Burned Bridges

The United States has a complex and deep rooted relationship with the rest of the world. We stood beside Europe on the march to victory in the first two world wars. But then the 60s and 70s yielded economic and political corruption centered in Latin America, casting us in a malicious light. Then the 1980s saw the fall of the Berlin wall/ Soviet Union, which the US had a large part in. We were the heroes – until the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan, when we invaded places where there was no need to invade, while withdrawing from regions at crucial, inopportune points. Now, in October of 2019, we burned a bridge that had been forged with blood and brotherhood, united under a common desire for justice and peace. For decades, the Kurdish people, an ethnic group living between Syria and Turkey, helped the United States with intelligence, manpower, and resources. In turn, we drove radical insurgents from the surrounding area. But as of this week, the Kurds no longer see us as the ally we have always been. Despite strong warnings from various agencies and the pentagon, President Donald Trump ordered American troops out of a buffer zone between Turkey and Syria, which had for years stopped the Kurds from fighting with the Turks over land. By essentially opening the gate for the Turkish Army, the United States turned its back on the Kurdish people, which has resulted in a plethora of problems. Two issues that stand out greater than the rest are the fact that we betrayed a long standing and loyal ally, and that because of Turkey/Syria’s concentration on the impending conflict, large amounts of prisoners that belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have escaped from prisons that as of recent lack security. Many fear that an old and strong bridge has been destroyed, and that the future of the western Middle East may be drastically changed for the worst. The events that are to unfold are likely to be harrowing and unpredictable, so please read from reputable sources if you wish to learn more.  

Image result for kurdish fighters
Credit: The Times of Israel
Advertisements

Interstellar

I like space and planets and the stars. It amazes me and it’s its nice to know that there are some things that no one understands. I think it’s humbling in a way.

I get caught up in my own life; my problems seem so big and overwhelming. When I’m trapped focusing on my life, I forget that I am one person out of eight billion. I forget how small I really am.

It bothers me so much seeing people who think they are better than everyone: better than other people, better than animals, better than everything. People destroy nature, kill animals, and hurt others all because they think they can. They think that they’re above everything.

I wish I could tell them. I wish they could just understand that they are just one letter in a thousand page essay, one raindrop in a ten hour storm, one frame in a five hour documentary, one out of 8 billion tiny insignificant people.

The stars are a good reminder. As big as you think you are, as big as you think your problems are, there is always something bigger.

 

Photo Credit: Festim Kelmendi

My Future

I’m really confused about how my life is going to go in the future. I know what I want to, I’m just not sure how I’m going to do it.

My plan was to go either UCSB, Stanford, USC, or a college in Australia to study Marine Biology and/ or Environmental Science. I would then go to law school and become an environmental lawyer. At college, I would swim and play water polo.

Well, now I’m really in to running. I love triathlons too. I know I’m going to play sports in college, but which ones?

Recently I’ve been thinking about become a humane officer. It pains me to know that so many animals are suffering and abused. I want to dedicate my life to stopping the cruelty that takes place everyday.  I want to do this, but there are some issues.

A humane officer makes 32,000 dollars annually. I don’t have millions of dollars in family money, I don’t have a billion dollars in my bank account, and I want to stay in California. I’m afraid 32,000 dollars would not be enough to have a home, a car, and eventually kids.

So, my plan is now to stick with being an environmental lawyer. I still really want to be a humane officer though…

Again, on the topic of money, I realized that I’m not going to have enough money to go to any of the colleges I want to go to. I could go to junior college. It would save a lot of money and I can save up for my next two years at a university.

I also want to take a gap year and go to the Peace Corps…

Will I go straight to a four year school? I wonder where I’m going to live after college? What college am I going to go to? What law school will I go to? Will I still want to be a lawyer, or will my opinions change? What sports will I play? Will I have a boyfriend? Will I get married? Am I going to have kids? When will I retire? Will I become a humane officer?

I don’t know, honestly. But maybe in thirty years, I’ll come back to this post and reflect on everything I did or didn’t do.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

politicized

Everything is so political nowadays, down to the music festivals you go to and the brands you wear. Things that are known to otherwise be apolitical since existence, have now been politicized.

The popular festival called “Coachella” held in Coachella Valley (well-known artists like Beyonce, and Eminem have performed at in the past) has now become politicized. People only go to the festival if they want to support people that give places money that endorse guns, are anti-LGBTQ, and are pro-life. “Think about this before you buy tickets to Coachella,”  a popular post circulating social media during this time of year, when tickets go on sale for Coachella, said. Last year, on April 15th, actress and model Cara Delevingne declared to her 41 million followers on Instagram, “I still refuse to go to a festival that is owned by someone who is anti-LGBT and pro-gun.”

