MLK Wasn’t Very Popular When He Was Alive—Why That Should Give You Hope

The very name “Martin Luther King, Jr.” conjures up uniformly positive associations in most people. He's a national hero, a fighter for equality. Someone so beloved that he has his very own national holiday, an honor only given to the likes of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. There are movies about him, songs about him, statues of him. His name is synonymous with freedom and justice.

At least, it is now. But when the civil rights leader was alive—and his movement was in full swing—that was far from the case. In fact, a majority of white people disliked King and the civil rights movement.

Public opinion polls from the 1960s show that large numbers of people disapproved of the Freedom Riders (61%), sit-ins (57%), demonstrations (73%), the March on Washington (60%), and King himself (50%). That is, large numbers of white people. African-Americans were on the side of King and the movement in overwhelming numbers.

mlk march washington
Image via Getty/Bettmann

King's deification happened very slowly. As recently as the 1980s, during the struggle to make his birthday a national holiday (a practice that wasn't accepted by all 50 states until 2000!), Senator Jesse Helms was against the idea because he said King was an advocate of “action-oriented Marxism,” whatever that is. To this day, several Southern states give a middle finger (or, more properly, a white power hand sign) to King by celebrating his birthday alongside Robert E. Lee's.

The fact that public opinion on King changed after historic goals were accomplished should not be discouraging, though. If anything, it should provide inspiration to people invested in the success of current movements for racial justice. The Black Lives Matter movement has popularity levels similar to, if not better than, the civil rights movement in its heyday. A 2017 survey showed that 57% of voters surveyed had an “unfavorable view” of BLM. A 2016 Pew survey of Americans (not just voters) showed the movement faring even better: 43% support, almost identical to the 2017 poll. However, in this sample, only 22% of people were in opposition. In a marker of how big a constituency is still in play, about 30% of people either were unfamiliar with the movement or had no opinion.

So this incarnation of the movement for racial justice is actually starting from a comparable, if not better, position in terms of public support than the fight to end segregation and ensure African-Americans the right to vote. It seems likely that the Movement for Black Lives can make similar strides in today's fights against racist police violence and incarceration policies and for economic justice.

St. Louis demo
Image via Getty/Michael B. Thomas

The dirty little secret about popular movements is that you don't actually have to be that popular to get things done. When victories begin to happen in earnest, plenty of people will join the winning side—often with no acknowledgement that they were ever missing.

This is true even of wars. When the American revolution started, only a third of the people in the colonies were in favor of it. The rest were evenly split between being against it and being indifferent. Many of those people (at least those who didn't move to Canada) were patriots by war's end. It is easy to imagine a similar quiet opinion shift over time on, say, the Michael Brown or Sandra Bland cases. 

There’s certain to be a day when “Black Lives Matter” becomes as iconic—and uncontroversial—a statement as “I Have a Dream.” Let’s hope we get there soon.

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Drake’s OVO Edition Raptors Jerseys Are Tearing Canada Apart

The Toronto Raptors released their exclusive line of “OVO edition” jerseys and apparel today, and fans seem to be pretty divided. The jerseys feature an OVO-inspired black and gold colorway, a chevron pattern to symbolize the six boroughs of Toronto, and the word “North” displayed within the chevron, “to represent a territory all our own,” the official Raptors account writes on Twitter. 

These new city uniforms have a lot of people talking, and while Drake and friends at OVO have nothing but love for the 6, it seems like some people just aren't into the new style.

Fans who aren't digging the jerseys mostly wanted to see a return to the original purple or red colors, or an update to the iconic raptor design. Some could agree the new design is fire, but wished that they better represented all of Canada. 

If you're feeling the new style, cop yours at Real Sports Apparrel now.

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Post Malone: ‘I Still Only Have 1 Good Song’

Post Malone is the latest artist to be interviewed by Nardwuar. It took place in Toronto, Canada, where the pair talked about Post’s love for Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and much more.

 

At the 11:55 mark, Post talks about his early days in his career, and specifically performing to crowds with only a few songs to his name. In 2015, Post’s buzz grew off SoundCloud hits such as “White Iverson,” “Too Young,” “Tear$,” and “What’s Up.” But according to him, his one good song (even to this day) is “White Iverson.”

Nardwuar: Have you ever done “White Iverson” twice?

