Letter from the editor

As democracy demands the participation of citizens, social change demands the action of the people. Through conversation and discussion, citizens are able to shift the tide of justice towards a society based on our ideals. This is the idea behind this edition of Journal Magazine, in which we aim to lift the shroud of silence on these issues that matter. Hopefully, these pieces will inspire all of us to discuss the social justice issues that matter to us. The time for sitting down and shutting up is over – as a member of our society and a person of the world, your voice must be heard.

-Leonard Bopp

Editor-in-Chief, The Journal

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Issues that Matter: Feminism

ANIA ALBERSKI

Feminism is defined as the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Isn’t that absolutely ridiculous? How dare women speak up after being oppressed for centuries? Feminism is obviously one big joke that no one should take seriously.

I definitely don’t need feminism because I am perfectly fine with being pulled out of class to change so that I don’t distract the boys. I’m content with pretending to be on the phone when I walk down the street alone at night. I don’t even mind making 25 cents less than my male counterparts every hour. I think it’s amazing that throwing “like a girl” has become an offensive insult. I’m fine with being told to look a certain way in order to impress men. I don’t need feminism because I’m happy with my abilities and skills being doubted.

It’s evident that gender inequality is a thing of the past, just like racism, police brutality, and world hunger.

However, on a serious note, no matter what gender, religion, or race one is, shouldn’t we all be equal in the light of politics, economics, social relations, and life?

A license to discriminate

STEPHEN PEREZ

The Indiana Religious Freedom Act: a license to discriminate. Religious freedom doesn’t justify refusal to serve people of different sexual orientations. My doctor can refuse treatment, I can only eat in select restaurants, all because bigoted homophobes feel that they can falsely express their religion to feed their ignorance. I may not be able to “lay with another man,” but they sure can’t lay down more laws to discriminate against my right to practice any sexuality I desire.

When the sky brightens: the tragedy of drone strikes

MOHONA SENGUPTA

“Now I prefer cloudy days when the drones don’t fly. When the sky brightens and becomes blue, the drones return and so does the fear.”

If Americans won’t listen to Zubair Rehman, a Pakistani boy who traveled thousands of miles to speak in front of a virtually empty Congress, maybe they’ll listen to the cries of over two thousand families who have lost innocent loved ones to the US-led drone attacks against al-Qaeda.  Maybe they’ll listen to the children who can’t play outside in fear of a sudden attack, in fear of bombs dropping on the very fields they play on. Or maybe it’ll take the confirmed deaths of two hostages, American development expert Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto, to finally turn America against the appalling drone strikes that are turning Pakistan’s landscape into a spotted war zone.

An end to torture

NIKKI NAIDU

Just last year, the CIA “torture report” was released by the Senate. The 6,700 page executive summary exposed numerous human rights violations and depicted the horrifying tales of the victims who lived through this brutality. Shockingly, the United States justice department has not given the report any significant thought.

From 2002 to 2008, the U.S has been the cause of the disappearance of more than 100 men. The government used clinical words such as “enhanced interrogations” and “stress positions” in order to hide and justify the obscure truth.

The report includes horrifying accounts of forced rectal feeding to humiliate and extort force over men and shackling men in diapers into positions where they were deprived of sleep. One especially terrible “technique” revealed include stripping men, wrapping their naked bodies in mylar, and dragging them up and down the halls slapping and punching their bodies.

Amnesty International is a human rights movement that has recently started a grassroots movement in hopes of getting the Justice Department to investigate and hold those responsible of abuses accountable. This movement involves getting American civilians to send one page of the report at a time to the U.S Justice Department whether it be through fax, email, mail, or a social media platform.

The things that these people have gone through are absolutely disgusting and inhumane. Personally, I come from a country where corruption rules the political and military world. Numerous accounts of police brutality, torture, rape, and various other human rights violations are common news headlines there daily. I never thought these things would follow me to America, but they have, and as each day goes on things get worse and worse. The power of the people is one the strongest forces in the world. From moment to movement, I strongly believe that solidarity is the only way to achieve justice for those wronged by the CIA.

