Tag Archives: trump

A Look at the Charlottesville Riots

One of the most significant rights that the American Constitution grants its citizens is the right to gather and protest. This right was originally made a part of the Bill of Rights so that the citizens of a nation could publicly voice their concerns and show that they will not stand for unfair treatment. This is not what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th, 2017.

What happened could only generously be called a rally, and in reality, it was nothing more than a gathering of hateful white supremacists throwing a violent and disgusting tantrum. The reason? Because discriminated citizens are standing up and demanding fair and equal treatment—something they should already be given but are not because of the deep-rooted, systemic racism, sexism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia in this country. The past few years in America have seen a rise in large protests across the country, especially since the election of Donald Trump as president. All of them have been advocating for fair and equal treatment of one discriminated group or another. There was the Women’s March on Washington D.C., for example, and there was also the formation of the group Black Lives Matter (BLM).

Photo and title photo from CNN.com

All of these movements have angered the white supremacists that live in (and run) our country and they decided to have a “protest” of their own. The irony of this idea was that it simply revealed them as the white terrorists many already know them to be. And terrorists they are. What else do you call a group of people marching around with torches and guns (many of them were armed) shouting things like “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil,” all of which are reminiscent of the rallies Hitler used to hold and are, obviously, extremely anti-Semitic.

The simple fact of the matter is that these people, these white terrorists, were never being discriminated against. They had no reason to hold a “rally” to demand fair and equal treatment; they already have it. The real reason for their protest is they want to continue to hold power over everyone else, and that power is being threatened. This power needs to be taken away from them—these are not the people who should have it. They use it to benefit only themselves and their ideologies and destroy the lives of anyone and everyone who is not them.

And they have shown they are willing to kill to keep it.

High School Lunches Need Improvement

Many of us remember what our high school lunches were like, and they are probably not fond memories. Many school lunches were rather lackluster and little more than a small sandwich, a carton of milk, and a sub-par side. With the recent budget proposal by Donald Trump that would cut funding to many food programs quite a few rely on, a drastic improvement to school lunch programs is needed.

school lunch
“The portions are also often small, so even if the food itself has not gone bad, students are still hungry after they have finished their lunch.” Photo from: http://mybrownbaby.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/school-lunch.jpg

There needs to be a good balance between lunches that are healthy and lunches that have plenty of food. Often times, the food available to high school students is clearly not fresh; buns are stale, fruits have those tell-tale soft spots, and milk is expired. The portions are also often small, so even if the food itself has not gone bad, students are still hungry after they have finished their lunch. Many high schools are known to reuse leftover food for the sake of cutting costs, which leads to the bigger issue that schools face: lack of funding.

It is not uncommon to hear about a high school having trouble with getting sufficient funding for all sections of the school. Since public schools receive their funding from the government, they often have to spend a specific amount of the funding on a specific department within their school. For example, the athletic department is often known for getting the lion’s share of the funding for a variety of reasons. Sports teams are a big crowd pleaser and they draw good publicity for the school and the school systems, ergo they receive more funding than most. While the athletic department of a school shouldn’t be underfunded, a portion of the excessive amount of money it receives could go to the school lunch program to help provide fresh food for the entire student body. Students deserve fresh fruit, fresh meat, and larger portions. This is a program that benefits all of the students, not just a specific subset of them. Thus, it deserves more funding, especially given that soon many students will be receiving less food thanks to federal budget cuts.

Will History Repeat Itself?

There have been a number of concerns since Donald Trump took office a little over two months ago. Various activist groups and minorities have been voicing their concerns about Trump’s attitude towards his new position and the effect his policies and his beliefs could have. And while there are definitely more immediate concerns with Trump’s policy making, there are many who are concerned with the long-term effects and potential results of a Trump presidency.

One of the more famous people voicing their concerns is George Takei, an actor who is most famous for his role as Sulu on Star Trek. He has said the current political climate looks similar to the time leading up to the mass internment of Japanese Americans in America during World War II.

George Takei arrives at the Premiere of "Bridegroom" at The Samuel Goldwyn Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
“He has said the current political climate looks similar to the time leading up to the mass internment of Japanese Americans in America during World War II.” Photo from: http://instinctmagazine.com/sites/instinctmagazine.com/files/images/blog_posts/Nigel%20Campbell/2015/10/14/george%20takei.jpg

George Takei was one of the many Japanese Americans who were unjustly placed in internment camps during WWII, and he fears that similar events many happen to people of the Islamic faith. He is concerned that the similar rhetoric used against Japanese Americans is now being applied to Muslims in America. People would say that a person of Japanese ancestry was an enemy of the state, just because they were Japanese, and now people are calling anyone of Islamic faith a terrorist (1).

At the rate things are going, will we end up having another national crime where we wrongly incarcerate an entire group of people because of baseless and bigoted fears? Trump has already issued a travel ban against Islamic countries and he did it within the first week of his presidency. What will happen two or three or four years down the road? We’ve already gone down this road before and it was a national embarrassment and an inexcusable act of mass discrimination. We need to make sure history does not repeat itself.

