Opinion Columnists Katelyn McCarthy and Emmanuel Simon debate whether or not capital punishment should remain a form of justice. McCarthy argues in opposition of the death penalty, Simon argues in support.
Pro: The Place for Mercy, An Argument in Opposition to the Death Penalty
Although some crimes could warrant a sentencing of death, capital punishment is not the best decision to achieve lasting and humane justice.
By Katelyn McCarthy
The death penalty, when applied to duly-convicted criminals guilty of heinous crimes, is perfectly just. It is not a “wrong” decision. But that does not mean that it is the best one.
While not an intrinsic evil, the death penalty no longer serves a pragmatic purpose. In present-day America, criminals can be housed and the public kept safe at the same time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2013 there were 10.5 escapes from prison for every 10,000 prisoners. That’s a rate of .105%. Applied to the entirety of the prison population in America, that’s about .24% (and almost none, if not none, will be prisoners who are on death row). 1.93% of those who have been sentenced to death since 1973, on the other hand, have been innocent (Voice of America News). A person brought to court, then, is more likely to be wrongly sentenced to death than is a prisoner to escape from jail.
The death penalty, moreover, does not seem to be a deterrent to crime. Of the 18 states (including Washington D.C.) with the highest murder rates (of 6.2 or more deaths per 100,000 people), four have abolished the death penalty, while 14 retain it. Of the 11 states with the lowest murder rates (of 3.1 or fewer deaths per 100,000 people), 8 have abolished the death penalty, one has a moratorium on the practice, and 2 retain it. The homicide rates in most states, regardless of their stances on the death penalty, are, however, relatively even across the board, suggesting that there are other factors than the existence or lack thereof of the death penalty that impact them.
Some argue that, because the state has the right to administer justice, the penalty of death is one that can be decided for certain crimes. This argument presupposes the existence of an infallible justice system. According to a recent study, “[O]f every death sentence handed down since 1973 – more than 9,600 in all...185 death row inmates had been exonerated after being wrongfully convicted, 11 more than previously known.” (Voice of America News). In a time and place in which an innocent person can be spared while a guilty one can be securely locked in prison, due concern for the dignity of human life might suggest that the death penalty be discarded for a more prudent option.
Others argue that the taxpaying public ought not to have to provide for the sustenance of a criminal and that, should his crime fit the bill, he should be executed so as to relieve them from their expenditure. One can never justify the taking of a human life, even if one lived monstrously, on monetary grounds. The life of even the lowest criminal could not be given up for the sake of all of the money in the world. No person is a means to an end, no matter if that end be fiscal gain. Similarly, one can never execute a criminal out of vengeance. Doing so makes the executing party little better than the convict.
There are crimes, however, for which death is a fair punishment. There is a proper place for justice. But does that mean that there is no place for mercy? The judicial decision as to what sentence to hand down to an outlaw should not be seen as one between the two options of death and serving time. Rather, it is a decision between justice and mercy. That is not to say that criminals should get off scot-free, but that the harshest punishment they receive should not be execution. It is entirely true that a genocidal maniac deserves to die. But can we not take a higher course of action than giving to him what he deserves, especially seeing as the prison system of today is effective? Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in a system that can dole out such a sentence securely seems a just punishment.
It would be ludicrous for an opponent of the death penalty to argue that the justice system ought to try to turn criminals into teddy bears. Perhaps—and hopefully—this will be true in some cases. But, as the public is no longer at the risk of danger from prisoners, whenever possible, those convicts who might otherwise be executed should be seen as souls to be saved rather than as outlaws to be disposed of.
After having built up a system that can house convicts effectively, perhaps we ought to look into better methods of reforming those criminals who can be reformed and withhold execution from those who otherwise would receive it, not because they deserve to have their life spared but precisely because they don’t. Our infrastructure has made the protection of the common good and mercy for the wrongdoer simultaneously achievable. A humane society should jump at the opportunity.
For more information regarding the research of this article please visit the links below.
Con: The Appropriate Justice for the Most Violent Crimes, A Defense of Capital Punishment
For the most violent and horrific crimes committed the death penalty is the only form of justifiable punishment in order to achieve justice for the victim and protect society from the perpetrator.
By Emmanuel Simon
On the evening of November 21, 1996, a man named William Mitchell abducted a 38 year-old woman from a parking lot after being released from prison for stabbing a woman to death. Mitchell drove the woman under a bridge, where he beat her with blows to the head, strangled her, and even sexually assaulted her vaginally and anally, causing severe damage to her vagina and anus. With the woman still alive, Mitchell ran over the woman several times with his car, crushing her skull, finally murdering her. In March 22, 2012, the State of Mississippi executed Mitchell a little over 13 years after his sentencing. Did Mitchell deserve the death penalty?
It is my position that the civil authority may lawfully exercise capital punishment on malefactors where this is truly necessary to preserve the existence of just order in societies, and thus the death penalty ought not be abolished. Preserving the just order within society can be done by means of punishment.
There are at least three aims or purposes of punishment. The first is retribution, where, for example, the state inflicts on an offender harm proportionate to his or her offense. Another purpose of punishment is correction, where the offender may be rehabilitated. Finally another purpose of punishment is deterrence, so that either the criminal and/or other people may not commit the same crime.
It can be said without controversy that punishments ought to be proportionate to the crime. For example, a rapist and murderer like Mitchell ought not to merely pay 10 dollars in order to pay necessary dues for his crime. Given this to be the case, it follows that some crimes are more grave than others, and therefore greater punishments ought to be administered to greater crimes, and lesser punishments to lesser crimes. But here, we must ask a question. Are there crimes that are so grave that only punishment through death is befitting?
Let us first examine the facts. There are crimes that are as grave as death, or even graver. In the case of Mitchell, not only did he abduct the 38 year-old woman after getting released from jail for stabbing a woman to death, but he also beat her, raped her, and finally, smashed her head over with a car until she died. What punishment is proportionate to such a crime? A year in jail? Five years? Ten? Maybe a lifetime? Well, if we are to take seriously one of the purposes of punishment, retribution, the answer is none of the above. In this particular case, the proportional punishment of the crime is death, and any other punishment fails to take seriously the principle of proportionality, making it merely arbitrary. Furthermore, such punishment may also be an occasion for deterrence, so that criminals who love their life more than crime know that they have been warned. Examining all this, we find that Mitchell’s case has nothing to do with how strong the American infrastructure of jails and prisons are, and everything to do with preserving the common good of a society. Abolishing the death penalty is therefore an attack on the common good.
