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‘Track the Problem.’ Ibram X. Kendi on Using Data to Dismantle Structural Racism

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The historian and writer Ibram X. Kendi, whose research and work on antiracism have risen to the forefront amid a worldwide reckoning over systemic racism, was named as one of TIME’s most influential people of 2020. Speaking at a TIME100 Talks broadcast that aired Friday, Kendi emphasized the importance of keeping the focus on his work and the steps he has laid out to dismantle structural racism.

Among Kendi’s central arguments is that the root of racism isn’t people, but the policies that cause racial inequity and injustice. It’s those policies that we need to focus on changing, he says.

“Racist ideas make humans believe that there’s something wrong with other humans, that there’s something wrong with those other racial groups, there’s something wrong with those people who don’t look like us,” says Kendi.

One crucial sphere where Kendi is fighting for improvement is healthcare, where racist policies persist.

“It’s not enough that every American has access to free healthcare … it must be high quality,” he says. The high-quality care Kendi is calling for includes not being mistreated due to race—an issue that has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted new levels of racial disparities in healthcare. Black Americans are dying of COVID-19 at a rate more than twice that of white people.

To track some disparities, Kendi spearheaded the COVID Racial Tracker, a joint project between the COVID Tracking Project and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi says that the project, which can serve as “a mirror” for America, has regularly unveiled racial disparities from the pandemic since its launch in mid-April.

“We have consistently found that Black and Native and Latinx people are disproportionately being infected and killed with COVID-19,” he says. “And, we know that in order for us to go about solving the problem of racism, we have to see and measure and track the problem through racial data.”

Kendi aims for this data-centric approach to eventually lead toward informing the proposal of new policies that eliminate or heal such racial disparities.

The ongoing global movement for racial justice faces the risk of being remembered “as a time in which you had a greater awareness of racism, potentially, than any other point in American history, but that awareness did not translate into action,” Kendi says. Still, if the current level of awareness does translate into large-scale, radical change, it can lead to “equity in areas that has never existed before in United States history,” he says.

Kendi has also spoken about his battle with colon cancer, which he didn’t publicly announce until about a year after the initial diagnosis. For Kendi, this has served as an important reminder to go about life with an increased level of kindness toward others.

“There are many people right now who are walking around battling a serious illness that we don’t know,” he says. “So I think it just shows us the importance of being graceful and caring to people.”

Write to Anna Purna Kambhampaty at [email protected]

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Carey Mulligan Joins Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein Film ‘Maestro’

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Carey Mulligan has joined the cast of the Leonard Bernstein film “Maestro” that Bradley Cooper is set to direct, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Mulligan will play Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein, wife of the legendary composer/conductor. The film is not a biopic but spans over 30 years and tells the story of Bernstein’s complex marriage and relationship with his wife Montealegre, a Chilean-born actress — from the time they met in 1946 at a party and continuing through two engagements, a 25 year marriage, and three children: Jamie Bernstein, Alexander Bernstein and Nina Bernstein Simmons.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Carey Mulligan will play our mother in ‘Maestro,’” says Jamie Bernstein, speaking on behalf of her siblings in a statement to TheWrap. “Carey will surely capture Felicia’s unique combination of wit, warmth, elegant beauty, and depth of emotion. We also love the way Carey conveys a kind of storybook European grace, which was something our mother embodied as well.”

“I was struck by Carey ever since I saw her on stage many years ago and I haven’t missed a performance of hers since,” Cooper added. “I am humbled to be working with such a mammoth talent, as well as such a kind person in Carey.”

“Maestro” was originally set at Paramount, but Netflix will now take over with Martin Scorsese and Todd Phillips set as producers. Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment are still attached. Cooper will also produce via his Joint Effort banner as well as Kristie Macosko Krieger, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Fred Berner and Amy Durning.

Cooper also co-wrote the film and is set to star in the film that will be his directorial follow-up to his debut “A Star Is Born.” “Spotlight” screenwriter Josh Singer co-wrote the script with Cooper.

Production is expected to begin on the Bernstein film next spring, and Netflix plans to give the movie a theatrical release as it has done with “The Irishman” and its other awards contenders.

Cooper obtained the rights from the Bernstein estate and has been working closely with Bernstein’s children, Jamie, Alexander and Nina for the past three years.

Mulligan will be seen starring in Focus Features’ “Promising Young Woman” later this year. She will also be seen starring opposite Ralph Fiennes in the upcoming Netflix film, “The Dig.” Mulligan was nominated for an Oscar and won the BAFTA at the age of 25 for her breakthrough performance in the Oscar- nominated film “An Education.” Since 2014, Mulligan has been a global ambassador for War Child; she works closely with the organization which helps children affected by conflict.

Mulligan’s is repped by by CAA, Julian Belfrage Associates, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

Deadline first reported the news of Mulligan’s casting.

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Bethenny Frankel Is STILL Married To Jason Hoppy?! WTF?!

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Bethenny Frankel gave fans an update on her relationship status, and the news (or lack thereof) might surprise you.

The former Housewife sat down with former boss Andy Cohen for a virtual chat on Watch What Happens Live Thursday night. In a segment called “a Breathenny of Fresh Air,” Cohen asked Frankel for her take on RHONY, the cast, and her own life, including future plans with boyfriend Paul Bernon. Specifically, he questioned:

“Are you and Paul talking marriage?”

Good question!

Related: Brian Austin Green Has SNARKY Response To Ex’s Claim He’s ‘Sad’ & ‘Angry’

However, in response, the 49-year-old dropped a bombshell:

“I’m still married.”

WTF?!?

She’s STILL married to Jason Hoppy?!

We knew that the custody battle over their daughter Bryn was ongoing as recently as last year, but we would have thought the divorce proceedings had been finalized a long time ago. The Bravo spokesman was left just as shocked as we are — in fact, the revelation left him speechless! As he struggled to get his jaw off the floor, Frankel quipped:

“Crickets again! Aaaaaand scene. And we’re back. And we’re walking…”

In disbelief, Cohen replied:

“You’re killing me.”

Frankel and Hoppy split all the way back in 2012 after two years of marriage. Well, two years of actual marriage, since we now know they’ve been continually legally wed for a decade! The couple have been in and out of court for years in regards to their custody agreement, but Hoppy’s lawyers told People back in 2016 that a divorce settlement had been reached, so we’d thought that the marriage was a done deal.

That being said, tension between the former couple only escalated from there, and in 2017 the Skinnygirl CEO was granted a restraining order against her ex after Hoppy allegedly stalked and harassed her. Hoppy later admitted in court that he was a “jerk” and an “a**hole” to the reality star. (Frankel had a different take, reportedly shouting “You tortured me!” during his testimony.)

Frankel hinted that she was still tied to her volatile husband back in August 2019 when she announced her departure from the Housewives franchise. She tweeted:

“To my NY hwives: GO GET EM! I had to go since I’m the only one that is actually married … that’s how crazy this ride is. You are all amazing, beautiful and strong. Spread your wings and fly! Xoxo.”

At the time, this seemed like a low-key reveal that she’d tied the knot with Bernon, but of course it was actually a joke about still being technically married to Hoppy. (At least she has a sense of humor about it!)

Related: Drew Barrymore Reunites With Ex Tom Green After 15 YEARS Of Not Speaking!!

Bethenny appears happy now that she’s left Bravo and focused on launching her new podcast Just B with Bethenny Frankel. Still, we hope this drawn-out divorce process will officially come to an end soon — it’s been a full decade! Girl deserves her freedom!

Ch-ch-check out her chat with Andy (below):

[Image via WENN, Instar, TNYF & Bravo/YouTube]

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