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/18/opinions/george-takei-japanese-american-internment-day-of-remembrance/index.html

Getting a Job in Trump’s Presidency

For many graduating college students, President Trump’s federal hiring freeze is near devastating. From hopeful criminal justice majors to ambitious outdoor recreation majors, their potential job pool is diminishing. Also, certain majors at universities require you to earn and complete an internship before you can receive a degree.

President Trump offered advice, writing, “In carrying out this memorandum, I ask that you seek efficient use of existing personnel and funds to improve public services and the delivery of these services.” To cushion the blow, he adds “Accordingly, this memorandum does not prohibit making reallocations to meet the highest priority needs and to ensure that essential services are not interrupted and national security is not affected.”

job listings
“He [President Trump] promised during his campaign to create jobs. Where is that promise now?” Photo from: http://acrl.ala.org/residency/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/job-hunting.jpg
Richard Delehanty, a senior at Radford majoring in parks and tourism, has been personally affected by this presidential memorandum. To complete his degree, Richard needs to complete an internship. While researching job opportunities at local state parks, he had many employers say they weren’t hiring due to the federal hiring freeze. Richard, disgruntled by the lack of respect for job security, points out “He [President Trump] promised during his campaign to create jobs. Where is that promise now? These are American people who work for these agencies. He has collectively told a group of people their jobs aren’t worth it. Your skills are irrelevant as are your jobs. For what in exchange? It’s bullshit.”

Richard highlighted the importance of these jobs, saying, “It’s obvious our environment is in a state of crisis. This is no debate, only an agenda that doesn’t account for other’s health and safety. Parks are relying on volunteer work. Without the necessary manpower, they will inevitably deteriorate. Most parks hire the bulk of their workers during the summer, when in demand from tourism and daily maintenance. During my work for New Jersey Palisades Park a few years ago, I had to rebuild an entire trail because of natural deterioration. Without the help of my coworkers and I, the trail would have been impassable. If these parks can’t cope, they will close temporarily. With no one to monitor and maintain the parks, vandals and poachers are free to roam. Park animals are accustomed to humans, leaving them most vulnerable to hunters. The lack of security due to the hiring freeze will be taken advantage of, killing protected wildlife and plant-life. We have left our world in such a disastrous state, and we must preserve what we can. As beings of the same planet, we cannot continue to take and take. I happen to like this planet.”

The need for these jobs as well as many similar ones is clear. To preserve the beauty of nature and the American lifestyle, call your representative. Express your grief until something is done. We are told from grade school that we are the future. Take your role seriously.

To find your representative’s contact information, enter your zip code into this website:

http://www.whoismyrepresentative.com/

Why “Fake News” is Dangerous

It’s been no secret that one of Donald Trump’s issues has been his frequent conflict with the press. If a report is brought to his attention that criticizes him or disagrees with his viewpoints, then he has been known to call it fake news or suppress it if it is from a federal source. For example, Trump has placed a gag order on the EPA and the USDA, effectively silencing them (1). This is extremely dangerous and should be cause for a great deal of alarm.

What Trump is doing is blatantly interfering with 1st amendment rights and the freedom of speech. The purpose of a gag order is to keep certain government agencies from revealing sensitive information that could potentially cause America to suffer in terms of bodily harm. The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture do not have that sort of information, not when they are releasing reports on things like global climate change and global warming.

EPA
“Trump has placed a gag order on the EPA and the USDA, effectively silencing them.” Photo from: https://confluence.journalism.wisc.edu

However, the reports that have been released, like the ones that say global climate change is real and that we should do something about it, directly go against Trump’s agenda and his claim that “global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese.” Trump doesn’t like it and he doesn’t want to hear it, so he abuses his power to restrict the voices of the EPA and the USDA. How long before he begins to do the same to news organizations he doesn’t like and calls “fake news”? Trump has already shown that he does not mind abusing his power to get what he wants or twisting things around to suit his needs. The gag orders he has placed on these federal agencies may only be the beginning, and he may soon go after any organization (or anyone) who disagrees with him. These are the first steps towards a dictatorship.

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-administration-restricts-news-from-federal-scientists-at-usda-epa/

My Cat Voted for Trump

I come home from classes on Friday afternoon, looking forward to a weekend of pizza and my Playstation 4. I grab the mail and I see it . . . something that should not be in my mail. I unlock my front door, walk inside, and close the door.

Shadow is sitting on the couch, watching something on Netflix. From what is happening on the screen, I deduce that Shadow is not watching something from her “Kids” profile.

“Shadow, what are you watching?”

I Spit On Your Grave. It’s hi-larious.”

“It is not hilarious. I actually feel kind of sick looking at it.”

“Is so. Besides, she deserves it. Stupid, educated libtard.”

I decide not to tell the cat what happens at the end of the movie. If she keeps watching, at least I’ll be rewarded with profound schadenfreude.

“Shadow, can you tell me what this is?” I ask, holding up the newsletter from the mail.

