My First Political Protest

My First Political Protest

Standing for the oppressed. Standing for justice. It is the mandatory thing for one another.
Adrian
Adrian
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Standing for the oppressed. Standing for justice. It is the mandatory thing for one another.

Words to live by. If you have not been to one of the many political protests going on across our great country, I would recommend that you head out to one. The heart and passion being poured out by the people being affected by our country's new administration has the people across our country fighting for everyone. At these rallies, you not only see people fighting for their own personal freedom, but equality for everyone.

Personally, at the Rutgers University-Newark protest, I witnessed the men and women of Muslim backgrounds fighting for their families' freedoms along with equality for all. The promoted equality among religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Before this day, I had never been to a protest of any stretch of the imagination, however because I write for the school newspaper, I figured that I would go and write an article about. Considering I'd never been to a protest I thought that I would be the best person to write about it, so it is unbiased. Here is that article:

February 1st, the day Rutgers University-Newark takes action against the recent policies brought about by our new President of the United States. As a student body, we were able to not only hear the voices, that our president is trying to belittle, but also show voice for those who cannot. The main people behind our protest today, were the members of the Muslim Student Association that we have on our campus and at NJIT. Through their efforts, they managed to bring many people from all walks of life to voice and rally against our current political time and the issues to come. We are fighting for change, freedom, and equality for all. This fight amongst the American people is not only for the Muslim population, but everyone. At our rally outside the Paul Robeson Campus Center, there were students from all different ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, etc. As a people, we will make change, WE R THE CHANGE.

“We vote. We don't want reckless knee jerk decisions putting our lives in jeopardy.” Our protest was combined with our friends from NJIT, and their Muslim Student Association spoke about his feelings and how the current policies brought upon by Donald Trump affects everyone. He spoke about how our President is supposed to keep us safe, as Americans, yet he is tearing the American people and their families a part. However much we all are affected, he did recognize the humanity of our president, such as the fact that he is our president, he has a family, and he even is a father, he is human. We as a people are here to support our president if he supports the American people, but if he continues forcing aggressive policies, we as a people are going to protest him.

The Muslim faith, is inspired by the idea of taking the high road in bad situations. During our time protesting, we were inspired by one of our peers to “no return the wrong, but rather take the high road”. If we as the American people are going to take the high road, we need to fight back and protest for our equality, as people, as Americans, and non-Americans; we must fight for humanity and justice for the human race. The people of America want clarity for our future, and in doing so we want our leaders to refrain from repeating the mistakes of their predecessors. For example, the war in Iraq a few years ago, could’ve been avoided; the war in Iraq killed many, innocent people that led to a greater war. It was a mistake then, do not repeat our country’s mistakes. Among the many issues addressed during our rally, is one frightening many Americans and undocumented people across the country, which is the idea of a wall being built. The main idea behind the wall is to stop the of immigrants coming to the United States, they are people and they have rights; you will not change the condition of the people by building walls.

Overall, the protest that brought together students from both Rutgers and NJIT brought about a sense of unity amongst the student population as we fought for equality and our rights as American citizens. Just being in the presence of the crowd was inspiring as everyone there was there because they want to create change, and stop the hatred and bigotry that is plaguing our country under the new policies. One of the final things that were said at the protest is that “Standing for the oppressed. Standing for justice. It is the mandatory thing for one another.” To find justice in these hard times, we must stand up and fight, it is our job as a human being to stand up for one another and find justice for all.


Cover Image Credit: SVT

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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