Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Social media: A breeding ground for bullies
Apr20

Social media: A breeding ground for bullies

With the advent of social media, we can constantly keep up with everyone and everything. While having instant access can be good, it also allows social media users to comment anonymously. This can sometimes lead to cyberbullying. Recently under fire from social media, is 20-year-old R&B singer-songwriter, Kehlani Parrish, who releases her music as Kehlani. Kehlani is from Oakland, California and prior to fame was part of the teen pop band PopLyfe, who finished fourth place in the sixth season of America’s Got Talent. Kehlani came under fire when rumors popped up that she cheated on her boyfriend, professional basketball player Kyrie Irving, with her ex-boyfriend PartyNextDoor, a fellow singer-songwriter. Once news sources leaked the information, social media lit up with negative comments. Commentors shamed Kehlani and called her inappropriate names. Even though this did not become a trending topic on social media, it was still a mass cyberbully attack. According to Dictionary.com, cyberbullying can be defined as the act of harassing someone online by sending or posting mean messages, usually anonymously. While those who posted about Kehlani might not have been anonymous, they fit the first half of the definition really well. These users were posting things that they would not say to Kehlani’s face, if they ever met. The cyberbullying got so bad that Kehlani attempted suicide. Her friend, PartyNextDoor, found the singer and called 911. Fortunately, she was found in the right amount of time and survived her attempt. When she awoke from her living nightmare, she posted a picture of her arm with the IV in it to her Instagram account, detailing what happened and how thankful she was to be safe. The picture went viral with the hashtag, #staystrongKehlani, trending on social media sites. One thing most people forget when making not-so-pleasant comments, especially about their private life, is that there is an actual person behind that public persona. Kehlani’s post made people realize that their comments did actually effect someone. Many celebrities reached out to Kehlani, while some added to the cyberbullying noise. Singer Chris Brown took his opinions to Twitter, shaming Kehlani and implying that she posted a picture from the hospital in order to stay in the media. Fortunately, other celebs called Brown out on his actions and his followers began dropping like flies. While the advancement of technology and social media has been great, it has also made people more susceptible to bullying. Cyberbullying is a category of its own, because while it may not be physically painful, it can cause a lot of mental and psychological damage. And because cyberbullies are often anonymous, it can make it impossible for...

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Tension builds with North Korea

The United Nations is supposed to enforce laws in all countries, and it seems to be with the help of America. Being an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, I believe in an entity designated to keep all parties in line. When North Korea tested an H-Bomb and nobody reacted, it exposed a weakness in us. Iraq committed crimes and we went to war, but North Korea tested an H-Bomb expressly forbidden by the United States, Britain, Japan, and China and we sent North Korea a letter. By the principles that America stands for we should go to war with North Korea for simply having weapons of mass destruction. I spent 31 months in Iraq helping my country find weapons of mass destruction that our enemies were keeping hidden. North Korea doesn’t even try to hide their WMDs. They are on TV playing with them. When North Korea tested that H-Bomb, I believe it was a clear message to America. If America does not put North Korea in its place then that will lead to trouble for future American generations. We must stand by the principles and rules that we have enforced in the past, or it may seem as if we are for hire. Obviously North Korea will not stop the constant bullying. When Kim Jong-Un dies, his son will probably be worse. North Korea claims America is a gang of cruel people that harms others. So the dictator feels he is backed by righteousness. This could mean war is imminent. North Korea has the guts to constantly push the limits and break the rules, but we seem to be doing nothing.. We waged war against a nation that did not even have uniforms. But yet we can’t wage war against a country that has imprisoned American students and dropped an H-bomb that they weren’t supposed to have. North Korea clearly has no intent of doing anything America...

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Oscar discrimination arguement is not consistent with historical data

The landscape issue of racial diversity has been one of the longest running issues in the United States. And now we’re seeing that topic being raised in the film industry. But is it really a problem? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have been around since 1927. It is one of the most prestigious organizations in Hollywood, and it is now being defamed for its lack of racial diversity. I really don’t think it’s the lack of diversity in the Academy as it is the lack facts regarding the subject. News and media outlets have made it extremely difficult to filter out statistics and facts from opinion and fluff. For example, in the 1940s, the United States Census Bureau released data showing that 89.8 percent of the U.S. population was White and 9.8 percent was Black or African-American. In 2010, the Black or African-American population accounted for 12.6 percent of the American population. According to a study conducted at the University of Southern California, 14 percent of movies show Black actors at or within two percentage points of the U.S. Census. So there is a correlation between actor roles and general population. More so, out of the 200 nominations for actor roles at the Academy Awards, only one nominee was Black between 1940 and 1949. Between 2000 and 2009, 16 nominees were Black out of the 200 nominations. From 2010 to present day, 7 nominations went to Black or African-American actors. Statistically, the Academy Award nominations have been getting more and more diverse. This year seems to just be an anomaly or an outlier from previous years. I won’t disagree with how Selma got snubbed in last year’s nominations. The film was truly powerful and emotionally moving and was unlike any movie that had come before it, but that doesn’t mean its snubbing was somehow racially influenced. According to several prominent, large-market film critics, had the number of nominations for Best Picture increased from eight to 10, the largely talked-about biopic of the year Straight Outta Compton would have most definitely been number nine on their personal list for this year. But stories like those told in movies like Straight Outta Compton and Selma are distant from the normal narrative film styles, they’ve gained more attention from younger audiences. So, #OscarsSoWhite is a blatant lie. Films are becoming more and more diverse through generations. It’s just taking a bit longer for change to take place. The people in the Academy will always change with newer, younger and more experienced generations. It will just take a bit longer for change to...

