Just Burn It?

Should You Just Do It, Or Just Burn It?

The controversy over Nike choosing Colin Kaepernick to be the new face of their campaign

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If you're anything like me, you've checked social media in the past week. Which also means that you've seen Nike's announcement that former 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has become the face of their "Just Do It" ad campaign. Nike launched their "Just Do It" campaign in 1988 and is known for using the faces and talents of famous athletes to promote their products. However, their choice to make Kaepernick the next face of their campaign has caused the company an obscene amount of backlash on social media, as well as causing Nike a 3.5 billion dollar market cap loss on Tuesday.


Why the outrage, you ask? Well, on Kaepernick's end, the criticism is nothing new. In August of 2016, the quarterback opted to sit during the national anthem before one of the 49ers preseason games of that NFL season. Kaepernick sat during the anthem for two games (August 14th and 20th), before his protest was noticed on national television on August 26th. Viewers all around the country immediately began to antagonize Kaepernick for disrespecting The United States and our troops--a valid thing to be angry about. But after the game on August 26th, Kaepernick told the media that he was not sitting to protest America, our troops, or our veterans. He was sitting to protest police brutality and America's oppression of people of color. He was using his voice to amplify the struggles of those who had no voice.

When U.S. Army veteran and former Seattle Seahawk Nate Boyer caught wind of Kaepernick's protests, he wrote a piece for Military Times, taking his stance on the issue. Kaepernick met with Boyer before The 49ers next game, and the two of them decided that kneeling would be a more respectful way of protest for Kaepernick, rather than sitting. From that meeting, onward, Kaepernick took a knee for the anthem at every game up until March, when he decided to leave The 49ers and become a free agent. Kaepernick has reiterated many times that he is not kneeling to protest or disrespect America or any of its citizens--in fact, he's doing it for quite the opposite reason. Kaepernick said in 2016 that he kneels "not take away from the military, not take away from pride in our country but keep the focus on what the issues really are...because there are issues that still need to be addressed and there was also a way to show more respect for the men and women that fight for this country."

Regardless of his reasoning, many Americans still believe that Kaepernick's protest is still disrespectful and anti-American. Many have talked over the past two years of boycotting the NFL, and now feel as if they must boycott Nike. And Americans, boycott if you must, but if you say that you are boycotting in order to defend and support America's veterans, please choose to boycott in a way that can help those veterans. Many of them are homeless--in fact, in January 2017, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reported that 40,000 of our veterans were experiencing homelessness. And truthfully, that number is not going to go down because you choose to burn your Nike shoes or clothes for their sake. Instead of posting videos on Facebook of you throwing your Nike belongings into a fire pit, or cutting their logo off of your clothes, donate them to our vets. I promise they won't care about the brand of the clothes. They will be happy to have any to begin with.

Many veterans have spoken out about Kaepernick's protest. While they might not be angry or offended over Kaepernick's choice to express his First Amendment rights this way, you may be. But please don't burn your clothes and shoes. Vietnam Veterans of America is a veterans' charity that will come to you and pick up your unwanted Nike items. DonationTown will also come to collect your items, as well as allowing you to choose which charity your items are donated to. Goodwill. Salvation Army. Anywhere. Socks are currently the most requested clothing item from our homeless. Don't burn yours. There are opportunities for you to protest and boycott Nike if you feel led to, but there are also endless opportunities for you to help the vets that you are defending through your boycotts. Think twice before you burn your belongings.

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I Might Have Aborted My Fetus When I Was 18, But Looking Back, I Saved A Child’s Life

It may have been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had done it.

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Due to recent political strife happening in the world today, I have decided to write on a very touchy, difficult subject for me that only a handful of people truly know.

When I was 18 years old, I had an abortion.

I was fresh out of high school, and deferring college for a year or two — I wanted to get all of my immature fun out so I was prepared to focus and work in the future. I was going through my hardcore party stage, and I had a boyfriend at the time that truly was a work of art (I mean truly).

Needless to say, I was extremely misinformed on sex education, and I never really thought it could happen to me. I actually thought I was invincible to getting pregnant, and it never really registered to me that if I had unprotected sex, I could actually get pregnant (I was 18, I never said I was smart).

I remember being at my desk job and for weeks, I just felt so nauseous and overly tired. I was late for my period, but it never really registered to me something could be wrong besides just getting the flu — it was November, which is the peak of flu season.

The first person I told was my best friend, and she came with me to get three pregnancy tests at Target. The first one came negative, however, the second two came positive.

I truly believe this was when my anxiety disorder started because I haven't been the same ever since.

Growing up in a conservative, Catholic Italian household, teen pregnancy and especially abortion is 150% frowned upon. So when I went to Planned Parenthood and got the actual lab test done that came out positive, I was heartbroken.

I felt like I was stuck between two roads: Follow how I was raised and have the child, or terminate it and ultimately save myself AND the child from a hard future.