Post Malone: I sure have. I used to get a lot of shit for it. [Laughs] You gotta understand I had like three songs out. I only had one good song. I still only have one good song, but I had to do it first and I had to do it last ‘cause no one knew who the hell I was.

It is funny Post says this about his own body of work. Since “White Iverson,” he’s had multiple platinum-selling singles: “Déjà vu” with Justin Bieber, “Congratulations” with Quavo, and his new single “Rockstar” featuring 21 Savage that spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

His debut album, Stoney, is certified double platinum while fans are anticipating the release of Beerbongs & Bentleys slated for sometime next year.

But you’re your own worst critic, so maybe he has a point. You can watch the full interview above.

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Mia Khalifa and Gilbert Arenas Discuss LiAngelo Ball’s Arrest on ‘Out of Bounds’

On today's episode of Out of Bounds, the team jumps straight into UCLA players LiAngelo Ball, Codey Riley, and Jalen Hill getting arrested in China for shoplifting. Gilbert Arenas talks about the time he and Nick Young were supposed to do a reality show together. The team continues to countdown the days until Colin Kaepernick gets signed, debate whether LeBron or Kyrie has the best sneakers this season, and extend their condolences to former MLB player Roy Halladay's family and friends who died in a fatal plane crash.  

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Sikh Politician Responds to Anti-Islam Heckler: ‘We Welcome You. We Love You.’

A Sikh politician is receiving international applause for the way he responded to a belligerent woman.

The incident occurred earlier this week in Brampton, Ontario, during a meet-and-greet event for Jagmeet Singh. While speaking to the crowd, Sing—a member of Canada’s left-leaning New Democratic Party—was confronted by a visibly angry woman who got in his face preceded to shout racist accusations.

“We know you’re in bed with Sharia,” said the woman who introduced herself as “Jennifer.” “We know you’re in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood. We know by your vote! […] When is your Sharia going to end? At what point, when we're throwing gays off rooftops?”

Sharia is a system of principles and laws based on Islam.

According to Financial Express, Singh is a practicing Sikh who is running for the leadership of the federal NDP.

Though Singh referred to the incident as “awkward,” he was able to handle the situation with grace, despite the woman becoming increasingly angry and threatening to call the police if anyone touched her.

“We believe in love and courage. Love and courage […] We don't want to be intimidated by hate. We don't want hatred to ruin a positive event,” the 38-year-old politician told the crowd. “So let’s show people how will will treat someone with love: We welcome you. We love you. We support you.”

The crowd then began chanting “love and courage” Singh’s campaign slogan. The woman eventually ended her rant and stormed off as the crowd cheered.

You can watch the full video above.

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Teen Has Been Charged for Disrupting Church Service With XXXTentacion’s Music

Some ballsy teenager decided it’d be a good idea to blast XXXTentacion’s music during a church service in Canada. The teen now faces three criminal charges for pulling the stunt.

According to the Brampton Guardian, the disruption took place last Wednesday during evening mass at St. Eugene Mazenod Church in Brampton, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. Authorities said the 16-year-old walked up to the altar and held his cellphone to the microphone, playing X’s profanity-laced track “Look At Me!” through the church’s PA system.

With lyrics such as, “Bitch, who is your mans?” and “Can't keep my dick in my pants,” it’s no surprise members of the congregation were upset. Some said the incident caused extreme fear, as they were unsure what the young man was going to do after hijacking the microphone. One congregate said he considered the act a religious hate crime; however, authorities said there is no indication of that.

“This event is unprecedented and has shook our community,” parishioner Peter Maka told the Guardian.

Shortly after he began playing “Look At Me!,” the teen was apprehended by three church members and was held until authorities arrived. The young man is now facing charges of mischief to religious property, disturbing a religious service, and breach of recognizance.

 

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Here’s the Story Behind That Big-Ass CN Tower Replica Drake Had at OVO Fest

On Monday, August 7, during the eight annual OVO Fest, Drake performed on a big-ass replica of the CN Tower in order to recreate the cover of his album Views. To give you a sense of the scale of this impressive duplicate, here are a few pictures from his Instagram:

 

You don't know…what's in store…

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Aug 8, 2017 at 9:42pm PDT

 

Building a ladder of love to you…and I hope that love you built one too

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Aug 8, 2017 at 2:14am PDT

 

6 God and I live up to my name

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Aug 8, 2017 at 2:49pm PDT

Damn.

