I am often judged before a crowd
my clothes make me a target
mama says I have to be careful
my color makes me a target
because I am black
I cannot walk the streets alone at night
because I am black and am woman
they tell me to show emotion but
not too much because I am a black woman
they say the most powerful thing I have
is between my legs because I am woman
I, they tell me, am usually
from a broken home because I’m black
I’ll never be as good as my male
counterparts because I am woman
I am often judged before a crowd
my body is a public temple repairable
by man I am to be seen like decoration
because I am woman
I am the unwanted immigrant
my contributions mean nothing
because I am black
I have to aspire to perfection.
I have to realize rarely I am
good enough because I am woman
I am the style that everyone has
everyone wants the benefits without
having to be me- cultural appropriation
they tell me, is not real
I am the minority that produces the majority
I am the flower that suffers in the winter
gallantly swaying in the wind. my history is not told
in truth I am the minority they wish was quiet I am
the roll of thunder at the crack of injustice
I am Sybrina Fulton
I stand in the puddle of my son’s blood
gazing at an unreal sight
I am the double minority, the unappreciated.
I am the black woman.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Boston Public Library/ Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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About the AuthorKeydra Jones is a senior at the University of New Orleans who will be graduating in December. She is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Legal Studies and a minor in English. She aspires to be a lawyer focusing her energy on helping others in anyway she can.
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For conservatives, the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood is not actually as easy as it sounds from 30,000 feet. From an economic standpoint, Planned Parenthood is actually a smart way to save money for the government. Yes you read that right. Funding Planned Parenthood is actually the fiscally responsible thing to do.
Of course, some conservatives refuse to admit this fact.
In a recent Huffington Post article, Jeffery Young explains that Republicans claim cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood “wouldn’t harm women’s health, because other medical providers would pick up the slack”.
First of all, if the goal is to continue providing medical care, and many Republicans are hoping or rather, banking on another health care provider to “pick up the slack”, why even impede the crucial role Planned Parenthood plays in health care in the first place?
Secondly, not to get into semantics, but “other medical providers” dictates that these Republicans deem Planned Parenthood a legitimate healthcare facility.
So is this attempt to defund the organization because of abortions, (something that comprises two percent of what Planned Parenthood does) really what Republicans are prioritizing?
Abortion and Planned Parenthood have become synonymous. Unfortunately, this misrepresentation of the organization has created an ideological controversy that has sent socially conservative Americans into a fit of resentment and disapproval for the healthcare organization.
Strange, considering the fact that Planned Parenthood is one of the most fiscally conservative organizations in this country that the government subsidizes.
Journalist Amanda Marcotte explained in Slate just how cost effective Planned Parenthood really is. It actually provides a solid return on investment:
“Planned Parenthood cost the government an average of $148 for a patient’s contraceptive care in a year, while other clinics spent $215 a year per patient. Just pushing contraceptive care for these patients from Planned Parenthood to other clinics would thus cost the government an additional $174 million a year”.
So it is clearly not about the money, right?
If it were, there is no way that these Republicans would want to do away with Planned Parenthood.
After all, the organization treats around 2.5 million men and women in a year, and there is no way any small clinic would have the capacity, or the desire to treat such an influx in patients.
Here is a segment from a letter the director of the non partisan Congressional Budget Office Keith Hall’s letter to former House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy about the repercussions of defunding Planned Parenthood:
“Because the costs of about 45 percent of all births are paid for by the Medicaid program, CBO estimates that additional births that would result from enacting such a bill would add to federal spending for Medicaid. In addition, some of those children would themselves qualify for Medicaid and possibly for other federal programs.”
The New England Journal of Medicine estimates that obstructing patients access to health care at Planned Parenthood would cause a 35 percent decline on Medicaid from using “the most effective methods of birth control and a dramatic 27 percent spike in births among women who had previous access to injectable contraception”.
Blocking women’s access to Planned Parenthood does not make a stand against abortion; it stands against providing and protecting women’s bodies.
This ideological debate does not consider the repercussions for a large percent of the population. It does not consider what will be taken from American citizens, and it does not reflect fiscal evidence that proves the economic downsides to defunding Planned Parenthood.
Most importantly, it will not even accomplish what it is set out to do, and that is preventing abortions.
Starting in 2014, The Atlantic published a shocking series of articles about “DIY” (Do It Yourself) abortions in Texas.
By 2015, Texas had shut down twenty-four abortion clinics; and is expected in 2016 to be closer to thirty-one clinics.
The purpose of these shut downs was to eliminate the possibility of having an abortion in Texas.
A woman would have to travel what New York Times reporter, Kim Soffen projected as 111 miles outside the average Texas county to get an abortion. These shut downs led to a severe increase in self-induced abortions.
The Atlantic, also found that “Between 100,000 and 240,000 Texas women between the ages of 18 and 49 have tried to end a pregnancy by themselves”, from a survey done by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Texas.
Women were inducing abortions by taking the drug, Misoprostol, taking illicit drugs, using alcohol, and getting punched repeatedly in the abdomen; all because they did not have access to an abortion clinic.
When women’s access to contraception is obstructed, the rate of unwanted pregnancies increase. When abortion clinics that are equipped to safely perform the procedure are shut down, self-induced, unsafe abortions are performed.
Defunding Planned Parenthood will not stop abortions, if anything; it will cause unsafe attempts to harm the woman.
This impact is not limited to Texas.
In Utah, for example, defunding local Planned Parenthood clinics would cause 4,400 men and women to go without STD testing according to the state’s Department of Health– while 3,725 people with chlamydia or gonorrhea and their partners would not receive treatment at all.
