Opinion

The opinions presented below are solely the views of the author and do not represent the views of The News-Letter. If you are a member of the Hopkins community looking to submit a piece or a letter to the editor, please email opinions@jhunewsletter.com.


Internet viciousness and relearning how to argue

December 2, 2017

People say we are living in a more divided America than ever. Objectively, however, America has seen a lot more division in the past: a border dividing it into North and South; and laws that enforced segregation or gave men more rights than women. In most schools, we now learn that these ideas aren’t okay and that the people who fought them are heroes. Though some disagree, at the very least we are united in the eyes of the law and popular ideology. Taking this into account, what makes America today appear more divided than it was back then?

BROKENCHOPSTICK/CC BY 2.0
Wong argues that the internet has created ideological bubbles.

COURTESY OF EDA INCEKARA AND KUNAL MAITI
Hopkins students gathered in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2016.

Can we use social media as a form of activism?

December 2, 2017

Two words: #MeToo. One hashtag was all that was necessary for sexual assault survivors to show that film producer Harvey Weinstein was not an anomaly, that sexual assault has been normalized for far too long. The message spread not only across the U.S. but also internationally, and Weinstein is now just the first of many public figures charged with sexual assault in the past month whose careers have been irrevocably damaged.


Why is net neutrality important?

December 2, 2017

The internet has become a crucial gateway for accessing information. Just look around Brody Café or wherever you’re reading this piece: People are writing papers, conducting research, reading articles, buying a new pair of shoes or watching TV, all through the internet. Whether it is education, business or entertainment, the internet has become a practical necessity for us to engage in society today. For our democracy and economy to function, it is paramount that people have equal access to the internet.

PUBLIC DOMAIN
Ajit Pai is the chairman of the U.S.
Federal Communications Commission.

PUBLIC DOMAIN
“Jeff Bezos looks more and more like a super villain everyday.”

Silicon Valley’s corporations abuse their power

May 11, 2018

Silicon Valley and its affiliated companies are often associated with the progressive, the cutting edge, the delightful future in which technology unites us all as a global community with ready access to the joys of borderless capitalism. Indeed, the services some of the most well-known tech giants offer have made our lives — that of an upper class with disposable income — collectively easier.


What role should safe spaces play on campus?

November 30, 2017

In recent years, the concept of “safe spaces” has become an integral part of conversations on college campuses across the U.S. Originally coined to help educational institutions resist forms of harassment and hate speech against the LGBTQ community, the term has taken on much broader connotations. Now a “safe space” generally refers to a place or a forum where marginalized individuals gather to share their experiences without having to feel uncomfortable or discriminated against.


Voting against net neutrality is not in the public’s interest

November 30, 2017

After two years of constant debate, on the Tuesday over Thanksgiving break, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finally released its plans to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules enacted in 2015. This decision may be the most damaging to the American consumer in this nation’s history.

VICTORGRIGAS/CC BY-SA 3.0
The Federal Communications Commission will vote to repeal net neutrality rules on Dec. 7.

Understanding Swedish and Finnish NATO Accession as a Question of Sovereignty

November 16, 2017

With Russia’s reemerging penchant for asserting its political, military, and economic influence over neighboring states, including the 2008 war with Georgia, its ongoing intervention in Ukraine, and, most recently, a large military exercise conducted in Belarus in September, is it any wonder that Finland and Sweden are experiencing an acute sense of insecurity?


Editorial: The University’s history of offshore investments undermine its integrity

February 7, 2018

Last week, a leak of financial documents exposed the offshore financial holdings of a slew of important individuals and corporations. Dubbed the “Paradise Papers,” the documents shed light on the hidden financial activities of people like the Queen of England and members of Trump’s cabinet.  The leaks also shed light on organizations such as Facebook, Apple, and our very own Johns Hopkins University.


CC BY-SA 2.0/EDWARD KIMMEL
Ralph Northam (left) of Virginia was one of many Democrats who won elections last week.

Major wins for Democrats are also victories for our country

November 16, 2017

It’s already been a bad few weeks for President Trump. Two of his former campaign workers got indicted on corruption charges and a couple more are under serious questioning from the FBI for their possible roles in Trump-Russia collusion. His legislative agenda has gone nowhere as per usual. By any metric he isn’t doing well, but the only metric that matters is what the voters think. And last week, on Nov. 7, they showed us just how angry they are.


The media needs to investigate Hillary Clinton

October 24, 2018

Things can’t seem to get much worse for Democrats and Hillary Clinton at the moment. After a historical campaign waged by the U.S. media, the DNC and the federal government to undermine and ultimately terminate Donald Trump’s unlikely candidacy and ascension to Executive Office, a backlash of equal force is now making itself forcefully felt.


Israeli settlements hurt Palestinian livelihoods

November 16, 2017

This past August, 80 children in the town of Jubbet ad-Dhib arrived to their first day of school to find their classrooms gone. Concrete slabs sat in the place where, the evening before, six trailers stood with whiteboards, pens, papers and books awaiting the students and their teachers. Undeterred, or perhaps without any other options, the children began to study in the hot August sun before the school set up a tent large enough for most of the children.


Fraternity culture is inherently misogynistic

November 9, 2017

About once a year, the fraternity debate is reignited at Hopkins, and the same arguments are trotted out. Fraternities are good, look at the brotherhood; fraternities are misguided, they need Bystander Intervention Training (BIT); fraternities are neutral parties, the problem is alcohol. People avoid condemning fraternities as a whole institution. The administration does not want to anger a large portion of the student body, and non-affiliated students don’t want to face the social consequences of criticizing fraternities. I think fraternities are misogynistic and cannot be reformed.


Hop Cops inadequately protect our students

November 9, 2017

I’ve always believed that everyone should try their hardest at their job. Whether it is being the President of the United States or cleaning bathrooms at CVS, which is a field that I am sadly very experienced in, people should take pride in doing their jobs right and in doing them well. I don’t think the Campus Safety and Security staff subscribe to this same belief.


We must fight back against racism in our food system

November 9, 2017

Sometimes what’s on your plate might be difficult to swallow. Recognizing the individual’s participation in an exploitative and unjust food system is not easy, and finding constructive ways to change the system requires creativity. Common ways to address the consumer guilt of participating in a broken, conventional food system often turn into attempts to be a conscious consumer, a problematic movement led by rich white folk.

ELVIS BATIZ/CC By 2.0
The authors argue that Baltimore’s food ecosystem discriminates against people of color.