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In case you haven’t heard, Chance the Rapper won a few Grammys this year. His mixtape "Coloring Book" was the first streaming-only album to ever win a Grammy Award, and though his accomplishments are a win to independent artists everywhere, skeptics continue to point to his deal with Apple Music to discredit the rapper’s status as a true independent artist. Last Friday, Chance the Rapper revealed some of the specifics to his deal with Apple for exclusive rights to his mixtape "Coloring Book." His decision was based on the fact that “more people have tried to discredit my independence,” and he elaborates that Apple paid him $500,000 for exclusive rights for his mixtape for the first two weeks after its release, and after that period the album was available on sites like Soundcloud for free. And Chance is, in his unique way, a pioneer in hip-hop’s movement away from record labels and CDs and towards independent labels and internet streaming. Independent mixtape releases are the cornerstone of hip-hop, and they have existed long before Chance’s legacy. But mixtapes have always been seen as a way to eventually move up to signing onto a record label. Rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Flatbush Zombies and Logic have all gotten record deals after initially releasing mixtapes. But Chance the Rapper offers an alternative: He has proven that mixtapes don’t need to be reduced to a crutch for new artists. And he has proven that a mixtape can not only compete with albums, but they can win.
Child marriage is a global issue, one that spans from places in Asia, Africa and even here in the United States. Young girls are mainly the victims of child marriage, often forced to wed men twice their age. In Eastern cultures, families marry their young daughters off in hopes of gaining some kind of honor, or sometimes for financial reasons. If a family cannot afford to send the daughter to school, give her an education, or provide for her, in many cases she is married off as a solution. Sometimes it’s not just a solution, but their ultimate fate. In many societies, from the minute a young girl is born, she is destined to be someone’s wife.
Since its earliest-known case in 1959, HIV/AIDS has killed about 39 million people. And although this disease is universally known, not many people know exactly what HIV actually is. HIV is a virus that can lead to the infection that is called AIDS. AIDS, which is an acronym for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the actual condition that is developed after HIV causes damage to the immune system. But despite a large majority of people who are unaware of the true definition and difference between HIV and AIDS, it is no secret that this disease is dangerous. With AIDS being the eighth leading cause of death for people between the ages of 25 and 34, the gravity of its detrimental effects are not lost on anyone.
On Tuesday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow offered a surging viewership her legendary, crooked smile as she expressed, “For the record, the First Amendment gives us the right to publish this return. It is not illegally published. Nor are we fake. Pinch me, I’m real.” In a sardonically savvy, Maddow-esque manner, she raised her arm — cloaked in that signature black blazer — and pinched it.
College tuition has been growing at a tremendous rate for the past several decades. Average tuition rates from 1995 to 2015 at private national universities has grown 179 percent, 226 percent for out-of-state tuition at public universities, and 296 percent for in-state tuition. The national student loan debt currently sits at $1.48 trillion and growing. This has propelled calls for tuition-free public college from Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.). Clearly, there is a problem that needs to be addressed, but is taxpayer funded college really the solution? As P.J. O’Rourke said, “If you think health\care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.” Although he refers to healthcare in this quote, the same principle can be applied to college.
Ever since the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, the world has been waiting to see what women would do to follow up on the protest that seemed to foreshadow a movement. And with yesterday being International Women’s Day (also known as "Women's Day"), it seems as though the world may have gotten its answer.
Throughout President Donald J. Trump’s candidacy, and especially during his election as president, the issue of women’s rights has reached a critical point. It has become imperative for women to understand, solidify and fight for rights over their own reproductive systems. However, the White House has recently proposed to continue funding Planned Parenthood if it were to end its abortion services, and this is where it all implodes.
As children, for the millennial generation, opportunities were endless. Baby Boomers and those of Generation X, who created practical, financially secure lives, innately expected more from their children born within the years of 1980 and the mid-1990s. My parents fulfilled their lifelong goal — obtain careers that put food on the table and paid the bills. But they encouraged me to think hard and large about what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be the president, I wanted to be a lawyer and the sky was really the limit. Fortunately, engineering is what I landed on, and I’m grateful for their support. They wanted a lush lawn and encouraged me to not only want a lush lawn, too, but also a flourishing garden in terms of a life. What our parents’ generation didn’t foresee was the unprecedented and massive emergence and influence of technology in today’s world. Because there’s endless options available to us, alongside the flaunting of peers’ perfect lives online and many other contributing variables, millennials are in an interesting pickle.
The female sexuality is under attack. And this attack was partly concentrated within the United States Marine Corps and its recent scandal.
On Sunday, committed partisan Democrats and retirees watched the ceremonial changing of the guard at the District National Convention (DNC). Tom Perez, former secretary of labor and assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and now the biggest sleaze in Democratic politics since the fall of John Podesta, former counselor to former President Barack Obama, was elected to succeed Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee. Although this election was not as exciting, or surprising, as the 2016 election, there were many supporters of Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (D-5) that were shocked at the 235-200 voting outcome. Ellison was seen as the frontrunner to be the next leader of the Democrats after the fall of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and had racked up many impressive endorsements. Those who rallied behind Ellison included Georgia Rep. John Lewis (D-5), Hawaiian Rep. Tulsi Gubbard (D-2), Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and even Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). It would be a reasonable assumption to think that all of these high-profile endorsements would send a signal that the Democratic Party was ready for a change. It would seem that they were ready for a change away from the Democratic establishment, and a move towards Bernie Sanders’ utopianism. But even these party celebrities couldn’t save Ellison from his troubling past.
