Noctiluca September 2020 Volume XXVI, Issue 1

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4 6 7 8 10 14 16 18

In t er view Wit h A St u den t Pr ot est Or gan izer : Jef f M esser

Su m m er 2020 - M u sic New s Recap

Wh at 's On You r Playlist

Am plif yin g BIPOC Voices Colu m n : An In t r odu ct ion

We ar e t h e Ch an gem aker s

Black Lives M at t er an d t h e Im por t an ce of Polit ical Act ivism Th e Real Her oicn ess of Spor t s - Of f t h e Field

Th e Cu r e f or Am er ica

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EDITONote R'S Throughout the quarter century that student journalism has been operating at Appleton North High, our local community has been through its fair share of challenges. In the past, our staff has always been there, ready to answer the call of duty and chronicle the stories that have unfolded in front of us. Now, even during a time where the tasks ahead of us seem more daunting than ever before, our editors are still determined to follow through with that same commitment. Scientifically, noctiluca are roughly spherical dinoflagellates that exhibit strong phosphorescence when they join together. Journalistically, we hope to illuminate the world around us in the same way that these marine-dwellers bring light to the pitch-black depths of the ocean. In terms of the pandemic, social unrest, and genuine uncertainty about the fate of the planet, we promise to always share the truth with our readers. While we aim to provide coverage of Covid-19 in the coming months, our editors felt the need to highlight the topics of activism and social justice as the theme of this particular issue, in light of recent events. As proud supporters of the First Amendment, we are willing to take a stand against the injustices and inequalities that exist in our community. e 1 And although virtual learning has made it unclear for what is to come in the future, we will strive, whether in-person or socially distanced, to help our community still all join together.

The Noctiluca and are the student-run news sources of Appleton North High School. Noctiluca and are designated public forums for student expression. Student editors make all content decisions. Noctiluca's mission is to publish information relevant to its readers and its community. Its goal is to maintain high ethical standards and provide a designated public forum for free and responsible expression of views.

EDITORIAL STAFF Sen ior Edit or -In -Ch ief Ciaran Cole

Ju n ior Edit or -In -Ch ief Nimrit Sodhi

M an agin g Edit or Mihir Uberoi

Cr eat ive Dir ect or Danielle Zheng

M u lt im edia Edit or Emma Krajnik

New s Edit or Umika Sivasamy

Cu lt u r e Edit or Nadia Tallroth

Opin ion s Edit or Arthur Koenig

Feat u r es Edit or Linnea Edwards

Spor t s Edit or s Olivia Pelishek Mehul Rangbulla

Copy Edit or Lubabah Ali

Ciaran Cole, Senior Editor-In-Chief

Noctiluca dinoflagellates

On lin e Edit or Susan Yao

Advisor Aaron Ramponi

___________________________________________________________________________________________________ * Front and Back Cover Photo Illustration by Danielle Zheng Page 3

Interview with a Student Protest

Organizer - Jeff Messer



Jeff speaks into a megaphone to rally demonstrators. Photo by Emma Krajnik.

n May 31, senior Jeff Messer and other community leaders organized demonstrators for a Black Lives Matter Protest in downtown Appleton.

Wh at ar eas of act ivism ar e you in volved in ? "Areas of activism I am primarily involved in are Black Lives Matter (BLM), LGBTQ+ rights and social change, and human rights." How did you en d u p or gan izin g t h e Black Lives M at t er Pr ot est t h is su m m er ? "At the end of the school year, in response to the unjust death of George Floyd due to racism and police brutality, I organized a large-scale BLM protest in downtown Appleton. This protest also featured many Black speakers as I wanted to amplify their voices and make their experiences heard. It is very important that we listen to Black voices and really take in and learn from them. I wanted to reach as many people as possible, so I utilized the power of social media, local figures, and the news. The response on social media was swift as my Instagram post for the BLM protest ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

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attracted over 60,000 people. The day before the protest I met with a few black community leaders to get their input. I also had two interviews with Fox 11 and Action 2 News that evening to spread the word and give the Black community leaders the opportunity to speak to a wider local audience." Wh at w as t h e day of t h e dem on st r at ion lik e? "The protest attracted over a thousand people from all different backgrounds to listen to the speakers, and after march down College Avenue to the police station. At the police station, there was a moment of silence for George Floyd and then the march continued. Towards the end of the march, some members of the Appleton Police Department joined with us. This was a powerful, uniting, and eye-opening event for all people. It was very touching and emotional to see the community come together and support one another. The energy was unlike anything I had ever felt, and the Appleton BLM Protest was a successful display of our community?s solidarity with the Black community and our stand against racism and police brutality." Wh at ar e t h e n ext st eps you 'r e t ak in g? "In the short term for LGBTQ+ rights and social change, I am working to get my church the Reconciling in Christ designation. That would be a big breakthrough for LGBTQ+

Christians in our area, so

they have a safe and accepting place to worship.

