Category Archives: News/Op-Ed

News/Op-Ed: In The Aftermath Of Spring Break, How Did COVID-19 Fare Across The United States?

by Aeden Alexander

One year after COVID-19 began to spread in the United States, many wonder how COVID-19’s second consecutive presence during spring break would affect the country now that vaccines are beginning to go into people’s arms.

The numbers don’t lie, as of late March 2021 coronavirus numbers are at an all time low in all states. But this isn’t for any reason, as with the now available vaccines out, almost twenty two percent of the country has been fully vaccinated.

Many schools look to return to on campus learning but spring break might affect reopenings due to the potential of rising cases. Some Bosco students offered to share what they did during spring break to prevent another outbreak.

“Yeah, honestly with everything closed you can’t really do much to begin with, but thankfully since we live in California we have many social distanced options like the beach which is where I spent most my time fishing and having fun,” said junior Jesse Paderez.

But, now that spring break is over it gives us a chance to take a look at how it affected COVID-19 cases. From numbers being at an all time low, there are now hospitals in many states like Florida and California that got hit with a new spike of people testing positive.

At the start of April, 702,000 new positive tests come out due to traveling for spring break vacations. Many warnings were put out suggesting not to travel, but many did not listen. 

Florida, more specifically Miami, took action early and shut down many of their popular spring break spots but this did not affect much as Florida was hit the hardest of all states in positive cases after Spring Break.

California, now being one of the states with a dipping positivity test rate, is not as reopened as Florida to begin with, but even with the small spike in numbers, Governor Gavin Newsom came out and released a statement saying that by June, California looks to be fully opened with protocols like masks and hand sanitizing still in place.

“I’m super excited for the reopening, obviously we didn’t really have last summer so I am pumped especially for baseball too because we can have a full summer of playing and not have to really worry about what will happen in the future,” said junior Jake Ellison.

Spring Break had much less of an affect from a COVID-19 standpoint this year compared to last year, and part of that is due to the new vaccine availability, which are a major reason for recent success in keeping case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths low and declining. Yet, there were also many people took the pandemic much more seriously this year than last year, which was another contributing factor to the lower numbers we are seeing from the CDC.

News/Op-Ed: A Quick Reflection On Holy Week To Prepare Our Soul To Accompany Jesus In His Suffering

by Pedro Ochoa

Spring break is more than just a few days of vacation. During Easter break, Christian’s celebrate Holy Week, as they remember the life of Jesus. This year, Holy Week starts on Sunday March 28 and ends Sunday April 4.

Holy Week — True Life Church

In Christian tradition, Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday and carries on through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. It is a time for Christians to reflect on Jesus’ journey to the Cross, concluding with an empty tomb in Calvary.

What makes this week holy? During this week, Christians are asked to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ death. It starts with Palm Sunday when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem. The week then leads us through the Last Supper, His crucifixion, and ends on Easter Sunday with His resurrection.

Palm Sunday:

The first day of Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter, commemorating Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This day is celebrated around the world with palms and twigs from the day of. The palms are important because when Jesus was entering Jerusalem, they greeted him with waving palms and palms on the floor, creating a rug because of his long journey. 

Maundy Thursday: 

Maundy Thursday is also known as Holy Thursday and Sheer Thursday, among other names. It is a Christian holy day that commemorates events known as the Washing of the Feet and the Last Supper. Churches celebrate this day with a reenactment of the Last Supper and the Washing of the Feet.

Good Friday:

Good Friday, the Friday before Easter is the day on which Christians annually observe the commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. From the early days of Christianity, Good Friday was observed as a day of sorrow, penance, and fasting. Churches celebrate this day with a reenactment of the stages of Jesus’ death. These stages are called The Stations of the Cross. 

Easter Sunday:

This Sunday marks the end of Holy Week and Lent. Easter Sunday is one of the most festive events among Christians worldwide. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Churches have a celebration during this day. It is said by many, that the most important day in the Christian calendar that Christians should attend church is on Easter Sunday. 

