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Mike Sholars

Branded Content Editor, The Huffington Post Canada

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Desmond Cole Will Be Fine; The Canadian Media? Not So

Desmond Cole Will Be Fine; The Canadian Media? Not So Much

Black writers can't be expected to continually argue and prove the very basics of their life experiences every time they're granted some space in a publication. Can you imagine a (non-female) sportswriter being quizzed by readers about the foundations of their sports knowledge? Yet open up any Canadian news piece about Black Lives Matter, Islamophobia, or misogyny, and I promise you'll see the equivalent.
05/04/2017 05:02 EDT
How Will It Look When It's Time For Me To Die On

How Will It Look When It's Time For Me To Die On Camera?

I watch him go down from the one-two punch of a Taser and several gunshots to the body. I don't know why they followed up a successful non-lethal takedown with lethal force, but I'm not a police officer. If you were to take every single piece of shaky cam and mobile phone footage showing police officers killing unarmed or complying Black people and splice them together, you'd have a horror movie. Or a snuff film. When it's time for me to die on camera, how will it look? Who will film me? What small physical imperfection, what inadvertent stumble will be the reason I'm murdered on a jittery impulse?
09/22/2016 12:36 EDT
My Mixed-Race Family Has No Set Culture, But We Have Each

My Mixed-Race Family Has No Set Culture, But We Have Each Other

No one knows what my family is, or how exactly we all relate to each other at first sight, but it's always been a question of <em>where</em> we come from, and implicitly, a question of what we're doing here at all. I have never met someone who shares my ethnic mix (outside of my brother) in my entire life. My grandma divorced her husband. My mom ran off and married a black dude. They've never said it to my face, but I've figured that a lot of the amazing and independent choices my parents made as women didn't totally click with a lot of what India was telling women to be back in the day.
08/24/2016 11:44 EDT
Hey, Big Spender (You're Kind Of A

Hey, Big Spender (You're Kind Of A Douchebag)

We live in a world where those with various forms of privilege -- gender, racial or monetary -- are dunking on the rest of us all the time. There's no corner of society where those who were lucky enough to be born into a good situation (and let's be real: it's a luck thing) don't reap the benefits. But we try our best to push on and get what we can in our own way. It's life as we know it. Until some guy gets a feature article in reputable magazine in the biggest city in the country just to tell boring-ass stories about how great it is to be rich, and how we should all try it sometime.
06/23/2016 04:12 EDT
Truth Is, People You Love Are Capable Of Shitty

Truth Is, People You Love Are Capable Of Shitty Things

I'm just asking for all of us to take a second and really analyze what's happening when we knee-jerk defend a celebrity. Do we truly think they're incapable of doing the act in question? Or do we just need to believe that we didn't invest our love and energy in a bad place? Only children think that someone they love is infallible because of that love. So let's grow up.
05/30/2016 11:04 EDT
'Hamilton' Stopped Me From Throwing Away My

'Hamilton' Stopped Me From Throwing Away My Shot

With today's release of Hamilton: The Revolution, the story of Lin-Manuel Miranda's record-shattering, boundary-breaking and (assumedly) Tony-sweeping musical comes full circle -- from book, to mixtape, to play, to book.
04/12/2016 02:36 EDT
Faking Your Way Through A Football

Faking Your Way Through A Football Match

In my life, I've probably watched two or three football games to completion. I've played half a game of FIFA before politely insisting we play Mario Kart instead. Most player names I know are from a fictional commercial in The Simpsons.
04/04/2016 11:47 EDT
Remotely Interesting: Travel Changes You, But Home Changes

Remotely Interesting: Travel Changes You, But Home Changes Too

I am changing, my home is changing, and the former never feels further from the latter than during weeks like this. Change happens whether you're there or not, and that truth isn't always advertised front-and-centre by everyone who encourages you to chase your wanderlust.
03/24/2016 03:44 EDT
Remotely Interesting: What If My Comfort Zone Is REALLY

Remotely Interesting: What If My Comfort Zone Is REALLY Comfortable?

