If It’s 'Their' Fault, Who Are 'They'?

If It’s 'Their' Fault, Who Are 'They'?

The "they" you are referring to is yourself, your family, your peers, and the people surrounding you.
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Over the weekend I watched a Netflix documentary called “Audrie and Daisy.”

If you haven’t seen it or even heard about it, you should take the time to watch it. For me, the documentary showed more of the investigation process for sexual assaults than other documentaries about sexual assault that I have watched previously.

The documentary is about two girls that get sexually assaulted by boys who they considered friends in high school. These girls end up getting trolled online by their peers and the communities they have lived in for their entire life.

In a specific part of the documentary, a cop that is investigating one of the girls sexual assault talks about how if you don’t have enough evidence the charges have to be dropped. He talked about how he said she said stories are not good enough and nothing was pointing to that girl being raped by the guys she said she was raped by.

The part that got me the most about him talking was how he blamed it on society saying that “that’s just the way society is”. And by him saying that it got me thinking about what people think society is and what society does.

Society doesn’t choose whose hot and who’s not.

Society doesn’t choose how much money you need to succeed.

Society doesn’t make the laws.

We as people choose all those things. We as people are society.

Society isn’t an underground government service that chooses how things go in the world.

Society isn’t a group of people that have been specially picked around the world to choose what happens in the world.

Society isn’t a rule book we have to follow. Nowhere does it say that you have to do this because society is that way.

Stop blaming things on society. Society is not an excuse for you to use.

Let me tell you what society is.

Society is us, we choose who’s hot and who’s not. We choose what the laws are. We choose everything.

We talk about wanting to change the society and then we blame things on society. If we want to change something then start as an individual or a group of people to change it.

Society can change by one person. There is no one to tell you, “you can’t change society because I am society and I chose what happens.”

If you don’t like the way something is in the world. Stop blaming it on society. Because society is the nation and the nation is the people living in it which is you and your friends and your family and the people surrounding you. We make everything happen in the world. If we don’t like something then we have to change it.

If we change things then the society will be different and get better. We have to change things for our anger of how society works will change.

The “they” you are referring to while blaming society for your problems is you and the many other people in this nation.

Cover Image Credit: Attillio Pirino

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Tomi Lahren's Top 10 Most Appalling Comments

Complete with quotes and reactions! Prepare to be appalled.
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By now you probably know who she is. You’ve probably seen one of her videos, and likely suffered from an extreme migraine after enduring her shouts for three long minutes. That’s right. We’re talking about 23-year-old Tomi Lahren—the commentator who continues to growl her racist, ignorant beliefs at whatever will listen. To fully understand how disrespectful and outrageous Lahren has been, let’s take a look at the top 10 most appalling and/or embarrassing comments of her career thus far. (I say “thus far” because I know there will be more in the future.)

1. In reference to Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance and other performers bringing attention to racism in modern society, Lahren said, they just “can’t let America heal,” and that they keep “ripping off the historical band-aid.”

Tomi, it’s impossible to heal when there is still a gaping, open wound. Discrimination, segregation, and racism are not over. They’re not done. We’re not healing—we’re still hurting. Schools in certain districts (for example, Cleveland School District in Mississippi) are still segregated. Blacks continue to receive less pay than whites for the same job. As we’ve seen in recent events, police brutality against blacks is rampant. This is not a ‘historical’ issue. This is a current issue. There is no band-aid, and there is no healing, because America is still wounded. I’ll rephrase that for you, Tomi. I think this is what you meant to say: “Beyonce, please don’t bring up this issue. It’s uncomfortable for me, and I don’t want to deal with it because it doesn’t actually affect my life. Let’s just cover it up and pretend none of it exists.” Great idea.

2. In response to Hillary Clinton’s vocal support of women’s issues, Lahren said, “I’m a Republican, and I can buy my own womanly things!”

First of all, thanks for reminding us that you’re a Republican. It’s greatly appreciated. Secondly, good for you. I’m glad you’re able to purchase your own birth control. But you’re forgetting that thousands of women don’t actually have that option, including me. I’m a broke college student, and I go to Planned Parenthood. Many of my college-aged friends do, too. We’re not all from privileged households. We’re not all trying to take advantage of the system. But we’re all women, and we all have a right to our own reproductive health. After all, without easy access to birth control, abortions would become even more popular. Is that what you want?

3. Again, in response to Hillary Clinton’s vocal support of women’s issues, Lahren said, “The only thing I get on my knees to do is pray.”

Does anyone find this comment relevant at all? By supporting women’s reproductive health, Clinton is not suggesting that you should start giving more blow-jobs. But thank you, Tomi, for giving us a little insight into a part of your life we don’t need to hear about.

4. Lahren responded to Obama’s speech about gun control by saying it’s easy for him to go after our second amendment rights when he’s “surrounded by many men with guns at all times.”

