About the Author
Michele is a Senior Literature major at the University of Colorado Boulder. Michele is especially interested in multiculturalism in current literature. Her other interests include music, especially bluegrass and classic rock and hiking and camping in her home state, Colorado.

A Shuttering Week To Be A Woman

There are dozens of platforms that are discussing women’s rights this week.

In today’s world, it appears as though history doesn’t just repeat itself, but it regresses with a vengeance.

Iowa just passed the most restrictive abortion bill to date, and it is terrifyingly likely that Governor Kim Reynolds will sign it into law.

This bill will ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, and keep in mind that most women don’t know they are pregnant until four to seven weeks after conception.

That means that this bill will practically stop the majority of women from having legal, safe abortions.

This doesn’t even begin to recognize the tremendous difficulty that comes with choosing whether or not to have a child.

But this bill removes a woman’s right to really think about what she wants.

In a lot of cases, it will give her a week at most to make an incredibly overwhelming choice.

But I suppose that’s the point, to prevent her from having said choice.

This bill is a direct attack on Roe v Wade and on the well-being and freedoms of women.

Let’s be perfectly clear, access to a safe abortion is being taken away, but abortions are going to happen one way or the other.

As I sat in my living room and read the news, I thought of Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958).

It is a British novel written when abortions were still illegal prior to the Abortion Act of 1967, which legalized the practice in the United Kingdom.

There is a character in the story, Brenda who ends up terminating her pregnancy by sitting in boiling water and drinking an entire bottle of gin.

I read this book during my semester abroad in London, and couldn’t help but scoff at how crazy it is that this character had to do something like this instead of receiving medical help.

But this wasn’t just a plot line in a novel, this really happened to women.

Pro-life advocates would argue that she should have brought the pregnancy to term.

But what they wont tell you, is that as soon as that child is born it really doesn’t matter to them what its quality of life will be.

I know that’s a biting accusation, but lets specify that statement with some statistics.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 16.9 million women lived in poverty in 2015.

Now, let’s look at the children: “14.5 million kids lived in poverty in 2015”, and guess what, 1 in 3 single mother families lived in poverty in 2015.

So now that we have focused in on the issue, let’s back up to this bill today.

Anti-abortionists think terminating pregnancy is immoral, but somehow, an inability for women to care for a child doesn’t influence the debate at all.

Those are the numbers with legal abortions, do we really want to see what happens if this bill passes?

This is a law for Iowa, so let’s just look at their numbers.

The Iowa Data Center published that in 2016, 36.6 percent of single women with children under the age of 18 live below the poverty line, and that their median annual income sits around $26,532.

The average child in a lower class home costs $12,350.

So every year, a single mother is allotted $14,182 to spend on astronomically high health insurance costs, rent, food, clothes, transportation, etc.

And that is if she only has one child.

This is not a bill fighting for human rights and morals, if it were the solution would be clear, give women free and safe access to birth control, pay them more, and let them decide for themselves if they want to have a child.

Brenda, in Sillitoe’s novel takes dangerous measures to save herself and a future child from a life ridden with problems, and millions of women without access to safe abortions could die every year because they are trying to save two individuals from a horrible life and are not given access to medical abortions.

A life matters, we can all agree on that, but we need to reach a consensus on the part of the word ‘life’ we are protecting here.

Measuring life by a heartbeat causes millions of children in one of the largest economies in the world to go starving on a daily basis.

Measuring life based on a family’s ability to provide for everyone in a healthy and livable way determines whether or not we are a country of immense struggle, or one with a unified ideal to give each American a decent quality of living.

So let’s do like Brenda and toss this bill in some boiling water and drink a bottle of gin to forget that there are people out there who care more about a fetus than a walking, talking child.

Cover Photo Credit: Steve Rainwater

What It Really Means To Be A Woman During This Election

On January 20th, 2009, many Americans wept with joy that we had elected our very first African American President.

And when Obama was actually inaugurated on that day, America’s ideals changed for the better, and history was made.

Thunderous applause exploded in the streets of our cities as we all looked at one another smiling and discussing how far we had come.

For every individual who is dedicated to equality and the teachings of the Civil Rights Movement, Obama’s presidency was more than gratification for electing a smart, center-left Democrat into office.

That moment also stood for the thousands of advocates who fought for liberty and democracy for all around the country.

This was for the legs that carried scores of brave Americans from Selma to Montgomery, for the students in Little Rock, and for all of us that grew up knowing the “I Have A Dream” speech backwards and forwards while having the privilege of never knowing what it felt like to dream of our own freedom and opportunity.


Photo Credit: Mike Norton/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Now, Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for President, and we are less enthused.

But failing to acknowledge this momentous piece of American history would be a disservice to the women who fought for suffrage and equal rights.

In a now famous DNC video montage of all the past male presidents, the glass shatters and Hillary appears, “I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet”.

In 1919 women were granted the right to vote, second wave feminism fought for women’s sexual, familial, and economic freedom, and today, women’s rights fight for equal pay, respect, the right to choose, and racial and sexual liberty for all.

This is the time in history that America has been struggling towards, and we are taking it for granted.

