laws making it a felony for you to have sex with the partner of your choices, preventing you from marrying who you love, stopping you from adopting children, and saying it was okay to fire you for being gay. ESPECIALLY if you're in the military, where I wanted firing you to be a requirement.'

'I never cared what color you were, I just made excuses for discrimination against you in hiring and law enforcement and fetishized a movement that fought and lost a war to keep you from being treated as human beings with actual rights.'

'I never cared about your political affiliation as long as you shut up about it and let mine have total control of the government.'

'I never cared about your beliefs as long as you let me use the government to impose mine.'

'And when I say all my patience and tolerance are gone, I mean I never had any in the first place.'

Fixed it for you."

u/beerbellybegone/Reddit

The most interesting thing about the initial post is the sense of victimization coming from the original poster. It seems to say that having to pay attention to issues of justice and civil rights and being asked to acknowledge the ongoing impact of historical oppression and what role each of us might play in keeping others down somehow takes something away from them.

Being asked to see and care about victims of injustice doesn't make you a victim yourself. The logic there is so strange. And what does it mean to shove being gay down someone's throat? Because of course it would be reasonable to push back against someone actually cramming something down your throat, but the in this context "shove it down my throat" usually means "did something publicly in my line of vision." Not the same thing.

As a few commenters explained:

"The trouble is that the top phrases are all dog whistles. For example, 'shoving (being gay) down one's throat' is simply another term for being gay in a public space. This can range from being openly gay, mentioning your boyfriend to a coworker, etc to calling yourself a sparkle fairy or whatever. It's not just the literal definition of what they say, but how these terms are used in real life."

"I spend so much time surrounded by straight guys who talk about nothing except women's bodies and sex, but my pride flag bumper sticker is apparently throwing my sexuality in people's throats."

"Ok, so I am a lesbian, in the relationship with the woman who is now my wife and the mother of my children for the last almost 2 decades (for reference that I really do have a ton of experience), and from personal experience when people say 'don't cram it down my throat' they mean 'stay in the closet'. When I talk about my relationship at work, it is 'cramming things down their throat'. When I hold her hand in public, same deal. When the laws about marriage were discussed, it was 'cramming down their throats', when health insurance was being discussed - the same, same again when adoption was discussed. As soon as being a lesbian was equal to being not lesbian, all of a sudden I appear to have stopped 'cramming' anything anywhere."

Another commenter summed up the gist of the initial post in one sentence.

"I never cared about other people being different because society used to make it easy to pretend they didn't exist."

The thing is, the complaints in the original post are not actual complaints. People being gay in public isn't cramming it down people's throats. People pointing out all of the insidious ways ingrained white supremacy works is not blaming an individual for their problems. Pointing out that someone's political views or affiliation are doing real harm to real people could be seen as condemnation, but shouldn't things that harm people be condemned? And as for erasing history, that's a hard no. No one is erasing history, because 1) that's literally not possible and 2) a good portion of our history has been "erased" through omission or dishonesty, such as school textbooks referring to enslaved people as "workers." All that's being asked if for history to be taught accurately and for the heinous parts of our history not to be celebrated with monuments to it. And as for patience and tolerance, the irony of a person who clearly doesn't fit into the marginalized categories of people they are addressing saying they've lost both simply because they're being asked to actually care about the ways people have been and still are experiencing injustice is quite rich.

No one is asking people to care about their sexual orientation or race or religion political affiliation or beliefs. They're asking people to care about those things being used as excuses or tools discrimination. Until we have actually achieved equal justice and society no longer tacitly accepts or perpetuates people being marginalized due to race, sexual orientation, gender, or non-harmful beliefs, we have to care about those things.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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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.

Isaiah Garza took a 100-year-old veteran to Disneyland for a day of joy.

Isaiah Garza knows a thing or two about struggle. Having lived in poverty and been in and out of homelessness growing up, the Los Angeles-based designer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and public speaker hasn't traveled an easy road, but has always felt compelled to make life better for others and inspire future generations.

Thanks to Rihanna being photographed wearing one of his jewelry designs on the cover of a French magazine, Garza has gotten to fulfill his dream. His successful design business has enabled him to spend a chunk of his money and time making people's days a little brighter and sharing the effects of simple, kind and generous acts on social media.

For example, Garza recently invited a 100-year-old veteran he bumped into to spend a day with him at Disneyland. The man uses a walker, and most people probably wouldn't think to ask a centenarian with mobility challenges if they want to go to a theme park, but the day they had together speaks to the power of reaching out without assumptions about limitations.

