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ON THE

RECORD

ISSUES BY A N D FO R T H E YO U T H O F LO U I SV I L L E • VO L U M E 3 » I S S U E 1 • W I N T E R 2 0 1 7

ISSUE The last abortion clinic. Louisville heats up. The debate over Confederate statues. Changes in the budget.

DACA’s expiration date. The rise of the counter protest. Goodbye, comprehensive sex education.

Splintering administrations. A new presidential platform. Wait, we’re still at war?

YO U N E E D T O K N O W. L E T U S E X P L A I N.


22

12

DACAmented and Defiant Carved in Stone

26

34

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

36

40

A Pregnant Pause

On The Record

Budget Breakdown

2

Hot and Bothered


FALL 2017

CONTENTS 6

The Grand Old Switch Up

26

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

8

You Are What You Tweet

34

Budget Breakdown

12

DACAmented and Defiant

36

A Pregnant Pause

17

Alternating Current

40

Hot and Bothered

22

Carved in Stone

46

Let’s Talk about Sex

The party seems to be over as conflicting opinions come to a head in the GOP.

Trump’s outspoken Twitter account gives us controversy and conversation.

Immigrant teens speak out about the proposed DACA repeal and its effects on their futures.

Antifa and local leftist organizations rally in opposition to the growing far right.

The Confederate past and our present values go to war.

Of all the things teens look at on social media, foreign affairs isn’t one.

If passed, how could Trump’s 2018 budget affect you?

What could a single Louisville court case mean for abortion clinics across the nation?

Louisville is the fifth worst urban heat island in the nation — not something to celebrate.

The debate over sex education affects you in more ways than you might think.

3

On The Record


Jeff Calderon (502) 326-2360 jcalderon@dmlo.com On Jeff TheCalderon Record 4 Record 8.5 x 11.indd 2017 On the

1

9/25/2017 12:43:03 AM


STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ALICE DETERS COPY EDITOR AUDREY CHAMPELLI VISUAL DIRECTOR ELLA MAYS MANAGING EDITOR SYLVIA GOODMAN CREATIVE DIRECTOR NYAH MATTISON

FROM THE EDITOR DEAR READERS, North Korea. The 2018 budget. Trump’s administration. DACA. These problems sound big, and they are. But

first themed issue — the magazine you’re holding in your hands. The theme is big, loud international

look closely enough and you can see

issues made local with a color scheme

their effects on you. On The Record

to match. We are in middle of one of

(OTR) here, with magnifying glass in

the most controversial presidencies of

hand. Consider the “Issues Issue”

our time, and it’s our job to catch up

your beginner’s guide to the current

on all the happenings we might have

political atmosphere.

missed over summer vacation. The

This issue looks a lot different

“Issues Issue” is chock full of explain-

than you were probably expecting,

ers that make the important interest-

but it’s new for us too. In fact, this

ing, so becoming a current events

fall has shaken up a lot of things

whiz can be an enjoyable experience.

around OTR. Cue us accepting 14

The topics we cover here are

brand new staffers and revamping

hardly black and white, but that

our staff structure. This year, if you

doesn’t give us an excuse to be un-

were to walk into our newsroom,

informed. So take this copy with you

you would find designers, photogra-

on your way. Dissect these compli-

phers, and writers working together

cated complications with us — extract

instead of in separate departments.

the essence of the issue. We’ll be

For this staff, it’s taken months of

back soon enough with the regular

Wednesday work nights, collabora-

features, profiles, and reviews. But for

tion, ad runs, fact checking, paper

now, read on.

clipping, video editing, and infographic making to churn out OTR’s

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS ZAKEYA BAKER, OLIVIA BROTZGE, LUCY CALDERON, MATTIE TOWNSON LEAD WRITERS CAMERON DANIEL, KARAC MEDLEY, MELISSA SCIANIMANICO, WESLEY LYNCH WRITERS EUAN DUNN, YSA LEON, EVAN SHOWALTER, ALI SHACKELFORD, CORA KIRBY, JEDIAH HOLMAN, MADDIE CURRIE, ELLA TREINEN, SKY CARROLL MULTIMEDIA NOAH KECKLER DESIGNERS JESS MAYS, PATRICK HARPER, LAUREN HUNTER, EVELYN WALFORD, MIA BREITENSTEIN AD TEAM MAYA MALAWI & MAGGIE STINNETT CONTRIBUTING ARTIST SOPHIE FOWLER ADVISER LIZ PALMER

STAY SUNNY,

ALICE

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

ON THE RECORD is a magazine by and for the youth of Louisville. In 2015, our publication transitioned from duPont Manual High School’s tabloid-size school newspaper, the Crimson Record, to a magazine that focuses on in-depth storytelling with a city-wide audience and distribution. Using our training as writers, photographers, and designers, our mission is to do quality local journalism for youth that includes the crucial but often overlooked youth perspective. The magazine is entirely produced by youth. ON THE RECORD is published by the students of the Journalism & Communication Magnet at duPont Manual High School, 120 W. Lee St., Louisville, KY 40208.

NYAH

SYLVIA

AUDREY

ELLA

Visit us at ontherecordmag.com

5

On The Record


On The Record

SCOTT PRUITT

EPA ADMINISTRATOR

Position: The Administrator heads the EPA and enforces environmental statutes.

Position: The Chief of Staff oversees the Executive Office of the President, which is responsible for functions supporting the president’s agenda.

Kelly, former Homeland Security Secretary, was given Reince Priebus’s position after Priebus resigned under dubious circumstances. He seems to be the only one Trump is not publically quarrelling with and has been stirring up controversy by pressuring Elaine Duke to expel Hondurans after she decided to extend their work permits.

GENERAL JOHN R. KELLY

CHIEF OF STAFF

Position: Heading Homeland Security means preparing for, preventing, and responding to domestic emergencies (think terrorism).

MITCH MCCONNELL

MAJORITY SENATE LEADER

Position: The majority leader is the spokesman for the party in power in the Senate — currently Republicans.

For seven years, McConnell has chanted “repeal and replace” but has never needed to come up with a real solution. Now that the time is here, repealing and replacing isn’t so easy because of splits in the party. It doesn’t help that Trump and McConnell have been at odds since the beginning of Trump’s presidency, either.

Duke has been the acting director since Kelly left, but Trump nominated Kirstjen Nielsen — a top White house aide — as a replacement; they are awaiting Senate approval. Meanwhile, Duke is open to debate on Trump’s Mexican border wall proposal and is supposed to be helping decide if transgender military members can continue serving.

ELAINE DUKE

HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY

words by ALI SHACKELFORD » design by EVELYN WALFORD

AS PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SWAPS OUT STAFF, THOSE WHO REMAIN HAVE UNCERTAIN FUTURES.

SWI T CH UP

T HE GR A ND OL D

While he was attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt fought against the EPA time after time, claiming the government was overreaching its bounds. Now, as head of the department, he is rolling back Obamaera policies like the Clean Power Plan. The official EPA statement claimed the repeal will “facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.”

6


7

On The Record

Position: The director is responsible for the day-to-day functions of the FBI, the principal investigative arm of the Department of Justice.

Wray, former assistant attorney general under George W. Bush, made it clear from the get go that he will not allow for any interference from the White House during the current Russia investigation. Wray was the replacement for the former director, James Comey, fired by Trump.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY

FBI DIRECTOR

Position: The secretary of state is responsible for foreign affairs and fourth in line for the presidency.

Position: The secretary collects data on schools, creates regulations, and enforces those regulations.

DeVos promotes charter and private schools. She changed Obama-era protections — saying she felt the guidelines denied due process to those accused of sexual assault — and backed the president’s stance on transgender bathrooms, telling schools to disregard the previous interpretation that students are to use the bathroom of their choice.

BETSY DEVOS

EDUCATION SECRETARY

Position: The attorney general heads the Department of Justice and is the chief law enforcement officer and chief lawyer of the U.S. government.

JEFF SESSIONS

Sessions has called transgender workers’ protection into question and worked with Trump to repeal DACA. Things got tense when he stalled after Trump asked him to fire James Comey. He replaced Dana Boente, who became the acting attorney general for three months after Trump fired Sally Yates at the end of January.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Position: The chief strategist works to execute long term plans for the administration and counsels the president on critical matters.

The Chief Strategist position was created specifically for Steve Bannon, but now he’s gone and the job hasn’t been filled, leaving us to wonder what the future holds for this position.

UNFILLED

REX TILLERSON

There was some uproar about Tillerson’s nomination because he’s a former ExxonMobil executive with business ties to Russia. He promised that he would cut the State Department budget by 31 percent, but he hasn’t because of resistance in Congress. At the end of November, news organizations reported that Trump wanted to replace Tillerson.

CHIEF STRATEGIST

SECRETARY OF STATE


you are what you

TWEET Is Trump’s usage of Twitter presidential?

A

words by ELLA TREINEN & SKY CARROLL » design by SKY CARROLL

As of December, Trump has over

room. The back pocket of

44.2 million followers on his Twitter

someone’s jeans vibrates. A

account, @realDonaldTrump, while

centile for the amount of followers

screen flashes on from the

the presidential account, @POTUS,

and tweets on his account according

corner of someone’s office desk.

has 21.4 million followers. With

to Twitter Counter, a website that

Millions of heads turn to look at

@POTUS serving mainly to retweet

provides statistics for every Twitter

the Twitter notifications on their

@realDonaldTrump, Trump’s tweets

user. Instant communication to the

lock screens. Someone immediately

are certainly reaching far and wide.

world with the convenience of a few

favorites and retweets an announce-

8

In April 2016, Trump told CBS’s

Trump ranks in the ninetieth per-

taps on a phone or computer screen

ment of a transgender military ban.