Yet still there are those who want to abolish the death penalty. Let us look at some of the opposing arguments to see what they have to offer.
Some argue that because the state is not infallible in its judgments, it follows that the death penalty ought not to be administered, since innocent people can be wrongfully executed. Putting aside the ironic truth that those who propose this argument are also not infallible, and can therefore be mistaken in their judgment about the death penalty, such an argument merely calls for a prudential state, and not a call to abolish the death penalty itself. Thus, even if proponents of the death penalty concede to this argument, it does not follow that one ought to abolish the death penalty. Furthermore, if objectors to the death penalty wish to be consistent, then they must also apply this particular view of theirs to other forms of punishment, such as incarceration. For example, since the state is not infallible in its judgments, should we keep criminals in jail for a long time if they could be innocent? A society which accepts this way of reasoning quickly finds its way to insanity.
Other objectors might hold that because our prison system is so secure, there's no need to administer the death penalty, since a criminal can spend life in prison. Thus, the death penalty should be abolished. But these same objectors who wish to abolish the death penalty cannot, as already shown, take seriously one of the many ends of punishment, retribution. Thus, the principle of proportionality can only be arbitrary for these people, which, taken to its logical conclusion, leads to absurdities. For in this view there is no way to measure the grave matter of any crime. Furthermore and with great irony, Pope Francis himself writes in his Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, “I would link this to life imprisonment… A life sentence is a secret death penalty.” For the Holy Father, keeping a criminal in prison for life is practically the same as administering the death penalty. Such a view puts many advocates who wish to abolish the death penalty in an awkward position, since they would be substituting the death penalty for the death penalty.
Again, some argue to abolish the death penalty by arguing that it fails to permit rehabilitation or deterrence. Though this is not always true, especially in regards to deterrence, let us assume for a moment that the opposing view is right. So what? Because there are at least three ends to punishment, retribution being the most prominent for this debate, it does not necessarily matter whether punishment through the death penalty permits rehabilitation or deterrence, as long as at least one end of punishment is fulfilled. A magistrate who exercises the death penalty justly most certainly fulfills at least one of the ends of punishment, retribution. Thus, objectors who wish to abolish the death penalty must show that capital punishment does not fulfill any of the proposed ends of punishment.
Finally, there are some well-meaning Catholics who call for the abolition of Capital Punishment on the grounds that it is up to God, the most just judge, to keep a man alive or to take his life away. The state therefore should not judge whether a criminal ought to live or not. Thus, so the argument goes, the death penalty ought to be abolished. Yet these same people who make this argument fear to take it to its logical conclusion. If it is ultimately God’s decision as to whether a man ought to live, and neither man nor the state ought to interfere, why not do away with doctors and medical care? For all we know, doctors, according to the logical conclusion of this pro-abolition argument, are hindering God’s will, keeping a man alive when God potentially wants the man dead! But surely, Catholics with even an ounce of reason know that God does not work in this way. In most cases, God works through his people, and thus we have doctors who care for the life of the patient. Similarly, God can work through the state, and for this reason, St. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, notes that the magistrate is the minister or deacon (διάκονός) of God, not bearing the sword in vain, thereby refuting those who wish to abolish the death penalty. Thus, just as a good doctor brings about health to the body through medicine, so too may a just magistrate bring about health to the body politic through punishment. It is for this reason that the Author of Life writes, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for man is made in the image and likeness of God.”
Though I currently take the negative position on abolishing the death penalty, I too wish that one day, we no longer need to use the death penalty. Indeed, I can only hope for a time where there is no longer injustice, where love of God and neighbor reign in the hearts of men. Yet that is not the world we live in today, and until we do, the death penalty remains as an admissible form of punishment.
For more details of Mitchell’s history, murder, trial, and prosecution, see
Morgan, a “Journalist” leaves “Good Morning Britain” after attacking Meghan Markle on-air. Morgan’s outburst displays his unprofessionalism and lack of empathy to Markle, and other victims of mental health. Morgan was not “canceled” but instead his removal is justifiable.
By Riley Mulcahy
In his latest round of insensitive comments, British commentator Piers Morgan delivered a scathing review of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s recent Oprah Winfrey. In the interview, Markle laid out accusations of racism and harassment against “The Firm” and the Royal Family members. Morgan, known for his stints as an editor and writer at various British tabloids and his CNN show “Piers Morgan Tonight,” is known for stirring up controversial opinions for ratings. While at his position at The Daily Mail, it has now been alleged that Morgan participated in and encouraged the illegal tactic of phone hacking to get dirt on celebrities. Morgan also was a judge on the Simon Cowell-produced “America’s Got Talent”.
Markle and Morgan were once friends; however, just like his show on CNN, Morgan’s friendship with Markle evaporated quickly. Morgan feels slighted by Markle and has called her a “social climber” who ghosted her friends. Regardless of his personal feelings, Morgan is supposed to be a journalist who should separate his own personal feelings of a celebrity at that particular moment. Obviously, Morgan has not read the handbook on journalism because, after being questioned about his comments on-air, he walked off set and out of his job at “Good Morning Britain.” Since he has continuously been placing himself as the victim, claiming to be an advocate for “free speech.”
In her interview with Oprah Winfrey Markle accused the Royal Family of having concerns about the color of the skin of her and Prince Harry’s son Archie when she was pregnant. Markle is biracial, and the “concern” of skin color allegedly made by a member of the British Royal Family is extremely bigotted, and racist. By speaking out Markle has been put at a disadvantage, forced to face the repeated criticisms of institutionalists who will defend one of the most powerful families in the world and a corrupt system.
The allegations made by Markle and Prince Harry are severe, and for Morgan to negate them based on a personal difference is ridiculous. Should there be an independent investigation of Markle’s claims and chance for the truth to come out? Absolutely. However, for Morgan to verbally attack Markle for sharing her experience as a Black woman, unless proven false, looks bad only on Morgan and the British press. Morgan’s support of the British royals is only based on attacking Markle for telling her truth, invalidating her experiences as a Black woman. He does not even acknowledge that there could be anything wrong with the royals’ behavior.
Although his comments did not go over well in most social circles, Morgan has an ardent defender: Sharon Osbourne. Osbourne, a talk show host, and manager to her husband Ozzy Osbourne, used her platform on the CBS daytime show “The Talk” to defend her longtime friend on air. Osbourne pointed to Morgan’s dislike of Markle and remarked that she “did not know what he has said that is racist.” In an odd moment, Osbourne then said she felt like “I am going to be put in the electric chair” for her defense of Morgan.
