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There's a right way to talk about race, and then there's a wrong way.

There's a big lie about racism that not everyone realizes.

FACT: Good people can say racist things. It doesn't mean they're bad people.

It means they haven't thought through the words that came out of their mouth. As "Avenue Q," the twisted puppet musical on Broadway, sings, "Everyone's a little bit racist." Understanding that words have meaning and that the words you say might be insensitive — and that just maybe, if you stepped back and learned from it, you could come out the other side more thoughtful — that's an OK thing.


Racism isn't just for crazed country folk in the Georgia woods. (Frankly, I have some delightful country in-laws in the Georgia woods who aren't racist and wouldn't appreciate people trying to pigeonhole them based on their geography.) Racism exists among upper-class liberals in the Northeast and poor western farmers and in congressmen and in talk-show hosts and, well, everywhere. Because racism isn't the province of a single group of people. Bad people don't have a monopoly on it.

As Jay Smooth puts it in this video:

That assumption that only a cretin or a monster or a bad person would ever be racist or sexist or harbor any sort of bias or prejudice, that right there is the big lie. There is nothing that does more to perpetuate injustice than good people who assume that injustice is caused by bad people. That's just not how being good works and that's not how being a human being works.

If you'd like a really thoughtful take on the Oscars and race, I highly recommend watching Jay Smooth lay out how reasonable people can and should think about racism and how to help stop perpetuating it.

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You could share this and try to have some thoughtful discussion on your wall. Don't make assumptions. Hear people. Talk to them.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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