To be a woman at this time in history means to be a woman who can vote, who can work, use birth control, and maybe even be president.

Hillary might not be the woman that we have all been waiting for, but she represents the moment that we have all been waiting for and that cannot be disregarded.


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Her nomination is even more important and profound when you compare her to the Republican nominee.

While Donald Trump attempts to throw America back in history, to a time when fascists ruled with impunity around the world, when your race and religion separated you in your own country, when fear drove people to commit unforgivable acts of hatred and violence, Hillary represents something grander and more fundamentally American.

She is the first woman to be nominated as a major party nominee for President, but she is also a socially empathetic, driven, and passionate leader that cares about people.

The stark difference between her and Trump makes this election an important choice for the kind of America we want to be.

Are we the kind that allows such an unqualified and odious meathead of a man to become commander-in-chief, or are we the kind that is ready to Elect a woman?

This choice goes beyond four years of a single presidency. Like Obama, Hillary Clinton will become a historic model of America.

This is what our children will know about.

They too will learn the “I Have A Dream” speech, and now they will learn the story of the first Black President’s election, and maybe, they will even learn about the first female president.

This is big, and it shouldn’t be overlooked.


Photo Credit: DVIDSHUB/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Of course, people have their complaints about Hillary, and that should be recognized, but this is about so much more than the individual candidate, and this is about avoiding our children learning about the rude and racist 45th president, Adolf- I mean Donald Hitler- sorry, Trump.

We might have our very first female president, and that in it of itself is something to extol.

Like Cory Booker said in his speech at the Democratic National Convention, “Generations of heroic Americans have made our nation more inclusive, more expansive, and more just”. Whatever your feelings of Hillary Clinton may be you cannot disagree that she is far more likely to uphold this ideal than Trump.

Martin Luther King Jr. once explained that, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.

There is controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton, but there is so much to appreciate and afford to this woman.

It may feel different than how we dreamt it would, but it is still so incredible, and we should feel proud.

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: Lorie Shaull

Hate Will Solve Nothing. But We Have To Acknowledge That America Is Still A Racist Country

We are an emotional society.

We want answers, justice, and peace, and we think, discuss and act based on our feelings.

But we will not achieve anything through bereavement and hate.

This kind of behavior shapes a constant cycle that renders the topic of racism untouchable, non-relatable, and non-discussible.

It is dark and we cannot see, we cannot breathe.

But our cries and our chants, our fear and our hate are not good enough.

Mourning is important, but it is an inadequate way to promote change.

Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trevon Martin, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, these are names we should remember and honor, but they are not the platform in which we should lead off of to demonstrate our outrage.

Instead of looking at the real issues that are allowing these murders over and over again, instead of demanding that our government change in order to actually function for and by the people, we are more concerned with how what we say makes people feel.

We are talking about who has a right to say what and when, we are speaking past one another about events that have broken our hearts but that cannot rebuild our country.

Our emotions are slowing down our aspirations, and if something is ever going to be done, we must aspire to redefine this nation’s identity.


Photo Credit: Christopher Dombres/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Police brutality is an abominable action that causes men and women leave their homes fearing that their children, siblings, or spouses will be shot down and murdered for the color of their skin.

This is an intimate, deep, and powerful fear, and it should not exist in the minds of our citizens.

But police brutality is also a problem that feeds off of the systemic biases and political violence of a nation.

Read More: Acknowledging Our Built In Biases Can Make Us Stronger And More Tolerant

It is a historical and ongoing economic and political plot to keep specific people from obtaining a better and equal quality of life.

Like dust, American citizens are swept under the carpet, hidden in the fabrics of forgotten neighborhoods and overlooked schools.

And if that doesn’t do it, they are put in prisons, leaving their children alone and unsupported.

Accomplishments and success are faded or tainted because of national prejudices that disregard the brilliance of black culture by commercializing and whitening it.

As an American minority member you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t and no one ever stops to stand up and shout “enough”, but then again, no one ever acknowledges that there is a problem in the first place.


Photo Credit: 5chw4r7/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

It is important to declare ones outrage and it is true that black lives are constantly targeted, but it is ineffective to make this solely an issue of police brutality.

That is a branch on a tree of racism that is rooted through this country.

When Philando Castile was bleeding to death in his car, his fiancé pleaded to the officer, “He has never been arrested or nothing, he isn’t in a gang or nothing”.

This concept is the soil around this tree that nourishes each branch of structural and social violence.

The fact that she felt that she had to justify his lifestyle contrary to the color of his skin speaks to a horrifying notion that this country has deemed black men guilty before innocent.

This prejudice is illegal, it is sickening, and it is a long practiced piece of culture.

Slavery and Jim Crow abandoned the very idea of humanism and instead, replaced it with a beast that thrived on the over and misuse of people for economic gain.

But that is not solely about black people, our history was made on the backs and blood of Native Americans, and Latino/a Americans are perpetually treated in a socially violent and disregarded manner.

These are the origins of America, this is the problem.

The problem with police shootings besides racism is that they are not adequately trained to deescalate situations.

That, and a systemic bias make for very volatile situations.

