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The Million Man March's understated inclusivity

Published: Saturday, October 10, 2015 @ 11:03 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 10, 2015 @ 11:03 PM

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Some speakers at the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March invoked a familiar refrain Saturday. 

"Black lives do matter," U.S. congressman Danny K. Davis said. 

"We came to tell the whole world that black life matters to us," Nation of Islam minister Nuri Muhammad said. 

This year's theme was "Justice or Else" and that went beyond concerns for black lives. 

The event, which is touted as one of the largest gatherings of black Americans, has been taking place at Washington, D.C.'s National Mall since 1995. Back then, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan — who inspired the march — spoke directly to black men about "atonement, reconciliation and responsibility." (Video via NBC)

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The Nation of Islam framed the inaugural event like this, "The world saw black men demonstrating the willingness to shoulder the responsibility of improving themselves and the community" — which was, at the time, revolutionary.  

But there's an understated inclusivity in the march. Ostensibly, it's still a gathering of black Americans. At the end of the day, though, it is and has always been a platform for change. 

"We're trying to show the world these are problems here and these problems demand resolution," Farrakhan said. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.

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Chicago TV anchor told a Muslim blogger that she didn’t ‘sound like an American.’ Her response went viral.

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 1:15 PM

Hota Kotebi, 23, is a Muslim fashion blogger from Chicago. Katebi, who wears a hijab, went viral in January 2018 for an interview on local TV. During a debate over the Middle East, an anchor told her she didn't "sound like an American." Her response, "That's because I read, you know?" became a meme. Katebi said she hopes her interview encourages people to question social narratives.

She’s a hashtag; she’s a meme. Chicago fashion blogger Hoda Katebi’s response to a WGN-TV news anchor who told her that she doesn’t “sound like an American” when she criticizes U.S. policy in the Middle East has been reported by media in Russia, England and Dubai. More than 10 million people have seen online clips of the contentious interview.

The controversy started in late January, when Katebi, 23, and author of the 2016 book “Tehran Streetstyle,” was interviewed by WGN Morning News anchors Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten for a segment on Iranian fashion.

When Katebi, who wears a hijab, or Muslim headscarf, pushed back against the idea that Western dress in 1970s Iran connoted more freedom for women, the interview got political. Potash asked her whether Iran can be trusted when it comes to nuclear weapons, and Katebi responded with a critique of U.S. “imperialism” in the Middle East, citing “all of the violence that (the U.S.) hasn’t only created, but created the capacity for.”

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“A lot of Americans might take offense to that,” Baumgarten responded. “You’re an American. You don’t sound like an American when you say things.”

“That’s because I read, you know?” Katebi said, laughing as she cut off Baumgarten with a line that would become a meme.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Katebi, a University of Chicago graduate, said the interview went by in a rush and she didn’t fully process it until later when she obtained a video from a third party.

“I would not have gotten that comment had I been white,” she said of Baumgarten’s statement “You don’t sound like an American.”

“I think it (embodied) a very clear assumption that people have across the United States about Muslims as always being other, and foreign, and incompatible with the West, despite (the fact that) just two or three minutes before, we were talking about me being born and raised in Oklahoma. So, for me, that was an important moment to really bring to light a lot of assumptions that guide American thinking. But also it makes you think about, well then what does an American sound like? And what is she trying to say? (My) family is affected by U.S. policies, such as the Muslim ban — why am I not allowed to critique the state? And if I’m not American, what is American?”

WGN responded to a request for comment from Baumgarten with a written statement: “WGN anchors Robin Baumgarten and Larry Potash have apologized on the air, on social media and personally to Hoda. WGN-TV is committed to fostering education and a deeper understanding of race, religion, and identity. These are important issues and we will continue to focus on them in our reporting and community service.”

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The interview got international attention after Katebi wrote about it on her blog, JooJoo Azad, on Feb 10.

“Robin called the first day the post went viral,” she said. She said Baumgarten “very much sincerely apologized,” and she accepted.

“I’m not going to hold a grudge against the station,” she said. “I don’t want this to be about WGN. I want this to be about using this as a teaching tool on a national or international scale.”

Interest kept building in the days after the post., the Dubai fashion and lifestyle brand Emirates Woman, and the Daily Mirror in Britain were among those that ran stories. A video interview by the AJ+ media company got 4.8 million views on Facebook, and a clip tweeted by a New York lawyer got more than 6 million views. On YouTube, the video of the interview got more than 190,000 views and more than 760 comments, many highly favorable: “She up there spittin’ that truth fire ever so casually.” “This girl is my hero.” “GIRL YOU GO!!!!!!!!!!”

Katebi said she hopes that her WGN interview encourages people to question simple narratives about politics and society and that it encourages others to speak out about unequal treatment.

