Ahmed ‘Kouka’ Hassan: ‘Salah is a brother. He is a role model for me and all Egyptians’

After missing out on last year’s World Cup the Egypt striker Ahmed ‘Kouka’ Hassan is looking forward to lining up alongside Mohamed Salah on home turf in the Africa Cup of Nations

Ahmed Hassan has made a career out of bouncing back from disappointment and this summer he hopes to use those negative experiences to inspire Egypt – the hosts and favourites – to Africa Cup of Nations glory.

The Braga striker, affectionately known as Kouka due to a childhood love of Coca-Cola, was in a very different position last summer when he was surprisingly cut from Egypt’s World Cup squad by then manager, Héctor Cúper, despite being part of the group throughout qualification and his close friend Mohamed Salah struggling with the shoulder injury the Liverpool man had sustained in the Champions League final.

Continue reading...
Load more
Read full article on:
Grizzlies' Tyus Jones finds unsuspected surprise on floor at NBA bubble: 'Oh nah'
Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones is just one of the players who arrived in Florida this week to get ready for the NBA’s restart to the season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
White House names coronavirus "red zones," encourages them to scale back reopening
Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force is urging some high-risk states to continue their rollbacks, even returning to Phase One in some cases. Meanwhile, several of those high-risk states continue to see their outbreaks accelerate. David Begnaud reports.
Val Demings’s tenure as Orlando’s police chief complicates her consideration for VP
Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) questions witnesses at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on police brutality and racial profiling on June 10, 2020, in Washington, DC. | Greg Nash/Getty Images Activists raise concerns about Demings’s police past: “Why would you put a cop on the ticket?” Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), one of several lawmakers being considered as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s vice president, is facing increasing scrutiny of a specific part of her record: Prior to joining Congress, Demings served as Orlando’s chief of police — heading up a department that’s been called out for its excessive use of force. Demings’s background in law enforcement, which includes more than three years as chief and 27 on the force in total, has received new attention as protests against police violence and systemic racism continue across the country. While some see Demings’s experience as an asset that enables her to connect with more moderate voters, activists argue that her presence on the ticket would send a concerning message about Democrats’ position on policing — particularly as the party grapples with defining its own approach to reforms. “We really need to read the room on this one,” says Vanessa Keverenge, an organizer in Orange County, Florida. “Symbolically, it’s a slap in the face to the thousands of protesters who are protesting in the state.” Critics say Demings was part of a broader culture of violence in policing that’s present in Orlando and beyond. According to an investigation of use of force incidents by the Orlando Sentinel that was published in 2015, the Orlando Police Department in 2010 engaged in 20 percent more use of force incidents than Baton Rouge, a city of comparable size and population. Demings was the city’s police chief from 2007 to 2011. “At the times that Val has had power to do things and transform the system, she’s failed to,” says Stephanie Porta, an executive director of Organize Florida who had previously backed Demings during a run she made for Orange County Mayor in 2014. Demings, meanwhile, has said that she focused on reforming policing from within and can now use her experience to legislate authoritatively on policy changes. “I served as a social worker, I served as a career law-enforcement officer, and I serve now as a member of Congress,” Demings told the Wall Street Journal. “I would not change any of those positions or desires, because in each one I had an opportunity to improve the quality of life for persons who were forgotten and left behind, and I would do it all over again.” This past May, Demings also published an op-ed in the Washington Post in the wake of protests of George Floyd’s death, which many cities’ law enforcement officers have responded to with violence. “As a former woman in blue, let me begin with my brothers and sisters in blue: What in the hell are you doing?” she wrote. Demings’s spokesperson declined to provide additional comment regarding her record. For some Democrats, it’s this record that complicates her possible nomination for the party’s vice presidential ticket. Demings’s background and policing experience, briefly explained Demings, 63, currently represents Florida’s 10th, a Central Florida district that includes Orlando. She was first elected to Congress in 2016 when she defeated Republican entrepreneur Thuy Lowe. Earlier this year, Demings was one of seven impeachment managers who represented House Democrats’ case against President Donald Trump at the Senate impeachment trial, a role that helped raise her national profile. She currently sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees and has been a strong supporter of gun control laws, including a ban on assault weapons, during her time in Congress. Prior to her congressional run, Demings served in the Orlando police force for nearly three decades and was the