NBA player Kyle Korver wrote a must-read essay on what he's learned about white privilege in America.

Kyle Korver's thoughtful essay on race—and his role as a white man in today's America—is a must read.

Utah Jazz basketball player Kyle Korver is making waves with his Players Tribune essay in which he lays out what he's learned about race and racism and his personal role in it all.

Korver starts with his reaction in 2015 to finding out that the NYPD had arrested his black teammate and friend, Thabo Sefolosha—and broken his leg in the process. Sefolosha was eventually found not guilty on all charges and the city of New York paid him $4 million in a wrongful arrest settlement.


Korver describes how his initial response to news of the incident has gnawed at him:

"On the morning I found out that Thabo had been arrested, want to know what my first thought was? About my friend and teammate? My first thought was: What was Thabo doing out at a club on a back-to-back??

Yeah. Not, How’s he doing? Not, What happened during the arrest?? Not, Something seems off with this story. Nothing like that. Before I knew the full story, and before I’d even had the chance to talk to Thabo….. I sort of blamed Thabo.

I thought, Well, if I’d been in Thabo’s shoes, out at a club late at night, the police wouldn’t have arrested me. Not unless I was doing something wrong.

Cringe.

It’s not like it was a conscious thought. It was pure reflex — the first thing to pop into my head."

So begins Korver's deep dive into his own unconscious biases, his burgeoning awareness of his own privilege as a white man, and his growing understanding of the racism so many of his teammates and other people of color constantly deal with. His essay represents a thoughtful, honest example of the kind of self-analysis white Americans need to undertake to uproot the racism enmeshed in our country's foundation.

It really needs to be read in its entirety. Slowly. Without a lens of defensiveness or fragility, if possible.

Korver doesn't say anything about racism that black people haven't said forever. But seeing the journey of a white American's consciousness may help others on their own path.

In a perfect world, all white Americans would listen when chorus after chorus of black Americans tell us how they experience racism. In a perfect world, the voices of people of color would be listened to, heard, and believed.

Obviously, we don't live in a perfect world. Hopefully, Korver's voice will reach people who need to see an example of what learning to be an ally looks like. Perhaps his eloquent explanation of how his understanding has evolved will help other white Americans ask themselves hard questions about their own privilege and racial blind spots.

For example, Korver points out how simply having the ability to ignore or blow off race issues is a form of privilege that many of us don't think about. White Americans have the choice to opt in or out of grappling with racism. People of color have no choice but to deal with it, day in and day out.

Korver also explains that subtle racism—the kind we see all the time but don't always recognize—needs to be tackled just as much as blatant racism:

"As disgraceful as it is that we have to deal with racist hecklers in NBA arenas in 2019? The truth is, you could argue that that kind of racism is 'easier' to deal with.

Because at least in those cases, the racism is loud and clear. There’s no ambiguity — not in the act itself, and thankfully not in the response: we throw the guy out of the building, and then we ban him for life.

But in many ways the more dangerous form of racism isn’t that loud and stupid kind. It isn’t the kind that announces itself when it walks into the arena. It’s the quiet and subtle kind. The kind that almost hides itself in plain view. It’s the person who does and says all the 'right' things in public: They’re perfectly friendly when they meet a person of color. They’re very polite. But in private? Well….. they sort of wish that everyone would stop making everything 'about race' all the time.

It’s the kind of racism that can seem almost invisible — which is one of the main reasons why it’s allowed to persist."

Again, this is the same thing black folks have been saying over and over and over again. When are we going to listen?

Predictably, Korver's essay irked defensive white folks who ironically prove his point. But most responses have been enthusiastically supportive.

Some people just aren't going to get it, no matter how well all of this is explained. Cue the "white guilt" (which is directly addressed in the essay, by the way) and "no such thing as white privilege" (literally the point of the essay), along with "enough with the victimhood" and "SJW-virtue-signaling-PC-nonsense" commenters.

But thankfully, those voices are being drowned out by the ones that matter most. And yes, some voices actually carry more weight in discussions about racism—namely the people who live it, day in and day out.

LeBron James, Korver's former teammate on the Cleveland Cavaliers, shared his essay with the comment, "Salute my brother!! Means a lot. And like you said I hope people listen, just open your ears and listen."

Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat offered a simple "Thank you."

Speaker and writer Exavier Pope praised Korver for the example he is setting:

As did Chicago Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks:

These issues need to be brought to light over and over again until everyone who needs to see them starts seeing them. As writer Doyin Richards wrote when he shared the post on Facebook, "This article from Kyle Korver (a white NBA player) is phenomenal and should be required reading for all white people."

Seriously, let's all read the essay. Twice. Then let's get busy doing the vital work that needs to be done.

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Usually when we share a story of a couple having been married for nearly five decades, it's a sweet story of lasting love. Usually when we share a story of a long-time married couple dying within minutes of each other, it's a touching story of not wanting to part from one another at the end of their lives.

The story of Patricia and Leslie "LD" McWaters dying together might have both of those elements, but it is also tragic because they died of a preventable disease in a pandemic that hasn't been handled well. The Michigan couple, who had been married for 47 years, both died of COVID-19 complications on November 24th. Since they died less than a minute apart, their deaths were recorded with the exact same time—4:23pm.

Patricia, who was 78 at her passing, had made her career as a nurse. LD, who would have turned 76 next month, had been a truck driver. Patricia was "no nonsense" while LD was "fun-loving," and the couple did almost everything together, according to their joint obituary.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

True

"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

Keep Reading Show less
via Elliot Page / Instagram

Elliot Page, once publicly known as Ellen Page, has announced he is transgender. The announcement makes the Oscar-nominated actor one of the most high-profile celebrities to come out as transgender.

The actor currently stars in Netflix's "The Umbrella Academy" and has acted in films such as "Juno," "Inception," and the "X-Men" franchise.

Page made the announcement on social media where he celebrated the joy of coming out while taking the opportunity to discuss the issues faced by the transgender community.

Keep Reading Show less