Shane Paul Neil
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I’m starting a new project and you can help in three easy steps.

Step 1: Watch the video above.

TL;DW? No sweat. Here’s the gist. I’m starting a new project called “What Now?”. I want you to send me subjects which you would like my opinion on, or even better, the opinion of someone more qualified than I am in whatever subject you want to be covered. Which brings us to step two.

Step 2: Hit Me Up!

It doesn’t matter how you decide to do it. You could comment on this story, at me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…


Yes, Amy Cooper is a genuinely awful person — but hear me out

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Photo: Christian Cooper

Last week, Amy Cooper, the infamous “Central Park Karen,” had charges against her dropped after completing a “restorative justice” alternative.

Cooper, who called 911 and falsely accused Christian Cooper (no relation) of threatening her in Central Park last summer, became the peak embodiment of Karen behavior — in large part because her behavior happened just as America found itself embroiled in civil unrest over police brutality.

The charges were dropped after she completed five therapy sessions “designed for introspection and progress,” assistant district attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said at a brief virtual hearing. Five therapy sessions? A slap on the wrist.


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…


From comedy to commentary, these creatives are among the best doing it.

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Platforms like YouTube are generally treasure troves of great Black created content. From skits filmed on cellphones to global icons who have made YouTube the home for their content, Black Youtubers drive internet culture in a very significant way. These are a few of my favorites.

Need a Laugh? Check RDCworld1

Whether it's skits about Anime, Marvel, or the NBA, the crew at RDCworld1 never miss a beat. The guys most recently went viral with their spoofing of Lebron James’ learning of James Harden being traded to the Nets. …


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…

Shane Paul Neil

Writer (duh). Bylines @LevelMag @thegrio @NBCBLK. Co-creator of the Good Talk Podcast Network. Don’t forget to add me to your Medium email list!

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