Jesus came to earth to save humanity by dying on the cross on Good Friday and resurrected on Easter Sunday. He opened the gates of heaven making a way for our sin to be forgiven and usher us into the presence of God. Holy Week is a sacred opportunity to study the foundation of Christianity. 

In the end, Holy Week works as a way for Christians to reflect on their actions, to live in a way the pain that Jesus felt in his last days and how Christians can put his teachings into action and prophesize his gospel.

News/Op-Ed: For The First Time In Over A Year, Disneyland Plans To Reopen Their Gates

by Aeden Alexander

The happiest place on Earth is finally seeing happier days ahead, as Disneyland will finally reopen after a full year of being shut down. The entire park will finally be open to the public and ready for families to make memories that they will cherish for a lifetime. With the reopening, there are a few new add-ons in place with many excited visitors ready for the return.

As the world moves closer and closer to normalcy each passing day, Californians and people around the world are anticipating the reopening of Disneyland Resort. Like many others, there are Bosco Braves who are anticipating Disneyland’s reopening and cannot wait to be able to go for some fun. While Disneyland is definitely a family friendly place, it also provided teenagers everywhere a chance to go out with friends, let loose and share memories. Bosco junior Julian Orozco has long anticipated Disneyland’s return.

“I am very excited for Disneyland to reopen. I honestly just missed going out with my friends, and Disney was just our go-to spot to hang out,” said Julian. 

Disney’s new efforts to open the theme park will take place on April 30, 2021 and will include Disneyland Park, as well as Disney California Adventure Park. Prior to your arrival, there are some things all park visitors will need to know. 

There will be required face masks or face shields while at the theme parks. All visitors must stay, at minimum, six feet apart. Furthermore, only residents of California will be eligible to attend the park, and finally, you must download the Disney app because you need a reservation to attend the theme park due to its limited capacity as a result of COVID-19 protocols. With these given restrictions, many question how the actual rides will affect these rules.

“Honestly, I think the masks and social distancing won’t affect the theme park too much. Obviously, it’s going to stink that you have to wear a mask the whole day, but it might be a good thing because usually on rides you’re all squished together and now that there’s social distancing you can enjoy the ride without worrying about being in anyone’s business,” said senior Aaron Reyes.

When you do arrive at Disneyland, you will be greeted with various stations that will consist of verifying your reservation, temperature screenings and ultimately making your way towards fun, staying socially distanced to wherever you want to go. Despite the hassle, however, many believe the procedure is worth it.

“I miss the memories me and my friends made, and when it closed, there was really nothing to do on the weekends anymore. When the full park reopens, I will for sure be in the front of the line,” said Julian.

Additionally, there will be no “Fast Passes” distributed nor Disney MaxPass services, due to the COVID-19 restrictions. This will be subject to change as California seeks to lower COVID-19 positivity rates with the distribution of vaccines. Furthermore, various attractions that cause big crowds to form, such as firework shows and parades, will be delayed to a later date, while some stores and restaurants will be limited in capacity to keep the theme park open.

Despite the changes and protocols being much different than usual, Disneyland’s reopening provides a beacon of hope as California slowly returns to normalcy.

Below are dates to be aware of for those hoping to return to the happiest place on earth as soon as possible:

  • Now Open – Downtown Disney District
  • April 29, 2021 – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
  • April 30, 2021 – Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park
  • The Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will reopen at a later date.

News/Op-Ed: While COVID-19 Vaccination Rollouts Have Brought Optimism, New Spreads Of Variants Cause Further Uncertainty

by Andrew Fierro

The first case of P.1., a new Coronavirus variant, which is also known as the “Brazilian” variant, has been confirmed in San Bernardino, California by the California Department of Health. The new variants of COVID-19 are creating growing uncertainty amongst people everywhere, specifically in regards to whether the new vaccinations are protective against new variants.

On March 13th, the California Department of Health alerted the county that there was a positive testing for the P.1. variant that was found on March 2nd. The man who had contracted the new variant is in his mid 40’s and has since been isolating at home. 

This is not the only appearance of the P.1 variant inside the United States, however, as it has also been seen in the states of Arizona and Massachusetts. The variant was first detected inside four travelers coming from Brazil, who were tested at the Haneda Airport in Japan. However, it was first reported in the United States at the end of January.