“60 Minutes” that if he used Twit-

Someone else just rolls their eyes

ter as president he was “going to be

in response to a statement that the

very restrained. If I use it at all, I’m

terview with Independent, an online,

“FAKE NEWS media” doesn’t work

going to be very restrained.” With

international news source, Trump

to inform the American people, but

Trump tweeting an average of 11

said regarding social media, “When

rather to mislead them. A startled

times per day, we are left to wonder

somebody says something about

student drops their phone upon

what he means by “restrained.” Not

me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing

realizing that they are no longer

only is the restriction of Twitter use

and I take care of it. The other way, I

protected under Deferred Action for

seemingly no longer one of Trump’s

would never get the word out.”

Childhood Arrivals.

goals, but Twitter has become his

President Trump is online.

On The Record

#nofilter

ding echoes through the

main platform.

may explain his reliance on Twitter. In fact, this past October in an in-

With 47 percent of teens using Twitter according to a 2015


University of Chicago study of teen

CNN’s chief national correspond-

social media usage, we see just

ent, John King, is one of many indi-

how quickly Trump can connect

viduals whom Trump has called out

with a younger audience. Twitter

on Twitter. Trump called him “un-

allows effortless communication

derachieving” and referred to the TV

between users and enables them to

show he anchors, “Inside Politics,”

tag other users. This makes it even

as “one hour of lies.” King says that

17-year-old junior, Atherton High School

easier for Trump to call out people

Twitter is part of Trump’s political

by name on Twitter and attack

“I only check Twitter

strategy, so it’s here to stay.

for a couple seconds

“fake news,” like we’ve seen him do

“I think we have seen that his

Aiden Martin a day, just scrolling

in the past. What that says about

Twitter feed is pure Trump. That’s

Trump is up to you.

down, but I read some of his stuff. It

what he’s thinking. Whether you

seems totally normal for a president

like it or not, it’s transparent. We

outlets that verify the news — think

tweeting. It’s just the once-in-a-blue-

know a lot more about our president

the Washington Post, the New York

moon tweets that get reported on the

because he uses it,” King told On the

Times, and CNN — as “fake news.” In

news. I think he seems more human than

Record during the 2017 Idea Festival.

presidential on Twitter, but a lot of it is

Trump often refers to news

an interview with Mike Huckabee on

In other words, even though

also campaign-like. Usually I’ll see his

the Trinity Broadcasting network,

Trump’s account is partially man-

Trump said, “The media is really,

policy changes and announcements on

aged by his staff, King and others

the word, one of the greatest of all

the news and read it on Twitter. It seems

credit disrespectful or unrevised

terms I’ve come up with, is ‘fake.’”

like most of his policies are pretty much

tweets to Trump himself.

fine, and the news takes it to a level that

It is unclear whether Trump is

With frequent errors, it’s no secret

it really wasn’t intended to be, and then it

saying he created the word “fake” or

that Trump has encountered some

was the first to use the phrase “fake

comes off as like racist or something, but

issues with the spelling and gram-

news,” but both statements are

it’s really not.

mar of his tweets. The more widely

false. According to Merriam-Web-

known errors are “heeling” instead

ster, “fake news” was first used in

information out without a press confer-

of “healing” when Trump referenced

the nineteenth century by newspa-

ence or something. I think Twitter could

the victims of Hurricane Harvey and

pers, and recently “fake news” was

have negative and positive effects on our

“covfefe,” a tweet that he never did

added to online dictionaries and

youth. Everybody checks Twitter, so it’s

explain — mistakes that indicate a

the Associated Press (AP) Style-

a way to get news out... It can negatively

more spontaneous communication

book, a book that gives guidelines

affect them too because there’s a lot of

style than his predecessors.

political correctness and stuff like that.”

to writers for journalistic style. The

Among Louisville youth, some —

definition of “fake news” that the AP

like 16-year-old Ballard junior Trinity

Stylebook provides refers to actual

Olmstead — think casual tweeting

false information.

from the president of the United

Trump has used the term 153 times, according to an Oct. 18 report

States is unacceptable. “Sometimes he comes up with

on Politifact, a non-partisan political

something in his mind and just

fact-checking organization. “Instead

tweets it,” Olmstead said. “It’s some-

of fabricated content, Trump uses

times a mistake, but that shows that

the term to describe news coverage

he’s not actually thinking about what

that is unsympathetic to his admin-

he’s saying. He’s just doing a free for

istration and his performance, even

all and saying whatever he wants to

when the news reports are accu-

say and just thinking that people are

rate,” wrote Politifact editor Angie

gonna like it.”

Drobonic Holon. The AP Stylebook reads, “The term fake news may be used in quotes or as shorthand for the

“Twitter is just an easy way to get

FAKE NEWS?

Aiden Martin, a 16-year-old junior at Atherton High School, thought otherwise. “I only check Twitter for a couple

modern phenomenon of deliber-

seconds a day, just scrolling down,

ate falsehoods or fiction masked as

but I read some of his stuff. It seems

news circulating on the internet.”

totally normal for a president tweet-

9

On The Record


Trinity Olmstead

ing. It’s just the once-in-a-blue

a large amount of the popula-

moon tweets that get reported on

tion expects Trump to tweet using

the news. I think he seems more hu-

proper spelling and grammar and

man than presidential on Twitter.”

to refrain from directly calling out

So, are the content and tone of

16-year-old junior, Ballard High School

“I don’t follow Trump’s

King. In other words, his unorthodox

is Trump redefining presidential

behavior can be confusing because,

communication? We can look at the

well, he’s the president.

situation in different ways. One side

personal Twitter; I only follow the presidential account, @POTUS. I was already following that account when Obama was president, so when Trump became president, I just stayed following because the other account retweets them a lot. “When Trump attacks the media or specific people, that’s just not presidential. Saying messages like ‘Happy Fourth of July’ is presidential. I think teenagers getting information from Twitter instead of news sources is kind of skewed because Trump sugarcoats really big issues.

couldn’t win the nomination. Every

of reaching the youth in an efficient

political consultant told him he

manner, bypassing the media to

couldn’t win the presidency. He did.

portray a more direct relationship

And so, whether you like it or don’t

with the people. This group thinks

like it, he thinks Twitter’s a staple of

that presidential tweeting is okay.

his success,” King said.

he’s really impulsive, which shows up in his spelling errors. He treats Twitter like a free for all. “I definitely think the way presidents communicate with society is changing, and that’s okay, but not in the way that Trump uses Twitter. This is the first president where social media has

it’s just Trump being Trump; either

ter than a technology-obsessed

way, we push our phones back to

teenager, constantly tweeting

the corner of our desks, the screens

comments and opinions in order

now a solid black. Millions of us

to start controversy and disagree-

shove Trump’s latest tweet to the

ments. However, not everyone has

back of our heads and return to our

such an extreme opinion. You may

daily lives. Over time — if his words

lie somewhere in between.

don’t directly affect us — we forget.

an increase in other professionals

cause of a tweet that took seconds

and large organizations who use

to create. We can continue to ask

Twitter to communicate with the

ourselves why Trump uses Twit-

public in an efficient manner. But

ter the way he does and what that

when other public figures tweet,

means for the future, but chances

there isn’t nearly as much back-

are it isn’t going to change. We may

lash or controversy. So what makes

not have the answers right now, but

are okay because all kids look up to the president, and that has to change.”

Read, Like, Retweet, Repeat words by Ella Treinen

Whether to stand or kneel for the

has been transparent in expressing how

national anthem is a choice many people

he feels. In a speech at a Luther Strange

have found themselves making this year. It

rally, he said, “Wouldn’t you love to see

may be NFL players who kneel at a football

one of these NFL owners, when somebody

game or students in class that remain

disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of

glued to their chairs during the pledge of

a bitch off the field right now.” In the fol-

allegiance, but one thing is clear: when it

lowing tweet, he made it crystal clear that

comes to controversy over the flag, we are

he believes sitting or kneeling during the

divided. Donald Trump, on the other hand,

national anthem is unacceptable.

10

deal with consequences that could potentially be life-changing. All be-

and think that disrespectful statements

On The Record

If they do affect us, we are forced to

As times are changing, we have seen

Trump so different? As president,

been extremely prevalent, so youth see it

Maybe it is a strategy, or maybe

Trump is perceived as no bet-

So where do we draw the line?

He never thinks about what he says, so

“Every Republican told him he

perceives Twitter as Trump’s way

On the other end of the spectrum,

it. I still see most of his personal tweets

other Twitter users like Comey and

Trump’s tweets unpresidential, or

President Trump, we are watching. «


»Caption This!

OTR is hosting a caption contest for this editorial cartoon. Email your top idea to ontherecord@manualjc.com. We’ll post the winner alongside the cartoon at ontherecordmag.com. Keep it catchy, keep it clean, keep it clear. We can’t wait to see what you’re thinking.

illustration by Karac Medley

11

On The Record


IN PENCIL AND PICTURE Sagar Patagundi is a 26-year-old Amazon employee. Illustration by SOPHIA FOWLER

&DEFIANT DACAmented

On The Record

12


Threat of a DACA repeal makes teens and families fear for their livelihood. words by MATTIE TOWNSON & YSA LEON ›› design by MIA BREITENSTEIN

R

ight at this moment,

immediately thought of his parents

already made plans for their protec-

someone in your life could

who had been living in the United

tion. If Trump won the election in

be in danger of losing their

States for the majority of his life

November of 2016, Sanchez would

family, their home, their future. You

and had nothing back in Mexico.

move to England and continue his

see them every day, but you may

He thought of the possibility of his

higher education, while his parents

not see their struggles. You may not

parents being deported and having

moved to Canada with his sisters.

know that when they hear a knock at

to take his sisters with them despite

So, when Trump did win, Sanchez

their door, they feel a chill up their

the fact that they were born and

followed through with his plan to

spine. You may not realize that every

raised in America. Everyone around

apply for a visa so he would have the

time they leave the house, they make

him carried on to their next class as

ability to start learning and working

sure to take a set of papers with

if nothing had happened, not real-

in England.

them. They’re your favorite waiter

izing the trauma that awaited Isai

at the local restaurant; they’re your

and his family.

neighbor who sends you cookies on

Sanchez is DACAmented,

The threat of DACA’s repeal, announced on Sept. 5, has the potential to tear Sanchez’s family apart.

holidays; they’re your classmate that

meaning that he is allowed to live

The U.S. government officially

you go to when you need help. You

and work in the United States under

identifies people who are currently

know their name, but you may not

DACA. He moved to America when

under DACA as temporary citizens.

know their status under DACA.

he was only 18 months old. In other

These temporary citizens can stay

Or maybe that person is you.

words, he didn’t have any say in

for two years at a time as long as

According to the United

where he was living. He registered

they renew their DACA papers.

