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How Levar Burton Tries To Avoid Police Mistreatment For Driving While Black

How Levar Burton Tries To Avoid Police Mistreatment For Driving While Black | ThinkProgress
In a discussion on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront about use of the “N Word” in America, former Reading Rainbow host Levar Burton explains his protocol for handling a police stop to avoid violence: Listen, I’m gonna be honest with you, and this is a practice I engage in every time I’m stopped by law enforcement. And I taught this to my son who is now 33 as part of my duty as a father to ensure that he knows the kind of world in which he is growing up. So when I get stopped by the police, I take my hat off and my sunglasses off, I put them on the passenger’s side, I roll down my window, I take my hands, I stick them outside the window and on the door of the driver’s side because I want that officer to be relaxed as possible when he approaches my vehicle. And I do that because I live in America. CNN’s Don Lemon recounts similar experiences, with people often stopping him on the street in Louisiana to ask, “Where’d you get that car, nigga? Whose car is this?” He recounted one experience driving with a white friend who said after a police stop that he’s never had the police deal with him like that. “I’m like hello, welcome to my life,” Lemon said. Author Tim Wise, who is white, describes an entirely different reality. He recounts a day living in Louisiana when he locked himself out of his car and the police offered to help him break in: One day I locked myself out of my car on Roberts Street and so I’m trying to break into my car with a coat hanger and a cop comes up. And he sees me doing it. He does not even ask me for ID or proof that that’s my car. Literally, the NOPD was like, hey you’re breaking into the car the wrong way. Let me help you. The cop was trying to help me break in. Now there is not a black man in this country 23 [years old] for whom that would’ve been the reaction.

June 24, 2013

12-Year-Old Girl Kicked Off Football Team Because Her Teammates Were Attracted To Her

Somehow it becomes her fault. Or at least she is the one being punished for it. 12-Year-Old Girl Kicked Off Football Team Because Boys Had 'Impure Thoughts' About Her | ThinkProgress
A private school outside Atlanta recently informed 12-year-old Madison Baxter that she would not be welcome at tryouts for the 7th-grade football team, even though she started on the sixth-grade team and has been playing football since second grade. The reason she won’t be allowed on the field? Because her male teammates are beginning to have “impure thoughts” about her, Strong Rock Christian Academy school administrator Patrick Stuart told Baxter’s mother. “In the meeting with the CEO of the school [Patrick Stuart], I was told that the reasons behind it were one, that the boys were going to start lusting after her and have impure thoughts about her and that the locker-room talk was not appropriate for a female to hear even though she had a separate locker room from the boys,” Baxter’s mother, Cassy Blythe, told Atlanta’s WXIA-TV. “He said, ‘The best I can [come] up with is that men and women are created equal but different.’ And he said he’s been praying about it and came to the conclusion that he was making the right decision for the school,” Blythe added, according to Jezebel.

June 21, 2013

Kickstarter apologies for funding how to manual for rapists

We were wrong -- The Kickstarter Blog — Kickstarter
First, there is no taking back money from the project or canceling funding after the fact. When the project was funded the backers’ money went directly from them to the creator. We missed the window. Second, the project page has been removed from Kickstarter. The project has no place on our site. For transparency’s sake, a record of the page is cached here. Third, we are prohibiting “seduction guides,” or anything similar, effective immediately. This material encourages misogynistic behavior and is inconsistent with our mission of funding creative works. These things do not belong on Kickstarter. Fourth, today Kickstarter will donate $25,000 to an anti-sexual violence organization called RAINN. It’s an excellent organization that combats exactly the sort of problems our inaction may have encouraged. We take our role as Kickstarter’s stewards very seriously. Kickstarter is one of the friendliest, most supportive places on the web and we’re committed to keeping it that way. We’re sorry for getting this so wrong.