With Alliance Club, I am planning on having a fundraiser to help support the Trevor Project, which is a national suicide hotline for LGBTQ+ youth. I would also like to broaden LGBTQ+ education outside of the club as well, so more people are educated on the community and certain issues. For BLM, I want to start a conversation and create a plan in

"The energy

the community with Black members of our community and

was unlike anything

the local government to help tackle racism and ensure equal treatment and opportunity. I would also like to extend this to

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I had ever felt."

other marginalized communities in the Fox Cities." Is t h er e a m essage you h ave f or ou r r eader s abou t get t in g in volved an d act ivism in gen er al?

"Activism has paved the way for our future as past activists have fought to end slavery, challenge corrupt governments, give women the right to vote, desegregate schools, protect workers from exploitation, and many other important changes that have gotten us where we are today. What are you going to do for the betterment of future generations? " ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Read the full interview, as well as all the other transcripts from featured student activists on ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 5

Music News Recap Summer 2020 ____

BY EM M A KRA JNIK Not able New Albu m Releases:


his summer brought us lots of new music. Thanks to COVID-19 keeping everyone inside with nothing to do, some of our favorite artists blessed our ears with new releases. Taylor Swift released her eighth studio album, titled Folklore, on July 24th. This is a step

away from the upbeat, pop sound of Taylor ?s previous albums. Folklore is categorized as an Indie folk, alternative rock album with tunes driven mainly by piano and guitar. Debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, Folklore is a fan favorite with Taylor ?s poetic storytelling and artistic expression on display. Another big release this summer was the release of Legends Never Die, the third studio album of the late rapper Juice WRLD. As a compilation of unreleased projects, this album incorporates the best parts of his previous albums, and amplifies those aspects of Juice WRLD?s style. Fans of Juice WRLD love his music for its relatable lyrics and the deep emotion put into each song. Even after his death in 2019, Juice WRLD scored one of the biggest premieres of 2020, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, having 360 million audio streams and boasting 238,300 sales.


Son gs r eleased r elat in g t o Black Lives M at t er / Social Ju st ice:

This summer we saw thousands of protests across the world advocating for social justice. Many artists used their platform to put a spotlight the voices of the oppressed and stand up for what's right, from donating to charities and bail out funds, to attending the protests, or by releasing music speaking out against these issues. Above are some songs which were released this summer that focused on social justice. Ot h er n ew s: Th e VM As As we all know, award shows are a big deal for the music industry. With everything going on, most of us probably thought we wouldn?t see another award show for a year or so! Despite the changes, the MTV Video Music Awards still went on, though precautions were taken to make sure everyone ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

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there was safe and following social distancing guidelines. Keke Palmer hosted the show from New York City on August 30th. Along with hosting, she performed a mini version of her song ?Snack.? There were many different performances that were held in the different boroughs of NYC, taped and also live, shown throughout the night. Artists accepted their wins either over video or in person. Some fans expressed their thankfulness for something more normal to tune into on TV, but others did not love the way the show went about producing the award show. Despite the issues, however, fans still enjoyed seeing their favorites up on the big screen again. Ten Year s of On e Dir ect ion With the band going on a projected eighteen month hiatus in January of 2016, but ultimately not getting back together and otherwise pursuing solo careers, fans were not sure of what to expect from the boys and their management team the day of the tenth anniversary. Some hoped for a reunion, others hoped for new music, but neither of those events happened. Each boy, other than Zayn, posted a throwback picture and note to their social media accounts thanking everyone involved in their journey to fame. Even two months after their anniversary, although no news has come out about one possibly happening, fans are still hoping for some sort of reunion. While the world waits to see One Direction together again, we can only reminisce in the iconic memories of their shows, music, interviews, and much more. Thankfully, they are all doing very well in their solo careers, still charting on the top 100 lists. One Direction forever!