Although the variant currently seems as if it is not any worse than the original coronavirus variant, it is more contagious and dangerous in the sense that if it’s being spread, it can spread faster than the original COVID-19, potentially boosting up numbers in California just as they begin to go down. According to the CDC, the emergence of this P.1. variant may raise concerns for potential of an increase in transmissibility or propensity for SARS-CoV-2 reinfection of individuals due to the 2 mutations that the variant possesses. 

The variant was detected in some samples from the Amazonas state in Brazil back in mid-December. The researchers said that they detected the variant in 42% of the samples that they were able to test. It has also now been confirmed in some recent tests in Japan from people who were visiting the Manaus inside the Amazonas. Though the exact date of the variant appearance is not known, through the genome-surveillance samples inside the Manaus between March to November, there had been no signs of the variant. 

Reasons for why the variant is dangerous is firstly because of its spike mutation that makes it more infectious. Another mutation that is inside the variant is the N501Y, which is also known as “Nelly” and has been speedily spreading across the UK. The variant is possibly more than 50% more transmissible than other past variants that have made their way around the world. This is the main cause for concern for scientists and other global health officials.

Not only is it more transmissible, it also has a variant called the “escape mutation”, which according to lab experiments in South Africa, found that this mutation has helped the coronavirus escape from different protective antibodies that were in place due to earlier infections. This means that it makes it possible for someone who had already been infected with an earlier version of the coronavirus variant to become re-infected with the new variant.

Though this mutation does allow it to re-infect individuals already having been infected with earlier variants, there is no evidence to suggest that the already currently available vaccines will not work against this variant and other variants with the same or similar mutations. There will be updates to vaccines as times goes on, more variants are detected and more information is found. 

As of now there has yet to be a more mass spread of the variant inside the U.S., with the only real outbreak happening in Brazil and single cases found in other countries around the world.

News/Op-Ed: The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Had A Drastic Effect On Crime Rates Around The World

by Jackson Smith

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has struck communities around the world, the various effects of the shutdown and restrictions on crime have been overlooked. The results paint a complex picture dependent on region and crime severity. 

As a whole, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, crime has decreased due to peer groups seldom meeting in order to stay safe from the virus. However, it appears that minor offenders have been put in situations where crime against intimate partners such as battery, violence and homicide is likely. 

In European countries, intentional homicide is down almost 25%. However, this is only true when a country is in lockdown, and almost immediately when these restrictions are relaxed, the rates of homicide move right back up to the normal amounts, which is, of course, very interesting. 

Out of the countries that were studied, countries in Latin America saw a much smaller change in the rate of violent crimes. 

The difference between the European and Latin American countries’ violent crime rates could be due to the different amount of restrictions that respective governments imposed, pre-existing socioeconomic conditions and a different pattern in the type of these crimes in the two, as Latin American homicide was mainly due to organized crime where European homicide was more closely related to more personal reasons. 

According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the property crime rate has been down about 50% since the start of the pandemic. Although it is something to be proud of, the longer term effects of Covid may have the opposite effect that the initial hit had. 

As COVID-19 continues to affect societies worldwide, the increase in unemployment could have a continued larger impact on groups that cannot afford to be out of work. If unemployment continues to be a problem for vulnerable groups, then that could produce a rise in property crime or other crime rates.

Restrictive measures due to COVID-19 also help draw back on opportunities for people to commit street crime. On top of that, stay-at-home orders would reduce criminals breaking into private homes. Social distancing measures and the closure of meeting places will also reduce interpersonal violence and public crimes.

There are two theories for how people will react. One is the opportunity theory, which is basically that since people have less of an opportunity to commit crime, they will subsequently commit less crime. The other theory is that strain theory, where the socioeconomic strains on people will push them to commit crime, which may be much more prevalent – and relevant – during the pandemic shutdowns. 

Whether the Opportunity Theory or the Strain Theory are more prominent depends on outside factors, such as what the restrictions are, the support that governments give to their people to overcome the challenges of such a difficult time and pre-existing situations that could push a person toward either theory.

