Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life — but no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we’re pleased to introduce our weekly racism surveillance machine. If you already get our newsletter, Minority Report, you’ve likely seen this — but now the rest of the internet can get a taste.
🗑 We promise you, the real headline is better than this headline
If you asked us to create the most 2020 news headline possible, we’d obviously hire a team of data scientists to create an algorithm, and then feed that algorithm to the world’s most powerful supercomputer. And we’d be wrong. Because the most 2020 news headline possible happened over the weekend, and it is this: “Man wearing Burger King crown yells N-word on JetBlue flight.” It gives you everything you need to know (how unhinged is this person, exactly?) while still leaving room for wonders untold (does he think he is the Burger King?). No, he does not think he’s the titular Burger King. He does, however, think that a flight from Kingston, Jamaica, is the proper place to take his mask off and repeatedly scream the world’s foulest racial slur while complaining that a Black woman accidentally kneed him while getting to her seat — and to utter the immediately classic phrase “excuse me, I’m part West African, I can say the word n****r any time I want!” His Royal Burgerness, who is not in fact “part West African,” has been banned from JetBlue for life. And probably from Kingston, too. (New York Post)
🗑 Jared Kushner shows exactly why he and Kanye are so tight
Real estate scion and ’80s teen comedy villain Jared Kushner, also known as Donald Trump’s son-in-law, went on Fox & Friends this morning to talk up his new daddy’s reelection chances — and to perpetuate the lie that Trump is simply Abraham Lincoln in orange skin. And in the process, he dropped an absolute gem. “One thing that we have seen in a lot of the Black community… is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about,” he said. “But he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.” Yes, that sound you heard was a nation of millions all sucking their teeth at exactly the same time. See, centuries of systemic racism is really just a lack of desire. The thing is, this is exactly in line with something Kanye West attributed to Kushner while talking about their frequent conversations — the idea that “we don’t have Black leaders — we just have hustlers.” Wait, though, because we’re confused. If you want to be successful in a country that is built around denying you opportunities, you have to hustle… but if you hustle, then you can’t be a leader. Goddamnit, Jared, you’ve outsmarted us again. Next time around, we’ll have to be born to a gazillionaire magnate the way you were, and see if that helps. (Bloomberg News)
🗑 New York cop chants “Trump 2020” from his car’s loudspeaker, proves what everyone in New York already knew
You crazy for this one, White cops who live on Long Island or Staten Island or in predominantly White neighborhoods in Queens! Over the weekend, a pedestrian in Brooklyn got into a shouting match with a couple of NYPD officers after their car rolled into a crosswalk. You know the best way for officers of the peace to defuse a situation in which they were clearly in the wrong? That’s not a rhetorical question, we’re really asking you, because the answer probably isn’t repeatedly saying “Trump 2020” over the car’s loudspeaker. And it’s definitely not escalating the situation by daring the pedestrian to “put it on YouTube, put it on Facebook.” Given that whole “you can’t endorse a candidate when on duty” rule, the officer has been suspended without pay — though how long that suspension is, or what it really does to change an inbred culture of us-against-them reactionary conservatism that also manifests in actions like driving your SUV into a crowd of peaceful protestors, is at press time still unclear. So, in summation: very legal, very cool. (BuzzFeed News)