families separated at border

The United States Is Alarmingly Racist

I was taught that Nazis are bad, but Trump thinks that they are "fine people."

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Honestly, I've been struggling for a while now because I just don't know how we got here. Maybe I was naïve to the racism, sexism, and bigotry that seems to be running rampant in our country. Maybe it's the fact that the current POTUS embodies all of these awful traits that others aren't afraid to show them as well. Whatever the case, I'm honestly scared for our country and for our future.

When I was learning about the Holocaust in middle school, my classmates and I were horrified that someone so evil could rise to power and that people would blindly follow him. You would hope that we would learn from history and not let it repeat itself. Yet, here we are, separating families, putting children in camps, killing and jailing people for their race while pardoning people who aren't minorities. I am not being dramatic; these things start slow.

Hitler also began with fascism and deporting minorities.

No matter what your politics are, I don't understand how anyone can look at a child in a cage and think, "That seems right." There are children being ripped from their parents with no indication of when they may see them again, if ever.

In case you're confused, let me clear something up. When undocumented immigrants are detained, the government can either submit them for deportation, or prosecute them for unlawful entry, which is a misdemeanor. Common misdemeanors include getting a parking ticket or public intoxication, but you don't see parents having their children ripped away from them for those. In May, the Trump Administration issued a "zero tolerance" policy.

Because there was no warning, the Office of Refugee Resettlement can't keep up with the job of finding family members for children whose parents have been jailed for unlawful entry. This led to these children being sent to detention facilities (where 1,500 children were lost and most likely sold into human trafficking).There is absolutely no reason to split these families up; it is cruel and unnecessary.

What a lot of people seem to not understand is that there is a difference between unlawful entry and lawful application for asylum. Yet under the Trump Administration, those applying for asylum are still having their families ripped away from them. These people are presented with the option to either continue the asylum process while still being separated from their families (which takes an average of 400 days), or to be found guilty of immigration fraud and being deported, even though they did nothing wrong.

This was not a policy under the Obama Administration. President Obama never ripped families apart and put children in cages. This has not been going on for years, it is happening now and it needs to be stopped. Congress has a bill right now that could stop all of this but not one Republican senator has stepped forward to support it, only Democrats.

Trump is blackmailing Democrats into providing funds for his wall (weird, I thought Trump was going to make the Mexicans pay for that), and he will not support any legislation that will make it illegal to separate families at the border until it is combined with funding for the wall. He is lying when he says that the Democrats are making it impossible to stop the tragedies that are happening at the border. This is not me trying to pit the parties against each other; this is me listing facts.

This is just the latest in horrors that have plagued our country since Trump was voted into office. We have seen Nazis marching without consequence. Black people are suffering every day, whether they are being killed or jailed for crimes that they did not commit. A blonde girl can proudly tote her machine gun around a college campus without being bothered, but a black man was shot and killed for holding a cell phone. Women's health care is constantly in jeopardy.

A detention officer raped a four-year-old girl and threatened to deport her mother if she told authorities. NFL players have been told that if they express free speech and protest peacefully, they will be fined. This is disgusting.

I don't care that some of these people were trying to enter the U.S. illegally; children should not be in cages. These children are not "crisis actors" (neither were the victims of the shooting in Parkland). To those who think that they are, are you that dumb, or that in denial of what's going on? If you think that these people deserve to be ripped apart, you are a racist. It is that simple. By the way, a man who can't even spell the word "border" shouldn't be in charge of one.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Social Control

According to Merriam Webster, social control is "the rules and standards of society that circumscribe individual action through the inculcation of conventional sanctions and the imposition of formalized mechanisms." Social norms, rules, laws, and structures within a society are just a few of the methods that keep our society "in-line".

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Informal vs Formal

There are two types of social control. There is informal social control which is enforced by family, peers, teachers, etc. and is often referred to as "socialization". Informal social control refers to values, norms, and belief systems of a society. Then there is formal social control which is enforced by the government through police and military. Formal social control refers to laws of society and topics such as terrorism.

For more information regarding informal and formal social control, check out: Definition of Social Control


Positive Social Control

Positive social control is related to the idea of getting rewarded for good work, rather than be hurt for doing something wrong.

For example, you will be given a raise at work if you prove you deserve it, but you will not be tortured if you don't take that extra step. Socialization is the primary way that social order is kept, and is a perfect example of positive social control. There is also a physical organization to society that keeps everything in harmony. Traffic signals, paved roads, and crosswalks are just a few examples of how physical additions to our everyday lives work together to avoid conflict.

There are many benefits that come along with positive social control as well. Raises, bonuses, and praise are all rewards that come along with following rules and norms.


Negative Social Control

Negative social control is related to the idea of discrimination and/or shame. It uses harsh punishment, torture, pressure, and/or threats to keep the peace and order rather than rewarding good behavior.

For example, Hitler used violence and discrimination to keep the Jews "under control" during the Holocaust.

For more information regarding positive and negative social control, check out: Types of Social Control Formal & Informal, Positive & Negative


Examples of Social Control

Religious Social Control

People who follow a religion tend to develop morals and behavior patterns based on what their religion preaches. These people will avoid committing crimes, hate-speech, or anything else their religion deems as "sinful" in order to avoid punishment during or after their death. Many people tend to believe that religion was created with the sole purpose to control people and keep the social order, while dedicated followers beg to differ.


Economic Social Control

Economic social control is attainable by controlling production or controlling an entire society through their economics (cutting off food supplies, stealing from the poor, etc.) Richer people and industrialists tend to control the lower class and their consumers through status and money.

Wealth = Power


Political Social Control

Political social control is the most influential type of social control. The government regulates money, sources and supplies, the laws, police forces, and many more which when put all together becomes social control. The government balances every aspect of what creates harmony and peace within a society, protecting the people from anarchy.

For more information regarding examples of social control, check out:: Social Control: Meaning, Types and Unfavourable Effect

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