Target has pulled some LGBTQIA+ merchandise because of threats.
What’s going on?
For more than a decade, Target has sold Pride Month products in the weeks leading up to the celebration. This year’s collection has over 2,000 items — including “gender fluid” mugs, a “Live, Laugh, Lesbian” t-shirt, and “queer all year” calendars. Some products like non-binary books for children ages 2-8, “tuck friendly” adult swimsuits, and designs by Abprallen have come under fire. The company says there’ve been reports of customers knocking over Pride Month displays and intense confrontations between customers and employees. Yesterday, Target said that while it remains committed to standing with the LGBTQIA+ community, it will be pulling some items that have led to threats “impacting our team members' sense of safety and well-being.”
Target is the latest company facing conservative backlash. Last month, customers turned against Bud Light after it partnered with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Nike, who also had a partnership with Mulvaney, received similar criticisms. Last week, Adidas came under fire for their gender-inclusive swimsuit, with critics saying the Germany-based company is trying to “erase” women. All of this comes as lawmakers across the country have introduced over 400 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills this year. At least 17 states have passed some kind of restriction for gender-affirming care for minors. Experts say Target has a responsibility to keep employees safe. Meanwhile, Democrats and LGBTQIA+ advocates say the company is folding to conservative values.
The culture wars over LGBTQIA+ rights are testing the values of businesses like Target. While the popular retailer says it's taking action in the name of safety, many in the LGBTQIA+ community can't help but feel the company is falling under pressure and leaving them behind.
What's making strides…
Science. Yesterday, a study revealed a Dutch man regained his ability to walk after becoming paralyzed 12 years ago. Here's where the science comes in: In 2021, Swiss researchers put an implant in Gert-Jan Oskam’s skull that detects brain activity when he tries to move. The data is sent to a computer that tells Oskam’s spinal implant to release electrical pulses — allowing his legs to move naturally. Now, Oskam can walk on varying terrain and stand unsupported for a few minutes. He also walks with crutches even when the implants are off. However, the procedures involved can be invasive and reportedly don't help all spinal cord paralysis. The company behind the tech — Onward — reportedly said it expects the implant system to be available commercially in four to seven years. Meanwhile, it's not the only medical device working to help people regain mobility. Elon Musk’s Neuralink is looking to start human trials on its own brain implant.
What’s trying to hit the ‘block’ button…
The House. Yesterday, lawmakers passed a bill to block President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. The measure passed mainly along party lines, with two Democrats siding with Republicans. Biden's relief plan would wipe out up to $20,000 in debt for more than 40 million people. However, Republicans say the plan shifts the responsibility to taxpayers to foot the bill. The House's measure would also end Biden’s latest payment pause, which is already set to end this summer. Biden vowed to veto the bill, if it survived in the Senate. It all comes as the forgiveness plan is tied up in the Supreme Court, which is expected to issue a ruling on the matter next month.
Who'll always be 'better than all the rest'…
Tina Turner. Yesterday, the singer and legendary performer died at 83. Her publicist said she passed away after battling a long illness in her home near Zurich, Switzerland. Turner, who was born as Anna Mae Bullock in Tennessee, became known as the “Queen of Rock and Roll.” She became a successful solo artist after her divorce from her abusive husband and musical partner, Ike Turner. Tina dominated the charts in the ’80s with hits like “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” She won 12 Grammys, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and sold more than 150 million records worldwide. In recent years, Tina suffered from a stroke and was known to have battled kidney disease. On social media, artists like Mick Jagger and Alicia Keys honored the cultural icon and offered their condolences.
Who’s doing a hard launch…
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). Yesterday, he announced his 2024 presidential campaign amid technical glitches and delays. During a Twitter livestream, hundreds of thousands of people tuned in to hear DeSantis declare his candidacy. However, many experienced glitches and hot mic moments for at least the first 20 minutes, as Twitter CEO Elon Musk scrambled to deal with servers that were apparently overwhelmed with the surge of traffic. DeSantis eventually announced and said he'd run a campaign against a “woke” agenda. Now, he's considered former President Trump's most serious rival in a crowded group of contenders.
Whose remix will be karmic...
Who’s showing us the inside of a Barbie world…
thing to know
The Tetris Effect
Ever catch yourself trying to bag your groceries in the most ‘efficient’ way? You miiiight be able to thank Tetris for that. The ‘Tetris Effect’ is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when a person focuses on a game long enough that aspects of it start popping up IRL. Talk about an immersive experience.
Plot twist: Tetris isn’t the only game that’ll get your mind going. Especially when you’ve got an Apple Arcade subscription. They’ve got a library of over 200 games you can enjoy completely ad-free across allll your devices. The best part? Their new Family Sharing plan lets you play with up to five members of your fam without paying extra. Game mode = activated.
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