States Citizenship and Immigration

for DACA a month after it was re-

When illegal immigrants register for

Service, the state of Kentucky has

leased, but once his papers expire,

DACA, they are admitting to the gov-

supported more than 6,000 people

his future is in the hands of U.S. Citi-

ernment that they’re illegal immi-

under the executive order DACA,

zenship and Immigration Services

grants. The government knows who

or Deferred Action for Childhood

and Congress.

and where DACA recipients are and

Arrivals. DACA was created in 2012

To qualify for DACA, applicants

when their DACA papers expire, so

by former President Barack Obama

must have begun living in the United

these people are even more at risk

when Congress failed to pass the

States before they turned 16 and

of deportation than other undocu-

Development, Relief, and Educa-

have lived here continuously since

mented people in the United States.

tion for Alien Minors Act, or the

June of 2007. They also must have

Despite these negative aspects,

DREAM Act. DACA aims to protect

been under the age of 31 on June 15,

DACA allows illegal immigrants to

undocumented immigrants who

2012. Under DACA, undocumented

acquire a social security number,

arrive in the U.S. under the age of

immigrants can get a driver’s license,

giving them the opportunity to work

16 from deportation.

worker’s permit, social security

in conventional jobs. Many illegal

number, and many other essential

immigrants who aren’t living under

student at Berea College, quickly

documents they need to live and

DACA tend to stay underground,

glanced down at his phone as he

work in the United States.

meaning that they seek employ-

Isai Sanchez, a 19-year-old

walked to his next class. What he

Sanchez kept telling himself

ment where they’re paid under the

saw on the screen forced him to

that he had known this would hap-

table. With jobs like these, unDACA-

stop in his tracks. Getting to class

pen and that it wasn’t a surprise, but

mented people aren’t paying income

on time was no longer his priority.

it didn’t numb the feelings of worry

tax, which has detrimental effects

Instead he was thinking of his and

and fear racing through his mind.

on the U.S. economy. According to

his family’s future. President Donald

Deep breaths. No need to panic.

Investopedia, a private finance and

Trump threatened to repeal DACA

He picked up the phone and called

investing website headquartered

over Twitter, altering thousands

his parents. Because the Sanchez

in New York City, the underground

of lives in only seconds. Sanchez

family expected the repeal, they had

economy accounts for between 7

13

On The Record


“We don’t need Band-Aids on immigration reform. We need actual policy. -Sassa R., an activist for Mijente

and 11 percent of the economy in

ity of the DACA population — are

the United States, and we lose an

keeping a positive outlook, though

out of the picture for a while, so now

estimated 400 to 500 billion dollars

others view an upbeat perspective

it’s the perfect moment to ask for

in tax revenues every year.

as overly-dismissive.

legalization,” Patagundi said,

Although DACA has produced

really believes in an optimistic-type

from Congress’s possible immigra-

sions, the United States Attorney

culture where everyone can pull

tion bill before March.

General, formally announced the

themselves up by their bootstraps,

threat of a repeal on Sept. 5 at the

and they don’t need any type of help.

Congress by March, the number of

Justice Department of the United

I’m seeing families who just brush

deportations could rise dramatically,

States. Earlier that morning, Trump

this moment off as nothing,” Sanchez

costing the U.S. government billions

tweeted, “Congress, get ready to

said. “While they are keeping

of dollars. According to a study from

do your job — DACA!” Trump was

hope alive, many people have not

the Cato Institute, a libertarian think

originally going to repeal DACA alto-

considered the possible negative

tank headquartered in Washington,

gether, but instead he gave Congress

consequences that could easily

D.C., the immediate deportation

six months to pass a replacement

become a reality.”

of all 800,000 people under DACA

But, contrary to popular

Without a bill proposal from

would cost the United States federal

completely. This ultimatum is al-

belief, not all people under DACA

government over 60 billion dollars.

ready proving difficult for Congress,

come from Latino countries. While

The Cato Institute also predicted an

with a lack of overwhelming partisan

79.4 percent of DACAmented peo-

estimated 280 billion dollar decline

majority and party factions blocking

ple are Mexican, there are many

in economic productivity within the

a straight decision.

other nationalities represented

next decade if all DACAmented peo-

in the DACA community. Some

ple were to be deported. However,

tion activist community expected

countries of origin include Poland,

the deportation of all DACAmented

the eventual repeal of DACA and

the United Kingdom, and South

people is highly unlikely. The

have been patiently waiting for a

Korea. Sagar Patagundi, a 26-year-

number of deportations probably

permanent solution. Sassa R. — an

old Amazon employee, is part of

wouldn’t reach 800,000, and the U.S.

activist for the Latino rights organi-

the 0.4 percent of DACA recipients

would likely spread it out over a long

zation Mijente — commented on the

that, according to Pew Research

period of time.

repeal saying, “Those that have been

Center, come from India.

Many people in the immigra-

in the movement knew that DACA

As an 11-year-old in 2002,

Even a gradual deportation process could have drastic effects

was supposed to be a temporary

Patagundi moved to Ft. Lauderdale,

in our own state, though. According

solution, but it being repealed kind

Florida, from India on a temporary

to the Center for American Pro-

of awakens people, seeing that we

visitor visa. He spent most of his

gress, Kentucky alone would lose

don’t need Band-Aids on immigra-

teenage years in southern Florida

155,574,046 dollars from the Gross

tion reform; we need actual policy.”

and moved to Louisville in 2008 for

Domestic Product — the total value

college. Patagundi’s father tried

of goods and services produced in

Congress is still up in the air, many

for years to get a work permit, but

one year in the United States — and

people under DACA have not final-

when his application was repeat-

2,591 DACAmented workers.

ized plans for their protection in the

edly declined, he was forced to go

United States. Many people within

back to India, leaving behind his

nouncement of the repeal, people

the Latino community — the major-

three sons.

began to speak out in the form of

Because a replacement from

14

describing what he wants to see

significant economic gains, Jeff Ses-

for DACA before shutting it down

On The Record

“The Latino culture, in itself,

“We kind of left our parents

Immediately after the an-


IN PENCIL AND PICTURE Isai Sanchez is a 19-year-old student at Berea College. Illustration by SOPHIA FOWLER

15

On The Record


protests and walkouts. People in

Hargens on Feb. 7, the JCPS Safe

and protect low-income immigrants

Louisville have been organizing

Haven Resolution states that JCPS

from deportation.

their own rallies and marches to

can deny immigration law enforce-

show their support for DACA, but

ment any information regarding

protects your friends, neighbors,

they’re also vocalizing a long-stand-

students’ immigration status in the

coworkers, classmates, and so many

ing desire for Mayor Fischer to

county regardless of whether they’re

young people from potentially

declare Louisville a sanctuary city.

protected under DACA. In effect,

devastating deportation back to a

If Louisville became a sanctu-

“It is important because it

JCPS is a “safe haven” for students

country that they likely don’t even

ary city, it would refuse to cooperate

who are not legal citizens in the

remember,” Ansel said.

with federal immigration agents.

United States.

According to data collected by the

For many DACA recipients, the

Daniel Kemp, a spokesper-

program is their only hope.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center,

son for JCPS, said, “The district

at least 633 counties in the United

is committed to providing a safe,

old student at the University of Louis-

States have policies that limit coop-

nurturing, and welcoming environ-

ville formerly protected under DACA,

eration from local government forc-

ment for all students where they are

has gained her U.S. citizenship after

es with federal authorities regarding

valued, embracing them regardless

moving to America at 8 years old and

illegal immigrants. Though this does

of immigration status, nationality, or

is now pursuing a higher education.

provide a safe space for immigrants,

citizenship status.”