Drake told the crowd that he asked “19 companies” to construct the copy, and was declined by every single one. Look at those pics again and tell us that's not reasonable. However, his request was finally accepted by a man named Eric Pearce, who owns a company called Las Vegas' Show Group Production Services, which had previously handled production orders from Justin Bieber, Guns N' Roses, and Roger Waters.

According to CBC News, Pearce and his crew had roughly three weeks to assemble the structure and then move it more than 2,000 miles to the Budweiser Stage in Toronto. They were able to do this by first planning on how to construct it in a single weekend, and then by working on it 24 hours per day, seven days a week. “We didn't have time to make any models,” Pearce said. “We simply looked at photographs.” Additionally, members of Drake's team (who themselves were led by production design firm GP-SK Design) gave insights, imagery, and scaled references of the 1,815 foot tall tower.

Pearce, who understandably called the task “very difficult,” says that a replica of that magnitude would traditionally take more than twice as long—six to eight weeks—to complete. As the CBC reports, the final product filled up almost all of the stage, and even included the observation deck's EdgeWalk trolley equipment. Pearce added that the prop was “two or three times the traditional rock and roll star set.”

After it was completed in its factory in Vegas, it was tested, since it likely would've been very bad for business if the set collapsed and killed Drake. It was then packed onto five tractor trailers and driven across the U.S. to Canada. While the cargo was a secret, Pearce also said there really wasn't much time for word to get out.

When the set finally did make it to the stage, it was constructed under the supervision of Pearce's guys, who had been sent from Nevada. Now that the show is over and the replica has served its purpose, it's heading back to Vegas so it can sit in storage. Pearce also didn't divulge how much it costs, or give his two cents on whether or not it was worth it to concoct such a gargantuan pain in the ass model for such a brief usage.

But if you need a big replica of a landmark, and you need it done quickly, you now know who to turn to.

Seems like a practical bit of information to have.

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This Videographer Went From Being a Garbage Man to Working With Kanye West and Travis Scott

In 2013, Tyler Ross, a Canadian videographer, was working as a garbage man to make ends meet. “That was shitty,” he says. “I was shooting videos part time but I wasn’t making enough money to survive.” Over the course of the past three years, he paid his dues—interning and helping out whoever he could with shoots—and eventually got the opportunity to work with Kanye West. “Kanye’s such a legend,” he says.

Ross, better known by his Instagram moniker WhiteTrashTyler, was born in Nova Scotia, a Maritime province in Canada near the Atlantic. The son of two school teachers, he started shooting skate videos with his friends as a hobby. But it wasn’t until he began helping an old roommate make YouTube videos that he decided he wanted to pursue a career as a videographer. “I realized it was something that I was passionate about,” says Ross, who declined to give his age.

After graduating from college with a marketing degree, turning down an office job at a tobacco company, and a short stint as a garbage man, he booked a flight to L.A. to pursue his dreams. “I knew I wanted to do something more creative,” he says. He slept in hostels on Fairfax Avenue and on friends’ couches, and made connections and assisted anyone who needed help shooting or editing videos. “I learned everything when I was in L.A.,” he says.

Tyler Ross
Image via Cian Moore

Since then, Ross has contributed to West’s “Famous” visuals, and shot behind the scenes footage of the rapper’s Saint Pablo Tour and the making of Yeezy Season 3 to Season 5. He also filmed the five-minute video montage West made for Kim Kardashian’s 36th birthday, as well as helped shoot and edit Drake and 21 Savage’s “Sneakin’” and Future’s “Use Me” and “My Collection” music videos. Today, Ross is currently on the road with Travis Scott, who’s on Kendrick Lamar’s Damn Tour. “[Travis] just DM’d me and was like, ‘Yo! Clear your schedule and come on tour with me,’” he remembers.

In his first ever interview, Ross talks about what it’s been like capturing candid moments of West and Scott, working with other big-name artists like Drake and 21 Savage, and what’s next for him.

How did you get the name “WhiteTrashTyler”?
I feel like WhiteTrashTyler is an extension of me. When I tell people I'm from Nova Scotia, the first thing they say is “Where the hell is that?” They expect me to be some hick from Canada. So I think it's funny to just roll with that assumption that people have about me. That irony is amazing.