“That’s Stormfront. It’s free so I signed up for it online.”

I’m speechless.

cat trump
“I am suddenly glad that I had Shadow spayed.” Photo from: https://politicalshop.com

“You’re welcome,” Shadow adds.

“Why?”

“I’m helping make America great again.”

“By subscribing to a racist newsletter?”

“Get over it; she lost.”

I am suddenly glad that I had Shadow spayed.

“Anyhow, Trump is gonna get rid of all of the Chihuahuas next.”

“What? Oh – because they’re ‘from Mexico’?”

“Exactly.”

“Shadow, you do know that you’re a Bombay, right?  Your breed is from Thailand.”

The cat looks irate. I move in for the kill.

“Also, what are you going to do when Stormfront realizes that you are a black cat?  Or are those just ‘alternative facts’?”

“I don’t see color,” she says stiffly, and she stalks off to shit on my pillow.

Shadow is an asshole because she’s a cat. What’s your excuse?

 

 

Is the Joke Only Funny Until Someone Gets Hurt?

As I’m sure everyone knows by now, Saturday Night Live has taken our new presidency in stride and as a favor, which is not felt by most of the country. But when is enough too much? The show has featured Alec Baldwin parodying Donald Trump on the campaign trail and also as president. Recently, Saturday Night Live has added more impersonations of prominent figures, both foreign and domestic. Vladimir Putin, played by Beck Bennett, has been a part of the show since 2013 but has been used far more often in 2016-17 in conjunction with Alec’s portrayal of Trump. The addition of White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, played by Melissa McCarthy just last week caused an upset, to the point that Sean Spicer felt the need to mention it at the next press conference. However, Saturday

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Alec Baldwin" Episode 1718 -- Pictured: Host Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump during the "Trump People's Court" sketch on February 11, 2017 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)
“The show has featured Alec Baldwin parodying Donald Trump on the campaign trail and also as president.” Photo from: www.indiewire.com

Night Live also reached one of its all-time-rating-highs thanks to that segment. They have also added shorter appearances, including Melania Trump played by Cecily Strong, Ivanka and Tiffany Trump played by Vanessa Bayer, Donald Trump Jr. and Steve Bannon played by Mikey Day, and Kellyanne Conway and Jeff Sessions played by Kate McKinnon.

But is Saturday Night Live taking things too far? Every week Donald Trump seems to go on a Twitter rant about whatever was said or however he and his appointed officials were portrayed. Is SNL beating a dead horse by poking fun at the president? Or are they pointed out how completely ridiculous this presidency is? Yes, the skits they perform are over dramatic versions of events throughout the week. And there is no doubt that SNL is a comedy show, not news media. But, what if Trump decides to react more violently than he does in his 6:30 a.m. Twitter posts? Trump has already tried to silence the scientific community by barring them from posting scientific facts on their official social media sites. What is to stop him from trying to silence all portrayals of him, except those that cast him in the light he wishes to be in?

I personally do not think SNL has gone too far. In fact, I believe they should continue to point out the idiocy and hypocrisy of Donald Trump’s administration.

The Trouble with Trump

Our newest president is always making headlines, ever since he began running for office. It is not uncommon for his name and his face to be the first thing anyone sees when they look at the news. Unfortunately, this is rarely, if ever, a good thing for him or for us.

trump tweets
“It is no secret that when any source of public media makes negative comments about Trump, regardless of the form they take, he immediately responds via Twitter.” Photo from: www.occupydemocrats.com

Donald Trump has had one scandal or public media blowout after another. One of the most significant issues has been his various sexual assault allegations and his gross mistreatment of women. For example, everyone has heard of (and many have seen) the footage where Donald Trump has talked about “grabbing (women) by the pussy,” something that sparked outrage among many (as it rightly should). There have been at least 15 women who have accused Trump of sexually assaulting them (including one of his ex-wives), which is more than enough to cause serious concern. If anyone, regardless of who they are or whether they are male or female, receives sexual assault claims from that many people, then that person needs to be investigated, especially if they are the President.

Another issue with Trump is his rampant Twitter rants and tantrums. It is no secret that when any source of public media makes negative comments about Trump, regardless of the form they take, he immediately responds via Twitter, usually with pathetic name calling and/or slander. In and of itself, this is not a terribly big deal. The issue is that this is the leader of our country, arguably the most powerful man in the world. He is a man with access to nuclear weapons and the entire U.S. military, and he is easily upset over the speech of an actress or a comedy sketch from a TV show that is known for its parodies of pop culture and politics. The question becomes: Why is he so concerned with these people, who he claims are hacks, when he has a country to run? One would think he has better things to do with his time besides respond to these people who he claims to thinks so little of. Trump is far too easily provoked.

There is also Trump’s habit of calling news sources that make negative comments/stories/articles about him fake news. Frankly, this is ridiculous. If Trump has an issue with a news source or believes they are unfairly representing him, then fine. He has every right to combat these claims. But all he does is call them fake news; if he doesn’t like it, then it’s fake news. If the news that these people are sharing is worth garnering Trump’s specific attention (and I’m not saying it is worth it, he has more important things to be worrying about as President), then he could actually provide evidence and make compelling arguments against the stories. Instead he just calls it “fake news”. This man is our President but he’s still acting like a toddler and shouting “Wrong!” at whatever he doesn’t like.