A significant part of the overall reduction of crime is related to the drop of minor crimes that were committed as groups. These crimes were typically done by younger offenders, so the temporary removal of the often forced peer groups that younger people were put into would naturally due to pandemic shutdowns and restrictions removed many individuals from convening as groups and committing crimes as they’d usually do pre-COVID

In the two hotspots of homicide in the United States, Philadelphia and Chicago, homicide rates have either stagnated or increased since the start of COVID-19. However, interpersonal violence has increased because of the government mandated home confinements. Thus, for already violent places, the pandemic could keep violent crime stagnated at best and be harmful at its worst. 

However, due to vaccine rollouts, life may be going back to normal sooner rather than later. Whatever effect going back to normal means on crime rates remains to be seen. 

News/Op-Ed: California Begins to Re-Open As Cases Significantly Drop

by Andrew Fierro

As California enters the red tier, reopening is staring to occur, beginning with major league baseball teams opening at limited capacity and theme parks also opening at 15% capacity. 

How quickly will L.A. restaurants, gyms, schools reopen? - Los Angeles Times

Beginning on April 1st, state officials will start to allow civilians to attend major league baseball games and theme parks, such as Disneyland, at a limited capacity. Due to the fact that California has entered the red tier, in the coronavirus threat level tier list, theme parks are able to allow 15% capacity to people inside the state. Only people inside the state are going to be allowed to buy tickets to these theme parks. 

Though it isn’t only theme parks and baseball games that are going to allow more people to attend, there are other places in California that are reopening as well including different restaurants, retail stores and malls. 

Now once the red tier has been reached and holds steady for two weeks, gyms will be able to reach 10% capacity and museums will be able to be at 25% capacity. Indoor dining will become an option as well though as seen in San Francisco, they may wait out on the opening of indoor dining  until the orange tier is reached. 

Another place that will be reopening in the near future is movie theaters. As plans roll out for how reopening will work, movie theaters in Los Angeles and the rest of California will begin to reopen at a limited capacity allowing movies that were delayed to finally be able to release now to the public through movie theaters. Though there is already an option for some movie theaters for people to rent out the theater to watch a past film with a limited amount of people.

Though California is reopening there are going to be places that are more cautious than others, especially certain restaurants. Some restaurants will be more keen on reopening faster and immediately once the restrictions are lifted while others may wait and make sure that the numbers don’t spike right away so that when they reopen they know they are reopening for good. 

Even though Disneyland will begin to reopen, there will still be vaccinations being distributed inside the toy story lot serving as a very large point of distribution for Southern California. As of mid February Disneyland had already distributed over 100,000 vaccinations proving to be a very efficient site for California residents. 

Though stadiums will be reopening it will only be at 15% capacity in California and will have to wear masks at all times and the only people allowed to attend these games will be in state residents. In Disneyland and other theme parks there will be absolutely no indoor dining and a mask mandate will be enforced, with even the indoor rides having certain restrictions in place.

As California lowers tiers and enters the least restrictive tier of the yellow tier there will still only be 35% capacity allowed with the restrictions of only in-state residents able to attend still being in place. Even as there are other stadiums around the U.S. reopening including The Texas Rangers who are going to be reopening at 100% capacity for their first home game on April 5th.

Although it seems California is far off from reopening, places including MLB parks to full capacity as the state has just entered the red tier and still needs to show that it is stable in the red tier for even those restrictions to loosen.

News/Op-Ed: Congress Passes President Biden’s First Signature Piece of Legislation, The American Rescue Plan

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief

The first major piece of legislation for the Biden administration comes with a hefty price tag of $1.9 Trillion and has garnered bipartisan public support and minimal praise from Republicans in Congress. Despite opposition to the American Rescue Plan, the bill features heavy COVID-19 relief that would provide stability for American workers and families.

President Joe Biden speaking about the American Rescue Plan. Imagine via the New York Times.

On Saturday, March 6th, the Senate passed the American Rescue Plan in a razor thin party line vote of 50-49. While the Biden administration’s first landmark piece of legislation has received bipartisan public support according to various polls, Senate Republicans were vocal about their opposition to the legislation, hence the close vote. 

Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) was the lone Senator to not vote, as he was attending to family matters back home. However, even if Senator Sullivan would have presumably voted against the American Rescue Plan, it would’ve passed anyway since Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris would’ve held the tie breaking vote. 

Despite looming threats from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), who planned to vote against the bill had changes not been made to the original bill passed by the House of Representatives, Democrats were able to work with the two Senators to make changes to the bill and secure the votes of the “blue dog” moderates in Manchin and Sinema. 

POLL VIA POLITICO.

The American Rescue Plan officially passed the House of Representatives again today after a new vote, due to the bill being changed from its original form. In and of itself, the American Rescue Plan includes $1,400 stimulus check payments to individuals making up to $75,000 per year and a massive $350 billion in aid to both state and local governments across the country. Moreover, the Plan allocates $14 billion in funds for vaccine distributions, another huge point of advocacy for President Biden since the start of his presidency. 

The Plan also includes $300 in weekly unemployment benefits that will run through September of this year. In the original bill passed by the House of Representatives, the weekly unemployment benefits would have been $400, however, the aforementioned opposition by Senator Joe Manchin forced Democrats to amend the figure. Finally, the Plan includes a child allowance of up to $3,600 for every family across the nation.

A notable change in the new version of the American Rescue Plan is the elimination of a provision that would have gradually increased the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. It was removed after a controversial decision by the Senate Parliamentarian and vocal bipartisan opposition. 

According to various White House sources, there is a growing belief within the Biden Administration that the American Rescue Plan would cut child poverty in half, making it one of the most ambitious efforts to cut poverty in the past few decades. In addition to including increases in subsidies for child care, the bill features a broadening of eligibility under the Affordable Care Act and a wide expansion of rental assistance and food stamps.

Other overlooked aspects of the bill are that it would allocate a whopping $12 billion to nutrition assistance programs and money that would aid in reopening businesses nationwide; $45 billion in rental, utility, and mortgage assistance, $30 billion for transit agencies; millions of dollars more for small business and live venues; and large federal subsidies and protections for individuals to keep the health care they received from their places of employment if they had lost their jobs during the pandemic. 

According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, once President Biden signs the American Rescue Plan into law, Americans nationwide should expect their stimulus checks towards the end of this month.

News/Op-Ed: Autocracy Abroad Reveals The Principles Uniting Americans

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief

Historically, the United States has been a beacon of hope and a standard pillar of Democracy around the world, upholding values of freedom and liberty while maintaining peaceful transitions of power between Presidents. While American Democracy has been polarized as of late, it pales in comparison to the autocracies that plague Russia and China, where corruption and genocide are the norm. 

People gather in Pushkin Square during a protest against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Russian police on Saturday arrested hundreds of protesters who took to the streets in temperatures as low as minus-50 C (minus-58 F) to demand the release of Alexei Navalny, the country’s top opposition figure. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

After the arrest of Alexei Navalny upon his return to Russia on January 17th, supporters of the opposition leader and anti-corruption activist find themselves in the middle of a battle against their own President Vladimir Putin and his corrupt counterparts, whose autocratic leadership and power has created an endless realm of Russian toxicity.  The Russian people’s desire for anti-corrupt leadership is warranted, even palpable. The autocratic leadership of Vladimir Putin has ignited a spark in Russian citizens who are disgruntled with the corruption and injustices that occur within their country daily. 

Of course, over the past few years, President Putin has fundamentally changed Russia’s election system to heavily favor himself staying in power – and while Russia was once a country with elections, even dating back to their days as the Soviet Union, they are a full fledged autocracy today where elections are merely for show. 

A direct opposition to the United States, President Putin and Russian government officials heavily discourage any sort of vocal opposition to their corrupt leadership, meaning many Russians don’t have a voice. A false, preconceived notion that President Putin has tried to project to the rest of the world is that he is popular within his country. 

While that may be true in a certain sense, Alexei Navalny has emerged as a staunch anti-Putin advocate, and as the only man with the courage to vocally oppose the Kremlin. He has become somewhat of a novelty, amassing a huge pool of supporters who are tired of the domestic oppression they combat daily under Putin’s reign of terror. 