first Black woman to become its chief. She is originally from Jacksonville, Florida, and was the first person in her family to graduate from college. After graduating from Florida State University in 1979, she worked as a social worker for two years before joining the police force. Her husband, Jerry Demings, has also previously served as Orlando police chief and is now the Mayor of Orange County, Florida. “I quickly realized that we cannot arrest our way out of some of the challenges in our communities, that we had a direct obligation as law enforcement to address some of the social ills that cause decay in communities in the first place,” Demings has said while describing her approach to policing, in a June interview with ABC’s This Week. During her time as chief, Demings oversaw a marked decrease in violent crime in Orlando: According to a 2015 National Journal article by Jack Fitzpatrick, violent crime in the city dipped 43.6 percent between 2007 to 2011. Porta credits her with a project that notably reduced violent crime at the Palms Apartments housing complex in Orlando. The program included establishing a community park, setting up after-school programs for children in the complex, and helping adult residents enroll in GED and job training programs. Throughout Demings’s tenure, however, Orlando police also dealt with multiple use of force incidents and settlements, including one in September 2010 involving an 84-year-old man whose neck was broken by a police officer during a confrontation. In another incident, this one in February 2011, a police officer shoved a woman into the sidewalk and broke her teeth while he was responding to an alleged disturbance. And in another, a man sued police officers after allegedly being attacked by a police dog when he ran from police following a traffic stop in December 2008. Use of force by the OPD has also been skewed by race, according to data that covers part of Demings’s tenure. The 2015 Sentinel report determined that, between 2010 to 2014, force was more likely to be used by police on Black individuals: “OPD officers used force more frequently on black suspects: 55 percent in a city where 28 percent of the population is black.” And a 2008 investigation by Jeffrey Billman at the Orlando Weekly, which examined the systems that hold police accountable, concluded that OPD “is a place where rogue cops operate with impunity, and there’s nothing anybody who finds himself at the wrong end of their short fuse can do about it.” Following the publication of the Orlando Weekly article, Demings noted that “looking for a negative story in a police department is like looking for a prayer at church,” a response that critics see as dismissively underscoring how pervasive problems in policing are. A report from the Atlantic has highlighted the unique challenges that Black police leaders have faced while grappling with police brutality and racism on their own forces — and the limitations they’ve run up against while trying to implement reforms. The entrenched protections offered by police unions can make it tough to address police misconduct, for example, and Black leaders face different scrutiny, expectations, and racism compared to their white counterparts. Demings emphasizes that she engaged in reforms while she was chief, including improvements to the officer training program. “I instituted what we called an early warning system, which gave us a better way of tracking officers who were possibly exhibiting behavior that caused us concern,” she told NPR. “We would pull them out of assignments, send them to counseling if they needed it, reassign them, give them additional training.” Demings has also backed House Democrats’ police reform bill, which would establish a national registry for police misconduct and impose a federal ban on chokeholds. Broadly, though, activists say Demings didn’t do enough to alter the culture of Orlando policing while she was in charge. “She exists as part of this tradition of policing in Orlando that has been harmful to Black people and poor people,” Jonathan Alingu, a co-director of Central Florida Jobs With Justice, told Vox. After leaving her position as OPD chief in 2011, Demings pursued a House run in the 10th District in 2012 and an Orange County mayoral run in 2014. She ultimately lost the first House race to Republican Daniel Webster and withdrew from the mayoral run. After getting elected to the House in 2016 following a redistricting change that made the 10th more Democratic, she’s continued to have strong support in her district, running unopposed in 2018. As a lawmaker, her legislative agenda has been influenced by her professional history, sometimes in a manner that’s caused activists to raise concerns mirroring those they have about her police record. One example is activists questioning her decision to back what they’ve called a “Blue Lives Matter” bill, 2018 legislation on which she was the sole Democratic sponsor. That bill, called The Protect and Serve Act, would charge individuals that have knowingly inflicted bodily harm on a police officer with a federal crime, punishable by a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. The legislation ultimately proved to be a way for many Democrats to demonstrate their support for police. In the end, as the American Prospect points out, more than 160 Democrats voted in favor of it once it was on the floor — a move that demonstrates how the party has only more recently advanced in favor of sweeping reform. The presidential election is taking place as Democrats face pressure on policing Systemic racism and police