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Son gs:


Wh at 's On You r Playlist


"Lovin?You? - PEGASIS ?Falling? - Harry Styles

?Come Back? by Sheppard

usic can be anything we want it to be. It can be a familiar

?Dynamite? - BTS

friend, keeping us company when we are alone, or a

?Chasing Cars? - Snow Patrol

motivator when we are dragging. On a road trip, we can jam out in the car, or look out the window and just be

with our thoughts. Crafting the perfect playlist of our favorite songs can be a little like creating an extension of ourselves. I asked

Ban ds/ Ar t ist s: Sheldrak Jacob Collier


Dua Lipa


Peach Pit

students at Appleton North to share what they are listening to. On

Green Day | Cosmo the right you can see what's making playlists in the Fox Cities: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Amplifying BIPOC Voices Column: An Introduction Ms. Dennetra Williams on Amplifying BIPOC voices in our community.



s The Noctiluca?s Features editor, I realized that having access to this platform could be a valuable way to amplify the voices of BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) students and administration. With that being said, I would like to introduce a new column titled ?Amplifying BIPOC Voices,? which will focus on bringing light to the concerns, experiences, and voices of these valuable members of our community. This is especially important in a time of such momentum in the BLM movement. Each of the articles in this column will be based off of a few questions, pictured left. Upon contacting Appleton North?s STAR (Scholars on Target to Achieve Results) Coordinator and Boys & Girls club mentor Ms. Dennetra Williams, as well as AASD?s BSU (Black Student Union) advisor, Mr. Kempton Freeman, I was excited to see the support and enthusiasm they both offered me during the launch of this column. Having ties to Appleton North?s Black Student Union, and being a POC herself, Ms. Williams introduces herself below:

?My name is Dennetra Williams and I work with STAR as their Coordinator at Appleton North High School, helping students who identify as Black, African-American, or of mixed race, with being African-American and successful in school. My goal is to use my education and years of working with at-risk teens in California, coupled with the knowledge I have ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 8

gained voluntarily supporting Black students in the Appleton Area School District four years before joining the STAR team and my last two school years at West and North during the 2017-18 school years to customize a support system that directly benefits each Black student that I serve.? Below are Ms. WIlliams' replies to the questions to the questions posed by my column. Is there an experience or something that you want to share with the student body regarding your experiences as a BIPOC student/staff member?

"I would like the racial majority to see each Black person as an individual and understand we do not all _ _ _ _ _ (fill in the

blank). "

?As an African-American woman, there have been very few things I've wanted but did not get; I have never felt an opportunity that I pursued was denied to me because of the color of my skin. Now that I am an adult, I have realized there was INFORMATION that has been withheld that may have made my life easier over the last few decades. Because of this realization, I work hard to provide equitable resources, services and support to Black students to ensure THEIR lives are as easy as possible.?

What changes do you want to see in the student body and administration to be a more inclusive and comfortable environment for students of color? ?For the student body, I wish for peer support and collaboration; for Black students to understand they are stronger together than divided, and therefore see one another as a resource and ally, instead of a rival or adversary.? What do you wish the students around you understood about what it is like to be a BIPOC? ?I would like the racial majority to see each Black person as an individual and understand we do not all _____ (fill in the blank). While I have not experienced this disconnect within the confines of North's walls, I do often see this in other venues and circles.? e 1 Anything else you want to share?

?There is a great deal of civil unrest currently, and the Black objective is not to create problems, but to address the problems that Black people have been facing for centuries. The time is now to stand together in solidarity with the Black community, not because it's a great way to Now that I am an adult, I have check the "I'm not a racist" box, but because realized there was whether you identify as Black, Brown, Fuchsia, or Teal, you are a human being and WE have all got to INFORMATION that has been do better as earthlings, for the sake of humanity!?


withheld that may have made

I would like to sincerely thank Ms. Williams and Mr. Freeman for offering their time and insight in helping my life easier over the last few me launch this column, especially Ms. Williams for decades. sharing her experiences and responses with all of us. Stay tuned for more additions to this column! ____________________________________________________________________________________________________


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ighting for something that you believe, no matter the barrier in your way, and always continuing to fight.?

