The Queen causes controversy defending her nation

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

By Shanaya Day

“World Stop.”

The “Queen Bee” herself, Beyoncé Knowles, is receiving a lot of unnecessary backlash from her “Formation” video and her Super Bowl X halftime performance.

Beyoncé used her platform to acknowledge the Black Lives Matter movement and the Black Panther Party.

In her video, she uses great imagery to put a spotlight on police brutality, showing a young boy wearing a hood, dancing in front of a graffiti wall that reads “stop shooting us”.

A line of police officers watches the boy dance.

During her performance, she channeled Michael Jackson, wearing a body suit that resembled the top he wore in his 1993 Super Bowl performance.

Her dancers wore black leotards and black barrets, recognizing the 50th year anniversary of the formation of the Black Panther Party.

So what’s all the commotion about?

No one expected Beyoncé to touch on the obvious social issues concerning race for the sake of her diverse mainstream audience. Now that she is speaking out in defense of her own African-American culture, many people have become offended.

Saturday Night Live aired a trailer for a spoof apocalyptic movie called “The Day Beyoncé Turned Black.” The blunt title alone drew many viewers, offending some, of course. The skit is hilarious as it shows white people panicking when they “realize” Beyoncé is black. The skit does a great job bringing realization to and poking fun at childish racist antics.

Tampa and Miami police departments have taken a stand against Beyoncé because they believe that she is promoting anti-police movements. Some officers have even refused to provide her with security for her upcoming world tour, and will be boycotting it instead. All of this because Beyoncé did her job as an artist and expressed her beliefs for her audience.

She’s not going to stop her job, so officers, please don’t stop yours.

Remember, we’re talking about Beyoncé Knowles. She’s well respected, well connected and of course, well protected.

Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan praised Beyoncé on her controversial performance.

“She started talking that black stuff and white folks said, ‘We don’t know how to deal with that,’” Farrakhan said during a sermon in Detroit last month. “You gonna picket? You’re not gonna offer her police protection? But the FOI [Fruit of Islam] will.”

The FOI is the Nation of Islam’s male- only paramilitary wing, in lieu of police protection.

Whenever any prominent African- American speaks out on structural discrimination, racism, or uplifting the African-American community, the outcome is always controversy. Why can’t we stand up for the people that have always been targeted?

I must say, this year’s Black History Month was definitely one for the books.

In the 29 days of February, Stacey Dash suggested to get rid of Black History Month, Jada Pinkett-Smith called for a boycott of the Oscars with the support of her husband Will Smith and Spike Lee due to of the lack of African-American nominations, Kendrick Lamar won a Grammy for his culturally uplifting music, and Beyoncé finally took a stand on social discrimination issues.

Beyoncés song “Formation” is definitely a hit, and not just because of the cool beat and the timing of the bass drop.

Her lyrics are empowering for all African-Americans, bringing stereotypes to light instead of sweeping them under the rug out of embarrassment.

It’s motivational for those singing out loud “I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making.”

Her performance promotes financial, educational, and emotional black power. It does not take anything away from the police or white Americans for that matter.

Everyone is entitled to her own opinion. I believe in fighting for equality and standing up for equality. I stand with Bey.

“Carry on.” 

Donald Trump’s immigration ideas offend me

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

By Clery Chavez

Special to The Communitarian

Republican primary candidate Donald Trump has an immigration plan that consists of three ideas.

First, he wants to convince people that Mexican immigrants are undesirable criminals.

Second, he wants to build a wall separating the U.S border from Mexico along the 2,000 miles.

Third, he wants to close the entry to the United States for any Muslim immigrant.

I believe that none of these ideas will be affective.

During the announcement of his candidacy, Trump said that illegal immigration is one of our country’s biggest problems.

During his speech he stated: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with them. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Where does he get this idea? Breitbart News presented data that shows millions of arrests of illegal aliens for all types of crimes including theft, assault, rape and drugs.

The report is based on numbers compiled by the Government Accounting Office (GAO). And the report’s logic is that if there were no illegal immigrants none of these crimes would have happened.

I do not believe this data can be considered valid.

It is not compared to any general population or to the population of Mexicans in general in the United States, or even to the population of legal Mexican immigrants in the United States.

Without any context, this data is meaningless to me.

However, the census looked at the population of all male ages 18 to 39 who were in jail, and seven percent of those were of Hispanic heritage but native born to United States.

