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Lorde Reveals Asian Boyfriend, Internet Explodes in Racism

Lorde Reveals Asian Boyfriend, Internet Explodes in Racism

Lorde, the 17-year-old singer from New Zealand whose song “Royals” was just nominated for a Grammy, just revealed that might have an Asian boyfriend in 24-year-old James Lowe (that age difference doesn’t look too good). They do cute things that cute couples do, like take selfies of brushing their teeth together (See above photo? Cute, right?). But racist meanies on the internet don’t think so. Jezebel captured some of the racist vitriol thrown toward the couple, including comments that her Lowe “looks like Mao Tse Tung” and “captain of a chess club.” Yeah, it’s ugly.

TAGS: Lorde

FBI Arrests LA County Jails Officers

FBI Arrests LA County Jails Officers

More than a dozen current and former deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were arrested today on civil rights violations and public corruption charges. The indictment comes after a two-year FBI investigation and is the latest in a series of county jail abuses documented by the LA Times since 2010.

Using undercover informants, the FBI has been investigating allegations of excessive force against inmates in LA county jails. It is unclear however, whether the arrested deputies face those specific charges.

(h/t LA Times)

Anti-Eviction Protestors Block Google Bus in San Francisco

Anti-Eviction Protestors Block Google Bus in San Francisco

Tensions are flaring over San Francisco’s tech-driven gentrification. This morning, protestors calling for an end to the increasing number of evictions blocked a Google bus from leaving the city and shuttling its workers to the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. One Google worker inside the bus named Alejandor Villarreal, captured the scene and shared it on Instagram (pictured above). 

The privately-owned Google buses (and their counterparts at companies like Facebook and Apple) have long been symbols of the city’s gentrification (a hidden map of their routes was published last January). Earlier this year, San Francisco native Rebecca Solnit published a piece in the London Review of Books on the impact of the buses. Solnit wrote:

The Google Bus means so many things. It means that the minions of the non-petroleum company most bent on world domination can live in San Francisco but work in Silicon Valley without going through a hair-raising commute by car - I overheard someone note recently that the buses shortened her daily commute to 3.5 hours from 4.5. It means that unlike gigantic employers in other times and places, the corporations of Silicon Valley aren’t much interested in improving public transport, and in fact the many corporations providing private transport are undermining the financial basis for the commuter train. It means that San Francisco, capital of the west from the Gold Rush to some point in the 20th century when Los Angeles overshadowed it, is now a bedroom community for the tech capital of the world at the other end of the peninsula.

Read Solnit’s essay in full over at the London Review of Books. As well-paid tech workers have moved into the city, many working class residents have been forced out as both rents and evictions have increased in recent years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

The protest was organized in part by a group called Heart of the City, which wrote on its website that “the city needs to declare a state of emergency, stop all no-fault evictions, and prevent tech companies from running  buses in residential neighborhoods, which is driving up rents (up to 20% along their route)..”

(h/t Business Insider)

DC’s Non-Citizens Could Get Right To Vote

DC's Non-Citizens Could Get Right To Vote

More than a quarter of the District of Columbia’s City Council members are said to support a newly resurfaced bill to grant voting rights to legal immigrants who are not citizens. Nationwide, at least seven municipalities—six of which are in neighboring Maryland—have already enacted similar laws. 

In order to vote in local elections, residents must be federally-recognized legal permanent residents and live in DC at least 30 days prior to the most recent election.

Bill co-sponsor David Grosso feels confident the bill will pass this time around, owing to a more favorable climate on immigration. A similar measure co-sponsored by then council member and former mayor Adrian Fenty was defeated in 2004. 

(h/t Governing)

Aloe Blacc’s ‘The Man’ Featured in Colin Kaepernick’s ‘Beats By Dre’ Ad

Aloe Blacc's 'The Man' Featured in Colin Kaepernick's 'Beats By Dre' Ad

San Francsico 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is rarely seen in public without a pair of Beats by Dre headphones, the omnipotent, multimillion dollar company that was cofounded by hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre. He’s now the star of a new ad from the company that features a track from Aloe Blacc’s 2013 EP “Wake Me Up” called “The Man.” Earlier this year, ESPN had an interesting feature on how the company has slyly manuevered itself to sit alongside some of the most recognizable names in sports. It’s worth a read, if you haven’t done so already.

Watch Childish Gambino’s New Video For ‘The Worst Guys’

Watch Childish Gambino's New Video For 'The Worst Guys'

Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover) has a new album “Because The Internet” dropping tomorrow (though it leaked about a week ago). On Twitter, the rapper’s mentioned wanting to have what he calls one of the more imaginative album releases for the project. We’ve already seen bits and pieces of that — last summer’s experimental film and a recently released screenplay — but here’s the album’s first official video.

