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.

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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Editor-in-chief bids farewell
Dec08

Editor-in-chief bids farewell

It has truly been a pleasure serving as editor of the campus newspaper, The Bells. It has been stressful, but mostly fun. I know that most of this would be impossible if it weren’t for the wonderful staff I’ve enjoyed working with this past semester, along with the students, faculty and staff that not only read the stories we write, but contribute to them as well. The last three-and-a-half years at UMHB have come and gone, and it honestly seems like a blur now as I am finishing my last week. I remember coming to my first journalism class, Introduction to Mass Media, in the fall of 2012 and hearing some wise words said by Mrs. Vicky Kendig, former journalism professor and newspaper adviser. She recited John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” After that, she proceeded to encourage us journalism majors, telling us that God had journalists in mind when that verse was written, and that our jobs were to write the truth and remain true to ourselves as Christian journalists. Wiser words were never said and I have never been more influenced by a single individual than I have been by Mrs. Kendig. My journey on The Bells has been a rollercoaster, but I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world. From starting out my sophomore year as entertainment page editor, to adapting to a smaller staff and paper, to working with our new newspaper adviser, Mrs. McClure, and building our staff from the ground up, it has been hard. But it has been worth it. In my time as editor and working on the paper in general, I have learned what UMHB is really about. I’ve had the opportunity to see the very best of this campus and take in the beauty it has to offer. A lot of my thanks goes to the UMHB Communications department, whose faculty has not only taught me everything I know, but has also given this student-run newspaper the support it needs to succeed. I would like to thank every person who works in Heard Hall. Sharing this home has its ups and downs, and our chaos inevitably becomes your chaos, but you don’t let that stop us from producing the paper. Your patience with the newspaper and staff is really appreciated. Lastly, I don’t think I can go without thanking the newspaper adviser, Mrs. McClure, my assistant editor, Cody Weems and the rest of the staff and writers. All of the hard work we have put in this semester has not gone unnoticed, and I genuinely cannot...

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GOP still divided over Speaker

In 2014, the Republican Party successfully won over voters as it took control of the Senate and boosted support within the House of Representatives. The progress the GOP made, however, has come to a standstill as divisions within the party have severely limited what Congress can accomplish. Now, Republican representatives must choose between supporting a speaker who goes against their core values or hold fast and continue to limit Congress’ ability. On Sept. 26, Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation from Congress. Boehner became speaker in 2010 with much help from conservatives in the Tea Party movement. Now, many of the same conservatives who elevated him to the position are the ones who pressured him out. The House Freedom Caucus, a group of the more conservative representatives, were the ones applying the most pressure to Boehner and other republicans in hopes of cutting spending and bringing about aggressive policy changes. The moment that likely pushed Boehner to the breaking point was the Freedom Caucus’ threats to shut down the government in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood. Now that Boehner is out of the picture, the next step for the GOP is to decide on a replacement; a task which has proved difficult for the divided party. The most likely scenario seems to be former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Ryan, who never campaigned for the position, has said he would assume the roll if called upon, but clearly stated several criteria that must be met. First, Ryan wants united support from GOP representatives in order to ensure that the division which occurred under Boehner wouldn’t happen again. Also, Ryan, a father of three from Wisconsin, wants to guarantee he can have specific time set aside to spend with his family. Whether or not Ryan is able to pull the party together is largely out of his control. For Congress to be effective, conservative republicans need to decide what values and policies they’re willing to sacrifice. The Freedom Caucus’ desire to hold true to its beliefs should be commended. However, House conservatives have reached the point where they might be doing more harm than good. Leaving the House at a stalemate doesn’t do anybody any good. The rest of the party has shown a willingness to negotiate. Now it’s up to the Freedom Caucus to step up to the table and do the same. If not, they risk hurting the GOP’s already fragile...

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