This is what comes to mind when North senior Amanda Padgett thinks about what it means to be an activist. In a world amidst a battle against Covid-19, our lives got shut down in March and then rebooted to the confinements of our tvs, computers, and phones to watch the virus invade our state, city, and even some of our homes. Ellie Karck, North graduate, and Mia Hermansen attend the Fox Valley Women's March. Photo courtesy of Mia H.

News headlines flashed with images of hospital ICUs overflowing and mania followed in confrontations between anti-maskers and healthcare professionals, as we now find ourselves in a position where a million people have lost their lives to the disease. But as tough as it was for many of us to tackle a problem we couldn?t see, and much less hide from, coronavirus wasn?t the only fight happening across our planet. Over a summer where Jacob Blake, Breonna Taylor, and several more were killed by the police, and fires burned so bad in California that the smoke spewed to Wisconsin, turning a blind eye was not an option anymore. In the age of the internet and social media, our community, particularly its younger generation, found itself not only exposed to the horrors of Covid-19, but the neglected issues of social justice, climate change, and economic inequality. Our country saw itself embark on a journey of posts, tweets, and media campaigns that stirred up conversations about the faults in our society in a way that may have never happened if we hadn?t stayed home. And for the first time in a long while, people cared enough to do something. Stand Up Co-President Meg Cain explains, ?The way that social injustice has found a bigger spotlight on platforms like Instagram just these last four months, there has been an evident force behind our generation to take steps to be more accepting and give more perspectives a voice.? And the mission hasn?t just stopped at awareness.

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For senior Jeff Messer, joining the fight against police brutality meant leading over a thousand people in a downtown Black Lives Matter protest he helped organize in May. ?I was always one to post a thing or two about BLM on my Instagram story, but I concluded that just doing that was nowhere near enough. George Floyd was a wake-up call for me to really dig deep in my fight against racism, further educate myself, and take action against the racism that plagues Black people around our nation... To eradicate this Appleton Black Lives Matter Protest. Photo courtesy of Emma Krajnik. disease, everyone, no matter is powerful and enables a profound sense of our differences, needs to fight back and take a collectivism and progressivism. I remember my stand against racism,? shares Messer, who was heart being filled with gratitude.? Emma, who also already actively involved in advocating for LGBTQ+ marched, holds onto the same ambition for the rights as a member of the Reconciling for Christ future of their organization as her sibling. ?In the Task-Force. Marching down College Avenue with future, The Week of Women hopes to keep hundreds of high school students behind him, expanding its presence and establish itself as a Messer found a way to magnify his voice in non-profit. Our Board of Directors plans to set-up response to social justice this summer. Emma feminine hygiene product drives for distribution to Hermansen, an attendee of the protests, says, ?It homeless shelters and people in need, so we can was such an amazing experience. Just being able continue to build on the work we?re doing.? to see the turnout from the younger generation and to meet other students who cared was really gratifying.? While the past few months served as a battle cry e new people to join forces in the war 1 for many against challenges like racism, for several other students like Jeff and Emma, the latest protests merely acted as their latest stands in the face of injustice. Alongside her sister, Emma is taking part on the Board of the newly founded Week of Women organization that was put together this year. As a participant in Appleton?s Women's March this spring, Mia Hermansen took part of the powerful force behind another local demonstration that she hopes won?t be the last in the pursuit for equal rights. ?Attending the Women?s March last year was exhilarating and empowering. To be surrounded by those who support the same cause and believe in your rights

Moreover, as many movements as there are that pertain to the different fields of activism, for each issue there are an endless amount of avenues that lead to each fight. Sometimes, the road to action comes up unexpectedly. Leona Wong, UNICEF Club Secretary, represents a perfect example of coming across such an opportunity. ?One weekend, I was visiting colleges with my friends, when we noticed posters promoting period equity and free women?s hygiene products inside campus restrooms. I had never seen before pads that were without charge and available like they were there. It brought to mind all the people who don?t have the means to pay for period products and how frustrating that is. My friends and I immediately knew we had to act, and when we got back to North, we decided to start our own Period Equity Campaign.? One of those friends, Sarah Sisto, already was a backer of

