"Accidental Racist" And Moving On

by Shannon E. “Accidental Racist” is a song of Brad Paisley’s newest album Wheelhouse, this will not be a review of the song, because I wasn’t actually able to hear the song since all links have been removed due to the controversy it has stirred. In his song Brad Paisley sings about experiences that he has had and the feelings he has about being caught between feeling proud of his southern roots and celebrating that pride in a way that isn’t offensive to others. The song also attempts to address the misunderstanding and prejudices that exist between blacks and whites in America. To further drive home this point Paisley even tapped rapper LL Cool J to add a feature to the song. Since it’s release Paisley and LL have been criticized for the song and its sad attempt at trying to address years of racial tension in America by ultimately


Bangladesh's Pursuit of Justice (Or Revenge)

by Oz C. Earlier this year, several men accused of committing war crimes during Bangladesh’s war of independence from Pakistan were put on trial before the International Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka. The men were charged with committing heinous crimes in the 1970s including genocide, mass murder, mass rape, and attempting to eliminate entire groups of people. The magnitude of the trials was compared with that of the Israeli prosecution of Adolf Eichmann, Nazi secretary during the Wannsee conference that lead to the Holocaust. At least one news source reports that the comparison ends there. Eichmann’s trial is said to have been a paragon of meticulous process advocated by the most prominent attorneys and broadcasted for the public. The trials in Bangladesh, however, have been a due process nightmare. The government is accused of interfering with the court’s deliberations and several judges allegedly handed down sentences without hearing all of the defense witnesses’


Playing Politics With Props: Using Victims Of Gun Violence

by C.P. Last week the Senate voted down a Bill that addressed background checks for potential gun buyers. In the lead up to the vote, some of the families of the victims of Sandy Hook have spoken in front of Congress in favor of the bill. Critics have commented that the use of families in the lobbying for the background check bill was “emotional blackmail”.  Rand Paul specifically said that President Obama used the families of victims as a “prop”.  In an obvious attempt to backtrack Paul then said: “Politics isn’t only about facts.  It is about whether you’re seen as empathetic, and I do want people to know that I do care about those families and I understand their grief.” Thanks, Rand Paul.  Telling us you are empathetic really illustrates how empathetic you are. This sentiment perhaps is reflective of people’s misguided perception of the law—that it should be completely divorced from all emotion. The law is about the physical and


Rutgers Basketball And The Flaws Of Moral Justice

by Z.R. In December, Rutgers coach Mike Rice was publicly reprimanded for his actions, suspended, fined, and he apologized. The power of public opinion would not allow Rice off that easy. That is fair.  Rice will likely never work in sports again, and possibly show his face in public anytime soon. The court of public opinion deemed him guilty of offenses that his superiors did not. Right or wrong, the public, so obsessed and outraged, understood that taking legal action was not only unwarranted, but unnecessary. Plenty of damage can be done without legal punishment. I will be the first to say that if put in the same position as Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, I would have pushed to fire the coach. The behavior was truly over the line. However, situations like this show that we accept flaws in our legal system that we have no tolerance for otherwise. The


Dear 2nd Amendment, Please Shoot Yourself

by Kendal S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WVA) and Pat Tommey (R-Penn) have come to a compromise that sets up the likelihood of a major Senate debate on gun legislation. First Lady Michelle Obama also made “emotional remarks” to highlight the importance of gun control. Along with recent tragedies of Aurora and Newtown, it is assured that the issue of gun control is not going away anytime soon.  Now, do I believe we need stricter gun control?  I can honestly say that I’m torn on the issue.  Do I own a gun?  No.  Do I plan on ever owning a gun?  No.  Do I believe people should be allowed to own guns?  A conditional yes.  Do I believe the right to own a gun is constitutionally protected?  Maybe… but not by the 2nd Amendment. The most ridiculous case I’ve read in law school is District of Columbia v. Heller.  And it has


