And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.

The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, being amazing. (via politicalprof)

(via ethiopienne)

thisbelongsinamuseum:

Siberia is a lonely place. One woman in the far away remote village of Kamarchaga, located in the Siberian Taiga, has found a very entertaining hobby to help pass the time. Russian pensioner Olga Kostina has decorated her wooden home with over 30,000 plastic bottle caps. Over several years she collected caps from soda bottles and began using them to decorate the walls of her house with colorful patterns and images. Using a hammer and nails, she placed every single bottle cap by hand to create traditional macrame motifs and various images of creatures living in the neighboring woodland. Her home has become a local landmark. And she’s not planning on stopping her work until her house and adjacent structures are completely covered in bottle caps. Something tells me that she has the time. 

(Image Source)

(via faboomama)

pretty-period:

More girls should join boys’ teams so it could be a tradition and it wouldn’t be so special.” - 13-year-old Mo’Ne Davis, the 18th girl to play in the Little League World Series in its 68-year history, the FIRST girl to throw a Little League World Series SHUTOUT. Her fastball? 70 MILES PER HOUR. #throwlikeagirl #BlackGirlsROCK

(via terenceinmonochrome)

It’s no credit to this enormously rich country that there are more oppressive, less decent governments elsewhere. We claim superiority of our institutions. We ought to live up to our own standards, not use misery elsewhere as an endless source of self-gratification and justification. Of course, people tell me all the time in the West that they are trying, they are trying hard. Some have tears in their eyes and let me know how awful they feel about the way our poor live, our blacks, or those in dozens of other countries. People can cry much easier than they can change, a rule of psychology people like me picked up as kids on the street.

James Baldwin, "James Baldwin Back Home" by Robert Coles in The New York Times (31 July 1977)