The woman on the left is a mother from Miami who was so desperate to feed her hungry family that she was trying to steal a lot of food.
The woman on the right is Miami-Dade County Police Officer Vicki Thomas. Officer Thomas was about to arrest Jessica Robles but changed her mind at the last minute.
Instead of arresting her, she bought Robles $100 worth of groceries:
“I made the decision to buy her some groceries because arresting her wasn’t going to solve the problem with her children being hungry.”
And there’s no denying they were hungry. Robles’ 12 year old daughter started crying when she told local TV station WSVN about how dire their situation was:
“[It’s] not fun to see my brother in the dirt hungry, asking for food, and we have to tell him, ‘There is nothing here.’”
Officer Thomas says she has no question that what she did was right:
“To see them go through the bags when we brought them in, it was like Christmas. That $100 to me was worth it.”
But Officer Thomas did have one request:
“The only thing I asked of her is, when she gets on her feet, that she help someone else out. And she said she would.”
And guess what? The story gets even better.
After word got out about what happened people donated another $700 for Jessica Robles to spend at the grocery store.
And then best of all a local business owner invited her in for an interview and ended up hiring her on the spot as a customer service rep.
She started crying when he told her:
“There’s no words how grateful I am that you took your time and helped somebody out. Especially somebody like me.”
And to think it all started with one veteran police officer trusting her “instinct” instead of going “by the book”.
I N S T I N C T
Anonymous asked: I read your Winter Soldier analysis, and I have a question : you say that "There’s a reason his code name is drawn from an investigation into one of the ugliest chapters of American history." Please help a non-American understand what you meant? I mean I obviously see the Cold War reference in the movie, but from what you've written it seems like something more subtle *within* the Cold War... shit, I mean just "Cold War" seems too evident and I can't find the deeper meaning?
Oh gosh, don’t feel bad, there are plenty of Americans who have never even heard of this.
The Winter Soldier Investigation was a 1971 veteran-organized media event intended to draw attention to the war crimes that had taken place in Vietnam. Directly inspired by the exposure of the My Lai Massacre (the mass murder of over five hundred unarmed civilians by American troops) in 1969, Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) brought together discharged servicemen from every branch of the military to discuss the atrocities they had seen and committed during their time in the war. They hoped bring these tragedies before the public eye, and to prove that American military policies led directly to the death and torment of civilians. Eventually a transcript from this conference made its way before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the Fullbright Hearings.
When Ed Brubaker, the author who wrote the original Winter Soldier arc, chose the name, he wanted something that would call up both cold Siberian winters and the atrocities of war. This fit the bill.
But the term itself, the idea of “winter soldiers”, was coined by VVAW as a response to the writings of Thomas Paine, who described the men who deserted at Valley Forge during the American Revolution:
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
A winter soldier is someone who will warm their hands over a meager fire and weather the cold. Someone who refuses to abandon their country and its potential, no matter what the personal cost.
So how’s that for a weird little twist? According to Thomas Paine—activist, political philosopher, and revolutionary—the real winter soldier is Captain America.
So I watched this music video, and this is in fact completely untrue. There are many scenes in which black/brown girls are casted.
One could conceivably argue that any white star who features twerking in a music video is automatically being exploitative.
However, that was not my perception of this video in particular. It actually appeared to me the director took pains to portray a variety of dance styles (ballet, interpretive dance, rhythmic gymnastics, break dancing, twerking, cheerleading, etc.) all as equally valid art forms. Every performing group in the video includes a variety of ethnicities. I think I did actually see a black/brown dancer in the ballet troupe, though it’s difficult to tell. Look in the rear left of this gif:
We don’t know if they cast individual dancers or hired a dance troupe, so if black women are underrepresented that might say more about the dance troupe’s selection practices than the video director’s casting practices.
All the styles of dance, ballet or otherwise are presented in the same fashion — talented professionals being brilliant + Taylor Swift being endearingly incompetent. The black women in the video aren’t portrayed as Taylor’s dancing accessories, but rather as experts in their style:
Moreover, at the end of the video there’s a sequence showing all the different professionals being silly and dancing in a non-choreographed manner, thereby humanizing them, showing they exist outside of their role as dancers in Taylor’s video:
I think if we interpret the twerking scenes in this video as demeaning, that says more about our cultural perception of black women than it does about this particular video’s specific portrayal of black women.