As A Neo-Confederate Rally Approaches Ole Miss This Weekend, Please Be Safe

As A Neo-Confederate Rally Approaches Ole Miss This Weekend, Please Be Safe

Please remember to make your safety your top priority.

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Tensions are rising at Ole Miss this week as a neo-confederate rally approaches this weekend. It frustrates me even to write this because I am of the opinion that groups like this are given more attention than they deserve in the first place.

It is important to note that the group coming to protest is not affiliated with the University of Mississippi in any way. In fact, it is composed of two different groups that are based out of Tennessee and Arkansas.

Their main focus seems to be the Confederate memorial statue that sits in the circle near the middle of campus, one of the last bulwarks of a racist and discriminatory past that has so long plagued this university. The choice to hold this rally during Black History Month is particularly abhorrent.

Groups like this are fighting for a non-existent "heritage" that is rooted in racism and bigotry. They cling to straw man arguments and delusions that anyone with middle school education and understanding of the American Civil War can see through. This rally will hopefully be a small blip on the recent progress that the university has made in removing itself from a long, troubling past.

The university and campus police department have urged students to steer clear of the rally on Saturday, though there is a likely chance that the rally will be met with counter-protest. The only thing I ask is for everyone to remember to be safe. This group has made their intent to carry weapons clear. People on campus are understandably worried, and the best way to make sure that nothing terrible happens is to avoid confrontation.

Counter-protest is important but no matter how good the intention, counter-protest is something that groups like this thrive on. Safety is the most important thing for students on campus this weekend, so it's probably best to avoid the area altogether. The less power and attention we give them, the more their cause will continue to wither.

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Boys No More: The Story Of Benjamin Eastman's Murder

Benjamin Eastman was only 16 years young when his best friend Benito Marquez (16) and Marquez’s older brother Jonathan Adamson (21) gruesomely took his life.

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Benjamin Eastman, a 16-year-old boy from Randle, Washington, was found dead late June afternoon he had been reported missing by family on June 24th. His remains were discovered by the Lewis County's Sherriff's Office just four days later in a marked, shallow grave.

Benjamin was allegedly reported missing after his family could not reach him when he left his home Sunday morning after being invited by his best friend, Benito Marquez, to go camping. Benito reported to police that Eastman had failed to show up to his home that Sunday morning. Four days after and still there was silence from Benjamin, Benito Marquez posted on Facebook pleading for anyone who knew the whereabouts of the boy to contact police or Benjamin's father.

On the same day, the boy's remains were discovered on Marquezes family property in a shallow and obvious grave. When asked about the grave, Benito claimed the grave belonged to the family's dog that had recently passed away, given the situation police investigated.

Marquez is not the only suspect in the case.

Benito's 21-year-old brother, Jonathan Adamson, was also a suspect in the gruesome murder. Their mother, Kindra Rose Adamson, and Jonathan's girlfriend, Emma Brown, were just recently arrested when police found that both knew about Benjamin's murder after it occurred and did not report it to authorities. Kindra also helped the boys flee East after the incident. Both are being charged with 1st-degree criminal rendering.

Police have reported Adamson as giving information from the night of the 24th. Adamson claimed the two had knocked Benjamin to the ground, kicked him over 100 times, sexually assaulted him with a stick, and for good measure, hit Benjamin over the head with a rock multiple times to assure he was dead, all within a span of 20-45 minutes. The autopsy report corroborated Adamson's story and stated the cause of death was, in fact, a blunt force trauma to the head.

After Eastman was presumed dead by the brothers, they stripped their clothes and his to burn them, along with the shovel used for the initial burial. After an unspecified amount of time, Marquez and Adamson became paranoid of the possible discovery of the body so they moved the remains to a more shallow place on their grandparent's property and marked it with a cross made of sticks. They did not burn that shovel, nor did they dispose of the matching twine and plastic found in the barn that was used on the body.

As of July 2nd, the brothers were arrested by a state trooper on their way to Ellensburg. Marquez and Adamson are facing charges including 1st-degree murder, rape of the 1st degree, tampering with evidence, and unlawful disposal of remains. Their bail has been set to $10 million bail and although Marquez is only 16, he will be facing an adult trial. The only motive discussed at this time was the possibility of a girl being the cause of the dispute. Adamson has been arraigned as of July 12th and has pleaded not guilty to all charges placed against him.

Now that I have presented all of this information to you, let's look at the unsolved parts.

Evidence:

This evidence seemed a little to easy to find. From the outside looking in, it appears they wanted the body to be found when it was. Many people in law enforcement understand the saying "only the stupid ones get caught." Is that the case here? The positioning of the evidence also seems too cookie-cutter. After burning the first shovel, they left the head in the fire pit. They marked the grave with an obvious cross with upturned soil.

Benjamin was reported by many as happy, caring, and loving. So why is the motive for his murder not being discussed further than "possibly over a girl?" Benjamin's father seems to be handling this extremely well and claiming he will continue to approach this case with love instead of hate because that is what his son would want. He heard of the rape of his son in court, and somehow only stared at the brothers. I'm not saying he's responsible in any way, but I think he may know more than he shows, maybe even about a motive with the closeness of the two.

Finally, why did Marquez lie about the grave and what happened, but not Adamson? How could Adamson so easily tell the story? Maybe it's possible that the only involvement Benito had was luring Benjamin to the area.

The case is still fairly fresh, however, these should be some of the first things investigated before the arraignment which has already happened for one of the brothers. l believe there's a lot more to the story that is not being noticed/talked about.

Cover Image Credit:

Igor Trepeshchenok / Magdeleine

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We Are Better Than This

Stop with the shouting and subtweeting and start with the adult conversation

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So, here's the deal. I know that, anymore, there are a million and two ranty political articles out there, but I'm going to truly do my best to keep this article from becoming just another one gumming up your social media feeds. If all goes to plan, you could read this article from start to finish and still not know my political leanings.

That's because I'm not here to argue for one side or the other. I'm not here to tell you why I'm right, and you're wrong. I'm not here to be an advocate for this or a protestor against that. I've simply come to notice something that concerns me about.

No one will just talk anymore.

Any more, people just scream their opinions at each other, digging in their heels and refusing to yield in any way shape or form. No longer are there calm discussions about differences in beliefs and life views. This has not only led to a toxic and ever growing divide between parties, but it has diminished more universal respect of how other people think.

Hot button topics like abortion, gun control, immigration reform, and more all seem to light a fire under people. They take to facebook, twitter, Instagram, or any other social media to vent, and, all of a sudden, mini-wars break out between friends and random strangers alike.

And, we can all agree, it gets annoying. I love a well thought out political meme or cartoon from either side, but after a week of seeing it everywhere, it gets to be a LOT! People are quick to post but slow to talk, and it all seems somewhat counterproductive.

We are so divided politically, it's a wonder anything gets done anymore. With an impending election (or at least an impending race) everything seems to fire up all over again. The aggressive divide between Trump, Sanders, and Clinton supporters are a shadow of the past, but there is still hope for civilized democracy in years to come.

That can only happen if we agree to chill every once in a while and talk, yes, talk, not scream, through our differences. I'm not saying you need to go and befriend everyone at the opposite end of the spectrum, but it wouldn't hurt to hear what others have to say.

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