+
Culture

'I refuse to hate a police officer': Tyler Perry's challenging speech showed true humanity

'I refuse to hate a police officer': Tyler Perry's challenging speech showed true humanity
via ABC / YouTube

The Academy Awards is an evening for honoring the best achievements in film. But it's also an event where the film industry unabashedly professes its progressive views to the world.

The nice thing about last night was that, for once, Hollywood's talk about being inclusive was actually on display. The broadcast featured a diverse group of attendees and winners, putting to bed the #OscarsSoWhite critiques of the past six years, for now, at least.

Depending on where one stands on the political spectrum, Sunday's broadcast was either an exhilarating night of celebrating progressive views or three hours of virtue signaling from some of the country's richest and most powerful people.


However, there was a beautiful moment in the broadcast that everyone should appreciate. After being awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 93rd Oscars, Tyler Perry gave a speech about unity that cut through America's political divide and got to the heart of what real humanity is about.

Tyler Perry Accepts the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awardwww.youtube.com

Perry was given the award for a lifetime of charitable work, including the time he paid for people's groceries during the pandemic.

"Tyler knows what it is to be hungry, to be without a home, to feel unsafe and uncertain. So when he buys groceries for 1,000 of his neighbors, supports a women's shelter, or quietly pays tuition for a hard-working student, Tyler is coming from a place of shared experience," presenter Viola Davis said.

In his speech, Perry's main theme was refusing hate. A tough ask in a time when the country is so politically polarized.

"And in this time, with all of the internet and social media and algorithms and everything that wants us to think a certain way, the 24-hour news cycle…it is my hope that all of us would teach our kids, and I want to remember: just refuse hate. Don't hate anybody," Perry said.

"I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer. I refuse to hate someone because they are Asian. I would hope we would refuse hate," he said.

Perry urged people to meet in "the middle'' a place without hatred or judgment. "That's where healing happens, that's where conversation happens, that's where change happens – it happens in the middle," Perry said. "Anyone who wants to meet me to meet me in the middle to refuse hate and blanket judgment and lift someone's feet off the ground, this one is for you, too."

At first glance, asking people to come together in the middle doesn't appear to be that original of a statement. But at a time when many have drawn up sides, choosing to be vulnerable, step out in the middle, and reach out to listen, is a pretty bold move.

That doesn't mean to forget about one's values. It means to be willing to have a conversation and find our shared humanity. This type of action is more important than ever when, as Perry noted, people are stuck in ideological bubbles and may not even understand what the other side is saying.

Perry proved just how brave you have to be to walk towards the middle when he said he refuses to hate someone because they're a police officer. After that line, the applause he earned seemed to die down a bit. Was it a signal that his statement made a few people a little uncomfortable?

But change happens when we leave our comfort zone.



Perry's words were powerful at a time when the nation is reeling from police violence. He challenged the notion that, as a Black man, he has to hate the police.

When, in fact, Perry appears to be standing with the vast majority of Black people (81%) who want the police to spend the same, or more, time in their neighborhoods. The important point is that a vast majority of Black (91%) also want the police to be held to higher standards of behavior and accountability.

Perry further explained why he gave his speech in a post-award interview.

"Just where we are in the country and the world, and everybody is grabbing a corner and a color, and they are all – nobody wants to come to the middle to have a conversation," he said.

"Everybody is polarized, and it's in the middle where things change," he added. "So I'm hoping that that inspires people to meet us in the middle so that we can get back to some semblance of normal. As this pandemic is over, we can get to a place where we are showing love and kindness to each other again."

Perry's speech was challenging, uplifting and, ultimately, a practical way of seeing the world that allows us to all move forward. It's also a wonderful example of why he's seen as a humanitarian.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less
www.youtube.com

Man hailed 'Highway Hero' for running across four lanes of traffic

Holy cow, Bat Man! You're always supposed to be aware of other vehicles when you're driving but what do you do when you notice someone has lost consciousness while speeding down the highway?

It's a scenario that no one wants to see play out, but for Adolfo Molina, the scenario became reality and he didn't hesitate to spring into action. Molina was driving down the highway when he spotted a woman in a blue car who lost consciousness as her car careened down the shoulder of the highway. The concerned driver quickly pulled over in order to attempt to rescue the woman.

But there was a problem, he had to cross four lanes of traffic on the highway just to make it to the woman's still moving car. That obstacle didn't stop him. Molina sprinted across the highway, crossing right in front of a black pick up truck before running at full speed to attempt to open the woman's door and stop her car.

Keep ReadingShow less
Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Relationship expert tells people to never get married unless you're willing to do 3 things

"If you and your partner (both) are unable or unwilling to do these 3 things consistently forever, you won’t make it."

Relationship expert gives people advice on getting married.

Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. Learning someone else's quirks, boundaries, and deep views on the world can be eye-opening and hard. But usually, the happy chemicals released in our brain when we love someone can cause us to overlook things in order to keep the peace.

Jayson Gaddis, a relationship expert, took to Twitter to rip off people's rose-colored glasses and tell them to forego marriage. Honestly, with the divorce rate in this country being as high as it is, he probably could've stopped his tweet right there. Don't get married, the end. Many people would've probably related and not questioned the bold statement, but thankfully he followed up with three things you must be willing to do before going to the chapel.

Before going into his reasons for why he tells people not to get married, Gaddis explained that he is a person that "LOVEs being married." I mean, it would probably make him a pretty weird relationship expert if he hated relationships, so it's probably a good thing he enjoys being married. Surely his spouse appreciates his stance as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Humanitarian Helen Keller circa 1920.

In a 1954 documentary short, humanitarian Helen Keller expressed that her greatest regret in life was being unable to speak clearly. But given that she could not see or hear, her speech was quite remarkable.

Keller was born in 1880 and, at the age of 18 months, contracted an unknown illness that left her deaf and blind. But with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she was able to overcome her disabilities and become an outspoken advocate for the voiceless and oppressed.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

10 years ago, a 'Stairway to Heaven' performance brought Led Zeppelin's surviving members to tears

Heart, John Bonham's son and a full choir came together for the epic tribute.

Led Zeppelin got to see their iconic hit performed for them.

When Billboard and Rolling Stone pull together their "Best Songs of All Time" lists, there are some tunes you know for sure will be included. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is most definitely one of them.

It has everything—the beauty of a ballad, the grunginess of a rock song, the simple solo voice, and the band in full force. "Stairway to Heaven" takes us on a musical journey, and even people who aren't necessarily giant Led Zeppelin or classic rock fans can't help but nod or sing along to it.

Of course, it's also been so ubiquitous (or overplayed, as some would claim) to become a meme among musicians. Signs saying "No Stairway to Heaven" in guitar stores point to how sick of the song many guitarists get, and when Oregon radio station KBOO told listeners they would never play the song again if someone pledged $10,000, Led Zepelin singer Robert Plant himself called in and gave the donation.

Keep ReadingShow less