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More often than not, I read the political headlines each morning and find myself thinking, “What would an ancient person think?” From certain candidates snatching women by the genitals, unfortunately both figuratively and most likely physically, to calls for a unified space program to Mars. Imagine, along the streets of Washington D.C., a himation-laden Plato viewing the sights and sounds of a bustling modern city. Yes, assume that he now speaks and reads English fluently for the sake of entertainment. What would he think? Would he be astonished by technology and the like? The following is merely for entertainment purposes, but sometimes exercises like this are necessary for honing the mind and expanding the imagination.
Most large universities are highly accessible spaces for alternative modes of transportation and Rutgers University is no exception. For too many of us, traveling between campuses is the first opportunity in our lives to walk or bike to school, and doing it safely is challenging in parts of New Brunswick.
This presidential election has been a source of hate and pain that cuts through every technological medium, from the television screen to our Facebook feeds. We have a presidential candidate who spits out anti-blackness and “blue lives matter” rhetoric and another who merely gives lips service for black votes. With the pile of unarmed and black people shot multiple times, choked to death and massacred in places of worship, how can we expect black folks to take a day off and get a therapist while having to pay their bills, pay their debts and survive in a world that economically and culturally strips them of their worth? These recent years brings forth to consciousness of the value of black lives in America.
For most people, the popular saying, “There are two things that are certain in life: Death and taxes,” has never been more true. Living in New Jersey, a state that even has a tax on death itself, has sure put me at an impasse with Trenton’s decision-making abilities.
I am a diehard Bey fan. Her music never fails, her confidence is unwavering and her position as the black, female forefront of the feminist movement is nearly orgasmic in thought. So when Nigerian feminist novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose celebrated TED Talk became a powerful interpretation of the definition of feminism, voiced her reluctance to champion Beyoncé’s representation of feminism, I was shell-shocked. My rose-colored glasses shattered and the Beyoncé fog began to lift. Was I really so naïve as to accept her version of feminism simply because of her status? Was this wrong? The answer is both "yes" and "no."
Two cannibals were eating a clown when one turns to the other and said, "Does this taste funny to you?"
Destroyed neighborhoods, helpless expressions and dead bodies: These are the images that are constantly being force-fed to the public when it comes to disasters affecting communities of color, both domestic and abroad. It’s quite interesting that mainstream media does not show the same images when similar disasters affect Euro-centric countries with economic and social power. By interesting, I mean not at all surprising, because black and brown folks have been historically made a spectacle of and degraded when chaotic events occur to their communities.
Rutgers University, the birthplace of college football, the home of the Scarlet Knights and now, sadly, the resting place of "The Alley." Our Rutgers community is going through a grieving period currently after the loss of such a remarkable place — gone, but never forgotten. For those Scarlet Knight fans that are unaware of this heartbreak, or that are not yet tired of hearing about it, The Alley was a Rutgers Athletics-sponsored lot for students and student-run organizations to tailgate preceding the games on Saturdays. Although only 25 parking passes were offered in this designated area, this was a place that some referred to as a “sanctuary,” a “godsend.” People were taking to social media, saying that Rutgers tailgating was back and this is what Big Ten tailgating should look like. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were saturated with posts and articles and pictures of The Alley. But as we all know, this was unfortunately very short-lived, and students had a lot of trouble swallowing the news.
Regardless of what you think about the 2016 presidential election (and, I’d wager, the feelings aren’t too positive), one would find it difficult to argue that the vice presidential debate on Tuesday night wasn’t a momentary bright spot in an otherwise gloomy campaign season.
Studying abroad allows you to experience a life you’re not used to.
Last week’s United Nations Security Council meeting deliberated on the escalating stream of chaos from Aleppo, particularly around Russian-Syrian bombardment of the region. The short-lived ceasefire between the United States and Russia dismantled once airstrikes decimated a U.N. humanitarian aid convoy, killing at least 20 people.
This summer I stumbled, albeit very late, across an intriguing term that my friends started applying to certain black men. The term was “Hotep.” Hoteps are black men who are pro-black as long as that blackness exists within a hyper-masculine straight black-male frame. Urban Dictionary adds that Hoteps “are typically misogynists who display a particularly high level of disrespect for the thoughts, bodies and experiences of black women, black homosexuals and black children” while still claiming that they are “woke.” The title Hotep comes from an Egyptian word meaning “peace” along with the idea that “Hoteps,” in the 2016 sense, are stereotypically the first to tell you that black people were once Egyptian kings and queens (which we were).
Most of us would like to think that the unmitigated disaster of Iraq under former President George W. Bush was a one-and-done deal. A colossal fiasco of Biblical proportions, trillions of dollars wasted, hundreds of thousands of lives lost and every other unpleasant externality created after a military intervention culminates in nation building, such a thing, we would hope, would not come to pass again.
Over the past few months Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) has been right in the middle of the hot-debated $0.23 per-gallon tax increase for gasoline sales in New Jersey.
It has been a conflicted few weeks for Syrian refugees. Although President Barack Obama recently announced that the 10,000th refugee has just been settled in the United States, they have been compared to poisoned Skittles, a terrorist attack with possible links to the Islamic State that occurred in Manhattan and on Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Tex.) announced that his state would not be participating further in the President’s refugee resettlement program, stating that "the lax security of the refugee program is indefensible and endangering to all Americans." This comes several months after 31 out of 50 states announced a similar intention not to cooperate with the refugee program. According to Rasmussen Reports polls, a majority of voters agree, with 59 percent being opposed to Obama’s 2016 plan, citing concerns over national security. As to his plans to increase the number of refugees accepted from 85,000 to 110,000 in 2017, only 12 percent of voters agreed.
Today, the word "terrorism" or "terrorist" has been removed from its original definition.
If one thing were true in this world, it’s that Rutgers loves Paul Robeson: He’s featured on Rutgers' promotional posters across campus, there's a cultural center named after him and last semester they even revealed plans to have a memorial in honor of him across from Old Queens. While getting off the bus at the Student Activities Center, it’s impossible to miss the giant “Revolutionary for 250 Years” advertisement hanging on Hardenbergh Hall, featuring an image of Robeson.
In New Jersey, early fall is a time of great bounty with more than 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables in season, ripe for the picking (and eating). This colorful harvest is happening across the country and is celebrated every October as National Farm to School Month, designated by Congress in 2010. For many adults who were out of secondary school before the most recent child nutrition program changes, school lunch carries mixed feelings. Stories of cardboard pizza and “mystery meat” are pervasive in my mid-millenial group of friends. However, families, school districts, municipalities and counties alike are working together to ensure students have access to the nutritious foods they need while also supporting the local and regional food economies.
Why a sophisticated tho(ugh)t? For anyone who is curious, I’d like to offer a not so simple explanation to how I’ve arrived to naming my column, as this serves as an introduction of the overall theme of this column’s thoughts.
One in five women will be raped in their lifetimes. But you knew that, right? You have seen the facts and the figures so many times that you can assert, without even a moment of hesitation, that one out of five women that you know, speak to, are friends with, are dating will have someone force themselves on them at some point in their life, most likely while they are young adults. But you ignore it because, 1 in 5 doesn’t really mean one out of every five. And the way you see it, the women you know in your life will never be affected by it.