bias are poised to be major issues in the presidential election — and against this backdrop, Demings’s experience could pose a notable challenge during the general election, particularly as the Democratic party looks to unite its more progressive and establishment wings. Activists emphasize that her nomination would suggest that the party isn’t taking the energy in these protests seriously. “[Protesters are] marching against cops — why would you put a cop on the ticket?” asked Porta. There are questions, too, about whether Demings’s nomination would further compound critiques that Biden himself has faced on his own criminal justice record. As part of his presidential platform, Biden has backed reforms including establishing a national use of force standard and expanding the presence of body cameras, though he’s shied away from calls to defund the police and shift more money toward other social service programs. He’s received extensive pushback as well for his role in writing the 1994 crime bill, which included provisions that gave states funding to build more prisons. There are political experts, however, who believe that Demings’s experience could be appealing to some voters who value her expertise in policing. “I see her background and record in law enforcement as both an advantage and a disadvantage,” says University of Florida political science professor Sharon Austin. “Her law enforcement background can benefit the Biden campaign if she’s chosen because of her knowledge of policing practices and the types of reforms that are needed.” And Rep. Lois Frankel, another member of Florida’s congressional delegation, has argued that Demings’ combination of experience in Congress and the police force make her an ideal choice for the vice presidency. “She was a sheriff in a big municipality for years so she knows the domestic issues very well, and as a member of Homeland Security and Intelligence committees, she’s got her foreign-policy chops,” Frankel told The Hill. Demings also hails from Florida, a swing state that will be important again this cycle: In 2016, former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton lost to Trump by just over 1 percentage point there. Some, including Florida attorney and Biden fundraiser John Morgan, have suggested that having the lawmaker as a running mate could help Biden’s chances in the state. “Val gets the vice president 1 to 2 extra points in Florida. That will be the difference,” Morgan told Vox. According to Florida State University political science professor Brad Gomez, however, she’s not well-known statewide, so it’s unclear just how much of a boost her presence on the ticket would provide. The vice presidential pick will send a message As Vox’s Ella Nilsen has written, presidential nominees rely on vice presidential picks less to deliver their home states or be surrogates than to make a statement about their priorities and judgment, and to send “an early signal about what a future administration might look like.” And this is why many activists worry about Demings being chosen. Throughout the presidential nomination process — and increasingly amid the protests of police brutality and systemic racism — there’s been a push for Biden to select a Black woman as his running mate, a decision that could increase the diversity in perspectives that’s on the ticket. Some lawmakers who have been floated for the role, including Demings and Sen. Kamala Harris, however, have garnered progressive pushback for their work in law enforcement and prosecution. And this pressure has some activists worried. They fear the selection of someone like Demings or Harris would signal Biden is not overly interested in pursuing progressive reforms. Were Demings chosen without a more concerted effort to engage with the Orlando community about the detrimental effects of policing, Alingu says he’d be disappointed. “I see it as a message that it’s about representation at the end of the day and not really about policy change,” he noted. “If that happens and there’s no level of outreach, true reconciliation, I see it as about representation.” Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
US Sikhs tirelessly travel their communities to feed hungry Americans
Worldwide, Sikh temples, also known as Gurdwaras, offer free meals to anyone who shows up. Known as Langar, it's a tenet of faith and a key part of the Sikh religion, which emphasizes a concept of selfless service to the community at large.
New transcript reveals final moments of George Floyd's life
After George Floyd repeatedly told police that he couldn't breathe, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin said, "Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk," according to transcripts of police body camera footage.
Opinion: Jim Harbaugh's message about wearing masks is one we need to follow to be part of 'solution'
Jim Harbaugh says his players are setting an example in the time of a pandemic. He's right. We need to follow it if we want football this fall.
Black mural artists are adding face masks to their street art in a grassroots PSA to fight the coronavirus
Some street murals of famous Black Americans in Atlanta now have huge vinyl face masks -- part of a grassroots public service campaign to stop the spread of Covid-19.
NFL players discuss anti-Semitism after DeSean Jackson uproar: 'Let's all uplift each other'
NFL offensive linemen Zach Banner and Mitchell Schwartz and defensive lineman Khalil McKenzie Jr. released messages on anti-Semitism on Wednesday in the wake of the uproar over DeSean Jackson’s Adolf Hitler and Louis Farrakhan posts.