How did you start working with Kanye West?
I met Gabe from [Los Angeles-based group] UZi and he was making music and directing videos at the time. I was sleeping on his couch and would just help him with whatever I could. Then when Ian Connor started creative directing for [Kanye West’s clothing line] Yeezy, he told ‘Ye, “You should have people filming this stuff using a VHS camcorder.’ So Kanye brought Gabe in, and Gabe asked me to help.

How would you describe your style? You use VHS right?
I shot using a mini DV camcorder and VHS camcorder when I was younger. I like using VHS cameras because they remind me of home videos, and people are always more comfortable around it. But I definitely love mixing formats. Through my work with Gabe I’ve been using VHS but I’ll still shoot HD stuff outside of that. It’s just become a blend of the two. Sometimes I’ll be shooting and pull out a different camera and just see what happens.

What inspires you?
A lot. People and the conversations [I have] with those who I meet. People from different cultures and walks of life. I'm lucky to be working around high-level artists. Everyone who’s in the room usually has some kind of story of how they got there, so that in and of itself is really inspiring. I’m inspired by reinventing something that was made in the past and making it more modern. For me, pushing the needle forward is not getting stuck in only making music videos. It’s about taking everything I've learned and pushing projects to a higher level. I feel like everyone at some point in their life is told you can do anything, and it's true, but you really have to believe it or you have to see it to really believe it. If you really want to achieve something, you'll find a way to do it.

To what extent were you working with Kanye West and for how long?
For a little over a year, I was documenting events that were going to be used for his other projects. I helped shoot and edit the “Famous” video. It was an inspiring experience because I had been working for [Kanye] for around six months before anybody even knew that I was doing anything with him. The “Famous” video was the first thing that came out that people were like, “Oh, shit! You worked on that?” I remember we were finishing up the video right before the premier. We were literally exporting the file while we were in the car on the way to [The Forum]. When we walked into the arena, Kanye’s music was playing and I was just like, “Shit! This is gonna be packed in an hour and everyone’s going to watch this video.” That was a surreal moment.

Tyler Ross
Image via Cian Moore

What did you learn most from working with Kanye?
The importance of collaboration. The true magic is finding the right people to bring into the room and create with. Before, I was just always trying to learn how to do something else so I could add it to the project. But Kanye was like, “If I want to build something, who’s the best person in the world that I could learn from or that I could bring in to create this?” The magic is connecting the dots, bringing the right minds together to build it. For me, that was my favorite part of filming him. The way he spoke to people that he had just met to convince them to be part of a project was inspiring.

I feel like I just went to school with Kanye and now I'm like, “How do I take everything I've learned and start developing my own mood board?” I hope that I'm always learning and developing myself. If you're not trying to achieve better then what's the point? Something might seem like a long process but that extra day, that extra week, that extra month you put in… 10 years from now, you’ll be happy you went the extra mile.

You posted an amazing video on your Instagram of Quavo riding a horse. What was that about?
That was in Calabasas. These people were just walking their horses down the street and Quavo—I don't think he'd ever been on a horse before—was like, “Can I ride it?” [laughs] And they're like, “Yeah, I guess.” He got on it and he was a natural. It was pretty amazing to me. I was like, “What the hell is going on right now?” I just started filming it.

You shot some of the footage of interactions between Kanye and Travis that wound up in Travis’ La Flame documentary. Tell me about that.
Travis was about to put out La Flame but he knew I had filmed him and Kanye together a bunch of times, so they asked me what clips I had. So I sent them a little reel of different shots that I had. After Kanye approved them, they added some of it in the documentary. I shot Travis testing Kanye’s [floating] stage for his Saint Pablo Tour, Travis gifting Kanye a watch, and Travis in the crowd at the Saint Pablo shows.

What’s your favorite moment so far from being on tour with Travis?
He had a show in Houston and his mom surprised him with a visit from his old teachers. That was special because Travis said he was basically failing one of his classes but his teacher really loved him and believed in him. She basically passed him because she knew he was a special kid. His mom was crying. That happened right before he went on stage. Being able to see people’s growth and hear stories like that is pretty special.

What was the energy like at The Criterion in Oklahoma City when Travis performed “Goosebumps” 14 times?
That crowd was insane! They broke the stage barrier hours before Travis even got there. Everyone had to be evacuated to fix it. Kids were raging in the streets, there were cops everywhere before the show even started. They didn't want me to film ‘cause every time the kids saw the camera they started chanting Travis’ name and rushed the doors.

