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This hit show addressed police violence with a fake commercial that felt all too real.

The Oct. 11 episode of FX's new comedy, "Atlanta" delivered on all fronts.

The bold, daring comedy follows Earn Marks (played by Donald Glover) as he manages his cousin Alfred, an up-and-coming rapper who goes by "Paper Boi" (played by Brian Tyree Henry).

Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred Miles (L) and Donald Glover as Earnest Marks (R). Image by Guy D'Alema/FX.


On the show's recent episode titled "B.A.N.," Paper Boi appeared on a fictional talk show "Montague." The entire episode included parody commercials for Swisher Sweets, Arizona iced tea, and more.

But it was the commercial parody for kids cereal Coconut Crunchos that set the episode apart.

In the short spot, a few black children explored ancient tombs (just go with it, kids' cereal commercials are ridiculous). Then, they discovered their treasure: a spread of delicious bowls of Coconut Crunchos. But just as they arrive, a wolf dressed as a mummy jumps out and tries to nab their breakfast.

That's when the commercial takes an alarming turn.

As the wolf attempts to swipe their cereal, an all-business white police officer grabs the culprit and lays him out.

All GIFs via FX Networks/YouTube.

The wolf was handcuffed and roughed up while the children looked on.

The kids tried to reason with the officer — after all, it's just cereal. But he wasn't having any of it. So one of the kids took out their cellphone and started recording the entire exchange.

So much for the most important meal of the day.

While the parody was only 90 seconds of laughing through tears emoji emotions, it was rooted in an all too common truth.

Over-policing isn't just police zeroing in on specific populations or communities. It's about the hyper-militarization of local police forces, school administrators passing the buck on discipline to in-house police officers, and less serious offenses being treated as anything but.

Protesters hold up their hands and chant "hands up, don't shoot!" as they protest the decision not to indict a police officer who used a chokehold in the death of Eric Garner. Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images.

In cities across the country, people of color are more likely to be stopped or searched than their white peers are. And a study out of University of California-Davis found “the probability of being black, unarmed, and shot by police is about 3.49 times the probability of being white, unarmed, and shot by police on average.”

Black people are not making this up. We're not exaggerating. Just getting from Point A to Point B can be a matter of life and death.

So, it's no wonder the commercial resonated with so many viewers.

The reactions were swift and plentiful, with many surprised to see the issue of police brutality brilliantly juxtaposed with a kid's cereal commercial.

As such, the joke was nearly overwhelmingly met with praise.

Others cheered "Atlanta" for broaching the topic in such a unique way.

It's great to see shows like "Atlanta" and "Luke Cage" addressing the systemic issues faced by African-Americans in creative, surprising ways.

The lead characters may have superpowers or live in a slightly off-kilter reality (Black Justin Bieber anyone?) but the topics they're signal boosting are very real. And people of all backgrounds are taking notice. It remains to be seen if they'll take action.

Watch the full commercial for yourself. With or without a balanced breakfast.

via Tod Perry

An artist's recreation of Jackie's napkin note.

A woman named Jackie pulled a move straight out of a romantic comedy recently, and it has the internet rallying around her potential love interest. Jackie met a guy at a bar and liked him so much that she gave him her phone number. Well, 80% of her number, that is.

The world heard about it on January 17 when Twitter user Henpecked Hal and shared a picture of the napkin with her partial phone number written on it. "My 22-year-old cousin met his dream girl at a bar and it's going pretty well,” Hal wrote in the tweet.

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Indie pop band Sub-Radio created a perfect introvert parody of Whitney Houston's hit song.

There are two kinds of people in this world—those who Google "nightlife" when they're exploring travel destinations and those with no desire to venture anywhere after 10:00 p.m.

Nothing against those folks who enjoy spending after-bedtime hours in crowded nightclubs, but "nightlife" just sounds like torture to me. Even during my somewhat wild college days, whenever I'd go out dancing late at night with my friends, the little voice in my head would say, "You know you'd rather be curled up on your couch in your jammies right now." And it was right. I would have.

While some introverts may genuinely look forward to a night on the town, I'd venture to guess most of us don't. By the end of the day, our social batteries are usually pretty tapped out, so a quiet evening with a movie or a book is almost always preferable to one that involves trying to make conversation over blaring music and strobe lights.

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Family

A letter to the woman who told me to stay in my daughter's life after seeing my skin.

'I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men like me who love fatherhood.'

Doyin Richards

Dad and daughters take a walk through Disneyland.

True
Fathers Everywhere

This article originally appeared on 06.15.16


To a stranger I met at a coffee shop a few years ago who introduced me to what my life as a parent would be like:

My "welcome to black fatherhood moment" happened five years ago, and I remember it like it happened yesterday.

I doubt you'll remember it, though — so let me refresh your memory.

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Pop Culture

Magician changes his act so a visually impaired man can experience it for the first time

“I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”

@magickevinli/TikTok

“There’s always a way to experience magic.”

Pro magician Kevin Li has dazzled audiences, celebrities and even heavy hitters in the industry like Penn and Teller with his impressive sleight of hand displays.

However, Li would tell you that one of his “most memorable” performances wasn’t for a sold out crowd, but for a single person who might normally miss out on his gifts.

A video posted to Li's TikTok shows Li offering up a magic trick to a man who is vision impaired. At first, the man politely declined, saying, “I’m blind, so the magic won’t work for me."

Without missing a beat, Li replied, “I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”

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Identity

Alabama community loves deaf Waffle House cook who taught his co-workers to use sign language

Manager Michael Clements has "never seen" an employee like Pookie White.

via Google

The Waffle House in Hope Hull, Alabama.

Even though companies with workplaces that make accommodations for disabled workers are happier and more profitable, there is still a huge discrepancy in workforce participation between deaf people and those who can hear. According to Deaf People and Employment in the United States, 53% of deaf people are in the workforce as compared to 75.8% of those who can hear.

One of the biggest hurdles to deaf people entering the workforce is discriminatory hiring practices, intentional or not.

“There are often layers of discriminatory hiring practices that make [workplace participation] statistics still hold true today,” the study says. “Such practices can range from the discriminatory language on the job ad itself, to the application & hiring process, and can even impact the promotion of deaf employees.”

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Photo from Pixabay

New theories designed to expand your mind and abilities.

True
XQ

Do you think you're born with all the smarts you'll ever have or that you can get smarter over time?

It may sound like a silly question, but many kids aren't aware of the power of their own brains.

This was especially true of Griselda Rutherford's students. In her 20 years of teaching in the District of Columbia Public School System, she'd often have a tough time getting them on board the learning train.

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