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the Take One Leave One initiative even before the aid in securing period products and other basic group's decision to expand awareness. As to the necessities, and everyone needs to be aware of importance of a topic that is that!? When addressing the often avoided due to its tensions and inequalities that lie ?I don't think that anyone perceived awkwardness, Sisto underneath the surface of society, needs any special motivation iterates, ?It?s not a luxury, nor uneasy conversations are bound is it something women can - just basic human empathy. to happen whether it be about control, so it shouldn?t be such We all seek to make things race relations, sexuality, or a taboo topic.? In complete something entirely different. Stand better for everyone, and agreement, Wong emphasizes, Up is one of the organizations at ?Most people assume when we activism is just another facet our school that aims to create talk about issues like not being those types of discussions for that of that.? able to afford hygiene very reason. Known for their late products or toxic-shock start presentations that bring up syndrome, that we are referring to problems in issues like domestic violence, women?s rights, and third-world countries. But the sad reality is that toxic masculinity, the school group is all about these are struggles that countless women in our promoting open-minded environments that country and the area face in their everyday lives. encourage teens to use constructive thinking with Especially in these issues. ?Stand Up is not about scolding people for being ?toxic.? It?s about changing the Miscalcul[Asian] Magazine Fall Issue. suburban regions like Appleton and culture at North and sparking conversations in our Danielle Zheng (Senior) and Julia Fox Cities, school community,? asserts Co-President of the Hartlep (Junior) are the co-founders the there are so many club, Meg Cain. With the way Covid-19 has affected of Miscalcul[Asian], a media network all of us and how virtual school is playing out, a lot with over 7k followers on Instagram. people who need of clubs have faced obstacles in coming together. Under the leadership of seniors like Cain, Stand Up is currently working on organizing virtual presentations to continue bringing awareness to incoming North students this year. H.O.P.E. is another school organization that is working to promote positive change in our world under the leadership of other student activists. As a representative amongst North?s club that works to stop climate change, the issue that Padgett leads the charge against is personal. ?After growing up in Arizona, I was able to notice the effects of urbanization and climate change first-hand. From building on indigenous lands or extreme temperature fluctuations, the effects of climate change are detrimental. It?s so much more than the polar bear pictures you see online. We need climate action, and we need it now, and I won?t stop fighting for it until we get it.? During a time when man-made fires scorch millions of acres of land as a result of human negligence, and billions of tons of CO2 per year are spewed into the air of the country every year, the fight that our

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generation faces is one versus time. That?s why several of the activists at North are committed to their issues in the long-term. With her peer Lofton Putzer, Padgett has worked with state legislators to write bills on climate change. While planning to continue thwarting climate change as an adult, she hopes to study Political Science and Philosophy in college and later become a criminal justice attorney to serve the other causes she holds dear to her heart. Mia Hermansen has similar aspirations, saying, ?My future career goal is to become a civil rights lawyer, working for a nonprofit organization.? A common interest is also held between all these role models to continue their involvement as activists professionally or throughout college.

^^ Wisconsin Youth Climate Strike. From left to right: Amanda Padgett (Senior), Danielle Zheng (Senior), Lofton Putzer (Senior).

During these times of coronavirus, though students have had to forge through this difficult chapter with masks on and socially distanced from each other, the conversations we've had together nonetheless have served as a catalyst for our generation to educate themselves about the world. And while the journey for everyone has been different in how they got involved, the driving force for change behind every person has made a difference. Though some have learned about the inequities that exist in our world from the front lines, and others are still finding out just now, the e 1 basic impulse that drives each of the students to be activists has a common thread. North junior and Editor-In-Chief for Miscalcul[Asian] Magazine (a global literary magazine that highlights Asian voices) Julia Hartlep sums it up best. ?I don't think that anyone needs any special motivation - just basic human empathy. We all seek to make things better for everyone, and activism is just another facet of that. Fox Valley Women's March. From left to right: Amanda Padgett (Senior), Anant Kaushika (Alum), Leona Wong (Senior). >>

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Black Lives Matter is one of the most essential social movements in modern the history of this country. It has fundamentally changed the way that many people in the U.S. and around the globe view policing, race relations, and justice. The cases of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and so many others underscore its necessity. Going through and examining every case of police brutality, racial violence, or systemic inequality along racial lines is not the purpose of this piece, however. That information is readily available to those who wish to see it. The more pressing concern is how to grow and sustain the movement, while also withstanding the constant attacks against it.

