The youth internet seems indifferent about what is happening at the border…until memes started circulating about ICE’s arrest of 21 Savage. Most people laughed at the possibility for 21 Savage to be British (although, this claim is allegedly confirmed). Yet, 21 Savage’s arrest only further proves that the cruelty of ICE deportation’s is not just a myth, but a reality that affects people who have already made the United States their home. Additionally, Trump in his State of the Union Address spent a good fraction of his time rallying for a border wall and using fear as a tactic to oppose loosening immigration restrictions. But, what is actually happening at the border and to immigrants?
Chaos at the Border:
Using tear gas to disperse migrants (banned by the military even during war)
Regents of the University of California v. DHS required the administration to keep DACA for now but
High likelihood of a Supreme Court ruling → could decide DACA’s fate next summer
Recent increase in DACA renewals thanks to activists!
Public Charge Restrictions:
Public Charge restrictions can bar those who are likely to rely on government benefits for their primary support
New changes alter what it means to be a “public charge.”
Lowered standards to block people who might become a public charge at any time
List of public benefits expanded (Medicaid, care at home, Medicare savings, SNAP, housing assistance). Immigrants who rely on these benefits may not be allowed to enter
New factors included (too old 62+, too young <17, limited English speaking, health conditions, etc)
These restrictions promote racism and ableism
Construction of the border wall:
Trump wants $5 billion, which caused the longest shutdown in U.S. history due to congressional gridlock
The border wall breaks laws including: Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
Could cause the next government shutdown if Congress doesn’t reach a budget deal by February 15
Now, the arrest of thousands of immigrants can be ignored just as easily as one can’t help but notice the magnitude of the administration’s immigration policies. Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but being able to turn a blind eye to the humanitarian crisis comes from a position of privilege.
“Liberal” American institutions–whether it is schools, fashion, Hollywood, business, etc–love to brag about how “diverse” they are. And we, too, celebrate diversity. After all, being exposed to a variety of perspectives, worldviews, and experiences, is probably net good compared to being stuck in a bubble of regurgitated ideas.
As an extension to the debate around affirmative action and one of my latest posts, a key issue to address is how college admissions choose their minority students. Studies show that some admissions officers cherry pick how diversity is represented in their post-secondary institution. The main conclusion drawn is that admissions officers are more responsive and favor persons of color who are “deracialized and racially apolitical than they are to those who evince a commitment to antiracism and racial justice,” especially in favor of individuals interested in STEM.
While some would argue that favoring STEM is not a practice that is specific to students of color, that does not excuse admissions officers from dictating who is the right type of minority student.
The trope of China as a superpower is far from a new one. After all, China was arguably the most advanced civilization for a thousand years. China as a threat, however, can be traced back to the Chinese Communist Revolution in the 1940’s. Despite economic transformation and the emergence of China as a regional superpower, China is arguably portrayed as even more threatening in contemporary society. Perhaps this proves that America will never be fully willing to allow another country to become the global hegemon; China will always be something Other.
In light of recent lawsuits against Harvard, and the increasing dissent against affirmative action in my own community, I decided to write this very extensive post.
Let’s get a few things straight: I believe affirmative action is a net good system with some current flaws that exist in its current operations. Yes, I am an Asian-American, but my personal identity should not excuse racist or discriminatory beliefs.
Berkeley, California: a historically-known site of leftist thought and youth political engagement.
Yet now, during the information era, as a prestigious university just one hour north of Silicon Valley, revolutionary socialists are replaced by computer science geeks and prospective molecular biology majors. Artificial intelligence prototypes “run” on the streets, as if a glimpse into the dystopia of the future.
Nevertheless, as I roam around the UC Berkeley campus, I still catch traces of radical thought –
Racism is bad. Terrorism is bad. These two statements seem quite intuitive and intrinsically true. Yet, under careful scrutiny, they are quite contradictory.
What do you think of when you hear “terrorism”? Is it the pixelated, daunting images of the 9/11 attacks? Is it throngs of men clad in all black, with their eyes the only humanistic characteristic left to see? Either way, terrorism sparks fear, danger, and a sense of frustration. After all, why would people have a motive to kill and bomb the United States, and their own countries as well? Generally speaking, we view terrorism as a very real current threat.
Yet, the risk of being killed by a terrorist in America is 3.5 million. According to Harvard Professor Joseph Nye, Americans are more than 3.5 times more likely to die in an accident involving a bathtub than from terrorism. Hence is the question: why is America obsessed with painting terrorism as a constant threat?
I attended the ACLU membership conference this past weekend, which featured an incredible set of speakers, including Kerry Washington, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Patrisse Cullors! Be prepared for an influx of posts regarding the conference 🙂
What I especially loved about this conference is that the speakers gave concrete steps to take in order to support a larger movement (i.e. feminism, dismantling mass incarceration, etc).
The most memorable for me would be the One Fair Wage Campaign!
Feminism is a loaded term at best, holding a myriad of interpretations ranging from associations with overrated social justice warriors to even the outdated and exclusive women’s movements of the past century. I myself tend to stray away from exclusively labeling myself as a “feminist,” especially for the latter reason, however I believe it is necessary to address many issues of modern-day feminism.