Tag: Discrimination

Man Sentenced to Prison for Rape With No Hard Evidence

Othman Mekhloufi | @othmanmekhloufi

On January 10th, 2019, a mostly female jury found Albert N. Wilson, a 23-year-old University of Kansas student, guilty of raping a woman he met at a nightclub near campus.

Douglas County District Judge Sally Pokorny sentenced him to 147 months (over twelve years) in prison.

On the night of September 10th, 2016, Mr. Wilson met his accuser at The Jayhawk Cafe nightclub, known as the Hawk. They were in line to get into the ‘Boom Boom Room’, a dark and crowded dance floor in the basement of the club.

At the time, Mr. Wilson was 20 years of age and used a friend’s ID to enter the nightclub. The accuser, a then 17-year old high school student, was not asked for identification by the club at all.

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Make Civics Exams Mandatory for Voting

Josh Hughes | United States

In the United States, every citizen that is age 18 or above and is registered to vote enjoys the right to do so. While, on average, the people of the US do not take advantage of this right as much as those of other countries, there are still hundreds of millions of people that contribute to their “civic duty” every other November. But should it be that simple? Should anyone and everyone that shows up to the ballot be able to make a decision that could potentially drastically affect the scope of the country and have a direct effect on your life, regardless of their understanding of what they are voting for?

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Deputized Police are Destroying Trust in Law Enforcement

By Jadan Buzzard | USA

Police officers are sworn to serve and protect their respective communities. These men and women fulfill an essential function, protecting citizens from dangerous criminals who strive to violate natural rights. However, many police departments harbor a dark secret. These departments partake in a program intended to deputize local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws, granting many officers broad discretion in their policing practices. This program, known as “287(g),” was enacted as a part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which amended the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. In essence, it grants the Department of Homeland Security the jurisdiction to enter into agreements with local police departments, giving those local police the ability to act as federal immigration agents. Once entered into an agreement with DHS, local police can interrogate individuals to determine immigration status, work with DHS databases, issue immigration detainers, and transfer immigrants over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation. As one might expect, the 287(g) agreement program severely impacts local communities, destroying trust in the police and spiking serious crime. Citizens ought to recognize this program as flying in the face of good policing practices. Eliminating the program will create an environment that encourages community trust, boosts the economy, and respects the civil rights of all Americans.

Investigations conducted by the Department of Justice uncovered sweeping discriminatory practices in several departments with 287(g) agreements. Does the name “Joe Arpaio” ring a bell? He was the Maricopa County sheriff in Arizona, recently pardoned by President Trump for unlawful enforcement of immigration laws and severe police misconduct allegations. The 287(g) agreement his department had with the DHS granted him the power to sweep Latino communities for illegal immigrants, interrogating any minorities he deemed suspicious. This practice ought to be opposed by all liberty-minded individuals. When officers begin to make judgments based on physical criteria, like skin color, the result is counterproductive and dehumanizing to people of color. Local enforcement officers should focus on protecting the public from dangerous criminals, not immigrants (who are actually less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States). The 287(g) program displaces police priorities, moving them from productive work to pursuing small crimes and traffic violations.

This raises another issue with the program: it destroys community trust in the police. Community trust is essential to the safety of a given community. Minorities need to feel comfortable revealing important information to police officers about serious crime. These individuals are significantly less likely to assist law enforcement with a serious crime if police are constantly questioning their immigration status. In fact, according to The Center for American Progress in March 2017, “70 percent of unauthorized immigrants and 44 percent of Latinos are less likely to communicate with law enforcement if they believe officers will question their immigration status or that of people they know.” Thus, not only is the 287(g)agreement program racially discriminatory, but it also limits the effectiveness of law enforcement in general. Police often rely on insider information when pursuing a serious crime, and a lack of information can leave a police investigation severely handicapped. This leads to crime spikes in local communities, driving police to suspect minorities yet again, encouraging more discrimination. The ensuing crime spiral is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

A final issue with the 287(g) agreement program is the impact it has on federalism, the system created by the American founders to protect against tyranny. Local police have a specific function – to protect local communities from serious crime – and federal immigration agents have their own function – to enforce federal immigration law. While my view on federal immigration policy is another story, separating jurisdictions provides each actor more efficiency in its operations. But federalism also guards against the usurpation of power by the larger branch, which in this case is the federal government. The founders implemented this system throughout the American government, and it tends to work. The 287(g) program, however, creates an unnecessary (and even dangerous) overlap between federal and state jurisdiction. It turns local police officers into federal agents, consequently offering their jurisdictions over to the federal government. The precedent set by 287(g) can have far-reaching negative effects on future policy. We cannot wait idly by as the federal government continues to usurp powers deliberately left to state and local governments. This provides yet another warrant for the abolishing the program once and for all. Through this act, communities can stand for their Constitutional rights and guard against the onslaught of federal usurpation.

Unfortunately, Trump is pursuing efforts to expand 287(g). The acting director of ICE even announced plans to triple the number of agreements by the end of 2017. This, to put it lightly, is not helpful. Trump should not be focusing on undocumented immigrants that pose little threat to overall safety or the economy. In fact, immigration generally boosts economic growth due to lower labor costs. Many politicians talk of immigrants “stealing” American jobs – a flawed understanding of macroeconomics. Businesses gain revenue from cheaper labor, which allows them to expand production, providing cheaper goods and even more jobs to the public. Undocumented immigration should not top of the list of “crack-down” priorities for the Trump administration, yet somehow it continues to pervade his policy and rhetoric.

