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Red Sox Ask Boston To Change Street Named After Racist Former Owner

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Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park. Image by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ekilby/2890518365">Eric Kilby/Flickr</a>.

The Boston Red Sox announced Thursday that they will be asking the city of Boston to change the name of Yawkey Way, the public street that leads to Fenway Park and is named after the team’s former owner, Tom Yawkey, a notorious racist.

In an email to the Boston Herald, current team owner John Henry said the question of renaming the street had come up a “number of times” in conversations with the administration of the previous mayor, Thomas Menino, but officials ultimately passed, fearing a political backlash. “They did not want to open what they saw as a can of worms,” Henry said.

Henry added that “David Ortiz Way” and/or “Big Papi Way,” would be his choice for a new name. But even though the Red Sox themselves can’t make this decision, the reason he’s pressing for a change now is that he remains “haunted” by the legacy of Yawkey’s pervasive racism.

Via the Boston Herald:

“’The Red Sox don’t control the naming or renaming of streets,’ Henry said. ‘But for me, personally, the street name has always been a consistent reminder that it is our job to ensure the Red Sox are not just multi-cultural, but stand for as many of the right things in our community as we can — particularly in our African-American community and in the Dominican community that has embraced us so fully. The Red Sox Foundation and other organizations the Sox created such as Home Base have accomplished a lot over the last 15 years, but I am still haunted by what went on here a long time before we arrived.’”

Current Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement that he agreed with Henry. Representatives from both the Boston NAACP and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offered words of praise and support, with the latter saying that even if renaming the street was just a symbolic gesture, it was a long-overdue one that could lead to a “turning point” in Boston finally overcoming its pervasive and long-standing racial issues.

As the Herald noted, the Red Sox were the last Major League Baseball team to add an African-American player to the roster, in 1959 — 12 years after Jackie Robinson’s debut. The Red Sox brought Robinson in for a tryout prior to his signing with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers. Per an obituary published by the Boston Globe, Yawkey was in the stands that day and told his chief scout, "All right, get those n------s out of the ball park."

Yawkey also scuttled an opportunity to sign another all-time great: Willie Mays. According to ESPN’s Howard Bryant, the author of “Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston,” Mays told him: “That [Tom] Yawkey. Everyone knew he was a racist. He didn't want me."

The street name has always been a consistent reminder that it is our job to ensure the Red Sox are not just multi-cultural, but stand for as many of the right things in our community as we can.

Racial tensions between Bostonians and the athletes who play there persist to this day. In May, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said he’d been pelted with both peanuts and racist epithets. When Boston media personalities began questioning whether the incident took place at all, multiple current players backed Jones, with New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia saying he too had been subjected to racist taunts. “When you go to Boston, you expect it,” Sabathia said.

While Henry never explicitly referred to last weekend’s horrific act of terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia, it’s hard to imagine that the murder of 32-year-old activist Heather Heyer and subsequent decision by municipalities and cities across the United States to begin removing statues and monuments honoring the Confederacy wasn’t on his mind.

Two large-scale “free speech” rallies organized by neo-Nazis and white supremacists are scheduled to be held this weekend in Boston.

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angelchrys
13 hours ago
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Overland Park, KS
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The Rainbow Cake that Deserves a Double Tap

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Feast your eyes on the newest multicolor item to grace our feeds and our forks: Bouchon Bakery’s rainbow cake is just what we need right now.

The cake, developed by pastry chef Nicholas Bonamico in the summer of 2015, is a nod to both the legalization of same sex marriage and the Italian tricolore cake. Though two years old, Bouchon’s cake is finding itself at the center of renewed attention after a particularly rainbow-friendly summer. And after all this talk of unicorn Frappuccinos and rainbow bagels, I welcome this cake with a poised thumb.

A 🌈 of rainbow cookies @rockcenternyc @theshopsatcolumbuscircle #yountville #nyc #pride2017

A post shared by Bouchon Bakery (@bouchon_bakery) on

🌈🌈TAG A FRIEND YOU'D SHARE THIS GIANT RAINBOW COOKIE WITH🌈🌈 Credit: @foodsmithnyc #newforkcity

A post shared by New Fork City® (@new_fork_city) on

The cake is truly a marvel to observe. The batter is simple (flour, butter, almond paste, eggs) but the result is decadent. Layers of primary color, in all their ROYGBIV splendor, rest delicately one above the other, interspersed with raspberry and apricot jam. On top is a plane of dusted chocolate, the dark final stop on an otherwise colorful affair.

