Mixed Media

Lowe's Manager Bows to Request After Racist Customer Refuses Black Delivery Driver

"I got a right to have whatever I want and that's it."

| Wed Aug. 12, 2015 12:11 PM EDT

WSET.com - ABC13

Last month, a black driver working for a local Lowe's in Danville, Virginia, was on his way to deliver a package when he received an abrupt order from his manager to return a shipment back to the store.

"I asked him why I couldn't do it and he said because you're black and they don't want you at the house," Marcus Bradley told WSET-TV.

With his longtime coworker Alex Brooks riding in the truck's passenger seat, the two returned to work. When they arrived, Brooks told the station, a white driver replaced Bradley. Brooks says he refused to complete the delivery with him.

"It was one of those things like, 'These guys will get over it. They're tough guys, they're delivery guys.' And that's kind of where I just had to put my foot down and say I couldn't do it with them," Brooks says.

When WSET tracked down the Lowe's customer, she saw nothing wrong with her demands. "I got a right to have whatever I want and that's it," she said.

Lowe's corporate has since terminated the manager who bowed to the racist request. As for Bradley, he returned to work the next day.

"I mean I gotta work," he said. "I'm going to keep going to work like I've always done. But I would think Lowe's would take it into consideration to think about what they're doing next time."

"We've reached out to the drivers and one of our senior executives went to the store to apologize to them in person," a spokesperson told the Washington Post. "We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind, and we should never have accepted the terms of the sale with the individuals who were delivered to.”

It's unclear if Bradley's manager personally sympathized with the customer's outrageous demands. But Lowe's corporate may want to beef up its basic training with the message to managers that the customer is not always right.

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John Oliver Creates the Perfect Video to Help With America's Lack of Sex Education Standards

Awesome celebrity friends Laverne Cox and Nick Offerman also offer their pro-tips.

| Mon Aug. 10, 2015 9:37 AM EDT

In the United States, sex education is legally mandated in only 22 states, with just 13 requiring that information to be medically accurate.

"We essentially have a weird patchwork system that varies wildly and not just from state to state, but from district to district, and even from school to school," John Oliver explained on the latest Last Week Tonight.

The lack of accurate information, combined with educators' continued efforts to avoid the issue altogether, has major consequences for young people across the country. As Mother Jones has previously reported, the effects can be alarming: In Mississippi, where sex education deems homosexuality a crime and condom demonstrations are banned, the state ranks second in teenage pregnancy, with a third of all babies born to teenage mothers.

"There is no way we'd allow any other academic program to consistently fail to prepare students for life after school," Oliver said. "And human sexuality, unlike calculus, is something you actually need to know about for the rest of your life."

To help, Oliver enlisted Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, and other celebrity friends to create the perfect sex education video. Watch above.

The Mynabirds New Album Is Thoroughly Winning

Chamber pop gives way to synths and electronic beats.

| Mon Aug. 10, 2015 6:00 AM EDT

The Mynabirds
Lovers Know
Saddle Creek

With her smoky voice and brooding aura, Laura Burhenn could easily have been an elegant torch singer in an earlier era. On the thoroughly winning Lovers Know, her third album as The Mynabirds, the charismatic LA-based singer modifies with the folksy chamber pop of previous albums, opening up the sound to accommodate synths and electronic beats, hinting R&B influences. While these flashier elements might suggest a big shift in direction, Burhennn's soulful gravity is unchanged. From "All My Heart," where she growls, "I don't want half of anything," to "Velveteen," which finds Burhenn sighing, "I'm fragile, as fragile as can be" (not entirely persuasively), she captures the emotional highs and lows of restless yearning with rare skill.

Music Review: "Speed Trap Town" by Jason Isbell

An aching acoustic ballad.

| Sun Aug. 9, 2015 6:00 AM EDT

TRACK 8

"Speed Trap Town"

From Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free

Southeastern Records

Liner notes: Isbell embodies bedraggled resilience on an aching acoustic ballad about a toxic home, singing, "It never did occur to me to leave before tonight."

Behind the music: The Alabama-born singer was only the third songwriting option in Drive-By Truckers, after Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, but has blossomed as a solo artist.

Check it out if you like: Underdog champions (Steve Earle, John Mellencamp).

Music Review: “MariKKKopa” by Desaparecidos

A 'window-rattling rant.'

| Sat Aug. 8, 2015 6:00 AM EDT

TRACK 6

"MariKKKopa"

From Desaparecidos' Payola

Epitaph

Liner notes: "We got to round 'em up!/Door to door the posse is ready," howls Conor Oberst on a window-rattling rant, which closes with an actual sound bite from xenophobic sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Behind the music: Fronted by Oberst, who would go on to fame with the gentler Bright Eyes, the Omaha quartet released its debut album in 2002, then parted ways. They reconvened in 2010 to perform at a concert promoting the repeal of anti-immigrant legislation.

Check out if you like: Rockin' fire and brimstone, i.e., The Clash or Husker Du.

Fox News Is Breaking Up With Donald Trump. Now He's Freaking Out on Twitter

Roger Ailes appears to have turned on the Donald.

| Fri Aug. 7, 2015 10:29 AM EDT

We may have Fox News to thank for the meteoric start to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, but could we soon credit the network for its impending doom? Judging by the thorny questions posed by Fox's moderators during the first Republican primary debate last night, it looks as if the news outlet is initiating the breakup—and Trump is fighting back.

