+
More

You Know The Stereotypes About Old, Conservative White Guys? Yeah, Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover.

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from The Washington Post, carried a heavy secret: He lived in the U.S. undocumented for most of his life. His grandparents brought him to this country legally at age 5, but he never got proper legal status. As of July 15, 2014, Jose had been arrested and was being detained by the Texas Border Patrol.Jose came out in the national news, and then he decided to make a documentary about his journey and his fight to get rational immigration reform on the books in the United States. That's when he met a self-proclaimed "hardcore Republican" farmer named Lawrence. Lawrence has a very different perspective from much of his party when it comes to immigration. Jose received a handwritten letter in the mail recently. It was from Lawrence, postmarked March 27, 2014, from Birmingham, Ala. It reads:

Dear Jose:

I realize that you have your story, and I have had some part in it. This, however, is something that I haven’t had the opportunity to tell you. You might say that this is part of my side of the story.

I could put more feeling in this orally. Perhaps on occasion will arise when I can do so. I used part of what I’m going to tell you, when I recently met with my U.S. Representative.


Please excuse my handwriting, punctuation, and spelling. This is the best that an old red-neck farm boy from Cullman County, Alabama can do.

If any of this is of any value to you, feel free to use it.

What follows is that part:

When I start to leave Paco’s and Madai’s (Paco’s wife) house after visiting them, or they start to leave my house after visiting me; their children are saying, “bye bye papa, bye bye papa.” Finally one day, I asked Paco: “Paco, what are your children saying, what do they mean they tell me bye bye papa.”

He said they are saying “bye bye abuelo,” or to translate, “bye bye grandfather.” This made me feel ever so great. My heart was filled with joy knowing that they thought of me in this way.

Paco told me a video his dad sent up from Guatamala, recently. The video was about his dad’s 73rd birthday and the celebration that they had for him. In the video he told me hello, of course, but that’s not really what I want to get at.

Paco told me that as their four children watched the video; they asked him: “Who is this man?” He said the told them:” That’s your abuelo, your grandfather.” He said they then asked him, “Como Papa?” To translate: “Like Papa?”

“Like Papa,” this too made me proud that they would make such a comparison. Joy filled my heart once more.

And then, suddenly, my joy turned to sadness, and my eyes filled with tears.

I had realized that Paco’s children don’t know their own grandfather. All they’ve got is a poor substitute.

They don’t know the joy that they can bring to a grandfather and the joy he can bring to them. They don’t know the pleasure that’s shared by sitting on that grandfather’s knee and talking to him.

I ask: Why can’t Paco take their children to Guatamala to visit an aging grandfather; and then return here to his home in the U.S.? Why can’t Madai take their children to Guatamala to visit an aging grandmother; and then returnhere to her home in the U.S.? Why can’t you, Jose, return to the Philippines to visit an aging mother; and return here to your home in the U.S.?

The hour grows late. The hour grows late for Paco’s dad, for Madai’s mom, for your mom, and yes even for me. Enough of the delay, it’s time for results.

The cause we share it not a right or left cause. It’s a right orwrong cause. It’s a cause in which you and I agree.

I have to end with a question. My Latino friends, my Latino family: How could I not be for them in the struggle?

However, there’s one thing further that I will say. You and I may be poles apart politically. We may be poles apart on life style. We may be poles apart on religion. We may be poles apart on other facets of life.

Always remember, though, that we’re together on something far more important than the differences we have. We’re united in friendship.

I’ve taken enough of your time. Thanks for letting me share a part of my side of the story.

May God be with you.

Lawrence



If Lawrence can be this reasonable, surely more people can. They should hear his story.

All photos courtesy of Albertsons
True

Summer is officially over, which means we’re looking for any excuse to get together and watch a game or grill outside in the cooling temperatures.

The thing about hosting though is figuring out what to feed your guests—especially with rising prices all around. And frankly, everyone is sick of pizza.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Dyslexic plumber gets a life-changing boost after his friend built an app that texts for him

It uses AI to edit his work emails into "polite, professional-sounding British English."

via Pixabay

An artist's depiction of artificial intelligence.

There is a lot of mistrust surrounding the implementation of artificial intelligence these days and some of it is justified. There's reason to worry that deep-fake technology will begin to seriously blur the line between fantasy and reality, and people in a wide range of industries are concerned AI could eliminate their jobs.

Artists and writers are also bothered that AI works on reappropriating existing content for which the original creators will never receive compensation.

The World Economic Forum recently announced that AI and automation are causing a huge shake-up in the world labor market. The WEF estimates that the new technology will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025. However, the news isn’t all bad. It also said that its analysis anticipates the “future tech-driven economy will create 97 million new jobs.”

The topic of AI is complex, but we can all agree that a new story from England shows how AI can certainly be used for the betterment of humanity. It was first covered by Tom Warren of BuzzFeed News.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

Keep ReadingShow less

Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

Keep ReadingShow less