She summed up the economic legacy of Black Americans in one history lesson and Monopoly metaphor

As the U.S. enters its third week of protests over racial injustice and police brutality, some Americans still don't fully understand the "why" behind them. Some are still under the impression that the protests are about justice for George Floyd, but that's only part of it. Some think they're about police brutality, but that's just part of it too.

The fact that so many Americans don't understand the scope of the problem at the heart of these protests, or why they are playing out the way they are, is a symptom of the problem itself.

With a quick history lesson and Monopoly metaphor, Kimberly Latrice Jones powerfully explained a crucial element of what we're seeing in a video that has gone viral on social media—the economic element that is often overlooked or not well understood by those outside of the group impacted by our nation's economic history. This element gives important context to some of what we're seeing, in addition to painting the bigger picture within which these protests are happening.

Watch:


If you're unfamiliar with Jones' reference to Tulsa and Rosewood, here's some additional education.

Tulsa's Black Wall Street massacre of 1921:

Tulsa's Black Wall Street massacre www.youtube.com

And a brief overview of the Rosewood massacre:

Jan. 5, 1923 - Rosewood, Fla., Destroyed by White Mob www.youtube.com

The horrible truth is that most Americans don't know our own history, especially when it comes to race. So much of what we learn about racism in our history is couched in problematic language that favors white sensibilities or is completely omitted. How many of us learned that the Confederate states didn't just want to keep slavery for economic reasons, but because they believed that God intended for Black people to be subservient to the white race and that it was wrong to believe otherwise? How many of us learned about Black Wall Street in school, much less voter suppression, redlining and other ways Black Americans have been systematically oppressed in modern history beyond Jim Crow?

How many of us have truly internalized the fact that the massive exploitation of Black bodies over hundreds of years required massive violence to carry out, and that the only way for that exploitation and violence to continue was to legitimize it by creating a massive, dehumanizing justification for it—thus the enduring legacy of anti-blackness that permeates not only our history but so much of our current society?

Yes, some progress has been made. But every step forward has been fought for tooth and nail, and every advancement has been met with resistance and resentment by far too many fellow Americans. Until we get that, until our nation truly comes to terms with the depth and breadth of the injustices being called out and decides to take real, concrete steps toward restoration, reconciliation and reparation, we're going to keep finding ourselves at this same crossroads.

Of all of the powerful points Jones made in that video, perhaps one should give us the most pause: America is lucky that black people are just looking for equality and not revenge. She is right, because the scope of that payback would be mighty indeed.

Here we are, six months into the coronavirus pandemic, and people are tired. We're tired of social distancing, wearing masks, the economic uncertainty, the constant debates and denials, all of it.

But no one is more tired than the healthcare workers on the frontline. Those whom we celebrated and hailed as heroes months ago have largely been forgotten as news cycles shift and increased illness and death become "normal." But they're still there. They're still risking themselves to save others. And they've been at it for a long time.

Mary Katherine Backstrom shared her experience as the wife of an ER doctor in Florida, explaining the impact this pandemic is having on the people treating its victims and reminding us that healthcare workers are still showing up, despite all of the obstacles that make their jobs harder.

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When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

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Kids say the darnedest things and, if you're a parent, you know that can make for some embarrassing situations. Every parent has had a moment when their child has said something unintentionally inappropriate to a stranger and they prayed they wouldn't take it the wrong way.

Cassie, the mother of 4-year-old Camryn, had one of the those moments when her child yelled, "Black lives matter" to a Black woman at a Colorado Home Depot.

But the awkward interaction quickly turned sweet when the Black woman, Sherri Gonzales, appreciated the comment and thanked the young girl.

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