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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.
Finals week is as much of a legend on college campuses as it is a reality. For some, it can make or break their grades for the semester. It is not rare for a class’s only grades to be the midterm and the final, which puts a tremendous amount of pressure on students to perform well on their exams. With the mental health struggles many students face on college campuses, it is time to move away from high-pressure testing and move toward methods of assessment that take pressure off of students and are more practical and relevant to their fields of study.
Being an ally is a good thing, but only when it is done with the right intentions. Wearing the term "ally" on your sleeve does not inherently give you the right to call attention to your own support instead of the actual issues at hand.
In Emily Esfahani Smith's Ted Talk titled "There's more to life than being happy," she discusses that in her research, she has discovered four things that actually make people fulfilled. Combining her studies in psychology, neuroscience and philosophy, she stated the four pillars of fulfillment as follows: a sense of belonging, finding purposes (not the same thing as finding a job that makes you happy), stepping beyond yourself and storytelling.
It has been weeks since the heinous Pittsburgh shooting in which 11 Jewish worshippers were massacred in their most sacred quarters by a Nazi terrorist. This past November also marks 80 years since the Night of Broken Glass saw the destruction of Jewish homes, schools and synagogues at the hands of the Nazis who would go on to slaughter 6 million of Europe’s Jews.
If you truly want to witness how capable humans are of distorting their own realities, succumbing to subjective and ungrounded notions and diminishing their own rational thoughts, simply take a psychology class. One of the biggest areas of research within the psychology community, particularly in the field of social psychology, is the prevalence of cognitive biases, which refers to the “systematic ways in which the context and framing of information influence individuals’ judgment and decision-making.”
Born in this nation of promise and progress, civic and political power are inalienable birthrights that require provision and nurturing. Yet they are placed in the hands of some and beyond reach for others. Institutions of learning are designed to be the grand guardians of democracy, wielding education as a great leveler of inequities. They function as ladders descending down to those born into circumstances beyond their control, ready for their ascension. Yet “our education system routinely fails urban, rural, low-income and minority students,” according to The Civic Mission of Schools.
As far as economic policy is concerned, the American ideological compass has become frustratingly one-dimensional and inflexible. As income and wealth inequality have risen to levels not seen in nearly a century, the Left has cried foul, proposing numerous solutions to reduce inequality, typically through income transfers to those at the bottom or various regulations. Simultaneously, while conservative elites have rallied against what they perceive as burdensome economic regulations, they have also sought to justify any market outcomes and portray attempts to question or alter them as immoral and greedy.
In the shadow of recent President Donald J. Trump-land chaos, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed a new federal policy that gives more freedoms to those accused of sexual assault on college campuses, be they men or women, citing that former President Barack Obama-era regulations “lacked basic elements of fairness.”
On the night of Jan. 23, 2018, networks of organizations and members of various communities took to the streets of New Jersey with Monarch Housing Associates to conduct the 2018 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of homeless men, women and children across the state’s 21 counties. The 2018 report counted 9,303 homeless people on that night, which was a 9 percent increase from the 2017 report. This increase was smaller than the reported increase from 2016 to 2017, which was 20 percent, but still undeniably disheartening.
Residents of New Jersey feel no pride for their state, obviously. Other than the Liberty Science Center, the Jersey Shore and the old-timey diners, there is nothing much redeeming about the state. The only remotely interesting thing about New Jersey is ranking No. 1 out of all U.S. states for bad drivers.
Our dear University has found itself in the news over the past few months. No, not because of our unfortunate athletics record or the unreliability of the bus system, but because of its policies with free speech. From the investigation of James Livingston, a professor in the Department of History, for a Facebook post to the deplatforming of a University-sponsored talk, it is clear that Rutgers problems with free speech are endemic to the great amount of ambiguity and interpretation of present speech codes. Though this might seem to be too complicated to resolve, the University of Chicago’s Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression has already provided us with a format for the formal commitment that, "guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn." In response to these recent controversies, the current administration should adopt the so-called “Chicago Statement” to bolster First Amendment protections on campus and facilitate a vibrant culture centered around the free exchange of ideas.
On Dec. 2, two days after the death of former President George H. W. Bush, Vox published an article in which they remembered the monumental Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed during the Bush administration back in 1990.