Day: August 6, 2018

Donald Trump and the Black Athlete

So we have more evidence that a master of the dog whistle occupies the White House and that black athletes are a favorite target.

The president, Donald J. Trump, took out after LeBron James on Friday in a way that felt instinctive, as the hound dog pursues the hare. The N.B.A. star had criticized Trump, in measured tones, in an interview with CNN last week. When the anchor Don Lemon asked James what he would say if he were sitting across from Trump, James offered a thin smile.

LBJ

“I would never sit across from him,” he said.

At 11:37 Friday night, after the interview had been rebroadcast, Trump replied with one of those tweets that offer an X-ray of his ego, psyche and soul. “LeBron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”

There was a breathtaking quality to this attack, and not just because white men demeaning the intelligence of black people is one of the oldest and ugliest tropes in American history.

James had appeared on CNN not to criticize this thin-skinned and choleric president but to talk of growing up poor with a single mom and of trying to pay back those who helped him by underwriting a public, noncharter school for at-risk youth in his hometown, Akron, Ohio. His foundation also committed tens of millions of dollars to help provide college scholarships for Akron public school graduates.

James will give every child in this school a bike and a helmet. He is a biking enthusiast for reasons that extend beyond cardiovascular benefit: From James’s earliest childhood days, when he lived in a tiny apartment just up an embankment from Cuyahoga Valley railroad tracks, the bike stood as a symbol of freedom. It allowed him to pedal out of his down-at-the-heels neighborhood and explore a larger world.

The bike and sport gave him freedom, he told Lemon, and allowed him to meet and befriend white kids and to see a world laden with possibility. “I got an opportunity to see them and learn about them,” he said of white kids, “and they got an opportunity to learn about me, and we became very good friends.”

You wonder how Trump could listen to James saying all of this and take away nothing but offense and pique. Then again, it’s difficult to know where the line between genuine annoyance and political calculation stands for a man who so willfully stirs the coals of class and racial resentment.

READ MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/sports/trump-lebron-james.html

ONE SIZE FITS ALL The average American woman is not a size 16

Despite what you may have heard, the average American woman is not a size 16. The reality of women’s clothes sizing renders any attempt to pin the metric to a single number void of any significance. A woman with a 31-inch (79 cm) waist can go home with pants of size eight, 10, 12, 14, or 16. It just depends on the brand.

A Quartz analysis of denim sizes in the Mall of America—and the waist circumferences those sizes actually fit—reveals that these fit labels are rendered all but meaningless through the industry’s variation in size. Women’s clothing retailers in the US do not conform to established standards, are not regulated, and actively use vanity sizing. The result is an extreme range in what brands consider a size 16. A 16 at A’gaci will fit women with a 31-inch waist, while the same 16 tag at Lucky Brand and Forever 21 will accommodate a woman with a 39-inch waist. Both are a size 16, but one will definitely disappoint in the fitting room.

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In the 1950s, the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM)—a leader in standards development—first published their classification of women’s apparel sizing. The use of these specifications, however, has always been voluntary. Using anthropometric data, ASTM still reviews and updates the standards for the USA apparel industry, which includes standards for both plus-size and petite figures. Many manufacturers use the same numerical size codes, but with their own measurements. This ultimately results in a frustrating shopping experience for women of any size; and it makes classifying women by their fit a futile act.

READ MORE: https://qz.com/quartzy/1314827/the-average-american-woman-is-not-a-size-16/

Jordan Brand’s ‘Dual-Gender Offense’ Is a Bold Step Forward for Sneakers

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When it comes to icons of the sneaker world, Jordan Brand isn’t exactly hurting. The Air Jordan 1 is, after all, the shoe that put us on the path to the booming sneaker world we know today. And the styles that followed have become mainstays of the culture as well. The question, though, isn’t what the brand got right in the past—it’s how the company is moving into the future while still respecting those roots.

At least, that’s what I wanted to know when I spoke with Jordan’s VP of Design David Creech this summer in Paris, where the brand was showcasing its fall 2018 collection during fashion week. With so much in the archives, and with fans so dedicated to the OG designs, how does a sneaker company keep things feeling fresh? How do the designers keep the old icons alive while creating new ones for a younger generation?

There are no easy answers to these questions. Luckily, Creech was willing to give it a shot. From embracing Jordan’s female fan base to creating new riffs on the classics, here’s how he’s helping shape the brand’s future.

He recognizes it’s a balancing act.