Osbourne then accused the talk show of setting her up by asking her questions that she was not prepared for, and mischaracterizing her other cohost’s reaction to Morgan’s outburst. The problem with Osbourne’s argument is that the vile things Morgan has uttered over the years have been well documented over the years, showing a pattern of Morgan’s behavior. Also, defending someone who openly degrades a Black woman is defending bigotry. Osbourne’s show is on indefinite hiatus due to the controversy.
Britain is going through what America has for the last several years, a reckoning of understanding that society has routinely degraded people of color throughout history. Morgan deserved to lose his job, and no, this is not “cancel culture” coming after a celebrity. When a person is vulnerable and sharing their story on national television, the first thought should not be, “this person is a complete liar.” No one will truly know what went on with Markle and the Royal Family, however, when reporting on the news, a journalist should stick to what is being reported, not bash the victim and then try to play the victim themselves. It does not work that way.
Although President Biden’s election should have appeased those protesting in Portland his election has shown that regardless of the political identities of the administration, Portland rioters will continue to destroy their city.
By Lenin O’Mahony
In recent weeks, riots in the city of Portland Oregon have persisted. Windows are broken, fires are started, and the rioters continue to march and burn flags, even the Biden campaign flag. So, what is going on? You see, the people of Portland during the Trump administration rioted and marched regularly. They sought to encourage the removal of President Trump, who they despised. They wanted the destruction of ICE, and protested on behalf of the BLM movement, among other things. However, throughout the many protests that turned into riots, there have been firebombs used, commercial grade fireworks, and more. Rioters have not been shy in how they have used tools to fight police, and many officers have been hospitalized. Portland, unlike other cities in America, was trademarked as a center of both protest, and riots. Of activism, and violence.
Many expected this to calm down since the election of President Biden, but they were sadly mistaken. Riots returned to Portland even right after the inauguration of Biden. Now, violence was directed at Democrats, and hate for the federal government continued. As I mentioned, they burned the Biden campaign flag, they had signs stating that they were “ungovernable.” These individuals desired to perpetuate violence against the government, against the institution best able to start creating the institutional change these people said they wanted. But it seems instead of institutional change, they only want to destroy the institution of America. Our entire political landscape flipped with the election of President Biden. Republicans were on the defensive, Democrats were gaining traction across the country, the executive branch was Democratic! This was a huge change, and executive orders to undo many Trump-era policies were flying out of the White House. Yet, Portland continued to burn.
I recognize that I cannot say that all the people who rioted against the Biden administration in Portland were the same who stood on those streets to protest Trump. I cannot claim that all those peaceful protests were orchestrated by the same who threw fire bombs at federal buildings. But I can say that those who continue to riot, and those who attack the same buildings and institutions as were under threat with Trump as president, have shown that they do not care about America, or Americans. They desire only violence and destruction. They refuse to consider that there is a path to change through peace and cooperation, and that is because the change they wish to see is in this country as a whole. They do not wish to improve our country, they wish to tear it down, Republican or Democrat, Green Party, Libertarian or Independent, they do not care. They do not respect our Democracy, or our nation.
If you want to protest against the wrongdoings of the American government or Americans, that is fine. That should in fact be strongly encouraged. But it seems as if you can no longer do it peacefully in Portland. Portland is now considered to be a collection of violent anti-American rioters, who will continue to riot until God knows when. If you choose to protest in a city plagued by such rioters, you risk your association with them. Portland is the definition of the far left, the unsafe and violent far left. Are they the majority? No. Are they a legitimate threat to our country? No. But extremism exists on all sides of the political spectrum, and if the storming of the capital on January 6 was the far right, then the continued violence in Portland is the far left. We should encourage and desire neither. The Democrats need to separate themselves from the destruction in Portland the same as the Republicans should distance themselves from the January 6th violence.
Rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans should be a wake up call to all Americans that one cannot enjoy the cultures of others without expressing solidarity with these communities.
By Brent Dondalski
According to NBC News, in 2020 hate crimes overall dropped by seven percent in the United States. For Asian Americans, these crimes rose by 150 percent. Just recently a video surfaced of an Asian Uber driver being assaulted and called racial slurs by two passengers. In more instances than I can keep track of, elderly Asian people have been unexpectedly assaulted and hurt. While these events can certainly be traced to anti-Asian rhetoric among COVID-19 coverage, they also showcase a larger cultural problem in America: a lack of solidarity.
Solidarity is defined as “unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.” Solidarity at its core is feeling what others are feeling in the most genuine way. It’s deeper than sympathy or just understanding. Someone can understand another’s experience on the surface without offering any of their heart. Solidarity is bringing one’s heart into the picture: a true and honest devotion to standing with others.
Issues of racism necessitate solidarity almost more than any other issue. Combatting racism requires us to look at the oppression of people who might not look like us, talk like us, or dress like us, and feel their pain even though we don’t have to. People of color like Asians are constantly othered and singled out as their own individual group, as if every race besides white is something outside the normal. It might be easy to see casual racism on social media or hear of these hate crimes and scroll past it unphased, both literally and metaphorically. There really wouldn’t be any individual consequences.
I urge you not to. Racism and these hate crimes deserve our attention for so many reasons. The primordial reason is of course that these people are human beings and deserve respect, solidarity, and love simply because they are human beings. But looking beyond just that, Asian Americans contribute so much to society and culture to the point where America should owe them. If you have ever had sushi, taken pictures in Chinatown, or drank boba, then you have a responsibility to look out for the people who brought that service to you. It is hypocritical for a society to enjoy and benefit from a community and subsequently turn its back on them. Ignoring, disregarding, or downplaying the recent rise of attacks on Asians, whether explicitly or implicitly, while also consuming their culture, is essentially a cultural dine and dash: taking what you want for yourself and screwing over the person who is the reason you got it.
The same thing can be said about racism and solidarity with any person of color. It still boggles my mind that some people consume hours of rap music in their daily life yet defend the police when another Black man is unjustly brutalized. Not only is hip hop historically rooted in protest and anti-racism but it wouldn’t exist without the Black community, so to stand complicit in the systems that oppress them is incredibly hypocritical.
This type of hypocrisy is predatory commodification of the highest form. America as a society takes the creations and cultural artifacts of people of color only to benefit and profit from them while also allowing unfair situations to continue to devastate communities of color. If you consume the culture of people of color, which is inevitable in a multicultural society like America, then you have a moral obligation to defend people of color when they are under attack. It is your responsibility.