My boyfriend at the time and I were beyond not ready. That same week, I found out he had cheated on me with his ex and finances weren't looking so great, and I was starting to go through the hardest depression of my life. Because of our relationship, I had lost so many friends and family, that I was left to decide the fate of both myself and this fetus. I could barely take care of myself — I was drinking, overcoming drug addictions, slightly suicidal and living with a man who didn't love me.

As selfish as you may think this was, I terminated the fetus and had the abortion.

I knew that if I had the child, I would be continuing the cycle in which my family has created. My goal since I was young was to break the cycle and breakaway from the toxicity in how generations of children in my family were raised. If I had this child, I can assure you my life would be far from how it is now.

If I had carried to term, I would have had a six-year old, and God knows where I would've been.

Now, I am fulfilling my future by getting a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having several student leadership roles, and looking into law schools for the future.

Although it still haunts me, and the thought of having another abortion truly upsets me, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I get asked constantly "Do you think it's just to kill a valuable future of a child?" and my response to that is this:

It's in the hands of the woman. She is giving away her valuable future to an unwanted pregnancy, which then resentment could cause horror to both the child and the woman.

As horrible as it was for me in my personal experience, I would not be where I am today: a strong woman, who had overcome addiction, her partying stage, and ultimately got her life in order. If I would have had the child, I can assure you that I would have followed the footsteps of my own childhood, and the child would not have had an easy life.

Because of this, I saved both my life and the child's life.

And if you don't agree or you dislike this decision, tough stuff because this is my body, my decision, my choice — no one else.

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Everything You Need To Know About The New Abortion Ban In Several States

DISCLAIMER: the following does not include any of my personal beliefs/opinions.

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Abortion has and will always be a controversial and very sensitive topic for all genders. The following article delves into the details about the Alabama abortion ban that was signed to be a law which, if it passes, will be in effect January 2020 and briefly touches on the Georgia Heartbeat Bill.

Roe v. Wade (1973)

In 1973, Roe v. Wade 410 was passed in the U.S. by the Supreme Court. In short, this ruled that the Due Process Clause along with the 14th Amendment in the Constitution would work to give pregnant women the choice to choose whether or not they wanted an abortion AND should coincide with the government's personal agenda to protect the health of all who is involved. What I mean by this is that the Supreme Court decided during the second trimester of a pregnancy, abortions would be allowed. But, if it is the third trimester, abortion is to be prohibited unless the health of the mother is in danger. This law catapulted the abortion debate which is still going on today.


Abortion vs. Alabama

Alabama's governor, Kay Ivey, signed off on a bill that will basically ban all abortions, including rape, incest, any abnormality, and if the mother's life is in danger on May 14, 2019 after acquiring approval from 25 Senators . This could be a problem considering that it very much contradicts Roe v. Wade (1973). To Ivey, the bill is a reflection of the values in which the citizens of Alabama believe: all life is precious and a gift from God.


Governor of the State of Alabama, Kay Ivey (pictured above). home.bt.com

The governor of Georgia also signed a bill to ban abortion after detecting the slightest heartbeat which is approximately around the six-week pregnancy period (around the time most women discover that they are pregnant). Another important take on this is that despite the rift and debate that is going on between Democrats and Republicans, most Republicans believe that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. This is looking more like a possibility considering most of the Supreme Court consists of people who support the Republican party. In short, the main idea is to ban abortion in all of the United States, not just in some states like it is currently. In regards to Alabama, the bill still has not been enacted into a law and could possibly encounter delay in the Supreme Court because, after all, this is a very debated topic. For now, abortion is still legal until January 2020 or when it becomes a law.

Conditions of the Abortion Law

The conditions of the abortion law explicitly states that abortion during any stage of a pregnancy is prohibited and if any medical professional aids in the practice/procedure of an abortion, they will face up to 99 years in prison. If an attempt is made to perform an abortion procedure, an individual can be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Women who successfully get an abortion or attempt to will be prosecuted as well. However, only those who provide another with an abortion will be punished in Alabama, not the one receiving the service.

No form of abortion is allowed including: rape, incest, life-threatening abnormality, or putting the life of the mother in danger.


Alabama expected to approve controversial abortion bill www.youtube.com


Two Sides to the Debate

Although most Republicans support the law, the Democratic party has combatted the notion of it. Many opponents of the ban state that the restriction can put the lives of many in danger and affects women of color and those who are living in poverty heavily. ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights have also declared that they will sue. Many young people have also reached out to social media websites such as Twitter and Instagram to voice their opinions:

Tweets from individuals who are anti-abortion ban www.wnd.com

Many celebrities have also stated their opinions on the matter. Rihanna stated in one of her Instagram posts, "Take a look," referring to a picture of 25 Senators in Alabama who approved the abortion bill, "These are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!"

Although both sides clearly have their opinions on the debate of pro-life/pro-choice, one thing we all can agree on is that this will be a long process that can make or break the lives of a lot of people in our nation.

Until next time,

Salsa.

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