History. It is something that we as Americans like to think we have gone so far from. I would like to believe that too, but in my day to day life I realize more and more things happening that we think we have “left in the past.” I think that by writing this I can inform and educate on how we need to change as a city, state, country, and world.
1.Blood and Soil
Blood and Soil is a concept that was constructed in the 19th century. What it means is that they would look at your blood to see where you came from and who your ancestors were. It also looks at the soil your ancestors were working on. They used that idea to make and influence you to go back to that place where your ancestors were. So basically it’s telling you to go back to your own country. Now obviously they don’t do ancestry test and blood test to determine this. And by they, I mean the racist people saying this. They assume this by looking at the color of your skin. Now that you have background knowledge you’ll be able to realize what I’m getting at. At the Charlottesville Riot, in Charlottesville VA, one of the MANY racist slurs they said was “Blood and Soil.” Like I stated earlier, this was a concept constructed in the 19th CENTURY. And the rioters went and rioted and said “Blood and Soil.” What they were implying here is telling all different people of all different ethnicities to go back to their “homeland.” The fact that people are bringing this back from the 19th CENTURY to say this to people in 2017 is heartbreaking. We want to think that we've come so far as Americans, but when we bring back horrible things like this, we can’t have gone that far.
2. Religious Persecution
Religious Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of a person based on their preferred religion. An example of this was started in the 1640’s. When we look at it, religious persecution here started with Christians. This was at the hands of a small number of Jews and Romans because Romans owned a lot of the land that Christianity was spreading on, and the Romans were not ok with that. And now in our most recent American society, we are STILL prosecuting people for their religion. From the days January 27, 2017, to March 16, 2017, Donald Trump and Mike Pence put a travel ban (Executive Order 13769) on MUSLIMS, to prevent TERRORISTS from getting into America. Donald Trump stereotyped ALL MUSLIMS assuming they were all terrorist and did not let them travel to the United States. So many people couldn’t get home to their families because our president of the United States was so scared that we were going to be attacked. Because he assumed all Muslims are bad. Keep in mind this dates back to 1640 and before, and we’re doing it in 2017.
3. Sexual Harassment
I am aware that sexual assault comes in many horrible shapes and forms and spans throughout history. Right now I am only going to focus on one case. The Anita Hill case. In 1991 Hill came out and accused Clarence Thomas of sexual assault. She said that he would make very vulgar and sexual remarks when they were working together. He also asked her out many, MANY times and she refused all of them. She spoke out and said she didn’t leave because “civil rights” was her ambition. So all and all she went to trial and she took the lie detector test and everything she was saying was true. But Thomas still got selected to be on the Supreme Court. 52-48 one of the most narrow margins.
All of Thomas’ supporters supported and believed him. But soon after President George H.W. Bush put a law in place where harassment victims have the right to seek federal damage awards. After this rule was put into place 50% of the public's view shifted in Antia's favor. Today right now, a similar thing is happening with Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. Brett Kavanaugh (Former White House Staff Secretary) was nominated for the supreme court, a nomination he was honored with. Everything was going right but then earlier in the summer Christine wrote a letter accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school. Apparently what had happened was at a “drunken high school party” where Brett exposed himself and pushed her toward his private area. There has been a lot of controversy over this case. Is she lying? Why is she coming forward now? “But Brett is such a nice guy! He would never!” A lot of people are on different sides. But a lot of people are standing with Christine. All and all, the fact that this case is happening right now, and how similar it is to Anita Hill’s is insane to me. And I’m very curious as to what will happen next.
Now I know all of these are nowhere near identical. In fact, there are key differences between every one of these different pieces. But, there are obvious similarities. Like I previously stated we want to believe that we’ve come so far but truth is, we have a long way to go as Americans. We also have a lot of learning to do. So we don’t go in this deadly cycle of repeating history over and over again.
Story by Tia Irby
Hurricane Florence, one of the biggest storms to ever hit North Carolina has left millions without power, at least 37 dead, and devastating flooding. Scheduled to hit the Carolinas on September 13, Florence was the start to the new hurricane season. Dumping gallons of rain, Florence has caused disastrous flooding. Just recently, Florence has been downgraded from a category 1 to a tropical disaster but is still expected to do some flood damage to eastern parts of North Carolina and head up North afterward.