Our prison system is corrupt and ensures that with ones sentence comes recidivism and a country that deems a perpetrator of even the smallest crime, unfit for society.

We teach our children right from wrong, and then we eradicate that ideal by producing immeasurable destruction to the lives of the marginalized.

Leon Bing describes in her book, Do or Die that just miles apart from each other, a quiet, suburban neighborhood with freshly paved roads and a school with a fenced in field sit above a dilapidated school in Compton, where the walls have holes and the ceiling is leaking and there aren’t even enough chairs for students to sit in for class.

This is a creation essentially encouraging kids to find salvation elsewhere, if the school system has failed them why should they oblige and attend it?


Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

America needs to open their eyes and mouths and own up to it’s not so ignorant ignorance.

We know the system is unfair, we know populations are being ignored, and we know police brutality is just once piece of the violence.

But why do we still only talk about that one issue?

Black Lives Matter is an important organization, but it has not yet found a way to address racism in a manner that demands national political and social change.

If you make a movement solely about the experience of African Americans, you automatically exclude the rest of the population and in doing so; exclude your own ideals from the rest of the country.

This way of advocacy is entirely understandable, but it is not as effective as demanding that as a nation we change the foundation that separates us from each other.

The Civil Rights Movement fought for shared liberties like using the same restrooms, drinking fountains, and restaurants.

We are in a new age and are desperately in need of a new civil rights movement, but just like that last one, it must fight for a shared quality of life rather than separating itself from the rest of the population.

Instead of discussing how a white person you can show support, we should all be discussing what pieces of our government are allowing institutional racism to run our nation.

That is a discussion that everyone should be involved in regardless of ones skin color, because it affects Americans and taints this country’s identity.

Supporting each other comes from identifying problems and executing solutions.

We should all be able to recognize now that the experience of a black American is far different than that of a white American, but more importantly, we should be able to identify the qualities of the U.S. that make day to day life more violent, more hateful, and more oppressive.

We can’t breathe because the air is too thick with the blood of innocent people and the ignorance of a nation that turn a blind eye after a week or two.

In the play, Angels in America, Tony Kushner writes,“The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word ‘free’ to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on earth sounds less like freedom to me”.

It isn’t just the police, it is our nation, and it is in the soil and the air and it reaffirms a history that consistently belittles its citizens.

If we are going to change anything it has to be about the foundation that causes our loss and our pain.

We are outraged, and that makes sense, but it isn’t good enough to be outraged, we have to be pragmatic if we are going to redefine our history and end this cycle.

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: Christopher Dombres/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)


How Hogwarts Is Handling The Brexit

Many people have been concerned about how the Brexit will affect citizens on both sides of the debate in the UK.

Negotiations on trading, treaties, and even immigration will have to be redefined, and many people’s jobs and school careers could be challenged in the process.

The wizarding world is already facing obstacles in the aftermath of the Brexit

Berite Bott’s Every Flavored Beans Can No Longer Make Every Flavor

Due to Europe’s resentment towards the UK, they are no longer granting the jellybean company access to ingredients needed to make every flavor.

It looks like Bertie’s flavors like lemon and soap that were imported from France are now being replaced with UK accessible ingredients like spotted-dick and haggis.


Photo Credit: Karen Roe/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The QWCA (Quidditch World Cup Association) Has Decided To Exclude The UK From Participating In All Future Tournaments

Hogwarts fears that fewer athletes will choose to attend their school if it no longer feeds into the professional league.

Professor Hooch has been sending her star players off to the wizarding school in Spain, but many of their UK fans are outraged by what they feel is an absolute betrayal.

“They have to play,” Hooch pleaded. “I don’t care what is happening with this country, my players have to make it”.


Photo Credit: Meg Stewart/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Gringots Has Gone Bankrupt

Now that so many of their wizards have had to pull their accounts and transfer to EU banks, the famous treasury has taken a huge blow.

Many homeless goblins have been seen wandering the streets of Hogsmeade with signs reading, “will work for access to Europe portkey”.


Photo Credit: tibbygirl/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Students Are Disillusioned By The System

Hogwarts was expected to host the Triwizard tournament this year, but with previous fatal incidents, the Ministry of Magic was weary to grant them the opportunity.

Now, they’ve received word that Romania is refusing to lend them dragons for the competition, and students are feeling disheartened by the whole event now.

“It really is a shame”, said dragon handler, Charlie Weasley.

“I wish I could help my alma mater, but I have to due what’s best for my dragons,” Weasley told RISE NEWS. “Let’s face it, the Ministry of Magic has always underpaid us for our dragons, and at this point, the paperwork needed to bring them over is more than anyone can do in a lifetime”.


Photo Credit: Sam Howzit/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The Ministry Of Magic Is In Tatters And It Is Spreading Hate Worldwide

Wizarding leaders are divided between those that wish to host European wizards, and those that wish to push current ones out.

From across the pond, a Brexit advocate, Drump Trumpledore praised the UK for leaving what he calls, “the failing European Union”.

He commends them for “taking control”, and spews out rhetoric concerning his similar intentions for the wizarding world of the USA, (The Umbridge Sectumsempra Americas).

“We’re gonna put up a wall of dementors”, he told our reporters.

