The Truth Behind U.S. and Canadian Indigenous Boarding Schools
Content warning: murder, colonialization, genocide, and physical, mental, and sexual abuse In May of 2021, it was announced that over 200 bodies were found in unmarked graves on the property of The Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, Canada or more accurately, on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc. Established in 1890, it was considered one of the largest residential schools in Canada, peaking at 500 students in the 1950s. It was first established as an acculturating Indigenous school. But the school finally closed in 1978.
Why We Owe Pride Month to Transgender People of Color
Pride Month is something I’ve noticed for years when growing up. It was something I was so enamored with and in awe of. Watching my family members who were openly out, celebrating their true selves, made me appreciate the significance of the month even more. However, it wasn’t until years later that my appreciation grew.
Critical Race Theory: A Former Tennessee Teacher Responds to New State Legislation
Critical Race Theory. The latest newly politicized buzzword has become a polarizing topic in politics and education circles across the U.S. Touted by many academics, activists, and professional teachers as a valuable lens through which to analyze legal, political, and historical topics but widely derided by the conservative right as an inaccurate portrayal of history, today I will examine the basics of critical race theory, explain how this method comes into play in K-12 classrooms today, and argue against legislation currently awaiting the governor's signature in my home state of Tennessee.
Can Writers Be Apolitical?
Short answer: no. No, they cannot. Long answer: it's a little more complicated than that. I find discussions of politics to be incredibly fascinating. Maybe it's because I study in a program heavily based on politics and write about current affairs every day. Growing up, I was privy to a phrase that rings in my ears to this day. Three things you never talk about: money, politics and religion. I have to say, even as a child, I thought this was a weird turn of phrase. On the smörgåsbord of interesting conversational topics, why is politics off limit? What about politics triggers our delicate sensibilities and makes such topics untenable?
''Blackfishing" Is The Modern Day Version Of Blackface
We are living in an age where non-black people are using a modern form of blackface that enables them to get opportunities because of this “Black Aesthetic.” However, black women struggle to get the same opportunities that people who blackfish do.
The One Thing I Love The Most About Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris is a phenomenal woman. She is not only beautiful, inspirational, accomplished, bold and strong, she is also a mover and shaker in her fields of endeavour. Women and little girls from all over the world are in awe and are looking up to her.
It all started with a tweet...or several. I have always had lots of things to say, even when I didn't have the right words or delivery. My mom saying "That may be true, Tiffany, but you can't just say it like that. The tact you need will come with age," still plays in my head as loudly as your favorite song on the radio. I have developed that tact, but it didn't quiet my voice.
Giving a Voice to the True Americans
When native lands were invaded by foreign Europeans in the 1700s, the people who lived upon those areas were quick to take action. Battles were fought; blood was shed. This may sound like the start of a very interesting movie, but as we all know, it is history. Native Americans were driven away from their homes to designated areas the government had “given” to them. Yes, given. After taking their homes and forcing them to walk miles upon miles chained up, they decided compensation would be provided by giving them land. This type of mistreatment was not uncommon back then, and it is not uncommon nowadays, either. Native people are just like you and I. They have the same hopes, dreams, and feelings as you do, but they are still being treated otherwise. That is the issue. The general public wants to believe reservation life is great, but unless you are there, you will never know the struggles the people face every day. Since living conditions, schools systems, and healthcare are severely flawed on reservations, more must be done to finally end the injustice Native Americans receive in the United States..
Open letters to the President of the United States from the people of the world. Submit your own grievances, praises, and suggestions through Vocal today.
Where political gaffes become comedy fodder.
Open letters to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; do it like they do on Downing Street.
The only preexisting condition that matters
It was the summer of 2008. A few of us were sipping a beer on a patio of the new house the hosts bought a few days prior. They had just sold the family business they started about 20 years earlier. It was a small company. Despite knowing that they did not get a fortune, we tried to imagine their next major purchase. They surprised us by saying that in America, no one was selling what they wanted to buy.
Ayn Rand Was a Dangerous, Pseudo-Intellectual Piece of Garbage
Every now and then, a politician will make the unfortunate choice of quoting Ayn Rand because they found a statement that seemingly supports individualism, small government, personal responsibility, or a strong work ethic. However, what they don’t realize is that beyond a few clever soundbites, Ayn Rand was not only a despicable person but she pushed a dangerous philosophy that has been laughed at by philosophers since its inception. Her only supporters today are those that haven’t read her work beyond surface level or are equally despicable.
Advocating for Change: Affordable Housing
With the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic far extending past the tragic losses of loved ones and members of our communities over the past year and a half, it is an important time to examine where our country falls short on supporting its citizens. Families across the country have suffered financial impacts as a result of the pandemic, having lost jobs or not receiving enough to live off of in loans, unemployment or stimulus checks.
The Case for Term Limits
Not all politicians are influenced by campaign contributions, just the majority. And in America majority rules. We will never fully stop large amounts of cash from influencing our politics, but we can minimize its impact. One way is to eliminate re-elections. We should amend the constitution so that all elected federal officials only serve a single term. One and done.
Today it seems the majority of our political conversations quickly devolve into name-calling and character assassination rather than being the productive exchange of opinions they should be. These ad hominem attacks, where one person attacks the content of another's character rather than the content of her argument, create animosity and lessen the chances either person learns anything from the exchange.
PBS - Propaganda, Bias, and Selective Mistruths on China
Every year the tax-payer funded Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) receives over $26 million dollars from Congress through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In return, PBS pledges to “serve the public interest through content that informs, educates, inspires, and entertains.” In addition to this, PBS “content must be responsive solely to the needs of the public—not to the interests of funders,” which would include Congress. Yet PBS appears to be allowing the influence of one of its funders, the U.S. government, to control what makes it on air and what doesn’t.
Humility in Politics
Humility is a hard thing to come by, especially in the political realm. Pride, known as the universal sin, seems more prominent in politics than perhaps anywhere else. We know that pride always leads to suffering. As a result, we should try and root out pride by being humble. One way to be humble is to ask yourself, "What if I am wrong?"
Diner Oranges To Unionize
This week, after a 19-year battle in California, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation granting collective-bargaining rights to more than 40,000 oranges. The slices of oranges on the sides of your steaming plates of eggs are launching a new campaign to unionize. They are not just lukewarm sponges used to soak up the layer of sizzling potato grease and frigid watery chunks of parsley, they are members of society that demand rights. These are mothers, fathers, spouses, and children, just like you and me. They state that the battle began in order to combat the misuse and misallocation of their talent, energy, and flavor.
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