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Support for marriage between white and Black people in America just hit an all-time high

Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We’ve lived through Donald Trump’s appeals to America’s racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We’ve also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we’ve seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

A Gallup poll taken over the summer found that 42% of adults in the U.S. say relations between white and Black Americans are “very” or “somewhat” good, while 57% say the relations are “somewhat” or “very” bad.

This is a sharp decline from 2004 when 72% of American adults said that race relations were “very” or “somewhat” good.

However, a recent poll by Gallup has found that more Americans support interracial marriage between white and Black people than at any time in the country’s history.


“Ninety-four percent of U.S. adults now approve of marriages between Black people and White people, up from 87% in the prior reading from 2013,” Gallup said. “The current figure marks a new high in Gallup’s trend, which spans more than six decades.”

When Gallup asked the same question in 1958, just 4% of Americans approved of marriage between white and Black people.

“Shifts in the 63-year-old trend represent one of the largest transformations in public opinion in Gallup’s history — beginning at a time when interracial marriage was nearly universally opposed and continuing to its nearly universal approval today,” Gallup wrote.

To show how far we’ve come, consider the 1967 Loving v. Virginia case in which the U.S. Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage. Before that decision, marriage between white and Black people was still illegal throughout the south. At the time, the decision was extremely unpopular because only 20% of Americans approved of interracial marriage.

via Wikimedia Commons

The big change in attitude towards interracial marriage has come from white Americans. Majorities of non-whites have approved of interracial marriage since 1968. The majority of white people didn’t come to this opinion until 1997.

Geographically, the western United States is the most accepting of interracial marriage with 97% approving and the south is the least tolerant with 93% of people supporting interracial marriage.

How do we make sense of the fact that support for interracial marriage is at an all-time high in American while, at the same time, so many believe race relations are on the decline? I think the lesson here is that when it comes to race relations anything is possible. If you were alive in 1958 it probably seemed impossible that one day just about everyone would be fine with white and Black people getting married.

That should give us all hope that if we keep fighting the good fight, eventually we’ll live in a world that is a lot less racist and a lot more loving.

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The NBA Denied Andrew Wiggins’ Request For A Religious Exemption From San Francisco’s Vaccine Mandate

The Warriors’ season starts in less than a month, and as of now, the status of their starting small forward, Andrew Wiggins, is in doubt after the NBA denied his request for a religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s vaccine mandate.

The NBA announced the denial in a statement on Friday, saying, “Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the city’s vaccine requirements.”

The ruling would prevent Wiggins from playing home games, though he theoretically could play road games in areas not governed by similar mandates. Wiggins will also be restricted from even doing solo workouts in the team facility starting in October unless he chooses to be vaccinated.

Previously, the league had said it would comply with local mandates such as this one in San Francisco, which is based upon the fact that a Warriors game counts as a large, indoor gathering and thus all in attendance must be vaccinated. Similar mandates exist in Los Angeles and New York City, where four of the league’s teams play.

With training camps opening Tuesday, the league’s rules came into question repeatedly in these markets. Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks said he expected the rule not to be a problem, but subsequent reporting indicated that star guard Kyrie Irving has not yet been vaccinated.

The NBA reportedly will not require players to be vaccinated, but depending on where they play, challenges are already cropping up for many.

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Matt Amodio Is Officially A ‘Jeopardy!’ Millionaire After His Latest Big Win

James Holzhauer may joke about how Matt Amodio’s Jeopardy! run isn’t all that impressive, but after Friday night’s episode the Ph. D student put himself into elite territory as the show’s latest millionaire.

Amodio’s win on Friday night was good for his 28th straight victory on the program, a streak that spans not only several guest hosts and the ill-fated run of Mike Richards but also an entire summer break between seasons. And his victory on Friday night gave him an additional $48,800 to a total that pushed into seven figures for just the third time in the long history of non-tournament Jeopardy! play.

“This was beyond my wildest dreams going in,” Amodio said according to a press release. “I knew it was a possibility, but I thought it was a very remote possibility, and to have it actually happen is unbelievable.”

