The United States’ Prison Labor System

What Is Prison Labor? On January 31st, 1865, the 13th Amendment essentially outlawing slavery was passed into law. However, the wording wasn’t simply an abolition of slavery. Instead, the 13th Amendment states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or…

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The American Cycle: Poverty and Prison

With an increasing cost of living and relatively stagnant minimum wage, matched with ever-fluctuating employment rates, poverty seems to be a never-ending cycle. Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to experience poverty as adults themselves. Whether this is due to the lack of educational resources, opportunities, or lack of guidance, the statistics…

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Released From Prison ­≠ Freedom

No one grows up wanting to spend their lives in a prison cell. Nevertheless, the United States prison system holds 2.3 million people within its walls, accounting for 25 percent of the world’s entire incarcerated population. Approximately 5.85 Americans are barred from voting due to criminal records. Millions of previously incarcerated individuals experience homelessness and poverty because they cannot find work. 

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“Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun” By Geoffrey Canada

In Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun, by Geoffrey Canada, the three major points include the past, the changes, and the present because they help explain the current state of inner-city neighborhoods. In the past, Canada explains that to gain reputation on the block, one would fight, and winning said fights meant an increase in reputation. Children were “safe”…

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The Black Panthers And The Police. Who’s Really Radical?

On February 1st, the movie Judas and The Black Messiah came out. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin it, so don’t worry, no spoilers here. The movie depicts the Black Panther group, specifically the Chicago chapter led by Fred Hampton. The Black Panthers lay among the more radical side of the civil rights movement. Though…

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Here’s Why Your Education Should Be Free

Why does higher education come with such a hefty price tag in a country as developed and rich as the United States? Developed countries around the world have made education accessible to every student. Education is not a privilege of the wealthy; it is the right of every person. Many people complain about taxes this…

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Here’s What It Means To “Decriminalize” Drugs

On November 3rd, the country stared at their television and phone screens without a second thought of how high their screen time was getting. Despite whether you voted for Donald Trump’s reelection or Joe Biden, the. However, many people did not see or just scrolled over the articles explaining the many different states that legalized marijuana and the few states that decriminalized low amounts of harder drugs. In 44 states, weed is legal in some form, where that be medical or recreational. Oregon took the next step in 2020’s election. They voted and officially decriminalized personal use and possession of all drugs. The terms “decriminalized” and “legalized” are very distinct and crucial to understanding Oregon’s decision. So, today I will be discussing what it means to “decriminalize” drugs.

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Here’s One Reason America’s Youth Is Increasingly Progressive

In the United States, different social groups have different perspectives of the nation’s history. Race, gender, or sexual orientation largely determine one’s view of history. Marginalized social groups remember the horrors of the past and the murdered ancestors. On the contrary, when people of dominant social groups look at history, they see the successes, and…

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The Star-Spangled Banner: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

As COVID cases increase and the flu creeps up behind us, professional sports have started to resume play. As customary, people remove their hats, hold their hand over their hearts and sometimes kneel for the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the American national anthem. However, when people listen to “Star-Spangled Banner,” it’s questionable whether they are really listening. Most people don’t think about the origins of and what the national anthem stands for. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

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The Unbeatable Duo, Flu And Corona

Coronavirus has run rampant throughout the United States since March leaving hundreds of thousands dead and millions sick. However, Flu season is coming quickly and if we can’t take corona seriously then we’re bound for more death.

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The Whole Tree Is Rotten

When people use the phrase “a few bad apples,” they mean that most police officers are non-racist, well-rounded people. The statement distances wrongdoing cops from rule-following ones. However, I believe a more appropriate phrase is, “the whole tree is rotten.” At first, I thought all police couldn’t be corrupt. I reasoned with myself. I’ve met cops, and they didn’t attack me, right? And then, I started to doubt my original thoughts. The truth, as I came to find out, is much more complicated than right or wrong. Many officers may be friendly, but what does it mean to be a “bad apple?” Why are there corrupt police officers?” And what does it mean that the whole tree is rotten?