Beloved designer brands flexed by many famous celebrities have become politicized. Italian designer brand Prada is known for handbags, travel accessories, perfumes, and other fashion accessories. In 2018, Prada was accused of racism and general insensitivity when they released there “Pradamalia” collection, the two characters, Otto and Toto (featured on keychains priced at around $550 and in store windows) were shockingly similar to a former racist movement. The dark monkeys with oversized red lips had too many similarities to blackface. Many celebrities and people on the media started to boycott Prada, such as director Spike Lee and rapper T.I.

(Gucci turtleneck) Photo Credit: CNN.com

In the winter of 2018, Gucci released a turtleneck that resembled many characteristics similar to blackface, like oversized red lips accompanied by a black outline. Celebrities and the media were enraged. People began to boycott Gucci. Rapper Soulija Boy claimed he is getting his Gucci logo tattoo removed from his forehead. Rapper, 50 Cent, posted a video to his 22 million fans burning a Gucci logo tee and captioning it “I gotta get rid of all the Gucci I have at home. I’m not supporting their brand anymore.” Rapper Lil Pump also made it clear he will not support Gucci anymore.

Fast food restaurant Chick-Fil-A has become politicized. Chik-Fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathay has made many homophobic comments in Pride Month (June) of 2012. Chik-Fil-A has also donated millions of dollars to numerous anti-gay organizations. This led to protests in stores as well as rallies. Chik-Fil-A is now an infamous anti-gay company.

Makeup company “Lime Crime” has become politicized. Founder of the company, Doe Deere, has made numerous racist comments and actions. She dressed up as Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi party, shortly after releasing Lime Crime makeup. Lime Crime is now deemed as the most hated beauty company on the internet.

Political character has been added to these otherwise apolitical things and this is only the beginning of a much longer list.

The politicization of seemingly everything can be overwhelming at times. It can be hard to always know what’s happening and what to stay away from and what not to, especially when you’re a teenager and have not necessarily developed your own stance on these things. And, of course, people have different coping mechanisms to these things, some people choose to ignore the political aspect of their everyday choices, to not give more attention and fame to ordinary places and continue on with their life. Others fight, protest, and resist.

It’s up to you to know where you stand, but to know where you stand you have to know the issues at hand. Hopefully, now you know.

“Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

My Christmas

photo credit: pinterest.com

I found this a while ago, while looking through notes on my phone:

To many people, Christmas is a day to wake up early and run to all of the presents that await you. Many of my friend’s stories on Snapchat were pictures of things they got, like a Hydro Flask, new phone, drum set, AirPods, and more, with the caption “Merry Christmas.”

Unlike many of my friends, for me, today was not a day focused on gifts. I spent the day with my grandparents and parents. We did not exchange physical gifts, our gift was being together as a family.

Instead of being sad or mad that my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, I took a different approach. Today reminded me of all I have and all I can do to give back. Christmas is about giving, so I did, but a little different that most people did today.

This evening, I spent over two hours signing petitions, calling senators, and sending letters to change the injustice happening today.

This evening, I sent, signed, and made over 105 petitions, letters, and calls.

No, today I did not wake up to an abundance of presents. No, today I did not celebrate Christmas like most people do.

But today, I used my power to make a difference, in my opinion, and learned my ability to express my beliefs is better than anything that could be under the Christmas tree.

Take advantage of your gift. Make a change today.

Politics

Why is it such a big deal?

How does it tear families apart?

Yes, people have different opinions, but why does that make them a monster?

I am so tired of having people hate me for my beliefs.

I am tired of losing friends because of my political party.

I feel as though the side that is supposed to be the most accepting is the side I feel the most attacked by.

I want to be able to have civil conversations and hear other people’s ideas, but I feel as though those conversations are hard to have.  The last time I tried to have a conversation with a friend that had different beliefs than me, she started to become distant and our friendship started to fizzle away.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

The side that wants everyone to be comfortable and happy has made me scared to have a different opinion, but I am no longer going to keep my ideas hidden.  I am a young female Republican who is tired of acting like she isn’t.  I know some people won’t be happy about my beliefs, but I am tired of caring and it is something I want people to know now.

I know that I go to a liberal school and everyone in my journalism class is liberal and I am not trying to offend anyone, but I am just tired of keeping quiet.

Respect My Existence, Expect My Resistance.

It’s so sad that we live in time where we have to march for facts.

 Our democracy, planet, and justice are being eroded away.

Why are women’s bodies more regulated than guns?

Women’s rights are human rights.

Why are we destroying the one and only place we have to live?

There is no planet B.

How come people are persecuted and judged by their beliefs, place of origin, and skin color?

We are all immigrants. 

Why do people who are black have to constantly fear being arrested even if they are innocent?

Black lives matter.

Why can’t people love who they want?

How come six in ten LGBT+ students report feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation?

People can love who they want.

How come one out of six women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime? How come women are paid less than men?

Pay me more, touch me less.

It’s time to ditch Putin’s bitch and stand up for what’s right.

Our democracy, planet, and justice are being eroded away, and we must stop this. 

Photo credit: Zazzle.com