Jay Connor

Founder of Extraordinary Ideas. Inquires: deathtoadverbs@gmail.com.

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In Its Efforts to Make Itself a More Inclusive Sport, NASCAR Has Failed Already

When we say this among ourselves, the implication is understood. But since we now live in a world rife with brand spanking new “allies,” that phrase likely requires an explanation. Racism is exhausting, which, in turn, means white people are inherently exhausting too. Every single day of our lives, we’re either exposed to racism, recovering from it or suffering from the paranoia and anxiety of waiting for it to inevitably resurface.

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On the Record: Russell Simmons Finally Faces the Music, But He Shouldn't Be the Only One Listening

My hope is that On the Record wakes our community up, but more specifically, that it inspires black men to assess our roles as active participants in the destruction of black women. To reflect on our mistakes, hold ourselves accountable and challenge each other to elevate our queens instead of constantly tearing them down or remaining indifferent to their plight. To that end, it’s equally important that we emerge from the shadows and provide the same unwavering public support that we’ve received throughout our lives as though it’s our birthright.

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'Coronavirus Will Forever Change Bedside Care': Black Healthcare Workers Reveal Their Own Struggles to Survive a Global Pandemic

The coronavirus doesn’t just ravage the body of those infected; it wreaks havoc on all those in proximity to it. It plays on the minds of those who, while not suffering from the actual disease, are caring for those who are. COVID-19's alarming infection and death rates bring with it the weight of uncertainty and the fear of unpredictability and the soft whisper of, “God, please don’t let it be me.”

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I Kept Hearing My Masculinity Was Under Attack by the Gay Agenda, So I Went to Pride to Test This Theory

I recall being both appalled and aghast upon waking up the next morning to this horrifying news and wishing there was something—anything—I could do to alleviate the anguish and fear that threatened to unravel so many of my friends. But in my efforts to be supportive, I also realized that I was operating out of sympathy instead of empathy—much like white folks do when they feign concern for our well-being but aren’t willing to forfeit their privilege—and got called out for it.

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'When They See Us' Is the Haunting Masterpiece the Central Park Five Deserve

In delving into the rotted core of the Big Apple, very few details are spared over the course of four mesmeric episodes. We bear witness to a lead prosecutor who ignores her moral objections in favor of convicting children she knows are innocent. We bristle as investigators pervert and contort the truth, causing families to burst at the seams. We watch helplessly as trauma engulfs the serenity of Black Boy Joy, and the promise of tomorrow becomes the gruesome scars of yesterday. As such, it’s a lot to endure. Almost too much.

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The WNBA Is Giving a Masterclass on How Not to Treat Professional Athletes

Prior to COVID-19 ruining everyone’s lives, attendance was abysmal—the WNBA had it’s lowest attendance in league history in 2018 and drew even smaller crowds in 2019—and the league has long been criticized for its meager wages (that require even its superstars to play overseas during the offseason), embarrassing accommodations and a host of other issues not befitting of some of the most talented and influential athletes in the entire world.

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So Ebony Magazine Took Us to Court

Legal victories of this nature are typically cause for celebration, but in this instance, there’s nothing to celebrate. The reputation of a once-lauded magazine is in shambles, and while many have taken the time to dance on the site of Ebony’s premature grave, others like myself have flowers in hand—mourning the precarious state of black media and our respect for a magazine that was once the epicenter of black pride.

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In 'The Scheme,' a Basketball Mastermind Provides the Perfect Playbook to the NCAA's Biggest Scandal

Every great story has an even better villain. Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has Thanos, the United States has President ‘China Virus’ and HBO’s riveting documentary, The Scheme, trots out 25-year-old Christian Dawkins; a basketball prodigy-turned-business manager who was sentenced in October for attempting to funnel collegiate superstars to his sports management company after turning pro.

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The Year of the Great Gush of Male Tears

In fact, these days, depending upon who you ask, with the introduction of #MeToo, the burgeoning primacy of the feminist sect and everything in between, the concept of masculinity is either under siege or the harbinger of doom. So for every corrosive, hypermasculine ideology — such as our president’s insistence that it’s “a very scary time for young men in America” after Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh cried his way through his eventual Supreme Court confirmation — there’s a Lynzy Lab ready and willing to correct the course. And while the chorus of “men are trash” has blossomed into a popular refrain reaped from South African respectability politics, there are valued intellects like author Damon Young who unequivocally nod their heads in agreement.

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A Tale of Two Churches: How the Notre Dame Cathedral Illustrates America's Unwillingness to Acknowledge Black Suffering

And that’s when I realized the clear distinction between sympathy and empathy. How white people sympathize with our plight, but don’t bear it. How they can turn away and excuse themselves from the grim realities of our perpetual suffering without batting an eye. How they don’t identify with our love affair with Frankie Beverly and Maze or our box braids, so our “anguish” is dismissed as a misnomer.

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The NCAA Is Big Business for Everybody but Black Players

It’s not exactly a secret that black players occupy a significant bulk of team rosters in both football and basketball—easily the NCAA’s most lucrative sports. Out of all the coaches, conference commissioners, athletic directors, and whoever the hell else is making millions of dollars off of free black labor, an overwhelming majority of them are white. And by an overwhelming majority, I mean 80 percent of coaches, 86 percent of conference commissioners, and nearly 70 percent of athletic directors.

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Paul Pierce Is a Hater

Never in the history of the NBA have we seen a player with Karl Malone’s size, Michael Jordan’s athleticism and explosiveness, Kobe’s guile and Magic Johnson’s otherworldly passing ability all crammed into the same DNA strand. This nigga is a literal cheat code who Skynet sent from the future to destroy the hopes and dreams of opposing teams and NBA coaches. I hate his ass for a reason and apparently, so does Paul Pierce. The difference is only one of us will openly admit it.

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