Amodio is now officially in rarefied air when it comes to the show’s best champions. Though many never got the chance to string together enough wins to reach seven figures, since the five-game cap was lifted just two players have reached more than $1 million in winnings: Holzhauer and Ken Jennings. The former won 32 games and earned $2,462,216, while Jennings holds the record for both wins (74 games) and winnings ($2,520,700).

While Holzhauer reached millionaire status much quicker than both Amodio and Jennings thanks to his big betting and strategic play, Jennings’ historic run still stands as the most impressive in history. It’s unclear just how far Amodio will get on his run, but now he’s no longer known as just one of the more frustrating players in the show’s history because of his answering style: He’s officially one of the best ever.

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This chill guy just saved a sheep from a barbed wire fence in the coolest way imaginable

Heroes don’t always wear capes. Some sport a viking beard with a tank top.

A video went viral on Twitter yesterday of a man who in my mind shall be called Sheep Thor. In the video, Sheep Thor steps out of his car after seeing a helpless lamb struggling to release itself from the death grip of a barbed wire fence. We see Sheep Thor step out of the car and grab both sides of the sheep with his bare hands, gently trying to pull it out.

Alas, no buck wouldn’t budge. The camera zooms in on the poor beast, still stuck in the fence, and Sheep Thor gives a narration that would fill Crocodile Hunter fans with nostalgia. “So he’s got this barbed wire here, he’s got his horns caught behind the wire…gotta be careful.” He then takes a horn and gingerly works it back through the wire. Despite Sheep Thor’s requests to “hurry up buddy,” the ram doesn’t seem too keen on aiding his rescuer.

But at last! The head comes out! Almost. Sheep Thor still has to get him over the fence safely. As Sheep Thor deliberates the best way to get the sheep over the fence. Clearly, only one choice can be made. As Sheep Thor eloquently put it, ” I’m gonna have to swing him over.”

And swing him over he does. The newly freed sheep runs off into the distance without so much as a thank you. Sheep Thor still gave a polite salute and a quick “you’re welcome.”

Seriously, where’s this guy’s nature show?

This video currently has over 13 million views. But as written below, Sheep Thor really does deserve endless tweets.

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Beyonce’s birthday letter to her family, friends and fans is a powerful must read

Beyonce’s 40th birthday was this month, and both fans and celebrities paid their tributes on social media. Queen Bey in turn shared a heartfelt handwritten note on her official website. Though the lives of celebrities often seem removed from anything a “real” person would experience, her note really does offer some tear jerker insights that are completely universal.

The letter starts out with a genuine, yet expected thank-you to her fans:

“I’m so thankful for every inspiring human who took the time to send me all the beautiful messages,” she wrote in her note. “I cried tears of joy and was covered in chilly bumps. Your videos, your posts, your countdowns, your playlists and your well wishes, I will cherish forever. I’m grateful to everyone involved, especially the fans, for the time and level of detail it took to organize such beautiful tributes. I admire and respect all of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

But here, Beyonce’s thank-you takes a more sentimental turn as she looks back on her life. Notice what’s NOT mentioned: career, fame, world tours… some of the things you might expect her to consider/ponder/contemplate. Instead she writes:

“This is the first year that I really understand what it means to be alive and to live in the moment. It’s the first time that I have an understanding of how fragile life truly is, how hard life can be at times, and therefore how important it is to stop and smell the roses during the good times. I thought I knew that at 21 or 30 . . . but I didn’t. The more mature I become, the more I understand and the deeper my joy grows. There’s a freedom and liberation knowing that I’ve made it to the other side of my sacrifice. I’m finally giving myself permission to enjoy the seeds I’ve worked so hard to plant my whole life.”

Be it through a pandemic, or growing older, or both, I think we can all relate to this discovery. Grammy wins or not, many of us are hitting a point in our lives, where everything we thought was so crucial, is not actually the source of our joy. That bliss comes from simplicity, from appreciation, and most of all, from time.