Of course, you shouldn’t only defend them just cause they make food that you like. Like I said before, helping humans because they are humans is the primordial reason for solidarity. However, if there was ever any doubt, speaking up for people of color is especially necessary because society benefits from them so much, and to benefit from them while oppressing them would be incredibly wrong.
Solidarity is the cure to theses divisions, not as a policy but as a sentiment. Of course political rhetoric, policy design, economic design, and more are essential to an egalitarian society, but without solidarity all of the previously mentioned concepts are hollow. Solidarity also helps bring issues that seem so large and omnipotent down to Earth and to the individual. We may not be politicians or lawmakers, but if we embrace solidarity and allow us to feel for and stand with communities that are suffering, then maybe the rest will follow.
Lastly, I want to say my heart goes out to the Asian community. I used this article as an opportunity to talk about solidarity broadly, but that doesn’t mean these rise in hate crimes don’t deserve your undivided attention. They do. They’re disturbing and need to stop. I hope everyone reading this understands the importance of standing with the Asian community especially at this time, because this is type of racism and violence has no place in civilized society.
A significant win for Democrats, the bill’s signing Thursday shows the deep divide in the Senate.
By Riley Mulcahy
President Joe Biden signed his 1.9 trillion dollar COVID Relief Bill into law Thursday without any Republican support in a historic move. Not surprisingly, Republican lawmakers took it upon themselves to dismiss the American people’s needs and vote against their voters’ interests.
The bill will give millions of direct payments of $1400 to millions of Americans who have suffered financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the bill will provide economic relief to small businesses, farmers, vaccine development, and much more.
The bill comes at a time where Americans need it the most. According to The Washington Post, nearly 10.1 million Americans are believed to be unemployed; however, it is more than likely that the actual number is more significant. In this time of economic crisis, the United States of America needs to help its citizens.
Given that we are in a horrific pandemic, there has been an economic fallout that needs to be addressed directly. Critics of the bill question the government spending so much money and whether or not those receiving the bill will require financial assistance. Using this logic, why was there a need to do a tax cut in 2017 for millionaires and billionaires? Republicans voted to cut taxes, which cost America 1.9 trillion dollars, however when there is a true crisis, they refuse to acknowledge the pain and suffering millions are enduring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The only reason why the bill made it through Congress is the process of budget reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority vote from the Senate. The process can only be used if the items are about the budget, and the process is long and arduous. During the procedure, Biden’s campaign promise of implementing the 15 dollar minimum wage was taken out, even though the wage increase would be gradual. For decades, hard-working Americans have struggled to survive on low wages when corporations become more affluent and prosperous. At what point do we start to value everyone’s work, not just those in the one percent?
Although the bill is impressive, it simply does not do enough to provide Americans the relief they need. In his campaign, Biden promised that he would get 2,000 dollars in Americans’ hands as soon as possible. In reality, Biden was able to pass checks of 1,400 dollars, which, although great, does not fit the promise he made months ago.
The exclusion of promises is not shocking however, Democrats having to make compromises to ensure all Democrat support. Following the past year Congressional election the Democrats have gained a narrow majority in both the Senate and the House. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has voted along with Republicans in controversial Supreme Court picks, has walked the line of a moderate Democrat and an obstructionist. He has told the press he shared Republicans' concerns on the budget concerning the bill.
When unity is being preached in regards to insurrection and riots promoted by Republicans, it only goes one way. Democrats must end the filibuster and get what most Americans want, expanded voting rights, justice for African Americans, and a system that finally puts the American people first.
Although the bill is only a first step, it is a good one. Biden will be known as the president who saved us from a madman, but his policies are not radical; they are practical. The common-sense approach will help Biden with his popularity, but not to Republicans. The impasse we will find ourselves as Americans will lead Democrats with two choices, abide by rules and regulations such as the filibuster or stand up for democracy and refuse to be bullied by Republicans. Furthermore, Republicans who fight his policies are not patriots, and they are criminals. It is time for the United States government to give Americans a chance to have their voices heard, not stick to the status quo as politicians are getting richer and richer.
Pope Francis embarks on a historic visit to Iraq hoping to help bridge the religious divide among citizens. His mission shows the importance of love, solidarity, and understanding amongst each other.
By Emmanuel Simon
The Christians in Iraq have been persecuted unceasingly by the Islamic State of Iraq. Churches are bombed, Christians die a bloody death, and men, women, and children are kidnapped. Christians within Iraq are the minority, where only 3-4% of the population is Christian. It is therefore fitting that The Holy Father, Pope Francis, paid a visit to the people in Iraq in order to spark hope and promote peace.
The Pope’s travel to Iraq was no ordinary visit. In fact, Pope Francis is the first Pope in all of 2000 years of history to set foot on the birthplace of the Old Testament Abraham. His visit brought joy to the Christians in Iraq, but not without a bit of controversy.
Some were concerned for the Pope’s safety due to the lack of security. and the rise of COVID within Baghdad. In 2014, Islamic terrorists attempted to capture the city of Baghdad, and appeared to succeed from 2014-2016, until the Iraqi forces recaptured the city in 2016. Given targeted kidnappings towards Christians, some thought that those who are part of ISIS would attempt to capture, harm, and even kill the Pope. This, however, is no longer worth worrying about since the Holy Father safely returned back to Rome.
Others were worried about the Pope and the Iraqi people’s safety because of the current COVID outbreak in Iraq. Before the Pope’s visit, there was an average of 3,400 new cases daily. People were worried that Francis' visit was an occasion for people to gather, causing the virus to spread at significantly higher rates. But in a place where guns and rockets are often carelessly shot by terrorists, COVID is not the main concern. Still, the vaccinated Pope, Vatican, and the Iraqi authorities took what they thought were necessary precautions in order to prevent COVID from spreading, while simultaneously allowing the Pope to spread his message of hope and peace.
In his homily delivered at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Baghdad, Pope Francis told the Iraqi Christians, “God’s witnesses… are constantly hopeful, because (they are) grounded in the love that ‘bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.’” The Pope wanted to commend the forgotten Christians’ love. Through love, the Christian people of Iraq have been able to bear and endure trials by placing their faith and hope in Christ.
The Pope’s message of peace was two-fold, as he sought to promote a human fraternity along with tolerance. In line with his latest Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, the Pope wished for the future of Iraq to be one absent of war amongst her people, where a human fraternity takes place. Through such a fraternity, the people in Iraq could see each other as brothers and sisters who share a common humanity and are made in the image and likeness of God.