The immediate arrest of Navalny is specifically what has enraged anti-Putin Russians and the international community. Navalny was in Germany being medically treated following a nerve agent poisoning in August, supposedly an assassination attempt by the Kremlin coordinated by President Putin himself.

In different cities around Russia, where protests have broken out in support of Navalny, the voices of Russian opposition to President Putin are being actively suppressed by the denials of the Kremlin and brute police forces. Any Russian figures who have advocated for organization of legal aid in support of protestors have been detained by Russian authorities; Navalny’s wife, Yuliya, was arrested herself, although she was released from custody just a few hours later. According to the Associated Press, Moscow police also arrested Oleg Navalny, the brother of Alexei, in their continuous efforts to send a message to any Navalny associates and supporters. 

While protests have been largely peaceful and full of anti-Putin rhetoric, other protestors in different cities were met with violent police presence. Needless to say, the Russian people are protesting against the corruption and injustice that is plaguing their country. The arrest of Navalny – considered an influential, historically courageous figure among some Russians for his anti-Putin rhetoric – has only amplified those concerns. In Russia, the people are organizing protests against an unjust arrest, President Putin and his Kremlin associates, literal autocrats who run questionable elections that skews heavily in the favor of a sole political party. 

While there may be on the surface striking similarities with the domestic tensions faced by the United States and Russia within the past year, it is imperative to remember that Russia is a true Autocracy, and while America’s Democracy may have been vulnerable for just a few hours on January 6th, it was never at risk of serious collapse.

In Russia, the people don’t have the opportunity to hold their leaders accountable. In Russia, accountability is a distant fantasy in a world with a dismal reality. In the United States, accountability is an expectation – a given. In Russia, elections are essentially skewed toward one party, thus keeping one party – that of President Putin – in power. 

Meanwhile, just down south of President Putin’s Russia and the civil unrest occurring there, President Xi Jinping of China is leading a genocide of Muslims and is not being held accountable for his actions. 

In the Northwestern Region of Xinjiang, China is leading a genocidal campaign against Uighur Muslims and a plethora of other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities. Plain and simple, there are human rights abuses going on in China – the epicenter of a communist dictatorship – that is largely going unchecked due to Xi Jinping’s willingness to use force against other nations who may intervene. On the final day of the Trump Presidency, the U.S. State Department finally decided to declare China’s attack against the Uighurs as genocide. 

While many have disputed the use of the term “genocide” against China, President Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken carried over similar concerns of President Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, stating that he believed forcing individuals into concentration camps was indeed genocide.

A big part of China’s attack on Uighurs in Xinjiang is forcing these groups to attend classes that promote the ideals of China’s Communist Party, Chinese language and job training skills. 

Furthermore, since 2017, thousands of religious sites, such as mosques, have been destroyed, and Chinese forces are separating Uighur families from one another, with the children of detained adult Uighurs being sent to boarding schools and orphanages run by the government. 

China is forcing Uighurs to conform to the countries values, forcefully assimilate to Chinese culture and ridding them of their own culture. Yet, while the risk of economic sanctions is certainly there for China, almost no other practical actions can be taken.

In China, accountability does not exist. Indoctrination of Chinese culture and full assimilation is expected, not recommended, and collectivist pro-Communist rhetoric is the norm.

President Xi Jinping is an autocratic leader with little to no moral merit in a Communist country that seldom allows its people to have views of dissent. It is a government that allows its leader to purge an entire culture and minority group of their own culture.

It is much like Russia, where any leader or activist who is against corruption, injustice and unchecked leaders are unfairly arrested or, worse, assassinated. 

While the United States certainly has its own domestic issues as a country, no Democratically elected American President would lead a Genocide of minority groups within their country. No Democratically elected American President would unfairly arrest an activist for speaking out against injustice.

When Americans protest, they do so with the support of American politicians, even if one political party embraces it more than the other. When Americans dislike their President, they have the power to oust them in a free and fair election. When Americans want to bring new ideas to the table, they can run for political office on their own and make those changes by exercising their First Amendment rights.

