Category Archives: Opinion

The North Korea problem

Jordan Benefiel | Staff Writer

North Korea needs to be stopped, and there’s no one to stop it. Tensions have been rising in the region and around the world as North Korea tests its ballistic missiles over Japan, threatens South Korea, Guam, and the U.S. Meanwhile, China does nothing.

Early in September, the Seoul military reported that North Korea was readying another ballistic missile test that could potentially be an ICBM. This news came right on the heels of North Korea’s claim that it also was testing a hydrogen bomb. Hydrogen bomb or not, Seoul’s defense ministry measured the nuclear test at 50 kilotons, making this test the DPRK’s biggest one ever.

In response to the news, the United States sent mixed messages. On the one hand, defense secretary Jim Mattis said that we are “not looking to the total annihilation” of North Korea, “but we have many options to do so.” On the other hand, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, told the security council that Kim Jong Un is “begging for war,” yet she called for more diplomacy.

Both stances were made obsolete by President Trump’s ambiguous response to a Fox News reporter. When asked if the U.S. will attack North Korea, the president responded, “We’ll see.”

With the U.S. paralyzed as to how to approach North Korea and China too indifferent to take the necessary steps to disarm the North Koreans, Americans are left vulnerable. Even if the politics of this are complicated, that should not keep the powers that be from taking the necessary steps to protecting the world from nuclear war. Thinking about how the average person is practically powerless to combat this threat, we start to realize how terrifying the world can be.

When asked if North Korean aggression scared him, Eric Harrell, a second-year psychology major at Hampton University answered, “No, the North Korean aggression doesn’t scare me.” When pressed for further elaboration, all he said is he doesn’t view the North Koreans as a threat. Another student, Harrington Gardiner, a second-year journalism major, said, “The weapons that they’re testing right now won’t be able to reach parts of our country, but they are targeting our allies as a threat [toward] us to see if we will retaliate because they want war.”

The North Korea problem continues to be prescient because the threat of nuclear war keeps escalating. Officials are afraid that if North Korea were ever capable of fitting a nuclear warhead on an ICBM, the rogue nation could cause catastrophe across the globe. Now more than ever, we need a strong unified message around how we will combat this problem.


Should you go to grad school right after graduation?

Alexandra Carmon | Opinions Editor

Seniors only have one more month until they walk across the stage and receive the degree they have been working their whole life for. Everyone cannot wait until they finally are able to leave and hop right into graduate school. However, my question is, are you sure you want to go to graduate school directly after graduation? Is it a good idea? Well, I have a few reasons why it’s not a good idea to go straight to graduate school.

Number one, many students are unsure of what their next plan is after graduation. As a result, they end up applying to graduate school out of fear. They figured if they continue to stay in school they can put off being in the real world. The truth is, even those who know exactly what they want to do after graduation have fear. So, it is perfectly normal to get butterflies in your stomach when you think about life post graduation. However, you shouldn’t let that scare you into applying to a graduate program that you aren’t ready to study.

This brings me to my next point. Students who don’t know what they want to pursue as a career should not go directly to graduate school. For one, graduate school is super expensive. So why should you pay for a program you aren’t necessarily sure you want to study in? My advice for seniors who don’t know what to do with their life is to think about what they love to do. If you love to write, apply for a full-time job that will allow you to assert your writing skills. Life is all about experimenting new things. Plus, how are you suppose to know what you like if you don’t experiment? Apply to different types of full-time jobs that interest you. Maybe you’ll end up finding out that you like dealing with money, and finally decide to go to graduate school and pursue an MBA.

My last reason why seniors shouldn’t go directly to graduate school is that many people do it for the wrong reasons. They may do it because they see their peers going to graduate school. For one, graduate school is not for everyone. Also, you can still make a decent living for yourself with just a Bachelor degree. Only go to graduate school if you feel like you are ready and that it is your personal decision. Don’t do it because your professors and your parents think you should. Do it for you.


Is friendship the key to ending White Supremacy?

Alexis Weston | Staff Writer

About a week ago I was watching Netflix and I noticed a new documentary called Accidental Courtesy. When I read the description I thought it had to be a joke. But, it was real. Accidental Courtesy follows a man named Daryl Davis, a successful black musician whose pastime was befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan and similar hate groups in the hopes of guiding them away from white supremacy and towards a more egalitarian school of thought. Davis’s mission is fueled by one central question: “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?”