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June’s 2020 Inspirational Icon—The Black Godfather

You most definitely heard of famous celebrities, like P. Diddy and Jay Z or Bill Withers and Janet Jackson. You may even think you know their inspirational stories, but there’s one person you most definitely haven’t heard. This man sits behind the curtain and at the deal-making tables, but never shows his face to a crowd. I only personally heard of him after watching his documentary, The Black Godfather. Musical artists, actors, television hosts and hostesses, and even presidents go to this man when they want something done, whether they want a better deal, or more money, he’s the man everyone goes to. Clarence Avant is the celebrities’ celebrity.

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Here’s How Racism Circulates Private School

I grew up in an upper-middle-class lifestyle, about an hour, or two, north of NYC. Our house lies on the border of two neighboring counties. I lived in one city district, but a different school district. Which meant that I couldn’t go to the school in the city I lived in. And the school district I lived in, had low graduation rates and poor education standards. So, my parents put my brothers and me in a private Catholic school from pre-k to 12th grade. After 12 years in private school, this is what I’ve learned. From the teachers ignoring racism to the students endorsing it, here’s how racism circulates private school.

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April’s Inspirational Icon—Shonda Rhimes

Born in Illinois on January 13, 1970, Shonda Rhimes was the youngest of 5 siblings. She recieved her B.A. at Dartmouth College. She later recieved her M.F.A. at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Rhimes has always had an exemplerary work ethic. From her highschool days all the way through the University of Sounthern California, her unique horse-like work ethic is one of the most important reasons why she is at the pinnacle of the television industry.

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10 Tips To Stay Sane During Quarantine

These uncertain times have the potential to knock your mental health into all sorts of whack. COVID 19 is undoubtedly something severe, and you have all the reason to fret over it, but there are many different ways to balance this nervousness. From exercise to meditation, there are plenty of simple, daily activities that you can use to keep your mind at peace. So, continue reading for 10 tips to stay sane during quarantine.

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4 Untold Truths About The Mass Incarceration Of Native Americans

In recent years, news and media alike covered the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. They are an organization that shined light on the mass incarceration of African Americans. Unfortunately, while BLM got much-needed attention, one specific ethnicity was left out from that light… Native Americans— ignorantly called “Indians.” Native Americans are often forgotten and thought to…

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Here’s How Racism Impacts Pregnancy Outcomes

Racism hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s just changed from the traditional plantation owner into mass incarceration and many other tactics. And underneath the intricate healthcare system of the United States — much like any other part of the country — lies a deeply ingrained foundation of racism. This isn’t new information, but you may not realize how severely racism affects maternal health. So, keep reading to find out how racism impacts pregnancy outcomes.

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History Repeats And Repeats And COVID-19 Is No Exception

Humanity, as a civilization, has an awful habit of forgetting our history. Coronavirus is not the first nor the last travesty the world will face. But unless we actually learn from our mistakes, we will eventually succumb to them. I beg the question to you, why are we blissfully ignorant while history repeats and repeats?

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Do You Want Change, Or Not?

Around election times, chances are high you will engage in a conversation discussing some type of political issue. From my personal experience with these conversations, I realize — political parties aside — everyone wants things to change. Whether it be fewer taxes or a new bill, everybody desires change, but no one wants to do

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Here’s Where LGBTQ Is Still Outlawed

In developed nations, the right to choose one’s sexual and gender orientation is more often than not taken for granted. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the world still looks down upon the LGTBQ community. Human Dignity Trust reports that nearly 36 percent of the world’s countries still criminalize based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Keep reading…

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Here’s Why Racial Identities Matter

The moment a baby emerges into the world, their racial identity is assumed. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, whatever it may be, it is assumed by anyone and everyone. As the child grows, they develop how they racially define themselves. One feels an immense feeling of solidarity and lack of belonging without a stable and finetuned identity. The…

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Here’s The Issue With Toxic Gender Roles

It is common nowadays to go out to run errands or turn on the news and notice an array of socially toxic behavior. When most people hear something racist, homophobic, or sexist, etc., it’s brushed off and ignored because this is what we’re used to.

