Chadwick Boseman: American Hero

Marvel’s Black Panther

Actor Chadwick Boseman has died of colon cancer at the age of 43.

Boseman, most famous for his portrayal of T’Challa in Black Panther, personified grace and dignity onscreen and off. In April of this year, Boseman donated $4.2 million worth of PPE to hospitals serving the Black community.

A staunch supporter of the BLM movement, Boseman challenged Hollywood’s encouragement of “the epidemic of police violence and culture of anti-Blackness.”

Boseman made a name for himself playing Black icons like Jackie Robinson (42), Thurgood Marshall (Marshall), and James Brown (Get On Up), but it was the role of T’Challa that bridged the generational gap.

Black Panther gave Black filmgoers of all ages a portrayal of Africans that had never been seen before. In the fictional Wakanda, brains receive as much praise as brawn. Wakanda’s fiercest warriors, the Dora Milaje, are an all-female unit, and there is a heavy focus on STEM education in the Black community.

Boseman knew the profound impact the film would have on impressionable young minds. “There’s a thirst for a Black superhero,” he said. And he was right.

In the wake of protests following the tragic murders of Black people by the police, Boseman’s death feels especially heavy.

Black communities have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the death of such an inspirational figure adds another layer of grief.

It’s normal to grieve for someone you’ve never met. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of pain and suffering the world has faced this year.

I can only imagine how tired Chadwick Boseman must have been, but he chose to share his gift with the world anyway.

Diagnosed in 2016, Boseman portrayed T’Challa, king of Wakanda, in four action films. He allowed us to witness his strength and dedication without ever letting on that he was suffering.

But Chadwick Boseman should not be used as ableist porn. We can applaud his efforts without shaming others. I believe that’s the last thing he would want.

While most of us never had the opportunity to meet him, we let him into our lives (and our hearts) through his work.

He will never be forgotten.

Friday was the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. It was also Jackie Robinson Day.

From now on, it will also be remembered as a day we lost a superhero.

Rest In Peace, King.

Wakanda forever!

Donations to BLM can be made here.

How to Help the Navajo Nation During the Pandemic

help indigenous population during covid theunscaryvegan

The Navajo Nation, the country’s largest reservation, stretches across 16 million acres of land in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. As of May 27, the Navajo Nation had the highest per capita infection rate — over 4,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 out of 173,000 residents.

By June 14, over 6,600 cases had been confirmed with over 300 deaths. While no longer the country’s coronavirus hotspot, the Navajo — or Diné, as they prefer to be called — suffered an infection rate higher than 15 states.

With an unemployment rate of over 40% and many residents living on less than $12,760 per year, the pandemic is yet another challenged faced by an impoverished nation.

One third of the population suffers from diabetes, heart conditions, and lung disease, further exacerbating the virus’ impact on infected individuals. Worst of all, the abysmal lack of grocery stores — only 13 in a 27,413 square mile area — makes social distancing nigh on impossible. Residents from different households frequently carpool to the nearest store to save on gas.

The lack of access to clean water is also a massive barrier against fighting COVID-19. According to a study conducted by the US Water Alliance and DIGDEEP, Native Americans face a greater lack of clean water than any other group in the country.

Casino closures have also devastated tribal nations. Dr. Philip Smith, a Navajo Nation resident, states that those living in the interior of reservations — in other words, further away from non-tribal land — rely on seasonal tourism work as their sole source of income.

help the navajo nation theunscaryvegan

And if all of this sounds like a disaster of epic proportions, bear in mind that it’s all a direct result of deeper, systemic abuse perpetuated by the American government against Indigenous tribes.

The CARES Act, the Federal coronavirus relief bill, allocated $8 billion to Native American tribes, but much damage had already been done by the time payments began to trickle out.

The Diné are fighting for survival amidst a global pandemic while facing abject poverty, limited access to water and fresh food, a crumbling infrastructure, substandard healthcare, and limited opportunities for education.

Here’s how you can help:

Donate directly to the Navajo Relief Fund.

Donate to the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 GoFundMe.

Donate to the Far East Navajo COVID-19 Response Fund.

Donate to Protect Native Elders.

Buy from Indigenous-owned brands.

Shop Native-owned Etsy stores.

If you run an Indigenous-owned shop, please leave the link in the comments so I can update this list!

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Making Money Online

Remember back in March when we all thought we’d be sipping Mai Tais on the beach by now if we just stayed home for a few weeks? Remember how idealistic we were?

Miss Rona remembers, and it looks like she’s here to stay through summer. (At least.)