 

The Problem with Trump’s Push for Anti-Immigration

court
“While the court’s decision to put a stop on the travel ban can be brought to an appeals court and overturned, the ban itself is only in effect for 120 days for refugees and 90 days for visitors from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.” Photo from: https://infacts.org

Donald Trump has only been in office a short while (three weeks to be exact), but he has been, and is, making waves in his push for anti-immigration laws. The most significant aspects of this are, of course, Trump’s travel ban and the subsequent freeze the courts have placed on it with a unanimous 3-0 ruling (1), rendering it useless for the time being. And while the court’s decision to put a stop on the travel ban can be brought to an appeals court and overturned, the ban itself is only in effect for 120 days for refugees and 90 days for visitors from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. Of course, this whole ordeal, Trump’s anti-immigration push, the travel ban, and the court ruling (and reactions to it), raises some serious concerns.

Firstly, this is not a travel ban, it is a Muslim ban. Trump specifically chose countries that have a high population of Muslims because of the Islamophobia and xenophobia belonging to both him and the people who voted for him. Frankly, this is idiotic, unpatriotic, and (at least) arguably unconstitutional. People (including Donald Trump himself), who know virtually nothing of those they are discriminating against, are just assuming that Muslim equals terrorist. It does not; they are not the same thing and to assume otherwise is ridiculous. One of the reasons why this, and the ban on these countries, is idiotic is because from 1975 to 2015, not a single person from those countries has killed any American on American soil and only 17 people from all seven of those countries have ever been convicted of planning or attempting a terrorist attack on U.S. soil (2).

The people who support this ban would rather pander to their base and unfounded fears. They want to place the blame on an entire group of people and then pat themselves on the back, saying they did something good, rather than actually address the problem and make genuine attempts to stop it. Not to mention how the whole idea of this (Muslim) ban is to protect America and American values, yet we are doing the exact opposite of what America is, traditionally, supposed to stand for. Namely, America is a place where anyone can come and be themselves, and it is a land where you’re supposed to be free to be who you are, free of religious persecution. That was the whole idea of this country to begin with. But apparently, that only applies if you’re not Muslim (or not African American, or not Latino, or not Jewish, or not gay, and so on. You get the point). I fail to see how we are “protecting America and American values” by banning refugees and immigrants from the country. Frankly, if there was ever a time for America to ban immigrants, it would have been back when all of those White Europeans came over and wiped out the Native Americans. But as that didn’t happen, I feel the need to point out that we are a country of immigrants.

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/federal-appeals-court-maintains-suspension-of-trumps-immigration-order/2017/02/09/e8526e70-ed47-11e6-9662-6eedf1627882_story.html?utm_term=.07278f1b299d
  2. https://www.cato.org/blog/little-national-security-benefit-trumps-executive-order-immigration

Richard Spencer

Perhaps you’ve heard about this white supremacist Richard Spencer getting punched twice on Inauguration Day. As far as I know, we have not had to deal with open displays of racism on campus. Of course, I may be wrong.

I’m not going to advocate any student punching a Nazi. I don’t want you getting kicked out of school.

That said . . . on the morning after this recent election, I looked into the eyes of a young woman and saw fear and uncertainty. My heart broke, and I promised her that I would protect her.

I want all of you to know that if I do see someone berating you, trying to intimidate you, or laying hands upon you against your will because you are not the same as them, I will come to your aid.

richard spencer
“Perhaps you’ve heard about this white supremacist Richard Spencer getting punched twice on Inauguration Day.” Photo from: img.wennermedia.com

I will protect you. I will defend you. I will avenge you.

It does not matter to me what sex or gender you identify as, who you do or do not pray to, who you choose to love, or what color your skin is. What matters to me is that you are a human being and you deserve the same rights, liberties, and dignities as anyone else.

Saying this does not make me a hero like Captain America.

If the day ever comes when you need me, you will know who I am. If I am not there, I hope that you will know others like me in those moments.

Thus far, those in the Radford community have been, in my experience, exemplary human beings. I can only pray that I am not proven wrong.

 

Discrimination vs Compassion in Trump’s America

It seems that since his inauguration, President Trump has made some of the most controversial executive orders just within his first few days in office. These executive orders include moving on with the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Mexico City Policy on abortion, and the travel ban for those in the Middle East.

With these executive orders, some people feel as though the country is moving backward in time, not forward. President Trump had given an executive order that would ban citizens of Syria, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Somalia and Yemen from entering the United States for 30 days (1). It has been stated in the past that President Trump wants to keep those of the Muslim faith out of the country, and this order does exactly that.

With his use of power, it seems as though President Trump is trying to turn our country into 1950’s America. However, the discrimination is not focused solely on African Americans; this time, he’s including Muslims in the mix. In his mind, this will “Make America Great Again.” His travel ban says to, “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality” (1). This means that he wants to put Christians from the Middle East before Muslims from the Middle East.