(h/t Miss Info)

Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore, Jay Z Lead This Year’s Grammy Nods

Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore, Jay Z Lead This Year's Grammy Nods

This year’s Grammy nominations are out and are filled with the same names that have dominated music. Okayplayer noted that Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore and Jay Z lead the pack with a combined 23 nominations. Meanwhile, the New York times pointed out that male performers dominated this year’s nominees, noting that Drake and Pharrell Williams are up for four awards each. One notable exception is 17-year-old New Zeleander Lorde, who got a nod for album of the year.

Here’s a full list of the nominees:

56th Annual Grammy Awards Nominations:

Record of the Year
Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams - “Get Lucky”
Imagine Dragons - “Radioactive”
Lorde - “Royals”
Bruno Mars - “Locked Out of Heaven”
Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams - “Blurred Lines”

Album of the Year
Sara Bareilles - The Blessed Unrest
Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist
Taylor Swift - Red

Song of the Year
Pink feat. Nate Ruess - “Just Give Me a Reason”
Bruno Mars - “Locked Out of Heaven”
Katy Perry - “Roar”
Lorde - “Royals”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - “Same Love”

Best New Artist
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Solo Performance
Sara Bareilles - “Brave”
Lorde - “Royals”
Bruno Mars - “When I Was Your Man”
Katy Perry - “Roar”
Justin Timberlake - “Mirrors”

Best Pop Vocal Album
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience
Lorde - Pure Heroine
Lana Del Rey - Paradise
Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines
Bruno Mars - Unorthodox Jukebox

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams - “Get Lucky”
Pink Featuring Nate Ruess - “Just Give Me A Reason”
Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko - “Stay”
Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams - “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake & Jay Z - “Suit & Tie”

Best Dance/Electronica Album
Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
Disclosure - Settle
Calvin Harris - 18 Months
Kaskade - Atmosphere
Pretty Lights - A Color Map Of The Sun

Best Rock Performance
Alabama Shakes - “Always Alright”
David Bowie - “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
Imagine Dragons - “Radioactive”
Led Zeppelin - “Kashmir” (Live)
Queens Of The Stone Age - “My God Is The Sun”
Jack White - “I’m Shakin’”

Best Rock Album:
Black Sabbath - 13
David Bowie - The Next Day
Kings of Leon - Mechanical Bull
Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day
Queens Of The Stone Age - …Like Clockwork
Neil Young With Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill

Best Rock Song
Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear - “Cut Me Some Slack”
Gary Clark Jr. - “Messin’ Around”
The Rolling Stones - “Doom and Gloom”
Muse - “Panic Station”
Black Sabbath “God Is Dead?”

Best Alternative Music Album:
Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
The National - Trouble Will Find Me
Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks
Tame Impala - Lonerism
Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City

Best R&B Performance
Tamar Braxton - “Love And War”
Anthony Hamilton - “Best Of Me”
Hiatus Kaiyote Featuring Q-Tip - “Nakamarra”
Miguel Featuring Kendrick Lamar - “How Many Drinks?”
Snarky Puppy With Lalah Hathaway - “Something”

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Tamar Braxton - Love And War
Fantasia - Side Effects Of You
Salaam Remi - One: In The Chamber
Rihanna - Unapologetic
Mack Wilds - New York: A Love Story

Best R&B Album
Faith Evans - R&B Divas
Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire
John Legend - Love In The Future
Chrisette Michele - Better
TGT - Three Kings

Best Rap Performance
Drake - “Started From The Bottom”
Eminem - “Berzerk”
Jay Z - “Tom Ford”
Kendrick Lamar - “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz - “Thrift Shop”

Best Rap Song
ASAP Rocky Featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar - “Fuckin’ Problem”
Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake - “Holy Grail”
Kanye West - “New Slaves”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - “Thrift Shop”
Drake - “Started From the Bottom”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
J.Cole Featuring Miguel - “Power Trip”
Jay Z Featuring Beyoncé - “Part II (On The Run)”
Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake - “Holy Grail”
Kendrick Lamar Featuring Mary J. Blige - “Now Or Never”
Wiz Khalifa Featuring The Weeknd - “Remember You”

Best Rap Album
Drake - Nothing Was The Same
Jay Z - Magna Carta…Holy Grail
Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist
Kanye West - Yeezus