Are you the President of the United States? Do you require that much security? I didn’t think so. Not to mention those men with guns are as qualified to carry a gun as any police officer. Obama is not trying to eliminate all gun use—only those who are not qualified or stable enough to carry one. If you become President of the United States someday (this is the part where I get on my knees and pray that this doesn’t happen), you will be afforded the same kind of security.

5. On a similar note, she complains that liberals are trying to “prevent law-abiding citizens from their constitutional second amendment right.”

If you’re truly a healthy, law-abiding citizen, stricter gun laws will not affect you. It’s as simple as that.

6. While ranting about Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET awards, Lahren said, “If the [black] victim ended up being unarmed, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.”

This comment wins the award for Greatest Generalization of All Time. In other words, any black person who doesn’t have a gun has tried, or has thought about trying, to take a gun from a police officer. That is so unbelievably racist—I’m not even sure what else to say about that. To be honest, it makes me feel sick, especially because I know there are people out there who are applauding her for saying this.

7. Also in response to Jesse Williams, Lahren said, “Do you know how many of our ancestors fought in the Civil War to free your ancestors?”

The truthful, historically accurate answer to your question is: probably not very many. If you had done your research, you would have realized that while the preservation of slavery was certainly a main initiative of the South, the disestablishment of slavery was not the main intention of the North. The main point of the Civil War for the North was to preserve the union. Most were not fighting in the Civil War in an effort to free Jesse Williams’ ancestors. Maybe your ancestors were anti-slavery, and maybe they weren't! Anyway, I doubt you know for sure. Lahren goes on to say that it was the “white, Southern Democrats” who were defending slavery. Oh, Tomi. I’d like to remind you that those Democrats would be considered modern-day Republicans. Nice try, though. That was almost a good argument.

8. Lahren tweeted, “Meet the new KKK, they call themselves ‘Black Lives Matter’ but make no mistake [sic] their goals are far from equality.”

At this point I’d like to acknowledge that although Lahren’s comments are incredibly outrageous and her rants are filled with false logic, I respect her right to express her opinion. But not this time. To me (and to thousands of other Americans, as seen in the petition to have her fired from The Blaze), this comment is unacceptable. She wants to criticize Beyonce for reopening old wounds? Well, here you go—hypocrisy at its finest.

9. In her Behind the Scenes video, Lahren is seen talking to someone off camera. In regards to climate change, she says, “I talk to a lot of Democrats about that. They’re like, ‘But it’s freezing, and then it’s hot!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s called weather. That’s what happens.’”

I have two words here: Face palm. Weather and climate are not the same. And in case you won’t take my word for it, here it is, straight from NASA. According to their website, “Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere ‘behaves’ over relatively long periods of time.” We’re not talking about the first day of spring when it’s suddenly warmer than it was yesterday. We’re talking about the fact that it no longer snows where it used to when our parents were young. We’re talking about the fact that, according to NASA, “Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers of ice between 2002 and 2005.” We’re talking about how, according to The Union of Concerned Scientists, “The 12 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998 and every one of the past 38 years has been warmer than the 20th century average.” Mic drop.

10. Lahren complained that Obama is not doing enough with National Security, saying he has a “half-way, half-baked, tip-toe, be-friendly-to-Jihadist mentality.”

I think she might have just given Sarah Palin a run for her money, here.

As a writer, and as an opinionated person, I’m all about freedom of speech. I respect that people have different ideas than I do. But I don’t tolerate racism, and I don’t tolerate close-mindedness. As a fellow twenty-something, Tomi Lahren embarrasses me, and I feel truly sorry for the young conservatives who have to deal with such an off-base representative. Our generation is already struggling to gain respect and admiration from our elders, and this kind of hate speech, ignorance, and entitled attitude is not helping our cause. Most of us were taught from an early age to treat people with respect. That's something that Tomi Lahren clearly missed out on.

Cover Image Credit: Humour Ma on Youtube

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Fiction On Odyssey: 1943

All was lost in 1943.
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I give Evelyn a small wave when she opens her door. Her eyes widen, and she then gives me a thin-lined smile. In the light of recent events, her wrinkles are more prominent, and her eyebags sag like weights — the light does not quite meet her eyes the way it used to. Tears brim in my eyes as she opens her arms. I take a step forward, falling into her embrace. I have completely forgotten how it feels to be around her: warm and comforting. For a moment, it was just me, her, and the faint scent of peppermint. Us against the world.

I pull away, but she stops and grips me hard with her fragile hands. Evelyn looks me straight in the eyes and comforts me, "It's okay. It's okay."

She was trying to convince herself too. I hear the strain in her voice.

I have prepared myself a speech for this exact situation, but the words all fall right off my tongue. No sentences are formed, and I am left stuttering my train wreck of thoughts. Giving up, I point at the stairs. Something tells me that she knows why I had come. The sides of her eyebrows sink a little bit more, and she gives me a concerned look, as if she feared this day would come. "You sure?"

I know that I am not prepared for the fall, but I nod.

"Here," she says, widening the door. She steps sideways and motions me in.

