These infuriating stories of casual workplace racism are just the tip of the iceberg.

March 28, 2017, was a big day for small white men with too much power.

(Then again, when is it not?)

Instead of listening or responding to her points, Bill O'Reilly stopped in to "Fox and Friends" to make a racist joke about Rep. Maxine Waters' hair. Barely hours later, Sean Spicer told respected White House correspondent April Ryan not to shake her head during a press briefing.


It's infuriating. And as a black woman, I know men (and women) like O'Reilly and Spicer are not anomalies.

We are constantly told what to wear, how to style our hair, to soften our voices, and how to behave by people who have no right to make those decisions.

But it's never about the hair or the facial expressions. It's the need to control, denigrate, and dismiss black women.

If we don't fit into their idea of blackness or womanhood, then we're described as "difficult," "a poor fit," or the old standby "angry." That makes it a lot easier to fire us, keep us from getting promoted or paid fairly, or not hire us in the first place. Score one for white supremacy.

Photo (cropped) by WOCInTech Chat/Flickr.

Time and time again, we've reminded the powers that be that we are not here for their bullshit.

What Waters and Ryan experienced was an all too common occurrence. Like many black women, educator and activist Brittany Packnett had had enough.

"I felt like, 'You are not going to come for these respected, important, committed black women,'" Packnett says. "I felt very much like they were coming for ... two family members and that there has been entirely enough of that."

She added, "I also was sort of simultaneously realizing that there would be ... the assumption that these were exceptional events. But black women know better."

So Packnett started the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork and invited black women to share their experiences.

Listen to black women. Trust black women. And believe black women when we tell you: This happens all the time.

1. It happens to doctors.

2. It happens to attorneys.

3. It happens to professors.

4. It happens in meetings.

5. It happens with co-workers.

6. It happens with managers.

6. It happens when you're just trying to get your work done.

7. It happens when you're auditioning.

8. It happens when you're interviewing.

9. It happens to women who are in too vulnerable a position to do anything about it.

10. It happens everyday, and it is exhausting.

11. It happens every day, and it feels awful.

But in struggle, there is solidarity. There is resilience. There is hope.

Maxine Waters, the legislator who inspired the hashtag, even got in on the social media groundswell. She also had an inspiring call to action on "All In With Chris Hayes" last night.

After the hashtag's overnight virality, many black women returned to Twitter this morning renewed, energized, and more determined than ever to confront this daily injustice.

12. Because black women won't be defeated.

13. Won't be denied.

14. And will never stop grinding, pushing, and working...

15. ...to show you what we're made of.

For Packnett and many others involved in activism and resistance work, this hashtag is just the beginning.

All of us have a responsibility to create inclusive work environments where everyone, particularly women and femmes of color, have a chance to succeed. Reading and listening to the stories black women shared last night is a great starting point.

"I hope people recognize that black women deserve dignity in the workplace whether they're a congresswoman or a domestic worker and everything in between," Packnett says. "I hope people who read this have a duty to not let this be their workplace, to not let this be their team. And to not let these stories be invisible."

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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