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It was 50 years ago.

Whenever Americans talk about race, people can get uncomfortable. We don't want to feel like we're part of the problem, and we try in our lives not to be. But talking about it can be painful because it reminds us that there are experiences we can't fully understand because they haven't happened to us.

In this half-century-old speech, you can hear the anger and disgust in Malcolm X's voice. And it's amazing that he could've been saying this last week.


What he's talking about rings so true to us in 2015. In a democratic country "of the people," we expect police to be on our side, working with us. But recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere can shake a person's belief in the system. Malcolm X's faith in it was certainly shaken.

So let's make this stop already.

When Malcolm X gave this speech, he was speaking about an awful experience that his audiences had seen in their own lives. They'd seen it over and over and for years — it's not like this just started 50 years ago.

Maybe things are more fixable than they seem.

Really, it's hard to know how often someone is assaulted by a cop because it often occurs away from the cameras. On the other hand, there have to be thousands of cops that have great relationships with their communities. How much progress have we made, if any? We can't know. We just know that it should not happen ever, anymore, not once.

But, heartbreakingly, what Malcolm X described does still happen.

It's a turning upside-down of fairness, with the victim being the only one to suffer if investigations by law enforcement conclude that the attacker's actions don't merit prosecution. When no charges were filed against Ferguson's Darren Wilson or against NYC's Daniel Pantaleo, who took Eric Garner's life, we were stunned all over again. How can this be fair?

We can only wonder why so little has changed. Maybe it's because, while things have gotten better in broad strokes, power on a local level — being less visible — can more successfully resist change. It can get away with holding onto old abusive cultures while the rest of the country moves forward.

Our news media are no help, more interested in drama than a solution.

On one hand, it's important that these stories get told, and more news coverage is a big help.

But the way media frames it all by oversimplifying people's positions is so dangerous. Reducing the problem to the police-versus-the-world may make great TV, but it's doing real damage to our country and getting us nowhere.

There are two different cultures that see two different things.

Given what an intense job they have, it's no surprise that police don't want to be put in the position of not standing by each other, even when they don't agree with what a fellow officer has done.

But because of the unique demands of their jobs, and shared experience, police inhabit their own culture that can prevent them from seeing what everyone sees as so obvious. And at the same time, they're baffled by what we can't see that's so clear from their perspective. Cops who would never be involved in situations like these feel insulted and underappreciated.

We're stuck.

Being a cop must be really hard. You wonder why someone would go into that line of work. Some for power, sure, but probably far more to do something good.

We know we need police. We just need to be clearer as we speak out against police brutality that we can see the difference between the officers who see themselves as part of their communities and the cops who see themselves as above the people they're charged with serving.

And we need to partner with the many cops who surely want to see this brutality stop, beginning with the understanding that life looks different from different sides of a badge.

We need to stop arguing and start figuring this out.

50 years ago.

Here's Malcolm X's prescient speech.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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