“But we’re gonna make Mexico pay for the charms we use to keep that wall strong”.

Trumpledore told citizens to protect themselves from immigrating wizards.

“If Americans want to feel safe and in control, they should go buy more wands,” Trumpledore said. “Good guys with wands stop bad guys from using their wands”.

When asked on her thoughts, J.K. Rowling mentioned her disappointment with the choice to leave the UK.

In her usual eloquence, she stated, “My values are not contained or proscribed by borders. The absence of a visa when I cross the channel has symbolic value to me. I might not be in my house, but I’m still in my hometown”.


Photo Credit: mazz_5/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

It is a shame that villainous belief conjured up the majority of votes to cast out a union for the people.

It eradicated an identity that had been granted as a privilege to citizens of the UK and of Europe alike.

No one is truly clear on how this Brexit will affect the Western world, but everyone is anxious to find out.

The UK is in big trouble now that the Brexit has taken place, and Hogwarts worries whether it will remain a school for all young witches and wizards in the years to come.

For now, Bertie Bott is readapting his recipes, the dragons are staying in Romania, and Trumpledore is still a bigot and the source of annoyance for every intelligent mind on this side and on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

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: Ravi Shah/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Breastfeeding As A Vegan: It Really Can Be Healthy

There has been a lot of controversy as to whether or not veganism is safe if the mother is breastfeeding her child, and the Internet sure does a great job of scaring moms into believing that they could hurt their child with their dietary preferences.

But this is a misconception.

A recent trending story described a mother whose infant had died at 11 months old.

The allegation was that the mother had deprived the baby of nutrients because she was breastfeeding while maintaining a vegan diet.

The story caused an outburst of fear and anger among the breastfeeding community all across the Internet and raised questions as to whether or not this diet was acceptable while feeding your child with your own milk.


Photo Credit: Bart Everson/Flickr (2.0 by CC)

The story has not only caused outrage towards vegan breastfeeding mothers, it has also called into question whether veganism is acceptable for children in general.

A different story argued that a 12-year-old girl was diagnosed with a degenerative bone disorder due to her veganism.

This story induced a growing opinion that dictates that vegan diets fail to provide adequate vitamins and nutrients.

However, the Mayo Clinic, among others have explained that while a vegan diet limits the foods rich in protein, it does not expel them.

While it may be more challenging to find the right foods to eat, it is not impossible, and many vegans are successfully healthy individuals.

Being vegan does not mean that your child will be nutrient deficient as long as you maintain a healthy diet.

It is the same as any breastfeeding mother’s mantra, if you only eat potato chips and fatty pork loin, you and your child will not receive the right amount of vitamins and nutrients. It is about balance and knowing what foods are healthy; it is not about eating meat.


Photo Credit: Olearys/Flickr (2.0 by CC)

I spoke with a vegan mother on the topic: she is well educated about veganism and the nutritional value of the foods she eats.

She recently had a baby who prefers his bottle to breastfeeding.

She explained that many babies prefer a bottle because it is much easier for drinking.

Though she may pump regularly, many women still need to use formula to ensure that their infant has enough milk around the clock.

As a vegan, this can be a difficult situation.

There are a few organizations in which women share or donate their breast milk to mothers who are unable to provide enough for their child.

Though it is well regulated, there are always risks with using a stranger’s milk.

If this is not an appealing option, there are many cows’ milk formulas that mothers can use.

However, if you are vegan, it can be challenging to decide whether or not this is an acceptable option.

And if you decide to take advantage of this alternative, it is likely to be ridiculed by other vegans.

So vegan mothers are truly between a rock and a hard place. Breastfeeding has become taboo in our society.

People are offended if a women breastfeeds her child in public, and others are offended if a woman decides not to breastfeed at all.

This communal reprimanding disrupts the personal decisions of a mother and allows others to dictate how a woman should care for her child.


Photo Credit: Chris Alban Hansen/Flickr (2.0 by CC)

A vegan mother is not depriving her child of nutrients as long as she is healthy, just like any other good mom.

The problem is not veganism as a dietary preference, but rather the amount of information accessible to people for the diet to be healthy.

As society has progressed, information about nutrition has improved and expanded. However, because veganism is a fairly new growing diet in this country, there is less information about nutrition.

A community has flourished online to give people information about the right foods to eat in order to properly support this lifestyle, but overall, this country is seriously lacking in its support for veganism as a whole.

Instead of progressing towards a whole and well-rounded model of vegan nutrition, people have deemed it insufficient and dangerous.

But we aren’t talking about some fleeting cultural fad, we are talking about a dietary life choice, and it should not be negated.

Breastfeeding your child is a personal matter, and the only thing that matters is that your child is well nourished and healthy.

Whether you do it in public, privately, with the nutrients from meat, or something else, the only thing that should matter is that your child is taken care of.

Veganism, just like any other diet with or without restrictions, is safe as long as the individual is well educated and eats in a healthy and nutritional manner.

Instead of reprimanding this quality of our culture, veganism should be studied and vegans should be supported in a way that helps them live healthily.

If society is going to continue to tell women how to eat and feed their babies, they mind as well be educated enough to give intelligent directions.