In an era of pro-black activism that advocates unapologetic blackness and looks towards Malcolm X (pre-revelation) as an icon, this approach comes off as a betrayal to many black millennial. How could Davis break bread with someone that has dedicated their life to the extermination of black people? How could Davis enjoy a friendship with someone who has dedicated themselves to hatred? And how could he keep the robes and memorabilia given to him by those that left the Klan because of him?

Kwame Rose, an activist who rose to prominence after an encounter with Geraldo Rivera during the protests for Freddie Gray, told Davis, “You’re uneducated about the reality of most of the people who look like you. Stop wasting your time going to people’s houses that don’t love you, a house where they want to throw you under the basement. White supremacists can’t change.” He left the conversation abruptly shortly after making this statement.

In all honesty, I’m not 100% sure how I feel about Daryl Davis and his efforts. A part of me wants to appreciate the goodness and the optimism of it all. However, to some degree, he’s been relatively successful. He stated in his documentary that, after the Imperial Wizard of Maryland left the KKK because of his friendship with Davis, the chapter fell apart and there is no longer a thriving chapter there. While some people have tried to revive it and members from other areas have gone to the state attempting to reestablish the Klan’s presence there, none of these attempts have been very successful.

So, to some extent, his methods are effective. However, according to PBS’s RACE-The Power of an Illusion Ask the Experts: What the Experts Say, this isn’t the key to eradicating systemic racism. John Cheng, one of PBS’s experts and a Commonwealth Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University who has studied race and ethnic relations, the key is self-education so that one can understand, “the ways that race and racism work and to see things in terms of social relations rather than discrete individual acts.”

Because racism is an epidemic caused by institutionalized practices, I cannot completely agree with Davis’s attempts to solve this problem. Racism, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t something that can be ended on an individual level. It’s not something that exists on a case-by-case basis. It’s alive and well because of a system and an institution that benefits from it. Does that mean that individuals can’t help bring an end to it? Of course not. It just means that the individuals that doe dedicate themselves to eradicating racism need to think about it on a scale much larger than an individual one.

I don’t think that Daryl Davis is a sellout or an Uncle Tom or a disgrace to black people in the United States. I think that he’s a man with a mission. Do I completely agree with it? Not necessarily. But, I do think that he is helping to alleviate racism on a social level. And that is something that I can appreciate.

Should internships be taken into consideration more than grades?

Alexandra Carmon | Opinions Editor

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always learned more by doing. Sure, visuals help and oral communication. However, what really helped the material sink in was by writing or through in-class activities. I feel the same way when it comes to my internships and journalism classes. I can honestly say that I have learned way more about the journalism industry from my internship in a newsroom than I have throughout my last three years in Scripps. “In a classroom environment, most people are absorbing tons of information, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they know what to do with that information,” says Whitney Nelson, a junior computer science major from Kansas City, Missouri. This is the main reason why I believe internships should be taken more into consideration than grades.

For example, if we have a 4.0 senior biology major, who has never done any research internship and then we take a 3.2 senior biology major that has had several medical-based internships, which one do you think would be more successful in the medical field? Although answers may vary depending on the person and their situations, in my opinion the 3.2 student with internships looks more marketable. Even though they aren’t a straight A student, their internships show that they are well-rounded and can do more than just school work. Also, how does anyone expect a medical school to take them without any prior medical-based experiences. “Internships give you real experience versus the theories we learn in class,” says Ty Champion, a 3rd year architect major from Norfolk, Virginia. Your internships are what give you a chance to experience working under pressure and gives you more insight on whether or not you really want to pursue your chosen field of study.

Also, another reason why I think internships should be taken more into consideration over grades is because sometimes there may be a case of a bad professor, not necessarily a bad student. Have you ever been in the situation where you failed a class, but then retook it under a different professor and aced it? That is the case for most students who end up stuck with a professor who teaches poorly. Also, I think professors sometimes take pride in the fact that their class is considered “hard.” So, instead of trying to make the material easier to grasp they continue to fail students left and right, while giving little to none extra credit. Students in this situation should not be judged for the grade they managed to crawl out of a class with. If a student received a C in political science, but has experience interning at a law firm and shadowing experience of political figures, they should not be taken out of consideration when it comes to jobs and other things.

