MONDAY, JUNE 15
As if race relations in America weren't already confusing enough, here's something new to add to the mix: Today the president of the Spokane, Washington NAACP, Rachel Dolezal, stepped down from her position under suspicion that she might not be black. According to her two Caucasian parents (who actually ratted her out) she's really white... though Dolezal insists there is no biological proof that the white people claiming to be her parents are actually her white parents! "I'm not necessarily saying that I can prove they're not," Dolezal said in an interview with NBC Nightly News, "but I don't know that I can actually prove they are." Kitara Johnson, a member of Spokane's NAACP, said that the group's concern isn't that she's white, but that she may have lied about being white. "I am definitely not white," said the probably white Dolezal. "Nothing about being white describes what I am. I'm black. I'm more black than white." She then told Matt Lauer on Today that she's identified as black (and definitely not white!) as early as five years old. "I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon," the almost definitely white Dolezal said. When asked if she changed her skin tone in order to pass as black, the most certainly white Dolezal replied, "Some days I might have spray-on, you know like a bronzer or whatever... but other days I don't." Yep. She's white.
TUESDAY, JUNE 16
Today two more Republicans jumped into the presidential race—it's for you to decide who is more ridiculous. Is it entitled butthole, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who somehow believes it's his legacy to go to the White House since his father and brother have been there before? (Side note: Jeb's campaign logo is "Jeb!" whose exclamation mark is the visual equivalent of a sitcom laughtrack. We're not excited, Jeb. Don't tell us how to feel.) Or is it the mentally challenged billionaire/reality TV star/deep hater of all poor people Donald Trump who also announced his bid today? Okay, fine—Trump is clearly the more ridiculous of the two, but in his defense, at least he's more honest about being a blatant asshole. In his rambling, 45-minute-long announcement, he insulted Obama, his Republican competitors, ISIS, and poor Americans, loudly braying that his net worth is a whopping $8.7 billion. At least one person was not impressed, and to our eternal delight that person was Cher—whose Twitter account has become that of legend, and today was no different. "Donald Trump can't come up with a hairstyle that looks human," Cher tweeted. "How can he come up with a plan to defeat ISIS?" She later called him a "loudmouth asshole, who's terrified of windy days!!" We will leave you with these three words: "Hillary/Cher 2016."
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17
And here we go again: This evening, a young white male by the name of Dylann Roof entered one of the United States' oldest black churches—Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina—and joined the Bible study for nearly an hour before eventually pulling a gun and shooting and killing nine people. Among those murdered were pastor and South Carolina Senator Clementa C. Pinckney, and 87-year-old church choir member Susie Jackson. According to the terrorist's roommate, Roof was a supporter of racial segregation and intended on starting a civil war. On his racially charged website, Roof wrote a 2,444-word manifesto, which included the following: "We have no skinheads," he wrote, "no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me." Roof was also pictured on the site posing with a handgun and a Confederate flag—the same one that flies above the South Carolina Capitol building, every single day.
THURSDAY, JUNE 18
So there are times when you suspect the world is going to hell, and there are other times when you're sure of it. To wit: Kim Kardashian was interviewed on NPR. A special guest on the radio network's program, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, Kim was asked a series of questions including, "Will you name your new baby South West?" to which she responded, "Everyone keeps on saying South, and I think it's so stupid. Stupidest thing ever and just ridiculous." This from a person who named her daughter North West, and fervently denied she would do so months before North West was born—and for similar "stupid" reasons. Kim Kardashian, you are trying to gaslight us, and WE WILL NOT HAVE IT. (As for NPR: Fuck you, we're never listening to you again.)
FRIDAY, JUNE 19
Yeah, about that Confederate flag... the same one displayed above the South Carolina Capitol, and proudly held in photographs by the alleged shooter, Dylann Roof. Immediately, calls came for the flag to be taken down—calls Republican nominees for president did not want to talk about. "You wouldn't think calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of South Carolina's state capitol would be a difficult thing to do, especially for those who believe they are bold and brave enough to be this nation's next president," wrote Kaili Joy Gray at Wonkette—but as Jonathan Martin at the New York Times pointed out, it is a difficult thing to do, because those candidates want to win the South's first primary, which just so happens to be in (sad trombone) South Carolina. "They do not want to risk offending the conservative white voters who venerate the most recognizable emblem of the Confederacy," Martin wrote. And so: Jeb "Jeb!" Bush said he trusted South Carolina's leaders to "do the right thing," Rick Santorum dodged the issue ("I'm not a South Carolinian"), and Ted Cruz said, "I understand the passions that this debate evokes on both sides." Mike Huckabee whined, "Everyone's being baited with this question as if somehow that has anything to do whatsoever with running for president." MOVING ON... At least former presidential wannabe Mitt Romney found his backbone! "Take down the #ConfederateFlag at the SC Capitol," Romney tweeted. "To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred. Remove it now to honor #Charleston victims." Okay—who here thought we'd ever long for the days of Mitt Romney? Anyone? Anyone? AND MORE BAD NEWS... for Republicans, at least! Earl Holt III, the president of the Council of Conservative Citizens, "a white supremacist group that apparently influenced Dylann Roof... has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns, including those of 2016 presidential contenders such as Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, and Rand Paul," reports the New York Times. Well, that's the problem with trying to get racists to support you: Sometimes it works.
SATURDAY, JUNE 20
Pop superstar Taylor Swift continued her reign of awesomeness, posting an open letter to Apple in which she took the $1 trillion company to task for refusing to pay musicians during a three-month trial period of its streaming service, Apple Music. "This is not about me," Swift tumblred on Tumblr. "Thankfully, I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, my crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success." Swift added, "Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing," before ending with a zinger: "We don't ask you for free iPhones. Please don't ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation." AND, BEHOLD... Within 24 hours, Apple reversed course, promising to pay artists! Taylor Swift: A hero to many, an inspiration for all, and, henceforth, someone whose past sins shall be expunged from public memory. (Or, as the Thermals' Hutch Harris tweeted, "Taylor Swift getting Apple to reverse their royalty policy finally makes up for her dating John Mayer.")
SUNDAY, JUNE 21
Sooooo... about Donald Trump's campaign announcement. Turns out his crowd "was made a little bigger with help from paid actors," according to the Hollywood Reporter! The Reporter got their hands on an email sent by Extra Mile Casting to their "client list of background actors, seeking extras to beef up attendance at Trump's event"—and promising $50 to anyone who'd show up. "We are looking to cast people for the event to wear T-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement," the email reads. "We understand this is not a traditional 'background job,' but we believe acting comes in all forms." Alas, when the Reporter called to get more details, Extra Mile Casting said they didn't "know anything about that" before abruptly hanging up. And Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, claimed ignorance, adorably insisting, "Mr. Trump draws record crowds at almost every venue where he is a featured speaker. The crowds are large, often record setting, and enthusiastic, often with standing ovations. Mr. Trump's message is, 'Make America great again.'" Okay, okay—whoever cast that guy? Great job! Because saying something like that with a straight face is totally worth $50.