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Over the weekend, the world witnessed a large-scale riot along Gaza’s border with Israel. Armed gunmen and terrorists attacked the security fence, attempting to breach it, as Israeli forces were the targets of a mass assault with gunfire, bombs, burning tires, stones and chaos. Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip, made clear its intention to draw mobs of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, with embedded Hamas terrorists, to the border. Hamas sanctimoniously declared this bloody violence over the weekend a so-called peaceful “March of Return,” just one of Hamas’ many nefarious attempts at using innocent Palestinians as human shields for its operations of terror.
On Tuesday, March 27, Rutgers held its presidential symposium with the goal of “Fighting Hate While Preserving Freedom." This year’s panelists consisted of former attorney generals and chief justices as well as distinguished professors, deans, directors, members of the Anti-Defamation League and leaders of several religious communities. Each speaker shared his or her best practices to combat hate, while still preserving the First Amendment. With a rise in the rate of hate speech and hate crime on college campuses in the United States, this conversation could not have occurred at a better time. After networking with experts on the topic and learning their best practices, members of the Rutgers community were ultimately able to load their tool belts and toolkits with the best tools our country’s leaders have to offer to help alleviate a national problem.
LOVE FOR MEN’S LAX
As witnesses to the atrocities of the Syrian crisis, it is crucial to raise this simple question: Does anybody have a plan? A real plan, beyond self-interest and maintaining alliances? A real plan that actually ends this international war subjecting Syrian civilians to torment and abuse?
It is the year of 2018, and speaking more than one language has become an expectation rather than a fun fact to add on a resume. In a country as diverse as the United States, bilingualism is an extremely valuable skill that has engendered cultural awareness, adaptation and competition among all Americans. But, despite the convenience of using “bilingual” as an umbrella term to refer to people that speak two languages, it is essential to recognize the significant disparity between people who have simply learned a second language and people who have carried a language with them for generations. Individuals who fall under the latter category are subject to many more obstacles and are under significant pressure to protect their language and continue its legacy within their family lineage. What does this mean? People with immigrant parents and a culturally rich background are expected to maintain fluency in both English and their native language largely out of necessity rather than interest, unlike the individuals in the first category. When someone is born into a language, he or she is also born into an entire culture and community that is ingrained into their simultaneous American identity. That being said, many bilingual people face a set pattern of obstacles during their journey of cultural identification — the consequences can be summed up with either disposing of one of the languages in order to be fully immersed into that of residency, maintaining partial fluency in both languages or maintaining native fluency in both languages. The most unfortunate consequence is the disposal of one language, which is generally one’s native language. There are many individuals who cannot speak their native language despite their parents not knowing English or despite coming from a very culturally rich lifestyle, which is engendered by what can be called “the bilingual dilemma.”
As many have assumed in the past, it is becoming more apparent that the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey is inevitable. With Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) as governor, there are new changes to come with regard to the public’s use of the drug. The Bill S830 — one that would make the use and possession of low amounts of marijuana legal for those who are 21 and over — has been introduced by lawmakers. Murphy has also already announced that doctors in New Jersey can now recommend the use of medical marijuana to their patients, which could help people struggling with various issues — and considering the state’s opioid issue, we could use something less harmful to help with things like chronic pain. With the legalization of marijuana, especially for recreational use, will no doubt bring some worries, and the negative and positive consequences of marijuana’s legalization in this state are worth pondering.
In light of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco — where it was revealed that Facebook exposed the private data of 50 million people to a political consulting firm — many users have begun to question how easily their personal information can be exploited online. Trust in the social network dropped, and some have chosen to quit the platform altogether. But, what is particularly striking about the scandal is that it proved in the business of making money, if the product is free, you are the product.
What makes a democracy? If you ask people around the world, you would likely hear descriptions of a system in which the voices of a population are expressed through its politics, one where each person has a say and one where politicians are held accountable by voters via majority or plurality rule. These are very broad notions with many possible interpretations and structures, but democracy, in a way, is like pornography: you know it when you see it.