Then the real kicker comes in when she debunks the notion that happiness and self worth somehow have an expiration date, especially for women.

“Whoever tried to condition women to feel that we are supposed to feel old or unhappy when we turn 40 got it ALL THE WAY F’d UP,” she wrote. “This has absolutely been the best I’ve felt in my life.”

Beyonce signed off her note with a bumble bee daring and an “I love you deep” (with the word “deep” being written out 40 times, a clever touch).

It’s an important reminder that no matter how successful, wealthy, or prestigious anyone is perceived to be, we are all navigating through life for the first time. Sometimes we think we have it all figured out. Sometimes we fear our best days are behind us. And sometimes, as Queen Bey has eloquently put it, it might take a while- and some deep reflection- before we realize how much we’ve “GROWN GROWN.”

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The Republican recount of Arizona is finally over. Guess what? Trump lost by even more.

The “Stop the Steal” movement has been going on for nearly a year and has yet to find any substantial evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

The movement was dealt an embarrassing blow on Friday when a Republican recount of Maricopa County in Arizona not only confirmed Trump’s loss but found that it was by a wider margin than the official tally.

Back in March, Arizona State Senate Republicans hired Florida-based company Cyber Ninjas to audit the election results in Maricopa County. The company has no prior experience in auditing election results and is headed by Doug Logan, a man who has promoted baseless election conspiracy theories.

“I’m tired of hearing people say there was no fraud. It happened, it’s real, and people better get wise fast,” he tweeted on December 31.

After several months with zero bipartisan oversight, Cyber Ninjas were set to send the results of the audit to the Arizona State Senate on Friday but they were leaked to The Arizona Republic ahead of time.

The audit found that Trump lost by 45,469 votes in the county, 360 more than the previous tally. According to Cyber Ninjas, Trump received 261 fewer votes while Biden picked up an additional 99.

Responding to news reports on Friday, Trump said the findings were “far different than that being reported by the Fake News Media,” and that it had “uncovered significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD!”

“Huge findings in Arizona! However, the Fake News Media is already trying to ‘call it’ again for Biden before actually looking at the facts—just like they did in November!” Trump said in a statement.

“Every time Trump and his supporters have been given a forum to prove this case, they have swung and missed,” Ben Ginsberg, a longtime Republican election attorney, said according to the Arizona Mirror.

via Chad Davis / Flickr

Trump’s insistence that he won the 2020 election appears to be doing him and his party a lot more harm than good. Ron Nehring, a former chair of the California GOP, says that his party’s constant fraud claims only work to depress Republican turnout and are a major reason that Larry Elder lost to Democrat Gavin Newsom in the California recall election.

In the days leading up to the election Elder alleged that fraud had taken place on his website.

“We can’t have an evidence-based party if we are bullshitting people in advance that this election was stolen when it was not,” Nehring said Wednesday. “One way not to have Republicans win is by telling Republican voters that their votes don’t matter…. Lying to Republicans claiming an election was stolen, before a single vote or result had been published, is grossly irresponsible.”

Unproven fraud allegations are a lose-lose proposition for the GOP. They depress voter turnout by killing people’s faith in the institution and hurt the party’s credibility when its claims go unfounded.

In a two-party system, they’re giving their opponents an unfair advantage by telling their own people that elections don’t matter.

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10 things that made us smile this week

How’s everyone doing right now? Doing okay? Struggling a little, or maybe a lot?

Honestly, I’m not sure if anyone is feeling full-throttle awesome during these days of pandemic upheaval. We can all use a little pick-me-up, right?

Thankfully, there are always things we can find to make us smile. Here are 10 just from this week.

Enjoy a little joy-scrolling:

1. New dad buys a used washer and dryer and finds an awesome surprise inside.

The $400 he paid the guy for it was tucked into the lint filter. “A gift for the new baby.” Come on! People are awesome.

2. This toddler has the most infectious giggle ever.

I don’t care who you are, farts are funny. But this little cherub’s laugh makes them even funnier.

