News & Features

The Crisis of Social Media: The Rise of Surveillance and Election Manipulation

Adrian Shahbaz and Allie Funk

In addition to facilitating the dissemination of propaganda and disinformation during election periods, social media platforms have enabled the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data on entire populations. Sophisticated mass surveillance that was once feasible only for the world’s leading intelligence agencies is now affordable for a much broader range of states. Freedom House research indicates that more repressive governments are acquiring social media surveillance tools that employ artificial intelligence to identify perceived threats and silence undesirable expression.

The Rise of Environmental Consciousness in Businesses and Brands

Shahla Hebets

While the world watched a tough, passionate 16-year-old from Sweden take on the very real and pressing issue of climate change, I kept thinking about the eventual impact on brands. After all, an estimated 7.5 million people across the world participated in the climate strike, and many others supported virtually. The end result is that whether brands like it or not, eco-consciousness is now firmly on consumers’ minds and their awareness is sure to increase as the effects of climate change continue to escalate.

The Invisible People of Mexico

Marlen Suyanpa Bodden

When most of us think about the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the perception is that the conflict was between the native people and Spaniards. But Black people can trace their roots in Mexico to the same day in February 1519, when Hernán Cortés, with 610 Europeans and 300 enslaved people, consisting of African and indigenous Cubans, landed at Cozumel to begin the conquest of the Yucatan (as Mexico was then known to the Spaniards). 

Should We Abolish Columbus Day?

Marlen Suyanpa Bodden

Despite the Knights’ stance regarding Columbus Day, the American public is increasingly joining Native Americans in calling for abolishment of Columbus Day and replacing it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. As of September 23, 2019, eight states, Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota, Alaska, North Carolina, Maine, Vermont, and Louisiana, and more than 130 cities and towns, including Berkeley, New York City, and Seattle, celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  

How Will Border Walls Affect National Parks?

Gil Lusk

National Park Service areas, by mission, are to preserve and protect resources unimpeded for the future of generations yet unborn.  Hardened border walls severely impede these areas by negating movement of species within adjoining ecosystem areas in the U.S. and Mexico. Species impacted include flora and fauna, large and small, as small as the monarch butterfly.  Critical access to springs and sheltered environments will be affected. Collection and use of natural materials by the Tohono O’Odham and movement within their territorial boundary will be affected or lost.

Public Opinion Grows in Support of Impeachment Inquiry

Brad Brooks

Trump has blasted the impeachment inquiry, arguing that he did nothing wrong and accusing Democrats of launching a politically motivated “witch hunt.” Lawmakers in the Democratic-led House of Representatives are investigating concerns that Trump’s actions have jeopardized national security and the integrity of U.S. elections. The impeachment inquiry has cast a new pall over Trump’s presidency just months after he emerged from the shadow cast by Mueller’s investigation.

A Look Back at the Rip-Roaring Adventures of the Flying Tigers

Adam Gravano

Chennault could not get only fighter pilots, so many of his recruits, like Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, of later Black Sheep Squadron fame, and Charles Bond, came from units flying other types of aircraft — bombers. Also to be discussed were descriptions of how the Tigers were supposed to fight in the air, using the P-40 to get its best results against the Japanese fighters. Generally, this involved using diving attacks to get a speed advantage and to avoid turning fights with the nimbler Zero.

To Tackle Climate Change, We Must Rethink Our Food System

Kathleen Rogers and Shenggen Fan

To ensure global food security and sustainable food practices in an ever-growing world, we need to reexamine our food systems and take regional resources, such as land and water availability, as well as local economies and culture into account.  To start, the United States and other developed countries must encourage food companies to produce more sustainable food, including more plant-based options, and educate consumers and retailers about healthy and sustainable diets.

The Tragedy of Cannabis as a Schedule I Drug

Max Simon

Despite the fact that cannabis was a widely distributed medicine with MDs writing more than 3,000,000 prescriptions per year in the 1930s, it became prohibited at the federal level in the United States in 1937. That prohibition was continued via the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 with cannabis placed firmly in the Schedule I category, which is where it has remained since. The decision to place cannabis in the Schedule I category was not based on science.

My Brown Face Contains Multitudes

Angelo Franco

Before then, the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 eliminated national origin quotas but set worldwide limits on the number of persons that could migrate to the U.S. This act is likely one of the biggest causes of the “hispanization” of North America because it established a system of family-based and employment-based preference for issuing visas. It was the driving force behind the enormous influx of immigrants from Mexico and Central America during the 70s and 80s, a period that is considered the crux of Latin American immigration. 

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