Trump has threatened to pull federal

Jessica Lopez-Ramos, a 19-year-

“Without DACA, I wouldn’t be

Even students who aren’t in

where I am at now,” Lopez-Ramos

funding from the cities that have

JCPS are showing their support for

said. “I’d probably be working a

joined this movement, according

DACA through social media and by

minimum wage job and not be

to CNN. For more about sanctuary

participating in rallies around Lou-

pursuing anything further. I am

cities, read “Should Louisville be a

isville. Brittany Ansel, a 19-year-old

really thankful that DACA brought

Sanctuary City?”

student at the University of Louis-

me these opportunities. Without

ville, has been actively standing up

it, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

ty Public Schools declared itself a

for DACA by posting about it on so-

Lopez-Ramos proves that citizen-

sanctuary school district, which is

cial media and raising money for the

ship is still achievable.

similar to a sanctuary city. Signed

National Immigration Law Center,

For the numerous lives af-

into effect by Superintendent Donna

an organization that helps defend

fected by DACA, the story isn’t over. «

Last February, Jefferson Coun-

SHOULD LOUISVILLE BE

A SANCTUARY CITY? Many groups supporting DACA in Louis-

words by MATTIE TOWNSON, YSA LEON, & EVAN SHOWALTER

state back in February, Trump said, “If they’re

for immigrants and refugees in our city,” Fis-

ville have been speaking out about their desire

going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to

cher said in an interview with On the Record,

for Louisville to declare itself a sanctuary city.

do that… if we have to, we’ll defund.”

citing “unwanted attention” as an issue illegal

The problem is that Louisville would be at risk

In October, California officially labeled

of losing federal funds due to President Donald

itself a sanctuary state and has yet to experi-

Trump’s threat to pull millions of dollars from

ence real backlash from the Trump adminis-

sanctuary city status was unnecessary, because

places that declare themselves sanctuary cities

tration. Still, while there is still possibility of

he assured Louisvillians that the Louisville Metro

or states.

defunding, we should be wary of the potential

Police Department (LMPD) doesn’t work with

effects on our own city.

the federal government to enforce immigra-

Although Trump claims he doesn’t want to defund any cities, this doesn’t mean the

The possibility of Louisville actually

immigrants and refugees would face. From the start, Fischer has said that

tion law. However, a recent report says that the

presidential administration is above cutting

becoming a sanctuary city in the near future,

LMPD has, in fact, been helping federal agents

federal funding.

though, is slim according to Mayor Greg Fischer.

track down illegal immigrants. With this event

After California senators advanced legislation that would make California a sanctuary

On The Record

16

“I have no intention to declare Louisville a sanctuary city, because in my view it’s worse

sparking a new wave of support for labeling Louisville a sanctuary city, the future is uncertain.


17

On The Record


Debate heats up over removal of Confederate statues from cities around the nation. words by CORA KIRBY & EVAN SHOWALTER » design by JESS MAYS

H

undreds of torch-wielding

of the significance the statue has to

ed the anti-fascist counter-

talk about the effects, we need to

the city, the role the person depict-

protesters. Holly McGlawn-

understand the debate.

ed had in the Civil War, and the in-

Fifty-four percent of Ameri-

justices the Confederacy represents.

Anti-Racist Action, witnessed the

cans are opposed to removing

For others, however, that’s still not

protest that night in Charlottes-

Confederate statues according to

enough. There are others across

ville, Virginia on Aug. 11. She saw

an August poll conducted by Reu-

the nation who want the statues to

the orange glow of torches, like

ters, an international news agency

either be removed completely or

a fluorescent fog, lighting up the

headquartered in London, England.

relocated to a museum because they

statue of Robert E. Lee in Emanci-

Within this 54 percent, people have

believe that Confederate statues

pation Park.

a few different reasons for wanting

normalize racism. Similar opinions

the statues to stay. For example,

can be found here in Louisville.

The echoes of chanting from both sides grew louder, and smaller

some view taking down the statues

groups battered each other with

of Confederate soldiers as an at-

Hitler in Germany, so why should we

fists, sticks, batons, and anything

tempt to alter or erase American

have statues of Confederate leaders?”

else they could find to use as weap-

history and culture. Others believe

said Collin Cagata, a freshman at

ons. Others stood apart from the

that the statues are a form of free

the University of Kentucky. “Statues

conflict, watching or recording the

expression. These opinions aren’t

aren’t a way to remember our his-

disturbance. Torches were no longer

necessarily grounded in support

tory, they are a form of glorification.”

a way to cast a light in the darkness;

for the Confederacy.

“I mean there aren’t statues of

the United States. I’m fine with the

How does this affect Louisville and other Kentucky cities?

statues being there, but we should

This debate is happening all over the

testers retreated, but the worst was

not disrespect them,” said Zach

country, and Louisville is no excep-

yet to come. The next day, a white

Schell, a sophomore at Trinity High

tion. For many Louisvillians, there’s

nationalist named James Alex Fields

School. “As a country we should

one specific statue that comes to

Jr. plowed his Dodge Challenger

treat the statues like any other

mind: the John Breckinridge Castle-

through a crowd of counterdemon-

piece of history and use them to

man statue in the Cherokee Park area.

strators, killing Heather Heyer — a

symbolize what we once were, not

32-year-old Charlottesville resident

what we are now.”

instead, they were weapons used to club heads or burn flesh. Shortly after, the counterpro-

18

or historic markers to inform people

across the country, but before we

Zoller, a member of Louisville

On The Record

This event sparked outrage

white supremacists surround-

“They show the history of

The statue is controversial because Castleman was a Confederate

and activist — and injuring 19 others,

But what about the people who

Civil War general, exiled by Abra-

including McGlawn-Zoller, who suf-

do want something to change? Some

ham Lincoln and later pardoned.

fered a broken leg.

want to add to the statues’ plaques

One side argues that the statue is


a symbol of Castleman’s contribu-

essary portal to an unjust, violent

statues. She hopes that the violent

tions to the local area and Cherokee

past, one thing is for certain: the

events in Charlottesville will bring

Park, such as the creation of the

Castleman statue in Cherokee park

awareness to issues that have been

Tyler Park neighborhood and his

is causing a lot of tension and confu-

around for a long time but have not

role as the President of the Board

sion all around the city. And on Aug.

had enough light shed on them.

of Park Commissioners in Louisville

13, these clashing opinions became

for nearly 25 years. However, he

visible in the form of graffiti when

have tried to ignore that this has

also segregated parts of Cherokee

the statue was covered with orange

been a problem and is a rising issue,”

Park. More specifically, Castleman

spots and lines.

McGlawn-Zoller said.

segregated the tennis courts after he saw African-Americans using them. Castleman also called for the construction of his very own statue — the one that now stands in Cherokee Triangle. Quillen Castleman Flanigan, a

“I think for a long time people

I think for a long time people have tried to ignore that this has been a problem and is a rising issue.”

Holly McGlawn-Zoller, Louisville activist

15-year-old sophomore at duPont Manual High School and the greatgreat-nephew of Castleman, believes

But Louisville isn’t the only city

What’s the real question?

that the plaque on the Castleman

in our state where Confederate stat-

Heyer was more than a just a victim

statue should be changed.

ues are causing controversy. Recently,

of the events in Charlottesville. Her

the Confederate statues of John Hunt

death illustrates the hatred that still

the plaque talks about him being

“I’m fine with the statue, but

Morgan and John C. Breckinridge

exists in our country.

in the Confederacy. They need to

were placed in a private storage space

The Confederate statues have

change it to what he did for the

because the city council unanimously

a deeper meaning than just monu-

park, instead of acknowledging

voted to move both monuments out

ments of military leaders in the

him being a Confederate general,”

of downtown Lexington in August. In

South — they’re powerful symbols

Flanigan said.

September, the Lexington Cemetery

that are bringing racial issues to the

Board decided to relocate the statues

surface. Charlottesville showed how

man statue mentions the attempt

to the cemetery where both Morgan

those issues can erupt in violence,

Castleman made to free Confederate

and Breckinridge are buried. The

but that doesn’t have to be the norm.

prisoners, his prison sentence and

statue removal in Lexington has been

Our generation must find a way to

pardoning, and his military history

peaceful — the polar opposite of what

draw the line between American

in Puerto Rico on one side. On the

happened in Charlottesville.

pride and American shame. Our

The plaque on the Castle-

other side, it talks about his stud-

After witnessing the events

past may already be carved in stone,

ies at the University of Louisville

in Charlottesville, McGlawn-Zoller

but our future doesn’t have to be a

and his contributions to our city’s

claimed it was the worst protest

reflection of past mistakes. «

park system.

she’s been to over Confederate

Bill Allison, a retired local civil rights attorney and former elected alderman of the Highlands, believes a major problem with Castleman statue is that people

For more information on the statue situation in Kentucky, check out our video at ontherecordmag.com

don’t understand the man behind the statue. “A lot of people just had no idea,” Allison said, “and I think a

IN STATE STRIFE A statue of Confederate General John B. Castleman stands at

lot of us didn’t even know what

the center of a roundabout at

his background really was until we

Cherokee Park.

started getting together, talking about

Photo by NOAH KECKLER

it, and finding historical resources.” Whether it’s a nostalgic tribute to American history or an unnec-

19

On The Record


ALT -ernating current Leftists Arise to Meet White Supremacists In The Streets. words by KARAC MEDLEY & EUAN DUNN » design by OLIVIA BROTZGE

On The Record

20


F

ascism is rising. It doesn’t feel like this could be our reality, but right-wing extremist organizations in the U.S. continue to disseminate propaganda and misinformation from neo-Nazis and white supremacists. These far-right groups have gained national attention because of clashes with counter-protesters, many of whom are members of antifa groups. The term antifa — short for anti-fascist — refers to

any group of people from a variety

marginalized groups in particular

of ideological perspectives in the

feeling vulnerable to the threat of

U.S. opposing fascism, or radical

deportation, restriction of rights,

authoritarian nationalism. Some are

imprisonment, and racial violence.

even willing to use violence if they

The representation they receive

deem it necessary, arguing that the

from mainstream parties just doesn’t

stakes are too high for civil debate.

cut it anymore, so they’re turning to

Now, following the 2016 election, antifa groups are rising

activism to voice their concerns. Antifa groups have no central

alongside far right groups, seeking

governance. Anti-fascists are not

to tackle issues such as racism,

unified under a leader or ideology

police brutality, and misogyny.

but under a common goal: opposing

So where are antifa groups

fascism. This means that anti-

getting their increased membership?

fascists can come from different

The political landscape left over

political perspectives. In other

from the 2016 presidential and

words, while people who identify

congressional elections — a strong

with the “alt-right” (think white

victory for Republicans — has left

nationalists, neo-nazis, anti-

Illustration by SOPHIA FOWLER

21

On The Record


feminists, etc.) are generally on the

that both the “alt-right” and centrist

far right, people across the political

critics have imposed on leftists and

the news. Although the far right and

spectrum might identify with anti-

anti-fascists. Because “alt-right” is

far left often clash, they have come

fascism, among other causes. It’s

a euphemism and “alt-left” suggests

to resent the traditional Republicans

also important to point out that

an inaccurate comparison, we’ll be

and Democrats with perhaps equal

anti-fascism exists solely to counter

using quotes when using either term

animosity. Violent outbreaks across

fascism, while the “alt-right” is a

from here on out.

the country are causing the media to

full-blown political philosophy.