The United States has, historically, always been a country of diversity, scientific exploration, and a chance for immigrants to improve their lives. President Trump seems as though he is no better than a fascist because of his policies to silence the scientists and media, to discriminate against those of different religions and to limit women’s rights.

trump protests
“With his use of power, it seems as though President Trump is trying to turn our country into 1950’s America.” Photo from: foxnews.com

President Trump signed an executive order that reinstated the Mexico City Policy. This policy requires foreign agencies to certify that they will not fund or promote abortion as a way of family planning (2). He signed this order only a few days after the Women’s March on Washington. These women were marching for their rights, and these include equal pay and reproductive rights. This march was said to be one of the most peaceful marches, and it also had one of the largest crowds just in Washington D.C. itself. Women all over the globe marched for their rights protesting President Trump.

Yes, there are movements that have not exactly kept the peace, but most protests across the country have been non-violent. These people are trying to be compassionate toward others, even those of a different race, religion, or ethnicity. This is exactly what the country needs during this time of hate and discrimination. And with this movement of compassion, it seems as though millennials are trying to make the biggest change. Large crowds of millennials are attempting to make their voices heard, and they are using kindness as their tool. Kindness itself is the most powerful force that can fight against President Trump and his administration.

 

1 – http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39236-mayors-and-activists-revolt-against-trump-s-muslim-ban-executive-order

2 – http://kff.org/global-health-policy/fact-sheet/mexico-city-policy-explainer/

Trump’s Racism and His Immigrant/Muslim Ban

Donald Trump has been in office for a little over a week and already he has created huge dissent with blatant xenophobia and Islamophobia. Trump has banned travel from seven countries that have majority Muslim populations, and he has temporarily suspended any refugees from entering the country, all in the name of preventing terrorism (1). This is blatant racism and frankly disgusting and disgraceful behavior from America’s new president.

Trump has, not so subtly, shown that he believes that anyone from an Islamic country is a terrorist or is at least affiliated with or supports them. This is racism; it cannot be said enough. He is making a derogatory, sweeping generalization about one of the largest groups in the world based on the actions of a few who claim to be Islamic, and he has abused his power in an attempt to enforce this belief. In comparison, this is like saying every white male is a mass shooter who will unavoidably kill just because people like Dylann Roof have committed racist mass shootings. Or the fact that the majority of mass shootings (which are themselves acts of terrorism) are committed by white males (2). Why isn’t President Trump issuing an executive order to ban all white men from owning a gun or preventing them from entering the country? It probably wouldn’t seem fair to do that based on the actions of a relative few, would it? Then why would it be okay to do the same exact thing to immigrants and Islamic people? It’s an avoidable fact that the majority of mass shooters in America are white males, and it is arguable that many of the stereotypical terrorists that people are worried about really are of the Islamic faith. However, they may not understand that Islam is a religion that promotes justice, kindness, and goodness, and forbids acts of violence (3).

airport protests
“Trump has banned travel from seven countries that have a population with a majority of Muslims and he has temporarily suspended any refugees from entering the country.” Photo from: newinfo.inquirer.net

What Trump is doing is petty fear-mongering. He is trying to make people look away from his own incompetency and place all of the blame for the many issues and troubles on immigrants and the Islamic people. This is blatant racism and ignorant hypocrisy, and it promotes blind hatred. We are a country of immigrants; we are supposed to be a country that welcomes everyone and allows a place for people to practice their religion and beliefs. America is a land of freedom where people are safe in the knowledge that they will be welcomed into the country and be who they are. We even have a national monument promoting exactly this: the Statue of Liberty. There is a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty bearing these famous words from the poem The New Colossus: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” (4). Trump’s actions are distinctly un-American; immigrants are real human beings, not some unknown other. We should be welcoming them in, not taking federal action to keep them out. America is better than this, and we should act like it and not spout ignorant, hate promoting propaganda.

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/politics/donald-trump-travel-ban/
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/27/us/mass-shootings/
  3. https://books.google.com/books?id=OZbyz_Hr-eIC&pg=PA216#v=onepage&q&f=false
  4. https://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/historyculture/colossus.htm

Trump Clinches the White House

Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States of America. In a shocking evening filled with suspense, Trump was able to live up to his lofty goal of debunking the theory of the Democratic “blue wall” consisting of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin and flip them into the Republican’s column. With these three states, plus other traditional swing states, such as North Carolina and Florida, Trump was able to push beyond the 270 electoral votes needed to become President-elect, even though he lost the popular vote.

donald-trump
“Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States of America.” Photo from- Slate.com

Many seem to be scratching their heads wondering why and how this ever happened but in reality, we all should have seen this coming. Vice President Joe Biden recently discussed with Chris Matthews on MSNBC about how the Democratic Party had lost touch with the blue-collar voters from around the country. This group, which still makes up a large portion of the electorate, found comfort in President-elect Trump’s policies surrounding the economy, found hope in the prospect of jobs returning and admired his simple understanding of the working-class voter.