Senate Dems float ending filibuster ahead of possible Biden presidency
Some Senate Democrats are floating a possible change in the body's rules that could do away with the legislative filibuster.
Voters are figuring out who’s responsible for the mess we’re in
Politicians will be judged on results.
Lt. Col. Vindman’s retirement will hurt military effectiveness. This is why.
The regular politicization of military affairs is highly risky.
Video shows man spray graffiti outside Manhattan courthouse as NYPD cops watch
Footage posted online this week captured the moment a vandal sprayed graffiti outside a Lower Manhattan courthouse, right under the noses of several cops — who do nothing but watch. The video, posted by the Sergeants’ Benevolent Association on Tuesday and taken in broad daylight, shows the man tagging the base of a lamppost in...
The Health 202: Should students stay six feet apart, or is three enough? There’s no agreement.
It’s a question that will determine how many kids can be in the classroom.
Sen. Loeffler stands by opposition to 'divisive' Black Lives Matter amid row with WNBA players
After penning to a letter voicing her opposition to the WNBA's support of the Black Lives Matter movement, calls are growing for Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler to step down as a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream.
What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, July 9
After President Donald Trump berated the CDC over its guidelines for safely reopening schools, the agency said it would issue new recommendations.
UFC star Mike Perry strikes man, uses racial slurs in Texas bar incident
UFC star Mike Perry appeared to punch a man and use racial slurs at a Texas bar on Tuesday night in a video that surfaced on social media.
Novak Djokovic decries ‘witch hunt’ over criticism of his unsanctioned tennis tournament
Djokovic was one of a number of players, coaches and family members to test positive for the novel coronavirus at the event.
ShowBiz Minute: Rivera, Depp, Lady A
Sheriff: Actress Naya Rivera missing in SoCal lake; Johnny Depp under pressure in cross-examination at Sun libel case; Country band Lady A files suit against singer with same name. (July 9)
What’s in a name? From Aunt Jemima to the Redskins, enough ugly history to demand change.
Protesters against the name of NFL football team the Washington Redskins march before a 2014 game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. On July 3, 2020, the team announced it would review its name “in light of recent events around our country.” | Adam Bettcher/Getty Images As the longtime brands are joined by Lady Antebellum, Washington and Lee University, and others in confronting the racist roots of their monikers, it’s fair to ask: Will changing their names make a difference? As tens of millions of people worldwide have taken to the streets over the past six weeks to pronounce that Black lives matter, corporate America has been nudged into action. But instead of marching alongside protesters, it’s eyeing its own shelves. Quaker Oats spoke up first, announcing in June that Aunt Jemima, the name and face of the brand’s syrup and pancake mix for more than 130 years, would be no more. The company said in a statement that “while work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough.” In quick succession, Grammy-winning country music group Lady Antebellum shed the “Antebellum” — and its glamorization of the pre-Civil War South — to become Lady A. The Dixie Chicks did the same two weeks later when it dropped “Dixie.” Plantation Rum apologized for using the word “plantation” in its name and branding. Unilever agreed to stop equating light skin with beauty by removing the “fair” from South Asian skin-lightening cream Fair and Lovely. And on Monday, the trustees of Virginia’s Washington and Lee University (WLU) announced they would rename the 271-year-old institution to exclude its homage to Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Perhaps most surprising of all is that, after years of efforts by Indigenous activists, the Washington Redskins football team said June 3 that it would review the team’s name for a possible rebranding “in light of recent events around our country.” This spring’s spate of brutal police killings of unarmed people of color — Black people in particular — has renewed activists’ calls to address, and erase, all kinds of public depictions of racism. Companies, sports teams, universities, and even musical acts have been forced to reckon with the images and messages they put forth, in some cases for generations. Demands for these changes aren’t new, but companies’ acquiescence to them are. So, when a well-known brand changes its name to shirk racist or offensive historical connotations in the wake of social unrest, is it done in earnest? And what does it really accomplish? Historians and scholars differ on how sincere and effectual these name changes can be.A simple rebrandingisn’t the systemic change that America really needs, experts say, but it is a remarkable step toward the larger mission of taking to task and dismantling everyday racism. What’s also clear is that consumers are in a unique position right now to weaponize social media to get results. Online, anyone can protest societal ills and direct those complaints directly at their sources, while