Best Country Album
Jason Aldean - Night Train
Tim McGraw - Two Lanes Of Freedom
Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park
Blake Shelton - Based On A True Story
Taylor Swift - Red

Best Song Written For Visual Media
Coldplay - “Atlas” (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Jessie J - “Silver Lining” (The Silver Linings Playbook) Adele - “Skyfall” (Skyfall)
Colbie Caillat Featuring Gavin DeGraw - “We Both Know” (Safe Haven)
Lana Del Rey - “Young and Beautiful” (The Great Gatsby)
Regina Spektor - “You’ve Got Time” (Orange Is the New Black)

Producer of the Year
Rob Cavallo
Dr. Luke
Ariel Rechtshaid
Jeff Tweedy
Pharrell Williams

Many Uninsured African Americans Will Benefit From Obamacare…but Not in Atlanta

Many Uninsured African Americans Will Benefit From Obamacare...but Not in Atlanta

Of the 6.8 million uninsured African-Americans who are eligible for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, 60 percent meet the income thresholds for financial assistance to help pay for it, according to a report released this morning by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That’s about 4.2 million African-Americans who qualify for benefits either by way of Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or a tax break. Under the Care Act, the limit for how much you can make at work to qualify for Medicaid was raised to expand the pool of people who can receive those benefits. But states can opt out of that Medicaid expansion, and right now roughly half of the states have indicated they will. If all the states cooperated with the Medicaid expansion, then 95 percent of uninsured African-Americans would qualify for assistance. Right now, 20 percent of African-Americans are uninsured compared to 16 percent of the U.S. population in general (who aren’t Medicare-elderly-beneficiaries). 

Of uninsured African-Americans, 39 percent live in just five states: Florida, Georgia, Texas, North York and New Carolina. Interestingly North Carolina, with its population of 9.7 million people — about 2.1 million African American — have more uninsured than New York (population 19.5 million, 3.3 million of whom are black), and California (38 million people, 2.5 million of whom are black).  

One in five uninsured African-Americans live in six cities: Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Detroit. Atlanta has the most uninsured African-Americans with 332,000, but is in a state that doesn’t plan to expand Medicaid. Georgia has the second highest number of uninsured African Americans (631,000) of all states, with only Florida above it. The federal government pays for the Medicaid expansion, but Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is refusing the federal subsidies. 

Gov. Deal’s decision will cost the state about $4.9 billion in 2022 according to a report from the Commonwealth Fund. Since the Medicaid expansion is funded through our taxes, Georgia taxpayers — and those from all 24 other states that plan to refuse the federal funding — will essentially be paying the Medicaid costs for people in the states that are willing to take the federal subsidies to expand the pool without receiving the same benefits themselves.  

“The health care law is working to address long standing disparities in health care coverage and improve the health of the African-American community,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in a press statement. “Through the Health Insurance Marketplace, 6.8 million uninsured African Americans have new options for affordable health coverage that covers a range of benefits, including important preventive services with no out of pocket costs.”

Drake Gifts Struggling Philly High School With Brand New Recording Studio

Drake Gifts Struggling Philly High School With Brand New Recording Studio

It’s maybe not what Philly’s Strawberry Mansion High School needs most, but it’s still a whole lot. And it’s what rapper Drake is giving.

In a segment that aired on ABC News Wednesday, Drake visited the North Philly public high school to announce that he’s going to build a recording studio at the chronically underresourced school.

“This about you,” the rapper told the screaming students. “This about your principal. This about your future. I love you. I care about you. I want to see you succeed.” Drake was reportedly inspired to give back after seeing an original ABC News segment on Strawberry Hills High back in May. The school has been widely referred to in media reports as “the most dangerous high school in America.” The ABC segment too focused on the violence and turmoil which is an everyday part of life for students, Diane Sawyer reported. “I caught this piece that Diane did, and by the end of it I was so heavily effected I started like questioning like major aspects of my life,” Drake told ABC.

Strawberry Mansion High students were, predictably, very excited to see the entertainer. To learn more about Philadelphia public schools and the current crisis facing the school district, read Colorlines’ dispatch from the city.

Take a Sneak Peek at Stills From ‘Dear White People’

Take a Sneak Peek at Stills From 'Dear White People'

We’ve already mentioned how excited we are that “Dear White People” is set to screen at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film, from first time director Justin Simein, follows four black students at a predominently white university where a riot breaks out over a popular “African-American themed” party. Here’s a first look at some images from the new flick:

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12_6_dearwhitepeople1.jpg

(h/t Shadow and Act)

A Mandela Reading List

A Mandela Reading List

If you were a tot or not even a thought in 1990 when Nelson Mandela walked out of prison, and you want to pay your respects, this quick hits list is for you. (Plus, rapper Kendrick Lamar said to do it.)