Only 1 percent of the population was Hispanic immigrants.

So the Hispanics born in the United States committed 7 percent more crimes than the illegal Hispanics. This clearly proves that Trump is exaggerating and trying to scare people about Mexican immigration.

Trump thinks he can scare the American people enough to build a 2,000- mile wall along the border with Mexico. He says it can easily be accomplished.

He may be right that it is not impossible to build a wall, but there are so many reasons it is a terrible idea.

The wall would interfere drastically with the eco system in the area. It would have to go through Native American reservations, and possibly a couple of rivers.

Worst of all, it would not stop the 6 billion dollar industry of the Coyotes who always find the way to smuggle illegal

immigrant into the country under and around borders.

According to Jorge Ramos, a reporter for Univision, this wall would cost about 20 billion dollars.

Ramos also points out that, in 2013, 40 percent of illegal immigration was by people who entered the country legally by airplane but overstayed their visas.

“So the Hispanics born in the United States committed seven percent more crimes than the illegal Hispanics.”

No wall will help this problem.

In addition to Trump’s problem with Mexicans, he is also very concerned about Muslim immigrants.

He has proposed the United States completely stop allowing Muslim immigrants, even legal ones, into the country.

Unfortunately for Trump, that action would be completely illegal because the First Amendment of the Constitution provides Freedom of Religion.

Of course, Trump may argue that only applies to Americans, not immigrants. However, it definitely would also negate the Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection Under Law, and that law governs immigration.

Therefore, Trump’s proposal is completely against the law and anti- American.

Trump’s campaign slogan is, “Make America Great Again.” But his ideas on immigration would send the United States back to the years before any anti- discrimination laws were in effect.

Badmouthing Mexicans to scare the American people will not create useful immigration policy.

Pretending that it is realistic to build a 2,000-mile wall along the entire Mexican border, when experts show the reasons this will not help, does not create useful immigration policy.

Banning an entire group of immigrants, based purely on religion, from entering the United States under any circumstance, certainly does not create useful immigration policy.

More importantly, with these policies, instead of “Making America Great Again,” he seems to forget what actually makes this country great: the fact that immigrants can come from poverty and oppression anywhere in the world and have an equal chance to get ahead by working hard.

Trump would overturn the very foundation on which America was built.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” says the Statue of Liberty, which speaks to the American people. Trump does not.

Americans will have more to spend if gas stays low

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Graphic showing average gas price comparison from 2012-2015.
Graphic showing average gas price comparison from 2012-2015.

By Kevin G. Hall McClatchy Washington Bureau



WASHINGTON — If oil and gasoline prices remain at their current unusually low levels, Americans will have a lot more to spend on other things.

That’s the conclusion of the AAA Motor Club, which on Dec. 31 projected huge savings for 2015. In its December gas price report, AAA concluded that Americans saved about $14 billion on gasoline last year compared to 2013.

The trend will only accelerate if things stay as they are, with the price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil in the ballpark of $53 on Friday, and in the international reference Brent crude oil at $56 a barrel. “It would not be surprising for U.S. consumers to save $50-75 billion on gasoline in 2015 if prices remain low,” said Michael Green, a AAA spokesman. U.S. average gasoline prices declined $1.44 per gallon, or about 39 percent, AAA said, since reaching their high of $3.70 a gallon last April 28. Over the entire year, gasoline averaged about $3.34 a gallon nationwide, about 15 cents below the 2013 average.

Absent a shock to oil supplies, the annual average is likely to be considerably lower in 2015, perhaps below $3.00 a gallon, AAA said. Historically, gasoline prices begin rising in late February, by as much as 30 cents to 50 cents a gallon, as refiners begin maintenance in preparations for fuels used in warmer spring and summer weather. On the first work day of 2015, the national average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline stood at 2.231 on Friday.

That’s down from $2.76 a month ago and $3.325 a year ago.

Overcoming cervical cancer

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

By Shannon Reardon

The memories from Feb. 5, 2015 will forever be seared into my brain. My brother, my mother, my stepfather, and I were sitting in the living room watching TV after dinner. The air was thick with tension from an earlier text, “I want to have a family meeting tonight,” sent by my mother. After an episode of TMZ, my parents turned the TV off and began our family meeting.