Soon after facing a barrage of pointed questions, the petulant GOP front-runner took to Twitter to slam the news outlet's moderators with his reliable brand of petty insults:

Republican political consultant Frank Luntz was not the only recipient of his ire.  Megyn Kelly called out Trump's history of insulting women. "You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,'" Kelly said. "Only Rosie O'Donnell," Trump responded, prompting applause. He then took aim at the Fox News host:

The distancing of Fox News from Trump on Thursday could signal Fox chairman Roger Ailes is finally taking heed of Rupert Murdoch's attempts to stop Fox from offering an uncritical platform for Trump's inflammatory rhetoric. And without the support of Fox News, maybe Trump's presidential ambitions will lose some momentum.

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Jon Stewart Signs Off from the "Daily Show" with the Perfect Advice for Us All

"Bullshit is everywhere. If you smell something, say something."

| Fri Aug. 7, 2015 8:19 AM EDT

After 16 years of engaging audiences with his political satire and no bullshit media criticism, Jon Stewart bid a final farewell as host of the Daily Show on Thursday night. The episode, filled with cameos from the likes of Steve Carell and Kristen Schaal, was very much a tribute to the longtime host as it was to his impressive roster of correspondents from over the years.

During one moment, Stephen Colbert, whose tenure at the Daily Show launched his own career as the bloviating pundit of the Colbert Report, broke character to thank an emotional Stewart for his work.

"We are better people for having known you," Colbert said. "You are a great artist and a good man."

Before officially signing off, Stewart left his audience with the advice to keep vigilant of all the bullshit out there.

"Bullshit is everywhere," he said. "If you smell something, say something."

Even Donald Trump's Daughter Was Horrified By His Mexicans Are "Rapists" Comments

Ivanka Trump even drafted apology statements for him.

| Thu Aug. 6, 2015 12:35 PM EDT

Every child understands being embarrassed by dad. This is likely an even more routine experience if you're the daughter of Donald Trump, who was once able to laugh off dad's confession that he'd probably date his own daughter if she wasn't in fact his daughter. That's something.

But calling Mexican immigrants crime-peddling "rapists" is apparently where Ivanka Trump draws the line. According to a new report by New York's Gabriel Sherman, she was outraged over her father's inflammatory rhetoric back in June and urged him to issue an apology—clearly to no avail:

"She's close to her father and is sensible enough to know a problematic situation," a friend of Ivanka's told me. Her feeling, the friend added, was that her father was hurting himself with his extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric. At one point, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter, Ivanka submitted several drafts of a statement for Donald to release to walk back the quotes, but he refused to have them published. "Donald didn't like it," a person close to him said. A spokesperson for Ivanka declined to comment. 

The report, which details the civil war inside Trump's inner circle, comes a day after not one, but four Trump aides leaked information about a private phone call between Bill Clinton and the GOP front-runner himself.

As you settle down to watch the first Republican debate tonight, spare a thought for Ivanka: she's demonstrating a level of patience we should all try to have for our embarrassing ol' man.

Amy Schumer Announces Plan To Tackle Gun Control

The comedian and her senator cousin Chuck Schumer team up following the mass shooting during a screening of her latest film, "Trainwreck."

| Mon Aug. 3, 2015 12:56 PM EDT

Amy Schumer just joined the gun control fight.

During a press conference on Monday, the comedian, along with her cousin New York Senator Chuck Schumer, unveiled a new initiative to tackle gun violence. Last month, 59-year-old John Russell Houser allegedly opened fire inside a Louisiana movie theater during a screening of Schumer's latest film "Trainwreck." He killed three people, including two women, before killing himself.

"Unless something is done and done soon, dangerous people will continue to get their hands on guns," Schumer told reporters. "We need a background check system without holes and fatal flaws."

The three-part legislative plan will seek to limit gun access to the mentally ill and violent criminals by rewarding states that provide thorough background check information while penalizing states that fail to do so. The two also called on Congress to fund greater mental health and substance abuse programs.

Over the weekend, Schumer responded to an open letter from a daughter of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting survivor that urged her to speak out and support gun control legislation. The letter, posted on Medium, asked Schumer to be a "voice for our generation and for women—two groups who make up most of the victims of the gun violence in our country."

"These are my first public comments on the issue of gun violence," Schumer said on Monday. "But I promise you they will not be my last."

Watch John Oliver Explain Why Washington, DC, Should Be the 51st State

"Taxation without representation" is still a reality in our nation's capitol.

| Mon Aug. 3, 2015 8:32 AM EDT

On Sunday, Last Week Tonight took on the issue of restricted voting rights for Washington D.C. residents, despite the fact they pay federal taxes and have a larger population than some entire states such as Vermont and Wyoming. Even the Dalai Lama once called the situation "quite strange."

"The people of D.C. clearly deserve a greater voice in their own affairs and they've actually come tantalizingly close to getting a voting representative in Congress," John Oliver explained. "In 2009, a bill to give D.C. a vote was introduced in the Senate, and the Senate did the most dickish thing imaginable: passing it, but with a little addition."

That controversial addition sought to repeal all of D.C.'s gun control laws, further illustrating the uphill battle that is granting D.C. statehood.

"It was the kind of amendment NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre dreams about as he sleeps in his bullet-filled bathtub, I presume," Oliver said.

As a result the bill was dropped.

With the help of a group of singing children, Oliver continued his call for D.C.'s statehood with an amended tune about America's 50 states. Not convinced? The song ends with the suggestion, "Well then let's all kick out Florida cause no one thinks they're great."