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As Republican candidates debated in Charleston, South Carolina Thursday night, most were unremarkable. The uncharastically forceful tone stuck by Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) lasted only as long as his opening speech, former Gov. Jeb Bush (FL), now polling in the single digits, failed to make up any of his lost ground and retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson proved himself as simply out of the depth running for President.
Following the publication of my most recent column (“Stop defending Islam as a religion of peace”) came a maelstrom of misinterpretation, hateful scorn and cries of “Islamophobia.” I had, of course, expected some commotion—it is, after all, a touchy subject—but I had never expected such an outcry, considering I had written about religion in the past.
It’s amazing how fast time flies. It was just about this same time last year that I gave a public lecture on “justice” during Eastern Michigan University’s 2015 annual observation of Martin Luther King’s national holiday. EMU celebrates this national holiday in a grand style that culminates in a heavily-attended president’s luncheon. Usually, this president’s luncheon is almost, if not the most, well-attended event of the university during any given year, with the exception of its commencement/graduation ceremonies.
Most of those reading have probably heard the term "The LGBT Community." When spoken politically, as it often is, the most common associations are with a perceived threat to civil liberties or sometimes simply waxing poetic about The Community's strength and courage, but the name itself betrays a disturbing quality of its existence. While many can describe what the "LG" is—its front placement within the acronym of course being purely coincidental—misconceptions and prejudices run rampant about the latter half, along with those gender identities and sexual orientations not deemed significant enough to be included. That's really nothing new. What isn't often told, however, is that these prejudices stem from within The Community itself.
Many people float through life completely unaware of how they should take care of their own bodies—not knowing what to do other than see a doctor when something is wrong. Many are even unaware of what integral parts work together in order for the body to function properly.
When I was growing up right outside of Ann Arbor, I had neighbors who were Indian. That really wasn’t that different as Ann Arbor is growing in cultural and racial diversity, but they were the coolest people I knew. Practices they had, items in their homes, sometimes even the clothes the grandmother living in the home wore were so far removed from anything I knew that it fascinated me. I loved to learn about other people and the things they did. But above all, the item that was most fascinating was the bindi that my friend’s mother wore.
**This is an opinion column and it does not reflect the views of the Eastern Echo.**
No matter how hostile, how vitriolic it may be at times, freedom of speech is not something we should take lightly. It is the pinnacle of free society and democracy. But many people today are ignoring that truth and substituting it for their own—casting out any opinion or ideal that dissents from the norm. This is a dangerous road to go down, especially in a democratic society, because not only does it fork away from freedom, it leads to a crossroads of fanaticism and oppression fueled by fear of the unknown.
The Department of Africology and African American studies here at Eastern Michigan University offers several academic programs and General Education courses that are designed to help enrich your learning experience in a way that could better prepare and equip you with knowledge and skills for effective functioning in a world of diverse peoples and cultures.
In the U.S., we use a first-past-the-post system in our elections, meaning that whoever wins a majority of the vote—even if this is only 51 percent versus 49 percent—wins that election. Overall, I like this system. It means that if one candidate wants to win, they need to appeal to as many voters as possible rather than simply sticking to their nook constituency.
The Democratic elite may support Clinton, one of my classmates told me in one of our many political back-and-forths, but Democrats as a whole support Bernie Sanders. “Although,” my classmate added, “I suppose you could say the same of [Donald] Trump,” that Trump is dismissed or even hated by the Republican elite but tremendously popular with Republicans as a whole.
After the Paris attacks, François Hollande swore to wage a merciless war against Islamic State, against which France, Germany, the United States and even Russia have all intensified their strikes. As this is written, the United Kingdom too joins the effort. Yet there seems to be no visible difference in the course of the Syrian Civil War. Operation Inherent Resolve, the US air campaign, has destroyed hundreds of vehicles and thousands of other targets, yet only minor territorial gains against IS have been made.
In a previous article I brought some issues to light that can help explain why some Christians may react so extremely and perpetuate the “war on Christmas.” However, that should be taken with a grain of salt, because it is Christians who are the perpetuators. For the sake of this article, I will openly say that I myself identify as a Christian. So as a collective “We,” Christians, what can we do to turn this “war” around?
Many people have talked about the failure of the war on drugs. It's no secret that in spite of decades of attempts, little to nothing has improved. The war on drugs costs anywhere between $14 billion to $51 billion per year, depending on whether you're asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy (unsurprisingly, a governmental agency) or the Drug Policy Alliance respectively, with little hope of those costs decreasing over time. Worse, we have some of the highest drug incarceration rates in the world—Time putting the number at "seven to 10 times" that of most European countries per capita—and yet lifetime prevalence rates for every single drug tracked by the governmentally-approved SAMHSA report have increased dramatically over the 10 years it recorded, with the exception of methamphetamine. This is normally where I'd make the case for complete drug decriminalization, but there's one class of drugs embroiled in recent controversy that deserves its own defense: opioids.
If you were paying attention to the news like I was, it was hard to miss the active shooter outside of a Planned Parenthood in Colorado over the Thanksgiving recess. According to The Huffington Post, the man, Robert Lewis Dear, killed three people—a tragedy and an inexcusable act of hatred.
Like many students, I am employed through my university, and, even though I have a place to live with a meal plan, I often find myself desperately trying to scrape together enough money to buy my textbooks at the beginning of each semester (and I know I am not the only one who gets a twinge of pain after searching endlessly for the textbook I need and shelling out hundreds of dollars). With the cost of attending college, combined with the often low-income status of many students, college students should not be taxed.
Having closed the doors on Thanksgiving dinner, we’ve taken the full plunge into the Christmas season. And yet with recent events preluding this festive time of year, we are reminded that when we’re no longer children, the disputes and bickering between cultures in society don’t always make this “the happiest time of the year.” This whole War on Christmas controversy—this year sprung by Starbuck’s offensive red cup—reminds me of a familiar quote by the peacemaker, Mahatma Gandhi: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Contrary to what people like Donald Trump might believe, our borders are not being overrun by Mexicans. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. So, Mr. Trump’s claim that “Mexico is pushing people in” is simply untrue. And his plan to stop this non-existent invasion is ludicrous.
In most forms of journalism and critique, there’s an aspiration toward objectivity. Certainly, some forms call on it more than others, but in the world that I come from—music criticism and, in a larger context, culture journalism—the opinions of the writer are inextricably linked to the subject they're courting. Art and pop culture both rely on human interpretation. Various substitutes have been foretold as the death knell of culture journalism, be it article-writing software or aggregators like Metacritic, but our continued existence proves that there is something invariably human to the process. So why do critics use objectivity to justify abuse?
Most people now need a college degree in order to achieve the lifestyle they desire, if not something close to it. Some will be able to get past with just an undergraduate degree, but there is still the likelihood that they will need a master’s and even perhaps a doctorate degree—and most students are well aware of that fact. Defunding college sports would be a good step to take to help take some of the burden off of students.