Anyone who lives in New Brunswick sees its rapid development firsthand. Mom-and-pop shops that once served the community have since been replaced by large and wealthy corporations and new buildings. The gentrification of cities does well to improve their aesthetic and infrastructure, but there are other consequences that go along with it. It may very well be worthwhile to examine the effect that the continued gentrification of New Brunswick will have on its community, including the Rutgers community.
In a local New Brunswick elementary school, a young girl’s tiny hands meticulously built the divisions she had seen outside her window. She resurrected the very same walls of hate she has seen permeate her world. It was Valentine's Day and all the second graders were rifling through their bags for their gifted sweets. Her sugary focus at the moment was on those lovely messages — “Be Mine,” “Miss you,” “Soul Mate” — which for her, had been smothered by a darker reality. I watched as she had taken out her small container of sweetheart candies and began separating the white hearts from the colored hearts. The white hearts had to be separated, she claimed. She said the white hearts did not like the colored candies, that they hated them. They did not care if the colored candies lived or died. They hated being around them without even taking the time to listen to what they had to say — “I love you,” “Me & You,” “Friend me.”
Hanging out with family is great, especially for us college students. After spending weeks at the residence hall avoiding them and their drag-you-off-the-bed-by-the-legs, “back-in-my-day” justification for everything, it is always nice to return home to the familiar dysfunctional monotony of your siblings’ whining, lectures on the dangers of weight gain and the sudden, suspiciously coincidental influx of chores.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, people have more freely and openly discussed the issue of sexual assault and harassment and the effect it has on so many people. These issues are deeply rooted in society, and public discussion of them is necessary to mitigate the problem. Nevertheless, it can go without saying that much more work is still needed. This fact was made obvious after recent happenings on American Idol, where one of the judges, Katy Perry, seemed to ignore the fact that women are not infallible with regard to committing unwarranted sexual advances.
Over the past two weeks, there have been important shakeups in President Donald J. Trump's administration’s national security team. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be replaced by former Congressman and CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the national security advisor, was replaced by John Bolton, who is expected to begin on April 9. The changes to these two key positions likely reflects important changes in the direction of America’s foreign policy.
The United Nations is a multi-nation governing body that functions like an instruction manual, everything is in English, French and Spanish. Even after following the instructions, the UN fails to actually function but we keep consulting it because it is the best guidance we have.
The people of Austin, Texas were instilled with a deep fear for their lives as a string of package-bomb attacks occurred over the span of 19 days. The perpetrator, a 23-year-old white male, is now deceased after blowing himself up inside of his vehicle while authorities approached. His actions left two people dead, both of which were the sons of prominent Black community members, and multiple others injured. Before committing suicide, the perpetrator recorded a 25-minute confession video, which Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said indicates no link to terrorism, but that the bomber was "a very troubled young man who was talking about challenges in his life that led him to this point." That caused many to be frustrated by the fact that despite the terror experienced by the residents of Austin, the perpetrator has not been deemed a terrorist.
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, one of the major lessons you learn is to care for your community. If a neighbor down the street could not afford their bills, the entire barrio pitched in to help them out.
I am running for New Brunswick Board of Education in the upcoming election, because I want to strengthen the ties between the community and our educational institutions.
President Donald J. Trump announced in a tweet that former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) John Bolton would replace General H.R McMaster as his National Security Advisor (NSA). The tweet hit me like a ton of bricks, but not in the usual way a tweet from the president hits me. Usually I feel confusion and a slight sense of nausea when the president tweets. But, after reading this one I was excited and in complete agreement with it. I was so excited, because the selection could portend Trump turning his back on his isolationist tendency and the return to a serious foreign policy not seen from the U.S. since former President George W. Bush.
A common talking point that organizations like to advertise is their commitment to diversity, especially when it comes to the sexes. If any company or university wishes to maintain the good graces of the public, mentioning their dedication to gender equality is a must. Is this virtue-signalling beneficial to companies or the prospective applicants they are trying to attract? Companies and universities should not hire nor accept women who are less qualified than their male counterparts — nor should sex be a consideration in their holistic review of applications — but should view them as individuals.
HIGH-FIVES FOR HULT