Daniel Cormier Goes Sneaker Shopping With Complex | Sneaker Shopping

UFC Champion Daniel Cormier goes Sneaker Shopping with Joe La Puma at Sole on Ice in San Jose, and talks about having the best sneakers in the UFC and his favorite shoes growing up.

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Remember That Time ‘The Boondocks’ Brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Back to Life?

One of the most controversial episodes of ‘The Boondocks’ involves an alternate relaity where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. survived the assassination attempt on his life and dropped the N-word in an angry speech. It also predicted an Oprah Winfrey presidential run in 2020.

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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5 Surprisingly Progressive Things Hugh Hefner Did For The Culture

From Alex Haley’s iconic Martin Luther King, Jr. interview to Dick Gregory’s big break, Hugh Hefner did it for the culture.

21 Savage: ‘I Don’t Think People Really Understand How Hard It Is to Be Black’

21 Savage recently sat down with Rolling Stone to talk about the road he has taken to get to where he is now, which includes his debut album Issa that debuted at No. 2. Savage’s road started with struggle, and although he can now count the number of M’s in his bank account (spoiler: there’s eight), there are still setbacks, most notable among them racial issues and the haters.

“I don't think people really understand how hard it is to be black,” Savage said. “Especially when you coming from nothing. In the hood, there's already a lot of hate just amongst us black people. We killin' each other and everybody else killin' us too. We poor. And the world hates us.”

Issa was a departure from Savage’s earlier works in that the rapper made an effort to diversify the topics he raps about. Tracks on the project are more socially conscious than the rapper has ever been musically; “Nothing New” in particular addresses racism and police brutality in the most biting way: “Shit getting outrageous/They treat us like slaves then lock us in cages/I used to sell dope, nigga, now I can’t vote/Popping Percocets to kill the pain, I can’t cope/Anger in my genes/They used to hang us up with ropes/Civil rights came, so they flood the hood with coke.” The rapper also mentions Martin Luther King’s assassination and includes a shout-out to Rosa Parks. Clearly, the man has substance. But Savage didn’t feel like he got the recognition he deserved.

“People always say I don't ever talk about that type of shit, then when I talk about that type of shit, they do everything in their power to not talk about that song,” he explained. “They don't give me the credit. Fuck 'em.”

That “fuck ‘em” attitude extends beyond this particular issue. While he certainly took some stylistic and tonal challenges on Issa, branching out into love songs and singing, Savage admits that one of the motivations for that were the critics who say all his songs sound the same. “I made sure I made certain songs just so people couldn't say every song sound the same,” he admitted. “I was sangin’. That's what everybody else doin'. Shit. Might as well.”

But other criticisms, especially those directed at his style of rapping, are harder to combat and therefore seem to annoy the rapper a lot more. “I don't feel like nobody who they say [is] mumble rap mumbles,” he said. “They don't understand my slang or my accent. They don't know how to categorize it, 'cause it's art. They're just trying to bring it down.”

But Savage doesn’t seem too bothered. He knows he’s got plenty of fans and that he can offer them something no one else can. “They feel like I'm telling the truth—'cause I'm telling the truth,” he added. “That's why a lot of people gravitate towards me: I'm a real nigga in a fake-ass industry.”

And at the end of the day, Savage seems to be more than comfortable with such a legacy. “Even if I ain't the famous-est, the richest, the best: As long as I know I kept it real and didn't backstab nobody, I sleep good at night.” 

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LeBron James Shares Thoughts on Adam Jones and Racism: ‘It’s Not Great for Society’

On Wednesday night, LeBron James and the Cavaliers crushed the Raptors 125-103 to take a commanding 2-0 lead over Toronto in their best-of-7 playoff series. And after the game, LeBron spent plenty of time talking about basketball during his post-game press conference. But at one point, he was also asked to talk about what happened to Orioles star Adam Jones in Boston on Monday night when he was subjected to racism during a game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

LeBron, who typically stays off social media during the NBA postseason, admitted that he hasn’t been able to monitor the Jones situation closely. But he said that he was able to catch part of the Orioles/Red Sox game on Tuesday night and saw the fans at Fenway giving Jones a standing ovation. He also spoke at length about the racism that Jones faced and said that, while he doesn’t remember experiencing racism in Boston at any point in his career, he obviously knows and understands that racism is still a big problem in America.

You can watch LeBron speak on Jones and racism as a whole here:

You can also read a transcript of LeBron’s comments below:

It’s a delicate situation. Racism, we know, exists. You try not to put yourself in a position, for me as a father, I try to give my kids the blueprint on how life is going to be. But at the end of the day, I can only tell them so much and then they have to go out and live it themselves. For me, I just try to be respectful, for one, be respectful to others. And I feel like if you do that consistently, then I believe the karma will come back to you.

With the Adam Jones situation, I don’t know who said it or what happened or the whole community in Boston or whatever the case may be. I’ve heard a couple athletes say that you expect that when you go to Boston. For me, I’ve been to Boston, I’ve played in Boston a lot. I just try to have tunnel vision when I play. I can’t recall me ever hearing something that was racism towards me. But I think it was great that other guys spoke up for him, not even on his own team. I think some guys from the Red Sox spoke up for Adam Jones saying like, 'Hey fans, we need you guys to, this is a situation where you need to have a standing ovation. Please do that.'

Because it’s not great for sports. It’s not great for society. You’ve got guys like Martin Luther King, who all he talked about was trying to unite all of us, no matter the color, no matter the race, no matter the shape or size. We know this is going to happen for, racism is going to be a part of time forever, I believe. But I think for us, the people that have opportunities to have a voice and people that have an opportunity to have some play on the youth that’s coming up, we have to lead them the best way we can. And we have to live with the results. Hopefully I was able to answer your question, but it’s a real, real longer conversation. But if we can keep the conversation going, I think it helps.

LeBron hit the nail on the head at the end of his explanation. While his words obviously aren’t going to solve the problem at hand, the fact that he’s being asked questions about it after a big playoff win is important and a sign that there are real conversations taking place about racism because of what Jones went through this week. And that might just be the silver lining in this whole situation.

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