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Over a year ago, I remember strolling through Twitter and seeing a tweet: "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet." The tweet, which was from October 2017, ignited the #MeToo movement that exposed dozens of men in Hollywood who either harassed, assaulted or raped women and men.
In both life and death, American society is desperately disparate. There are multiple factors that drive inequality, but the inescapable crux is that those who live ensnared by a society that impairs, injures and undermines will also drown in that same disparity. The guarantee of an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is hollowed by its unequal distribution as Black women and babies are dying at an alarmingly harrowing rate.
My best friend and I were in a heated conversation regarding baseball, as we both take our baseball as seriously as we take our politics. We were discussing a blown strike-three call we had seen on television that day and, in the midst of this discussion, I suggested that perhaps using digital technology to call balls and strikes may be better. My best friend rebuked me, “No! Having human home plate umpires is a tradition, whether or not they’re wrong! It’s tradition!”
It is time for regime change in Venezuela, or more accurately, the regime has changed in Venezuela. On Jan. 23, the former leader of the Venezuelan congress, Juan Guaidó, in accordance with the Constitution, assumed the role of interim president. In turn, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the overwhelming majority of South American countries recognized his legitimacy.
In August 2018, the American Psychologists Association (APA) issued a series of guidelines for psychological practice with boys and men, aimed at addressing the negative impacts of “traditional masculine ideologies” which have been shown “to limit males’ psychological development (and) constrain their behavior.” While acknowledging that definitions of masculinity vary across cultures, common themes among them include “anti-femininity, achievement ... adventure, risk and violence.”
Aaron Sorkin created and wrote much of the most popular TV show among young liberals who idealize government (myself included), “The West Wing." It is a brilliant 26-Emmy-winning political drama that respects and romanticizes liberalism and the government, but more specifically, the institution of the presidency. Centered on President Josiah Bartlet and his loyal senior staff, “The West Wing” dares to be aspirational and inspirational, envisioning a democratic presidential administration that truly strives to do big, ambitious and idealistic things in the face of what may seem like insurmountable odds. In every episode, I have been moved by the portrayal of love and passion cultivated for our collective American ideals and system of law and justice.
Over the weekend a priest at my parish, usually known for thoughtful sermons, delivered a rather polarizing talk. As someone who is wary of political discussions in church, I cringed when the priest broached the issue of building a wall along the southern border. He quoted Pope Francis's repeated calls against the wall, urged that American Catholics should stand against this rhetoric as German Catholics should have done during the Holocaust and decried it as wholly immoral.
Reflecting the strained reality of America, on Friday, tense videos of a white teen wearing a Make America Great Again hat, staring at an older Native American man singing and playing a drum at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. saturated social media. The complicated conflict shown in the video depicting the crowd of students from Covington Catholic High School surrounding the man who was later identified as Nathan Phillips, a 64-year-old Vietnam War veteran there for the Indigenous Peoples March, has only grown more uncertain.
Tuesday evening, the Baseball Writers' Association of America voted closer Mariano Rivera, designated hitter Edgar Martinez and starting pitchers Mike Mussina and Roy Halladay into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
On Dec. 4, 2018, the Academy announced that Kevin Hart would be the host of the Oscars 2019. Two days later, on Dec. 6, a series of homophobic tweets from 2009 to 2011 written by Hart resurfaced on the internet. The Academy provided him with two options: apologize or step down from the position. Then, the next day, Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars.
In a highly diverse and densely populated area such as Central Jersey, it is easy to overlook discrimination against certain minorities, especially South Asian Americans. Due to their accessibility and proximity to large international airports, big cities near the coasts are home to many South Asian American immigrant families. According to the 2010 United States Census, more than 528,000 Indian Americans lived in California, while more than 292,000 lived in New Jersey. This statistic is on a constant rise, and “Indians have a higher percentage as a ratio of a state's total population in New Jersey,” according to the census. These statistics also do not include all South Asian American populations from countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and others. As any Rutgers student knows, South Asian Americans are a prevalent community. So, why are we so often misrepresented and mistreated?
Policy differences have formed a seemingly insurmountable wedge locking the rusted democratic cogs of governance in place as the populace bears the brunt of the government shutdown. Bleeding in to day 33, the longest government shutdown has left open wounds across the nation, while also revealing the problematic realities of many Americans.
On Jan. 3, which marked the commencement of the 116th Congress, House Democrats were ostensibly euphoric from their victories in November. Not only had they managed to gain a majority that symbolized a rebuke to President Donald J. Trump, but also they played a pivotal role in breaking a myriad of glass ceilings for descriptive representation. For the first time, Congress will reflect the leadership of more than 100 women, the largest cohort of African-American and Hispanic-American representatives, New Jersey’s first Asian-American representative in Andy Kim (D-N.J.) and the two first Muslim-American congresswomen, among other representative victories.
We must bear witness to the hollowing of his prophetic words of liberation. The regressive sanitation of his messages emerge in the speech of those whose actions diminish the progress of the past and obstruct change today. The legacy of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. has been distorted to further antithesis goals of hate, injustice and inequality.
Close your eyes and imagine ... Or rather open your eyes and simply look around you. The year is 2019. We are living in a society that has introduced electric as well as self-driving cars to our ever-growing highways. We have the International Space Station floating 32,333 cubic feet in volume, functioning in pressurized space. We have "smart shoes" that are capable of lacing themselves up. Yet, despite all the technological progress we have made, we still have very problematic ideologies that have not kept up with our other advances, one being sexualism.
Last week, legislators in New Jersey agreed to a deal which will raise the minimum wage across the state to $15 per hour by 2024. Today, it is time to acknowledge just how good that news really is. Since its conception in 2012 when thousands of fast food workers went on strike in New York City, the Fight for $15 movement has been subject to an array of misguided criticism.
Politicians, economists and political pundits have touted the fall of joblessness and the growth of economic stability as the nation continues to recover from the Great Recession. While the used statistics and anecdotes depict an economy resuscitated and growing, the deep wounds of debt and economic immobility stretch across the country.
The new year is approaching and with that, we should let go of false, antiquated ideas and let in new accurate ones. This year alone has almost been a test to see how many immigrant-based myths can be bought by the public. There are many beliefs that have circulated, but only a handful have been backed by evidence.
The opinion piece that appeared in The Daily Targum on Dec. 7 titled “Awareness of Cognitive Biases Can Empower Us” tapped into a fascinating conversation about human psychology. As writer Dilara Guvercin rightly notes, the study of cognitive biases (the “systematic ways in which the context and framing of information influence individuals’ judgment and decision-making”) is very hot in the field of social psychology right now.
The partisan practice of manipulating district lines is an undemocratic crack in the foundation of America since the nation was first formed. From the rotten boroughs in England, to Patrick Henry attempting to gerrymander James Madison out of Virginia, to the cracking and packing of 2010, redistricting is one of the oldest continued abuses of power in our democratic experiment.