My mom asked my brother and me if we had noticed how often she had been visiting her doctor’s office lately. Once we told her that we did, she sat in silence for a minute before speaking. “I have cervical cancer,” she told us. As soon as I heard those words my heart dropped and my brain shut down. No one ever tells you how hard it is to watch a parent get sick, and if he did, it wouldn’t prepare you for what you actually go through. I left school at the end of February to free up my schedule during the times my mom would need rides to and from Fox Chase Crozer Keystone Regional Cancer Center.

I watched my mom go from the strong woman with whom I fought constantly to a woman who had to focus all of her strength into her fight against cancer. My mom is not alone in her fight against cervical cancer; according to The World Cancer Research Fund, cervical cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer affecting women.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common cause of cervical cancer and affects about 12,000 women, most commonly over the age of 30, in the United States yearly. The CDC also states that HPV is one of the commonly transmitted diseases, and at least half of sexually active individuals will get HPV at some point their lives.

Experts at the CDC, WCRF, and other health organizations report that the most effective way to prevent HPV is to practice safe sex, which would lower the number of women being diagnosed with cervical cancer. The National Cancer Institute also links having multiple children to an increased risk to cervical cancer.

“Promiscuity, multiple sexual partners, leads to multiple opportunities to get infected with the virus,” says Dr. Robert K. Roush Jr., a medical oncologist at Fox Chase Crozer Keystone Regional Cancer Center. “Besides getting vaccinated for HPV and not being promiscuous, there is nothing else that can lead to cervical cancer, as far as risk factors.”

Regular screenings, or Pap tests, can help find cervical precancers, but women can also be vigilant while looking for possible symptoms. The symptoms for cervical cancer, as listed by the American Cancer Society, are abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during sex, other various pelvic pains, and unusual vaginal discharge. Once diagnosed with cervical cancer, or any other type of cancer, a medical oncologist, like Roush, will meet with a patient and go through variables such as age, severity of cancer, and courses of treatment, whether it be surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of the three, to decide how to move forward and eliminate the cancer. Prognosis for remission and the likelihood of staying in remission vary just as much as the patient’s courses of treatment.

Graphic explains how human papillomavirus (HPV) infection can lead to cervical cancer; includes map of states that have introduced legislation that would require HPV vaccinations for girls. MCT 2011 07000000; HTH; krtcampus campus; krthealth health; krtnational national; krtnews; MED; krt; mctgraphic; 07007000; 07008001; 07019000; HEA; krtkidhealth kid health; krtmedicine medicine; krtvaccine vaccination; krtwomenhealth women health; patient; preventative medicine; shot; vaccine; krtdiversity diversity; woman women; youth; krt mct; antibodies; antibody; cancer; cell; cervical cancer; cervix; hpv; human papillomavirus; infection; legislation; mandatory vaccine; map; protein; uterus; vagina; virus; 2011; krt2011
Graphic explains how human papillomavirus (HPV) infection can lead to cervical cancer; includes map of states that have introduced legislation that would require HPV vaccinations for girls. MCT 2011
07000000; HTH; krtcampus campus; krthealth health; krtnational national; krtnews; MED; krt; mctgraphic; 07007000; 07008001; 07019000; HEA; krtkidhealth kid health; krtmedicine medicine; krtvaccine vaccination; krtwomenhealth women health; patient; preventative medicine; shot; vaccine; krtdiversity diversity; woman women; youth; krt mct; antibodies; antibody; cancer; cell; cervical cancer; cervix; hpv; human papillomavirus; infection; legislation; mandatory vaccine; map; protein; uterus; vagina; virus; 2011; krt2011

Roush added. “You just have to keep it under control for as you can.” My mom was in stage 2B when her cancer was discovered. Her team of doctors, including Roush, decided that for her course of treatment it was best to do a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. Monday through Friday she would go in for radiation treatments, and Wednesdays she would stay after radiation and do her chemotherapy.The weeks were always hardest Wednesday to Sunday because of how physically draining the chemo was. “I only feel good at the beginning of the week,” she would tell us. The days after chemo she would mostly sleep, and if she ate it was a light meal like crackers and soup. The staff at Crozer Fox Chase all helped my mom considerably, but one that stood out to me was a medical secretary named Luci Russello.