Earlier this week, Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, announced plans to donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The announcement follows Chance’s meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-Ill.) ( last Friday which left him feeling unsatisfied over the governor’s “vague” answers). A native of Chicago’s West Chatham neighborhood, Chance met with Rauner to discuss the dire situation Chicago’s public schools are in: Despite CPS facing a budget shortfall of approximately $500 million in the past fiscal year, Rauner vetoed a measure to provide the district with state aid.
Ben Carson recently stepped out into his official position as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Part of his job description is providing assistance for those with low-incomes, aiding in the creation of fair housing laws, handling homelessness, mandating house ownership and most importantly, as the name implies, overseeing housing development. Many people (for the right reasons) felt as though Carson was not fit for this position. Besides the fact that Carson was a neurosurgeon, he has previously voiced his beliefs that the government cannot be of much assistance to those in need. He even stated that trusting the government in issues of low-income assistance is “downright dangerous.” To make things more unsettling, Carson himself, although growing up in poverty, had never lived in public housing or had governmental assistance for housing. To top it all off, Carson has publicly said he feels that poverty is “really more of a choice.” But this is relatively old news now, and just as most of the nation suggests we do with President Donald J. Trump, perhaps giving Carson a chance and considering his present actions rather than his past ones is the way to go about the situation. Except, Carson’s recent actions are no better. In fact, his words while speaking to HUD employees might be even worse.
On Feb. 22, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani were the victims of a racially charged attack and were shot at by Adam Purinton. Purinton, under the impression that the two were Iranians, threw out slurs and was removed from the bar before returning with a gun and opening fire. While Madasani and another patron named Ian Grillot who jumped in were only wounded, Kuchibhotla was fatally shot, and his murder has enormous implications for not just those of us who are immigrants, but those of us who are American-born people of color as well.
It is usually President Donald J. Trump who comes under the scrutiny of the spotlight from media, and although there has been recent news about Trump tweeting out claims that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump’s phones to be tapped, Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence’s headline-worthy news seem to be even more prominent.
“Get Out,” the new comedic thriller written and directed by Jordan Peele, has been packing movie theaters since its debut on Feb. 24. The film amplifies the small, non-comedic but truly horrifying moments black people experience on a daily basis through micro-aggressions and navigating black spaces. There have been plenty of articles touching upon the many subtle nuances of the movie. Many talk about its nods to slave-trading in America, others speak about what the film means in terms of cultural appropriation by white people and others talk about the non-inclusive nature of white feminism. All of these articles are brilliant, but I saw few articles that spoke about what the movie offers in terms of its lesson about black interpersonal relationships. While the movie is clearly a “black film,” it does not have many black people, thus making it hard to not focus on the white horrific actions throughout the film. Yet we are given great lessons about the importance of black resistance through black-on-black rescue, even when it seems that staying and trying to help other black people is detrimental to our own lives. It is easy to selfishly say that black lives matter in the sense that we want white people to recognize our humanity, but “Get Out” encourages us to remember that, before white people understand this, other black lives must unequivocally matter in the hearts of black people themselves. The movie tells us time and time again to save each other.
One-third of the girls in underdeveloped countries are married before the age of 18, and one of every nine girls are married before 15. Not to diminish the discrimination women in the U.S. face, and partially because it's been socialized in me, but I can't even begin to comprehend the toil women in third-world countries have to face. The women in underdeveloped countries are generally treated like actual objects, as if their sole purpose in life is to quench and cater to man's every need. To pleasure him, to bear him sons (and sons only), to cook for him, clean for him, to entertain him. The mindset that men are far more superior than women is so deeply set in their society that people (mothers and fathers alike) feel no empathy for the little girls they give away to older men in exchange for a service or to settle a mere feud. Female life is given little to no regard and women are only perceived valuable or are only lauded when they produce a male heir, otherwise, they’re deemed as useless.
On March 1, the front page of The Daily Targum featured an article pointing out the similarities between a Rutgers Conservative Union flyer and one circulated by the American Vanguard, a white supremacy group. Two weeks ago, American Vanguard posted a flyer that read “Imagine A Muslim Free America” on the front of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center on Busch campus. The article features a quote from Dylan Marek, a constituent of the RCU, who claims that the writing on the flyer was his own, despite the fact that American Vanguard posted an almost identical version more than two months prior to Marek’s own advocacy.
GRILLED CHEESE FOR WORLD HUNGER
Last Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony was full of political moments — whether it was when Lin-Manuel Miranda wore a ribbon for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), or when Emma Stone wore a pin for Planned Parenthood, or when the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film skipped the ceremony to make a statement against President Donald J. Trump’s travel ban, viewers at home were reminded again of Hollywood’s politics. But the most unexpected, and unplanned, political moment was when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway accidentally announced the musical "La La Land" as the Best Picture winner, when it was actually "Moonlight," a drama about a black man struggling with his sexuality. On a night that was supposed to belong to "La La Land," a movie that had tied with "All About Eve" and "Titanic" for the most nominations in Oscars history and was predicted to win Best Picture, "Moonlight" took its rightful prize after a few minutes of chaos and confusion.
Last week, the LGBTQIA community was in shock over the blatant disregard of their rights by President Donald J. Trump and his administration when they decided to remove the federal protections for transgender people who want to use bathroom facilities that correspond with their gender identity. A majority of the Democratic Party, as well as some members of the Republican Party, voiced their anger over this decision by the Trump administration. And now, it seems as though the dust has barely even begun to settle before the nation began to chip away at LGBTQIA rights again.