Kaepernick’s Visit To Riker’s Island Sparks Controversy

“This will only encourage inmates to continue to attack Correction Officers at a time when we need more protection.”

Colin Kaepernick visited Rikers Island on Dec. 12, a surprise visit organized by 100 Suits for 100 Men, a nonprofit that provides business attire and other resources to individuals trying to find employment. Kaepernick, who recently was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated, had previously donated $33,000 to 100 Suits as part of the $1,000,000 he’s pledged to various activist and social justice organizations.

In a video posted to social media, 100 Suits’ founder, Kevin Livingston, discussed the impact that Kaepernick had on the men he met with:


In a separate video, Livingston explained that a portion of Kaepernick’s donation had helped provide holiday meals for men being held at Rikers.

Despite being invited by the Department of Corrections to “share a message of hope and inspiration,” a spokesperson said, Kaepernick’s visit provoked a backlash — if a wildly disingenuous one.

“This will only encourage inmates to continue to attack Correction Officers at a time when we need more protection,” the president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, Elias Husamudeen, said, per the New York Daily News. Husamudeen also shunted additional blame on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, calling Kaepernick’s appearance part of his “political con-game,” as if the mayor hasn’t been targeted by police unions since taking office. “This is yet another brazen display of the hypocrisy of this mayor who pretends to support us in public, yet does everything possible to jeopardize our security in private,” said Husamudeen.

What, exactly, did Kaepernick do or say that would potentially cause harm or inspire hostility? Husamudeen doesn’t say, but it seems giving them clothing that could help them when facing a jury played a role.

Per WPIX:

“Husamudeen was also upset inmates were provided with suits to wear for the meeting. Kaepernick’s meeting was in conjunction with the organization ‘100 Suits for 100 men,’ a program for young adult inmates who are mentored in financial literacy, become members of a book club and listen to guest speakers.

‘We’re living in a world of make believe,’ Husamudeen said. ‘Inmates don’t wear suits in jail. Give suits to the men in the streets looking for work. Help them before they come to jail.’”

Kaepernick has been working with kids as part of his ongoing “Know Your Rights” camps, offering seminars and practical training in subjects that range from legal issues, education, job preparation, and nutrition. The former quarterback has also given suits to “men in the streets looking for work,” as previously mentioned. Whether Husamudeen was unaware of Kaepernick’s efforts or simply chose to grandstand is irrelevant.

What should be of greater concern, though is this: In April, the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, a group comprised of New York City officials, ex-judges, academics, and others, issued a report that recommended Rikers Island be closed for good, largely due to their finding that the guards have been using excessive force.

Via the dearly departed and invaluable New York site, Gothamist:

“According to the report, inmates are regularly subjected to ‘head strikes, wall slams and violent takedowns often involving neck/chokeholds,’ leading to injuries that are ‘followed by delays in providing needed medical attention.’

The report also found that guards will regularly strike inmates who are restrained in handcuffs and that there is a tendency to use pepper-spray, often in large doses and at close range, as a punishment for minor altercations. And violent incidents at the controversial facility appear to be increasing — in December of 2016, there were 3.93 uses of force for every 100 inmates, compared to 3.73 in November of 2015.”

As Mother Jones reported in 2013, Rikers ranks as one of America’s worst prisons, prone to administering violent reprisals, including allegations of rape, for the slightest transgressions. Perhaps someone could inform the Correction Officers Benevolent Association that inmates at Rikers have actual reasons to fear and resent their jailers, and the presence of a single out-of-work blacklisted NFL quarterback has absolutely nothing to do with it. Because lashing out at Kaepernick could appear to be a way to deflect from Rikers’ deep-seated institutional problems and state-sanctioned violence.

Sports
via Smithfly.com

"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

RELATED: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

Lifestyle
via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

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The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.

Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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Communities
via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

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Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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