As President-Elect Trump begins his transition to power, Democrats face a critical moment in history. With the loss of such a large portion of its base to the GOP, Democrats will face an uphill battle as they try to broaden their appeal and win back one or both chambers of the House of Representatives in 2018. Until then, the party of Reagan holds all branches of the federal government, governorships, and statehouses across the country.

 

Make America violent again?

Wherever Donald Trump goes, trouble seems to follow. He’s the type of man who brings out the worst in people. He succeeds by taking advantage of the uneducated people, the ones who believe it’s okay to oppress a group of people based on fear, the ones who want to build a wall because they think it will improve the American lifestyle, the ones who are okay with a man who continuously says derogatory things to women and minorities. However, the people who disagree with these beliefs aren’t afraid to say so, to protest and riot against Donald Trump’s rallies is the only way they know how to stop him from becoming the next president of the United States.

Is Trump the real deal? Or just a joke? Graphic from Pinterest
Is Trump the real deal? Or just a joke? Graphic from Pinterest

On Friday, March 11, Donald Trump postponed a rally in Chicago because of “fights between supporters and demonstrators, protests in the streets and concerns that the environment at the event was no longer safe.” I wish I could have asked Mr. Trump why he thought that the anger and the riots occurred, because he obviously doesn’t see that behind every single riot or protestings at his rallies, stands Mr. Trump and his bigotry.

Protesters attended the Chicago rally in attempts to shut it down, to “Stump Trump,” and obviously, they succeeded, which caused Trump to cancel it, leaving all supporters and protesters to fend for themselves. He fled, leaving the Chicago PD to clean up the anger, frustration, and unanswered questions. Trump also has a reputation of throwing people out of his rallies, whether or not they are actually protesting or not. At Valdosta State University, a group of black students wearing all black in a silent protest at one of Trump’s rallies, was kicked out for no reason. They were standing silently at their own gym, not causing any issues, but were forced to leave anyway. This is when Trump’s antics have gone too far, where he is taking away people’s right to protest, especially when they are peaceful about it.

There is potential for Trump to prevent violent protests like the one in Chicago, if he were to simply answer people’s questions, have actual conversations with the American people, and listen instead of preach, repeat the same topics over and over again, and say things that he knows will get a reaction from people. He’s made himself to entertainment and a source of mockery, when he could have made a name for himself in the political world, with real issues and real passion behind them. Trump thrives on the violence and anger because it gives him more publicity. He doesn’t want to make America great again. He wants to make American violent again.

No, I won’t stop ranting on Facebook

As the upcoming election gets more heated, and as more states caucus results come back, the debate on social media has only gotten hotter. It’s impossible to scroll through Facebook without seeing someone’s political opinions being broadcast for the world to see. On Twitter, comedians make light of what seems like a hopeless election by tweeting jokes, most of which are about Donald Trump.

As our timelines are flooded with political posts, some are joining in and sharing their thoughts, while others see the posts as a nuisance. I can recall several posts I’ve seen by complainers who would much rather see cute animals pictures and Buzzfeed articles on their timeline.

The Facebook comment section serves as an easy platform for debates. Graphic from Market Pilgrim
The Facebook comment section serves as an easy platform for debates. Graphic from Marketing Pilgrim

Politics are extremely important. Yes, discussing politics can cause some divides in our communities, but these are things we need to discuss. When it’s March Madness, there are plenty of folks complaining on social media about the team they hate, but no one really complains about that. Not that sports aren’t important, but politics are our future.

I’m the kind of person who loves to use social media as a platform to talk about politics. I’m always sharing political articles, which I’m sure has caused some people to remove me as their friend or “unfollow” me. I don’t really mind, however, because if people are so small-minded that discussing a subject as heavy as politics makes them uncomfortable, I don’t really want to be their friend.

Social media wasn’t necessarily made for politics, but it has definitely had a huge impact in some major political revolutions. In 2011, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya went through quite a bit of political unrest, a time often called the “Arab Spring.” During this time, social media was essentially used to overthrow an oppressive government. Social media was a vital tool in transcending borders and allowing protesters to organize and discuss.

Social media can be annoying at times, of course. However, we shouldn’t brush off its importance. While social media is typically seen as a distraction and unnecessary, in political scenarios and elections, we need to embrace it as a platform to allow our voices to be heard. One of the great things about Twitter is that you have a direct line to politicians, celebrities and other high-profile people. Even if you don’t get a reply, there is a possibility the person you’re trying to contact may see what you have to say. Even if they don’t see it, others may join in discussing the topic, whatever it may be.

We have more technology and the easiest platform to voice our opinions on that has ever existed. We have been granted a great opportunity to use these tools to make a difference. Your opinions matter, and social media is the fastest way to share your thoughts with the most people.

This election, social media has been used by millennials to promote their favorite candidates. Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash, a Facebook group in which members share political memes in support of the presidential candidate, has been an amazing tool in unifying Sanders supporters. At the recent Trump rally on our campus, remnants of the group were scattered throughout the crowd of protesters. There was a very heavy internet and social media influence on many of the signs and overall attitude of protesters.