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Candidates cause confusion as primaries near

Can a socialist really become president? How about someone born in Canada, or someone with no political experience? Could a candidate staring down the barrel of a federal indictment really win a general election? The first votes of the primary elections will be cast Feb. 1 in Iowa, and voters must choose from some of the most polarizing candidates in recent memory. Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has long been seen as the frontrunner to win the Democratic Party’s nomination, but growing questions about her infamous email server may be enough to derail Clinton’s campaign. In March 2015, it was revealed that as Secretary of state, Clinton used a private server to conduct federal business. Through ongoing investigations, it has also been revealed that Clinton’s server contained highly sensitive and classified material. Now, Clinton may be facing possible indictment because of the issue. But even if she isn’t indicted, the issue could very well be enough to keep her from receiving the Democratic nomination. Democratic voters who turn away from Clinton may not like the alternative either–self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, who is proposing unprecedented tax hikes. Under his plan, those at the top of the economic ladder would be paying as much as 58 percent in taxes. While the Robin Hood theory of taking from the rich and giving to the poor sounds good on paper, in practice, it would likely end in disaster. Large corporations aren’t going to stand for such huge cuts in profit. Instead, they would probably be forced to send even more jobs overseas, which would be a devastating hit to the working class. Even though his tax reform is a cause for concern, Sanders’ character isn’t being called into question like Hillary’s. Sanders is a genuine individual who seems to want what’s best for the country. Voters may disagree with his policies, but it’s evident that Sanders has a clear advantage over Clinton at this point in the race. If the Democratic Party isn’t complicated enough, the Republicans are here to muddy the waters even more. There are still a dozen candidates in the race, but the two frontrunners – Donald Trump and Ted Cruz – are the two most polarizing figures of the group. Throughout the campaign cycle, many thought that Trump’s allure would wear off with voters. It hasn’t. In fact, he seems to be getting stronger as time goes on. Trump doesn’t have the political experience. He isn’t diplomatic and he doesn’t hold back when talking about his opponents. He may not be the logical choice for a Commander-in-Chief, but his loose-cannon style has certainly resonated with voters. But as...

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Global warming sparks heated debate within political spectrum
Dec08

Global warming sparks heated debate within political spectrum

The effects of climate change have long been a debate in political spectrums, and it will be on the table once again during the 2016 Presidential election. However, whether or not global warming is a legitimate concern or an overreaction, it’s important not to fall victim to those who try to use the issue to further their political agenda. Climate change isn’t a figment of our imaginations. The earth’s temperature has been creeping up and most scientists believe this is the result of carbon emissions. But this theory is one that can’t be proven. Global temperature changes can’t be successfully measured until decades – or even centuries – later. So, to present the theory of man-made global warming as fact is somewhat deceiving. In addition, it’s often difficult to tell the true intentions of politicians. While some may see climate change as an urgent issue, others may be using it to pull the wool over voters’ eyes in order to justify tax hikes. The issue of global warming is used by the left as a tool to bring in voters. Voters who feel strongly about climate change most often fall in line with the Democratic Party’s ideology. So, naturally, Democratic candidates who want those votes make an effort to seem passionate about the issue. At the same time, many conservatives refuse to have a logical discussion about climate change solely because of the principle of it. Those who don’t feel global warming is an immediate threat or who don’t believe that it even exists at all, immediately dispute any evidence that climate change exists. So who is right? Like anything in politics, there has to be some middle ground. We live in an extremely industrialized society, so to eliminate carbon emissions would completely destroy modern civilization and wreak havoc on the world’s economy. At the same time, however, ignoring the problem because of a lack of evidence doesn’t seem wise either. Devoting billions of dollars to combat a theory wouldn’t be wise, but no one can argue that finding more efficient and economically viable sources of energy would be a bad thing. So whether or not climate change truly is a threat to society, one thing that is for certain is that, like with most political issues, both sides of the aisle can afford to...

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Syrian refugees deserve a chance for a better life

Considering that America was built on the principle of migration it would be a double standard to deny the Syrian refugees shelter. The only people in America that are not immigrants are the Native Americans. So, to deny any group of people access to the American dream seems against what our country is about. Not every Muslim or non-American is against America. In fact plenty of Muslims serve in the American military. The ability to deny a race of people entry into America because of migration sets a dangerous precedent. America seems to be on its way to being on the wrong side of history. I love this fine country, but these politicians seem to forget they speak for us, not just themselves. I don’t recall taking a vote on whether the Syrians should be allowed to enter or not. America is telling the whole world that they will go to war, but will not take in those who need protection from tyrannical rulers. Americans should ask themselves how much longer the world will let us be “big brother” when we are not willing to help others. We need to allow them entry and show the world America is better. We will not let anyone change who we are and what we do. Native Americans accepted and helped the settlers. Moses led the Jewish people to a land where they were taken in. And lucky for my ancestors Native Americans took in run-away slaves. History is littered with cultures who accepted different cultures despite their very obvious differences. History is also saturated with people who were accomplices to the oppression of other races. Turning your head and looking the other way, by law is being an accomplice. Americans love claiming the name of Jesus, but I wonder what Jesus would do if he saw those same people denying scared and innocent people the chance to be safe. His promise to us is admittance to Heaven as long as we follow him and prove our love. Why not give the Syrian refugees the same courtesy and give them a chance before sending them back into the arms of...

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