CMHO x Casey Palmer — “Making Back-to-School Not so Cruel in the Midst of a Global Pandemic”

With the start of the schoolyear afoot and an impossible decision on our hands, I found myself wondering how to write about the things we’ve discussed ad nauseam since the pandemic started. How much we parents are struggling, trying to take care of our children with limited resources—especially with school here and every choice feeling like a bad one. Or what it’s like living in a world where turning a blind eye to racism is more passé than ever, leaving us wondering how we can fix the problem that took centuries to create. 2020’s undoubtedly been a year for the books, but it’s not quite over yet—school’s back, and it’ll be stranger than ever before.

Back-to-school, circa 2019 — who even knows what it’ll look like this year?

Back-to-school was already tough enough for kids in the pre-COVID world, a million questions rushing through their heads as they start a new school year ahead. Will they fit in? Are their outfits on point? What stories can they tell when people ask about their summers? It may be a distant memory for many of us, but those first few days often set the tone for the year to come, and everyone wants to start it off on the right foot.

But that’s only if you have the luxury of those being your biggest problems.

Fact is, the COVID-19 pandemic has made things so much more difficult, and it’s hard to see how we’re going to figure things out.

LG gram 17″ Ultra-Lightweight Laptop Review | Computing Success in Three Pounds or Less!

Disclaimer: LG loaned me an LG gram 17″ Ultra-Light Laptop with Intel® Core™ i7 Intel® Iris® Plus Graphics for my review, but all views remain my own and it made for a stellar addition to the tech on my desk. Read on! 

Last Updated: October 4, 2020


It wasn’t until I got to try the LG gram 17″ Ultra-Light Laptop with Intel® Core™ i7 Intel® Iris® Plus Graphics in all this physical distancing that I realised just how badly I need to get a new computer.

I had plenty to compare the LG gram against for the most solid comparison possible!

I’ve been a pretty heavy Mac user for the past decade, looking for a computer that’d last a lot longer than the PCs that came before them. But while I’ve had a good run with some MacBook Pros, iPads, and just about every Mac accessory you can imagine, PCs didn’t stop innovating, and the LG gram is an example of where technology can go in 2020! It’s not a touchscreen laptop, but there’s a lot more under the hood that makes it a solid consideration if you want a convenient laptop to use in an increasingly mobile world!

Who the Hell is Uncle Ray? The Most Delicious Way to Spend Your Father’s Day!

Disclaimer: The team at Uncle Ray’s sent over a Ray’s Backyard Bud & BBQ Kit (minus the Bud) for the Palmers to review. But all thoughts and opinions remain my own, and when I eat meat down to the bone… you know it’s a good sign.


The night before everything went to hell, my friend Gabe and I were supposed to have dinner. With us living on opposite sides of the city, I usually try to find somewhere in the middle to meet up, and this time it was Uncle Ray’s Food & Liquor.

Or rather… we would’ve, but bowed out as the world grew dicier and everyone sent home. But if you’d told me then that our city would shut itself down and we wouldn’t sit in a restaurant proper for months to come, we might’ve reconsidered.

So for a long time, it was a remnant of the world before, one of the things on a long list that we wouldn’t get our hands on for who knows how long.

But in June 2020, that need not be the case, since Uncle Ray’s Food & Liquor has both takeout and delivery options that go perfect with this weather!

Murdered for their Melanin: An Infographic on Black Lives Taken far too Soon.

(Please find the full 5.7 MB version of the infographic for download here.)

So—while it’s good that more of us are getting on board with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, though well-intentioned, not everything necessarily tells the stories they need to when it comes to the Black experience.

Take this meme, for example, which serves as a cry for others to recognise their white privilege and understand why Black people are fighting for their rights:

“I have privilege as a white person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice about it…
I can go birding (#ChristianCooper).
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery).
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson).
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark).
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis).
I can sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).
I can go to church (#Charleston9).
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell).
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant).
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott).
I can be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo).
I can run (#WalterScott).
I can breathe (#EricGarner).
I can live (#FreddieGray).
I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED. (#GeorgeFloyd)
White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today. EDUCATE YOURSELF AND USE YOUR PRIVILEGE TO BE AN EFFECTIVE ALLY.
#BlackLivesMatter”
*I copied and pasted this…please do the same. ?

…and that’s a good start. Yes, it gets Botham Jean’s name wrong and confuses parts of Sean Bell’s story with Khiel Coppin’s, but overall, it’s good to raise the awareness.

Except that what’s missing from this meme is the humanity. The stories that make you understand how heinous these killings were, often against Black people who died far too young, too often for no good reason at all. What was missing was context, so I wanted to put together a guide that’d give you a little more information on the names we keep throwing around.

#BlackDadWorries | Worrying About Raising Black Children in a World That Doesn’t Value Them.

Yesterday, thanks to the advice from a friend to save my Instagram story to my profile, I came up with a new hashtag #BlackDadWorries that spells out how I feel in the face of all this death. And death isn’t even calling it what it is—murder, with Black lives continually cut short, and the message made clear: there’s nowhere out there where Black people should reasonably expect to be safe from a world that’s trying to get them.

My boys are still young, but they’re growing up quick, developing worlds and lives of their own. And while I’d love just to sit back and let them develop on their own so they can build senses of self in the truest sense of the phrase… the world we live in won’t let me do it. Yes, they’re six and four, but they’re six- and four-year-olds who hear they look “dirty” because their skin is darker. Six- and four-year-olds who hear they’re not white enough to play with other kids. I’d love to take things slow, but their world’s developing quickly, and it makes me wonder when I’ll need to sit them down and tell them what the world’s really like.