If politics isn’t your thing (although it should be), simply stay off social media until the election is over. Better yet, join in the political revolution and share your thoughts loudly and proudly.

Investigating Trump and the small hands, small penis myth

Marco Rubio, former Republican candidate, may have dropped out of the presidential race after losing to Donald Trump in the Florida Primary, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hilarious arguments and fights left behind to peruse. Some even point to the following scenario as an explanation for what went wrong in his candidacy.

Shortly before Super Tuesday, Marco Rubio decided to attempt to stump Donald Trump, by mocking his hair and spray tan, then criticizing the size of Trump’s hands. Trump,  the Republican front runner, reassured voters that there was no problem with the size of his hands, or any other part of his body. This has become one of the most famous debate moments thus far in this campaign.

Donald Trump has tiny hands. Graphic from Vocativ
Donald Trump has tiny hands. Graphic from Vocativ

Presidential hopeful and former presidential hopeful, were citing back to urban legend, that says that you can assume a man’s penis size after looking at his hands, feet, or by how tall he is.

If a man’s hands are small, so is the size of his penis. This isn’t the first time the size of Trump’s hands or his anatomy has been brought into the media. Ever since a 1988 Spy magazine article branded him a “short-fingered vulgarian”, Trump has been excessively sensitive about the size of his hands and penis.

Science hasn’t come to a consensus on the small matter, but there may be some truth to the small hands, small penis myth. However, the size of a man’s penis doesn’t come down to his hands, but down to a finger.

If a man’s ring finger is longer in relation to his index finger, there’s a possibility that his penis is a tad longer than an average penis. This is only a difference of centimeters.

For most researchers to determine this, they evaluated a man’s overall measurements. They assessed his height and weight, and additionally measured his fingers and his erect penis. One team of researchers even studied this theory in rats.

However, what might actually determine the length of an adult man’s penis relies on how much of the hormone androgen he was introduced to while in his mother’s womb.

To demonstrate this theory, scientists tested on rats. The proportions of their finger length resemble those of humans. Scientists first blocked a mother’s androgen level during the rat’s development cycle. When the rat became an adult, his penis size was smaller than the average penis size. Another study similar to the latter, found that the rats that are introduced to more androgen during the development cycle had ring fingers that were slightly longer than average.

According to Dr. Chad Ritenour, Professor of Urology at Emory School of Medicine at Emory University, “Men are very attached to their penises in more ways than one.”

Even presidential candidates vying for the White House, make their penises a momentous part of their platforms.

An open letter to Donald Trump

On February 29th, 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump held a rally at Radford University’s Dedmon Center. This is a letter to Mr. Trump following my experience of going to the rally.

Dear Mr. Trump,

When I heard the news that you were coming to our beautiful campus, I was extremely frustrated and disappointed. To be honest, I really just wanted Bernie Sanders to come to our little town.

Although I was angry that the one candidate I absolutely can’t stand was going to be holding a rally here, I wanted to go to the rally for the experience. After all, the closest I’ve ever gotten to a presidential candidate was in 2004 when George W. Bush and his caravan drove through Niceville, Florida. I was very young, only in elementary school. My parents took me to see his campaign bus drive through our town and I, obviously, had no idea what politics even were.

Donald Trump quotes are certainly unique. Graphic from Imgur
Donald Trump quotes are certainly unique. Graphic from Imgur

As I’ve grown, I’ve begun to identify closely with the democratic party, mostly because they’re the party that truly acknowledges social justice issues. So, of course, I would have preferred a democratic candidate stopping by my university.

But, alas, I wanted to attend the rally as I’ve seen many videos from your rallies in which protestors were both escorted and dragged out of the buildings. I also wanted to witness history. Hopefully many years from now we’ll look back and be amazed that you were even a candidate.

After a talk with my republican father, I decided to go into the rally with as open of a mind as I could muster. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket in time, which I didn’t even have to use because I was granted a press pass.

Walking down to the basketball stadium where your rally was to take place, my stomach began to turn. I overheard whispers of hate by your supporters. One supporter expressed his amazement that there were any minorities attending the rally, and he continued to speculate that they were only present to “cause trouble.”

As the rally began, your first speakers were very aggressive. The female speaker was by far one of the most eye-roll inducing. She brought her children up on the stage with her. One thing in particular that stood out to me was when she said, “look at all this diversity,” as she scanned the crowd. Ironically, the crowd was mostly made up of old white folks.

I noticed during the rally, a man wearing an airbrushed shirt with a caricature drawing of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary clinton. The two women were on their knees beside the president. The drawing of Obama was very similar to that of caricatures drawn in the times of Jim Crow, depicting black folks with large teeth and lips.

I continued to try to keep in mind that these were only your followers and not necessarily representative of your ideals. However, as you began speaking I realized that these followers of yours and their obviously racist ideals were largely inspired by you.