In the United States of America, advocacy is encouraged. Peaceful protesting has become the norm. Voting is encouraged, and holding politicians accountable allows our Democracy to maintain integrity.

Due to the tumultuous times the United States has experienced recently, it is often difficult to remember just what makes America so great and truly separates us from our enemies – simple decency and being standard bearers of life, liberty, freedom and power of the people are just a few things. 

If it is still hard to see what distinguished the United States of America from our enemies, look no further than the brute abuses of human rights occurring in China and Russia due to true autocratic rule. 

The voices of American Democracy are our national hymns, and America’s Democracy will always prevail. Luckily, Americans don’t experience these horrors of autocracy – because we are not one.

News/Op-Ed: Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Inaugurated as 46th President of the United States

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief

At 78 years old, President Joe Biden becomes the oldest man to ever rise to the presidency. After decades of public service as a Senator from Delaware and two terms as Vice President, President Biden finally ascends to the office he has long sought. In a historic election cycle, Vice President Kamala Harris was inaugurated as the first African American and female to hold the Vice Presidency. 

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, as their children Ashley and Hunter watch.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

The journey to the White House has not been an easy one for President Biden. Despite earning the trust and admiration of many nationally for his public service, President Biden has battled through adversity, personal hardships and loss throughout his political career. The story of President Joe Biden is one that can simply be described as tragic, yet also an emboldening symbol of the power of perseverance, hope and optimism. 

In 1972, shortly before he would take his oath of office to become a United States Senator from Delaware, tragedy struck Biden: his wife, Neilia Hunter, and daughter, Naomi, only a year old, were killed in a tragic car accident that also injured his sons Beau and Hunter Biden. 

Out of the depths of despair, he was not swayed away from public service. On January 5, 1973, Biden was sworn in as a Senator from Delaware inside Delaware Division of the Wilmington Medical Center, where his two sons were still recovering. After the accident, then Senator Biden took the Amtrak from Delaware to Washington, D.C. daily just to be able to see his sons on a daily basis. The travel took a total of 3 hours and 90 minutes to and from work. 

In 1987, Senator Biden kicked off a longshot Presidential Campaign. While a respected and trusted Senator, his campaign failed to gain enough traction after being plagued by accusations of plagiarizing speeches. After just a few months of campaigning, Senator Biden withdrew from the race for the 1988 Democratic Nomination. 

In February 1988, just a few months after his tumultuous, failed campaign, Senator Biden suffered two life threatening brain aneurysms, which presented yet another roadblock and long road to recovery. 

Decades later, Senator Biden believed that he could once again be the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 2007. However, Biden, the experienced Senator, was no match for the two shining stars he was running against – Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Hillary Clinton of New York. Biden later dropped out of the race in January of 2008. 

Eventually, to-be President Obama chose Senator Biden to be his running mate. The rest is history, with Biden serving as President Obama’s Vice President from 2009-2017. 

In 2015, though, tragedy struck then-Vice President Biden once again – his son, Beau Biden, died from Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, after a long battle. The death of his son devastated Vice President Biden, eventually leading to him believing that his political career was over, a large reason why he did not run for the Democratic Nomination in 2016. 

Still, President Biden persevered, choosing to seek the Democratic Nomination in 2020 after his family urged him to take on Incumbent President Donald Trump. Running on a reputation of being a strong Senator, Vice President and generally a decent person, Biden was seen as one of the most likely candidates to win the nomination.

However, in a field of strong, emerging candidates including Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, Biden stumbled out of the gate. Many believed the former-Vice President to be out of touch with the current generation and unable to pass the torch to the future of the Democratic party. 

Thus, Biden took losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, before a huge endorsement by Rep. Jim Clyburn helped him win South Carolina, which saved his campaign. As history would play its course, South Carolina was the turning point the Biden Campaign needed, as it led to victories on Super Tuesday that essentially put his final opponent Bernie Sanders out of the race. 

