Jay Connor

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

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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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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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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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A Blazer for Black Royalty: Crown Royal Released a New Slick Blazer, and Ya Boy Tried It

But what happens when one of our most beloved brands veers into the wonderful world of fashion? Inspired by Crown Royal’s XR Extra Rare series, celebrity designer ALBA has unveiled a limited-edition bespoke blazer—one of which I was blessed enough to receive—that’s equal parts sophisticated and street. In celebration of this glorious union, The Root chopped it up with menswear maven Jhoanna Alba to discuss the impetus behind the blazer, the #BlackRoyalt

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Amy Schumer and the Myth of the Perfect Ally

People of color are under relentless siege from our first gasp of air to our last. We’re locked in a perpetual waltz of paranoia and prejudice with a dance partner named racism. It’s infuriating. It’s exhausting. It’s survival. And as James Baldwin once so eloquently stated: “I can't believe what you say, because I see what you do.” So with hope as our only recourse, we cling to the notion that while all white people benefit from racism, not all of them are practitioners of it. And that the ones who understand the difference use their privilege to make our daily waltz a little less torturous.

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Racing Champion Willy T. Ribbs Reminds Us All of His Place in Black History With Brilliant Victory Lap Uppity

Throughout the course of history, we’ve been taught that there is a clear hierarchy in regard to a black person’s place in society. As such, the term “uppity”—which first surfaced in the 1800s as the snarky descendant of its equally demeaning predecessor “ungrateful”—has served to both dissuade and disparage those of us who’ve dared to be assertive, or whose achievements are viewed as an unwelcome infringement upon white supremacy.

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Quincy Jones Celebrates the Sound and Soul of Black Power with the Broad Museum's 'Soul of a Nation Celebration'

To that end, the "Soul of a Nation" exhibit inside the museum serves as a sanctuary for black pride and self-expression. With contributions from more than 60 influential artists—including the likes of Romare Bearden, Barkley Hendricks and Charles White—the two-story exhibit features abstract paintings, murals, brilliant photography, sculptures, and other more to encapsulate both our plight and our triumphs as the unheralded artisans of America. It’s a brilliant collection of style and social justice that will empower the meek and awaken the soul.

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Exclusive: Ebony Magazine Allegedly Fires Online Staff Without Pay

Former social media director Joshua David and an additional source who requested anonymity out of fear of not receiving their back pay, confirm that the digital editorial staff—comprised of three writers, one videographer and David—were terminated via a call from a human resources representative, subsequently identified as Elizabeth Burnett, vice president of operations of Clear View Group, the Austin-based investor group that owns Ebony and its sister publication Jet.

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Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Proves White Male Privilege is Invincible

It was in that exact moment that Judge Brett Kavanaugh became the latest bastion of blindingly white male privilege and hypocrisy. Otherwise known as a long-standing precept in which black men are married to our pasts, even if unrelated to our own victimhood, while our white counterparts are routinely afforded the luxury of dissociating themselves from their own, despite their role as a perpetrator. This is best exemplified in the deluge of prominent support that Kavanaugh received prior to his confirmation, in which his behavior was either minimized or outright dismissed as youthful folly.

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