This first month in Córdoba has felt a lot like Frosh Week at university; there's always a new friend to get to know in my family/tribe/tramily of remote workers, and between WhatsApp and Slack, I can always find someone to grab food or drinks with if that's what I'm feeling. It would be a nightmare scenario for anyone with FOMO, because you quite literally cannot do everything at once.
03/17/2016 10:40 EDT
Remotely Interesting: Picking Up (And Dropping) The Local

Remotely Interesting: Picking Up (And Dropping) The Local Culture

The evening was straight out of a travel show. There was laughter, heartfelt conversations, and the best single empanada I've had in my life. We bonded, we learned, and I shit you not, a mime showed up. It was the essence of experiencing the local culture. Who can't get behind a good wine tasting? Spoiler: Me.
03/10/2016 01:33 EST
The Rules Of The Game Of Life (When You're

The Rules Of The Game Of Life (When You're Black)

Nothing can really prepare you for the small humiliations and the nagging sense of being an outsider that comes with having dark skin in North America. But I wanted to fit in; how hard could it be? I went about figuring the best way to get ahead in life, while Black. As I began to pay attention to how I was treated in comparison to others, I became mindful of myself, of my actions. It became a social dance. Or more accurately, for a kid who grew up playing Nintendo and never stopped, it became a game. And if you want to win any game, you'd best acquaint yourself with the rules. So I started to keep track of how I was doing.
11/27/2014 01:14 EST
Misogynistic Death Threats Make Me Embarrassed to Be a

Misogynistic Death Threats Make Me Embarrassed to Be a Gamer

The online firestorm known as #GamerGate has made headlines across all forms of media. It has made me embarrassed to call myself a gamer. Just this past week, game developer Brianna Wu and critic Anita Sarkeesian were forced to leave their home and cancel a major university appearance, respectively, because of the avalanche of death threats they received. I'm not too old for cartoons, or gaming. But I'm probably too old for wishing death upon someone because we have different opinions on a video game.
10/15/2014 12:55 EDT
What Does A Fan Look

What Does A Fan Look Like?

It's hard to find a display of passion and fandom that's more misunderstood (deliberately or unintentionally) than Fan Expo Canada, and that's why I went there on behalf of the Huffington Post Canada. I went ahead and asked some cosplayers about those aspects of their lives myself, amongst other things.
09/10/2014 12:32 EDT
I'm Tired Of Gaming As A Murderous White

I'm Tired Of Gaming As A Murderous White Guy

I say this to clarify that I'm not trying to position myself as better than the average gamer. But I am getting older, and for one reason or another, every time a blockbuster game could take a turn for the interesting, it instead settles to what the industry views as the default gameplay experience: telling the story of a white man with a gun.
06/13/2014 12:29 EDT
It's All Geek To Me: When Rising Internet Toxicity Levels Become

It's All Geek To Me: When Rising Internet Toxicity Levels Become Fatal

<img alt="2014-02-12-its_all_geek_to_me.png" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2014-02-12-its_all_geek_to_me.png" width="300" height="70">Someone who speaks out against the idea of an interracial couple on YouTube comments isn't just dabbling in racism; they're not summering in bigotry. That's how they feel, 24/7, and the internet gives them the false sense of power and anonymity that lets them get it out of their system, and then walk around in public knowing damn well they'd never be able to say those things to another human face. This mentality is known as the Online Disinhibition Effect, and it bleeds into our everyday lives with shocking ease.
05/28/2014 12:44 EDT
Protect Ya Neck: The Real Price Of

Protect Ya Neck: The Real Price Of Crowdfunding

<img alt="2014-02-12-its_all_geek_to_me.png" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2014-02-12-its_all_geek_to_me.png" width="300" height="70"> I love crowdfunding, because it's like watching money have a wrestling match with ideas. It's capitalism in microcosm. It's important to not lose sight of the lesson here: <strong>Crowdfunding websites are not responsible for anything that happens once you've contributed.</strong> You are leaving your money on the table, walking away, and hoping for the best.
04/09/2014 12:47 EDT