Tyler Ross
Image via Cian Moore

You helped edit Future’s “Use Me” and “My Collection” music videos. How did that happen?
That was through my mentor and good friend Nick Walker. He’s an amazing director; he’s someone who doesn’t have a huge following on Instagram but, to me, he’s one of the most talented people I've ever worked with. There have been moments where I was like, “What the fuck am I doing out here [in L.A.]?” You never know what you're going to be working next week. He’s always been someone who has encouraged me to keep going and gives me projects to do. One day, he approached me and was like, “I'm doing these videos for Future. I want you to edit them.” I would go to his office and edit those videos with him. I also edited the FKA Twigs mini-doc, Baltimore Dance Project, and Freddie Gibbs’ “Pronto” video.

What’s the end goal from here?
I don't really want to have an end goal. I hope that I'm always hungry to figure out the next thing or inspired to feel the need to always be creating something. That's the goal.

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World Leaders Blamed Donald Trump for Failure to Reach Climate Change Agreement

Leaders from some of the world's most powerful countries issued a joint statement over the weekend, blaming Donald Trump and the United States for the group's failure to reach an agreement on climate change.

In the declaration released by G7 countries following their yearly summit, the leaders of the other six nations involved in the discussion highlighted Trump's refusal to join them in the fight against climate change:

The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics. Understanding this process, the Heads of State and of Government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom and the Presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement, as previously stated at the Ise-Shima Summit.

Trump, who was the lone holdout on adopting guidelines implemented by the 2015 Paris Agreement, took to Twitter to reaffirm the group's claim he had not yet decided on a policy:

During his campaign preceding the 2016 election, Trump summed up his stance on combating emissions by telling a South Carolina crowd, “I want to use hair spray.” Trump has a long and vocal history of denying global warming, and has repeatedly claimed it is a hoax.

Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor of Germany, specifically mentioned how other G7 countries lobbied Trump to keep America in the Paris Agreement, which was implemented to cut back on carbon emissions.

“The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying,” said Merkel. “There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not.”

Belief in climate change has increasingly taken hold among American voters. 70 percent of those polled believe global warming is happening, and 55 percent of people believe that change is man-made. Complex spoke to Bill Nye in April, and he said his wish is for American legislators to respond to the scientific community's consensus on the matter.

“The easiest thing, at first, is to be in denial, whether you’re talking about climate change or having broken something you can’t see,” said Nye. “'Did I just break that?' Yeah, you did. There’s a few seconds of 'No, no, it’s fine. Put it back together.' We want to get legislators to get their worldviews shifted to respect the facts.”

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Kendrick Lamar Announces The Damn Tour

UPDATED 9:29 a.m. ET After seeing Kendrick Lamar perform at Coachella last Sunday night, we speculated about what his performance could mean for a potential upcoming tour. From the setlist to the stage design, we broke down what a tour to promote his latest album, Damn, could look and feel like. But as it turns out, we aren’t going to need to speculate about a Kendrick tour for very long, as early Monday morning the Compton rapper announced dates for The Damn Tour on Twitter.

As of now, the tour includes 17 dates and is set to kick off in Phoenix, Arizona on July 12 before making stops in Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., Boston, Toronto, and a handful of other major cities in the U.S. and Canada. The tour will conclude on August 6 in Los Angeles.

Kendrick won’t be touring alone, either. In addition to taking his act across North America, Kendrick will also be bringing Travis Scott and D.R.A.M. along with him. You can check out the full schedule below:

Damn just hit a major milestone for Kendrick. The critically acclaimed album earned the best-selling Billboard chart debut of 2017 last week by moving more than 600,000 units, easily topping Drake’s More Life, which moved just over 500,000 units in March. Unfortunately for fans, Kendrick has debunked rumors about him possibly releasing a second project at some point in the near future, but The Damn Tour announcement should be more than enough to help them get their minds off it.

Tickets will be available for American Express card members from April 25 at 10 a.m. local time through April 27 at 10 p.m. local time. Tickets go on sale to the general public on April 28.

American Express ® is excited to continue our partnership with Kendrick Lamar on the heels of his sensational album release, providing our Card Members with early access to his North American tour before the general public,” Walter Frye, American Express' Vice President of Global Entertainment and Premier Events told Complex in a statement. “After two intimate Card Member experiences in Miami and New York last year, we are excited to help bring the memorable experience of Kendrick’s live show to fans around the country.”

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