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: Liz Davenport/ Flickr (2.0 by CC)

Liberals Can Be As Dangerous As Trump When It Comes To “Islamophobia”

For a large portion of the 21st century, liberals have taken on the role of the protective big sibling persona for any minority or controversial community in the U.S.

Time and time again, liberals speak for those who have been othered. But this type of help has enforced a new, problematic discourse that hinders ones ability to have an opinion and generate productive discussions about any kind of issue directed at a specific group of people.

The liberal protectiveness that is most destructive in today’s current state of controversy is Islamophobia.

This is a word created to criticize those who reject Muslim culture by calling them irrationally fearful of a religion.

But this is an unfair categorization for the disapproval of aspects of Islamic culture.

In 2015, Bill Maher had a round table discussion about Islam and whether or not it is predisposed to violence.

In that round table, Dinesh D’Souza explained, “What’s going on here is there is a civil war in the mind of the liberal”. He explains that liberals advocate for individual freedom for everyone and for multiculturalism all at the same time.

The latter half protects Muslim culture from any kind of criticism or intervention.

Bill Maher stated, “Christopher Hitchens said Islamophobic is a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons”.

So let’s break down this very clever statement.

The Fascists, in this case, are liberals that dictate how a population can be viewed, understood, and spoken of within a political or social setting.

Cowards are those that fear political incorrectness and controversy.

And morons are the public who agree with this strategy, thus eliminating any discussion that represents Muslims in a poor fashion.


Photo Credit: Faith Goble/Flickr (2.0 by CC)

Can we really chalk up every fear of an oppressive culture to being a phobia? To be fearful of an extreme religion that has enabled people to murder and stone one another does not seem irrational; in fact, that is a very rational thing to be afraid of.

Those that feel strongly against the oppressive nature of the Islamic faith are not being phobic, they are afraid of the violence that has ensued and continues to kill innocent people due to ancient ways of thinking.

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In 2013, a story was released that Arifa Bibi was stoned to death by her uncle and cousins for having a mobile phone in Pakistan.

Stoning is a violent torture method most frequently used to punish women for asserting too much freedom or for their sexuality.

Many Muslim supporters of the campaign against stoning argue that while stoning women is not written in the Koran, “it is legitimized by the Hadith – the acts and sayings of the Prophet Mohamed.”

The story also mentions another case in 2008 in which a 13-year-old girl, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was buried from her neck down and stoned to death by 50 men. The reason? She had been raped by three men and was instead accused of adultery.

Our fear has not been the manifestation of a phobia of Islam; it comes from these real life tragedies.

Yet, this is not to be mistaken for a generalization that all Muslims are violent. The issue here is a misrepresentation that the religion itself invokes peace and that instead, a few extremists have reformed its ideologies and have become violent.

There is something innately violent within the religion, but that does not mean that all who follow the teachings of the Koran are violent.

This misconception comes from a lack of education and discussion on the topic. Words like Islamophobia allow this misrepresentation to exist because of the absence of communication about the violent qualities of the religion.

Both protecting and blaming an entire race is not constrictive, and it destroys any kind of productive conversation with regards to a controversial ideology.

But, disapproval of these characteristics still do not warrant the kind of blind, racist bigotry demonstrated by Donald Trump and his supporters.


Photo Credit: Derek Rose/Flickr (2.0 by CC)

The Koran, like the Bible or the Torah is a sacred text to those who read its teachings. Religion, for those who believe in it, should serve as a personal tool to connect with God or a higher being(s) in order to find support and lead a good life.

However that is not all that makes up religion.

Like any ideology, religion’s goal is to dictate and hide certain truths in order to obtain power over a population. It enforces certain beliefs, and rejects others.

This is a solidified quality of all religion, and it enables people to exclude others and their philosophies in order to support their own.

Ignoring oppressive aspects of Islam by calling anyone in opposition to the religion “Islamophobic” eliminates our ability to point out pieces of a culture that need changing for the greater good of humanity. You can disagree with something, you can even find it unacceptable, but that alone does not make you racist and it does not make you hateful.

Racism and hate come from an irrational blind assumption that all who are Muslim are also violent; xenophobia that encourages that kind of thinking proves ones stupidity.

Fear of reprimanding Islam cements the topic in mud and watches people drown in prejudice and oppression while everyone else ignores them to avoid controversial discussions.

The word, Islamophobia is not protecting Muslims, it is systematically harmful.

An individual should be able to be Muslim and not face stoning if they choose to sleep with someone before marriage or get an educating, or want to live their life differently than their parents had. That is their prerogative.

Liberals’ efforts to avoid political incorrectness allows this kind of practice to exist without reprimand, it is not protecting anyone.

However, let’s make one thing perfectly clear. By deliberately othering a religion and prejudicially demanding that they be kept from living in the U.S. is not an example of simply foregoing political correctness, it is just racism.

Donald Trump is not a leader in real discussion of controversial topics he is just racist.



Islamophobia and Islamic racism have been frequent and popular ideologies ever since 9/11, and it has kept the stigma of Muslim Americans alive.