Most of what antifa members do

It’s the latter that usually makes

heavily report on both the “alt-left”

Sometimes, people refer to antifa

is activism in their own communities.

and the “alt-right,” mostly from a

as the “alt-left,” but this implies an

Any version of antifa will have its

negative standpoint.

equivalency between radicals of the

own strategies that range from

right and left that isn’t there. While

peaceful endeavors — like organizing

Americans nationwide saw the violent

“alt-right” is a word that right-

community projects, providing local

tendencies of the “alt-right” come

wing extremists created to make

support, or collecting information

to a head through a series of white

their group more palatable to the

about right-wing extremists and

supremacist and anti-hate rallies that

general public, “alt-left” is a word

groups — to more violent action.

took place in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On the weekend of Aug. 12,

VIOLENCE BY THE #s VIOLENCE BY THE #s While violence on the left and right is often presented as equivalent, there is a clear, statistical difference between the two sides and how the federal government handles them.

While violence on the left and right is often presented as equivalent, there is a clear, statistical difference between the two sides and how the federal government handles them.

mists decade, extre Over the past erica, 2 people in Am have killed 37 mists tre ex ng wi t with lef percent committing 2 msists treme the, se ofde excri ca de st pa e Over th AGa,UE LEic AmNer inTIO opFAleMA peDE 2TIAN

have killed 37 extremists with left wing percent committing 2 es of these crim LEAGUE N IO AT AM ANTI-DEF

2%

2%

From 2008-2 016, domesti c terrorist charg es were filed 67 percent of the time for left-wing extre mists FrTHom 08-2016, m E IN20 VEST ND estic terrorist IGATIVE FUdo

charges were filed 67 percent of the tim left-wing extre e for mists THE INVESTIG ATIVE FUND

67%

67%

The annual chance of bein murdered by a left-w g ing terrorist is about one in 330 million per year CATO INST IT The UTE

eing nce of b The cha a right-wing in 3 d re e rd one in 3 mu attack is terrorist on per year milli E STITUT CATO IN

annual chan ce of being m1/ ur3 de3re0d by a left-wing terrorist is about one in 330 million per year CATO INSTI TUTE

1/330

Over th e only nine have kil past decade, e From 2008-2016, xtrem led 37 t oris terr with rig 2 people in Am ists percent of domestic h erica, t w in for d g file extr commit charges were ting 74 emists right-wing extremists Over th of these percent e e crimes FUND AN,Tonl have kil past decade, e I-DEyFAnin THE INVESTIGATIVEFrom 2008-2016 xtre led 372 Mist ATION LE ror people ter ic AGUE with rig in Am percent of domest

eing nce of b The cha a right-wing d in 33 murdere ack is one in t att s ri r o a rr e te per y million E STITUT IN CATO

1/33

1/33

for charges were filed s right-wing extremist ND FU IVE AT TIG THE INVES

9%

74%

9%

ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE STATISTICS come from the 2017 report, “Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2016.” THE INVESTIGATIVE FUND STATISTIC comes from the article, “Charlottesville Underscores How Homegrown Hate is Going Unchecked,” June 21, 2017. THE CATO INSTITUTE STATISTIC comes from the article, “Terrorism Deaths by Ideology: Is Charlottesville an Anomaly?”, Aug. 4, 2017

On The Record

22

ht w commit ing extremist ting 74 of these percent crimes ANTI-D EFAMAT ION LEA GUE

74%


propaganda, it also makes many

of people — including our own

of Virginia, white nationalists

On the campus of the University

“alt-right” sentiments visible and

President — get confused.

gathered for a rally to protest the

vulnerable to counter-protest and

potential removal of a statue of

resistance. In fact, just last April,

media blasted President Trump

Confederate Army Gen. Robert E.

ARA disrupted a white supremacist

for failing to immediately condemn

Lee. The protest concluded that

meeting at the Irish Rover on

the actions of white supremacist

night, but the following morning

Frankfort Ave. based on information

and neo-nazis.

anti-hate groups stood, preparing

they found on the neo-nazi website,

to counter. It was at that time that

The Daily Stormer. Also, upon

Trump said about Charlottesville.

one of the white nationalist rally

learning that Kevin Caster’s art

“They came charging at the, as you

participants drove a car through

exhibit at the Tim Faulkner gallery

say, ‘alt-right;’ do they have any

a crowd of counter protesters,

included neo-nazi references,

semblance of guilt?”

injuring 19 and killing Heather Heyer,

like swastikas, ARA demanded via

a Charlottesville resident.

Facebook that the gallery remove

Many clashes had already

his exhibit. Shortly after the Tim

occurred between these groups, but

Faulkner gallery posted on Facebook

the increasingly violent methods and

that it would continue to display

language of the white nationalists

Caster’s art, it received backlash in

culminated in the murder that

the comments section and promptly

occurred in Charlottesville.

made plans to remove Caster’s show.

With the “alt-right” recruiting

Antifa groups have also extended

After Charlottesville, national

“What about the ‘alt-left’?”

What about the ‘alt-left?’ They came charging at the, as you say, the ‘alt-right’? Do they have any semblance of guilt? —PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, at an Aug. 15 press conference

in public spaces like college

their reach using social media,

campuses, there are increasing

spreading rally dates and times,

numbers of protests across

recruitment, donations, and

the nation. Take Dylann Roof, a

propaganda. It is just as effective for

Trump said as justification for

white supremacist who attacked

them as for their enemies.

the white supremacists’ actions,

a church in Charleston, South

Social media is one of the reasons

Many people took what President

equating the counter-protesters

Carolina, primarily attended by

that so many counter-protesters

African-Americans, in 2015. Shortly

showed up in Charlottesville. While

after Roof’s attack on the church,

these people were from different

comparisons between fascists and

thousands marched to Columbia,

places and have had different

anti-fascists, it’s misleading to frame

the capital of South Carolina,

backgrounds with antifa groups,

reactionary hate groups as identical

demanding that the Confederate

they were centralized under a cause

to their opponents. There are two

flag be removed from the front of

that they deemed worthy.

main differences between the

the capitol building. On Jan. 10, the

with those participating in the rally. Despite surface-level

But let’s take it back to before

radical subgroups: uniformity and

date of Roof’s federal sentencing,

the rally at UVA, before Roof’s attack

amount of violence. Like we noted

many stood outside the courthouse

in Charleston, before social media.

earlier, the “alt-left” is generally

awaiting his arrival and the Justice

Radical anti-fascist groups did not

much more decentralized than the

Department’s announcement that

start with Charlottesville — they’ve

“alt-right,” which might explain why

he had been sentenced to death by

been around much longer than you

the “alt-right” is responsible for

lethal injection.

might think.

more organized violence. According

The progression of widespread,

In an article published by the

to Snopes, an online fact-checking

institutional racism throughout

Huffington Post, Paul Jackson,

website, and Marilyn Mayo, senior

the U.S. has encouraged many

a professor at North Hampton

research fellow for the Anti-

people to join local organizations

University who specializes in the

Defamation League’s Center on

in order to protect and promote

history of anti-fascism, described

Extremism, extremists over the past

the rights of marginalized people.

the first anti-fascist groups arising

ten years have killed 372 Americans.

Radical groups such as Louisville’s

in opposition to Italian dictator

Right wing extremists were

chapter of the Anti-Racist Action

Benito Mussolini in the 1920s.

responsible for 74 percent of those

(ARA) and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) focus on direct actions against white supremacy and fascism. While the internet serves a crucial role in the spread of fascist

“As fascism spread,” Jackson wrote, “so did anti-fascism.” But even though anti-fascism has

killings; left wing extremists were responsible for only 2 percent. So, if not violence, what exactly

existed almost as long as fascism,

should we look for when identifying

that doesn’t mean the two sides

these leftist groups? Let’s look at a

are equivalent. This is where a lot

few of the most well-known “alt-

23

On The Record


left” organizations. Some members

“My view and the view, I think,

of antifa groups, including Heather

of DSA is that the best way to stop

Heyer, are often affiliated with more

fascism is to pull it out by the root.

“I was a bit surprised,” Bush

centrally-organized leftist groups,

I think that you do that by building

said. “We had really only seen that

like the Industrial Workers of the

working class solidarity,” said Jake

term really used by sort of centrist,

World (IWW).

Bush, chair of the Louisville DSA

liberal, kind of Democrats who

chapter. “Even over a hundred years

were trying to bring some sort of

“one big union.” It was created by

ago, when there were people alive

equivalence from the ‘alt-right’ to

progressives and socialists in 1905

who were slaves just a few decades

the ‘alt-left.’”

and has been primarily involved

before that, they were organizing

in organizing strikes and other

workers of all colors, genders,

within the media have equated

demonstrations for workers’ rights.

nationalities, immigration status. It

the strategies of Bernie Sanders

didn’t matter to them.”

supporters, self-avowed socialists,

The IWW refers to itself as

Members of the IWW were given the nickname “Wobblies” —

The DSA has continued to

Centrists and moderates

and anarchists to those white

grow over the past year, especially

supremacists and Trump

because of the W’s in IWW.

considering the controversial

supporters. According to Bush,

They’ve been involved in many left

outcome of the election, which

the “alt-right” and “alt-left” labels

activist movements throughout

Bush believes to be misunderstood

are meant to mark people as

America. Currently, they have been

at times.

refusing to align themselves with

“I think a lot of people have this

the established norms of American

tional corporations like Starbucks

very surface level understanding

and Jimmy Johns. The IWW is one of

of what people’s objections to

a myriad of left-wing groups that

Donald Trump’s administration

really just indicating that these

isn’t directly affiliated with the

are or should be,” Bush said. “I

are people that don’t believe in

Democratic Party, along with Social-

know that I was one of these

our current political system,”

ist Alternative (SAlt) and the Demo-

people who was a bit naive… when

Bush said. “[They] don’t believe

cratic Socialists of America (DSA).

