Update: 5:55 PM EST
A shocking video has emerged online of what appears to be a police officer abusing a young girl in a South Carolina classroom. It apparently took place at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.
“We are aware of an incident that occurred today at Spring Valley High School,” the local school district said in a statement obtained by WLTX. “Video of it has been posted on social media. The incident is under investigation. We are working closely with the sheriff’s department.”
According to WLTX, the police officer in the video is a school resource officer who is stationed at the school.
A second video showing a different angle has been released by another local TV station.
Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Curtis Wilson told The State that he was still trying to get a handle on the situation.
“I need to find out the details,” Wilson told the paper.
Stay with Rise News as we follow this developing story.
The full video of the Spring Valley High School Police Officer brutally assaulting a peaceful student. pic.twitter.com/oHIS8GrtSS
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) October 26, 2015
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“Miley Cyrus represents everything that is wrong with America.”
This is a sentence you have probably heard or even spoken yourself. But the people who believe this believe it for the wrong reasons.
Frequent marijuana use is not what is wrong with America. Nude concerts are not what is wrong with America. Obscene gestures are not what is wrong with America.
What is wrong with America is the defensive attitude that comes out when someone asks it to shut up for five minutes and let marginalized individuals speak for themselves.
In the past, Miley has called herself “empowering to women,” and I think deep down she does want to empower and to see a more accepting world, just as deep down America wants to live up to its reputation as the land of the free.
But the problem with Miley’s mission, and America’s, lies within her belief that she can fix the world’s intolerance on her terms, without actually listening to those she is attempting to empower.
Miley has spent the last three years not giving a single fuck. It started in 2012 when she chopped off her long brunette locks and began rocking a platinum pixie cut, and has since escalated into everything from excessive tongue use to posing nude for Candy magazine.
She has received equal parts hate and love for her lack of concern with public opinion on her looks, attitude and behavior.
Not giving a fuck can be empowering. In a time where government spying and posting every thought online for 1,000 of your friends to analyze is considered the norm, “worrying about yourself” is a foreign concept. So when you choose not to let unfair judgment of your character affect how you live your life, that is, without a doubt, empowering.
But there is such a thing as fair judgment, something Miley has often faced, particularly for her appropriation of POC culture and her use of the LGBTQ+ community as a prop for her brand.
Last summer, when Nicki Minaj called out the MTV Video Music Awards on Twitter for their lack of recognition for her record-breaking Anaconda video, as compared with their celebration of Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood video, Swift fired back at Minaj for “pit[ting] women against each other.”
When Minaj – and the rest of Twitter — explained to Swift that this wasn’t about bringing her down, it was about dismantling a system stacked against people of color, the pop star issued an apology and admitted that she misunderstood. It was not a perfect example of accountability for problematic behavior, but it was progress.
Miley, on the other hand, when asked about the “beef” between the two, accused Nicki Minaj of making “[the issue] about [her]self,” and suggested that next time the artist approach race issues “with love” to get her point across.
This is America’s problem. Too many people claim to empower, when what they are really doing is overpowering.
Rather than listen to a woman who also faces criticism for everything from obscenity to sexuality, Miley, a self-proclaimed feminist, decided to speak over Minaj and tell her how to best handle the issues she is facing. How can one claim to be empowering while refusing to uplift the voices of those they want to empower?
Empowering a group of people means embracing and caring about both the positive and negative parts of their culture. It means for every time you twerk with your friends in the club, you should be listening to a woman of color talk about the way she is fetishized. For every funny Grindr story you listen to from your gay friend, you should be educating yourself on bi-erasure.
And for every joint you smoke, you should be reading the statistics on imprisonment rates for minor drug offenses and how this practice serves as a systemic genocide of young men of color.
This is America’s problem. Too many people claim to empower, when what they are really doing is overpowering. So next time you see Miley on your TV or computer screen and you ask yourself “What the hell is she doing?” know that she is doing exactly what America is doing: bringing marginalized communities onto her platform, only to cut their mics.
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There is a dangerous ignorance within society today. Quietly walking amongst the city workers, the college students, and the children at play, it creeps through America and infects every individual; its name is sexism.
We live in a society divided by philosophy, wealth, race, age, sexuality, and gender, and lately it appears that some of the population is attempting to keep it this way.
The new wave feminists of the 21st century have endured immense ridicule. They have been coined as “man-haters”, “oppressive”, and many other terms that essentially declare feminists abhorrence for men and women who support traditional gender roles.
This new wave of ridicule is not only incorrect it is unproductive.
There is a Facebook page called “Women Against Feminism” that has become popular in recent years. Its followers are mostly millennial women declaring their objections to modern feminism. However, the “feminism” that these women are attacking does not exist. Instead, it promotes a warped idea of modern feminist goals by reprimanding feminists for so called beliefs that are “anti-male” and “destructive to society”
When feminism began, it started out as a declaration against controversial and unequal qualities of society in which women were politically, socially, economically, and philosophically lesser or unequal to men.
These same ideals, though different, are still the intentions of modern feminists. Their goal is to seek political and social change in order for women to be equal to their male counterparts in the workplace, at home, and in social settings.
As Cheris Kramarae would say, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings”. However, this new wave of anti-feminism does not see it this way.
Antifeminism is an ideology that believes that all or some aspects of feminism overemphasize gender inequality and a patriarch society.
This belief has existed since the inception of feminism in the 1800s; however, today’s anti-feminists not only disagree with feminism, but they feel attacked by the movement due to a misconception of modern feminism’s convictions.
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Today, young women against feminism feel that the movement is trying to control the female gender and steer all women in a very specific direction with regards to their social and work environments.
Here is what one antifeminist comment reads on their Facebook page:
“I’m a woman against feminism. I do not fear my femininity. I actually like it. I feel no need to be masculine”.