Asked what she has learned from the experience, she laughed.

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“I’ve learned that I love the internet, but I’ve also learned to really take a stand against any form of micro-aggression and not to allow myself to normalize this even on the smallest scale. I was actually debating putting (my blog post) up, initially, because I was like, it’s not that wild. This happens all the time. But eventually, I was like, ‘Oh, to hell with it. Let me put it up on the internet and see what happens.’ ”

She was in a four-hour meeting when she uploaded her blog post, and she kept her laptop closed for the next eight hours. By the time she opened it, there was an avalanche of notifications waiting for her, and her inbox was filled with emails.

“For me, to see that the world really, truly took this, and said this is unacceptable, and this is not OK, and this cannot happen again, was really powerful,” she said.

“There’s a level of violence that I think Muslims and people of color have gotten used to, and I think, for me, I learned, say no and resist that and raise the bar.”

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Meatball pizza bowl comes to Olive Garden’s lunch menu

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

Olive Garden has a new Meatball Pizza Bowl on its lunch menu.
Jeffery Patrick / Olive Garden
Olive Garden has a new Meatball Pizza Bowl on its lunch menu.(Jeffery Patrick / Olive Garden)

Olive Garden has added a pizza to its menu -- sort of.

Delish reported the Meatball Pizza Bowl is part of a new Lunch Duos menu, which offers an entree and unlimited soup or salad. The bowl, which is made of pizza dough, has similar toppings to the restaurant’s famous breadsticks. It has three cheeses -- Parmesan, mozzarella and Asiago, according to USA Today.

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The price of the entree, which Thrillist reported is topped with 10 meatballs, starts at $6.99, although prices vary depending on the location.

The Meatball Pizza Bowl is available for lunch Monday through Friday before 3 p.m.

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Marco Rubio faces a tough crowd during CNN's town hall for gun reform

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:35 AM

WATCH: Senator Marco Rubio Speaks At CNN Town Hall For Gun Reform

During CNN’s Wednesday night town hall with Florida lawmakers, survivors of last week’s high school shooting and members of the NRA, Sen. Marco Rubio attempted to explain why a ban on assault rifles wouldn’t have prevented the tragedy, and the audience’s reaction was not quite what he was hoping for.

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While explaining what a ban on assault rifles would do, the Republican senator from Florida said to ensure no one would “get around it.”

“You would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle that’s sold in America.” A surprised Rubio, who appeared to have been hoping to convince the audience against such an idea, was met with a solid 10 seconds of applause that overwhelmed the room.

“Fair enough, fair enough,” the senator said as the cheers died down.

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The moment came just after a grieving father called Rubio’s reaction to the mass shooting “pathetically weak” and asked whether the senator would support banning assault rifles like Nikolas Cruz’s AR-15 in order to save the lives of children.

“It’s too easy to get. It is a weapon of war,” the father emotionally said. “The fact that you can’t stand with everybody else in this building and say that, I’m sorry.”

A flustered Rubio assured him, “I do believe what you’re saying is true,” before launching into his argument against an assault rifles ban.

>> Related: Alleged Florida high school shooter has $800,000 inheritance, reports say

CNN’s town hall follows last week’s shooting at Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School where gunman Nikolas Cruz fatally shot 17 people and injured over a dozen more. In the time since, many of the school’s surviving students have been commanding public attention and demanding a conversation about gun reform in the United States.

WATCH: Florida Sheriff Attends Town Hall For Gun Reform

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Daylight saving time 2018: Seven things to know about ‘springing forward’

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Spring Forward: Daylight Saving

You may want to store up some extra sleep in the next few weeks because you are about to lose an hour of it.

Come March 11 at 2 a.m. most of America will be “springing forward” as daylight saving time kicks in, giving us another hour of sunlight.

Here’s a look at seven things you may not have known about daylight saving time.

  1. “Spring forward and fall back” is an easy way to remember how to set the clock when daylight saving times begins and ends. You set your clock forward one hour at 2 a.m. on March 11. You’ll set it back one hour at 2 a.m. on Nov. 4.
  2. In the United States, daylight saving time began on March 21, 1918. U.S. government officials reasoned that fuel could be saved by reducing the need for lighting in the home.
  3. Ancient agrarian civilizations used a form of daylight saving time, adjusting their timekeeping depending on the sun’s activity.
  4. Many people call it daylight savings time. The official name is daylight saving time. No ‘s’ on ‘saving.’
  5. Benjamin Franklin came up with an idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy.
  6. A standardized system of beginning and ending daylight saving time came in 1966 when the Uniform Time Act became law. While it was a federal act, states were granted the power to decide if they wanted to remain on standard time year-round.
  7. Arizona (except for the Navajo, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands), Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands do not observe daylight saving time.

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