It is acceptable to discuss the fundamental problems with Islam if they could be reasons for oppression and murder.

Just like it is acceptable to discuss gun regulation if a lack of background checks and restrictions could be the reason for massacre.

It’s time to stop speaking for other people and to instead, speak for the issues and find solutions.

If there is an inherent violence within a religion, we can talk about it without saying all Muslims are violent.

On the other hand, violence does not make it acceptable to completely omit a religion from this country, and it certainly does not warrant racism.

It is time to find the medium between both sides, to recognize that this religion of peace might not be so peaceful after all, but to also understand that that does not disregard all those who use its teachings to lead moral lives.

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.

Does Orlando Prove Trump Right? Absolutely Not

In a gay nightclub, 49 lives were taken because a crazy and hateful person had legal access to a weapon of mass destruction.

The shooter, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen proclaimed his support for ISIS, pointed his licensed assault rifle at the bodies of innocent people, and shot.

Those are the facts. It was an attack of terror and hate, and is yet another example of how guns have caused so much damage to this country.

All eyes have been on the presidential candidates to see how they respond to this public safety crisis.

In an interview on Meet the Press, Bernie Sanders explained the necessity to regulate guns in order to avoid the wrong people from accessing them, and to do away with assault rifles.

“We should not be selling automatic weapons which are designed to kill people”.

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Hilary Clinton advocated for gun control and “defeating international terror groups”. She also expressed her support for the LGBTQ community and a determination to eradicate these kinds of hate crimes in America.

Trump, as to be assumed, took a different approach. He used the attack to reiterate his campaign to ban Muslims from entering the US, (clearly not keeping in mind that Mateen was an American citizen born in New York), and reprimanded Obama and Hilary for remaining “politically correct” and avoiding the phrase “radical Islam”.

It was no surprise that Trump took a racist approach to this tragedy, however a potential fear is that many Americans who are traumatized from this attack could be persuaded by his words.

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So far, on Twitter, most have voiced their disgust with Trump’s comments, but the real question asks if this is what it would take for more Americans to get behind Trumps bigoted and hateful campaign against Muslims?

When horrible things happen and people are afraid, they revert into a defensive mode, determined to obtain protection and justice.

These are valid feelings in mourning, but they are dangerous in the hands of Donald Trump. He is manipulative and driven, and that is a deadly combination.

Tension within Americans towards Muslims has been a lingering issue since 9/11. It ebbs and flows with each given current event.

It is a kind of irrational fear that can cause people to advocate for the wrong things. It is clear that Trump recognizes people’s eagerness to feel safer, and is using that to promote his motion for a temporary ban of Muslims in the country.

Cover Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Cover Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

But this is not unusual, and this was to be expected. The real fear is how many people will he convince and how will it affect this election?

Trump has made this an issue of political correctness. He believes that the term “radical Islam” is a phrase not used enough in our discourse and therefore allows things like this to happen.

But again, let’s look at the facts. Mateen was an American citizen, and his ex wife has explained that she does not feel this was religiously motivated as much as it was the outcome of him being mentally ill.

Mateen legally bought an assault rifle, a weapon clearly for more than one needs for hunting or protection. He was an American, and he murdered people out of hatred.

The so called “praise” that Trump is receiving for predicting this horrific event is not only insensitive, repulsive, and narcissistic, but it is also false.

Religion is an ideology that has a great deal of power over a people. Many terrorist attacks have been executed at the hands of radicals sometimes related to the Islamic nation, but often they are not.

Terrorism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation for a political aim. In Colorado Springs when Robert Lewis, a white man from South Carolina shot up a Planned Parenthood, that was political, that was terrorism.

In fact, between 1982 and 2015, out of the 72 mass shootings in America, 44 of the shooters were white. However, Trump is not advocating to ban Lewis and all white people.

Terrorism is a domestic and foreign issue. It does not end if a people are cast out of this country and oppressed for their religion. Guns are easily accessible and end up in the hands of unstable individuals.

In his speech for the Orlando shooting, Obama said, “America has to decide what kind of country it wants to be”. If it were up to Trump, we would be a country driven by hate and racism. Guns would remain accessible and people would continue to be murdered by the hundreds each year; but there would be no Muslim Americans.This is a violent and unacceptable way of thinking.

The numbers are there and clearly show that the real problem is guns and an undeniably stubborn culture that revolves around them.

This is a tragedy beyond consoling. The victims of the Orlando shooting were targeted out of hate and murdered because a mentally ill man had access to an assault rifle. This is the poignant issue of this massacre.

Unfortunately, because of the general hate and fear of Muslims in this country, Trumps sentiments could potentially serve as a dangerous outlet for enraged Americans, and will allow the topic of gun control to once again fall silent.

There are no words to console the victims and their families after this massacre. Cynically, it appears that if the Sandy Hook shooting did not change people’s feelings about guns, perhaps nothing will.

But right now, Americans are in a powerful position to stop a man filled with bigotry and callousness from becoming President and oppressing people in the same ways a fascist dictator once had.

This event is frightening, but our fear cannot be directed in the wrong places. We simply cannot afford to give in to such ways of thought.