Issues that matter: emotional abuse

KATIE LAMAR

I did not leave you. I climbed up through your throat and out of your mouth for your stomach acids were burning me alive. To say I left would be to imply it was by choice, but instead it was a push with two strong arms while your lips screamed “Come back” how can I survive while I am under attack? I couldn’t. So I slid through the cracks of the cage where you locked but set aflame leaving me to smolder into ash.

Please, by all means, crucify the slave for running away, nail her to the crosswalk and tell her you appreciate her but at very least comprehend the precise amount of fucked up that is. Stop pretending what you did was okay.

I had to start showing you the blistering bruises and battered blue marks that were lining my arms like tattoos because you acted as if I were made of a strong steel that you could beat, and burden, at your blackened heart’s every whim.

You would wake up and forget I was sickened with your poison.

Before I knew I was worthy and valuable, I would keep my wounds on my inner thighs, masking the slashes on my soul and the marks on my mind- I was a canvas of blood and bone open for interpretation of you and only you
I wrote poetry of apologies and songs of sorrys for mistakes that were human and righteous

I played games of shame and ate food of blame I was so sorry for every move I would ever make
And now you stand here, pretending you are Jesus Christ; forgiving me for all my sins, but dear, I did not leave you.
I clambered out of the hell you deviously called heaven

I erased the words of the letters I wrote to you apologizing for making you cry

A man with two arms versus woman with half a heart is hardly a battle. One will love and one will die so my love,

I did not leave you.

I made a run for it.

Dear Little Black Girl

ELIANA ROWE

Dear Little Black Girl,

Big Lips are not attractive

or should I say were not attractive

but somehow we captured the beauty

that you seemed to keep ugly for so long.

Don’t worry we’ll take your freedom song

and turn it into white beautification

without having one clue

as to how much you went through to gain that song.

We understand that you went through the struggle

but that was so long ago.

Get over it.

This isn’t us being racist or ignorant

our response your beauty might be bigoted

but this is just us marketing your ugly

and plastering it on a fashion trend that’ll never go out of style.

It’s called being white

this old face holds up the standards that your dirty skin could just not contend

we can pretend

write a sorry letter

but our actions will just keep speaking louder than our words

louder than the howling of your ancestors.

Never mind the tears that hit the ground

when her baby comes home from school saying she was called ugly.

Lips so big they look swollen.

We just don’t get it do we.

We’ll keep marketing your pain for our gain

so don’t attempt to sue.

We once owned your rights

but now we own your features

Ha! You don’t even own your own beauty

With best regards,

The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge

Black Lives Matter

ELIANA ROWE

What I’ve learned

is that blacks don’t just have the ability to rap

But we

carry a tune that knocks classical notes out of your bones

and shoot smooth rhythmic jazz into your soul.

We don’t only have the ability to be enslaved by our oppressors

by living lies we’re expected to replicate

we don’t just procreate

but we invent

we have minds that extend far beyond

the term twerk, thot, baby mama, and big booty june…

loud

this is the sound of our defense

our revolution

our wake up call

Our deliverance from the lies televised

the injustices hidden

because no one wants to believe a white man killed him

He wasn’t racist

he was just doing his job and got a little overzealous

Never mind the fear that strikes the eyes of black mothers everywhere

Never mind the eggshells he has to walk on

When he decides to wear a hoodie

Maybe stop by the corner store to pick up some skittles

Never mind that he’s innocent

Harmless.

Never mind.

That is the word used to define

the ignorance that plagues this nation

Delayed hesitation.

unwilling and unable to say that something is happening

a breach

killing the singing preached by black grandparents, great aunts and uncles

saying we shall overcome someday

when is that day?

When will we open our eyes

take off the rose colored vision

and recognize that freedoms bells haven’t been ringing

When will our song rock you to your core

When.

When.

will we decide that black culture is not something to be taken lightly.

When will we say no.

Black lives matter

how many lives have to shatter

for that to become clear to us

America.

Wake Up.