If you are what you eat, I'm only eating this cake

A post shared by Frosted & Fried | Cheat Food (@frostedandfried) on

A slice goes for $5.50, but reports say that the slice is as filling as it is flashy and recommend splitting a piece between two. If you can't make the journey, the deluge of Instagrams will just have to do. Or, check out this recipe for the Italian cookies Bouchon has been drawing inspiration from:

Italian Rainbow Cookies
Italian Rainbow Cookies by Nina Caldas

Do you want to taste the rainbow? Let us know in the comments.

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bibliogrrl
2 hours ago
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Chicago!
angelchrys
22 hours ago
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Overland Park, KS
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Chuck E. Cheese’s Testing Restaurants With No Animatronics

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Children today: They still love video games, pizza, and music, but they aren’t as into animatronic animal bands as generations past. That’s why some locations will experiment with taking the robots out and replacing them with humans in animal costumes. Don’t worry, though: Drunken brawls among adult guests are sure to continue.

Dancing with the Mouse

Chuck E. Cheese’s is introducing revamped restaurants that have TV screens, open kitchens, large-format video games, and dance floors, but no stage that features animatronic animals performing music. That’s been a fixture of the restaurant since the beginning, but they just don’t hold kids’ attention like they used to.

“The kids stopped looking at the animatronics years and years ago, and they would wait for the live Chuck E. to come out,” the company’s chief executive, Tom Leverton, told CBS.

Yes, someone dresses up in a mouse costume and dances with children, and kids raised on hyper-realistic animation and video games find that more appealing than the jerky movements of the aging animatronic figures.

The company plans to renovate four restaurants in the San Antonio, TX, area to the more modern look and format, then convert three others in the Kansas City, MO, area as well. Depending on how this test goes, other restaurants will be converted, too.

Leverton, the company’s Big Cheese, predicted in his interview with CBS that the new format will go over well with young children, and they’ll be removing the robo-critters from restaurants in the future. There are 500 restaurants nationwide.

Atari and Rick the Rat

Technically, this brings the chain and the Chuck E. Cheese character back to its roots. The Chuck character began as a costumed mascot for Atari. Yep, the video game company. Co-founder Nolan Bushnell claims that he ordered a coyote costume and received a mouse/rat costume instead, but went along with it.

The brand began as part of Atari, with the goal of making video games more mainstream and acceptable for families to play. Bushnell bought the pizza restaurant and its intellectual property from Warner, the company that purchased Atari, and developed it as a standalone company.

The animatronic shows were meant to entertain adults when the chain first started. They would watch the 8-minute show while waiting for pizza, and banter between characters edged into PG territory. Instead, the characters became entertainment for the whole family.

(via A.V. Club)





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angelchrys
22 hours ago
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Overland Park, KS
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Chipotle May Discontinue Chorizo; Would You Care?

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It hasn’t even been a year since Chipotle added chorizo sausage to its menu on a nationwide basis, and now there’s the possibility it could be going away — but would that many people really miss it?

Earlier this summer, Chipotle began testing queso at a small number of test stores, and now Business Insider reports that queso-selling stores in Chipotle’s home state of Colorado are not selling chorizo, presumably to keep the total number of menu items the same.

If chorizo were to go away, it may not be sorely missed by most Chipotle customers. According to industry analyst Peter Saleh of BTIG, the sausage only accounts for about 3% of the chain’s protein sales, dwarfed by the much more popular beef, chicken, and pork. So if queso goes nationwide, that might be the end of Chipotle’s chorizo experiment.

At the same time, judging by some responses to the queso on social media, Chipotle might not want to go nationwide with that new menu item:





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angelchrys
1 day ago
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Noooooooo!!! I love the chorizo and never get anything else
Overland Park, KS
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sjk
1 day ago
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NOOOOOOO! I always get the Chorizo when I go to Chipotle (because I like to live dangerously).
Florida

Benefits of Living Alone Showcased in Charming Illustrations

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Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations

Known for her beautiful background paintings, Los Angeles-based artist Yaoyao Ma Van As boasts an impressive professional portfolio. In addition to her collection of commissioned work, the painter, illustrator, and “occasional animator” also creates charming personal pieces that explore the overlooked benefits of living alone.

Each playfully drawn depiction features a female figure (undeniably rendered in Ma Van As' own likeness) demonstrating the perks of single life. Predominantly set inside her colorful, cozy house, the series presents the ins-and-outs of the character's everyday life, which range from comical to heartwarming. Whether she's hovering in front of the fridge searching for a midnight snack, unashamedly making a mess, or quietly sipping coffee, the solitary subject appears happy. And, with her adorable little dog by her side, she proves that living alone doesn't necessarily mean one is lonely.