3. Who knew a dog kissing a fish could make us feel so happy?

Why is it so delightful to see different species of animals interact with each other? That fish just can’t get enough dog lovin’.

4. Modern-day superhero rescues a sheep trapped in a barbed-wire fence.

Everything about this is perfection. The expertise in handling a sheep. The figuring out how to heave it over the fence. The Steve-Irwin-meets-Thor vibe. And of course, the bleat of thanks at the end.

5. High school football player stopped to stretch an opponent’s leg when it cramped.

Good sportsmanship between opponents is always uplifting. Seeing it in young people in a highly competitive sport is extra heartwarming.

6. Preschooler brings ukulele to show-and-tell and puts on a full-blown rock performance.

Kiddo is ROCKIN’. OUT. Amazing.

@britaincovey Teacher didn’t know how to react 😂
♬ original sound – Britain Covey

And to make it even better, someone added what it looked like he was hearing while he “played”:

7. This traditional folk dance from the Philippines is just pure, joyful energy.

The Tinikling is a rhythmic dance that mimics a bird found in the Philippines called the tikling. I could watch this all day.

8. Puffin and Binx, two rescued cats, can’t get enough of each other.

And we can’t get enough of them. Puffin and Binx were rescued from a hoarding situation and they are inseparable. Just look at them hugging. Cue all the endorphins.

9. These babies were accidentally switched at birth, and how the families handled it was amazing.

What do you do when you find out you’ve been raising someone else’s baby for three years? That happened to two families who found out their daughters had been switched at the hospital as newborns. After DNA tests confirmed it, they did the most extraordinary thing—the two families simply raised their kids together. Read the story here.

10. Let this 73-year-old skateboarder roll you into the weekend.

Those knees, though. Impressive, Igor. May we all carry this much joy with us into our older years.

Hope that brought some brightness to your day! Enjoy your weekend!

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‘Jeopardy!’ Host Mayim Bialik Doesn’t ‘Regret’ Past Vaccine Skepticism But Clarified Again She’s Fully Vaccinated Now

Mayim Bialik wants you to know that she’s fully vaccinated despite what she may have written about vaccine skepticism in the past. The Jeopardy! guest host finished her first impromptu week on the job Friday following the Mike Richards flameout, and in a new interview she once again clarified that she’s vaccinated, including against the novel coronavirus.

Bialik had previously set the record straight about her (and her children’s) vaccine status several times in the past, including in a video she put on YouTube late last year. The long and short of it: Bialik and her family are now fully vaccinated and she supports vaccinating against coronavirus in particular.

But it’s notable because any name attached to the full-time Jeopardy! hosting job has seen at least one news cycle where past controversial comments were resurfaced. In Bialik’s case a book she wrote in 2012, Beyond The Sling, where she explained that her children were not fully vaccinated has become a lightning rod of sorts, especially in the coronavirus pandemic where vaccine skepticism is now a full-blown public health crisis.

“We made an informed decision not to vaccinate our children, but this is a very personal decision that should be made only after sufficient research, which today is within reach of every parent who seeks to learn about their child’s health regardless of their medical knowledge or educational status,” Bialik wrote at the time.

She’s obviously changed that stance in the years since, and it continues to come up as her role at Jeopardy! expands. Asked about her controversy in an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Bialik said she didn’t “regret” what she wrote but clarified that her entire family is vaccinated now.

“I don’t regret that at the time I wrote a book about parenting, my kids were young, they hadn’t received all their vaccines,” she said. “Now I’ve been very public and declared that I am a vaccinated person, we’re a vaccinated family, we’re all vaccinated for COVID.”

Bialik admitted that her public perception as an anti-vaxxer has been difficult, as many anti-vaxx sentiments from nearly a decade ago have been shared on platforms like Facebook in recent months despite her evolving viewpoints. And she also thanked those working at Jeopardy! for sticking with her despite her past comments.