On the days that I would pick my mom up from chemo, Russello made it a priority to not only check to see how my mom was doing, but also how I was handling her going through treatment. Kindness, she told me countless times, and being there for someone is one of the best things you can do for a person going through treatment. As of November the doctors began to say that there weren’t any cancerous cells to be found.

My mom is now in remission and her doctors are decreasing her visits. They will still have to monitor her to see if the cancer does decide to return, but as of right now she is healthy. It was a long fight, but I am so happy and thankful for all the people that support her, and all the friends and family members that were there for me as well.

Trump’s authoritarianism hurts immigrants

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

By Tom Ignudo

Since Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign, it has received Kardashian-like attention from not only his supporters, but also many Americans.

Granted, his campaign is entertaining. He’s currently leading all GOP members in the polls with 28.3 percent of the vote.

But Trump’s authoritarian views aren’t appealing – except to the “off the spectrum” right wing – especially his immigr – I mean deportation policy.

In particular, his comment “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and SOME, I assume, are good people,” back in June sparked mixed emotions throughout the country.

Notably, during the Fox Business Network & Wall Street Journal debate Nov. 10, Trump referenced a deportation plan used by former president Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“Let me just tell you Dwight Eisenhower – moved a million and a half illegal immigrants out of this country,” Trump said at the GOP debate Nov. 10. “Moved them just beyond the border. They came back. Moved them again beyond the border. They came back. Didn’t like it. Moved them way south. They never came back.”

Even though Trump cited Eisenhower’s plan, he never actually said the name of the plan, probably because he would have received immediate blowback during the debate.

In 1954, Eisenhower’s plan “Operation Wetback” deported 1.3 million illegal immigrants, including American citizens, according to the Immigration & Naturalization Service. However, Trump articulated the plan as a flawless process.

He dismissed the significant amount human rights violations of “Operation Wetback,” like the seven deportees who drowned attempting to flee from a boat.

Trump said he would have all 11.5 million estimated illegal immigrants out of the county within two years. That’s 958,333 moved per month and 31,944 moved per day.

In other words, Trump plans on raiding, capturing, and deporting people faster than they can say, “I’m a U.S. citizen.”

But Trump’s plan is not only is based off “Operation Wetback.” It echoes another deportation era of American history: The Mexican Repatriation.

The Mexican Repatriation took place during The Great Depression and lasted throughout the 1930s. While jobs were scarce during The Great Depression, “illegal immigrants,” or even Mexican-American citizens were forcibly removed from their homes and families to open up jobs for Americans.

Sound familiar?

About 60 percent of the 2 million people deported were U.S. citizens, according to Francisco Balderrama, co-author of the book, “Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s.”

The deportation was done without due process, which is unconstitutional and doesn’t mirror the values we consider to be “American.”

They may have looked the same and spoken the same language, but in reality, the deportation split families and created an everlasting problem at the U.S./Mexico border.

How many people do you think re- entered the country after The Mexican Repatriation, who were actually U.S. citizens?

The same goes for Operation Wetback, and even for the current border problems we have today.

Trump argues that illegal immigrants are “hurting us economically,” but his deportation policy would cost the economy five times the amount illegal immigrants do.

According to the American Action Forum, a non-profit center-right policy institute, the federal government would have to spend roughly $400 to $600 billion to deport 11.5 million illegal immigrants.

Not to mention, in today’s age of surveillance, imagine the inhumane videos of raids that would surface on the Internet as a result of Trump’s policy.

Trump’s immigration plan also features building a wall on the U.S./ Mexico border.

“We need borders,” Trump said. “We will have a wall, the wall will be built, the wall will be successful, and if you think walls don’t work all you have to do is ask Israel.”

First off, Israel is the size of Lake Michigan. Once their wall is completed it’s set to be 403 miles.

The U.S./Mexico border is 1,954 miles, and stretches from California to Texas. Furthermore, Trump plans on making Mexico pay for the wall,which makes zero sense economically, and Israel’s border houses members of its military.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel killed 2,220 Palestinians in 2014, including 1,492 civilians.

Trump’s plan implies that he’s willing to use the same force on the border as Israel, especially since he wants to triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers.

Trump’s plan is to “Make America Great Again,” but this policy would only violate the liberties shared by U.S. citizens.

Overall, our borders need to be secured, but Trump’s plan would alienate our communities and profile U.S. citizens based on their ethnicity, resulting in repeating America’s previous dehumanizing deportations.