Is Violence the Answer?

To all of The Walking Dead fans out there, I’m sorry for the triggering picture. I know, it still hurts me too.

Among the many philosophies I have learned about in the course of my Humanities Core class, learning about satyagraha through Gandhi has been most interesting.

According to Gandhi in Hind Swaraj, “satyagraha” can be translated to Indian-modified civil disobedience. Civil disobedience and more generally pacifism are most notably the ultimate forms of resistance believed by Gandhi. He says that the force of your soul compared to brute force is far more powerful and effective and that “fear’s effect lasts long after what causes the fear to go away” (Gandhi 77). This is to say that by acts of civil disobedience and “satyagraha,” the people of India could rebel against British colonizers and eventually lead to the taking back of their empire. Though I for one definitely prefer nonviolence to violence, I have to relate it to the reality of my world today and think about the ethics of this kind of technique.

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The Hate Rhetoric

The first amendment in the constitution of the United States does not protect against hate speech. “Fighting words,” however, are viewed by the Supreme Court to “incite an immediate breach of peace” which allows the law to step in from there (Hudson Jr.). The difference is that these fighting words are said with the intention to initiate violence. Hate speech can be expressed without the intentions of inciting physical injury.

Though it is scary to think that our government may not be able to protect us against hateful speech in a time when our president is tracked by many different online news websites on how many people he has offended/disrespected to date, we must use our own rights to free speech to combat the negativity thrown at us.

But how does having such a hateful rhetoric manage to get you to one of the highest positions of power in our country? Let’s take a look.

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Whose Land is it Anyways?

In other words: what does the movie with Leo Dio and the bear have in common with my world today?

There is a movement known as Stand with Standing Rock that has been formed by the Sioux tribe of North Dakota protesting the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline which will be built above the Standing Rock reservation in which they live. There has been a hold on the building process for the pipeline for the government to discuss “with tribes how “to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights” and whether new legislation should be put in place to pursue those goals” (Guardian).

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The Way Culture is Oriented

From Halloween time to run-of-the-mill offensively-themed college Greek parties, cultural appropriation is a growingly popular topic and issue. However, like the many ways of exploiting minorities and marginalized people for the benefit of the privileged, it has existed in the history of the world for quite some time. Though it may seem that the concept cannot be taken seriously thanks to liberal extremists, the true reasoning for calling others out on their appropriation has nothing to do with policing anyone’s freedom of speech.

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Is My Empire Falling Apart?

In lieu of this year’s US election results, I feel the need to address something that some of my classmates have already chosen to talk about in their blogs. Before the possibility of Donald Trump’s presidency became a reality, my classmates foresaw the dangers of what could come of it. They recognize Donald Trump as a negative icon and the scare tactics and hateful stereotypes he has used to his advantage during his campaign. Now that he is “president-elect” and therefore not technically in office, many still do not know how to properly feel.

Many people know that they alone cannot impeach Trump because only Congress has that power. If they protest, they feel that it will not make a big enough impact because he has been elected already. If they complain, they feel no one in power will hear them.

Despite these common doubts, others still choose to use their voices and keep fighting (myself included). However, in all seriousness, what does Donald Trump’s presidency mean for the United States? Now that he is in such a powerful position where he can make decisions for the entire country, it is hard to predict what will come next for us.

Is this really the beginning of the end?

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What Does it Mean to be “American?”

The concept of being a part of a nation– or empire, if you will, has a metaphorical meaning other than the one having to do with land size and dictators and such.

The United States is an empire of its own accord with a history of expanding borders and growing in population of people as it conquered new-found land.

Though most of the conquering was, well, centuries ago, what we are left with in today’s time is a melting pot of people with a variety of different backgrounds and cultures. Some born and raised in this country, some apply and earn their citizenship, and some fall under in the grey area of living here but not exactly having official documentation. Regardless– these are Americans. American people under this American empire.

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