I saw Donald Trump I thought,

in the establishment and don’t

‘This is absurd, we have never

fall in that little Overton window

seen anything like this.’ Then you

from Obama to George W. Bush. If

go back through history and the

there is anything at all that I share

Obama administration, the Bush

with the ‘alt-right,’ it’s that I don’t

administration, Clinton, H.W. Bush,

believe the current political system

Reagan, and all the way back, it’s

is going to work. I think it’s failing

always been this way. It’s just that

very quickly, and I think that

Donald Trump says the loud part

it needs to be replaced with some-

quiet and the quiet part loud.”

thing better.”

Applying the ‘alt-’ prefix is really just indicating that these are people that don’t believe in our current political system. — JAKE BUSH, Louisville chair, Democratic Socialists of America

Donald Trump has continuously The DSA has been involved with

political discourse. “Applying the ‘alt-’ prefix is

This year has thrust many of

made inciting statements on

us into a political situation of

multiple legislative and anti-hate

Twitter, on television, and over the

high anxiety, pulling us toward

campaigns in recent years, including

radio that have provoked everyone

and away from numerous sides.

its endorsement of Senator Bernie

from ordinary citizens to world

It seems like we must choose

Sanders during the 2016 presidential

leaders. His approval rating hovers

who we are with and who we are

election. It is committed to the

around 40 percent, very low for

against. It is true, our political

implementation of socialism

this point in his tenure compared

environment is divisive, but what

in democracy as a solution to

to former presidents. However,

we must remember is that change

discrimination and hegemony, or the

as president, he should still be

is best effected through unity. And

dominance of one group in society.

held to the same standards as

whichever direction our country

his predecessors, and his critics

is headed in, left or right, right

themselves as larger scale efforts of

do not always acknowledge this.

or wrong, we are all still heading

anti-fascism and practice different

As Bush said, many of Trump’s

there together. If citizens of the

methods than those of smaller,

“outrageous” sentiments would be

U.S. continue to polarize towards

localized antifa groups. While many

totally acceptable coming from the

the extremes of both the left and

branches of antifa are open to

mouths of those with greater tact.

the right, further escalation of

violence if there is a just cause, the

Many have attributed the origin

violent political clashes will almost

DSA views it as a last resort.

of the word “alt-left” to President

Organizations like the DSA view

24

equating the far left and far right.

attributed to numerous sources —

working to form unions at interna-

On The Record

Trump, but he is not alone in

certainly ensue. «


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On The Record


OUT OF SIGHT. O words by MELISSA SCANIMANICO & JEDIAH HOLMAN » design by PATRICK HARPER & LAUREN HUNTER

On The Record

26


OUT OF MIND.

Teens struggle to see the importance of international conflict through the lens of modern media.

I

n the blink of an eye, the Atari and newspapers of our parents’ childhoods transformed into the internet and 24-hour news we know today. With a swipe and a tap, information they had to sift through libraries for is at our fingertips: no post or show is offlimits. We find ourselves in a new age of innovation, one defined by instant access and constant streaming of news and events. Everything being just a Google search away means we are constantly in the loop, whether we seek news or not. Over the past decade, social media has become an integral part of U.S. culture. According to a 2015 Pew Research Study, 94 percent of teens go online everyday, which means the information on these outlets plays an enormous role in our mindsets. But with so many platforms reporting thousands of different stories every day, how do we figure out which topics are the most important? The unfortunate answer is that we usually don’t. According to Jason Gainous, a political science professor at the University of Louisville (UofL), the media is profit-motivated and “is simply responding to public demand” rather than what’s most newsworthy. Gainous is referring to populist journalism, which prioritizes what the audience wants over what is most important. While not all modern journalism is populist, Gainous claims this form of reporting is dominating the media. He says if a story resonates with the audience, “the media will keep playing it because they get attention, ratings, and ultimately sales.” Take clickbait for example: millions of us read stories about celebrities every day, but when it comes to complex explanations of foreign affairs, we won’t bother. According to a 2017 survey by Global Shapers, an international youth organization backed by the World Economic Forum, only 4.6 percent of American millennials (born between 1981- 1997) deemed “large scale conflict/wars” to be the most important issue in the world today. In our defense, staying informed on foreign affairs and international conflict is difficult in the era of social media and televised news. According to Dr. Jason Abbott, a political science professor at UofL, modern media is appealing to us because it’s

Photo illustration by Lauren Hunter

quick and easy, but it’s “simply not set up to explain the intricacy

27

On The Record


This means that, for any of us under 17, our entire lives have

“War is just happening and we don’t really think much about it. That is just what we do. The new world is war; war is all the time.” - Jason Gainous, political science professor at University of Louisville

been spent in international con-

for the Veterans Community Alli-

flict. The War on Terror has been

ance of Louisville, has noticed a shift

a significant part of the political

in military procedure as well. He

climate during our upbringing,

stated that the war in Afghanistan

so it’s surprising that we’re not

is “more strategic in nature and con-

up to speed. Honestly, most of

ducted by a much smaller military

us know as much about the war

against a specific enemy,” compared

in Afghanistan as we know about

to Vietnam and the world wars.

Walkmans and Beanie Babies. And while it may be a good thing we

fare is simply not needed in Afghani-

trends, it is concerning that we

stan. For nearly two generations,

of foreign conflict.” In other words,

don’t show interest in why America is

no American has been drafted for

we gravitate toward quick answers

at war in the Middle East.

service, and therefore, according to

Of course, the conflict in Afghan-

simply not available when it comes

istan is not the only complicated war

Gardiner, only “a small percentage of Americans have ever served, have

to international conflict like the

on America’s timeline — think about

a family member that has served, or

war in Afghanistan. The Afghani

how long it takes to explain the

even know anyone that has served.”

conflict is not a problem that can be

world wars in history class. However,

As a result, we millennials and teens

explained within the 280 character

the nature of war has shifted since

of Generation Z (born 1995-2010)

limit of a Twitter post, making it dif-

the 20th century, and frankly this

lack a personal connection to the

ficult for social media platforms to

new type of combat has not sparked

armed forces and, consequently,

adequately keep us up-to-date. So

our interest.

insight about what war entails.

it’s no surprise that we lack an indepth understanding of the war. If you are not an international

An indifference to war is unique

This disconnect makes sense,

to our generation and contradictory

considering we are less likely to

to the traditional American mindset.

know a soldier and therefore less

affairs fanatic, the war in Afghani-

Past wars were always hot topics

likely to grieve the death of one.

stan can be downright confusing.

in the news and American society

The most recent numbers from the

Heck, even some adults are con-

whether they represented victory,

Department of Veteran Affairs show

fused, and they’re the ones voting

loss, pride, or polarization. When

that in the four years of World War

for politicians who have a say in

Americans shipped their loved ones

II, 291,557 soldiers died in battle

the issue. Nonetheless, it’s never

off to fight in World War II, they had

compared to the 6,915 lost thus far

too late to be informed.

an immediate personal connection

in the War on Terror. Of course, the

to the conflict. While the deaths

number of fallen soldiers does not

century, the U.S. has had troops

were tragic, the country was unified

diminish the significance of what is

stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq

in fighting against a common enemy.

going on in the Middle East or the

to engage in what former President

By contrast, during the Vietnam War,

bravery of modern soldiers. Howev-

George W. Bush’s administration

the struggle for peace divided us

er, Gainous claims that our interest

For the majority of the 21st

referred to as the “War on Terror.”

and tore the country apart. People

in conflict is in part driven by how

In short, the war in Afghanistan

chanted, “Make Love, Not War,” and

many American lives are being lost,

was prompted by the 9/11 terrorist

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to the

saying, “Our count is not what it

attacks which led the U.S. to invade

American public, calling for peace.

was in World War I, World War II,

Afghanistan, remove the Taliban,

Whether citizens wanted boots on

or Vietnam.”

and chase Osama bin Laden into

the ground or signs in the air, their

Granted, the war in Afghanistan

hiding near the border of Afghani-

passionate responses reflected the

stan and Pakistan. After years of

reality of a war that everyone could

of life on American soil, but that

investigation by U.S. intelligence,

find a stake in.

doesn’t mean the conflict across

American troops found and killed

28

The amount of manpower that was required for 20th century war-

are clueless about old pop culture

to complex problems — a luxury

On The Record

Scott Gardiner, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran and current co-chair

Decades later, the war in

does not directly threaten the safety

the ocean isn’t costing us trillions

bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2,

Afghanistan evokes a different reac-

of dollars and thousands of lives.

2011. Even without this threat, the

tion from the public. We have lost a

The war in Afghanistan has killed

U.S. has maintained military pres-

connection to war that was evident

thousands of innocent Afghani

ence in Afghanistan ever since our

in the past. And public sentiment

citizens, destroyed their country’s

initial invasion in 2001.

isn’t the only thing changing.

infrastructure, and set them up for


years of political instability. Despite

World War II movie “Dunkirk” in the

its humor burned out, and most of

the costs, we as Americans have lost

comfort of a reclined theater seat or

the online world lost interest in the

interest: the war in Afghanistan has

played Call of Duty with our friends.

story. We know the idea of a war

simply become old news.

