Tag Archives: discrimination

Mormons, Are They in a Cult?

The answer is no. Mormonism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a cult. They are a denomination of Christianity, no different than any other denomination of Christianity like Protestants or Baptists or Methodists. They believe in the same things that other Christian people believe, except that they believe in modern day revelations. This means that they believe people can still receive divine inspiration from God. Many of the additions to their version of the Bible come from revelations from the first prophet of their Church, Joseph Smith, who was also the founder.

Logo of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – photo from Wikipedia

While people of the Christian faith as a whole have not had to deal with discrimination for hundreds of years (there was some nasty business with the Romans), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has had to deal with some persecution in recent history and there is a lot of misconceptions about them nowadays. For example, in Missouri in 1838, the Governor of the state issued an executive order for people to literally hunt Mormons. No, that is not an exaggeration, and no, you did not read that wrong. It was legal to hunt and kill Mormons in the state of Missouri. I believe the word the executive order used was “exterminate,” as in exterminating Mormons. It was that or drive them out of the state, and they were driven out of the state, with state military forces. It was not until 1976 that the order was actually repealed.

There are a lot of misconceptions about them, like the idea that they practice polygamy. They do not practice polygamy. They are not in a cult. They are just regular nice people trying to go about practicing their religion. You shouldn’t discriminate against a person because of their religion. This is a basic concept that should be applied to everyone and every religion. While Mormons do not face massive persecution today like they did in the 1800’s, there are other religions, like Islam, that do. It was not right to hunt down Mormons then, and it is not right to do the same thing to Muslims today. We need to remember our past and learn from it.

The flip side of Halloween costumes

Halloween is right around the corner, and you can already feel campus abuzz with activity and excitement. Though some might argue that the holiday is childish, many people feel as though it invigorates them in some way. It makes October exciting and worthwhile, and the milestone makes it that much easier to get through the month.

Personally, Halloween is and always will be my favorite holiday. That being said, as I’ve grown up, I feel myself being able to take a step back and look at it with a hint of skepticism.

As a child, I’d never noticed all the things wrong with Halloween — or, more specifically, the costumes. I never saw dressing in a kimono for the night, or painting on a different skin color, as problematic. That was, until I saw concerns being raised over social media.

Being who I am — hard-headed and always fighting to voice my opinion on any subject — it was hard for me to come to terms with the racism and other basic discrimination that comes with the Halloween costumes that are produced in bulk.

As a white female, it didn’t have any effect on me. Of course, if it had no effect on me, and I wondered how could it have an effect on anyone else? It was just a costume for Pete’s sake, how dangerous could it be?

Well the short answer, I’ve come to find out, is very.

Are politically incorrect costumes becoming the Halloween norm? Graphic from college Humor
Are politically incorrect costumes becoming the Halloween norm? Graphic from College Humor

Black face, brown face, and yellow face have been issues during Halloween probably for as long as the commercialized part of the holiday has been around. The thing is, it’s 2015– not 1964.

Nowadays, it’s a lot less obvious as we see kids play pretend as Cowboys & Indians all the time and kimono knock offs are being sold in Forever21 to pass as a fashion trend. We’re becoming accustomed to seeing these things everywhere and the shock factor has worn off and worn down until there’s basically nothing left.

These are now everyday occurrences and most people have no idea the effect it’s having on the specific culture it comes from. Some people aren’t bothered by it, but others are. You making light of a culture for personal gain, even if it’s personal gain as simple as being a “joke” for a singular night, is cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is dangerous in several different ways. Not only does it erase and invalidate a culture, but it erases and invalidates the everyday experiences that people of certain races undergo because of skin color or origin.

While you can shed your costume at the end of the day, people of color or different cultures are stuck with all of the racist comments at the end of the day.

Before you buy a costume this year, take a look around, check out the internet. Make sure that your costume is something you enjoy that everyone else can enjoy too.

A culture is not a costume.

From our perspective: Racism, or not so much?

A young woman was rejected by the University of Texas at Austin four years ago, and has since decided to take the matter up in court, claiming the university discriminated against her for being white.

Abigail Fisher, a 22-year-old financial analyst working in Austin, Texas and a graduate of Louisiana State University,  has convinced the Supreme Court to cast its penetrating gaze over the issue of affirmative action, and in particular, the consideration of race in college admissions. Continue reading From our perspective: Racism, or not so much?