You can make $90,000 by simply doing your job.

Here’s some news right out of California: a Starbucks barista in San Diego has received $95,000 through a GoFundMe campaign for telling a woman to wear a mask in their store.

This might be one of the top craziest stories I’ve heard all year, and it’s been a crazy year so far. In fact, this is so crazy it makes me wonder if the whole story is fact or fiction. I’ll get to that in a bit though.

The backstory is that Amber Lynn Gilles (Aka “Karen”) went into Starbucks without a mask. When the barista, Lenin Gutierrez, asked her if she had a mask she allegedly flipped him off and started cursing loudly. She then proceeded to take a photo of him and later posted it on Facebook, as shown below.

Keep in mind that it is mandatory to wear masks in California, so Karen was actually breaking a state law. Lenin in no way deserved to be verbally abused in person or harassed on social media. I worked in customer service for years so I completely sympathize with employees who are yelled at for just doing their job. Which leads to my first point:

The GoFundMe was started by Matt Cowan, who allegedly didn’t know Lenin at all. Why would someone do that for a complete stranger, who was probably in the same situation many customer service workers have faced? The appropriate route to take would have been for Lenin report the post on Facebook, thank everyone for their support and call it a day. If you’re thinking I sound suspicious of this story, you are completely right, which leads me to my second point:

This whole situation is slightly reminiscent of the story about the couple who raised money for the homeless guy for supposedly giving them the last of his change for gas. As you might remember, it turned out to be a hoax. I support GoFundMe campaigns when they are for major causes such as George Floyd’s or Breonna Taylor’s deaths. What I don’t support though, is giving donations for someone who was doing their job, and as a result was verbally attacked by some anti-mask wearing woman. That being said, if starting GoFundMe campaigns is the new way to help those being treated unfairly in public, where is the campaign for Christian Cooper, a black man who was accused of harassment by a white lady in Central Park? All he did was be a decent citizen and ask her to put her dog on a leash since they weren’t in an off-leash zone. There are also many incidents of harassment that don’t get recorded, so…

Where are the donations for customer service representatives who are yelled at everyday, for some reason or another?

Where are the donations for employees who are verbally and/or sexually harassed by their managers or colleagues?

We are in the middle of a global pandemic, and this seems to be very minor compared to what is going on. My guess is they all know each other and will be splitting the money. I know it sounds far fetched and if I’m wrong, I promise to write another post acknowledging so.

Operation I Take Responsibility: Failed.

Celebrities. They love to use their platforms to rally for good causes, but sometimes they take it a little too far. The ”I Take Responsibility“ video is a perfect example of when the celebrity white savior mentality goes off the rails.

YouTube

This video is only slightly less cringe-y than the Imagine video, that featured a bunch of celebrities singing about how there’s no heaven…when people are dying from a deadly pandemic.

Let’s be clear: Black people don’t need to hear you guys say a bunch of stuff you read off a cue card previously approved by your publicists. What Black people do need is equal opportunity.

Equal opportunity as actors

Equal opportunity as writers

Equal opportunity as directors

Equal opportunity as producers

Equal opportunity as agents

Equal opportunity for any job that you were handed just for the color of your skin

So let’s call a spade a spade. Sarah Paulson, we know you’re not going to turn a blind eye to racism when a job is at stake. And Stanley Tucci, the day a powerful director makes a discriminatory comment, you’re not going to call them out and storm off set. To all the actors in this video and to those even thinking about making one: just stop.

I know you think you’re helping by filming these melodramatic videos (which have potential to become a pandemic of their own), but you’re not. Taking responsibility is nothing if not paired with taking action, so please put your insincerity on hold until this global crisis is over.

Speaking of white privilege…Madeleine McCann

The Guardian

In May 2007, a beautiful little girl was abducted from her family’s room at a resort in Praia de Luz, Portugal while her parents dined with their friends at the resort’s restaurant. Kate and Gerry McCann’s initial call to the local police quickly turned into a nationwide manhunt for Madeleine, and a worldwide media sensation. After an unsuccessful search, the case eventually quietened down and life went back to normal. That is, until last week when London’s Metropolitan Police finally found a suspect… 13 years later.

British law enforcement have continued looking for Madeleine for 13 years. Granted the parents are wealthy enough to have funded the search all these years. Clearly their wealth has kept them out of jail too, where they should be for negligence. I’ll add that Portugal has an extradition policy so the was no reason for Kate and Gerry McCann to be free all these years.

You might be wondering how any of this links to white privilege. Well I did some research on missing children in Britain, and the first article I found was from the Sun a few years ago. They claim that 140,000 children go missing in Britain every year, but these are the 10 currently missing. Notice any similarities?

The Sun.co.uk

When I saw this I thought “there must be at least one child of color who is missing.” So I did more research through the National Crime Agency and found that in 2014-2015, 20,298 Black children followed by 7981 Asian children. The article in the Sun was written in 2015.