Biden became the Democratic Nominee, chose Kamala Harris as his running mate in August, and defeated Donald Trump in November. Life has come full circle for President Biden – and his story is one of perseverance, hope, optimism and resilience, as famed news anchor Dan Rather stated on twitter: 

The rhetoric of unity that President Biden employed throughout his campaign was a highlight in his Inaugural Address, which became even more imperative after the Insurrection at Capitol Hill two weeks ago.

While President Biden made a litany of optimistic statements throughout his address, he ensured to lay out his visions of what a Biden America may look like.

“Today on this January day, my whole soul is in this. Bringing America together. Uniting our people. Uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment, and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus,” President Biden said.

After Democracy prevailed once again and a peaceful transfer of power was carried out, President Biden signed 17 executive orders, including a national mask mandate, rejoining the World Health Organization, ending the “Muslim ban,” rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, stopping the construction of the border wall and extending eviction and foreclosure moratoriums.

News/OP-ED: How A Nation Divided Can Glean Inspiration From King’s Dream

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief, and Joaquin Medrano, Managing Editor

The nonviolent civic legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. runs deep, and one of the greatest ways America could honor his memory is by listening to his rhetoric and transforming current politics into an environment that is welcoming for everyone.

With a domestic state of affairs that can simply be described as chaotic, unjust and perilous, the toxicity level between Americans with different social and political opinions has reached an unforeseen height. In turn, it deprives the masses of the ability to unite during times of strife, agony, despair and confusion. 

During the battle for Civil Rights between the 1950s and 1960s within the United States, Dr. King emerged as a central voice for African Americans nationally who simply wanted justice and to have a shot at living a life where they weren’t hated or discriminated against solely because of the color of their skin.  

In opposition to the segregationist Jim Crow laws in the South as well as oppression in other areas of the country, Dr. King emphasized the need for his people to choose peace and use nonviolent means to reach their just end. 

At that point in American history, African Americans had been through indescribable injustice, oppression and marginalization. Why try to resonate and be nonviolent with a group of people and a country that has long oppressed, marginalized and institutionalized you and your people? 

Through the use of Biblical references, Dr. King was able to rally the fervor of his listeners, to unite both blacks and whites in America to fight for the same cause. A very devout man who was undeniably devoted to the cause of justice for his people and those oppressed everywhere, he saw no value in violent resistance. Instead, he wanted to appeal to the better half of the oppressor and protest, mobilize, organize and fight in a way that was respectful, defendable and just. 

Dr. King preached on the importance of joining the oppressors and the oppressed. He called for the oppressed to be the “bigger person” and show love for their oppressors, while he called the oppressors to be in the shoes of those they oppressed for a second and think of how it feels to be mistreated in a changing society.

However, the incidents of the Insurrection at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on January 6th were anything but nonviolent, respectful, defendable or just. Indubitably, it was an act of domestic terrorism – an attack on America’s ever so sacred Democracy. The dream envisioned by Dr. King was much less clear across America that day. People died outside and inside the Capitol, and Confederate flags graced Capitol halls for the first time ever.

Importantly, the rioters committed insurrection and sedition for a cause that has been debunked and is rooted in denial and conspiracy. In comparison, Dr. King and those who supported his battle for Civil Rights never once raided federal property or responded with violence against our Democracy, and there actually was a legitimate reason for them to protest.

As America heads into a new administration and reflects on the good that Dr. King brought to this country, let’s remember his powerful nonviolent rhetoric in the face of mass scrutiny, violent pushback and oppressive discrimination.

In retrospect, Dr. King’s message is not a part of American history that can be left on textbooks as a memory of what America was, but instead a measure of what American should be like. Dr. King left a message for the masses- a message that can be shared with the world full of peace, love and acceptance. Dr. King’s message should be regarded as a message not only for those living in a pre-Civil Rights Movement era, but also in a time where parallels can be drawn between the past and the present.

In the end, a society cannot move forward without recognition of its past and looking for ways to fix what is broken. Dr. King did not die a martyr because he caused a change in the 1960s, but he died a martyr because his vision remains true long after his death, as many people have decided to lead inspired by his work.

A country should never forget the work of social justice martyrs; a country should fight for their work to be completed and for their dreams to be fulfilled.

« Older Entries