10 years ago today, Kanye West went on live television and told the world that George Bush doesn’t care about black people.
On September 2, 2005, four days after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the nation, in front of 8.5 million viewers, his sentiment reflected the frustrations of the American people in response to the failure of the federal government to provide aid to the thousands of victims of the category 5 hurricane.
“I hate the way they portray us in the media,” West said during the Concert For Hurricane Relief, NBC’s live broadcast to aid victims. “If you see a black family it says they’re looting, if you see a white family, it says they’re looking for food.”
At the time, the show’s producers and viewers dubbed the moment as controversial television. Today, it is considered one of the most iconic moments in television history.
Looking back ten years later, we can see how the rest of West’s speech was equally controversial to the George Bush line, as he criticized the Iraq war and acknowledged the disparity in the way media treats black victims and white victims.
Ten years later, #Bushdid911 broke barriers of conspiracy theory status to becoming a widespread Internet movement and joke in its own right. As the topic of police brutality and the killing of black people at the hands of the state have been brought to the forefront of political discussion, West’s ideas on the unfair media portrayal of black people are increasingly relevant today.
“We realize that a lot of people that could help right now are at war fighting another way—they’ve given them permission to go down and shoot us,” West said in 2005.
West’s veracity in that moment has become a casual topic in the realm of pop culture as well. Two nights ago at the MTV Video Music Awards, West announced he’s running for president in 2020. Jokes aside about the delivery of his speech, West’s raw emotions have cascaded into a cultural movement for a younger generation to fight to be heard.
“This is a new mentality. We’re not gonna control our kids with brands. We not gonna teach low self-esteem and hate to our kids,” West said at the VMA’s. “We gonna teach our kids that they can be something. We gonna teach our kids that they can stand up for theyself! We gonna teach our kids to believe in themselves!”
While West isn’t necessarily a master of delivery in these unplanned and sincere moments, maybe he doesn’t have to be, as long as we take a step back and listen.
What do you think about Kanye West’s role in American political discourse? Tell us in the comments below.
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About the AuthorSetareh Baig is a writer and editor. She recently graduated from Florida State University and served as the editor-in-chief of the school's newspaper, the FSView & Florida Flambeau. You can follow her on Twitter at @heysetareh_.
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The Veterans of Foreign Wars, one of the most powerful American Veterans organization in the nation strongly condemned Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump for his attacks on the family of a fallen soldier.
The strongly worded VFW statement comes on the heels of Trump’s continued swipes at Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of an American soldier who died in Iraq in 2004.
“Election year or not, the VFW will not tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression,” Brian Duffy, the newly elected head of the VFW said in a statement. “There are certain sacrosanct subjects that no amount of wordsmithing can repair once crossed. Giving one’s life to nation is the greatest sacrifice, followed closely by all Gold Star families, who have a right to make their voices heard.”
The statement also says:
“Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has a history of lashing out after being attacked, but to ridicule a Gold Star Mother is out-of-bounds.”
Duffy was only elected as the head of the VFW on July 27. He has previously said that he believes that soldiers should return home from war more emphatic.
Khizr Khan famously said in his speech to the Democratic National Convention that Trump lacks empathy.
“We must push a message that the VFW is an organization that has always been rooted in service to others, that we are an organization of doers, and an organization comprised of men and women who returned home from their wars and conflicts as better, more compassionate and confident human beings,” Duffy said after winning his role as the head of the VFW last week.
Arizona’s Senior senator John McCain has also bashed Trump over the way in which he has treated the Khan family.
“Arizona is watching,” McCain said in a 700 word statement. “It is time for Donald Trump to set the example for our country and the future of the Republican Party. While our Party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us.
“Lastly, I’d like to say to Mr. and Mrs. Khan: thank you for immigrating to America,” McCain said. “We’re a better country because of you. And you are certainly right; your son was the best of America, and the memory of his sacrifice will make us a better nation — and he will never be forgotten.”
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: Valerie EverettPost Views: 456
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By Staff Report
The internet was aflame last night with many people upset over a piece in the Huffington Post from contributor Rebecca Walden.
Walden penned a piece titled, “Young ladies of the SEC, cover it up!” and boy was it just awful.
Now, it turns out that the Huffington Post wants this all to go away and so they deleted it.
Not a good look HuffPost and not very journalistically sound either.
But have no fear, below you can read the piece as it look on the HuffPost website before it was deleted:
Here is a plain text version: (HT/ SaturdayDownSouth)
Dear young ladies of the SEC, can you do us all a solid and start covering it up?