Ma Van As' delightful illustrations are rendered in the artist's distinctive style and characteristically colorful palette. If, like us, you love this aesthetic, you can purchase a print of most of her empowering pieces through her online shop.

Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations Yaoyao Ma Van As Benefits of Living Alone Illustrations
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angelchrys
1 day ago
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80% Of America's Teachers Are White

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My 16-year-old son had what will likely be his only black male teacher throughout his K-12 experience when he was in fifth grade. He started his junior year of high school on Thursday and called me after the half-day of classes was over. “The teachers seem cool,” he said. But once again, none of them look like my African-American son — and most students across the nation won’t have a black teacher either. Or a Latino, Native American, or Asian American one.

America’s public school population has been majority children of color since 2014.

That’s because a report released this week by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics shows that a majority of America’s nearly 4 million public school educators are still primarily white. The data included in the report comes from the 2015-16 National Teacher and Principal Survey, which collects information from a nationally representative sample of elementary and secondary public school teachers and administrators in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

According to the survey, “About 80 percent of all public school teachers were non Hispanic White, 9 percent were Hispanic, 7 percent were non-Hispanic Black, and 2 percent were non-Hispanic Asian” during the 2015-16 school year. 

Meanwhile, America’s public school population has been majority children of color since 2014 — and it’s only getting more diverse. Data compiled by the Education Department in the fall of 2016 found that of the nation’s 50.4 million public school kids, 24.6 million (49%) were white children and 25.9 million (51%) were kids of color.

Moreover, the department noted that this trend toward more diversity in our schools is only going to continue. “The percentage of students enrolled in public schools who are White is projected to continue to decline through at least fall 2025, as the enrollments of Hispanic students and Asian/Pacific Islander students increase,” wrote the department.

It’s tempting to think that when it comes to teaching algebra or how to write a topic sentence, a teacher’s skill — not their color — should be what counts. Except plenty of research shows that educators often bring their racial prejudice into the classroom.

A 2014 analysis of a decade of federal data by the Center For American Progress found that public school teachers have lower academic expectations for black and Latino children, even before these kids enter the classroom. The center found that teachers (who are, don’t forget, majority white) “believed that African American students were 47 percent less likely to graduate from college than their white peers” and “that Hispanic students were 42 percent less likely to earn a college diploma than their white peers.” 

And while school is about academics, it’s also a place where kids are socialized. My 13-year-old son started his freshman year of high school on Tuesday, only two days after the racially motivated violence in Virginia. I texted him on Tuesday afternoon, “Did any of your teachers bring up what happened in Charlottesville or address not tolerating racist speech in class?”

His text back to me spoke volumes: “No.” His answer was no on Wednesday afternoon, as well.

Contrast that with the approach of David Jackson, a black male secondary teacher in the New York City area. In an op-ed published in the New York Times in April, Jackson wrote about showing his students a film about Kalief Browder, “who was arrested at age 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack, spent three years on Rikers Island without being convicted of a crime and died by suicide after his release.” Jackson had his students — nearly all children of color — write essays about their own experiences with law enforcement. Jackson knows they’ve been stopped and frisked and knows it’s critical to talk about it.

“I realized it’s not just that my students live these topics every day. It’s also that they are teenagers who have seen me interact with law enforcement during our trips off campus. They trusted me because they knew I lived them as well,” he wrote.

It is important for white students to encounter black people who are knowledgeable.

But the kids of color aren’t the only ones who benefit from more diverse teachers. In 2015, Gloria Ladson-Billings, a well-respected education professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, broke it down:

“I want to suggest that there is something that may be even more important than black students having black teachers and that is white students having black teachers! It is important for white students to encounter black people who are knowledgeable,” she wrote. “What opportunities do white students have to see and experience black competence?”

Or Latino, Asian American, or Native American competence for that matter? When 75% of white people in America don’t have any non-white friends, diverse teachers can provide white students with some much-needed perspective. If that happened, perhaps kids wouldn’t grow up to become racists carrying torches at the University of Virginia.

There are no quick, easy fixes to this issue of teacher diversity. Research released last year from the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy found that low pay and a lack of professional support is driving people of color who are already educators from the classroom and makes it much harder to attract them to teaching in the first place. But given what’s happening in America, it sure seems like our future peace and prosperity depends on taking diversity seriously.

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bibliogrrl
2 hours ago
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Chicago!
angelchrys
1 day ago
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Overland Park, KS
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