Instead, we must stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community, discuss productive methods to avoid something like this happening again, and evaluate the kind of country we want to either remain as, or become.

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.

“Women Against Feminism” Is A False Flag

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.


Photo Credit: istolethetv/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

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.


Photo Credit: Mike Licht/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

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.


Photo Credit: Mikel Garcia Idiakez/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

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.

Cover Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

A Lower Voting Age Wouldn’t Be The Solution To Youth Apathy

It’s no secret that young people in the U.S. are less involved in politics than other age groups.

More accurately, it is clear that young people between the ages 18 to 25 vote at a lower rate than the rest of the population.

There have been so many theories as to why our generation is the most inactive demographic, but instead of jumping to conclusions, rather, let’s refer to statistics around the world.

The U.S., among many other countries has a voting age of 18.

An article in The Guardian made a list of the various countries around the world with a lower voting age.

They found that “The voting age is 16 and above in Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina […] Austria is the only country in the EU where 16 years olds can vote in general elections. Turnout is roughly the same as in other age groups.”


Photo Credit: Thereasa Thompson /Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Austria presents an interesting example.

This suggests that lowering the voting age might cause younger individuals to be more or in this case, equally involved in politics as the rest of the country.

So the ultimate question is whether or not 16 year olds understand politics well enough to vote?

The answer is, they could.

Countries with a lower voting age have a greater amount of civic education in schools. In an interview with Bill Maher, Michael Moore argues, “It’s like drivers ed., at 16 they should be learning about how the government really works”.

Civics has never been any high school student’s favorite class, and that is because it serves to satisfy a required curriculum rather than to actually teach students how politics work.

In this same interview with Bill Maher, Bob Graham explains that we need to “reintroduce serious study of what it means to be a citizen in this country”.

He also suggests that our lack of civic education might be why “Donald Trump thinks he is going to be elected to be George III rather than president of the United States”. Graham is a very witty man.

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If the U.S. decided to lower the voting age, there would be some valid initial concerns. released information that compared the reasons for and against a voting age of 16. One of the reasons against the change is that “18-25 year olds are the least likely to cast a vote at election time. […] Lowering the voting age still further is therefore likely to reduce turnout even more”.

Though this concern is valid, it focuses less on the voting age and more on the true underlying issues with youth voting in general.

Many young people who are eligible to vote claim that they do not want to participate in an election either because they do not like or understand politics, or they feel that the system is corrupt.

The second reason can be chalked up as normal, historical evidence of youth rebellion against “the man”, but the first reason is very concerning.

When asked, some eligible voters between the ages of 18-25 claimed they don’t like politics because it is so divided.

They said that they didn’t like the process of an election in general, or that candidates never seem genuine.

Every one can agree that these complaints come from a long history of politicians and/or candidates tap dancing around controversial questions, catering to a particular political party, or reiterating the same ideologies over and over again.

But everyone feels that way about politics to some degree. So while this is a turnoff for any intelligent voter, it does not get right down to the reasons why young people just don’t vote.

Young people’s complaints that they do not understand politics should be at the forefront of these low voting rate theories.

A polling website called, The Top Tens, did a polling to rate school subjects from best to worst according to anyone who visits the site.

Best, being the subject of the most value and importance, and worst being the least useful.

Their ranking is as follows:

  1. Science
  2. Math
  3. English
  4. History
  5. Gym

Photo Credit: Dlyl86 /Flickr (CC By 2.0)

And social studies, (i.e. politics) is not even in the top ten. Schools stress the importance of math and science to students starting at a very young age.

Perhaps, it is why our generation is so concerned about the environment.

The evidence clearly demonstrates that when students are given more opportunity to focus on a subject, (like millennials have been with environmental sciences), they carry that subject’s importance with them throughout their lives.

If social studies are so low on this poll, it is clear that the subject did not ensure the same kind of interest or importance as much as other subjects.

With inadequate curriculum for civic studies, it is no wonder that when asked why young people do not like politics they reply that they do not understand how it works!

It is even worse in college.

By this point in time, individuals have developed an understanding of their interests and aspirations for the most part.

Politics becomes this arduous and tedious practice of American culture that students feel apathetic towards.

Emory College’s newspaper, “Southern Changes” wrote an article about why the youth don’t vote.

They interviewed different students to get their opinions. One student explains, “Being a young person myself, I understand both the importance of being an active citizen of the United States, and the overwhelming, “it doesn’t affect me” syndrome”.

Topics like social security and welfare reform are things that young people have never needed to learn about, nor are they very interested in how these issues are dealt with by the government.

It becomes much easier to focus on their individual lives and studies than to be an active voice in the debate of social security benefits.

However, this way of thinking caters towards the stereotypical belief that millennials have a short attention span and lack of interest for things that do not affect their personal lives. But wait, these things really do.

In a recent New York Times article, Tamar Lewin explains that millennials are more likely to move back in with their parents than any other generation before them due to a decline in marriages and a terrible job market.

The economy has affected new graduates in a very bad way. Jobs are scarce and pay is poor, therefore, all of that student loan debt seems a bit problematic to pay back when one barely can find a minimum wage job.

These are things that come up in elections; these are things young people should be at the forefront of in politics.