We no longer see war as a part of

sparked by a Twitter fight seems

the present, but instead something

impossible, but maybe we shouldn’t

faraway, both in terms of physical

be taking North Korea’s threats

It has been nearly two decades since the war in Afghanistan began, and, according to Abbott, there is no

and historical distance. This senti-

as a joke — after all, they do have

indication that we are even close to

ment extends beyond the war in

weapons of mass destruction. We

a solution. In fact, the most recent

Afghanistan and can be found in the

have never overlooked the threat of

news regarding the war discussed

way we react to incoming threats,

bombs in the past, so why are we

plans that would likely fuel more

like those from North Korea.

starting now?

battle, not stop it. President Donald

Over the past few years, North

Abbott feels that modern youth

Trump has yet to sign a bill, but his

Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has

tend to view nuclear weapons as a

administration has specified that

dramatically increased the coun-

relic of the past rather than a threat to the present.

there will be about 4,000 more

try’s missile development efforts.

soldiers deployed to Afghanistan

North Korea’s impending status as

He suggests this detachment

as reinforcement to the 8,500 U.S.

a full nuclear-power state has in-

is why nuclear threats from North

service members currently in the

creasingly endangered world peace

Korea “do not weigh on younger

region. His decision to boost troop

and the United States. On Dec. 1,

people’s shoulders the way they

numbers is a response to a concern

North Korea test launched Hwa-

would have on teens of past genera-

with the rising power of the Taliban

song-15, the first intercontinental

tions... who lived in a hot period of

in the region.

ballistic missile able to reach any

conflict between the U.S. and Soviet

target in the continental U.S. This

Union” from 1947-1991.

On the surface it seems that deploying more soldiers will just

unsettling breakthrough should

prolong the war; however, Trump

be a wakeup call for us. But, if our

startled the entire country at the

hopes it will lead to relative peace

president doesn’t take it seriously,

peak of the war, when the fear of

in the Middle East, saying, “From

why should we?

now on, victory will have a clear

Trump gave past missile tests,

A threat like this would have

nuclear attack was ever-present. During the ‘60s, schools took pre-

definition: attacking our enemies,

such as Hwasong-14, plenty of

cautionary measures, even imple-

obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda,

attention on social media, yet his

menting bomb drills for student safety. Today, this fear is not palpa-

preventing the Taliban from taking

tweets still suggest a failure to

over the country, and stopping mass

recognize the gravity of the threats.

ble; threats don’t grasp our atten-

terror attacks against Americans

He even took a jab at the North Ko-

tion, and eventually

before they emerge.”

reans, tweeting, “Just heard Foreign

we forget about them.

We can only hope that Trump’s

Minister of North Korea speak at

At the rate we

plan will be the beginning of the end.

U.N. If he echoes thought of Little

are going, Americans

However, for the American people,

Rocket Man, they won’t be around

could become desen-

the light at the end of the tunnel

much longer,” in reference to North

sitized to all issues

can be hard to see. According to

Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

Gainous, the war has been going on

Trump’s snarky remark took

that are not constantly piquing our

for so long that instead of seeking

an unexpected turn when North

interest. As Genera-

a solution we have “just normalized

Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho,

tion Z, we are quickly

the idea of this perpetual war.”

told reporters that the tweet was a

turning into the vot-

declaration of war against his country,

ers and lawmakers of

American lives, but as it becomes

and that North Korea “will have every

modern America. It is

normalized, we don’t necessarily feel

right to make countermeasures.”

time to step outside

War hasn’t ceased to be a part of

the need to indulge in the details. “We are desensitized to it,” Gainous

By the end of the online exchange, media outlets ranging

of our bubble and inform ourselves of the

claims. “War is just happening, and

from The Guardian to Buzzfeed

issues that will shape

we don’t even really think much

had reported on the story — but

the future of our

about it. That is just what we do. The

not for the reasons you would

country. After all, just

new world is war; war all the time.”

think. Articles and tweets revolved

because some things

around Trump’s Twitter drama, and

are out of sight, does

thought or heard about war was as

the threats from North Korea were

not mean they should

we watched Christopher Nolan’s

swept up in the comedy. Eventually,

be out of mind. «

For many of us, the last time we

29

On The Record


!

Extra Extra Read All About It A brief introduction to American conflicts overseas.

Iraq

In March of 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq based on the notion that Saddam Hussein, the authoritarian leader of Iraq, had acquired weapons of mass destruction — a potential threat to the United States. The government hoped to kill Hussein, eliminating threats from Iraq. American forces captured him in December of 2006 and turned him over to Iraqi authorities,for execution. Though the initial threat was destroyed, The United States lacked a comprehensive post-war plan for rebuilding the country's infrastructure.

North Korea

Tensions surrounding nuclear weapons have been running high between North Korea and the United for more than ten years. Both countries signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act — an act to stop the spreading of nuclear weapons — but North Korea stopped participating in the treaty when they tested their first nuclear weapon in October 2006. They’ve tested over 25 missiles since. Now that North Korea has weapons that could reach the United States, the government is contemplating on how to resolve the conflict. Trump has commented that “all options are on the table” and the “era of strategic patience is over,” suggesting the potential for conflict with North Korea.

On The Record

30

Russia Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union in the ‘90s, the U.S. and Russia have maintained diplomatic trade relations. However, our relationship with Russia has been heavily based on disagreements over many issues, such as nuclear weapons in Iraq and the Syrian Civil War. During his campaign, President Donald Trump spoke highly of Vladimir Putin and said he would bring relations with Russia out of their post-Cold War negativity. Instead, the Trump administration is under a cloud of allegations about possible secret relations between the Trump presidential campaign and Russians.

Afghanistan

On September 11, 2001, members of the Islamic terrorist group, al-Qaida, hijacked four U.S. airplanes. President George W. Bush considered this a declaration of war against the United States. The U.S. government responded by attacking the Taliban — the ruling power in Afghanistan at the time — and al-Qaida forces. Our efforts in Afghanistan have been carried out in phases.

Phase One (2001): The first phase lasted two months and aimed destroy the ultra-conservative Taliban who were providing sanctuary for al-Qaida. Phase Two (2002-2008): This phase strategically defeated the Taliban military and began rebuilding the core of the Afghan state and government we had just torn apart. Phase Three (2008-present): Phase three consists of efforts to protect the population from Taliban attacks reintegrate people into Afghan society.


BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET Recent threats of government shutdown leave us wondering how the federal budget actually works.

words by CAMERON DANIEL & EVAN SHOWALTER » design by JESS MAYS

W

e hear television anchors,

should spend and where that money

islation, so they have to be funded

radio show hosts, and our own

should go. At that point, the pro-

each year with as much money as

parents talking about budgets.

posal is simply a request outlining

they need. Mandatory spending also

Generally, we know that “budget”

where the president would like for

covers interest on the $20 trillion

means a certain amount of money

money to go — Congress has to ap-

(yes, you read that correctly, $20

set aside for a specific purpose. Your

prove the budget to make it official.

trillion) in loans that the United

So, how does the federal

States has yet to pay back. This

parents might have a weekly grocery budget, for example. Okay, that’s

budget work? To start with, there

interest accounts for about six per-

easy. We’ve got that. But what does

are two types of government spend-

cent of the U.S. budget and doesn’t

it mean for a nation like ours to have

ing: mandatory and discretionary.

help the country in any way other

Mandatory spending makes

than keeping it from defaulting on

a budget? Where does the money come from? Where does it go? The

up about two-thirds of the budget

its loans, so a good chunk of govern-

federal budget can get confusing.

and covers all of the government

ment revenue goes toward interest

programs that absolutely must be

rather than beneficial programs

begins with the president submit-

funded each year, like Social Secu-

every year.

ting a proposal to Congress at the

rity, Medicare, Medicaid, and food

beginning of the year laying out the

stamp programs. These programs

on the other hand, is money that

amount of money the government

are promised to Americans in leg-

Congress has the option to allocate

The process of federal funding

Discretionary spending,

31

On The Record


each year to different areas, like

Public education, transportation,

under this administration, it’s a dif-

transportation, NASA, or defense.

and scientific research are also

ferent story.

These programs cannot spend more

covered by discretionary spending,

than Congress offers them, and the

but they receive significantly less

into multiple factions, which are

amount they get changes annually

than defense.

essentially subgroups representing

depending on the current needs and interests of the country, not necessarily the current needs and interests of the program. Regardless of the party in

2017 budget crisis

Both major parties are split

different types of liberalism or conservatism. Because of these factions,

Okay, great, we’ve got the definition

the Republican party is a politi-

down. But what is going on with the

cally diverse entity encompassing

current federal budget?

Tea Party conservatives, far-right

power, most of our discretionary

In his campaign, President

extremists, center-right stalwarts,

spending goes toward our defense

Donald Trump touted the idea of

and others, making it hard for its

budget, which includes the De-

funding a wall along the Mexican-

members to make decisions easily.

partment of Defense, Homeland

U.S. border. In fact, his conservative

The border issue has only added to

Security, the FBI, and terrorism-

position on immigration was one of

the growing partisanship within the

prevention projects. The amount of

the defining factors of his candidacy.

party. Thus, decisions aren’t as easy

defense spending still might fluctu-

Now — a quarter of the way through

to come by as we may think.

ate based on our political relation-

Trump’s presidency — the govern-

ships or the threat of war for that

ment has made no progress on that

worth of Mexican-U.S. wall is easier

specific year. The United States’ de-

project. With a Republican presi-

said than done — it would cost

fense fund is currently larger than

dent, House, and Senate, you would

money (tens of billions of dollars,

the next eight countries combined,

expect the government to make

actually) that many members of

making it the largest in the world.

decisions without much debate, but

Congress are not willing to spend on

Building thousands of miles

words by LUCY CALDERON » design by JESS MAYS Picture this: you are going to the movies with

picture one trillion 20 times, and that’s our na-

your friend. While in line to buy tickets, you real-

tional debt.

ize you left your wallet at home! The movie will be

The movie example is simple and easy

starting shortly, leaving you no time to grab your

to grasp, but it’s unrealistic when it comes to

wallet. Your friend, being the amazing friend he/

comparing it to the federal budget. We know you

she is, buys your ticket for you and tells you to

would not go to the movies enough to the point

pay him/her back. Phew. You can see the movie.

that you owed a friend 20 trillion dollars (at least

Your adult movie ticket costs $10, so you

we hope not). The monstrous U.S. debt has

just need to remember to bring your friend the

accumulated over many years, and

money when you see him/her next. That’s no big

now it has gotten to the point

deal, because you have the money. What happened

where the word “extreme”

between you and your friend was a simple loan.

is an understatement.