Protest is essential to any democratic system, and Black Lives Matter is no different. As demonstrations across the country and the world drew millions of people calling for justice, many have attempted to portray the movement as nothing more than a bunch of rioters and looters who aren?t aligned with the methods of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. These sorts of arguments stem from a sanitized view of the civil rights movement and political struggle in general. The prevailing narrative is that the civil rights movement was entirely peaceful and well received, when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. In 1961, a mere 27% of Americans supported sit-ins, Freedom Riders, and other actions. Even in 1964, a full year after the March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 74% of Americans did not support such mass demonstrations. Many people insisted that black people had enough freedom, including the once prominent Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who remarked: ?No one is being deprived of freedom that I know about.? Furthermore, the movement was not an entirely peaceful affair; 159 race riots occurred in 1967 alone. Critics of the movement seized on these instances of violence in an otherwise largely peaceful movement to discredit civil rights altogether. The same is happening today with Black Lives Matter, even though 93% of protests this year have been peaceful.

And although Martin Luther King Jr. is routinely used by the right as an example of ?how to protest,? he too, was portrayed as violent and dangerous, and eventually assassinated. A cartoon originally published by Charles Brooks in The Birmingham News, in 1967, mocked King, showing

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him standing in front of a burning town while saying: ?I plan to lead another non-violent march tomorrow.? Even though King?s ideology was one of nonviolence, he remarked in 1965 that: ?A riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?? Additionally, in his 1967 speech, ?Nonviolence and Social Change,? King distinguished between violence against property and violence against people. He made the point that then, as today, the relatively small number of violent demonstrators directed their anger at property, not people. Furthermore, where attacks against individuals did occur, it was, and is, almost always carried out by police forces. King was, despite the sanitized portrayals of him, a radical. It is a safe bet that those who fear-monger about ?rioting and looting? today would, in fact, not have been allied with Dr. King in the 1960s.

The reality is that making real progress in this country is not going to be easy, just as it wasn?t in the 1960s, especially in the face of constant attacks in the media and by the President.

The attempts by the President, his television army, and his social media allies to discredit Black Lives Matter are attempts to discredit any form of rebellion against the status quo. The fundamental and systemic change represented by Black Lives Matter is simply unacceptable to them. The President routinely attacks the movement, calling protesters ?thugs,? and sending federal troops to violently repress them. He refused to condemn a right-wing extremist (and supporter of his) who murdered two demonstrators in Kenosha, and has emboldened police officers to act with impunity as misinformation about BLM runs rampant. The propaganda campaign against BLM by right-wing personalities like Ben Shapiro and Tucker Carlson seems to have worked to some degree; support for BLM peaked at 61% earlier this summer, though it now sits at just 52% according to the most recent polling data.

How, then, can the Black Lives Matter movement sustain itself in this environment? In order for the movement to succeed, it must remain rooted in real political action, rather than drift into mere sloganeering and aesthetics. NBA players understood this when they conducted a wildcat strike in August; the Milwaukee Bucks shocked the league when they refused to play their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. Other teams joined in almost immediately. This was an unprecedented move in the history of sports, and it showed the power of a strike. The league was content to display social justice messages on the court and jerseys, but the players knew further action was needed. This was a real statement; one that didn?t stop at a slogan. By refusing to play, they forced those in power (in this case, the e 1 team owners) to act. As a result, NBA owners have agreed to convert every stadium into a voting site for the 2020 election. Creating more systemic change will require this type of action; strikes, boycotts, and of course, protests. We must, in the words of BLM?s website, ?Work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people, and by extension, all people.? This means demanding programs to end mass poverty, stopping the war on drugs, defunding the police, and much more. Black Lives Matter is not a controversial statement. Withstanding the attacks on the movement and reaching its goals will not be easy. In order to do so, BLM must remain vigilant, focused, and rooted in real action, not mere slogans. This country has long been due for a real reckoning with its past and present, and this movement is providing it. Sou r ces: Study finds that 93% of BLM protests were peaceful (; Martin Luther King quote: ?A riot is the language of the unheard.? (; Full Martin Luther King speech: Nonviolence and Social Change (; 1960s polls showing negative view of civil rights movement; Senator Strom Thurmond: ?No one is being denied freedom? ? (; Riots of 1967 (; Trump refuses to condemn Kenosha shooter (; Dip in support for BLM (

