President Trump Defends Use Of Tear Gas On Immigrants

The Use Of Tear Gas On Immigrants Crossing The Border Is Inhumane and Indefensible

"They use their children as shields. Disgusting." - Said by my dad to my horror while watching the news report this morning


If you missed the subheadline, this quote was thoughtlessly tossed out by my dad while we were watching the CBS news report on that viral image of a mother and her three children getting tear-gassed. This act of inhumanity by United States' authority figures is repugnant of the 1963 Birmingham protest, where African American teenagers who were peacefully protesting in Birmingham, Alabama were shot with high-pressure water hoses. In that instance, official's reaction to the Birmingham Protest was so deplorable, that the rest of the world stepped in to shame the United States. The intensity of that global pressure caused U.S. president John F. Kennedy to address the violence in his statement that "[t]he events in Birmingham... have so increased the cries for equality that no city or state or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them" in tandem with his quick abolition of the state's Jim Crow Laws.

Yet, half a century later, my father dropped this awful line. I looked to my mom, to share a look of common understanding of how vile this comment was, but she just glanced at me from the corner of her eye and pretended not to notice.

Although this initial line struck a sharp shiver of surprise through me, it would prove to be the first of many I'd encounter today. In good taste, my friend had posted the Washington Post's article on the incident and I made the mistake of scrolling through the comments. Here are just a few:

screenshot by Shannon Solley

screenshot by Shannon Solley

screenshot by Shannon Solley

Cruel, cowardly and close-minded are just some of the words which come to mind while reading these absurdly hateful comments. Suddenly, after reading these statements, President Trump's supporters and their selfish mindsets are made clear. Each comment exhibits a similar theme: "It's not my problem." Yet, these individuals were so passionate that they went so far as to comment. Why not go on with their day? Trump is president, they will get their way— so why bother? Perhaps their estranged adult children refuse to speak to them, so in the dusty, stale air of their empty single houses they sit on their retirement money and lurk in the comment sections of popular articles they don't agree with; but I could be wrong— their children may very well call them once a month.

Luckily, U.S. society as a whole is not in agreement with this blatant child abuse. Like a breath of fresh air, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) put out several statements which condemned the retraumatization of children who tried to escape from the traumatic circumstances of their home country. Of most importance is the AAP's explanation of the dangers which face children exposed to tear gas:

"[c]hildren are uniquely vulnerable to physiological effects of chemical agents. A child's smaller size, more frequent number of breaths per minute and limited cardiovascular stress response compared to adults magnifies the harm of agents such as tear gas."

Unfortunately, only time will tell if the 60s era United States will be more proactive than our modern-day America. President Trump and his followers have walked us several steps back, so it's going to take some intense social pressure to walk us forward. It seems, however, that the world is maintaining the same indifference as my mother did this morning while bearing witness to this abuse of children and its supporters.

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The Victim Of The Jaguar Attack Honestly Deserved It

Thankfully, it will NOT be Harambe Pt. 2


This event has been the focus of many media outlets such as NBC, ABC, CBS, The Today Show, etc. A woman had climbed over a barrier in order to get closer to the jaguar's cage to take a SELFIE. The woman has recently came forward and admitted that she was in the wrong, but that the zoo should take more precautions to make the jaguar enclosure safer. (WHAT?)

"I'm not the first and if they don't move the fence, I'm probably not gonna be the last." "I never expected. We're all human, we all make mistakes, and I've learned my lesson." -The idiot who crossed an enclosure barrier.

As far as I can recall, I've seen nothing on the news about someone getting attacked by an animal in such a way; unless they were provoked. However, within the past year, this particular jaguar has attacked before because ANOTHER individual had crossed the barrier and provoked the animal. This woman is in the wrong, as was the previous person, but she wants to place blame on the zoo because of their enclosure design. As far as "I never expected", it's a wild animal in a zoo enclosure. Keeping the obvious in mind, she also had her hand in the paws of the jaguar. What did you expect? That it would act like a domestic cat and lick you while purring? No. Even house-cats can be provoked and claw and bite their owners. Why should a wildcat be any different?

