University of Oklahoma’s Powerful Response to Racism

The university stood together to oppose one fraternity’s gross display of bigotry

The video is as stomach-turning as it is short. Uploaded to YouTube by University of Oklahoma black student group Unheard OU, the 10-second long video shows a group of white, tuxedo-clad young men on a bus (and cheering, formally attired women) chanting a song about never letting blacks into their fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. As if this smug display didn’t already confirm every bad stereotype you’ve already heard about the greek system, the lyrics included the penultimate black slur as well as references to lynching.

Last night, Unheard, which formed to address issues of racism and equality on OU’s campus, tweeted the video to OU president David Boren with the message, “Racism is alive at the University of Oklahoma.”

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Harper Lee’s Sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird Will Be Released This Summer

The notoriously press-shy author says book, written in the mid-1950s, will once again feature Scout and her father, Atticus Finch.

Today, the AP reports that the publisher Harper will release a sequel of sorts to To Kill a Mockingbird. And, unlike the many poorly thought-out sequels and franchises to which we’ve become inured, this novel actually sounds like it will be worth a damn.

Nelle Harper Lee. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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CNN’s Don Lemon Dances with New Robot BFF

The controversial news anchor doesn’t need other humans, as long as he’s got this hip-hop-loving, beer-fetching, joke-telling machine.

On CNN the other night, news anchor Don Lemon was overjoyed when Inside Man’s Morgan Spurlock brought a real robot by the studio. While elsewhere CNN had been hyping the premiere show of Inside Man’s third season with a forboding “Meet our new robot overlords?” Lemon seemed to welcome Meccanoid, the child-sized robot bearing more than a passing resemblance to Number 5 from the popular ‘80s franchise Short Circuit. And why shouldn’t he? Lemon has had it up to here with humans lately, what with their criticism of his pop culture-inflected news delivery and questionable reporting, their piling on about his seeming lack of sensitivity toward his interview subjects, their mean-spirited “awards.” It’s enough to make a guy want to avoid those sentient bags of flesh and their dumb opinions at all costs.

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Flowchart: Should I Buy This?

Don’t let Black Friday deals and holiday gift-giving pressure get to you. Here’s the ultimate answer for your shopping dilemmas

I used to pride myself on two things: scoring really great bargains, and giving really great gifts. But this summer, something snapped. Preparing for a cross-country move, I found myself mired in cardboard boxes, drowning in stuff: A soup tureen I requested on my wedding registry, six Champagne flutes snapped up for $11, a ceramic monkey sculpture from my college roommate. Never having considered myself a person of extravagant taste (granted, a porcelain soup tureen and champagne flutes should have been clues), I was suddenly confronted with the fact I had way, way too much crap.

But some of this “crap” came from friends and relatives in the form of thoughtful gifts. And, let me be clear, it is stuff that I treasure, but in the end, it is just stuff. I then realized that, as much as I liked giving gifts, they too, were just stuff that someone else now had to deal with. I wondered how many of the gifts I had given over the years became a source of aggravation. Or worse, how many ended up in some landfill? If, as they say, it really is the thought that counts, then why not treat your friend or loved one to a dinner, or a movie, or a dinner and a movie? That seems a lot more fun than a gift gathering dust on a bookshelf or in a closet.

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Teaching the Middle Class to Invest Like the One Percent

A new financial services company wants to create a “revolution” by giving everyday Americans access to the investment strategies of the wealthy

Illustration by Addison Eaton

Income inequality is by now a term most Americans know well. From French economist Thomas Piketty’s surprise bestseller tackling the topic, to the new leader of the Fed, Janet Yellen, confessing that the trend “greatly concerns” her, to a much-shared study indicating the U.S. is closer to an oligarchy than democracy, 2014 was the year that the widening gap between the wealthiest and poorest families in America went mainstream.

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SeaWorld's Post Blackfish Syndrome

The future is grim for America's favorite, freedom-quashing, aquatic theme park.

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

It’s been a slow, slippery slide into ignominy for SeaWorld, but the past two years have plunged the company into a Mariana-sized trench of bad publicity—whether the animal theme park can resurface remains to be seen.

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