Through a human fraternity, the Pope wishes that Christians and non-Christians within Iraq will be more tolerant of each other. Given that a Muslim in Iraq would like to see a Christian become Muslim and vice-versa, it is counterintuitive for one person to put the other to death. It is, therefore, the hope of the Pope that through tolerance, the Christian persecutors can put down their arms and engage in a brotherly dialogue instead.
But what does this mean for our school community? As people living in the 21st century, we are often tempted to put ourselves and others into artificial categories while equating our and other people's identities with those categories. For example, one person might be categorized and therefore identify as a white male who is cis-gendered, body-abled, and Jewish, while another might be catergoized as a poor person of color who is also a Christian. But, for the Holy Father, this is a mistake. Seeing the image of God in one’s neighbor, all persons of different backgrounds can come together in solidarity. The poor person is brother or sister to the rich, the white man is a brother to the black man, and so on. Only through recognizing the image of God in the other can oppression come to an end, and fruitful dialogue begin. We are therefore called to transcend the restrictive realm of identity politics which divides us, and become conscious of our shared identity which unites us as persons made in God’s image.
Social media’s newest term for sexuality “super straight” is used to direct criticisms towards the LGBTQ+ community, specifically transgender women. As allies of the LGBTQ+ community, it is unnecessary for straight people to participate in furthering this concept.
By Lenin O’Mahony
To preface this article, I discuss LGBTQ+ topics and terms as a cis-gendered straight male, and therefore lack full understanding of all concepts and terms, especially in how they are used. I am speaking from my perspective and personal knowledge, and any mistakes made are not intended to insult and devalue the experiences or lives of members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Recently on social media sites such as Instagram, TikTok, and more, have seen the birth of the term “super straight.” Super straight itself refers to being solely attracted to cisgendered women. Many complaints have been voiced, comparing this movement to the “straight pride” activists, and some have called the term “super straight” transphobic. Those who defend the term have argued that others cannot define their sexualities, and that it's what they want.
I actually dealt with this concept personally more than a year ago. I was having a conversation with my former girlfriend about sexualities, and she explained that a straight male can have a relationship with a transgender woman, and it is still straight. Why? Because she is a woman, regardless of being transgender. While I cannot say I fully understand what it means for someone to be trans, or why they are trans, I do respect that it is their life and their decisions relating to how they live their life.
At the time I had this conversation I felt like I could not have any relations with a trans woman, and disagreed with her saying a straight person, which I identify as, being able to have relations with a trans woman and be considered straight. I felt like that wasn’t the same, that a trans woman can be a woman, but they’re still trans. I thought that if male/trans-woman relations were straight, then I couldn’t be straight. This is essentially the mindset of “super straight.” I was informed that if I only like cis-women (individuals who are born with female genetalia and identify as a woman) that it was only a preference, not a sexuality. This confused me, because now the lines between preference and sexuality were being blurred in my eyes. This was a concept I never fully understood from the other perspective until just recently, when discussing the “super straight” concept.
The difference was explained to me recently in a discussion with two close friends, both members of the LGBTQ+ community, like this, if a trans woman is a woman, then her status as trans is on the same level as any other characteristic about her. Trans women, blonde women, Asian women, thin women, smart women, are all characteristics of a woman. If I only liked blonde women, I would not claim my sexuality to be “super blonde.” That would in fact be a preference in the woman I date. Maybe I would never date a thin woman, but that would not change my sexuality. That is why members and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community are frustrated with this term “super straight.” It essentially claims that a trans woman does not belong among other women.
Personally, while I see nothing wrong with being solely interested in cis-gendered women, and being open about that as I am, I feel like the “super straight” concept was coined just to make fun of queer sexualities and to use LGBTQ+ terminology against that same community. It is another chance for certain individuals to cause unnecessary fights while holding some artificial moral high ground. I do not need to call myself super straight in order to explain I am only interested in cis-gendered women, I simply live my life as I want without coining new unneccesary terms. As a cis-gendered straight male, I rarely find the need to explain to someone that I am not who they initially assumed I was. I am usually assumed to be straight and cis-gendered, although that is not a privledge often afforded to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
By Katelyn McCarthy
In the past couple weeks, you have likely heard tell
That six Dr. Seuss books have heard their death knell.
They’ll no longer be published, they’ll fade from the mind,
Since they’re turning kids bigoted, hateful, unkind.
But first, here’s a question, a question for you:
Have you read Dr. Seuss books...oh...since you were two?
If you’ve read Dr. Seuss, raise your hand, raise it high!
Almost all of us? My my oh my, my oh my!
Now, here is a question to send for a spin:
Do you hate people ‘cause of the hue of their skin?
You do not? That is strange. That is most very odd,
Since we’re told Dr. Seuss makes us racist and flawed.
How can you have read Dr. Seuss and yet you
Do not hate people, be they red, black, white, or blue?
“That’s no matter” say those who don’t like Dr. Seuss.
“His writings are just filled with hatred profuse!”
Racism’s wrong, I am sure we agree,
But that shouldn’t dictate the books we can see.
Your mind is your own, you can think for yourself.
You choose the books that should go on your shelf.
“But these books,” some say, “Are not for grown-ups, but tots!
Surely, they’ll harm them, oh, yes, lots and lots!”
A kid’s mom and her dad, not an author’s estate,
Should censor the books that are served on her plate.
That’s not to say these books are bad or they’re good,
But that you have a right to read what e’er you would.
In fact, I can’t say if they’re good or they’re bad,
Since all six of these books are nowhere to be had!
I wanted to read the books to understand
The reason some people are glad they are banned.
But my research is thin, I could not take a look,
Since I cannot spend thousands of bucks on a book!
Some say, “Freedom of speech is a dull, empty phrase,
And we cannot trust you your own kids to raise.
“We will tell you what’s right and what’s wrong, with you mum,
Since we know that the everyman’s really quite dumb.
“And we’ll take off the shelves all the books we don’t like,
Like they did in the USSR and Third Reich.”
When one starts to say what books should float and should sink,
Eventually, he’ll tell you what you should think.
And if you won’t think the thoughts he says you must,
He’ll write you off with little more than disgust.
And that is the reason they canceled the books,
To show the world they are the good guys, not crooks.
“We are woke! We are hip! We can walk it and talk it!
Look, here is our virtue, right here in our pocket!
“Look, look, you can see, we will show it to you,
When we cancel such books as If I Ran the Zoo!
“Why should we care about freedom of speech?
We aren’t the plain but the star-bellied sneetch.
“So watch out, ‘fore you say a thing we don’t like,
Or you from the pages of his’try we’ll strike.”
They cancel most everyone, when they are vexed,
They’ll cancel most everyone—will you be next?