Where are the photos of the children of color? Are they just less important than the white children?

This image is proof of the inherent racism that exists in the foundation of many Western countries. It’s subtle, but you can find it if you scratch the surface. Of 10 children featured in article, at least one Black and one Asian child should have been included. What makes Madeleine’s case stand out is that her family are both white and wealthy. The McCann’s negligence not only caused their daughter to get abducted, but also cost British taxpayers millions of pounds. Seriously, if you want to dine without your kids on vacation, leave your kids at home!

Amidst all the uncertainty, one thing is for sure: if Kate and Gerry McCann were people of color, and their daughter was abducted from their council flat, they would be in jail.

I Can’t Breathe

Hello everyone,

I am so happy to be back (during some very unhappy times) after what has felt like an eternity without a laptop. A lot is going on in the world right now so I want to start with saying:

R.I.P George Floyd and BLACK LIVES MATTER.

The riots going on all across America and around the world are scary, but are 100% necessary for our voices to be heard. George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis last week by a Derek Chauvin, a white police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes. Floyd was accused of trying to pay with a fake $20 at a convenience store and was subsequently arrested. Earlier today, Chauvin was charged with second degree murder (up from third degree) and the other 3 officers present are awaiting charges.

CNN.com

The first question that came to mind when I saw the video was “How is this still happening?” After all the protests and marches over the years, why is the American justice system still refusing to hold white police officers accountable for brutality against Black men and women? As relieved as I am that the officers involved were arrested and charged, I have my doubts about them being sentenced accordingly. There was so much evidence against George Zimmerman after he shot Travyon Martin in 2012, and he got off scott free. Only two of the four officers responsible for beating Rodney King in 1991 were sentenced to 2.5 years in prison during a re-trial following the L.A. riots. The other two officers were acquitted again.

So basically, I have zero faith in the U.S. justice system. I wouldn’t be surprised if Derek Chauvin gets a minimal sentence, and the others get acquitted. President Trump seems to be more concerned about photo-ops with the Bible than re-assuring his country that justice will be served. The American people are not being comforted by their leadership, they are being threatened. Think about that. Donald Trump would rather turn the military on his citizens than immediately arrest 3 police officers. I sincerely hope America will vote him out in November.

Also, a quick message to all the Conservatives complaining about the looting: Target can get their TVs back, but George Floyd’s friends and family can’t get him back. So please, focus on solving the real problem that is police brutality and racial injustice.

The New York Times

Meet Alison Roman, the next victim of cancel culture

Over the years, speaking out against racial and cultural issues has slowly evolved into outrage and cancel culture. It’s not just Hollywood celebrities and politicians who are victims; even New York Times food columnists can’t be spared.

Alison Roman, Food columnist and cookbook author was suspended from the NYT after she criticized Marie Kondo and Chrissy Teigen for branding their kitchenware lines. Essentially, she said she would never want to use her name to sell products, but somehow this came off as racist towards Asians.

Could Alison have made her point in a more sensitive way? Sure, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a point. About Chrissy. Yes, I’m going to single her out and I’ll explain why. I

Insider

Marie made a career out of helping people organize their homes so it makes sense that she would sell stuff for your home. Chrissy, on the other hand, was a model but only became famous after marrying John Legend. She continued to garner attention by roasting people on Twitter (or “hilarious Tweets” as Buzzfeed would say).She then wrote Cravings, followed by Cravings 2, and they were both an instant hit. The reviews were so good that even I considered buying one the supposedly unique Asian fusion recipes, After all, I love all Asian food so why not break my personal rule of not supporting celebrity cookbooks? Then I remembered that Chrissy’s cookbooks and her Target kitchenware line are vanity projects.

There have been countless celebrity wives who have done the same. Think Victoria Beckham, Ayesha Curry and Kristin Cavallari, to name a few. They all created these brands after marrying rich men so they can pretend to have a career. If they were really passionate about fashion or cooking they would have started companies before getting married. So in other words, without their husbands’ money.

Let me be clear. As a woman I am all for female empowerment and supporting other women’s success. But just because you support someone doesn’t mean you can’t call a spade a spade, and I think that’s exactly what Alison Roman did. To be fair, if she was going to call out celebrities turned lifestyle gurus she really should have included Gwenyth Paltrow.

Bottom line: Alison wanted to express her own career aspirations but misspoke. Maybe her apology isn’t considered good enough but she certainly doesn’t deserve to be suspended (which translates to fired) over a poorly worded opinion.

Georgia’s false promises

I want you to take a look at the photo below before reading.

