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Rutgers University cares about sexual assault and the issues surrounding it. That is, until it has to take legitimate action rather than spout out a few token phrases.
This Monday there were two bus fires, delaying tens of — if not upward of — hundreds of students from reaching their destinations on time (as well as the obvious safety issue presented).
Jefferson Sharpnack, an Ohio primary school student, had to already overcome the difficulties of being the new kid at school, when earlier this month, cafeteria staff had confronted him in front of all his schoolmates and took away his cheesy breadsticks. It was his birthday.
The full actualization of an individual’s liberty is not found at the equilibrium of the market, but rather it is in the stomach of the no longer hungry, the mind of the no longer uneducated, the worker no longer dependent and the human no longer subjugated.
We sit idle and dormant, accepting the reality of life at Rutgers as beyond our influence. But, discontent grows with increasing exploitation.
On April 30, The Daily Targum failed to pass referendum across the Rutgers–New Brunswick campus for the first time since receiving its independence from the University in 1980.
We cannot simply withdraw into a dark age of disconnection and disengagement. We are no longer just the beneficiaries of the generations before us waiting for a seat at the table, and we are no longer mere bystanders to the political discourse in this country. We are members of the Rutgers community, a microcosm of the world in which we cannot blindly inherit the corrosive trends of our declining direction.
“My words of ‘never again’ have disappeared from my language,” said Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers on Saturday. “They have been replaced with ‘yet again.’ And so it is that we stand here yet again at this (vigil) as one united community.”
The obstructing haze of misinformation and manipulation thickens as a means of galvanizing movements of hate. With attempts to place immigration as a centerpiece for the 2020 presidential election, the volume of fear mongering and fictitious rhetoric deployed increases. President Donald J. Trump has adopted an erroneous new message regarding migrants seeking refuge in the United States: “Our country is full.”
We gaze out and see what is ours for consumption, ours for ownership. We claim a callous superiority as if we rule over the dominion with absolute distinction. But in doing so, in accepting the culturally ingrained perception that our relation to nature is one of master and slave, conqueror and conquered, we ignore our duties of justice and our intertwined, codependent existence. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”
The state of this nation is intertwined with the state of unions. Societal progress is won and lost by the unions of America. As Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stated in an address to the Illinois American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), “The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.”
The fields of medicine and science are not immune to the manipulation of prejudice. Etched into our American history are medical practices targeting certain groups under the guise of scientific justification. Without a wholesale rejection of empiricism, there must be an acknowledgement of the reality that implicit and explicit biases can drive scientific conclusions to legitimize horrific acts of degradation, dehumanization and social harm.
Her hijab was ripped from her head, torn from her and thrown to the ground. Her beliefs were the target of the attack, and her body and faith were the victims as she was beaten. Police have stated that a Muslim East Brunswick High School student was the victim of a biased attack and the assailant, another student, has been charged with “simple assault, harassment, cyber harassment and disorderly conduct.”
The economic reality of the common American family today is one of financial instability. One layoff and the house is foreclosed. One mistake and the chain of debt shackled to your ankle pulls you into the abyss. One misstep and you find yourself in a free fall. For the high school student working to help his family eat, the scholar with unemployed parents, the youth with parents who immigrated here and never attended college, the kid who feels walled in by familial debt, higher education seems like a remote, distant dream. But this nation must not allow this dream to be deferred.
The United States was not built on freedom and democracy for all, but rather a foundation of democratic values hinged on the ability to adapt and change. Throughout its history, America has amended its constitution and shifted its political direction to move toward the fulfillment of its commitment to freedom and democracy, and it is time to shift once more.
After leaving his village in Colonial America, Rip Van Winkle wandered up into the Catskill Mountains. Fatigued from his climb, he sits down to rest and fell into a long slumber. Rip awoke to a new world 20 years later. The longevity of his sleep has become the most memorable element in Washington Irving’s classic fable. Few readers recall a small but significant detail that is often overlooked and forgotten.
On Wednesday, April 3, hundreds gathered in West Windsor, New Jersey to mourn the death of Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old from Robbinsville, New Jersey who was kidnapped and killed in South Carolina after she had gotten into a car she had thought was her Uber. Her years left unlived were stolen, but her legacy remains in the lives she touched and the policies now proposed to make it harder for such tragedies to happen again.
For decades, they knew and did nothing. They did nothing and watched as cancer rates rose and lives were torn apart. Since the 1970s, a facility of the chemical giant DuPont polluted the groundwater of the Pompton Lakes area. The contamination seeped into both the soil and the lives of New Jerseyans as hundreds of households sat on top of an underground plume of toxic chemicals.
The tenure of President Donald J. Trump administration’s Department of Education has been marked by sporadic flurries of negative news coverage and national scrutiny. From Senate confirmation hearings to over two years in the position, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has represented the worst of corporate capitalism and its undemocratic, un-American crusade against public education.
A national reckoning, an awakening of the American consciousness, a reconciling of our exceptionalist image and an end to an America that ignores not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present: We must have a debate on reparations.