A person who is against this argument may agree that grades matter more than internships because it shows that you are knowledgeable in your courses, which means you will be knowledgeable in your field of study. However, that’s not necessarily true because some students’ high grades in a class are due from cheating. Also, people have to take into consideration that some schools are harder than others. A 3.0 student at Harvard looks better than a 3.7 student at Texas Southern University.

Friday Classes? What are those?


Alexandra Carmon | Opinions Editor

You have finally reached the end of the week. Everyone is looking for the next party move and getting their weekend plans together. Everyone is asking you if you’re going to 12-2.

However, you say no. You know why? Because you just happen to have class from 12-1:50. Which means, your 12-2 days for this semester are over. There is, however, one solution. Hampton could not offer classes on Friday. Friday classes could sometimes serve as an inconvenience especially if there are things you have coming up on the weekend to do.

“[With no class on Fridays] I could easily go to work or work on extra homework,” says Chelsea Harrison, a junior, journalism major from Chesapeake, Virginia. Having that extra day can be greatly beneficial to a student’s grades.

When I was a freshman, I was lucky enough to have a schedule where I did not have any classes on Friday. That extra day gave me a chance to catch up on reading, homework, study for upcoming test, and still have enough time to get ready for 12-2.

However, now I have class until 11:50, which only gives me ten minutes to put on makeup, change my clothes, walk from my class to my room, then walk from my room to the student center.

I feel like I am being rushed on Fridays because I have all these things to do on Friday, when in actuality Friday should be a day where people can relax and blow off the amount of steam they’ve gathered throughout the week.

“The average Hamptonian is involved in multiple organizations,” says Kennedy Maldonado, a sophomore, accounting major from San Diego, California. “If we have Fridays off, it gives us more time for community service or just plain relaxation.”

Friday could be a day where you and your friends could go to the movies or even do something educational such as visit a museum. College is supposed to be fun and relaxed. Not stressing you out seven days a week.

Also, if we didn’t have classes on Fridays, it could give people a chance to travel for job interviews, sports, and other beneficial things without them having to worry about missing classes on Friday.

Lastly, if you need to do something on Thursday to take your mind off school for a while, you won’t have to worry about how late you are staying out because you could sleep in since the next day would be Friday.

Make America Hate Again: Trumps travel ban is ruining America (OP-ED)

(VOA News)

(VOA News)

Donald Parker | Staff Writer

Welcome to Donald Trump’s America. Trump has been president for less than a month and has already signed 19 executive orders. Perhaps the most controversial executive order is the 120-day suspension of the refugee program and a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from citizens of seven countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.

The travel ban, informally known as the Muslim ban, has affected the lives of millions of citizens and refugees from the seven countries as well as American citizens travelling to and from those countries.

Not only have refugees and citizens from the countries listed on the ban been denied entry into the United States, but those with green cards and visas were also denied entry and several people in United States were deported.

Many Americans feel this executive order discriminates against those of Middle Eastern descent and Muslims.

A CBS News poll determined that a majority of Americans, at 51 percent, disapprove of the ban, while 45 percent approve. On the same poll, 57 percent of those polled think the refugee ban goes against the United States’ founding principles.

Not only does this travel ban go against the very foundation that this country was built on, it unfairly targets millions of people of Middle Eastern descent, especially those who are Muslim.

“Most of this country was comprised by immigrants from different places,” said Jordan Maynard, a senior electrical engineering major from Bowie, Maryland. She also added, “Trump is going directly at Muslims. He cannot infringe on one’s religion and neither can the government because that is church and state.”

To make things more interesting, President Trump’s list of countries on the travel ban does not include Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the two countries where the terrorists that carried out the attacks on 9/11 originated, which have ties to the president’s business interests.

This has been a common issue many citizens have with Trump, as many Americans feel he should not continue to have his business interests along with the country’s interests as outlined by the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution.

The fact that Trump conveniently chose to leave out those two countries from the travel ban because of his business interests is unconstitutional.

“It only shows how crooked Donald Trump really is,” said Cameron Smith, a sophomore biology major from Suffolk, Virginia. “He’s not only going against the foundation that makes America great, he’s completely dividing this country.”