The smell of peppermint becomes overwhelming, making me a bit lightheaded. The familiarity of this house catches me off guard, as I have expected everything to be different. But it is exactly how I remember it a year ago: the faint voices of the radio anchor, the dainty vases displayed in the cabinets, and the piles of books that will never be read. But all that has become unimportant as my eyes settle on a photo frame on the wall — it was the ultimate quartet. My mouth quirks up, reminiscing the previous years. Like a film, the memories replay in my mind over and over. I chuckle at the thought of playing hide-and-seek here in this house; that seems like a lifetime ago.

My thoughts are suddenly interrupted by the sound of a dropping porcelain. The fall is sharp, and the sound is piercing. Next, there is nothing but the dull ringing in my ears. My fist clenches together as I brace myself for the next moment. A voice speaks up, breaking the thin silence, "Lilly? Is that you?"

I glance up and search for the source of the voice. When my eyes land on her, my heart plummets. Her hands cover her open mouth, and her eyebrows scrunch together, incredulous at the sight of me. I force a smile. "Yeah, Ruth, it's me."

For the second time that day, I find myself in the arms of somebody else. I do not mind; it is much needed.

"A whole year, Lilly. You can't keep avoiding us." Behind those her eyes, I see that she is hurt by my lack of presence. Guilt rises in me, as I cannot justify my actions and truly do not know what to say.

"I was scared." Tears fall from my eyes, and I immediately feel my cheeks burn from the salty fluid. "I'm still scared."

Ruth does not shift one bit, but I feel her trail of tears on my blouse as well. She whispers, "We all are."

I have never realized this before, but that's when I know it. Though time may have split us apart, we are all still connected by the aching pain.

▂▂▂

According to Ruth, nobody has touched the room since last year. His room was a part of him, from the books stacked on his desk to his clothing hung in the closet. Nobody wants to do anything to disturb this order, so it is left for the dust to settle on.

I open one of his books up, and the thirteen colonies are laid out in front of me. As I flip through more and more pages, history moves forward. As more and more territories and states form, so do all the innovations during this time. And as I saw more and more notes in the margins, I know that I was approaching the 1860's.

There was a point in time when we were all fascinated by the Civil War. The Union vs. the Confederates, the controversies that started the war, the strategic tactics used to defeat the South. We spent many hours discussing it too. However, there was one thing I couldn't understand:

Wars are supposed to unite. We are supposed to grieve and mourn together, stand and hope together. The United States of America. We can't be united if we all refuse to work out our different opinions. And despite the fact that the Unions won, the once-Confederates were in a state of economic struggle: land destroyed, labor forces lost, and families torn apart. In the end, the South learned to despise the North even more.

But, we had shrugged it off, oblivious to the fact that it could happen to any one of us, and we used to dress up and play roles as these historical figures. I had pretended to be Lincoln with his hat, and he had made the sides of his hair stick out and played Davis. Yes, we had made fun of the Southern accents and had tried our best to impersonate these people. It was all very cringe-worthy, but nothing had mattered then. One way or another, we'd end up with the Union crying out in victory.

If I could go back in time and tell our younger selves to rethink everything, I would. War is no game. It's more than a story to tell. It's heartbreak, it's death, and it's the loss of innocence.

About a month ago, our troops marched up the beaches of Normandy with the goal to take over German control in France. Operation Overload, otherwise known as D-Day.

I personally have not heard much about it. The news consists of nothing but warfare and politics, so I've stopped listening long ago. The thought of war brings nothing but a sense of impending doom and uncertainty. And these informants bring more than just news or a story — they instill fear.

I couldn't fathom what it must be like for all those soldiers. Miles away from home, with nothing but fading memories of their families and loved ones. I can't imagine spending the last few years of your life with strangers with one common goal: to stay alive.

From the civilian standpoint, we wish for nothing but their safe arrival back home.

As I move from one part of his room to another, I feel more and more helpless. My eyes land on a picture on the wall. The two of us looking at the camera with big smiles. My fingers trace the outline of his lips, and I choke back even more tears. In that captured moment, we couldn't be more than thirteen years old.

Often times I ask myself, why is the world this cruel? We wake up in the mornings while troops fight on the battlefields, watching their comrades fall. We go to work while they fall into restless sleep, unsure of what the next day holds. We live peacefully while they struggle for us.

No, wars separate. As fathers, husbands, sons — heck, even grandfathers — stumble into the chaos of tanks and aircrafts, they walk away from the comfort of their homes, into the unknown future, if they have one that is. Who knows what time has in store?

And if our soldiers ever come back alive, they'll never be fully well. I've seen the veterans of the Great War; they're restless. They're constantly on high alert, always mapping out potential consequences for everyday tasks.

None of them ever fully recovered. We can't pretend to know the challenges they had faced. Because, in reality, we can't imagine the horrors of their external and internal conflicts, their present, their story.

No matter how many times I beg, cry, or yell, the past is the past. As much as I hate to admit it, nothing could change the fact that William Andrew Thompson was dead.


Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / Greg Kantra

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