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Hate in America

in Columns/Opinion by
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    Photo provided by Shannon Kokoska


Although our country is not the most divided that it has ever been, it is still plagued with anger and hate. People have different ideas on why this is; maybe social media has just become a window into people’s unpopular beliefs and warped opinions. Or maybe radical idealism is becoming more frequent. Whatever is happening, the feelings of the country’s citizens seems to be moving farther and farther away from sanity.

It is becoming so normal, in fact, that Twitter recently verified a prominent member of the white nationalist community, Jason Kessler. Jason organizes meetups like the Unite the Right’s March in Charlottesville, VA. Twitter support later paused their verification process because, as they said, “Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it.”

Although this is very strange and overall shocking, I know that this isn’t new to our country. Groups like the Alt- Right and Neo Nazis have always been there, but it feels as if they have moved out from hiding and become almost accepted members of society. Although, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “ Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

So, to counter the rise in these groups’ influence, we have to start speaking out against them. There are a few ways to do this every day. Every small thing helps put society back the way it was. Both Twitter and Facebook have an anti-hate policy. To report posts and people for hate speech, click on the three horizontal dots on the post, and then, “report.”Keep watch for any hate you can find, and help stop it.

How about being thankful before we open presents?

in Opinion by
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    Photo provided by Flickr, emdot

Before we open presents, can we appreciate the turkey mom spent half a day on?

The holidays are coming up and many are very excited about holiday festivities such as hanging up stockings, Christmas shopping and New Year resolutions.

With all of this excitement in the air, some are forgetting that it is still November.

Isn’t there some sort of event that happens in November? Oh yes, Black Friday? No! There is still a pretty big moment missing: Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that entails a rather large feast with family and friends. Some people also engage with listing what they are thankful for.

The problem is that many companies start advertising for Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) shopping deals, thus almost making Thanksgiving seem unimportant.

Some stores are even opening their doors for sales on Thanksgiving.

The popular company Amazon started some of their holiday deals on Nov 17. Several Amazon products such as the Echo, Kindle, and Fire Stick will be on sale as well as Samsung and Sony brand televisions.

This sale is set to start a week before Thanksgiving. Before people even go to the grocery store, they are shown deals on enticing products, with severe discounts.

Why is that? Is Thanksgiving not supposed to be a day with family feasting, rather than a day shopping and getting ready for the next holiday?

What do you readers think? Should it be a time for family, a time for shopping, catching up on studies, traveling or all of the above? Please feel free to answer.

The rise of independence

in Opinion by
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    Photo Credit: Mike Mozart / Flickr

Democracy has been the stable foundation of this country for hundreds of years, and the party system has been the driving force behind that. We, as the people, select a party to back and then vote for politicians from that party for office. However, it seems that people are abandoning this system and deciding to cast their vote based on what individual politicians they agree with. According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, as of 2014, 39 percent of registered voters identify as independent voters.

Although this may seem incredibly odd because we’ve been using the party system for so long, there’s a reason why people are doing this. At it’s core, identifying as an independent voter means that you aren’t locked into voting for one of your party’s representatives. In recent history, with the party system in place, people have been forced into a kind of black or white outlook on politics. Until the recent years, many people have voted based on almost party alone. If you had more traditional, economically conservative ideals, you voted republican. And if you had more progressive views you voted democrat.

But young people, or millennials, have been drifting away from this system and voting based on which individual politician they want to support rather than party affiliation. In my opinion, I think this will move our country forward and allow the people of this country to take down some on the politicians who have cemented themselves in seats of power with little to no opposition. Voting based on the individual and not the party will help combat the group thinking mentality of this country.

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