While some may consider 287(g) rather irrelevant due to its small size and lack of media coverage, I consider it to be critical. Allowing “unimportant” policies to escape public attention is dangerous. It encourages policymakers to slide back-door regulations into large bills in hopes that they remain hidden. This practice is simply an extension of the nanny-state bureaucracy our government is currently devolving into. We, as individuals, have an obligation to preserve the principles of liberty that our country was founded upon. Without them, no nation can truly flourish. Take a stand against 287(g) and other federal policies that violate natural rights and grant officials broad, unnecessary power. United, we will remain a formidable force, against which tyranny cannot prevail.

The Double Edged Sword of Feminism

By Addie Mae Villas | USA

Feminism, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is 1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes and 2: organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests. Feminism was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the year due to the number of searches as well as the increase in feminist actions, but often times, modern-day feminists only organize on behalf of the people who side with them. In a poll done by the Washington Post, 43% of women consider themselves feminists while 30% do not consider themselves to be feminists at all. Due to the actions of modern feminists, there’s no doubt that so many women turn from the word.

Over the span of the past year, there have been numerous times that the so-called champions of equality have torn down their own just because they have a different opinion. Chelsea Handler, a proclaimed feminist, has always been quick to tear down those she disagrees with by making attacks against their looks. Sure, one may not agree with the stances of someone, but in no way is it in anyone’s interest to degrade another person. Even with that, feminists of the left often forget about all the accomplishments of women that are being made across the aisle. Nancy Pelosi interrupted a White House dinner with the statement “Does anybody listen to women when they speak around here?” and when news of that broke, so many applauded the bold statement. Yet, they seem to conveniently forget that Nikki Haley is the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is one of the three female White House Press Secretaries in history, Kellyanne Conway is the first female to successfully manage a US presidential campaign, and Hope Hicks is currently serving as the White House Communications Director. With so many strong women making their mark in history, it’s time that feminists put down their feud with the right and acknowledge the strides being made.

Feminists in America are so adamantly fighting for equality in the workplace, stating that men are paid more than their female counterparts. Although the wage gap has been proven wrong, and legislation has been put in place to ensure equal pay, they still insist that more needs to be done. Since equality is already created, what more do they want? Living in the United States, women see liberties that are not prevalent elsewhere. But the hypocrisy of the leftist feminists is that they never fight for equal opportunity or the best interests of the ones that truly need feminism. Looking at what’s happening in Tehran, women all over are fighting the government for their freedoms. The events in Iran should be cheered from women all over, especially the feminists of America. But, what makes the whole situation worse is that women in America play the victim card of being a woman as a cop-out when situations are not ideal to their circumstances.

My final qualm with modern day feminism is the image that comes along with it. As stated before, the feminists of today have given themselves an image of degrading women and acting out. With the Women’s March, we saw around four million people march in D.C. to advocate for women’s rights. But, of course, the feminists were not fully inclusive. They disregarded a pro-life group that was also feminist. Of course in the modern day version of feminism, one must completely comply with the leftist agenda. Besides the fact that by banning the group they embraced the very hypocrisy they claim to fight, forgetting that the group simply wanted their own form of equality. Personally, I believe the Women’s March was a wasted opportunity. They gave a negative connotation to the feminist movement with their explicit hats and toxic masculinity mantra. They also missed entirely the mark as to why the march was occurring. By creating a platform that strictly followed the agenda of modern day liberalism, organizers made it increasingly difficult for women across the aisle to participate, despite fully believing in equality.

When addressing the problem of modern-day feminism it comes down to being a victim, or moving past the identity politics and being more than one’s gender. Stephen Covey once said “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” By not allowing things such as gender or race to get in the way of success, real progress would be made.

Oregon is Destroying Private Property Rights Through “Bake the Cake” Decisions

By Austin Anderholt | USA

On Thursday, an Oregon Court of Appeals continued to uphold the $135,000 against two religiously motivated bakers who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding couple.

According to NBC News, the government began violating these citizens’ first and thirteenth amendment rights back in January of 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of the since-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery just outside Portland, Oregon, cited their religious beliefs when declining to make a wedding cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer. Following the incident, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found the Kleins in violation of a 2007 state law that protects the rights of LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. In 2015, the couple was ordered to pay the Bowman-Cryers emotional distress damages.

You got that right.: emotional distress damages. We are living in a world, where slavery is allowed, and anyone who disagrees with that must pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in emotional distress damages.

I’ve stated this many times before, but no one can force you to make anything for someone. These bakers refused to do something with their own private means of production. To force someone to commit a service is slavery, and to do so in violation of that person’s religious values is religious oppression.

The gay couple stated that “It does not matter how you were born or who you love. All of us are equal under the law and should be treated equally. Oregon will not allow a ‘Straight Couples Only’ sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores,”

If this couple personally thinks that a discriminatory business is wrong, they can think that. They can vow never to discriminate. They can refuse to buy a cake from a bakery they deem “hateful”. They can tell all their friends to boycott this aforementioned bakery. However, by no means, may the employees of the state government force people, through legislation, to abide by their personal politically correct ideas.

If you take away anything from this article, remember this: nobody has any right to legislate their personal morals into your life.

Not only is this appeals court ruling based on legislation that is highly unconstitutional, but it is ruling based on legislation that is saying “I personally believe that homophobia is bad, so I’m going to make it illegal for anyone to express a disagreement with me. I am going to make anyone who disagrees pay hundreds of thousands of dollars as punishment for their personal opinion “emotionally distressing” someone. This is outrageous.

In conclusion, I ask you to write your local representative. I ask you to protest in the streets. I ask you educate your friends, family, and peers on the Bill of Rights. Why am I so amped up about this? I amped up because my freedom is it risk in my hometown and home state. My freedom of speech, opinion, religion, and freedom against slavery are all at risk, and this is not okay.