finding a chorus of voices that agree. “In a process where you see a lot of movement centered around the kind of changes people want to see, one of the most visible ways you can demand change is by literally turning brands to say things you think are important,” said Sonia Katyal, a legal scholar and the distinguished chair of the Haas Institute’s LGBTQ Citizenship research cluster who has written extensively on racism in branding. “So when Quaker Oats says they’re going to retire their image of Aunt Jemima ... that’s a really dramatic statement, not just of the desire to insulate the company from criticism but also of recognition that we are in a new era of racial branding.” Consumers, particularly consumers of color, have argued for decades that symbols such as Aunt Jemima and the Washington Redskins continue to perpetuate age-old racial stereotypes about Black and Indigenous people. But these criticisms have largely been ignored or inadequately addressed. Aunt Jemima received incremental redesigns without fully being distanced from the stereotype’s post-Reconstruction past, for example, while various owners of the Redskins have defended the team’s name as a crucial part of its legacy. Aunt Jemima is perhaps the oldest and most enduring example of a brand built on a Black stereotype, “an outgrowth of Old South plantation nostalgia and romance grounded in an idea about the ‘mammy,’ a devoted and submissive servant who eagerly nurtured the children of her white master and mistress while neglecting her own,” Riché Richardson, an associate professor at Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center, wrote in a 2015 New York Times op-ed calling for the brand’s retirement. That explicitly mammy-inspired branding has rankled Black consumers practically since the brand hit the market in 1889. In the early 20th century, they pushed back against Aunt Jemima’s design. In Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, author Marilyn Kern-Foxworth cited a 1932 study in which Black men and women were asked their opinion of Aunt Jemima’s advertising. Most takes were negative: “I am prejudiced intensely against any picture of [a] former slave mammy,” one man responded. “I made my opinion about slave advertisements a long time ago, and the picture of Aunt Jemima would make me pass it by,” a female participant said. Brand owner Quaker Oats addressed some concerns about Aunt Jemima’s image in the late 1980s when it gave her more of a modern housewife look, sans do-rag. The name, however, has remained a pain point. “The image had been evolving, but not the title,” said Theodore Carter DeLaney, professor of history emeritus at WLU and co-founder of the school’s Africana Studies program. The name, he said, maintains the idea that “she would be referred to as an aunt even by white families because she had somehow been more than a cook, but a nanny.” Although Aunt Jemima’s updated, uncovered hair revealed a stylish perm, DeLaney added, her modernized look made her outdated name stand out that much more. Recognizing that America’s threshold for Black representation has changed dramatically, Quaker Oats announced in June that it would scrap the Aunt Jemima branding entirely. Matt Jelonek/WireImage Natalie Maines of the band formerly known as the Dixie Chicks performs in Perth, Australia, in 2017. The band quietly dropped the “Dixie” from its name in late June. Other groups publicly disavowed their names soon thereafter: Country act Lady Antebellum became Lady A, with the members writing on Instagram that they were “regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word [Antebellum] referring to the period of history before The Civil War, which includes slavery.” (Just as regrettable and embarrassing, though, is that the group has since filed a copyright claim against a Black artist who has performed as Lady A for more than 20 years.) Two weeks later, the Dixie Chicks dropped “Dixie,” a reference to the land south of the Mason-Dixon line — or the heart of the Confederacy during the Civil War. “We wanted to meet the moment,” the Chicks said of its new name. Fair and Lovely, a hugely successful skin-lightening product marketed in South Asia, is now called Glow and Lovely. And petitions to change the names of southern towns named after plantations have gathered traction online. Other plainly racist branding, like that of the Washington Redskins, remains steadfast. The Washington, DC-based football team has been known by the slur — a term that gained prominence among white people in the 19th century and is even recognized in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “usually offensive” — since 1933. Although some Indigenous folks have said they’re unbothered by the name, the term “redskin” was conceived as, and has always been, a pejorative. “By the turn of the 20th century [redskins] had evolved to become a term meant to disparage and denote inferiority and savagery in American culture,” the National Congress of American Indians explained in a 2013 report on the deleterious effects of Indigenous stereotypes in sports. Since the 1960s, activists have protested offensive team names and logos, including the Redskins and the Cleveland Indians baseball team. In 1972, the Washington Post reported, advocates from the Indian Legal Information Development Service and elsewhere met with Edward Bennett Williams, part owner of the Redskins at the time, to ask that the teams drop the name, replace it with one that was epithet-free, and encourage other NFL teams to do the same. What they instead walked away with was a rewrite of the team cheer, “Hail to the Redskins,” and a promise that the cheerleaders would no longer wear “Indian-style” wigs — effectively brownface. Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images Radio broadcaster Jay Winter Nightwolf (second from right) and a coalition of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans gathered in Maryland to protest the Redskins’ name in 2013. The battle over the name has dragged on since the 1970s. Twenty years later, the first of several lawsuits filed against the Redskins by Indigenous people sought to remove the team’s trademark, citing it as disparaging, but the Redskins inevitably managed to maintain rights to the name. Another lawsuit, decided in 2014, pitted a younger group of Indigenous activists against the Redskins organization. When, amid the trial, USA Today asked majority owner Dan Snyder whether he would consider renaming the Redskins, his response was plain: The Redskins, he said, “will never change the name of the team.” “We’ll never change the name,” Snyder reiterated when prodded. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.” Katyal cites Snyder as the roadblock that is preventing the Redskins from achieving any level of Aunt Jemima-like evolution. “I cannot think of another team that has been so steadfast in its refusal to change,” she said. “Most other teams at least try to rebrand or seek a partnership with a Native American tribe. That’s not always a perfect solution either, but most brands are much more responsive.” In 2017, Snyder and the team prevailed in the legal battle to maintain the Redskins’ trademark after the Supreme Court ruled in a separate case that banning “disparaging” trademarks violated the First Amendment. But now, nearly 90 years after the Redskins first adopted the moniker, the team appears to finally be considering what kind of message it is sending by blatantly using a slur in its name. It seems like a very belated hallelujah, just like Aunt Jemima’s — but one perhaps possible only right now, during the new momentum gained by the Black Lives Matter movement. Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, the Redskins, Lady Antebellum, the Dixie Chicks, and so on — their names are reminders of the worst aspects of US history. So why did it take until 2020 for owners and artists to take action? Recent protests have advocated for racial equity of every kind, including in the marketing of consumer products, Katyal said. Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Demonstrators march during a Black Lives Matter protest on June 13, 2020, in Boston. The recent nationwide protests, attended by millions, have resulted in a broad reckoning for purveyors of an array of racist and stereotypical names and symbols. “One of the big tenets of the Black Lives Matter protests, which has not happened before on such a wide scale, is that the symbols of enslavement and colonization are being literally pulled off of their pedestals,” Katyal, referencing statues of Confederate soldiers that activists have beheaded or knocked down across the country, told me. “So what you have is this mood where anything ... that might be construed as a symbolic form of respect for discrimination or oppression has basically literally been lifted by these crowds and disposed of.” Symbols of the Confederacy are an obvious place to start when dismantling paeans to a more oppressive era. The state of Mississippi in June said it would redesign its flag, which currently features the Confederate battle flag. Around the same time, Nascar banned racers from using any Confederate symbols in another win against American racism. But brands can serve as symbols glorifying a racist history, too, if less obviously. The police killing of George Floyd in May helped Americans see the racial biases inherent everywhere, said Shirley Staples Carter, associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of South Carolina. “People are beginning to see these [brand names as] stereotypes, these emblems of slavery and black oppression that’s been part of the cause of systemic racism that would lead to police brutality, treating people like they’re not human,” Carter told Vox. “George Floyd’s death did that for many people — it resonated.” DeLaney suggested that the movement’s ability to capture such a wide set of eyes, however, is thanks to another big phenomenon in 2020. “What is different about this conversation [about race] is, I think, not so much Black Lives Matter, but it’s largely a result of what’s been going on in the US in the last few weeks ... the pandemic,” said DeLaney. “One of the things that has happened is that people have been sheltered at home to a large extent. ... As a result, you are seeing things that you might not have seen, had you not been hunkered down at home.” In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter have given the owners of stereotypical brand names less cover to hide behind. In response, brands, bands, sports teams, and more appear to be instituting long-sought changes to their products as damage control — namely, out of fear of the economic