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Political Holocaust: Why Tim Allen’s Comments Are So Problematic

By Sydney Jones

Tim Allen compares his experience as a conservative in Hollywood to being shunned by your friends, wearing a degrading sign on all of your clothing, constantly beaten, starved and eventually murdered.

“If you don’t believe what everyone believes, this is like 30s Germany, if you’re not part of the group,” Allen said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on March 17.

One of the reasons why America is such an amazing country is the fact that we are able to have political minorities whose voice can still be heard and respected. That is why I cannot understand Allen’s logic behind attempting to equate the clash between differing opinions with racism.

Once you examine the historical facts, his statements seem ludicrous. The blatant racism and hatred that minority groups have dealt with in the past overshadows the slight backlash that conservatives receive many times over.

“In 1935 the Nazis announced new laws that make Jews second-class citizens and revoke most of their political rights,” said a statement on the United States Holocaust Museum website. “Further, Jews [were] prohibited from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of ‘German or related blood.”

None of these things are currently happening to the Hollywood elite. There is, however, many statements from both liberal and conservative entertainers that are not being supported by fact. Instead, tolerance is claimed as a way to avoid debate or confrontation.

The majority of entertainers in Hollywood are liberal, with over 70 percent of those who live in the county voting for Hilary Clinton, and because of this many conservative entertainers are afraid to vocalize their beliefs. But I wonder if the real reason they are afraid of expressing them is because they are afraid of having to support them.

“Tim, have you lost your mind?” Steven Goldstein, the Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, said. “No one in Hollywood today is subjecting you or anyone else to what the Nazis imposed on Jews in the 1930s – the world’s most evil program of dehumanization, imprisonment and mass brutality, implemented by an entire national government, as the prelude for the genocide of nearly an entire people.”

There is a stark difference between clashing opinions and a direct attack on another person’s beliefs. I believe that challenging opposing views and open discussion is necessary for a society’s progression.

“What I find odd about Hollywood is they didn’t like Trump because he was a bully. But if you had any kind of inkling that you were for Trump, you got bullied,” said Allen in an interview with Megyn Kelly.

Being a political minority is not a bad thing. However, when someone starts to juxtapose that with such a horrific event, people are naturally going to speak out against that rhetoric. I do not necessarily view that as bullying.

I believe that Allen’s remarks, joking or not, show how fearful many people are to stand up for what they believe in. There are problems on both sides of the argument, but I believe the first step to change the status quo is to be unashamedly outspoken in order to encourage debate and discussion.

Only then can we change people’s minds.

Don’t Fix What Ain’t Broke: A Response To Liberty’s New Attendance Policy

By Sydney Jones

Students at Liberty University were left shocked when an important policy regarding attendance was changed for the Spring 2017 semester.

The registrar’s office released a statement on Dec. 19, 2016, outlining the new policy. This new system is applicable to 100 and 200 level classes, and students are permitted a limited number of elective absences. These absences now include nonattendance for sickness even if the student has a doctor’s note.

Many students are angry and confused with the changes, mainly due to its vague nature and because there was no official widespread announcement.

“A major problem with the new policy is that it’s not clear. Even my professors didn’t understand it, some of them didn’t even bother to go over it with us,” said Laurel Woodruff.

Confusion seems to be a common theme throughout classes. For example, the current Theology 202 syllabus still claims that doctor’s notes are accepted as an excused absence, while other classes like Arts 222 and Government 200 state that doctor’s notes are accepted but are also counted as an absence.

“I understand that we’re paying for this education so we need to show up for class, but if I have a doctor appointment, that shouldn’t have to be one of only four elective absences if you were legitimately sick,” said Daelynn Christman. “I think they have good intentions, but I’m not sure this is the best method.”

According to the registrar’s statement, the attendance policy is to make sure that students understand the university’s expectancies. However, I do not believe the university should hold students liable for being sick, which is something out of their control.

Before the new policy was implemented, many students used their allowed skips to do things like leave early to travel home, to study for an important test in another class or when they felt too sick to attend class but not sick enough to pay for a doctor’s visit.

“Sometimes managing your time well means skipping your 8:15 a.m. class to get sleep or study for a bigger test in a different class,” said Natalie Pace. “Sickness should always be an excused absence that does not count towards your allowed skips.”

While there is no proof that the new policy is what caused the flu epidemic earlier in the semester, students are worried about using skips even when they don’t feel well because they want to save them for a more serious situation. This could be a possible cause of the widespread illness because students were not able to get the rest they needed.

“The only thing the new attendance policy does is hurt the people who needed the old policy,” said Ryan Pelletier. “The new policy prevents professors from being reasonable and working with the students.”

I understand that there is a need for an attendance policy. I am now a sophomore and attending upper level classes, but during my freshman year the policy helped teach me responsibility of managing my schedule. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

I believe whoever was involved with making this decision had good objectives and reasoning for the change. Sometimes things may look great on paper, but once implemented, end up being detrimental.

In this case, the registrar’s office should listen to the opinion of the student body, which seems to be that the old system was efficient enough and should have never been changed.

Why Is No One Cancelling Class Because Of Aleppo?

By Sydney Jones

After Donald Trump was announced as the president-elect following the 2016 election, there was an almost instantaneous outpouring of grief due to fact that a seemingly misogynistic, arrogant and fascist man would soon be leading our country.

Professors cancelled class and violent protests broke out in many cities around the country. A few celebrities even vowed to leave the country (what a tragedy, how will we ever survive without our pop culture gods to worship?).

People are scared. I understand and empathize with that. What I do not empathize with, however, is the delusional state Americans are currently allowing themselves to willingly be imprisoned by.

The vast majority of Americans have the mentality that if something does not directly affect them, it doesn’t exist. And that is exactly what is happening in the case of Aleppo and the Syrian Civil War.

Assad’s government has violated rights of free expression and assembly. They have denied women their basic rights and refused Syrian Kurds and their descendants citizenship because they are “foreigners.” As I am writing these words, the Syrian government is massacring rebels living in Aleppo.

And not one class is being cancelled.

Few are mourning the plight of the Syrian people.

American society has turned a blind eye to the blatant evil that is occurring.

Every crime that critics have claimed that Trump has the potential of committing, Syria has committed 10 times over. Why is this not major news? Why does no one care?

Because it isn’t happening to us. Syria is thousands of miles away, and anyway they aren’t the first dictatorship to do this, and they won’t be the last.

As a society, myself included, we need to wake up from this dream. We need to expand our sphere of compassion to include a larger sector of humanity.

Please stop being passive about human life. If you need something to protest, protest the way the Syrian government is oppressing their people and destroying civilian life. If you need a reason to cancel class, cancel it and go to a peaceful protest and stand up for freedom. Instead of writing angry political Facebook posts, write to your government about why they are allowing hundreds of people to be murdered.

Sometimes I wonder if the reason we are so blind is because we have knowledge and information so readily available that it has caused us to become near-sighted.

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