Young people have to decide as a whole to actively participate in local and national reform that lessens the amount of acquired debt from school, and opens up more jobs with better wages.

This is not to say that young people turn a blind eye to these kinds of issues, this election has been an especially noisy one from this demographic due to candidate Bernie Sanders.

And yet, even with a candidate such as him, it is difficult to rely on 18 to 25 years old to participate in politics past the presidential election.

Young people initially were active supporters of President Obama, but quickly ceased any political action and barely voted in the most recent midterm elections.

The scary part is that if Sanders is not the Democratic candidate, many young people and their disdain for Hilary Clinton have declared that they will not participate in this election.


Photo Credit: Denali National Park and Preserver /Flickr (CC By 2.0)

So do we blame millennials for being the things they are so often accused of being, or do we look at other countries and their youth voter participation, and decide that this is a systematic issue?

Reflecting back on the initial question of whether or not 16 year olds understand politics well enough to vote, the answer as of now is definitely not because our 18 to 25 year olds even claim to be uninformed and uneducated in politics.

But this does not have to be the case.

Evidence confirms that when you include citizens in civic endeavors at a young age, and you provide them adequate means of education for the subject, they do participate as much as other age groups.

For the U.S. it might not be the time to discuss lowering the voting age if we still do not have a more effective curriculum to educate and motivate young people in politics.

That should be the priority and then perhaps we can follow in other countries footsteps and lower our voting age.

Photo Credit: Denali National Park and Preserver /Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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.

On The Whole, Americans Don’t Seem To Really Care About Homeless People

They sleep quietly, waiting in plain sight to be spotted or recognized.

Humans treated inhumanely out of ignorance, discomfort, or fear.

They see everything and yet everything overlooks them; they are the homeless of America.

In an article in The Atlantic, Stephen Lurie references a recent Gallup poll stating that, “just 2 percent of respondents said that the category of “Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness” constituted “the most important problem facing this country today.”

It is easy to say that homelessness is a sad and important issue in this country, but it is another thing to actually prioritize the lives of those in need.

We as a country do not take care of homeless people.

People are not interested in statistics regarding the homeless.’s homepage for the most important topics of 2016 does not even include homelessness as a prioritized topic.

So does the country just simply not care about those in need, or is there a different problem in place?

Carey Fuller of the Huffington Post put it best stating that, “homelessness isn’t an invisible problem; it’s a highly ignored and marginalized problem which ends up making the problem worse for homeless people.”

We aren’t afraid to admit that there is a significant problem of homelessness in this country, but we are terrified to feel any form of personal responsibility for a homeless person.

Photo Credit: Karim Corban/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Karim Corban/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

A capitalist society often causes a perception that those in bad situations are responsible for their misfortunes.

The whole, “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” ideal is one that many Americans believe in, even if they themselves never had to do so in order to find success.

The problem isn’t always the homeless individual; the problem is a government and a society that does not see that individual as an equal American.

The problem is a system that is put in place to make rich people richer and poor people poorer.

A very famous video of a 2011 study at Harvard explained that 90 percent of Americans believe that economic wealth should be more equally distributed than they perceive it to be now.

Another part of the video plays into this idea describing the “American Dream”, and that people need motivation to work hard in order to achieve success and “keep our country moving forward”.

WATCH: Wealth Inequality In America

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So maybe that’s it? Maybe it is easy to disregard the homeless because they are not perceived as helpful members of society?

Photo Credit: Victoria Johnson/ Flick (CC 2.0)

Photo Credit: Victoria Johnson/ Flick (CC 2.0)

Well then let’s look at the numbers for this idea: Green Doors explained that the homeless visit emergency rooms more frequently and stay in hospitals for a longer period of time.

Here is what their study showed: “Each visit [for the homeless] costs $3,700; that’s $18,500 spent per year for the average person and $44,400 spent per year for the highest users of emergency departments.”

Moyers & Company published an article that found it costs $21,000 more to “ignore the homeless than it does to give them homes”.

These numbers come from the cost of medical attention, incarceration, shelters, etc.

So clearly this idea that leaving these people homeless is a cheaper option that actually fixing the problem is widely inaccurate.

The proven truth, is that helping the homeless find a permanent home is much more successful than ignoring them.

An NPR article declared that Utah reduced their chronic homeless population by 91 percent after instating their Housing First initiative.

The Utah solution focuses on putting people in stable housing situations first before dealing with other service needs. And people put into these homes are expected to pay monthly rent for them. But the mix of refocusing priorities and demanding accountability seems to have worked.

Granted, Utah is much smaller than states with a greater homeless population, but their work still proves that solving this problem can be done, and it can benefit everyone.

Personally dealing with the homeless on a day-to-day basis should not resemble an obstacle course of averting eye contact and speeding up ones pace when walking by someone; but it does, and it always will.

The only way to deal with the homeless and represent “American ideals” is to make poverty a prioritized topic, and create national conversation that works towards helping these individuals in a permanent and meaningful way.

If an individual can succeed of the help from family inheritance and support, homeless can and should be allowed to succeed with the help of the country’s support.

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: Moise Nicu/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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