The zoo has came forward and made a statement saying that the jaguar, Sara, will NOT be euthanized because she was provoked, but instead is not out for public display for the time being. The zookeepers do not blame the jaguar for the incident because it was the fault of the visitor. The zoo also stated that they are up to USDA standards and regulations with the enclosure. Since a jaguar is a predator, they are required to have two barriers between the predator and the visitors, which this zoo and other zoos have in place.

Jaguar Attacks Woman Who Jumped Zoo Barrier For Selfie | TODAY

These barriers, with any animals, are there for a reason. They're meant to keep the visitors safe from any incidents that could happen. That only gets tossed out the window when someone decides to disregard safety in order to get a picture. The zoom functions in our cameras are there for a reason, everyone.

The fact that zookeepers, officials, news casters, and so forth have to remind people to not cross the barriers of a zoo enclosure is foolish because you would think it would be common sense. This woman, the person before her, and others clearly don't have this not-so-common way of thinking have paid the price for it. Yet, this woman has the audacity to try to place even the tiniest bit of blame on the zoo because it's "not safe enough". Most children, obviously aside from the Harambe incident, know better than this grown woman. Isn't that funny?

So what lesson did we learn from this? Don't be stupid. Use your zoom function.

If you want to disregard safety with a wild animal, go to a safari or travel abroad to an African savanna. Don't cross a barrier at a zoo or you'll be made into a laughing-stock to those with common sense.


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Introducing Miah Johnson

"It made me learn to love and live in every moment as if it were the last." -Miah Johnson


It was Daddy Donut day at Teasley Elementary School, but for Miah Johnson, it was just another day in which she had to pretend everything was okay. It had been a month since Miah's dad was deported and left her hopeless.

As Johnson took her last sip of coffee she laughs. She shares how hard it was for her to talk about her father. Many people do not know about the days she spent crying because she needed him, or how she was not sure if they would ever move past the hard times. How she went days without being able to eat a proper meal because they did not have enough money to make ends meet. Ashamed and embarrassed she shares her memories of going to church early in the morning for bread, canned soup, and powdered milk. She explains that there are times when she gets excited to share something with her father but strange darkness takes over and she loses hope that one day a real relationship with him will exist.

Johnson was born in Fort Lauderdale Florida in 1999. She is the only child of her small sheltered loving family. Her childhood was a fairy tale, her best friend was her stepfather, "I wasn't his biological daughter, but he raised me as one and I will always be grateful for the memories." Johnson's eyes flood with tears as she reminiscences on her past. School work was the best way she coped with her loss. She always made herself busy, if she didn't have any homework she would read, pick up a new hobby or dance. Going to bed was the hardest part of her day. All of the thoughts and feelings she fought so hard to keep away came pouring out in a way she does not know how to describe. Not having her father broke her in many ways, but the one she speaks about most often is not having a financially and emotionally stable home.

Johnson attended Elon University on a full ride her freshman year but decided to transfer to a school closer to home. Johnson was not ready to leave she admitted quietly. She describes that there was a shift in her during her first semester there, for the first time she failed classes, gained 20 pounds and lost her scholarship. Her failure comes from a lack of stability and support. The friendships she made there weren't enough to keep her there, she could no longer afford the prestigious college. Now she takes classes online at Kennesaw State University. She has to work two jobs in order to make ends meet for her and her family. Johnson laughs at the situation and explains how her father used to lecture her on how education is the best way out of their situation. Now she feels like she has disappointed him and that she has to make up for the broken promise.

There is never enough money. Johnson has made plans to visit her father multiple times but has never been able to visit him. There is always something that comes up. Her mother's car broken down the first time, they couldn't afford to pay the bills the other time, and the last time she needed a car of her own to help get to and from work. She shows a screenshot of her bank account. Negative eight dollars. She sighs and states that life has a funny way of getting in the way of the important things.

Johnson believes that if her father was still here, it would be different. She would have never known what it was like to go hungry, feel so hopeless, and do not have a stable home.

She explains that it was an experience she doesn't share because it is painful to talk about but, "It made me learn to love and live in every moment as if it were the last."

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