With many schools putting out official statements that they won’t reopen until January, several governors threatening noncompliant, mask-hating morons with another statewide shutdown, and the state of the economy basically turning into a steaming pile of shit… can you really afford not to make money online?

I don’t mean to sound like a scary Arbonne Hun — you know, the ones who say things like, “If you can’t afford the $250 sign-on fee, you can’t afford not to do this!” — but it’s  getting really scary out there for a lot of people.

So I’m breaking down legitimate ways to make money online that don’t involve the usual advice. I’m not going to tell you to start a blog or a YouTube channel. I’m not going to advertise my Pinterest course. (Hint: I don’t have one.) Sure, those can be great in the long run, but it takes a whole lot of hard work, even more luck, and there’s no guarantee you’ll make a single penny doing it.

I’m going to give you real, actionable advice on how to make money online without taking a single survey or selling your soul to an MLM.

(No shade to the consultants. I truly believe most of them are victims of the companies they work for. If you’re making bank with an MLM, good for you, but this is a resource for people who don’t want to do that.)

Why should you listen to me? Because I work online. I didn’t start off in an office and transition to working from home during quarantine. I found my job online, and you can do it, too. Let’s get into it.

the unscary vegan ultimate guide to making money online

Search Legitimate Websites

I know how tempting it is to Google “work at home jobs” and go click-happy with the links. We’ve all been there. It’s because I’ve been there that I wanted to make this guide.

Always consider the source. You wouldn’t look for jobs on a website called Joe’s Plumbing unless you’re looking for a job as a plumber, so why not take your job search to a trusted website?

(Yes, okay, it’s ironic for me to say that considering I’m making a “real online jobs, no scams” guide, but I’ve put a lot of work into it.)

Indeed is free, has an amazing resume template — which is free to use — and allows you to create an alert for jobs in your chosen field. I found one of my jobs (yes, I have more than one job; more on that some other time) on Indeed and have actually had five companies reach out to me since I submitted my resume.

I’ve heard of paid job listing sites, and I’m sure some of them are great, but when you’re strapped for cash and freaking out, the last thing you want to do is pay to look at job listings.

Other sites to consider:

Search Specialized Job Boards for Specialized Jobs

Let’s say you work in tech. Sure, the sites I mentioned above will have some tech jobs just as they’ll have HR jobs and medical billing and coding jobs. To save yourself time, check out a site that caters to jobs in your field.

  1. Fairygodboss: This is a site by women for women. It has everything from female empowerment to job listings, and it’s one of my favorite places on the internet.
  2. Hired: For my tech people, Hired is the place to look for your job. So many listings. So many! Not gonna lie, the salaries kinda made me wish I’d gone into tech.
  3. Behance: This site is for my graphic designers and digital wizards. Check out the jobs section on their navigation bar.
  4. Lawjobs: For my legal ghouls and goblins, look no further than Lawjobs. You can search by location or even legal speciality.
  5. Mediabistro: You’ll find jobs for journalists, PR professionals, and even freelancers here.

the unscary vegan legitimate work from home jobs

Think Outside the Box

Bear in mind that not all jobs are looking to hire someone full-time, so you may need to take on more than one job. While the 2020 census is still ongoing, results from last year’s census show it’s more common than you think: 13 million Americans work more than one job, a massive uptick from 2018’s figure of 7.8 million.

Consider a side hustle as a web search evaluator if you love working with computers. Speak more than one language? There are loads of jobs out there for translators. Give transcription a go if you have a good ear and a lot of patience.

Web Search Evaluator Jobs

Translation Jobs

Transcription Jobs

the unscary vegan online job guide

Think Inside the Box… with Wheels

(Sorry, sorry, I couldn’t resist even if it’s peak Dad Humor.) It’s not quite working from home, but if you’re able-bodied, have your own car, a valid driver’s license, and a smartphone, you can pick up extra cash as a delivery driver. Some options are:

  1. Waitr
  2. UberEats
  3. Instacart
  4. DoorDash

Keep Looking

If I haven’t touched on anything that resonates with you, do some research. If you’re a virtual assistant, look for virtual assistant jobs on the jobs listing site of your choice or visit a trusted resource like Virtual Office Temps. Bookkeepers should look into Accounting Department for job listings. You can even look on Craigslist.

Last, but certainly not least, is the power of word-of-mouth referrals. Ask your friends and family if they know someone who’s hiring.

Looking for work is always daunting, especially during this challenging time, so I hope this guide has made it seem a little less scary.

Stay safe, wear your damn mask, and happy job hunting!

If you have any tips or resources you use, feel free to leave them in the comments. Let’s help each other out.