Unfortunately, children receive their significant dose of toxic behavior from their parents. It’s not noticeable from most parents’ point of view because society has deemed this behavior to be “normal.”

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4 Ways To Keep The Debate Friendly

With elections coming soon and the recent acquittal of DonaldTrump, you are more than likely to get into a debate with someone. Debates are an excellent way for two or more parties to exchange their opinions and information on particular topics. I am highly fond of them because when I enter one, I like to…

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Bryant Was Beyond Basketball

Life On January 26th, Kobe and Gigi Bryant and 7 other individuals passed away. The weather was unfavorable for flight, but they received special clearance. As the helicopter quickly rose towards the cloud line, it apparently hit the side of the mountain with great force and plummeted to its harsh fate. In his wake, he…

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Will You Tell The Stories Of The Wrongfully Condemned?

Just Mercy is directed by Destin Cretton and written by Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson is a lawyer and human rights activist who devotes his efforts towards assisting the impoverished, the incarcerated, and the condemned. This movie is technically an autobiography as it is about the origins of Stevenson’s career and the Equal Justice Initiative. The film follows…

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Feminists Are Stigmatized, Here’s Why

In the United States, men and women have always played different roles. In fact, ever since the beginning of civilization, women and men have fulfilled different responsibilities. Women, traditionally, are the nurturers and men are the workers of the family. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this family dynamic. It is everyone’s right to…

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What Is The Pursuit Of Happiness?

Life is a single entity divided into seven billion different ways. Those seven billion portions are each individually unique to whoever has been deemed the task of living that life. Seven billion different experiences, so why do we choose to sum it all up into one single word? Life. It’s not possible to observe everyone’s daily…

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Small Island Developing States Matter Too

When you think of climate change, you probably think of New York City flooding or Antarctica melting. And while these are unfortunate aftermaths, there are consequences that will change the lives of millions before any of that happens. Small Island Developing States, or SIDS, are, according to the United Nations, “A distinct group of developing countries facing…

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Movie Review: American Son

American Son is directed by Kenny Leon and written by Christopher Demos-Brown. It was first a play on Broadway since September 12, 2019, then moved to Netflix on November 1, 2019. It stars Kerry Washington, Jeremy Jordan, Eugene Lee, and Steven Pasquale. The setting takes place at a Florida police station. And it’s about a mother,…

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Can Black People Be Racist? Yes, But No

You have probably heard the term “reverse racism.” Usually used by a white person who feels that a minority has just committed a racist act onto them. Thus, they’ve coined the action “reverse racism.” This term, however, holds no meaning because of the way that racism is defined by sociologists, it is not possible for…

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What’s the Opposite of a Racist? It’s Not What you Think.

You’ve probably been taught that a racist is someone who blatantly discriminates someone based on their skin color. This image of an overt racist is, in fact, much outdated. The days of racists being outright racist are somewhat behind us. Racism has moved away from the public hangings and enslavement, and towards the contemporary version…

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What To Watch Over Christmas Break

When They See Us – Netflix While this isn’t as much a movie as it is a mini-series, it is, by far, the best series on Netflix. The series is split into 3 episodes and covers the story of the Central Park 5. The Central Park 5 case took place in Central Park in New York…

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Why I Chose Sociology

When I was in my junior year of high school, I didn’t have the slightest clue what I wanted to pick for my major. I told everyone biology, but I really didn’t like biology, it was just the quickest answer I had to the never-ending question, “So… what are you going to major in?” This…

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New Racism Isn’t What You Thought It Was

When you think of racism, you probably think of blatant, and very distinguishably racist vernacular or actions. Though, this type of racism is outdated, because, like everything else in the world, it has evolved over time. Today’s racism is called “New Racism,” it has mainly pushed out overt, traditional racism and brought in racial microaggressions…

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The Importance of having an Open Mind

I passionately believe that all of the worlds’ social inequalities could be fixed if everyone lived their lives with an open mindset. To have an open mind allows you to accept people for who they are, what they believe, and why they do what they do. The issue is that whether it be locally or…

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