This is Ahmaud Arbery, who was jogging in Brunswick, GA when he was chased and fatally shot by two white men. A video of the crime, recorded by an accomplice, was released earlier this week by a defence attorney involved in the case. The perpetrators, Travis and Greogory McMichael, were arrested yesterday on May 7. Unfortunately, this isn’t as positive an outcome as it may seem. The Glynn County Police and the Georgia investigators never wanted to charge Travis and Gregory, because even though the video surfaced three days ago, the shooting happened on February 23.

Yes, you heard that right. The police had that video in February.

Their excuse was that they allegedly saw Ahmaud robbing a construction site, and because there had been some burglaries in the area, the McMichaels assumed he was the burglar. As it turns out, CCTV showed no robberies on the site, and only the McMichaels had one of their guns stolen from their pickup truck on New Years Day. No other residents were victims of robberies.

This is a clear case of racial profiling. You must have some real white privilege to accuse a person of colour of a burglary as an excuse to murder them. And get away with it. This incident slightly echoes the Botham Jean case; he was shot in Dallas by Amber Guyger, a white police officer when she thought he “broke in” to her apartment. Turns out she had the wrong apartment, and after a lengthy trial, she got sentenced to 10 years. I suspect the Ahmaud Arbery case will have a similar outcome, especially considering Georgia doesn’t have any anti hate crime laws.

The reality of the matter is that if Georgia investigators wanted to press charges, they would have when they first saw the tape in February. The promises made by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are completely empty, and their “thorough” investigation is all for show. And let’s call a spade a spade: if the roles were reversed, Ahmaud would have gotten life in prison. This is another case of pure racism, and what’s disturbing is that there must be so many more people of colour who have been senselessly murdered and have not received justice. As Marc Lamont Hill said:

The only way this injustice will end is if law makers start holding white people accountable for crimes they actually commit, the same way they do for innocent black people.

The real reason Trump won’t increase COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus is still continuing to spread worldwide, but all eyes are on America. Why?

Aside from the fact that the President of the world’s superpower has horribly mishandled this entire situation (and suggested that people inject themselves with disinfectant), the White House also tried to block Dr. Fauci from testifying before Congress. They claimed it was unnecessary, but eventually gave him the go ahead.

The White House’s priority should be to keep everyone safe and find a vaccine as quickly as possible. This means continuing to enforce social distancing as much as possible by re-opening the states slowly. Georgia and Texas, amongst other states, should not be taken as an example because social distancing is impossible in nail salons! For some reason though, the White House seems eager to re-open the economy, without a second thought about the safety of their citizens.

Time Magazine

Trump’s whole 2016 campaign was based on a guarantee that the economy will thrive under his administration. After all, he’s a billionaire businessman so of course he would have strong knowledge of the economy. Turns out, he probably isn’t a billionaire and he has limited knowledge of the economy. Trump can’t seem to understand how detrimental it is for his re-election campaign to open the southern states. They’re red states. They’re his supporters. When the residents of these states start to see the devastating effects of COVID, they will think twice about voting for the guy who promised that the virus would disappear in warmer weather. His reckless tweets will no longer be entertaining, and his promises to protect citizens and the economy will be seen as empty.

In addition to torpedoing his own election campaign, Trump is hesitant to move forward with nationwide testing. His reason is simply that if the tests reveal a higher number of cases, he won’t be able to re-open the economy. And the longer the economy is closed, the higher unemployment will rise, and the deeper the country will sink into a recession.

This will be an inevitable outcome that Trump will have no chance at wiggling his way out of by blaming the Dems and verbally attacking reporters. The only thing he could do is Tweet #ItriedtoKAG2020.

See ya.
Eventbrite.

Let’s bid farewell to a couple of TV “doctors”

Yesterday, Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil had interesting appalling takes on the country being shutdown due to COVID-19. Oz said the U.S. should consider re-opening schools because children need to be educated and fed. The tradeoff would be a 2-3% mortality rate; he argued that it’s risk worth taking. Phil declared that “45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools,” and we don’t shut down the country for that. He also claimed that unless the country is re-opened quickly, more people will fall below the poverty line. What he doesn’t understand is that even if people are able to make ends meet, there is a chance they won’t be able to for long because they could die.

Quick fact check: as per the Centers for Disease Control, 3,536 people died from drowning annually from 2005 to 2014. Some of these deaths occurred in other bodies of water, not just in swimming pools.

rollingstone.com

Both doctors are successful talk show hosts, with Dr. Oz promoting products based on pseudoscience, and Dr. Phil basically hosting a censored version of Jerry Springer. That’s where their similarities end. Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon, so I can understand why news outlets want his opinion. He’s an actual medical doctor, which is all the more reason why he should have known better than to suggest risking a part of our population so kids can go back to school. School is still in session online.