 

Dear Black People: An Apology From A White Woman

theunscaryvegandearblackpeople

Dear Black people,

I just wanted to say this: I’m sorry.

When I was six years old, I used the n-word in school. Yes, I was repeating something I overheard and had no real concept of what I was saying. Yes, I was a child. But I’m still so sorry that word has ever passed my lips. It disgusts me, and if I could travel back in time, I would ram a bar of soap down six-year-old me’s throat. I don’t use that word now, and no one would have known I ever had if I hadn’t told on myself. That’s the point — I’m holding myself accountable. I fucked up. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for believing my own heritage meant I understood more about what you go through on a daily basis; I don’t. Yes, at one point there were “no Irish need apply” signs hanging in shop windows. Yes, it was awful. But it’s 2020. There aren’t any “no Irish need apply” signs in any windows. I’ve never been discriminated against in the workplace because of my name or my race. I’m sorry I ever thought I “got it.”

My first three boyfriends were Black or mixed. I’m sorry I thought being called a “reverse Oreo” and a “race traitor” compared to the vitriol my boyfriends received for having the audacity to date a white girl in the Deep South. Eugene, Daniel, Taurian, if any of you read this, I’m sorry I didn’t stand up for you more.

I’m sorry if I ever thought my love of 90s rap, encyclopedic knowledge of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and having a Black best friend meant I had any real understanding of Black culture.

I’m sorry for thinking that having a diverse group of friends meant I didn’t “see color” when what I should have said was this: “I see you. I see our differences, and you are beautiful because of them.”

I’m sorry for the number of times I’ve joked about being afraid of the police. I am afraid. But I’m afraid of being given a ticket. I’m afraid of possibly being raped. I am not afraid of being killed because of my skin color, and therein lies the difference.

I’m sorry to my Black friends who ever felt uncomfortable eating in certain restaurants and going to certain stores with me. Refusing to patronize those locations after the fact is not enough. I should have walked out right then. I’m sorry I didn’t.

theunscaryveganapology

I’m sorry I didn’t speak out when my hyena-like giggling went ignored while your laughter earned snide glances; I’m sorry for all the times I never said anything when I overheard comments about “loud Black women.”

I’m sorry for the generational trauma your community is living with; I’m sorry you’ve been told to “get over it” because it happened a long time ago. Slavery is illegal, but white privilege is still the norm. I’m sorry more people don’t see that, and I’m sorry for benefitting from it.

I won’t apologize for being white. I didn’t ask to be born white any more than you asked to be born Black, but I am sorry white privilege exists. I’m sorry systemic racism is so pervasive that micro-aggressions go unnoticed by white people like me.

I’m sorry that you have had to live in fear, that you have ever had to think twice about calling 911 in an emergency situation.

I’m sorry for all the times the Black community has had to grieve the senseless deaths of your Black brothers and sisters, brutally killed for the most ridiculous of reasons: the amount of melanin in your skin.

I’m sorry any of you have ever felt the need reconsider naming your children something you find personally meaningful versus something that “sounds white.”

I’m sorry for all the times you’ve censored yourselves for fear of perpetuating the “angry Black person” stereotype. You should be angry. I’m angry, and I’m not the one being directly impacted.

I’m sorry for not educating myself more, for not using my platform to speak out against racial inequality more.

I’m sorry you have to teach your children how to “correctly” approach police officers because you’re afraid for their lives.

I’m sorry you have to educate groups of young Black people on the best way to get through a protest with minimal damage. I’m sorry you’re being tear-gassed and beaten. I’m sorry little Black boys are carrying signs that read “am I next?” I’m sorry you have anything to protest at all.

It sounds incredibly trivial in the grand scheme of things, but I’m sorry for not addressing the shade range — or lack thereof — in foundation reviews I’ve done in the past. I’m sorry for not patronizing as many Black-owned brands as I should have. That will change from now on.

It is my job to educate myself, not the duty of the Black community. I am an imperfect human being, and I won’t always get it right. If I say anything offensive, please call me out on it so I can apologize.

Love,

Someone who will never understand but who will always stand with you.

To my fellow white people: we have to do better. Here is a list of resources I’ve compiled, and you can find more on Fatima’s blog.

Books:

1.) Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad

2.) White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

3.) Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Donate:

1.) Official George Floyd GoFundMe

2.) Black Lives Matter

Shop:

1.) Black-owned beauty brands to support (all cruelty-free and vegan)

Sign (Edited June 27):

1.) Justice for Big Floyd

2.) Justice for Breonna Taylor

3.) Justice for Elijah McClain

For the next week, my previously planned Instagram content will be on mute to support Black voices and promote Black-owned businesses. It’s the absolute least I can do. Leave any links to Black-owned businesses and charities in the comments. We need to keep this dialogue open long after it stops trending.

