Making America Great… ‘Again’?: Historical Hypocrisy & Modern Change

President Donald Trump claims to want to make America great…again. The word ‘again’ is a stretch, because depending on who you ask and their personal experiences throughout the history of the country…America was never great. Nevertheless, for those of us who still have faith that America can someday be great & actually reflect what it has promised/envisioned, it is obvious that hypocrisy and systematic discrimination thrives in the land of the free. The poem by Emma Lazarus on The Statue of Liberty in New York, ”the New Colossus” is suppose to stand for immigrants and refugees coming to a welcoming and compassionate/empathetic safe haven , a home for those who desire to leave or force to flee their homelands. Of course, Trump is not the first who discriminated against certain groups of people because for as long as the poem was first engraved on Lady Liberty in 1903, the poem’s message has always had it’s ‘terms & conditions’ depending on what ethnic or religious group people belong to. There is a clear long history of America showing more acceptance to certain groups of immigrants & refugees in comparison to others. Still, there are many immigrants, refugees, and forced migrants who have continued to have faith in America and want to come through the ”golden door” despite hostility/prejudice towards them . I encourage all to not be discouraged or faithless, but to continue to make our own positive marks in the world…let’s not wait on political leaders to make America (or anywhere) great. President Trump’s executive order and extreme vetting policies for Muslim-majority countries is just one of many hypocritical happenings that should not be accepted or validated if we want to make America great for everyone…not just selective groups. Over a century ago, The New Colossus was as new and promising as the Liberty Statue it was engraved on. Now, in modern times and after hypocrisy has continued to be prevalent in the U.S, it seems as if it’s the ”Old Irrelevant Colossus” because often times throughout the years…Lady Liberty is not a truthful representation/image of the actual freedom, justice, and liberty that is denied to many. However, instead of just complaining about the cons of America and hypocrisy in the nation, we should also encourage and implement positive change/actions. No matter who is in office, what awful/evil doings we witness personally or see constantly on our news’ channels…stay faithful and remember we are all equally important in creating positive change with our actions and mentalities, triumphing over negativity in the world.

 

The New Colossus Poem by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

What Would You Do? Parents Being Verbally/Emotionally Abusive to Their Children

If you ask someone what defines being verbally abusive to a child, then you may get different answers and perspectives. Some people share the ideology that if it is not your child, then do not interfere unless they are being physically harmed/assaulted. However, what a parent says to their child can be just as hurtful and have a negative impact on them mentally like physical abuse. Someone once told me that they heard a frustrated mother call her son a ”punk bitch” in a grocery store and no one said anything…they just stared at the mother in shock for a moment. The child was a toddler and his mother called him this…so this likely means she is verbally abusing her child at home repeatedly. Letting that sink in, this is a very ugly situation, can have negative psychological & relationship impacts on the child, and it hurts my heart to know children are being treated in this manner. I just really feel as if someone should have spoken up for the little boy even if the mother had a problem with input from a stranger.  Nevertheless, no one wanted to interfere with the mother and her child, but people knew it was awful and wrong.  Some people may have the ”well it’s not my child” mentality or were afraid to speak up. Personally speaking, my conscience would have been bothering me all day. Verbal abuse is often a more controversial subject that some do not see eye to eye on compared to actual physical abuse. Some people feel as though one should only step in if the verbal abuse is ”extremely harsh”, while others feel as though all types of verbal abuse is very harsh. Often, the child’s parents were verbally abused, and a person may feel the way they talk to their child is okay, so they continue the cycle. There are also parents who take their frustrations and dislikes out on their kids even though it is never the child’s fault…innocent children who never asked to be created or born into this world. I am thankful that my parents were never emotionally abusive to me, but it still hurts that countless children experience this every day.  Verbal and emotional abuse is just as evil and harsh as physical abuse, and often the scars may not be visible, but it is forever embedded in their mind. It is easier to build up a child, then to try and repair a broken adult.

**Some helpful and informative organizations that try to prevent Child Abuse includes Childhelp.org (1-800-422-4453), and Child Welfare Information Gateway. **

Trip Hop & The Bristol Sound: A Few of My Favorites

Trip Hop originated from Bristol ,U.K, & the sound has been partly influenced by jazz, hip-hop, funk, and soul. The Bristol Underground scene of the 90s involved experimenting with art and music, particularly with drum & bass. Trip Hop’s drum-based breakdowns and sound involves several types of music styles , and is a good example of just how diverse electronic music is…there are literally no less than one hundred ‘subgenres’.  When I think of some of the most interesting and diverse sounds in electronic music, it seems only right to mention Trip Hop greats/legends such as Howie D, Morcheeba, and Nightmares on Wax. To pay homage, here are a few of my favorite classic Trip Hop songs & artists of the 90s, an amazing innovative time for Electronic music.

 

Never Again,huh?: When Genocide Keeps Reoccurring After The Holocaust

After The Holocaust, the United Nations General Assembly came together and passed the Genocide Convention. The agreement and idea was to prevent genocidal acts & punish criminals who slaughter victims because of an ethnic, religious, or national group they may belong to.  However, Post- World War 2 genocide events have continued to happen after the U.N and people all around the world vowed never again. There has been a reoccurrence of events where massive amounts of people have been deliberately killed from particular ethnic groups & nations and many of the perpetrators have never been convicted or punished for their crimes against humanity. What exactly is really qualified to be termed a genocide? The term ”ethnic cleansing” has been used to describe mass torture/murders like the crisis in Darfur instead of genocide, and Aleppo is one of many heart breaking situations where the term ”genocide” is fitting. We, humanity, have not effectively learned enough from the mass extermination during the Holocaust or any other similar atrocity evidently. The world is forced sooner or later to be aware of what is going on whether some of us try to ignore it or not. Those of us who are immensely sadden by what is happening continue to feel disgusted, impassioned, & mournful as we pay attention to all that is unfolding. What is happening in places like Aleppo is a repeated pattern that may not always be consistently televised or included heavily in the media. As sickening as it is, there are photos and footage of children, sweet innocent babies, that have been dismembered, bloodied, and attacked…images that actually need to be seen despite how horrible they are. Families displaced, bombed, tortured, whole lives shattered, and their crying pleas are gut wrenching and extremely painful to see & hear but should not be ignored or forgotten . There are politicians & country leaders that are also responsible for murdering countless people, just as contemptible as ‘warlords’ and terrorist groups like Isis. Yet, only certain types of war crimes, mass killings, and attacks towards groups of people are considered genocidal. However, no matter how we may try to relabel it or pick and choose just what is a genocide act, the truth is: The term Holocaust, which is also defined as the mass slaughter of people, is a evil part of humanity’s history that was supposed to never happen again in modern societies, but it has shamefully occurred over and over.