A hurricane is formed by water and air rising in a funnel-like motion. When the wind shear is high, the hurricane tilts and the storm becomes weaker. When the wind shear is low, the hurricane keeps a strong shape and the storm worsens. Florence had a high shear but still managed to keep its shape.
Florence has caused a great deal of damage, mainly flooding. Some parts of North Carolina even claimed to have thirty inches worth of flooding, and if confirmed, it could be a new state record. A resident of Kennel Beach, North Carolina, Todd Willis, said "this is just the beginning. It hasn't even gotten here yet and there's already water in the bottom parts of people's houses." Another resident of North Carolina, Annazette Riley-Cromartie said, "You just keep hearing people yelling, and you can't do anything," she said. "It's the worst feeling in the world."
Story by Iris Schreiner
The terrorist attacks of September 11, set a chain reaction of events that would change our lives in the US and around the world. One of the most immediate changes is air travel which took place in US airports. Architecture changed when the international code council released new building codes suggestions to make skyscrapers safer and able to endure more. Also, Anti-Islamic violence in America jumped after the attacks.
Air travel is one of the most obvious changes after 9/11. Only 5 percent of checked bags were screened before 9/11. Shortly after 9/11, Congress federalized airport security by passing the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which created the Transportation Security Administration. The new TSA procedures included stricter guidelines on passengers and luggage screening. Airplanes also had major changes like secure cockpit doors and first class cabin curtains. In conclusion, air travel became a lot stricter after 9/11.
Architecture changed when the international code council released new building codes suggestions to make skyscrapers safer and able to endure more, a least until everyone can evacuate. Changes include more stairways for buildings taller than about 42 stories, elevators that can be used during emergencies, higher fire resistance and impact resistant walls for elevator shafts and exit stairways. In conclusion, after 9/11 buildings became safer and are able to endure more.
Half of US Muslims say they find it more difficult to live in this country since the 9/11, terrorist attacks. Violence against Muslims broke out instantly after 9/11, and have been continuing ever since. In 2001, the FBI recorded 93 anti-Muslim assaults. In conclusion, after 9/11 Muslims have found it difficult to live in the US.
Overall, after 9/11 there were big changes including air travel, architecture, and anti- Islamic violence. “On that day, 2,996 people died in and around the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and on a commercial airplane that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The nation’s response was swift.” (Laura Santhanam)
Story by Ingrid Pehrson
Santhanam, Laura, and Larisa Epatko. “9/11 To Today: Ways We Have Changed.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 11 Sept. 2018, www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/9-11-to-today-ways-we-have-changed.
Villemez, Jason. “9/11 To Now: Ways We Have Changed.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 14 Sept. 2011, www.pbs.org/newshour/world/911-to-now-ways-we-have-changed.
As you may know, many events have been rescheduled because of the hurricane. Some of these events (NC) include:
NC Pride events (Most if not all already rescheduled)
Zac Brown band at PNC (Postponed)
Trial By Fire at Fillmore (Cancelled)
Pumpkin Fest at Sycamore Brewing (Postponed)
Even though most Pride events (if not all) have already rescheduled, this may not be the case with many of the other events. Some events, such as the Trial By Fire event at Fillmore have been totally cancelled. Now (over) 22 events have been rescheduled into a 6-day window and this is just in NC. More have been rescheduled in into the next few weeks/months.
NC Pride: Many people (including me) were looking forward to this and, thanks to the people who put it together people still are. It was postponed and most of the events within pride are still being held within Asheville and Charlotte.
Zac Brown band at PNC: The band was going to bring a special guest, and now thanks to another great committee it's still going to happen. The special guest is Darrell Scott, who is a multi-instrumentalist, was going to play at the concert.
Trial by Fire at Fillmore: Trial by fire is a band that was supposed to be at Fillmore but is cancelled now due to, you guessed it, the hurricane. Fillmore is a standing room venue only. There has not been (to my knowledge) a refund to people who bought tickets.