This isn’t a popular hashtag. These are human lives.

10 Tasty Treats You Didn’t Know Were Vegan

the unscary vegan junk food

I’ll admit to being one of those vegans: I think avocados are proof of a benevolent universe, I genuinely love Brussels sprouts, and my mom never had to tell me to eat my vegetables when I was a kid.

That being said, sometimes I just want junk food. (Don’t we all?)

So while I generally advocate healthy foods, I’m also a firm believer that cutting out junk food entirely is as unhealthy as eating nothing but junk food. When you deny yourself something you really want, you’ll either A.) Eat massive portions to fill the hole left behind by your unfulfilled craving without ever feeling satisfied, or B.) Eventually snap and gorge yourself on an entire bag of Oreos because you haven’t allowed yourself to eat a few Oreos in months.

Sound familiar?

Yup, thought so. Definitely eat your fruits and veggies, but go ahead and have a freakin’ Oreo when you want one. Treat yourself to one of the following ten snacks, and you’ll be doing something for your mental health. Because they’re all vegan, you’re also doing something for the animals. Enjoy!

the unscary vegan unintentionally vegan snacks

1.) Oreos: Do I even have to mention these bites of deliciousness since I’ve already babbled about them several times? (You can’t tell these are a favorite, right? I’m totally unbiased here.) But how?! They taste so buttery and creamy! Oil. It’s a cheaper way to manufacture foods, and it has the added bonus of making them vegan-friendly.

2.) Cracker Jack: A lot of caramel is made with milk — ew, why? — but good, old-fashioned Cracker Jack is vegan. The ingredient list is actually short and sweet, too: Corn, corn syrup, peanuts, popcorn, sugar, molasses, and soybean oil.

3.) Pop Tarts (unfrosted only): The frosted ones are laden with milk and gelatin — why so gross, people? — but the unfrosted variety? Vegan-friendly and a quarantine staple for me. I literally have a case of the blueberry ones. They’re delicious in the toaster, but I actually prefer them cold. Maybe it’s just me. I can’t be the only one. Please comment if you prefer your Pop Tarts cold so I won’t feel like the weirdest person on the planet.

4.) Pillsbury Crescents: Despite the buttery taste, these carb-loaded rolls of deliciousness are vegan, and when you slather them in vegan butter, yum! They’re off the chain.

5.) Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup: I literally texted all my vegan friends and family about this one while researching for this post. That’s how excited I was. It’s kind of ridiculous, really, but I won’t apologize for my love of chocolate. This is especially exciting given my next unintentionally vegan treat.

6.) Sara Lee Sweet Hawaiian Rolls: I used to miss King’s Hawaiian Rolls, but now that I’ve discovered their vegan alternative, I don’t even think about them anymore. Made without the eggs, milk, and butter of their more famous counterparts, these Hawaiian rolls pair perfectly with Hershey’s syrup. Not even kidding. Warm them up, dunk them in chocolate syrup, and prepare to live your best life.

the unscary vegan snacks you didn't know were vegan

7.) Skittles: Aw, I have a cat named Skittles. It’s because she’s a calico and therefore “rainbow colored,” and Skittles’ slogan is “taste the rainbow.” The brand, not the cat. She doesn’t have a slogan. But I digress. They’re made of sugar, citric acid, corn syrup, and vegan-friendly dye. No crushed beetles here!

8.) Thomas’ Bagels: According to PETA, their 100% Whole Wheat, Blueberry, Cinnamon Swirl, Cinnamon Raisin, Everything, Onion, Plain, and Plain Made With Whole Grain are all vegan! Slather them with vegan butter — or vegan cream cheese — and you have the world’s most perfect breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Or 4am snack… who are you to judge me?! Ahem.

9.) SkinnyPop White Cheddar Flavored Popcorn: Wait, what?! I did a double take, too, until I read the ingredient list, which reads as follows: Popcorn, sunflower oil, natural non-dairy cheddar flavor, salt, rice flour, natural flavor, and lactic acid. Gimme a second while I add some to my Instacart order.

10.) Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies: I actually wept tears of joy over this one. Okay, so… it’s that time of the month, and I’m a little emotional, but I feel no shame in admitting I happy cried over cookies. Thin Mints are my all-time favorite cookie and one of my favorite things on the entire planet, so I was thrilled to find out I can still eat them.

Were you surprised by anything on the list? What are some of your favorite accidentally vegan snacks?