The "United" States Of America

The "United" States Of America

America the land of the divided.

The definition of united is joined together politically, for a common purpose, or by common feelings. It's 2016 and it might as well be changed to the divided states of America. So much violence, hate and division among the human race. I will be going over how most of this violence started and who is really to blame. The recent killings of police in Baton Rouge and Dallas have sparked a debate among Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter. Let me just get this out of the way first -- in no circumstance is it acceptable to murder a police officer. The police are there to protect and serve, they run towards the sound of violence instead of away from it like the average Joe. Sure, there are some bad cops but that does not justify police killings or the killings of anyone in law enforcement. These bad police officers do not represent all law enforcement -- in fact they are only a small majority. The police are just people under the uniform, they are just like us. These officers have families and friends and now thanks to these ruthless acts, their families will never see them put that uniform on ever again. As a student going into law enforcement this does not scare me. It makes me want to become an officer just that much more. I plan to protect and serve and to never judge someone on their race, ethnicity or their background. I do plan to judge people on their actions. Actions are what put you in jail, not race. Before I state this I would like to say that I am in no way racist and I do not intended to offend anyone. The Black Lives Matter movement could be a part of the problem. Now I know that most of the group is peaceful and I can respect that, but what I cannot respect are the people who made this group a movement against police and other races. There truly is no need for racial divide and what's sad is that a racial war could be the reason for the end of our existence.

The media could actually be the one to blame for the recent outbursts in violence. Blowing things out of proportion is something the media has excelled at over the years. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC are all media outlets that report on these hateful acts, but could they actually be to blame? In some instances yes they can be to blame. Using certain headlines such as "Black Teen Killed By White Officer" are what sparks outrage within the people and the Black Lives Matter movement. What started as a simple non-violent protest group has turned for the worst as some of the members are actually to blame for the recent police shootings. It started with the unlawful shooting of Trayvon Martin and is still going strong today with the recent killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. These three shootings are all very different. The two that were unjustified in my mind were Trayvon Martin and Philando Castile. Alton Sterling was a different story, this man had a gun and was not legally allowed to possess it. Resisting arrest was also what made police shoot Sterling. As stated in the Penal Law, no citizen can resist arrest when in custody of a police officer. He was also a registered sex offender and had a recent charge of unlawful possession of a firearm. The whole story was never really seen and the police have not had their voices heard yet. The voices that were heard were members of the Sterling family and members of the Black Lives Matter movement. What is amazing is that Alton Sterling's son stated that in times like these we all need to come together instead of grow apart, so why don't people listen? There is something called the box theory -- imagine a box and start making other small boxes inside of it, but leave out a big chunk in the bottom of the box. This simply means the media reports what they know and sometimes it's not the whole story. Most of the time you'll get one side of the story but the other side will be left out. In most cases the police officer's story will be left out by the media; this is sparking an outlast and a divide. It shouldn't have to be police versus the people, just think about a world without law enforcement. Your child is kidnapped, your house is burglarized, one of your loved ones is murdered or you get killed in a car crash but there is nobody there because it would be a world without law enforcement. You would still be alive because that guy that was speeding that just killed you would've gotten a ticket instead. So if you really think the police are the problem take a look at yourself because you could be a part of the problem. There is no special pill that police take that makes them want to kill a person of a specific race. Try putting yourself in their shoes and I guarantee the same action is made.

In times like these we need unity, that is what make us who we are. The United States of America sounds a lot better than The Divided States of America. The last thing this world needs is a race war and we cannot let it get to that. If everyone can just take some time to think about this subject it would make a world of a difference. Just take this into account, it does not matter on the color of your skin we are all the same people deep down under. Yes this is cliche but it seems to be forgotten from time to time. The one thing this world needs is love and hate seems to be consuming love lately.

When people say black lives matter it makes you think what if someone were to make a white lives matter group. Would it be labeled as racist? Most likely, but why is that? We may never truly know, but in this case, every life matters unless you are a rapist, murderer or someone who has clearly shown that their life doesn't matter because of their actions.The lives of these rapists and murderers do matter but just significantly less because their actions were one sided and they clearly did not care for the victims life. In times like these it is important to form an opinion. Do you stand with the police, the people or do you believe this is a stupid question and we should all stand together no matter our race or beliefs? I am with the people who think this question is stupid and you as a citizen of the United States of America should feel the same way. Sure it is more than okay to disagree with this entire article. Like I said, just imagine a world with no law enforcement, imagine that. Now imagine a world without media and how much different it would be. Now just imagine your life is taken from you but instead of being saved you are left in a dark alley forced to bleed out because you were one of those people against law enforcement. It's food for thought, but it's what is going on in our own country and we need to stay educated on the subject. So instead of creating racial tensions, go out today and look at everyone as equals. Under the United States of America we are all the same and our actions are what defines who we are. So instead of making assumptions towards a certain group of people put yourself in their shoes and think what would I do?

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

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