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SPOR The Real Heroicness of Sports - Off the Field



hroughout these challenging times in our nation, we have not only faced the wrath of COVID-19, but also

social and racial injustice. As a result,

professional and college sports have taken an emphatic stand on trying to solve these issues. One example of this has been the actions taken by the LSU (Louisiana State University) football team. During peaceful protests, players marched through campus, boycotted their practices, and also spoke about the ideas of racial justice, particularly referring to the shooting of Jacob Blake. Many other teams such as Ole Miss, Kentucky, Boston College, South Florida, and Mississippi also partook in boycott practicing. Big Ten Sports even took part in kneeling for the Anthem. In professional sports, responses have been undeniably passionate all across the board. Within the NBA, which served as an inspiration for many college demonstrations, players decided to boycott games during the first round in the playoffs. Furthermore, many players added social justice messages on the back of their jerseys. LeBron James has been particularly active on social media and has even launched SpringHill Company, which serves in helping voice the concerns of many African Americans. The NFL has also contributed by eliminating the name of the Washington Redskins, LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22) in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Lousiana Tech in Baton Rouge, La., LSU won 38-21 (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

which was considered offensive to Native Americans, while also accepting teams that kneel and/or lock arms during the National Anthem. Athletic enterprises, such as Nike, have also joined the cause, primarily through

their undeviating support for Colin Kaepernick, the first player to kneel. To further honor him, they released a fourth anniversary ?all black jersey,? and EA Sports also decided to include Kaepernick in their video game Madden, for the first time since 2016. The support for racial justice by players throughout college sports, professional leagues, and

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, and 49ers?Eric Reid kneel during the National Anthem before their NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi?s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Nhat V.

sportswear brands demonstrates an effective utilization of

Meyer/Bay Area News Group Archives)

the platform the sports world provides. In becoming role models for this movement, they made the decision to take a stand and voice their opinion, rather than make this year about their hefty paychecks and superstar athletic abilities. It truly shows the humility in these athletes as they






underprivileged sections of society, and this is an inspiration for everyone to fight against injustice.

e 1

^^ Arsenal players take a knee before their friendly against Brentford earlier this week. Photograph: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC/Getty Images

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^^ New York Mets military pregame ceremony, April 5. (overhead) by NYCMarines is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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interruption, they are finally back,

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crucial in healing America as it

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the same team, America. That was

Discussions have finally started to


later followed up by a World Series


game in New York, between the

debating about politics to a fan

Things went underway in July

Yankees and the Diamondbacks,

giving the guy next to them with

when the MLB kicked off, soon

where President George W. Bush

the hat of a rival team a bit of a

followed the NBA and NHL. Most

would be throwing out the first

hard time. Now, when people get



home from work at night, to settle






could be proud of.


mostly on time, and for the first








down they can turn on a game

time in modern history, all of


these leagues were playing at the

February of 1980, America was in

happening in the world for three

same time. Now, regardless of

extreme economic turmoil. We

hours, instead of turning on the

whatever league you may prefer,

had fifty American hostages held

news to hear about everything



by extremists in Iran. Not to

going wrong. Lastly, it?s the biggest

difference in helping to restart

mention, being in the midst of the

common denominator we have

America and its spirit.

Cold War. The communist Soviet

right now. Americans have come

Union had just taken Afghanistan,

together to celebrate the victories

and were making advances in

of their favorite teams, and will

Central America, closing in on us.

continue to do so.





e 1

Historically speaking, sports have done the same in the past, most recently following the events on 9/11/2001. Ten days after the tragedies




baseball returned, and so did hope, some people say. The New York Mets were up against their rivals, the Atlanta Braves, in New York. Both teams were fighting for a playoff spot in a tight NL East










During all of this, the Winter Olympics were being held in the

Is America in the greatest state

States. Our young hockey team

right now? No. But do we have the

was about to face the Soviets,




country through sports? Yes. At

professionals, in a gold medal

the end of the day, it doesn?t

game. It was safe to say that Team

matter what team you are rooting

USA was a sure underdog and was

for, because we are all team














However, on February 22, Team ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Page 19

@northnoct @NorthNoct @northnoctiluca @TheNoctiluca

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