Trump and Transgender Discrimination

Trump & Threats To The Transgender Community

A brief overview of what's happening in this country and how it could effect the transgender community.

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As modern society has continued to progress, the existence of transgender people has become more and more widely accepted. But, despite the progress being made everywhere from media representation to legalization of gay marriage to scientific research and recognition, we as a country still have a lot further to go; and President Donald Trump is prepared and very ready to make this country take a huge step back from where we are.

Recent news cycles have pointed towards the Trump Administration discussing redefining gender as we know. Their definition would change the fundamental meaning of gender to something that is purely biological which would end the recognition of over a million adults who are openly transgender in this country.

Let me say, first of all, I am a cisgender female. I am privileged to not be living this nightmare. I recognize what this means for me and what this could mean for people who do identify as transgender. No matter the fact that I will not be living what is happening, this is still a terrifying reality for millions of people, out or not.

Let us now talk about how this redefinition would impact our country as we know it. Since Trump took office, we've seen just how much he wants to erase transgender people from society. The first and best example would be when he announced back in July of 2017 that transgender folk would no longer be allowed to serve in the military. While, the following few days resulted in this being rebutted by General Joseph Dunford (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and several Judges and courts of law, this administrations opinion of the transgender community was stated loudly to the world.

Honestly, it's not a huge surprise to me that this administration would go so far as to change the very definition of gender as to completely erase the transgender community from existence. But, the implications would be far worse than most people probably think.

This definition change would potentially lead to Trump actually being able to ban transgender people from serving in the military. It would lead to Title VII to not cover discrimination against the LGBT (but most specifically transgender) communities. The DOJ actually has been arguing that Congress never meant for Title VII to cover the LGBT community even when gender was specifically mentioned. The DOJ sees gender as a specifically biological issue. Despite the fact that the Senate has come up with bans specifically on LGBT discrimination in the past few years, the DOJ seems dead set on saying discriminating against people because of their gender identity and, in some cases, their sexual orientation, in just A-Okay with them.

I never thought discrimination would be a partisan issue again. I frankly never thought sexual assault, domestic violence, gun violence, or anything surrounding public welfare and decency would become a partisan issues. Being the moderate and open-minded person I am, I like to think I can see from all sides and understand why certain people have certain beliefs. But with issues such as this, an already threatened and marginalized group being directly attacked and discriminated against by our own government, I just can't bring myself to understand it.

Transgender people, especially transgender people of color, are murder simply for existing. These anti-discrimination protections put in place by the government were just a small step towards helping a community that still isn't comfortable enough to step forward all the way. It's truly heartbreaking to watch our government fail us and so many people just stand by and do nothing.

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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A Little Skepticism Goes A Long Way

Be informed citizens and verify what you see and hear.

rahma
rahma
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These days more than ever before we are being bombarded constantly by a lot of news and information, a considerable amount of which is inaccurate. Sometimes there's an agenda behind it to mislead people and other times its just rumors or distortion of the facts. So, how do you sift through all this and get accurate information? How can you avoid being misled or brainwashed?

This is an important topic because the decisions each of us make can affect others. And if you are a responsible citizen your decisions can affect large numbers of people, hopefully positively, but negatively as well.

It's been said that common sense is not something that can be taught, but I am going to disagree. I think with the right training, teaching the fundamentals behind common sense can get people to have a better sense of what it is and start practicing it. All you will need is to improve your general knowledge and gain some experience, college is a good place for that, then add a little skepticism and you are on your way to start making sensible decisions.

One of the fundamental things to remember is not to believe a statement at face value, you must first verify. Even if you believe it's from a trusted source, they may have gotten their info from a questionable one. There's a saying that journalists like to use: "if your mother said, 'I love you' you should verify it.'" While this is taking it a bit too far, you get the idea.

If you feel that something is not adding up, or doesn't make sense then you are probably right. This is all the more reason to check something out further. In the past, if someone showed a picture or video of something that was sufficient proof. But nowadays with so many videos and picture editing software, it would have to go through more verification to prove its authenticity. That's not the case with everything but that's something that often needs to be done.

One way of checking if something sounds fishy is to look at all the parties involved and what do they have to gain and lose. This sometimes is easier to use when you're dealing with a politics-related issue, but it can work for other things where more than one person/group is involved. For example, most people and countries as well will not do something that is self-destructive, so if one party is accusing the other of doing something self-destructive or disadvantageous then it's likely that there is something inaccurate about the account. Perhaps the accusing party is setting the other one up or trying to gain some praise they don't deserve.

A lot of times all it takes is a little skepticism and some digging to get to the truth. So please don't be that one which retweets rumors or helps spread misinformation. Verify before you report it.

rahma
rahma

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