A come to Jesus (correctly) conversation for dudes who don’t know how to gracefully admit they fucked up.

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Hey fellas, we need to talk. The last few years have been… rough.

Not just because of the various fuck ups either. When there has been room to apologize for the “smaller” offenses we’ve managed to fuck that up too. Saying sorry is supposed to be a moment of humility and compunction but instead, we’ve tried to make our fuck ups smaller than they actually were.

With that in mind here are a few basic rules for owning your shit.

Keep it short.

My editor loves to tell me not to fall in love with my words. Often what I see as a…


Whites yelled Black Lives Matter at the top of their lungs in 2020. Blacks haven’t forgotten the promise assumed in doing so.

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It’s been a little over six months since social uprisings and protests swept the country. 2020 was the year where Black people had enough (again). Between police brutality, white supremacy, and everything Trump, Black people hit the streets en masse to tell America to cut the shit.

In the midst of it, something unusual happened. White people started yelling too. And in that yelling, a large contingent of white people and corporations made promises of change.

That bill…


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My “I hate Black Women/Pro-Trump” hairline do not get along.

A few years back, I was at my favorite bar in Brooklyn. I had just broken up with my too young, too attractive girlfriend, and I was in my feelings.

The bartender, a Black woman who knew me and my ex, looked at me for a moment and said, “You know, to look at you, I wouldn’t have thought you dated Black women.”

“Seriously? Why?” I ask.

“I don’t know,” she replied. “You just look like we aren’t your thing. I figured you for white girls.”

I could have pretended to be flabbergasted, but it’s not the first time I…


What wins out when education, health, and economics square off with our children at the center of it all?

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My son has been attending school virtually since March of last year. What started as a challenging transition, the shift from being in a classroom with teachers and classmates to sitting in our living room on Zoom calls and watching prerecorded videos of teachers was jarring for everyone. By June, we were all exhausted. It is the first time I have seen parents looking forward to their children being out of school for the summer.

We all awaited the day where we could safely reopen schools. We crossed our fingers for November, but the holidays all but assured that we…


A quick note on why MLK day as we know it can miss me.

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As a child, my father sat me down and, much to my chagrin, had me listen to a Malcolm X speech that he had going on the record player. I was immediately transfixed. I don’t remember what the speech was about, but I remember the fire in Malcolm’s voice. It was the first time I ever heard a Black person be that passionate talking about Black people.

It was the opposite of how Martin Luther King was introduced to me.

It’s sad to admit, but Martin Luther King day never really meant much to me. Three-day weekend? Awesome. Black folks…


A young boy’s (me) first lesson on economics and alcohol.

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This past Christmas, through various relatives, my son managed to accumulate what to a seven-year-old must seem like a vast amount of money. His newfound windfall has gone largely to purchasing various streets and toy s, much to my mother’s merriment. She specifically instructed me that this money was for toys and bullshit. In translation, she didn’t want her money going to anything practical. My son being of like-mind, when asked why he doesn’t buy his own pizza and junk food when we go out to answers, “You’re the grownup. You’re supposed to pay for it.” Fair enough.

The other…


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For a long time, I hated Nina Simone. For me, her voice was a portent of sadness. If upon coming home from school I heard her music as I walked up the stairs to our house I knew what kind of day it had been. My mother would either be locked in her bedroom or defiantly sitting in the living room smoking a cigarette amid the aftermath. My mother almost religiously wore a wig except in those moments. Looking back, I believe that it was a part of her baring her soul. It was a statement to my father. Look…


In a world of unequal justice, watching post-Capitol attack arrest videos is pure joy.

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scha·den·freu·de (noun): pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.

I’m a notoriously bad sleeper. Often when I wake up in the middle of the night, I do the worst thing possible. I reach for my phone and check social media. This morning around three, after twisting and turning in the bed for however long, I grabbed my phone. As I scrolled through Twitter there, it was in all its glory. In last week's attack on the Capitol building, a video of participants found out that they were on the no-fly list for acts of terrorism and, even better, being arrested for it.

I watched the videos on repeat for…


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Big tech made a big show of rejecting MAGA, the alt-right, and Donald Trump himself. And while the attack on the Washington Capitol was the impetus for the white supremacy cancel party, it’s roots lay in the calculation of value and not in any great moral discovery.

You are only relevant as long as you are useful.

This realization I came to years ago has become a mantra that has made my life much easier to navigate . My usefulness in any given situation dictates how relevant I am to the people in that situation. …


It’s all common sense, but these rules get violated every day.

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Rule #1: The internet is forever. Say what you mean and mean what you say because someone is always ready to call you on your bullshit.

Think twice before you hit send. For every hastily posted status or think piece that turns out to be a little racist, homophobic, or sexist, someone is grabbing a screenshot before it’s deleted. The Internet is forever, and Google never forgets, so if you’re planning to run for office, get a job, or pass a social media background check by your next date, take a second to decide if that really ridiculous viewpoint is worth shouting to the entire known universe.

Rule #2: Don’t use other people’s following for your side hustle without permission. Nobody wants to hear your new mixtape, poorly edited podcast, or join your Ponzi scheme.

It’s one thing if I don’t know you. Everyone gets spammed at some point by some overzealous bot or…

The SPN

Thoughts and Opinions Nobody Asked For By Shane Paul Neil

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