Standing amongst many of you at the recent Alabama-USC game in AT&T Stadium, I was bewildered.
An Alabama student myself not 20 years ago, I remember what fun it was to dress up for football games. My friends and I would scour the racks of Banana Republic and other favorite stores for anything and everything crimson. We’d swap favorite pieces, share accessories and pull together our “best look” week after week, not only for those cute fraternity boys, but also to cheer on the mighty Tide.
What we didn’t want, and what we never did, was to show up for a college football game looking like we belonged in a Victoria’s Secret fashion show.
More than once at that last ballgame, I wished I could have wrapped my elephant scarf around one of you, teetering around on stilettos with your bra straps exposed and operating under the misguided notion that you looked irresistible.
I wondered if your mother knew what you were wearing.
I wanted to tell you that if you’re doing this for a boy, he’s not the one for you.
I wished you understood that a trend can be interpreted as fun and flirty without being tasteless.
Most of all, I hoped you would soon wake up to embrace the ethos shared by higher learning institutions everywhere – class.
That lucky shaker tucked into the back of your on trend boot?
The team logo you’re sporting on your cheek?
The Greek letters sticker on your shirt declaring the sorority to which you belong and your loyalty to your team?
All rendered classless by those ill covered curves you’ve made sure are on full display.
In talking with friends from all over the Southeast after college football’s opening weekend, it was immediately clear that this trend was hardly limited to the students I saw that Saturday.
Not that that made me feel any better.
Families attend these games. Little eyes are watching you.
On behalf of them, and the rest of us who feel embarrassed for you as you walk by, stop baring almost all in the name of game day fashion.
To be clear, I admire individuality and personal style. Team spirit is a precious tradition, and the vastly wide interpretation of any given school’s football culture is part of what makes Saturdays down south so darn fun (not to mention the stuff of people watching legend).
So by all means, be creative. Don your most debonair collegiate colors ensemble. Heck, try to sneak in a flask or two (this is college, after all).
Be young and fun and carefree.
But please, leave the club clothes at home.
Do you have an opinion about this piece and want it published in RISE NEWS? Send it to us at email@example.com.
Here is a comment sent in to us by Katherine Y. Carothers, a student at Auburn University:
“You know it’s funny because on my college campus (which by the way I’m here all the time — not just on the game days you come to visit), the man jogging down the street with his shirt off is never seen as tasteless, the frat boys dressed in their embarrassing and frankly tacky pledge gear are considered funny and “builds character,” so besides this post being extremely right winged and strongly sexist — I see where your coming from, but not from the same perspective.
People dress how they feel about themselves and also as they were raised. So instead of addressing “these girls” attire as classless and repulsive, let’s remind ourselves of where it all started.
Shame on the ADULT who never told them they didn’t have to advertise their body to get attention, shame on the ADULT for never teaching their children, both girls and boys, that their clothing is not just what they wear but how they carry themselves, shame on the ADULT who never taught their son or daughter how to look sexy, confident, and cool without exposing every inch of their body.
So instead of body shaming and berating my peers, these young women, someone else’s daughter….hug your “little ones” a little tighter and remind them of their worth…because someone obviously forgot to tell the young woman you’re condemning.”
Not everyone disagrees with the Huffington Post piece.
Here is a comment sent in to us by Luisa Kay Reyes, a student at the University of Alabama.
“My Mother and I were walking around the quad during the tailgating at the last home game versus Western Kentucky and we were pretty shocked.
We’ve been going to the quad for years, so we’re used to the summer dresses worn by the sorority girls. But, now, it seems like the trend is these really, really, really, low cleavages with very short shorts and wedge heels.
We saw so many girls holding the wedge heels in their hands and going barefoot about half-time, as it is really too much for them to handle. And the low cleavages prompted my Mother to say that they looked like a Mexican man, with their shirts unbuttoned down to the navel.
Admittedly, all of the girls we saw were incredibly thin and looked like they could all be walking down the runways of New York or Milan.
But, it came across as “advertising” rather than enjoying the camaraderie of Alabama football.”
Do you have an opinion about this piece and want it published in RISE NEWS? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WATCH-What Real “Ladies Of The SEC” Have To Say About That Slut Shaming Piece:Post Views: 2,140
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By Melissa Davidson
It’s never too late to go back to college.
In fact, the number of students “returning” to school is now outpacing first-time students.
Traditional-aged students between 18 to 22 are no longer the majority of students in the higher education system in our country.