Early on in your rally, a young girl in the crowd stood up, shouted at you and ripped apart one of your paper signs. As she was walking down the bleachers to be escorted out of the building, you had the gall to ask, “are you from Mexico?” This just showed me your ignorance. In the wise, paraphrased, words of Gretchen Weiners, you can’t just ask someone if they’re from Mexico.

Moments after you said, “get her out of here,” about the first protester, a group of black Radford students stood up in silent protest and held each other’s hands in the air. As you pointed them out, the rest of the crowd quickly turned on the peaceful protestors. At this time, the protesters began to chant, “no hate!” As they left the building hand-in-hand, you made a point to say, “you’re only going to hear this once; all lives matter. All lives matter.”

The issue I take with the “All Lives Matter” movement is that it ignores one of the biggest issues our country has ever faced, and has faced for hundreds of years: racial inequality. To get through your thick skull the issue with “All Lives Matter,” I’d like to share with you an analogy.

Imagine there are four people sitting at a table. Three people at the table have a full plate, while Bob, the fourth person, has no food and is starving. Bob looks around and sees that everyone has food, while his plate is empty. Bob speaks up and says, “I deserve food too,” but before he can get the words out, everyone at the table shouts, “everyone deserves food!” While it’s true that everyone deserves food and that all lives really do matter, we can’t put a blanket over the issues we have and ignore them.

As the rally went on, a few other groups were escorted out of the building for heckling you. Fortunately there wasn’t any violence, besides a Time reporter who was choke slammed by a secret service agent.

Overall, no important issues were really discussed at the rally. Sure, you talked about your “Trump Wall” that you will never put between us and Mexico, and you promised Radford’s students “great jobs.” However, you never once laid out a real plan.

Just as many politicians do, you made promises with no plan to back it up. You simply said what the crowd wanted to hear, while also condemning other politicians and the press.

I truly wanted to walk away from that rally feeling some sense of security. I was hoping that you’d say something that would make me think, “this guy isn’t as crazy as I thought, maybe our country won’t be demolished if he becomes president.” Instead, I walked away feeling more fear than ever.

You see, Mr. Trump, it’s not you I’m afraid of. I would never be afraid of a small-minded little man like you. However, what you inspire in people is truly terrifying. When you have a rally, your best and brightest aren’t the ones who make up most of the crowd. Most of the crowd were old white folks whose idea of “make America great again” is going back to those Jim Crow times. To see the hate you brew up in large crowds and the anger in their eyes is what I’m really terrified of, and what kind of movements will be stirred up, should you be elected.

I apologize, Mr. Trump that I couldn’t walk away from your rally with anything positive to say about you. In my eyes, you’re nothing but a privileged white billionaire who can’t relate to the American people, aside from the racists who think you have “balls.” Nothing good can come out of you being elected.

You preach that you hate fear-mongers but you’re the epitome of a fear-monger. You use the already fearful to your advantage by telling them that illegal Mexican immigrants are coming to steal their jobs. Did you know, Mr. Trump, that there are more Mexican immigrants leaving the United States that are coming in?

Mr. Trump, if you are elected I hope that all the obviously racist things you’ve said turn out to be a part of a joke. I hope that your fear-mongering tactics and your lack of plans turn out to be a facade and that you’re actually, somewhere deep in your overly-tanned body, a decent human being.

Regards,

A pissed off left-winger.

Trump: He’s just like us, only richer and much more orange

**Disclaimer- This article was written before Mr. Trump’s visit to Radford University **

Donald Trump is coming to Radford on Monday and you could say that I’m just a little bit excited. Although Radford was his last choice, it’s still makes us here at little RU feel very special.

With the primary on Tuesday, it makes sense as to why Mr. Trump would want to come down here. It was a smart choice for him to come, with Radford being surrounded by towns that are largely populated with right wing conservatives.

Although Trump used to be a publically known democrat, his run as a republican candidate has done nothing but great things for the businessman. He seems right at home with his extreme stance on immigration and nationalistic views, however new they may be.

Image from salon.com
Trump may look like an Oompa Loompa, but he doesn’t act like one. Image from salon.com

I’ve never been to see a presidential candidate speak before so I’m very excited to see what topics Trump covers as well as how the crowd reacts to him. I know, from the people that I’ve talked to, that most people here at Radford don’t particularly like him.

With most college campuses being liberal, it’s understandable as to why the students here don’t appreciate or respect his viewpoint. I can expect there to be a multitude of protests occurring, hopefully non-violent ones, expressing their distaste for Trump’s blatant sexism and racism. However, I, like some other of my friends, are going because we want to see what he has to say, how he reacts to protesters, and how he chooses to talk to the younger generations, the ones who have a big impact on the election.

With Trump being the big deal that he is, I’m excited to see all of the secret service agents surround him, the dramatic precautions that happen when protecting a man with so much money and power. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not he decides to make a pitstop at Starbucks or the Radford theatre.

Whether or not you agree with Trump or his views, this opportunity could potentially be a once in a lifetime event, and should be taken advantage of.