I think it’s a fine line, but it’s a great opportunity for us. How do we keep stretching for the future? Because in design, we have to be about the future. Make no mistake about it: Because we’re fortunate enough to be the Jordan brand, we have the assets and the icons to really tap into, when we need to. So is there a scripted formula? Probably not. But I think it’s something that we constantly, the designers and the brand, have to keep pushing and moving forward in order to really create for the next generation.

READ MORE: https://www.esquire.com/style/mens-fashion/a22651595/jordan-brand-david-creech-interview/

4 wide receivers destined to surprise in fantasy football

fantasy sleepersWide receiver may be the deepest position in all of fantasy football. Though there are many many quality options you’ll still want to know who is set up to surprise and who is set up to stun. The four players below are all currently outside the top 30 wide receivers according to average draft position. These four are also talented players who happen to be in situations where their production can take a giant step forward.

Corey DavisTennessee Titans

Hitting on a rookie wide receiver is extremely difficult. Davis likely found himself on sleeper lists this time last year, but injuries cost him valuable game time, and he never eclipsed 100 yards receiving nor did he find the end zone in 2017.

So what has changed? For starters, the Titans brought in Matt LaFleur to overhaul the offense. If he brings some of that magic that helped the Los Angeles Rams this entire offense could take a giant leap forward. LaFleur has coached under both Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay. Two current head coaches known for innovation and getting the most out of their quarterbacks. Tennessee also did next to nothing to beef up their receiving corps. Rishard Matthews is a fantasy asset, but Davis is the better talent and should be the Titan’s premiere weapon through the air. Taywan Taylor is an interesting late-round pick, but a risky play. With a fully healthy offseason and an improved situation, look for Davis to breakout and possibly finish in the top 30 at his position.

John RossCincinnati Bengals

John Ross is more of a deep sleeper (currently going undrafted). Ross was one of the most hyped rookies last year, but injuries limited him to two games with no receptions. The 2018 season figures to be a much more productive year for the speedster and perhaps one where he becomes a weekly fantasy play.

The Bengals’ passing attack is still pretty much just A.J. Green. Brandon LaFell is a 31 year-old wide-out with talent, but there’s nothing special about his game. Tyler Boyd is entering his third year, scattering 73 receptions and three touchdowns across 28 games. Cincinnati needs a legit threat at receiver opposite of Green. Ross does have elite speed, but his route tree is diverse and he can be used more as an offensive weapon (a la Tyreek Hill). Should Ross take advantage of his opportunities you could have a WR3 with phenomenal upside for the price of the final pick in the draft.

Mike WilliamsLos Angeles Chargers

One of the best ways to find a sleeper in fantasy football is to investigate the best offenses (or who we think are the best offenses) and look at changing roles or suddenly available targets. Hunter Henry’s injury not only opens the door for an Antonio Gates revival, but also a Mike Williams breakout.

Williams’ rookie season was easy to miss. Injuries kept him off the field and when he was healthy enough to play he wasn’t effective. The former 1st round pick now has an opportunity to go through a full training camp and his main competition is Tyrell Williams, a solid if unspectacular talent who has struggled with consistency. Mike Williams’ currently going as WR50, but he has the tools and situation to finish in the top 30 at his position if he can put it together on the field this season.

Marquise GoodwinSan Francisco 49ers

It’s easy to fall in love with speed, but versatility is what keeps you on the field. Goodwin’s speed has never been an issue. Like many speed merchants he is often written off as a one-trick pony, but Goodwin showed some depth in his game last season.

The arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo should raise all boats in the Bay. Pierre Garçon is still around, but he missed Garoppolo’s run due to injury — a time where Goodwin built valuable chemistry with the new starting quarterback, topping 90 receiving yards three times in the final five weeks. Kyle Shanahan now has a QB that can execute his offense and he obviously likes Goodwin’s talent. Goodwin just needs to stay healthy to take advantage of an improved offense.

National Underwear Parade a fleshy first for Mid-City

Boxers, briefs, brassieres and bikinis saw the light of day Sunday (Aug. 5) during the National Underwear Day parade that promenaded around Bayou St. John in Mid-City from Toulouse Street to Esplanade Avenue and back.

The indiscreet procession was organized by Ryan Ballard, the founder of the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus Mardi Gras parading group, which may explain the Star Wars Stormtroopers who strode amidst the Victoria’s Secret shoppers Sunday.

Underwear Day is a celebration cooked up by the underwear industry 15 years ago to lend its little-seen products some extra exposure. But Ballard said, from his point of view, the New Orleans Underwear Day parade is merely meant to present the public with a splash of fleshy fun in the heat of August. Plus, paraders donated fresh packs of underwear to the homeless.