Mandela would be the first to say it: his release was not just about him. Start with the autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom with the Amandla! soundtrack as background music. But be sure to dig into the lives and words of other freedom fighters like Steve Biko, too—as well as those of ordinary South Africans, no matter their color. Madiba was not alone.

This list is just a beginning. If you’re Gen X or older, please, add more in comments!

Non-Fiction by Nelson Mandela

Long Walk To Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (1995)

Conversations with Myself (2010)

Other Non-Fiction

Steve Biko: Black Consciousness in South Africa (1979)

My Traitor’s Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe and His Conscience (1990)

Literature

Cry, the Beloved Country (1948)

Kaffir Boy (1986)

Waiting for the Barbarians (1980)

Plays/Film

Blood Knot (1964)

Sarafina! (musical, 1988)

Sarafina! (film, 1992)

Amandla!: A Revolution in Four Part Harmony (2002)

Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba (2011)

For the kids

The Day Gogo Went To Vote (1999)

Nelson Mandela (2013)

Photos: Fast-Food Strikes Hit 100 Cities

Photos: Fast-Food Strikes Hit 100 Cities

Is there anything quite so beautiful as masses of people joining together to demand better treatment for themselves and others? These photos should quiet the naysayers. In what organizers are calling the largest fast-food strikes in U.S. history, workers and their supporters in over 100 cities went on strike on Thursday to amplify their calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage and the right to unionize.

McDonald’s dismissed the strikes, many of which targeted the company’s locations, and said its workers were not among the protestors. “To right-size the headlines, however, the events taking place are not strikes,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “Outside groups are traveling to McDonald’s and other outlets to stage rallies.” The company’s statement prompted a gleeful response from striking workers around the country who took to social media to identify themselves and point out their coworkers in the photos of demonstrators.

In the early morning hours in New York City

Later in the day

All the way up in Providence, Rhode Island

Taking over the streets of Chicago with the Grinch

A young demonstrator in Pittsburgh

With rhyming chants in Boston

Protestors hit up Jack in the Box, Little Caesars and McDonald’s in St. Louis, Missouri

Outside a McDonald’s in Huntsville, Alabama

From Green Bay to Madison to Milwaukee in Wisconsin

Outside a Detroit McDonald’s

McDonald’s in Tampa, Florida

In front of a McDonald’s in Los Angeles

In the snow in Denver

Lighting the way in Seattle

Black Unemployment Almost Double the National Average

Black Unemployment Almost Double the National Average

Despite continued depression-like joblessness amongst blacks and Latinos, this morning’s official unemployment report registered the lowest overall jobless rate in five years. According to the Department of Labor, the percentage of those actively looking for work but who could not find it fell to seven percent.  The jobless rate for African Americans is almost double that at nearly 13 percent and for Latinos it’s close to 9 percent. Overall the numbers show that the economy continues to inch forward but in a sideways sort of way.

Alongside the difficult black and Latino unemployment numbers is the fact that the November report showed surprising gains across the board. The number of people unemployed for less than five weeks fell by 300,000 and full-time work grew versus part-time work. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of workers are less discouraged about the job market than a year ago and the number of people opting out of job hunting due to frustration has stabilized, though it remains at a near thirty-five year low.

Also noteworthy is the fact that Obamacare appears to be a jobs creator, rather than a jobs destroyer as many have claimed. One of the strongest areas of hiring was in the healthcare sector as companies prepare for an influx of new policyholders. Tens of thousands of health-related jobs were added in November alone.

But in a sign of the economy’s continued fragility, the number of long-term unemployed remains stuck at 4.1 million and there’s not enough improvement in the labor market to entice the additional 6 million people who’ve given up on work to start looking again.

The bottom line is that the jobs report, while encouraging, shows the ongoing disorientation of an economy that’s trying to recover but hasn’t quite figured out how to do so.

‘Muslim Hipsters’ Give New Meaning to Jay Z’s ‘Somewhere in America’

'Muslim Hipsters' Give New Meaning to Jay Z's 'Somewhere in America'

Just in case you were wondering, Mipsters (Muslim hipsters) are in the house.They’re fly, and they also self-identify as “hipsters.” Check them out on Facebook.

*This post has been updated since publication.