Sumo Wrestlers, “Sexy Indians”, and Mexican Sombreros: How Many Acts of Student Racism in Universities until There is Change?

by Grace L. Several months ago, Duke University’s Kappa Sigma fraternity held an “Asian-themed” party, that had many outraged. Flyers for the event included stereotypical depictions of Asians as sumo wrestlers. An event email was riddled with racist jokes and puns, starting with a “Herro Nice Duke Peopre!!” and ending with a “Chang You.” And this sort of incident at a university is not isolated. For example, another Duke fraternity held a “Sexy Pilgrims and Indians” party in 2011, and Penn State’s Chi Omega sorority threw a “Mexican-themed” party where people wore sombreros and ponchos, and carried signs saying “Green Card,” just last year. These sorts of deliberate acts of stereotyping and marginalizing certain groups not only contribute to the stigma these groups face, they also injure the students in the communities themselves. In response to the incident, Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs at Duke stated that “We


Reconsidering Native American Cultural Imagery In Sports

by Alex S. Watching the Boston Red Sox play the Cleveland Indians play last night provided a much-needed distraction in the wake of the marathon bombing tragedy. That is not, however, what I wish to discuss. Full disclosure: I don’t watch very many Indians games; they haven’t finished above .500 or made the playoffs since 2007 and I don’t have a rooting interest in the AL Central. As a result, last night was one of the first times in a few years I had spent a significant period of time looking at Chief Wahoo. Chief Wahoo, for those that aren’t aware of the name, is the name of the logo for the Cleveland Indians: a caricature of a widely grinning Native American donning a red feather. While the Indians’ logo seems to be particularly culturally insensitive, theirs certainly isn’t the only team name or mascot that subsumes Native American imagery


NHL's "You Can Play" Project Could Sprout Similar Equality Actions

by Adiella Stadler We are used to sports headlines grabbing front-page news. Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice fired for physically and verbally abusing players. Jerry Sandusky, Penn State football coach, convicted on child molestation charges. Fortunately, this week’s sports story bears a preferable headline: The National Hockey League (NHL) has teamed up with the You Can Play Project to support and promote gay rights in sports. Sports culture is notorious for its locker room homophobia and homosexuality remains highly stigmatized in U.S. professional sports. Despite recent speculation that a current gay NFL player is planning on publicly coming out within the next few months, no active player has yet come out as openly gay in any of the four major professional sports leagues. Although many of these leagues have policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the NHL announcement goes further in developing “what appears to be


SCOTUS, Christianity, and Same Sex Marriage

By KR At the end of March the Supreme Court Justices heard Oral arguments on same sex marriage in order to determine whether California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage under the State of California’s constitution. As the support for same sex marital rights grows, opponents have begun to push back, fighting to protect the sanctity traditional marriage between man and woman. Especially members of the Catholic Clergy. I admit, that I am definitely not the most devout Catholic. I maybe make it to church four or five times a year. Yet, I went to Sunday school, learned about the Catholic religion, and achieved Holy Communion. The ritual where young Catholics affirm their faith in Christ our Lord.  No longer did I have to sit and watch my parents and other members of the church receive one of the main sacraments, which signifies membership within the Christian community.  I was


Teachers With Guns

by Mara Wishingrad Should teachers carry guns? An NRA-backed Task Force thinks so. In the National School Shield Plan, which was released on April 2nd, the National School Shield Task Force recommended the adoption of a model law “authorizing school administrators to designate personnel who may carry concealed weapons or firearms on school property; providing an exception to a prohibition on possession or discharge of weapons or firearms on school property by such designees; authorizing designees to carry concealed weapons or firearms; providing an effective date.” This disturbing suggestion raises two important questions – (1) will arming teachers make schools safer and (2) what message does arming teachers send to students. While I’m not an expert on school safety, it seems that there has to be a better way to protect schoolchildren than fighting guns with more guns. The more guns there are, the more likely it seems that a