Attending college is a rite of passage after high school for some, while for others jumping into the job market is the way to go. No matter where you are in life, here are 10 great reasons you should go back to college and get the degree.
- Earning potential
Having a college degree not only increases your career earning prospects, it may make you eligible for a pay raise or promotion.
The difference in median weekly earnings between a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree can be $20,000 a year or more, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yes, college can be expensive but the return on investment may be worth it down the road.
More education could qualify you for that promotion you’ve been gunning for.
Likewise, if earning a salary boost means going back to school, it seems like a no-brainer.
For new job hunters, the degree will likely land you a higher paying job with health insurance and vacation time.
- Career change
Sometimes we don’t know what we want to be when we grow up, so we work jobs to make ends meet until we figure out something more lucrative.
Or, maybe your current career feels like a dead end and pursuing a different path seems like a logical next step.
In fact, just getting a degree in anything can help you get a better paying job or open up opportunities for more senior positions.
According to Forbes.com, only 27% of college graduates have a job related to their major, so go study what your heart desires and still have a worthwhile career as anything from an entrepreneur to project manager to a realtor.
- New challenge
A mid-life crisis sometimes yields an expensive new Ferrari or an equally expensive divorce.
How about investing in a new life challenge?
Furthering your education! Taking courses is a positive pursuit of a new-found passion or playing off your current strengths. Learning new things keeps life spicy.
- Financial aid incentives
This is interesting: Big employers – like Pizza Hut, JetBlue and Starbucks – help older students finish their degrees through incentive programs.
Nearly 3.5 million Americans over 50 years old have taken some college courses, but have not earned a degree or certificate, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
For students like 63-year-old Diane W. Tavoian, the only way to finish her degree was by returning to college at Arizona State University, who partners with Starbucks to provide financial aid for employees.
Tavoian was already a student at ASU, but after hearing about the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, offered by ASU, she begged Starbucks to hire her as barista.
Starbucks got a good employee and Tavoian finished her bachelor’s degree.
- Positive role model
Your decision to return to school is an inspiring one for your friends and family.
You never know what your determination sparks in others.
It certainly sets a good example about finishing what you start. Good stuff.
- Personal achievement
Nothing is more satisfying than earning the degree you worked hard to get.
No matter what you study, your education leads to a richer life experience.
“When I was young for 15 minutes it was fashionable to tell your parents you weren’t going to go to college, “ writes higher education author Donald Asher. “My father, a design engineer, was driving down the freeway trying to convince me of the folly of my ways.
“Do you see that bridge,” he asked me, pointing to an overpass. “Sure,” I said, the typical insolent teenager. “Well, you see something different than I see. You see an overpass, and I see stress analyses, load factors, and fifty-year cycles of planned obsolescence. So I am getting more out of life than you are, and it’s because of my education.”
He was right, of course.
- Confidence boost
Learning new things makes you feel smarter, right? When you feel smarter, you’re enhancing your self-esteem. With a healthy self-esteem, your confidence shows, which shows your employer how valuable you are.
You don’t have to attend a brick and mortar college or university to get your degree. Many students prefer online classes, especially busy people with families and current jobs to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
You find a way to fit distance learning into your life in a timeframe that works best for you.
- More job options
Acquiring a new skill set makes you more marketable.
Not always, but college grads tend to have more job prospects because of the specialized skills they gain.
For example, many hospitals in the country will no longer hire registered nurses without a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Nurses who’ve worked in the professional nursing field for decades are now going back to school to complete their degrees, sometimes on the hospital’s dime.
The degree also gives them more job options within the field.
- Meet new people
Classmates sharing the same interests is a good way to make connections that could eventually lead to a new job.
Having fun and meeting people is just part of the whole “college” experience.
If you’re nervous, like I was, about starting out on your college path, there are some things you can do to prepare so you will have the best time, like researching which campus group looks the most fun, or seeing if there are any out of the box classes that your school might offer that you could take for fun.
Plus, practicing those networking skills could serve you well in your new career.
As you can see, going back to college has many advantages.
You’ll have to determine if the financial investment is worth it.
If you’re going to accumulate debt by going back to school, evaluate whether your potential salary will allow you to pay it off in a reasonable amount of time.
The goal is finding a career in a growing field with a paycheck that will do more than offset the costs of getting your degree.
But maybe the paycheck isn’t what it’s about at all.
College graduates tend to be happier and healthier and more optimistic about their past and future progress.
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: Vincent LaConte/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 600
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