Ballard’s first National Underwear parade in 2016 took place in the Bywater. Back then, Ballard hoped to set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of underwear wearers, but he was foiled by the fact that so many paraders added costume accoutrement to their skivvies that the Guinness judges disqualified the event. Such is the nature of parading in the Crescent City, of course, where costuming just comes naturally. Having learned his lesson, Ballard did not attempt to break any records in 2018.

Beyoncé in Her Own Words: Her Life, Her Body, Her Heritage

Issue, Photographed by Tyler Mitchell

UntitledDo you remember a world before Beyoncé? The singer has been in our hearts and headphones for more than 20 years, from teenager to mother of three. The Queen graces Vogue’s September issue this year, sharing the story of her latest pregnancy and delivery, her thoughts on body acceptance and the influence of her ancestry, and the legacy she hopes to leave her children. Beyoncé’s fourth Vogue cover is also historic: It was shot by 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell, a rising young black photographer from Atlanta, hand-selected by the star. In this month’s cover slideshow, the Houston native stuns in Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Gucci.

Pregnancy & Body Acceptance

After the birth of my first child, I believed in the things society said about how my body should look. I put pressure on myself to lose all the baby weight in three months, and scheduled a small tour to assure I would do it. Looking back, that was crazy. I was still breastfeeding when I performed the Revel shows in Atlantic City in 2012. After the twins, I approached things very differently.

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I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth to Rumi and Sir. I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month. My health and my babies’ health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section. We spent many weeks in the NICU. My husband was a soldier and such a strong support system for me. I am proud to have been a witness to his strength and evolution as a man, a best friend, and a father. I was in survival mode and did not grasp it all until months later. Today I have a connection to any parent who has been through such an experience. After the C-section, my core felt different. It had been major surgery. Some of your organs are shifted temporarily, and in rare cases, removed temporarily during delivery. I am not sure everyone understands that. I needed time to heal, to recover. During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be. After six months, I started preparing for Coachella. I became vegan temporarily, gave up coffee, alcohol, and all fruit drinks. But I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves. My kids and husband did, too.

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I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies. That’s why I stripped away the wigs and hair extensions and used little makeup for this shoot. To this day my arms, shoulders, breasts, and thighs are fuller. I have a little mommy pouch, and I’m in no rush to get rid of it. I think it’s real. Whenever I’m ready to get a six-pack, I will go into beast zone and work my ass off until I have it. But right now, my little FUPA and I feel like we are meant to be.To this day my arms, shoulders, breasts, and thighs are fuller. I have a little mommy pouch, and I’m in no rush to get rid of it. I think it’s real. Whenever I’m ready to get a six-pack, I will go into beast zone and work my ass off until I have it. But right now, my little FUPA and I feel like we are meant to be.

Opening Doors

Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like. That is why I wanted to work with this brilliant 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell.

When I first started, 21 years ago, I was told that it was hard for me to get onto covers of magazines because black people did not sell. Clearly that has been proven a myth. Not only is an African American on the cover of the most important month for Vogue, this is the first ever Vogue cover shot by an African American photographer.

It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists. There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter.

Imagine if someone hadn’t given a chance to the brilliant women who came before me: Josephine Baker, Nina Simone, Eartha Kitt, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, and the list goes on. They opened the doors for me, and I pray that I’m doing all I can to open doors for the next generation of talents.

If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own. They will hire the same models, curate the same art, cast the same actors over and over again, and we will all lose. The beauty of social media is it’s completely democratic. Everyone has a say. Everyone’s voice counts, and everyone has a chance to paint the world from their own perspective.

READ MORE: https://www.vogue.com/article/beyonce-september-issue-2018

White Brooklyn Firefighter Shouts Racist Insult at Medical Technician: ‘Just Do Your Job You Black Bitch’

fire engineA white FDNY firefighter hurled a racist and sexist insult at an EMT while emergency medical services were attempting to bring power back to Starrett City residents last Sunday. According to the New York Daily News, during a heated exchange between an EMS crew and some firefighters, a white firefighter from Engine Co. 290 in Brooklyn lashed out a black female EMT.

“Just do your job, you black bitch,” he allegedly yelled at the EMT.

The Daily News reports that the EMT filed a complaint to the FDNY’s Equal Employment Opportunity office the same day. A spokesperson for the department told the Daily News on Friday they were investigating the firefighter, but that he remained on active duty.

Allegations of racism and discrimination have long plagued “New York’s Bravest.” The department paid out a $98 million settlement in a suit fired by black and Latinx firefighting applicants who accused the FDNY of discriminating against them in the hiring process.

READ MORE:https://www.theroot.com/white-brooklyn-firefighter-shouts-racist-insult-at-medi-1828115705