So far, we are nearly 3 weeks into Trump’s presidency and we have already taken major steps backwards as a country. The immigration ban is by far the biggest step backwards.

Put it on pause: You don’t need a relationship during your senior year

(College Cures)

(College Cures)

Donald Parker | Staff Writer

By now everyone has settled back into the hustle and bustle of the semester. You’ve figured out the quirks of your teachers, and you’ve also realized that you might need to switch your study group. All the essentials you need to have a successful semester have become a part of your routine, but if you happen to be in your senior year of college, then your routine might be a little more stressful.

Dating as an underclassman proved to be a beautiful, exciting, and easy journey, but senior brings about new struggles that can strain relationships. The added pressures of graduate school applications, job applications, and the possibility of moving to another state can stress you and your significant other out during senior year.

When you reach your final year of college, the relationships you start (or consider starting) require more effort. Your time in college is limited and soon, the environment and the circumstances that allowed for a strong nuturing relationship is strained by an impending graduation date.

“I wouldn’t want to start a relationship with someone that I know from the beginning won’t last very long,” said Kayla Myers, a senior computer science major from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Yes, you may meet someone and a person during your last stretch at Hampton University, but you have to fight the urge. You have to think about your goals after graduation and consider if a relationship will help or hinder your growth.

After graduation, you will soon be bombarded with real world responsibilities such as finding a job, paying bills and even bigger, finding ways to pay back your student loans. You and your significant other may or may not be in the same area or even have time to connect due to your personal and career responsibilities.

This is guaranteed to put a toll on the relationship and could ultimately be its demise, even though it was neither person’s fault.

That does not mean you should not pursue a relationship. You can still get to know the person, but take into account the chances of getting into a serious relationship.

“Yeah, getting to know them is fine. But getting serious senior year with someone you are going to likely be at least a few hours away next year just seems silly,” said Jamiah Wilson, a senior finance major from Bristol, Connecticut.

It may not last for those few months you have left in your college life.

President William R. Harvey @CNN OP-ED: Why Talladega band belongs at Donald Trump’s inauguration



President William R. Harvey | Hampton University President

The marching band of my alma mater, Talladega College, the oldest historically black college in Alabama, accepted an invitation to participate in Donald Trump’s inaugural parade. Many people, including some Talladega alumni, are upset.

They shouldn’t be. It is an honor to participate in the inauguration of any president of the United States. Talladega and its band will be celebrating the peaceful transition of power, a hallmark of America’s democracy.

Some may believe that performing in the parade is tantamount to endorsing a candidate. It’s not. The Talladega band is simply performing in a historical event that will have an international audience and provide a unique opportunity to showcase its talent.

This will be a wonderful learning experience for the student musician. It will be a moment for them to understand the importance of supporting the leader of the free world, despite one’s political viewpoint. The chief reason-for-being of any college and university should be to promote learning, not to enhance a political agenda.

The band’s decision should also be celebrated beyond the Talladega community. For those who attend the inauguration or simply watch on television, this is a unique learning opportunity to become familiar with America’s historically black colleges and universities or HBCUs, and an opportunity for those who already know about HBCUs to be proud.

Just like majority institutions, HBCUs are not a monolith. Some are very good, some are not so good, and others are somewhere in the middle. Allow me to share a few examples. In 2011, Xavier University was the top producer of African-American students who earned medical degrees. For six consecutive years, North Carolina A&T University has been the top producer of African-American engineers.

My own institution, Hampton University, where I have served as president for nearly 40 years, is one of the best modest-sized universities, black or white, in the country. Not only is Hampton a top producer of Ph.D.s awarded to African-Americans in physics, we are also the only HBCU to ever have 100% responsibility to NASA for one of their space missions. In addition, Hampton scientists are principal investigators for experiments on two other satellite missions in orbit and another to be launched in the coming weeks. All these satellites are gathering information on weather patterns and environmental conditions.

Read the rest of the story here.


The (Some) Women’s March results



Alexis Weston | Staff Writer

The Women’s March on Washington was held the day after President Trump’s inauguration and sparked several other supporting demonstrations, with 5 million people protesting worldwide.

The Women’s March was presented as a successful protest for all women. However, not all groups were clearly represented by the protest.