Pumpkin Fest at Fillmore (at Sycamore Brewing): Due to the hurricane ,Pumpkin Fest has been postponed to the 30th. It is happening in Charlotte, the “Pumpking” and his family shall be there. So if you should desire join the Pumpking in his festivities.
There are a lot more cases where things were sadly cancelled due to this terrible natural disaster. You can go to Charlotte Magazine (my source) for the events/ festivities being affected in mere Charlotte. As you could guess, there have most likely been more events affected, so go to my source to find out which ones in your area have been postponed.
Story by Sky Robertson
On March 24, the globe marched across their towns or cities for March For Our Lives. Many Parkland students spoke out. The support shown was, according to the students of Stoneman Douglas High School, “overwhelming”. Below is a collage of images of cities around the world participating in March For Our Lives.
According to the official March The March For Our Lives mission statement is:
“Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of an assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.”
Update: Also, on April 20th, students all across the country walked out to protest about gun laws and the Columbine High School shooting 19 years ago (4/20/1999) that killed 15 people.
Story by Ryan Oast
The disagreement over education funding is definitely not a new idea. Teachers and supporting staff in Arizona are now fighting back with a walkout on Thursday, April 26th. This walkout is something never seen before in Arizona and has the potential to be the largest walkout protest in the national teacher revolt movement that began with the strikes in West Virginia. Arizona Educators United and the Arizona Education Association created a walkout vote including 57,000 teachers and other employees which resulted in 78% of them supporting the effort. Educators in Arizona are fighting for what they believe has been an insignificant state response about the nearly $1 billion in education funding cuts.
After the occurence of the West Virginia strikes, about a dozen Arizona educators created the #RedForEd movement on social media. The first demonstration of the movement was something everyone could get involved in by simply wearing red to work. The educators expressed their threat to strike at a rally on March 28th unless the state fulfilled their five demands; 20% teacher pay rises, competitive pay for support staff, restoring education funding to the 2008 levels, permanent salary structures including annual raises, and no new tax cuts until the per-pupil funding reaches the national average. However, these demands would cost the state billion of dollars to fulfill. To acquire that amount of money, it would most likely require raising taxes, which could put educators at odds with their governor and lawmakers as they have already stated they are not willing to raise those tax prices.
The governor, Doug Ducey has not said much publicly about his standpoint. On the week of April 12th, he announced his proposal to give the state’s teachers the 20% pay raises they wanted by 2020; no formal budget introduction has taken place yet though. The outcome of the walkout is uncertain with the only reference being the strikes in West Virginia and Oklahoma that both lasted nine days but had very different end results. The only thing that can currently be done is to wait for everything to unfold and then decide on further action.
Story by Krislynn Hawkins
On November 7, 1918, a hero was born. On February 21, 2018, Billy Graham sadly passed away at the age of 99 due to natural causes.
According to Slate.com, he was nicknamed “America’s Pastor,” Billy Graham was known for his preaching. His preaching attracted thousands of people and he gained popularity quickly. He had a “Crusade” in New York in 1957, and that attracted an estimated 18,000 people each day over the course of a 90 day period. By 2018, he had done 400 crusades in over 185 countries. Graham is also the founder of Christianity Today, the most respected evangelical magazine in the US today. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including the best seller How to Be Born Again. He also launched many organizations such as Youth for Christ, and Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Graham identified an issue early in his career: racism. In 1954, he vowed to never hold a segregated get-together again. He was also known to meet with every single president starting from the Harry Truman days.
He once wrote: “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. … I will have gone into the presence of God.”
Billy Graham will forever be remembered as America’s Pastor. May he rest in peace, knowing that he made a huge impact on millions.
Story by Ryan Oast
On February 24th, 2018 Delta cut ties with the NRA (National Rifle Association). Delta is a very popular airline company. Their main headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia. Delta is one of Georgia's biggest employers so it would only be right to make sure everything is good at the company.
