GOOD

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The NFL finally seems to be coming to terms with the extent of damage that playing football does to its players. Last month, the league acknowledged that one in three players will experience long-term cognitive problems due to brain trauma—as if neurological research, university-funded studies, and actuarial estimates were needed to prove that the violent collision of two heads could cause brain damage. The league is also increasingly enforcing a spate of new penalties to protect defenseless players from taking hits above their shoulders. In essence, the NFL has decided to legislate around the act of tackling—there are safe and unsafe ways of doing so, the logic goes.

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A few years ago, a United Nations study quantified an astounding truth – a truth so dramatic it deserved space on the front page of papers around the world, and with implications so stunning it demanded that we re-consider the way we are combating extreme poverty.

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No, Black Folk Can't Ask for Help

I am black, feared and barely tolerated.

"Black folk can't ask for help." This is the sadness and caution I live with. This is the ethic, mantra and reality that I may die to. The recent killing of Renisha McBride might have inspired this particular essay, but high-profile cases of Jonathan Farrel, Trayvon Martin, Trayon Christian as well as countless taken lives who don't receive a tweet remind me that I'm presumed to be a black menace who has been given less than a benefit of doubt that I'm human.

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Don't Just Talk to Kids About Violence, Help Them Take Action

Hiding what happened in Connecticut from kids isn't the answer. Help them take action.


This afternoon when I go pick my two sons up from school, I'm going to hug them extra tight. I know in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, every parent across America is doing the same. And then I'm going to have to tell my boys how someone went into that school and shot and killed seven educators and 20 children.

This won't be the first time I'll need to have a conversation with them about gun violence or a mass shooting. As black boys they also worry that, like Florida teens Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, they could be shot by someone who thinks their music is up too loud or that they look suspicious. Given the gun violence in Chicago, they're nervous about going to visit relatives there. And, after the mall shooting in Oregon earlier this week they're anxious about going holiday shopping.

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