According to Devon Maloney’s article, “Some Inconvenient Truths About The Women’s March On Washington,” the march was, “initially intended to highlight women’s issues before expanding its official platform to include civil rights for people of color, the LGBTQ and disability communities, and refugees and undocumented immigrants.”

If it were a march dedicated to women, why wouldn’t these demographics automatically be included?

The rally had many guest speakers, including Madonna and Scarlett Johansson. Madonna, a pop culture icon that has very publicly self-identified as a feminist, seems like a no brainer for an event like this. However, in January 2014, Madonna posted a photo of her son with a hashtag that included a racial slur.

After receiving backlash, she changed the caption and blamed her audience for being too sensitive. In April 2015, Madonna kissed Drake during a performance. The video made it clear Drake had no opportunity to consent to it. Considering Madonna’s track record of being racist and sexually harassing others, it doesn’t seem like she should have a platform in an “all inclusive” movement.

Scarlett Johansson said in her speech, “I didn’t vote for [Trump]. But I want to be able to support [him]. But first I ask that [he] support me.”

I cannot help but wonder if she expects him to support all women or her narrow-minded view of womanhood. In 2016, Johansson accepted a role as Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell, a Japanese manga. If she’s already been complacent in the erasure of women of color, who is she calling Mr. Trump to support?

Those who spoke for underrepresented groups in the crowd were silenced. After Raquel Willis, a Black transsexual woman, and activist, had her mic cut off in the middle of her speech she tweeted, “Still silencing trans women. I see you and so does everyone else.”

This is not where the transmisogyny ended. According to How the Women’s March’s “genital-based” feminism isolated the transgender community by Marie Solis, “Signs like ‘P***y power’, ‘Viva la Vulva’ and ‘P***y grabs back’ all sent a clear and oppressive message to trans women, especially: having a vagina is essential to womanhood.” It is essential that feminism acknowledges that some women have penises.

The march also ignored black women and women of color. largely ignored by a key demographic….white women.

Why shouldn’t you date your friend’s brother?

(Des Moines Register)

(Des Moines Register)

Avary Gillard | Contributing Writer

I think we all have that one friend with the cute brother. The cute brother we thought we would never like, because he was basically family to you. Until one day, you just happened to see him a little differently and then all these feelings started rushing to the surface. When you spend almost everyday going over to your friend’s house, having sleepovers, and eating over at their home it becomes natural to develop feelings for your friend’s brother. You see them just as much as you see your friend and you begin to notice characteristics about them that you like. You also start having more and more conversations with him. You begin to learn things about him and find qualities that you admire becoming more and more infatuated.

But what happens when the feelings are mutual? Before you tell your friend about your newfound love, I would just like to leave you with the three reasons why you shouldn’t date your friends brother. Number one, Time. It can be hard to commit the same amount of time you put into a friendship that you would put into a relationship, especially when that relationship is with your friend’s brother.

The time you would normally spend over at your friend’s house is now spent, not with your friend, but with their brother. Not only is time to hangout limited, the time you spend talking to each other and being in each other’s company has now been cut down to a minimum. The ability to balance is feasible, but still an unnecessary challenge. The boundaries should clearly be set between your friend and the thought of dating their brother.

Number two, tension. So, you told your friend that you’re dating their brother and they seemed fine with it. They told you they were perfectly cool with the idea and you actually believed them. They may have honestly felt okay with the idea at first, but now you can tell a definite shift. Instead of telling your friend about your day and sharing stories and venting to them, you are telling her brother.

You start talking to your friend less and less and the conversations become general conversation starters instead of the meaningful ones you all had before. Is dating your friend’s brother really worth the loss of a true friendship?

Last, is the breakup. So things didn’t workout, what now? The relationship didn’t work and now you are dealing with a breakup and harboring resentment toward your now ex boyfriend. This can cause things to be awkward and going over to your friend’s house can be more difficult than usual.

So, you try to seek comfort from your friend and it feels weird, especially when the breakup was the result of something serious. What happens when her brother moves on and his new girlfriend comes over? How will you feel then?

If you choose to avoid the whole relationship from the start, you’ll feel just fine. It can be harmful to a friendship to start dating their brother, but the issue can be totally avoidable by just avoiding the whole idea and keeping things plain and simple.