Somewhere along the road, antifeminists began feeling as though feminists were against being feminine.
There is a crisis in this country in which women are repeatedly ridiculed for either being too focused on their appearance, or not enough.
Just look at Hilary Clinton during this presidential election.
Aside from Donald Trumps repetitive sexists comments, the media has focused on her outfits, her makeup, her hair, etc… and she is just one of the millions of women that face the same kind of speculation every day.
Feminists are not against feminine women, in fact, they are quite indifferent towards them.
To be “feminine” is a piece of our discourse that describes how “womanlike” an individual looks and behaves.
Femininity as well as masculinity is a social construction that divides the sexes by creating a specific identity that represents an entire gender.
That is exactly what feminists do not want. Instead, they want women and men to be judged by their intelligence, their personalities, and their individual identities.
Whether or not a woman is “feminine” is entirely beside the point and has nothing to do with modern feminist ideology.
Now that we have cleared that up, here is a different line of reasoning from the “Women Against Feminism” page:
“I think the whole “strong independent woman, who don’t need no man” mentality is ridiculous. Where would women be without men? Men built just about everything […] the new wave of feminism is demonizing men and turning them away from women”.
This comment is terrifying.
A very sad and popular belief is that women have followed in men’s footsteps since the beginning of time.
However, true history proves that this is incorrect. Fore example, Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist and crucial historical figure during the 1800s. She is one of the most influential people in our history and if anything, men followed in her footsteps.
In today’s world, Malala Yousafazai has changed female education in Pakistan and advocated for women’s rights in a world that does everything it can to prevent female freedom.
Michelle Obama has made tremendous strides towards improving education for girls as a primary issue in the discourse of women’s rights. She has done so separate from her husband.
If you want more examples of independently outstanding women, check out this eloquent article that features just some of the greats.
These women are fighting for equal opportunity, not a female takeover of the world. And they are certainly not demonizing men.
This isn’t about men being evil and women being victims, this is about a systematic, ongoing double standard in which women have to work harder to be accepted in their workplace, only to receive unequal pay from that of their male counterparts.
They must dress and look a certain way in order to gain respect, and then, dress in the opposite way in order to attract a man. A women’s life in modern society is filled with boundaries, rules, and constrictions; while her male counterparts rarely face the same obstacles.
In her most recent work of art, Beyoncé asks:
Did he bend your reflection? Did he make you forget your own name? Did he convince you he was a God? […] Are you a slave to the back of his head? Am I talking about you husband or your father?
Sexism is a quiet toxin that oozes throughout the world, and solidifies itself within our society.
It is deeply rooted in our culture, in our history, and in our identities. Men have always dominated human evolution and women have always fought so hard to be heard and respected within that world.
This year women will finally be included on the face of our currency; and it is only now that a woman might be president.
This isn’t about hating men it is about supporting women. Men will not loose anything if women gain more equal opportunity.
If anything, society will thrive. Just to show how crazy the U.S. is for hindering women from the same advantages men receive, even Saddam Hussein “advocated” for equal opportunity:
“Women make up one half of society. Our society will remain backward and in chains unless its women are liberated, enlightened and educated”
Scary right? I know that is a controversial quote to use, but it sure illuminates how bizarre the U.S’s objection to modern feminism appears. If a woman spends so much time having to worry about appearance and is never treated with the same respect as the men in her workplace, she cannot be an equally productive member of society. There are too many things asked of women that are not expected of men, and that is a fact, which is detrimental to a community as a whole.
Yet, to avoid being coined as “man-hating” it is important to reiterate that the goal is gender equality.
Modern feminism wants to end the sexual objectification and gender sterotypes of women and men alike.
Antifeminists have argued that modern feminists are against marriage, and promote “hook-up culture” in protest to traditional gender norms. But again, this is not the case. If anything it’s antifeminists that constrict women and their role in the dating world.
In Observer magazine, an article declared that feminists encourage women to “forgo monogamy”. The article argues that hook-up culture, supported by feminists allows men to use apps in place of women:
“With the rise of technology men can outsource everything women were traditionally known for to their iPhone apps. If they’re hungry they can use seamless, if they’re horny they can use Tinder. The only thing they still need us for? Babies.”
This disturbing argument perpetuates traditional gender roles by proclaiming that women’s job is to please men.
Women use tinder to have sex for their own benefit too. To state that men use these apps in place of women is to say that women are objects for men to use. The quote so, (please excuse my sarcasm) eloquently ends by explaining women’s primary duty to their man, to provide him with a child. So I guess technology hasn’t found a way to completely outsource women.
This kind of way of thinking is extremely detrimental to everyone.
A post on the Women Against Feminism page reads:
“Feminists just love to hate everyone, especially women who prefer traditional gender roles. […] The human race would not survive if it weren’t for mothering women.”
This misconception that feminists hate motherhood has created a problematic dichotomy between equal opportunity, and being a mom. This is certainly not a binary intended by feminists.
Being a mother does not make you the enemy of feminism. Feminism is working towards creating equal opportunity for women with or without children.
In fact, the Huffington Post wrote an article about a feminist movement that is not only advocating for assured paid medical leave for mothers, but they are also trying to get paternity leave for fathers. The article gives an example of a law firm that has begun allowing paternity leave, which has ended up increasing the amount of female partners in their firm!
Efforts to close the gender gap are not accomplished by belittling males, but through supporting both genders equally. Modern feminism, like any movement, is not perfect, however the accusations made against this discourse are inaccurate and distract from the progress that society is making towards a more equal environment.
You don’t have to be a feminist, whatever the reasons against it may be, but certainly, everyone can agree that protesting a movement through a misrepresentation of their principles is a step in the wrong direction for humanity.
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.
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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.
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