Opinion Columnists Riley Mulcahy and Lenin O’Mahony debate whether or not the Electoral College should be removed. Mulcahy argues for the Electoral College’s removal, O’Mahony argues for the Electoral College to stay.
Pro: The Electoral College Must Be Dismantled
Electors Need to Be Replaced by The Most Vulnerable: The Voters
By Riley Mulcahy
The election of a new president every four years is a showcase of America’s values and how voters want America to be seen to the rest of the world. Voting is a fundamental freedom in the United States, however, it is continually undermined by the continuation of the Electoral College. The system represents a pattern in American politics that discredits the values of American voters and rewards mediocrity and complacency. Originally created to be a compromise in how to determine elections, the Electoral College won against the popular vote, and Congress deciding the new president.
In the 2000 election, George W. Bush beat Al Gore because of the Electoral College, even though Gore won the popular vote by approximately 500,000 votes. The election ended in a recount that was stopped by the Supreme Court, with Bush winning 271 of the required 270 electoral votes for his narrow victory.
Given the legacy of George W. Bush and the trauma associated with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that were positioned by Bush because of “weapons of mass destruction” (which was later proven to be a lie), one has to question the legitimacy of the Electoral College. With over 300 million people in the United States alone, why do we rely on an archaic system that has roughly 500 people determining the fate of America?
The connection between gerrymandering and the Electoral College must be ridiculed. Both political parties are guilty of gerrymandering in the past and right now the worst offender right now are the Republicans. Furthermore, given the power of gerrymandering in this country by both political parties, how can we trust the electors to make a fair decision?
To put it into perspective, 500 people are chosen to vote for the president of the United States, and there is a history of corruption from both parties. The problem we are facing as a society is we are asking what has become the institution of voting to change, when we still have its supporters running the United States government.
In the 2016 election, former President Trump beat Hillary Clinton by way of the Electoral College, even though Clinton won the popular vote by millions. The Electoral College pushes unqualified candidates to the presidency, and the results can be deadly. Rather than voting with the majority of the voters, America has insisted on relying on a system that does not work.
Every vote must count in order for society to have a fair understanding of the American people. Although some may argue that the Electoral College balances the representation of voters and creates a fair way to service the wider community, this is simply not true. The 270 needed for a win does not represent the millions of people who live in this great country. For example, California has 55 electoral votes for nearly 40 million people, while the state of New York has 28.
The growing political divide in America is reason enough to get rid of the Electoral College. The 14th amendment states that electors must be disqualified if they are a part of an insurrection, Republicans have shown little remorse about the January 6th riots. Therefore, if Congress refuses to do the right thing and rid of the Electoral College, there must be an audit done on past electors and their potential involvement or support of the insurrection and whether they even think the popular vote should count.
The ambiguity that is created based on the Electoral College simply is unacceptable. When a person votes, there should not a discussion on whether or not it counts, which is one of the main arguments people make while trying to excuse not voting. The population of a state should not determine an election, the voters should. If we switch the popular vote, it will give individuals the chance to have true power in our democracy, not special interest groups that are determined to flip a state blue or red depending of the candidate, that is what local and state elections are for.
Even if a state leans Democratic or Republican, a person should be able to vote for their candidate knowing that their vote matters just as much as any other voter in any other state does. We should be creating a more transparent system, not an unethical one. The Electoral College is a terrible politician saving grace because instead of following the will of the voters, a small group chooses what is best for America.
Con: The Electoral College is Essential to Revealing the Voices of All States
While not a perfect system, the Electoral College is a compromised form of voting that ensures that each state, regardless of size, is properly represented when the ballots come to town.
By Lenin O’Mahony
The Electoral College is not perfect, and it was never claimed to be. But it is most definitely the best option we have for electing a president to guide the states and territories that make up the United States of America. We may critique the faults of this system, and we may seek ways to improve the system, but if we rush to abandon the electoral college we will fail to see the faults in the alternative of a purely popular vote. We need to look at the function of the electoral college, and how our country has worked in order to see why it is important we keep this system.
First, there is the history of the Electoral College. This system was born from compromise. Smaller states were concerned about being overshadowed by New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Early on there were suggestions of state legislatures electing the president, and each state having a singular vote, or even possibly having Congress elect the president. The Electoral College was the decided compromise, where each state would have the people vote in a popular election, and the winner of that state would win the electoral votes, the number of which would be determined by the representatives in Congress. This way smaller states would have higher standing in terms of the election of the president, and the people would still be valued in that process.
We are made up of separate states with separate governments and state laws. It is important we do not overlook the importance of these states, and the states we live in. We focus so much on the federal government, on federal elections, we forget how much our lives are actually affected and governed by our states. States are responsible for the planning and paying of roads, public education, provide water, run emergency services, license professions, and arrange elections. That means that the water we drink everyday, the water our children drink, is under the control of our state officials. The safety and cleanliness of our roads is again, decided by the state we live in. Everything from the trustworthiness of our professionals to the quality of our fire departments, police, and medical services, is under the state. Each state operates separately, with different governments, laws, and systems.
Many have argued that the vote of a citizen in a larger state is devalued, which is true. The vote of someone in a larger state will have less technical significance than the vote of someone in a smaller state on the election. But, as frustrating as this may be, it is not nearly as frustrating or as dangerous as a purely popular vote would be. General elections involve presidential candidates traveling the country, going to states whose electoral votes will be essential to their election in order to win those citizens' support. This takes them all over the country, in fact the difficulty of traveling all across the nation is infamous. They travel from California to Wisconsin, from Ohio to Lousina, from Arkansas to Maine. They need those states, those people to support them in order to win.
Now, let's imagine how this would work in a popular vote election. Would our future presidents need to travel to smaller states, to Maine or Arkansas, to Utah or New Mexico? No they would not, and if they do not need those states, they won’t go. They’ll campaign in California, in New York, in Florida and in every other high population state.
Not only will they campaign there, they’ll base campaign promises and goals on those states' needs. On those states goals and desires, and all of a sudden the economies and people of the midwest and the small states will be forgotten. A president could do nothing for the people of these states and never suffer the consequences, because they no longer need anywhere near as many smaller states support in order to win. At a minimum, they will need just 9 out of 50 states to support them, but of course they wouldn’t get 100% support from those 9 states, so realistically I believe they need maybe 20 states support to win the general election and enter the White House.
