Right-Wing Extremism is the Most Dangerous Threat to American Democracy

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Pastor Martin Niemoller, Holocaust survivor (1955) On October 27th, 11 people were murdered and six were injured in the…

Khashoggi, Trump, and Threats to the Press

Few would call President Donald Trump a “friend of the press.” From the advent of the phrase “fake news” to yelling at reporters in press conferences, the president has fostered one of the tensest relationships with the media that America has ever seen. However, this painful association was taken to a new level in the past month with the disappearance and death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was a native Saudi, who left his country in 2017 to continue writing in DC and to avoid the suppression of…

Pink, White, and Blue: The Most Recent Transgender Fight

The LGBT community has made great strides in the past few years with the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, as well as the growing visibility and awareness of LGBT issues.  However, the community does still face discrimination and ignorance, and the latest example of this is the reckless fervor with which the Trump administration is attempting to roll back rights.  The Department of Health and Human Services is currently trying to establish an “explicit and uniform” definition of gender.  According to a memo obtained by the New York Times that…

The Personal is Political: The Power of Local Activism

Our current state of hyper-connectivity through social media allows us to stay connected to socio-political movements on the national level—#MeToo, Black Lives Matter, etc.—and to remain informed, within seconds, of the latest domestic and international news. Interestingly, our use of social media encourages us to take the personal and make it political—by hashtagging, tweeting our own story, sharing a thought-provoking picture, and so on. At the same time, however, it fools us into thinking that we should prioritize change at a national level, rather than at a local level. In…

Overworked and Underpaid: America’s Public Defender Crisis

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” John Fitzgerald Kennedy famously uttered in his inaugural address. This is a valid statement. Beyond citizens’ responsibility to provide for themselves and their families, there is a need for people to work for the common good. Someone must serve on the front lines of combat, while others must attend to those who are starving. However, Kennedy’s call can be difficult to heed. Consider, for example, the legal field. Imagine being a third-year law…

Governmental Censorship in the Age of Trump

In 1951, William F. Buckley, Jr. published a book entitled: “God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of ‘Academic Freedom.’”  This work is the first instance of the all too familiar argument that conservative speech is censored on college campuses.  During the 1950s – when capitalism was at its peak, and the social movements of the 1960s had yet to kick off – this accusation was easily dismissed by the American public.  It wasn’t until the late 1970s that Buckley’s persecution complex gained traction in mainstream conservatism. Since then, conservative…

#MeToo: Not Just A First-World Problem

If you have a smartphone, laptop, television, or just a set of eyes and ears, then you haven’t been able to escape the dazzling onslaught of sex abuse scandals within the last few months. Dozens of women have come forward to confess that they have been preyed on by powerful and prominent men like Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, comedian Louis C.K., and politician Roy Moore, thus breaking the silence that usually protects men in these positions from facing consequences. Tens of thousands of women have been using the #MeToo movement…

What We Can Learn From High Schoolers

Mass shootings and gun deaths as a whole have become mainstream in the United States, with the number of guns proliferating and accumulating over the years so that there are nearly as many guns as people in the country. Shooting after shooting, death after death, for a multiplicity of reasons, the topic of gun control falls out of the news cycle, because the complexity of the issue prevents policymakers from proposing a clear-cut solution. Without agreeing on a possible end goal, lawmakers can’t begin to debate the merits of a…