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The Truth About The Ferguson Case That Some People Really Can't Accept

Some things I have learned:ProPublica recently did an in-depth analysis and found that black kids between ages 15-19 are 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by cops than white kids of the same age. That's an insane statistic. That's per capita, not total. If you are a black teenage boy, you have a 21x higher risk of being shot by police than a white teenage boy.Also, in 2010, federal prosecutors took 162,000 cases to a grand jury. You know how many DIDN'T go to trial? Eleven.Mike Brown's family will never get a state criminal trial to get justice for their son. And the testimony that denied them that right technically doesn't make any sense. Seriously, go read it.

The Truth About The Ferguson Case That Some People Really Can't Accept

Police have a hard job. What they do is something I couldn't ever do. But you know what they rarely have? Accountability. In this case, the prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, always gets indictments — unless it's a cop. He's had five cop-involved killing cases and zero indictments. Again, five cases against police haven't made it to trial at all. He could get an indictment if he wanted one.

Don't believe me? Ask a public defender.


Don't believe him? Ask another lawyer.

The fact that this didn't at least get a trial infuriates me. But my being upset isn't that interesting. I'm white. People will take me seriously because I don't have the "bias" of being black. But actual black people, who live with this every day, are constantly second-guessed because they are somehow "biased." As though not wanting to get shot by police at a 21x higher rate is a bias. It's a daily reality of being black in America.

Danez Smith experiences this every day. He is 21x more likely than me to be shot by a police officer. And so he wrote "Not an Elegy for Mike Brown."

I could never imagine having to think this every day of my life. And I don't have to. Danez will, though. It's his and many other Americans' reality. There will be more unarmed black kids being shot by police. 21 times more. There's no question about that. The question is: How long will you tolerate it, and what are you willing to do to try to prevent it in the future?

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Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

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Biases, stereotypes, prejudices—these byproducts of the human brain's natural tendency to generalize and categorize have been a root cause of most of humanity's problems for, well, pretty much ever. None of us is immune to those tendencies, and since they can easily slip in unnoticed, we all have to be aware of where, when, and how they impact our own beliefs and actions.

It also helps when someone upends a stereotype by saying or doing something unexpected.

Fair or not, certain parts of the U.S. are associated with certain cultural assumptions, perhaps none more pinholed than the rural south. When we hear Appalachia, a certain stereotype probably pops up in our minds—probably white, probably not well educated, probably racist. Even if there is some basis to a stereotype, we must always remember that human beings can never be painted with such broad strokes.

Enter Tyler Childers, a rising country music star whose old-school country fiddling has endeared him to a broad audience, but his new album may have a different kind of reach. "Long Violent History" was released Friday, along with a video message to his white rural fans explaining the culminating track by the same name. Watch it here:

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Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

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Father Alek Schrenk is known as one of the "9 Priests You Need to Follow on Twitter." He proved his social media skills Sunday night after finding a creepy note on a parked car and weaving a lurid Twitter tale that kept his followers on the edge of their pews.

Father Schrenk was making his nightly walk of the church grounds to make sure everything was fine before retiring to the rectory, when he found a car parked by itself in front of the school.

Curious, he looked inside the car and saw a note that made his "blood run cold" attached to the steering wheel. "Look in trunk!" the note read. What made it extra creepy was that the two Os in "look" had smiley faces.

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