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Things a black kid is often taught not to do that his white friends can are heartbreaking.

This is what it's like to be raised as a black child. "The talk" is slightly different than most people get.

Clint Smith, an amazing educator and writer, spoke at TED's annual conference about what it's like to be raised as a black child.

He shared "the talk" that black kids all across America hear from their parents:


All GIFs via TED2015.

As a white kid, growing up, I never got a talk like this from my parents. No one ever told me I couldn't pretend to shoot guns. No one ever told me to be extra careful around the police. I was able to just be a kid.

For Clint and for other kids like him, "just being a kid" isn't that easy. This kind of warning isn't an overreaction from overprotective parents.

"With the average age overestimation for black boys exceeding four-and-a-half years, in some cases, black children may be viewed as adults when they are just 13 years old."

A 2014 study found that black boys are perceived as older and more threatening than they really are.

There's actual science indicating that black boys as young as 10 are perceived to be 4.5 years older than they are.

As co-author of the study Dr. Phillip Goff stated, "Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent."

Co-author Dr. Matthew Jackson added, “With the average age overestimation for black boys exceeding four-and-a-half years, in some cases, black children may be viewed as adults when they are just 13 years old."

This suspicion of black children doesn't end when they grow up.

I spoke with Clint over email and asked him for examples of things that kids like me grew up taking for granted that he couldn't, and how that translated into adulthood.

"I can only speak for myself," he told me, "but just within the past week: I've been followed around in a store in the very neighborhood where I live, it's been implied to me that I only got into graduate school because of affirmative action, and I've been passed by taxi cab after taxi cab just trying to get home from work."

"It's the small things, the sort of daily reality of being made constantly aware of your otherness, that exacts trauma and exhaustion on people of color on an ongoing basis," he said.

People with "black-sounding" names are 50% less likely to be called into job interviews.

A University of Chicago study found that having a "black-sounding" name meant a person received 50% fewer calls to be interviewed — with the exact same résumé.

They concluded that having a white name looks like the equivalent of about eight more years of experience to a prospective employer.

"It's the small things, the sort of daily reality of being made constantly aware of your otherness, that exacts trauma and exhaustion on people of color on an ongoing basis."

And black people are far more at risk for being pulled over and/or arrested.

In Boston, black people made up 63.3% of police stops while being only 24.4% of the population. And here's the kicker: 97% of the stops didn't involve a seizure or arrest.

According to a recent piece over at Slate (emphasis mine), "if you compare the murder rate among police officers with the murder rate in several American cities, you find that it is far safer to be a NYPD officer than an average black man in Baltimore or St. Louis."

With numbers like that — and believe me, there are a ton more — black parents have to have a talk with their kids that the rest of us don't.

But Clint refuses to accept that the way things are is the way things need to stay.

There's an easy way to help move this conversation in a productive direction: by talking about it. By letting people know that bias is real and we have to be aware of it if we're gonna fix it.

Making the world safe and just for everyone involves getting stories like Clint's out there. The more that others realize the injustices, pain, and unique lived experiences of those around them, the more equipped we all are to address them.

Imagine a world where black parents don't have to give that talk to their kids.

That's the world I want to live in. How about you?


Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

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The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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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.

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