Now instead of someone in California having a lower value vote, someone in Tennessee has a vote that means absolutely nothing. Now the state government of Tennessee has no influence on the Presidential office, and will struggle more to keep the attention of the federal government. Now, the system that provides Tennessee with water, clean roads, and trusted professionals is considered irrelevant to the election of the President. Because the President will need to keep the citizens and governments of those larger states happy, that will become their priority. The Electoral College forces the President to pay attention to the needs of all the country, to ensure all states and their state governments have an equal voice in the concerns of this country.
If your concern is that votes aren’t equal in the Electoral College, well the popular election won’t fix that. The electoral college is a part of a precarious system which, excluding one civil war, has kept 50 seperate states and governments cooperating and growing. Many of the issues with this system do not require its removal, but simply require states to address those issues from within. For example, there is no federal law requiring those electors to vote according to the popular vote of their states, which causes discomfort and frustration. However, it is within states capabilities to make that a state law instead.
The issue of gerrymandering is also something that can be solved through state legislation and investigation. Issues of racism are problems that can be resolved, and need to be resolved regardless. For example, many complained about the lack of polling stations in communities of color. Even in a popular vote election, that will continue to cause havoc in our democracy, how will removing the Electoral College resolve that? Are such issues that could be solved through the voice of the people within their own state really worth removing entire states from the electoral process? No electoral system will be perfect, someone will always be trying to find loopholes and cheat the game, but trading away the electoral college is simply not the answer in how we move forward as a united and diverse country.
For more information regarding the research conducted for this article please visit the links below:
Defense of the Electoral College: https://edsitement.neh.gov/closer-readings/defense-electoral-college
Information on American Government: https://www.theusaonline.com/government/state-local-government.htm
Opinion Columnists Brent Dondalski and Emmanuel Simon debate calls to defund the police. Dondalski argues for defunding the police, Simon argues against.
Pro: Why We Must Rethink Our Criminal Justice System By Defunding the Police
By Brent Dondalski
Defunding the police is a necessary step towards restorative justice in America, and would hopefully lead us out of this abusive cycle of oppression and punishment. Defunding the police is not about “sticking it to cops,” but rather about rethinking what crime is, how we want to structure our society, and separating fact from fiction. You’ll notice that many (if not all) counterarguments to defund the police revolve around the same question: well who is going to deal with all the rampant crime? This is a reasonable question, and one I can best answer with another question: what if crime was not so rampant?
Defunding the police must start with an honest conversation about how the police actually function in our society. In mainstream America they play a savior role; they are the one thing separating our civilization from The Purge. However, this is a warped misconception. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2015 only 47% of violent crime and 35% of property crime was reported to the police. Of those reported crimes, 54% of violent crimes and 81% of property crimes went unsolved. What makes these statistics even more surprising is the fact that the vast majority of crimes in America are non violent property crimes. For every 5 murders, there are 1549.5 nonviolent thefts, according to the Pew Research Center. So the question of who will solve our crimes is a bit misguided, since the current system in place is already extremely ineffective at combatting crime.
Police far too often seem more committed to maintaining their position of power than actually helping people. Over the past decade journalists at USA Today uncovered at least 85,000 officers who have received misconduct complaints and a total of at least 200,000 instances of misconduct, while also noticing a trend of these complaints being filed away and left to be forgotten. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who murdered George Floyd, had 17 complaints against him by the time he knelt on George Floyd’s neck.
The issue isn’t that of individual corrupt police officers however: it’s the whole system. You may hear people claim it’s “a few bad apples” but they are forgetting the rest of the phrase: “a few bad apples spoil the bunch.” The issue isn’t just Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd in broad daylight; it’s Officer Tou Thao standing by, watching this innocent man die, and protecting Chauvin while preventing pedestrians from stepping in and stopping the abuse. It’s a hauntingly accurate depiction of policing in America.
For years the unwritten “blue wall of silence” has permeated American police departments. Simply put, police don’t like holding each other accountable. In an interview with the Human Rights Watch, former NYPD Officer Bernard Cawley asserts that “cops don't tell on cops....[I]f a cop decided to tell on me, his career's ruined....[H]e's going to be labeled as a rat.” In fact, accountability is disincentivized. Take former Buffalo police officer Cariol Horne for example, who attempted to physically stop fellow officer Gregory Kwiatkowski from beating a black man in handcuffs. Afterwards, the other officers on the scene facetiously claimed Horne had endangered Kwiatkowski, and she was subsequently fired by the department just months before collecting her pension. A year later, Kwiatkowski was put in prison for slamming handcuffed teens into his police car one by one after pulling them over. Just take a look at this Twitter thread (hyperlink: https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1266753721855291395) from the summer protests to see hundreds of instances of police officers collectively inflicting violence on protesters.
The current police system is historically entrenched in racism as well. Any look at the disproportionate incarceration rates or sentencing rates and one can see a difference. The war on drugs, specifically, has been carried out by police as a way to harm people of color. One of Nixon’s top aides, John Ehrlichman, specifically admitted “we knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities” according to CNN.
How do we reconcile with these phenomena? What is the solution? First we must recognize that the police system isn’t designed to prevent crime. Police show up after a crime has already been committed then (hopefully) seek the perpetrator after the fact for punishment. They don’t actually prevent the crime from happening in the first place. People commit crime due to their unsatisfactory material conditions such as poverty, lack of educational opportunities, lack of housing, etc. It’s why property theft is so astronomically more frequent than assault or murder.
Yet our society does little to address these factors in the pursuit of reducing crime. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, K-12 education funding “has declined dramatically in a number of states over the last decade.” We continue to increase police budgets every year despite the crime rate having drastically fallen since the 90’s. According to the Washington Post, the U.S. spend twice as much on police, prison, and courts than on social welfare programs.
This is where defunding the police is important. It makes it so we can divest these excessive police budgets into social services that can lift people out of poverty or whatever situation they are in. Is a bad home life pushing a teenager to the streets? Invest in after school programs. Invest in mentorship programs. Is someone experiencing food insecurity? Invest in food distribution programs so that they become widely available. Is someone having a mental health crisis? A stranger with a gun probably is not the answer; maybe a mental health professional can help deescalate. The question of who will deal with rampant crime is built on the assumption that crime is a given that comes with civilization. While this is true to a certain extent, most crime arises out of unjust societal factors. Defunding the police isn’t just about shrinking them so their abusive presence is eliminated from communities, it’s about rendering them obsolete. Take Camdem, New Jersey for example, where police were notoriously corrupt and the homicide rate was equivalent to El Salvador. They disbanded their unionized police force in favor of a new smaller and less expensive agency. This allowed more money to be invested into social programs as well as lessening the police presence in general. Pair this with the new agency’s involvement with the ACLU and other restorative justice organizations and Camdem saw their crime rate drop 42% as well as excessive force complaints drop 95% in just seven years according to CTVNews and Yahoo Finance.