Delta was asking for a 50 million dollar tax exemption on jet fuel. The Georgia senate approved a bill that took away the 50 million dollar tax exemption. This happened simply because Delta cut ties with the NRA. Georgia’s Lt Gov., Casey Cagle, was super mad about it. Cagle is very supportive of the NRA and earned an “A+” rating for the last couple years. Since Delta is one of the biggest employers they need all the help they can get. This bill is just hurting the company for no reason. Just because people are members of a organization that advocates gun rights doesn't mean they should get discounted tickets. It should actually be the other way around, in my opinion.
Story by Winston Sloan
Sources photo and text:
The Obama’s recently got their official portraits painted and put in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. Barack’s was done by Kehinde Wiley and Michelle’s was done by Amy Sherald. Both of these artists are African American, and that is the first time an African American artist has painted the President and first lady's official portraits. The portraits were revealed at the national portrait gallery on February 12th. The portraits are located in 2 different locations in the gallery, Obama’s is located on the second floor in the America’s president’s gallery, and Michelle’s is located on the first floor in the ‘recent acquisitions’ section.
Michelle’s portrait is getting a lot of attention from the country, especially from one little girl named Parker Curry. Parker is a two year who became Instagram famous because of a picture her mom posted. The picture was of her staring in front of Michelle’s Portrait looking mesmerized by it. CNN reached out to the Obama’s and the Curry’s and planned a meeting turned dance party. Michelle says "Parker, I'm so glad I had the chance to meet you today (and for the dance party)! Keep on dreaming big for yourself...and maybe one day I'll proudly look up at a portrait of you".
Barack’s portrait has a lot of meaning behind it. It features him sitting in a chair in front of greenery, which is supposed to represent his past. The painting seems to have a modern pop-art feel. Obama says "I tried to negotiate less gray hair, and Kehinde's artistic integrity would not allow him to do what I asked. I tried to negotiate smaller ears, struck out on that as well." Kehinde apparently took thousands of pictures of Barack before he actually started the painting.
These portraits are possibly the most anticipated presidential and first lady portraits ever. They were commissioned in October of 2017 and were just unveiled. The Obama’s looked through more than 24 artists before they decided on Wiley and Sherald. The portraits both seem to really embody the spirit of the Obama’s. They are full of stunning colors and are iconic in so many ways.
Story by Ginger Hanlon
On February 14th, a school shooting in Florida took the lives of 17 people. The gunman used an AR-15 rifle, a semi-automatic made for military use and the choice of weapon for other mass shootings. The aftermath of this shooting sparked debate over a controversial topic: arming teachers. According to newsELA, during a listening session in the White House, President Donald Trump revealed that he is in support of the idea of teachers carrying a concealed firearm.
“A teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer be a gun-free zone,” Trump suggested. People have also agreed that armed school staff could respond quicker than the police force.
Others do not share the same views. The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, said that an educator’s handgun would be no match for the assault-style weapons attackers often use. “The solution is to ban these military weapons from people who shouldn't have them," Weingarten said. Some think it’s too risky to have a firearm in a classroom since it could be potentially accessible by the wrong people.
What do the teachers here at Asheville Middle think? Would any teachers step up and fire a gun in a serious situation?
Chelsea Barolet, an AVID teacher here that teaches grades sixth through eighth, strongly disagrees with guns in school. “I have no interest in firing a gun, and in fact, do not want to touch one at all (in or out of school). I do not believe that I would be able to act quickly and defend my students with a gun. My first priority would be to assure and maintain safety of all students in my classroom. Safety in this situation would include keeping them as calm as possible and making all attempts to comfort them. I, nor any other teacher, could do this with a gun in my hand,” Barolet said. As an alternative option to guns, she suggested using steps listed in the Department of Homeland Security publication, "Active Shooter; How to Respond", which included remaining silent, hiding, locking the doors, calling for law enforcement, and, as a last resort, fighting back using objects in sight.
“Allow me to be clear in pointing out that it does not suggest the use of a gun at ANY point in this outline,” Barolet further wrote. What do you think? Should teachers be armed?
Story by Erin Chen
Photo from: http://triblive.com/usworld/world/13340177-74/arming-teachers-pros-and-cons