effects a consumer revolt could have if they’re canceled before they’ve had a chance to address the wrongs. The Redskins make a compelling case for this interpretation: Snyder’s decision to even consider changing the name came after FedEx, Nike, and PepsiCo threatened to pull their sponsorships, with each asking the franchise to rename itself, and minority owners reportedly looking to sell their stakes. But it feels disheartening and cynical to call the actions of such companies wholly preemptive or fearful, Carter said. He echoed Katyal’s contention that brands are going through the same sort of racial awakening as consumers. “I think it’s more than just reactive,” he said. “I think it’s the beginning of some real changes.” The real changes that Black Lives Matter and its supporters seek, however, are social, economic, and political — wide-ranging systemic shake-ups to permanently rework the system that allowed such names to be marketable in the first place. “We can begin with retitling Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben and renaming buildings and removing Confederate statues, all these emblems of slavery and oppression, but we also need to deal with the larger and more difficult issue,” said Carter. “The systemic racism that needs to change in our society.” But branding, like all media, wields an important power in culture. Media is where many people see their identity reflected back at them. Regardless of whether they like football or pancakes or country music, people can be deeply affected by the messages those products implicitly or explicitly send. “Someone asked me, ‘do you really think it’s racist?’” Carter said of Aunt Jemima, which was inspired by a tune called “Old Aunt Jemima,” composed by Black comedian and performer Billy Kersands and later popularized as a minstrel song. “And it has to do with its origin, of course. It has that very racist origin, and the fact that it’s so stereotypical of how people perceive the role of Black women in society, I think [the name change] is important, and it will be impactful.” It can be traumatizing for people of color to encounter brands that perpetuate prejudices against them, Katyal said. Indeed, studies have shown that experiencing racism and discrimination can negatively affect one’s mental health. But acknowledging and then removing these racist images can be empowering and inspiring, no matter how minor that image may seem to the wider public. “The sheer emotion that happens for people who are people of color when they see these symbols being taken down is a recognition that these individuals are being seen,” Katyal said. “I totally get why one would be cynical about that, but I also think that it’s so important for young people to have that feeling that seeing our movement made these changes happen.” Katyal has a much simpler retort to the naysayers who find these changes insubstantial or irrelevant. “It’s so much easier to retire an image or change a brand than it is to dismantle the very structures of economic and political injustice,” she said. But it’s definitely a start. Allegra Frank is an associate culture editor at Vox. She covers music, the internet, and video games. Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
Driver who hit protesters in Seattle, killing one, charged with three felonies
A man accused of fleeing the scene after mowing down two protesters with his Jaguar in Seattle – killing a 24-year-old veterinary clinic worker – has been hit with three felony charges, including vehicular homicide. Dawit Kelete, 27, was charged by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving....
Man executed for killing two government health workers at virus checkpoint in China
MSNBC, CNN avoid liberal-penned letter against 'cancel culture'
An open letter penned by prominent liberal writers, professors and activists in an effort to combat the so-called "cancel culture" has caused quite the stir on social media — but viewers of MSNBC and CNN may not have heard about it.
NBA legend Bill Russell recalls racing Wilt Chamberlain across the country
Two of the NBA’s greatest players once raced across the country in their luxury sports cars.
The lost interview, featuring Joel Grey
It’s our 100th episode! Maggie and Ian look back on almost a year of “We Hear” gossip. Plus, an interview from the Page Six archives with Oscar-winner Joel Grey, of “Cabaret” fame.
‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ canceled at Netflix
The "final chapter' will premiere later in 2020.
Spurs' Patty Mills to donate $1M NBA salary to Black Lives Matter charities
San Antonio Spurs' Patty Mills to donate $1 million NBA salary to Black Lives Matter charities after season restart
San Antonio Spurs star Patty Mills has pledged to donate his entire NBA salary for the remainder of the season to organizations tackling racial inequality.
After months of debate over its design, the rebuilt Notre Dame cathedral could look exactly the same
Anyone hoping to see the Notre Dame's fire-wrecked spire rise from the ashes as a gleaming, ultra-modern version of its former design may be set for disappointment.
Biden says he would restore pre-Hobby Lobby contraceptive mandate in wake of Little Sisters ruling
Years of litigation -- and the election of a new president -- have slowly morphed the original form of the contraceptive mandate.