“That’s part of the challenge of being a public person, and the court of public opinion is extremely significant,” she said. “I’m grateful to Sony and to ‘Jeopardy!’ for believing in me as a host right now, with the ability to do my job with all the other things aside.”

Considering just how difficult it is to combat the spread of misinformation online, especially on social media, Bialik’s stance on vaccines will continue to come up. But while Richards’ controversies were simply too many to keep him involved with the show, it’s clear that Bialik’s words haven’t impacted her chances of being selected as the show’s full-time host. Time will tell if the same can be said for fellow guest host Ken Jennings, who has his own past comments online continue to haunt him.

[via Associated Press]

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Yung Baby Tate Backs Up Princess Nokia On The Flouncy ‘Boys Are From Mars’

Riffing on the popular dating advice book, Princess Nokia points out the differences in genders on her new single “Boys Are From Mars.” Offering her own, slightly salty advice to listeners, she asserts that not only are men and women from different planets but that it’s also up to women to set the terms of engagement in the gender war — and in love. Yung Baby Tate joins her sister-in-arms to spit her own clever verse goofing on men’s inability to deliver and telling girls to “focus on yourself” while doing helpful activities like tai chi and yoga.

“Boys Are From Mars” is Princess Nokia’s second single of the year after the J-Lo-inspired “It’s Not My Fault” which symbolized coming of age for “the average millennial woman, taking control of herself as the subject.” However, whereas “It’s Not My Fault” and Nokia’s other most recent video, “I Like Him,” took a techno-futuristic approach to their respective visual components, the lyrics video for “Boys Are From Mars” takes its inspiration from retro cinema instead — particularly the Saturday afternoon matinee double-features of the 1970s, which featured Blaxploitation and martial arts flicks as their main draws. As the lyrics flash on the screen, the two artists can be seen in silhouette, throwing flare-legged high kicks and waving curved Chinese swords.

Listen to Princess Nokia’s “Boys Are From Mars” with Yung Baby Tate above.

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After Seeking Out The Person Responsible For Viral Neglected Dog Story, Dave Bautista Adopts The Rescue Pup And Names Her Penny

If there’s one thing Dave Bautista keeps teaching us through his films and his actions, it’s just how powerful found family can be. The former wrestler and actor best known for his role as Guardian of the Galaxy‘s Drax has announced the Bautista family is getting a furry new addition: a three-month-old pit bull puppy named Penny. While every rescue story is just as heartwarming as the next, Penny’s journey to the Bautista family has been a pretty high-profile and particularly emotional one that started all the way back on September 16.

On the 16th, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay shared that a dog named Sage has been brought into the shelter after someone found her living on the streets with a metal chain embedded into the skin around her neck. The story was quick to go viral, and soon caught the attention of Bautista, who offered to “personally hand $5,000” to any person who had information that would lead to the arrest of the person responsible for Sage’s injuries. According to People Magazine, Bautista explained to local news channel WHAS11 why he was so invested in the case, saying that to him, “there’s nothing more innocent and pure than a puppy. For someone who can abuse a puppy has got to be the lowest form of human being, pure evil, for someone who can abuse an animal like that. It makes me sick to my stomach.”

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay soon joined the actor’s efforts, adding $1,000 to the reward before Alvarez Injury Law chipped in another $5,000. While no one has stepped forward to claim the $11,000 reward and shed some light on who Sage’s past owners might have been, Bautista decided to personally ensure Sage would no longer have to suffer abuse or neglect from anyone else and went to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to adopt the puppy.

Bautista took to Instagram to share the big news about the newly-named Penny joining the Bautista family, telling fans:

“The good news is, the puppy you know as Sage actually became Penny Bautista. So I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of my family. Healing up, nice, and recovered. She is now a Bautista and she will never be abused again a day in her life. She is about to live her best puppy life ever … and she has her forever home.”

Penny joins Bautista’s other two pit bulls, Ollie and Maggie, who he celebrated just last month during National Dog Day. Based on the picture he shared of his two other pups, it’s safe to say Penny will be living the good life from here on out.