In a recent New York Times column, Nicholas Kristoff reports that “American kids have sex as often as European kids but have babies three times as often as Spanish kids and eight times as often as Swiss kids.”
A lack of access to contraception is not going to keep individuals from having sex, it is solely going to cause individuals to have unprotected sex and result in possible pregnancies, possible STI’s, and if these clinic shut downs continue, possible self-induced abortions.
Abortions are going to happen whether we want them to or not.
Therefore, safe abortion clinics must stay open, access to contraception and health care must be available to everyone, and women’s health needs to be a priority.
And on the whole, Planned Parenthood is actually a pretty economically sound investment for the government to make. Budget hawks should be championing it and not trying to tear it down.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Sarah Mirk/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 230
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Apple and the FBI have captured the public’s attention by battling over unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s phone, but this is about more than one terrorist attack. This is a power struggle over the future of digital communication.
Encryption seems opaque and impossibly complex, and that’s the point. Even though it has only recently entered the popular lexicon, humans have been using encryption to keep secrets hidden since ancient Greece.
Now it’s an essential component to everyone’s electronic communication, and the United States security apparatus is essentially demanding unilateral power over its on/off switch.
A judge ordered Apple to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to help the FBI unlock San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c, which seems like a reasonable request.
After all, it has the word reasonable in it.
But like many vague government directives, its request is far from the definition of the word it uses. What the FBI really wants Apple to do can best be explained by the world’s most notorious hacker.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) February 17, 2016
Granted, there are so many layers to the Snowden story that you have to take everything he says with infinite grains of salt, but the man clearly knows his tech.
He’s pretty much stuck where he is for the rest of his life, so it’s hard to see how criticizing the FBI benefits him in any way (unless you believe that he’s a Russian operative, but that’s a discussion for another day).
This isn’t just about hacking into this one phone. The FBI wants Apple to build them a cyber weapon that bypasses encryption on iPhones around the world.
Encryption has been a central debate in the intelligence community for quite some time, and lines have clearly been drawn between civil cabinets and law enforcement, as the Obama administration has offered conflicting messages on this topic.
Leslie Caldwell, the head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division alluded to the need to bypass encryption at a technology policy conference earlier this year:
“The Department of Justice is completely committed to seeking and obtaining judicial authorization for electronic evidence collection in all appropriate circumstances. But once that authorization is obtained, we need to be able to act on it if we are to keep our communities safe and our country secure.”
Ironically enough, the very next person to speak at that conference was another top Obama official at the Federal Trade Commission, Terrell McSweeny, and he offered a diametrically opposite opinion:
“As a person charged with thinking about consumer protection, I deeply worry about things like mandatory backdoors. We need to be very mindful of consumer data security, and we should be very, very careful about anything that undermines that data security.”
James Comey, the director of the FBI, is one of the chief architects of the case against encryption, as he laid out in his famous 2014 “going dark” speech:
And if the challenges of real-time interception threaten to leave us in the dark, encryption threatens to lead all of us to a very dark place.
You can see this schism in on the campaign trail too. Here’s the child of the former head of the CIA Jeb Bush’s take:
“If you create encryption, it makes it harder for the American government to do its job — while protecting civil liberties — to make sure that evildoers aren’t in our midst. We need to find a new arrangement with Silicon Valley in this regard because I think this is a very dangerous kind of situation.”
Compare that to former HP CEO/former Presidential candidate/future Fox News analyst Carly Fiorina:
“I certainly support that we need to tear down cyber walls, not on a mass basis, but on a targeted basis. I do not believe that we need to wholesale destroy every American citizen’s privacy in order to go after those that we know are suspect or are already a problem. But yes, there is more collaboration required.”
So why is the private sector so concerned with protecting encryption? Apple’s stance doesn’t seem to be based on firm principle since they have unlocked iPhones for the feds at least 70 times before.
This is a high-profile case, so what Apple does or does not do will be scrutinized infinitely more than those 70 instances combined, and the public has never been more sensitive to the security state than it is right now.
Apple doesn’t want to hurt their brand. Plus, what the FBI is demanding is unprecedented. They’re ordering Apple to build a backdoor into its seminal product.
That’s not something that can only be controlled by one party; once a backdoor exists, anyone with the wherewithal can access it.
The second the FBI uses this new software to bypass encryption, the race will be on to reverse engineer it, and if/when this type of technology falls into the wrong hands, a huge chunk of mankind’s digital infrastructure would be compromised (not to mention the horrors authoritarian regimes around the world would inflict on their people with this weapon).
Given that our security state already looks like a Orwellian fever dream, we should heed President Dwight Eisenhower’s prescient warning from his farewell address and support Apple in this fight:
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place.
Cover Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 200
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By Staff Report
Update: 10:44 AM EST
Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been elected as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives after a vote by the full House.
Final Vote Total:
Ryan (R): 234
Pelosi (D): 185
Webster (R): 9
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the chair of the house Republican conference nominated Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), the chair of the house Democratic conference nominated former Speaker and current house minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Ryan was expected to easily win after gaining the support of the House Freedom caucus.
The election was prompted after Speaker John Boehner announced that he would be stepping down from his position in late September.
Ryan did not immediately throw his hat into the ring to be the next speaker, indicating that he would prefer to stay in his job as the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
However, after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy couldn’t gain the confidence of the Tea Party wing of the Republican conference, the then frontrunner for the job choose to stand down.Post Views: 241
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