On This Day: 9 July 2004
Will Ferrell released his cult comedy "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." (July 9)
Massive Search Operation Underway in South Korea After Seoul Mayor Goes Missing
(SEOUL, South Korea) — The mayor of South Korean capital Seoul is missing Thursday after leaving a verbal message that his daughter described as sounding like a will, police said. A massive search operation is underway for him. Police officers said they are looking for Mayor Park Won-soon at a small hill in Seoul’s Sungbuk…
No place for this conservative in the party of Trump
The GOP has unfortunately taken on almost all of Trump’s character flaws
The Cybersecurity 202: These are the top things officials say they need to run November’s elections
More money and more bipartisanship top the list.
Leon Edwards wants winner of Usman-Masvidal title clash at UFC 251: 'I got history with both men'
Leon Edwards says he should be next in line to face the winner of the UFC 251 main event, and he has scores to settle with both men.       Related StoriesUFC 251 'Embedded,' No. 3: Kamaru Usman arrives in Abu DhabiUFC 251 free fight: Jorge Masvidal bloodies Nate Diaz to become the 'BMF' championUFC 251 breakdown: Who takes the Petr Yan-Jose Aldo style clash?
Mississippi adding 'In God We Trust' to new state flag may prompt Satanic Temple lawsuit
The Satanic Temple reportedly plans to sue Mississippi if the state adds the words “In God We Trust” to its new flag.
Vili Fualaau ‘lost a piece of himself’ after ex-wife Mary Kay Letourneau died: friend
Vili Fualaau — whom Mary Kay Letourneau raped when he was 12 years old but went on to marry and have kids with — “lost a piece of himself” when she lost her battle with cancer this week, a close friend of his said in a new interview. Fualaau’s pal told People magazine that although...
The last 4 months have brought an unprecedented crackdown on legal US immigration
As the coronavirus spreads around the world, the Trump administration has steadily choked off most avenues for legal immigration to the United States -- effectively shutting down the system that brings in hundreds of thousands of immigrants annually.
When baseball players retire, they turn into accidental Buddhists
Brad Balukjian writes that retired baseball players offer insight into navigating life during a pandemic. Their secret to success -- the ability to be in the present moment, able to let go of their recent failures and inured to the threat of future ones.
1 h
Frank Scaturro: Supreme Court ruling in Little Sisters’ case is a victory for religious freedom
The Supreme Court bolstered its standing as a defender of religious liberty with two decisions Wednesday vindicating that ideal.
1 h
Classic black sitcoms like ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and ‘Living Single’ are finally streaming. Why did it take so long?
Shows such as “Martin” and “Moesha” are hardly the only classic black sitcoms languishing on the proverbial shelf, gathering dust instead of collecting checks from Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max and others.
1 h
'Mom, honk!' Charlize Theron talks 'The Old Guard,' how she's talking to her children about the protests
Charlize Theron opens up about her Netflix movie "The Old Guard" and how she's talking to her young children about the national anti-racism protests.       
1 h
Charlize Theron talks about her new action film and what's bringing her joy these days
Charlize Theron chats with USA TODAY's Andrea Mandell about her new film, "The Old Guard" and why she's enjoyed spending time at home with her kids.       
1 h
Mask-wearing, BLM-backing country singer Margo Price on alienating fans: 'You can't argue with stupid'
Since Americana singer Margo Price recorded her new album in L.A., her husband contracted COVID-19, delaying the record's release.
1 h
Record day of coronavirus deaths in California raises new alarms
The state reported 9,500 infections on Tuesday, the most new cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began.
1 h
Trump's handling of the coronavirus is the only election issue that matters
President Donald Trump keeps trying to change the subject. His Twitter feed and his rallies reveal an incumbent who probably doesn't want this election to be about the one issue dominating all of our lives right now: the coronavirus.
1 h
City attorney accuses L.A. nursing home of dumping patients to profit from coronavirus
Lakeview Terrace nursing home in Westlake had settled a similar lawsuit alleging patient dumping last year.
1 h
Our study found little evidence that Twitter is biased against conservative opinion leaders
Attention, political junkies: Most Americans aren’t really paying attention to what’s on Twitter.
1 h
Yes, you can keep up your green practices during the pandemic
A pressing issue for environmental groups is the potential waste being produced by more people using single-use items, such as disinfecting wipes and paper towels.
1 h