Kendrick Lamar Urges Fans to Join Him in Research of Nelson Mandela

Kendrick Lamar Urges Fans to Join Him in Research of Nelson Mandela

Like many emcees and public figures, rapper Kendrick Lamar took to Twitter to mourn the death of Nelson Mandela. But instead of well-intentioned platitudes, Lamar urged his more than two million followers to join him and research Nelson Mandela’s historic life.

“Advising all my young ones that follow me to research a small piece of Nelson Mandela Life,” Lamar wrote on Twitter. “That’s how you pay your respect.” 

Lamar’s call to research means a great deal. Like many of his fans, Lamar is of a generation that came of age years after Mandela’s fight against apartheid and release from prison in 1990. 

(h/t Hip Hop DX)

Read more on Colorlines about Mandela’s legacy.

That Time Reagan Vetoed the Anti-Apartheid Act

That Time Reagan Vetoed the Anti-Apartheid Act

As Vijay Prashad points out, many of the world’s leaders that are apparently mourning the death of Nelson Mandela were the “same people opposed [to] freedom in South Africa to the very end.” 

Although Ronald Reagan has passed away himself, one can imagine he might salute Mandela today. But as president, Reagan worked against Mandela, so much so that he vetoed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986. Believing that he knew what was best for black people living under apartheid in South Africa, Reagan opposed sanctions and wanted to maintain friendly relations with the white supremacist government.

South Africa’s Desmond Tutu disagreed. Watch this 1986 news report about Tutu’s visit to the White House, in which Tutu explains the way that Reagan failed black South Africans. 

In Naming What’s Racist, Junot Díaz Has to Re-Assert That Yes, He’s Dominican

In Naming What's Racist, Junot Díaz Has to Re-Assert That Yes, He's Dominican

Junot Díaz recently spoke out against the Dominican Republic’s court ruling that could strip citizenship from thousands of Haitian immigrants. Díaz, who was born in the DR, called the ruling racist. 

His outspoken criticism has drawn disapproval from some well-known politicians and intellectuals on the island. In an email that was later published by Latino Rebels, Executive Director for the Dominican Presidency’s International Commission on Science and Technology José Santana called Díaz a “fake and overrated pseudo intellectual” who “should learn better to speak Spanish before coming to this country to talk nonsense.”

Díaz responded with a message on his Facebook page this week:

All these attacks are bullshit attempts to distract from the real crime — the sentencia itself which has been condemned widely. All of us who are believers need to keep fighting against the sentencia and what it represents and we need to keep organizing and we need to show those clowns in power in the DR that there is another Dominican tradition —based on social justice and human dignity and a true respect for the awesome contributions that our immigrants make everywhere.

 The Huffington Post notes that human rights groups estimate the ruling could strip more than 200,000 people — mostly Haitians — of citizenship, a figure the Dominican government disputes.

 

 

TAGS: Junot Díaz

Lauryn Hill Drops Trippy Video For ‘Consumerism’

Lauryn Hill Drops Trippy Video For 'Consumerism'

Missed Lauryn Hill’s special Thanksgiving shows in New York City? Not to worry. The reclusive artist just dropped the video for her latest track “Consumerism” — and it’s about as trippy as you would expect.

(h/t Afropunk)

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

Nelson Mandela passed away surrounded by his family in his home in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday. He was 95. Mandela spent 20 years as a political prisoner on Robben Island—imprisoned there for fighting against apartheid. He would spend a total of 27 years imprisoned for his beliefs. Mandela remains an international icon for freedom and racial justice.  

Mourning the loss, TransAfrica posted:  

To Mandela, attaining a free and justice South Africa did not mean taking over power and forgetting the poor and disenfranchised.  Both during his time in office and out, Mandela worked tirelessly to resolve conflicts within the African continent.  Throughout his life, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela embodied the sentiment “another world is possible” and this was most eloquently illustrated with his statement at the Rivonia Trial in April 1964:  

 “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people, I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Watch this 1961 interview of Mandela, then 42 years old.

“Food Stamp” Art On Display at Art Basel-Miami

All the cool kids are in Miami this week at Art Basel, the annual exhibitor’s extravaganza for the international art crowd. Among the pieces on display is a food stamp table.

The work of art by minimalist artist Meg Webster is quite literally called “Food Stamp Table 2013.” It’s a wood table displaying $4.60 worth of food, including a pack of Ramen noodles, an egg and a broccoli spear. The piece is going for $12,000, according to unimpressed arts blogger Paddy Johnson.

Reached by phone today, the Paula Cooper Gallery, which represents Webster, wouldn’t confirm the sale price of “Food Stamp Table,”—but did say that there was talk of possibly donating the proceeds to a soup kitchen.

(h/t Art F City)

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