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Pop Culture

'90s kids share movies that will 'take you back to a better time'

It was a magical time when animals played sports and yet somehow things were just simpler.

YouTube/Upworthy photo illustration

Honey, I shrunk the kid named Matilda while jamming in space!

Everyone knows that '90s movies just hit different. From sports movies to rom-coms to even horror, there was an undeniable innocence, without being overly simplistic or juvenile. They didn’t have nearly the amount of money going into production as they do today, but somehow managed to transport us to magical places.

Movies of the '90s are so iconic that there have been several attempts to reboot beloved titles. Which, let’s face it, tends to be a fool's errand at a cash grab. These movies are so timeless that simply viewing the original is more than fine.

Not sure which movie to start with? You’re in luck—a Reddit user by the name of YouBrokeMyTV asked ’90s kids to share movies that took them “back to a better time,” and because the internet can be a wonderful place, tons of people responded with some beloved classics.

These answers certainly don’t make a definitive list (there are just so, so many gems) but they're a fun glimpse into what made '90s cinema so special. A nostalgic romp through memory lane, if you will.

Enjoy these 14 titles that just might leave you jonesing for a rewatch:

1. "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"

via GIPHY

A perfect example of how '90s movies were silly, but smart at the same time. And oh so wholesome.

2. "The Sandlot"

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It taught us nothing about baseball, but everything about friendship, rooting for the underdog and (most important) how to make s’mores.

3. "Drop Dead Fred"

via GIPHY

Critics might have run this cult classic through the mud during its inception, but audiences fell in love with the bizarre charm of this story about a mischievous little girl and her anarchist imaginary friend. So take that, snotfaces!

4. "The Goonies"

via GIPHY

Everyone just wanted to set off an epic quest with their friends for pirate treasure after seeing this movie.

5. Tim Burton's "Batman"

via GIPHY

Before the superhero genre was the behemoth it is today, a quirky director and the dude who was best known for playing the creepy demon in "Beetlejuice" breathed new life into comic-book movies. Marvel might be the leader on creating stories with adult themes that are digestible for kids nowadays, but this DC film was the first of its kind. Plus, that soundtrack … forget about it.

6. "Hook"

via GIPHY

Pretty much any '90s film starring Robin Williams was an absolute gem, but this one in particular is timeless. His gift of balancing childlike humor with emotional gravitas lent itself so well to playing the now grown and cynical Peter Pan, who must learn to reclaim his joy (relatable, millennials?). It was a bang-a-rang-er, no question.

7. "Space Jam"

via GIPHY

It had Looney Tunes, it had aliens and it had Michael Jordan. That’s a winning combination.

8. "Matilda"

via GIPHY

I don’t think I’m out of line when I say that this movie helped a lot of kids make their way through difficult childhoods.

9. "The Parent Trap"

via GIPHY

Even '90s reboots were awesome. And how fun it is to see that Lisa Ann Walker—the actress who played Chessy the housekeeper—is not only yet again gracing the screens in NBC’s “Abbott Elementary,” but is also being revered as a style icon on TikTok for her ultra casual looks in the film. We all knew she was onto something with long button downs and shorts.

10. "The Land Before Time"

via GIPHY


No cartoon, not even “The Lion King,” was a better depiction of childhood grief. And yet, despite encapsulating tragedy, director Don Bluth still left viewers hopeful. The subsequent 14 (yes 14) sequels definitely pale in comparison to the original, but "The Land Before Time" continues to stand the test of time nonetheless.

11. "Richie Rich"

via GIPHY

The scene where they play tag on four-wheelers is simply iconic.

12. "Dunston Checks In"

via GIPHY

Man, the '90s were the golden age of animal-centered films. And not just monkeys either—we got sports playing golden retrievers and not one, but two movies starring talking pigs. What a time to be alive. These films were made before CGI had reached the levels it’s at today, and the authentic interactions between humans and creatures reached right through the screen.

13. "George of the Jungle"
george of the jungle, brendan faser

Watch out for the tree!!!

Giphy

Have I seen this movie at least 20 times? Probably. It doesn’t get any better than this in terms of silly action films with bird puppets. It’s crazy to think that this role would eventually lead Brendan Fraser to "The Mummy" franchise, turning him into a household name. Though his career has had some tragic ups and downs, we are all grateful for the glorious comeback he’s been having.

14. Anything involving Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
mary kate and ashley

Yes, they were professional detectives.

Giphy

Whether vacationing in London, Paris or Rome, whether playing magical witches or making a huge billboard so their father could find love … Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen offered zany, whimsical entertainment while wearing fun outfits. Sometimes, that’s all you need.