Dr. Phil, on the other hand, was never a medical doctor. He was a clinical psychologist but had his license revoked due to some legal disputes. Which is why for the life of me, I can’t understand why would Fox news go to him for a second opinion when Dr. Fauci and other reputable doctors have explicitly advised against lifting restrictions. My best guess is they want someone who the public trusts and who is also conservative. Who’s narrative will match the network’s values as well as those of their viewers. This is disappointing considering Fox was always criticizing the liberal media of “politicizing” COVID-19, and yet here they are doing the same thing.

ctv.ca

The problem with Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil (and other TV doctors), is that their egos cloud their judgement. They have made more money on TV than they probably would in a lifetime of being a doctor. They live in a bubble where people will believe anything they say, whether it be about bogus products or family therapy. They profit off of people’s ignorance and desperation, or their need for entertainment. If they can con people on their shows, why not on Fox news? Spreading false information for money and fame has become a part of who TV doctors are. After all, they don’t really want to be doctors. If they did, they would be working as doctors and not as talk show hosts.

There needs to be some sort of consequences for their unfounded comments. Dr. Phil should be taken off the air. Sure, the show is entertaining but we can survive without it. As for Dr. Oz, he should be taken off the air, he should never be allowed on TV again, and he should have his license revoked. We trust doctors with our lives (literally), and nobody should be forced to trust a doctor who clearly has no regard for human life. And no, I don’t care how much you love his show.

The dimming light on Trump’s presidency

With every passing day, Donald Trump seems to become increasingly nonchalant about the COVID-19 pandemic. He initially called it a hoax, then insisted America wouldn’t be affected. He wanted to open businesses by Easter. He declined to accept testing kits from the WHO because they were made in Germany, not America. He refuses to provide aid to hospitals across the country unless all the Governors show him appreciation. He even accused New York hospitals of hoarding supplies; you can’t hoard supplies unless you have excess. New York hospitals especially are experiencing a large shortage of supplies, which is preventing doctors and nurses from doing their jobs safely.

Independent.co.uk

Trump’s re-election was fully dependent on the state of the US economy. Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, the US economy was going strong, making his re-election quite promising. Now the stock market has crashed, and according to CNN, mass layoffs have caused at least 6.6 million people to apply for unemployment benefits in the past week alone. They expect that number to grow next week. By blaming Obama and State’s Governors for this disaster, Trump’s chances at another term are growing slimmer by the day.

Had he taken immediate action initially by funding medial supplies and accepting the testing kits , the US could have had this pandemic under control. Take South Korea as an example.They started testing 10,000 per day in late February at the drive-thru testing centres. Their urgent action and innovation is why there are 10,000 cases in the country and 177 deaths (Google statistics)

Sudbury.com

Trump wants to give households a one time $1,200 tax free benefit, but how is that enough? Canada is rolling out a taxable emergency benefit of $2,000 per month for people who can’t work due to COVID-19. The benefit is available for a maximum of 4 months. Although Trudeau closed the borders later than Trump did, he is doing a far better job of taking care of Canadians.

It’s a shame that as the World’s Superpower, America is greatly lagging behind in testing and is short of hospital equipment. The COVID-19 crisis is a test for Trump to prove he would do anything to keep Americans safe. And so far is he failing miserably.

Really Lilly?

Every once in a while during a crisis, there is one person who becomes a self-proclaimed expert on the situation and refuses to take professional advice. A few days ago, that person was Evangeline Lilly.

Below are a series of screenshots from her Instagram; see if you can spot the problem.

Let’s be clear about one thing: Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care what race or gender you are, or what your political party is. It certainly doesn’t care whether you are an A-list or D-list actor. The level of entitlement in Lilly’s comments is atrocious. Also, why isn’t her kid’s gymnastics class closed like the schools are?

For those who want to live their lives freely, allow me to shed some light on the severity of the Coronavirus spread.

The U.S., Canada, and many other countries are on lockdown.

Coronavirus has caused a stock market crash, which in turn resulted in thousands of people getting laid off. People who have to provide for their families, and especially in the U.S., might have relied on healthcare their employer provided. Then there are people who have no choice other than to work, like our healthcare workers; they are risking contracting the virus themselves to make sure we are safe. They would probably love to stay home! And you don’t have to go out of your way to thank them; you can do it by simply staying home. In fact, healthcare workers are even requesting that the public do so. In case you didn’t get the message…

Castanet

The second problem with her Instagram comments is that she insinuates that there is a virus every election year. You could argue that politicians don’t really care about their citizens, but they care enough to not start a virus that could escalate into a pandemic. I respect that you have your opinions, but during a time like this just keep them to yourself.

Evangeline Lilly’s refusal to self-isolate not only showed that she is selfish and irresponsible, but that she is also really stupid. This is a crisis, and the only way for us to get through it is to be co-operative and listen to the experts. If they say stay home except for essential trips, just do it.

I want to say a huge thank you to all the healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, taxi drivers, volunteers, and everyone else who is putting their health on the line to help us. To all the people with coronavirus or who’s livelihoods were impacted because of it: we are thinking of you.