Taye Diggs doesn't mince words when he talks about the race of his son.

Remember when the great Michael Jackson sang “It don't matter if you're black or white"?

Of course you do. And admit it — you know you were impressed by the epic video that included those super-futuristic transformations.

Man, music vids just aren't the same these days. But I digress.


GIF from Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video.

Unless you happen to be someone who believes skin color is the one and only thing we should pay attention to, chances are you agree with MJ's lyrics.

But what if you're black and white? Or [insert any racial combination here]? What happens then?

Actor Taye Diggs, the author of "Mixed Me!" a children's book about a boy named Mike with parents of different races, recently had the opportunity to answer those questions.

Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images Entertainment.

The book is fictional, but it hits close to home for Diggs because of his own child's background. The mother of his 6-year-old son Walker, Idina Menzel, is white. (She's also the voice of Queen Elsa from "Frozen," but the parents who watched that movie on a seemingly endless loop, like me, already knew that.)

So, is Walker black or white?

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment.

It depends on who you ask.

During slavery, the one-drop rule defined individuals as either "colored" (aka black) or white. Simply put, if any traceable link of black ancestry could be found, that person was considered black.

Granted, back in the days of that idea's inception, people considered other fellow humans to be property, so we can take that for what it's worth.

But many people still subscribe to the one-drop rule today and believe that President Obama, Tiger Woods, and Halle Berry are black — regardless of how those people choose to identify.

That's not how Diggs sees it, however.

The Grio asked him how important it is for Walker to be raised in an environment where he doesn't have to choose between being black or white.

Here's what Diggs said:

"It's very important. When you do [choose], you risk disrespecting that one-half of who you are, and that's my fear. I don't want my son to be in a situation where he calls himself black and everyone thinks that he has a black mom and a black dad. And then when they see he has a white mother, they wonder what's going on."

The social media backlash was real.



When I reached an obviously frustrated Diggs for a quote, this is what he had to say:

"A person of mixed heritage should have the right to include his or her COMPLETE ethnic background when identifying themselves. Period."

In other words, Diggs doesn't feel that his little boy needs to align himself with one race — and he hopes that he will be just as proud of his African-American heritage as his Caucasian one.

Thankfully, many on social media came to his defense.




As a dad raising two mixed daughters, this hits very close to home for me as well — and I'm thankful Diggs started this important conversation.

Photo by Doyin Richards.

Frankly, I'm less concerned with how outsiders (police, teachers, people on social media, etc.) view my kids and more concerned with how they choose to identify themselves.

In a perfect world, they'll be grateful for being black, white, and Japanese instead of choosing one "team" while ignoring the rest.

The racial narrative is in desperate need of a rewrite. Seriously, if you think about it, aren't we all mixed with something?

In many ways, checking color boxes only helps to further divide us by focusing on our differences instead of our similarities. Life shouldn't be a schoolyard where we have to pick between Team Black, Team White, or whatever. It's should be a school where we teach our kids (and ourselves) to embrace and celebrate everything that makes us unique.

Diggs gets it. The message of "Mixed Me" is on point, and I like the chances of Walker growing up into a solid young man because of his upbringing.

But hey, if you don't want to listen to me, maybe the King of Pop and a young Macaulay Culkin will convince you instead.

GIF from Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video.

Hee hee.

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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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