Defunding the police is a necessary policy demand as well as an important conceptual framework. A lot of arguments against defunding the police aren’t unreasonable, but they lack imagination. Instead of asking who would solve rampant crime, why don’t we imagine a society where crime is not rampant in the first place? Divesting police budgets would mean giving money to underserved communities and individuals, providing them with opportunities that will lead them down a different path. Instead of asking how this would affect these people’s employment status, why don’t we ask which jobs are necessary for society? Maybe people should take a job that builds shelters for the unhoused, rather than one that spends money on weapons that look like they’re from a Call of Duty expansion pack.
We ask police to respond to all of society’s ills while doing little to prevent these ills at the root. Defunding the police would mean having people more specialized in certain fields like psychiatry deal with their respective issues like mental health crises. This would even benefit a smaller detective agency by freeing up time to deal with more serious crimes such as murder and sexual assault. However even issues like sexual assault could use other services like women’s shelters or therapy to alleviate victims traumas in a way police are not well equipped to do.
Overall defunding the police would help free Americans from a cycle of violence and punishment. Crime will continue to prevail if not dealt with at the root. Additionally, pouring more police into communities will likely harm them further, giving way for more abuse to take place and more of the budget to occupy. Divesting into social programs that will help people with their material conditions will ultimately benefit society far more than the current policing system does.
For more information regarding the research used for this article please follow the links below:
Con: Defunding Bad Ideas, An Argument Against Defunding the Police
By Emmanuel Simon
Defunding the police would be detrimental to the safety and well-being of the American people. By defunding the police, people mean relocating either some or all funds from the police, the latter resulting in getting rid of the police entirely. It should be immediately obvious that defunding the police isn’t currently a good idea since those who advocate to defund them don’t even agree on what they mean. We might as well just end the debate here. But instead, I will show why these demands are merely nonsensical.
Most who argue in favor of defunding the police do so in order to do away with police brutality and abuse. I mean, if there are no police, there can’t be any police brutality by definition right? But this line of reasoning shatters into pieces when it is put in practice. Take a look at what has happened in Minneapolis for example. The American people in Minneapolis demanded to defund the police and got exactly what they wanted, with a teeny-tiny exception. For some reason, as police officers in Minneapolis were put out of their jobs, murders and rapes increased at significant rates. I’m no genius, but I think there might be a correlation. As a response the Americans in Minneapolis then demanded for more policing, spending 6.4 million dollars to hire more police.
What happened in Minneapolis shows us two things. First, defunding the police doesn’t work. On top of all the other social programs that are meant to help others, we need the police. It's just a fact. Second, that if we want to rid crime and all other injustices, we have to start with changing people's hearts. I’m all for getting rid of officers who use their power to oppress the innocent. But if Americans want reform, defunding the police will only hurt us as it did in Minneapolis. We can get rid of bad cops and keep the good cops without having to get rid of all cops.
Furthermore, isn’t it insensitive to defund the police amongst the COVID crisis? Millions of Americans have been impacted by COVID, many even losing their jobs. Those who want to defund the police forget to take into consideration that there are many underprivileged officers who work for the police force. To advocate for social programs that help people along with defunding the police is hypocritical at best. The death rate in the U.S. due to suicides has increased by 20-30% due to unemployment. It’s unintelligible to even imagine that defunding the police will solve our problems. Rather, defunding the police potentially leads to suicides by the former officers. The goal in our America is to save innocent lives, not to get them killed.
But perhaps one might still not be convinced. Perhaps one might agree with the popular argument that,‘the police need to be defunded because their budgets are so disproportionate when compared to other social services that are intended to help people.’ One only needs to look at our government’s yearly spending to see that the facts state otherwise. At a Federal, State, and Local level, healthcare, welfare, transportation, and education programs are funded more than the police. These programs are meant to help people. Thus, the popular argument that police budgets are disproportionate to other social services is merely dishonest.
Another common argument against defunding the police is that the police only show up after a crime has occurred. This is sometimes true. However, such an argument forgets that police can prevent crimes or accidents before they occur. People get pulled over for speeding and drunk driving all the time. Generally, speeders and drunk-drivers put those lives who are on the road more at risk. Furthermore, the police also take care of noise complaints. If a member in the community blasts their music in the middle of the night, one might try to tell that person to quiet down. But if they don’t, then what? The view that police only show up after a crime has occurred doesn’t take into account the facts as a whole, but only picks and chooses some to fit a certain narrative.
Let’s also not forget about the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012. He was shot dead at the hands of Zimmerman. Zimmerman claimed that he did not murder Martin, but instead acted out of self-defense. Those who thought Trayvon Martin was unjustly murdered argued that the police, and not members of the community, should enforce the law. Are these the same people who want to defund the police? Did those who demand to defund the police forget about what happened to Trayvon Martin? Their own narratives don’t match up.
Presidents Obama and Biden certainly haven’t forgotten, yet they find themselves opposed to their own party when it comes to defunding the police. Though Obama’s position is not identical to mine, he does say something quite interesting. ‘I think the phrase implies that somehow we could do without the police or that the police are the only source of our problem.’ We as a community need the police.
President Biden also says something quite hilarious. During Biden and Trump’s first debate in 2020, President Biden said that Trump ‘proposes cutting half a billion dollars of local police support,’ while Biden wants to continue supporting our police. According to the current President, if you wanted a president who would defund the police, Trump would have been your guy. Oh well, at least there’s still the 2024 election.
The narrative and arguments behind defunding the police are very attractive, until they are examined in light of the facts. I would, however, like to end by commending the other side. Their desire for justice is a noble desire. They seek a community of healing. I propose the following. If we want to heal as a community and fight against injustices, we have to love our enemies. This is a radically different solution than the one offered by the Marxists, where instead, we are told that the oppressed need to oppress the oppressors. The Marxist solution enacted makes us become the very monsters we are trying to get rid of. Like many in our community, I too would like to see better relations between the people and the police. But this can only be done through love.
A link noting the different meanings of defunding the police: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/06/us/what-is-defund-police-trnd/index.html
Minneapolis on recruiting more police officers:
Data suggesting that unemployment during COVID-19 has increased suicide rates: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(20)30141-3/fulltext
Government Yearly Spending:
President Obama’s view on defunding the police:
President Biden’s view on defunding the police:
Ryan Ford '23,