Well, when it comes to the federal budget,

When it comes

life isn’t as simple as a trip to the movies with a

to balancing the U.S.

friend. The United States currently has various

budget, how would you

loans with various countries adding up to a debt

choose which debt to

of over 20 trillion dollars.

pay off, which programs

The number one trillion is a one followed by 12 zeros. TWELVE: 1,000,000,000,000! Now

On The Record

32

to cut, and which departments to fund?

Illustration by LUCY CALDERON


ON

+$52.7 Billion Increase in department of defense budget

+$2.6 Billion

+$2.8 billion

To build a border wall between the US and Mexico

Increase in department of homeland security spending

+$250 MIllion

+$171 MIllion

To study and expand private school vouchers

$

$

$

$

Towards short-term detention space

+$15 MIllion

+$80 Million

mandatory nationwide use of the E-verify Program

Towards 75 new immigration judges

S ’ P M U R T

PROPOSED 2018

BUDGET ABC 123

-$2.5 Billion cut from the enviroNmental protection agency

-$2.4 Billion -$9 Billion

-$6.2 Billion

Cut from overall education spending

cut from the department of housing and urban development

-$800 Billion

-$11.5 Billion cut from the department of state and international aid

Cut from the department of labor

-$9.2 billion cut from the department of education

Cut from medicaid From CNN Politics, “Trump’s budget by the numbers: What gets cut and why,” May 24, 2017.

33

On The Record


border protection. Many strict eco-

Trump has threatened shutdown

America Great Again”), Americans

are insistent upon a balanced budg-

and then shied away: in May, he

are wondering what changes will be

et, while others prioritize fulfilling

made the same statement when

made in 2018 and how these changes

their promises to the people of the

Congress did not put away $1.6 bil-

will affect their lives.

United States, and of course there

lion of the May through September

First and foremost, the presi-

are plenty of groups in between.

budget for construction of the wall.

dent’s 2018 proposal plans for a 3.6

Threats of shutdown have left

trillion spending reduction by year

caused recent hostile disagreements

many citizens to consider the federal

2028, cutting money from programs

between Republicans, prompting

budget and how it could affect them.

that do not “drive opportunity and

Trump to make a startling claim a

What does Trump’s presidency mean

faster economic growth” and raising

few months ago: if Congress couldn’t

for our budget? How will 2018 be dif-

funds for those that promote U.S.

agree to make room in the budget

ferent from the past? What does this

safety and job growth.

for the wall, he would temporarily

mean for our families?

shut down the federal government. For us, that could mean the shutdown of public libraries, parks, and

Trump’s budget plans

The proposed budget would put even more money into national defense with a $639 billion annual

The president’s 2018 Budget Pro-

fund. That’s $52 billion more than

zoos, as well as lowered wages for

posal Overview states, “The 2018

the 2017 budget proposed by former

government employees.

budget… ensures that the federal

President Barack Obama. The new

government spends precious tax-

budget also greatly adds to border

two days after making this claim,

payer dollars only on worthwhile

security and immigration enforce-

the White House notified Congress

policies, and in the most efficient,

ment funds, including the $1.6 billion

that a government shutdown would

effective manner.” But what exactly

for the southern border wall that

not be necessary. The executive

are these “worthwhile policies”?

was left out of the March budget.

officials still made it clear, though,

Because the Trump administration

that the wall is one of the presi-

is interested in breaking from the

with all of those funds going toward

dent’s top priorities.

economic policies of the previ-

defense means money has to be

On Aug. 24, however, only

“ TALKING TO PEOPLE OF POWER In an interview with On the Record, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer discusses how Trumps proposed budget could affect Louisville and the rest of the country. “The big issue with the budget is that its dependent on tax reform and the tax reform looks like it ... can really be damaging to middle income and working poor and poor families as well,” Fischer said, “so in my mind those are priorities that are out of whack.” Photo by Noah Keckler

34

ous administration (hence “Make

nomic conservatives in Washington

This wide spectrum of ideologies has

On The Record

This is not the first time that

This budget has got a lot of issues in it. There’s going to be a lot of negotiations that take place before it’s final. Mayor Greg Fischer

The overall budget cut paired


taken from somewhere, so what

doesn’t look like they’re going to have

in Louisville” when the Affordable

programs could lose money this year

positive effects. The cut to Medicaid,

Care Act was passed, he said, “so

under Trump’s proposal?

which provides health care to kids in

more and more people have access

Funding for the Environmental

low income families, is one example

to health care which keeps them

Protection Agency (EPA), the United

of a change that could greatly affect

healthier, obviously, and out of the

States’ regulating agency for envi-

youth in Kentucky.

emergency room, so that helps

ronmental sustainability and conser-

The proposed budget plans to

our city.” The changes to health care

vation, will be cut by nearly a third if

cut $800 billion from Medicaid. Basi-

this budget proposal is passed. The

cally, Medicaid is a social health care

law are concerning for low-income

proposed EPA budget of $5.655 bil-

program for people in the United

Louisvillians and Americans of all

lion is $2.6 billion less than the 2017

States who are in need of immediate

ages, but the budget could hit col-

EPA budget. Under this cut, environ-

health care, but cannot afford it.

lege students especially hard.

mental projects would be controlled

A portion of Medicaid is also

Trump wants to stop subsidiz-

mainly by individual states rather

used in public schools to provide

ing the interest on many student

than the federal government.

expensive equipment and classes

loans, which means college stu-

that are required for special educa-

dents will be responsible for any

ones affected. Trump also proposed

tion in grades K-12. Many public

interest that accumulates on their

to cut the previously 74-billion-dol-

schools rely on this Medicaid

loans. Many students across the

lar education budget by 13.5 percent

reimbursement. Trump’s proposed

country depend on subsidized loans

($9.2 billion), which will directly

budget will make it harder for

considering the high prices of tui-

impact students like us across the

schools to apply for reimbursement

tion and the typically high interest

country. Education cuts can mean

from Medicaid, forcing schools

rates on loans.

less electives, bigger class sizes, or

to either shrink or cut important

inadequate supplies and infrastruc-

programs to pay for special educa-

to cut the Public Service Loan For-

ture in schools.

tion services and classes, which are

giveness program, which is used to

required by federal law.

“forgive” students who borrow loans

EPA efforts aren’t the only

While some of the 2018 spending cuts may have negative effects

The Medicaid cuts have the

Trump’s new budget also plans

if they serve for a decade in govern-

for public programs or American

potential to also affect a large por-

ment or for a nonprofit. Without

individuals, many believe that cuts are

tion of Kentucky’s non-student

loan assistance, many students will

necessary for balancing the United

population. As Kentucky is the home

come out of college at a severe dis-

States’ budget. Others argue that

to some of the poorest counties in

advantage due to their accumulated

funding government programs can

the country, Medicaid is widely used

student debt.

benefit the overall economy because

in our state. In fact, 1.4 million Ken-

successful initiatives bring in significant tax revenue. Of these options,

tuckians are recipients of Medicaid. Let’s look at the effects on a

Americans currently owe over $1.45 trillion in student loan debt, and the average amount of debt

Trump’s administration seems to be

more local level. Without health care

per student is $37,172, just under a

focused on cutting funds rather than

aid, a large portion of Louisville’s

year’s salary for the average Ameri-

investing, meaning that we could see

population could be completely

can worker. The new budget, while

some changes­­— even in our own city.

uninsured. To better understand the

it may make some necessary cuts,

effects Medicaid cuts could have on

could unfortunately make it more

Louisvillians, we can look the the

difficult for students to pursue

Not everyone is for the new budget.

Affordable Care Act (also known as

higher education.

In fact, Louisville’s Democratic

Obamacare), a federal statute that

mayor, Greg Fischer, is concerned

has increased Medicaid accessibility.

how a huge national issue like the

with the proposal.

The Affordable Care Act has recently

federal budget might affect their

been a topic of discussion in govern-

families, their schools, and them-

sues in it. There’s going to be a lot of

ment, and its fate could affect mil-

selves. Something needs to change

negotiations that take place before

lions of Americans, including those

in order to balance our budget, but

it’s final,” Fischer said.

in our own city.

those changes could have serious

What does this mean for us?

“This budget has got a lot of is-

What are these issues? How is

“There’s continued efforts to

Many students may not realize

effects on people throughout the

Trump’s new budget going to affect

try to repeal the Affordable Care Act

country. If this budget passes — and

us, as the youth of Louisville and

as well, which is really important to

if you’re paying attention — you will

Kentucky? The proposed budget

our city,” Fischer said.

definitely see the effects in your

cuts actually have a lot to do with Louisville youth, but, unfortunately, it

“Our uninsured went from about 18 percent to 6 percent here

community,»maybe even in your own home.

35

On The Record


A PREGNANT

PAUSE

words by CAMERON DANIEL & AUDREY CHAMPELLI » design by JESS MAYS

A On The Record

36

Kentucky requirements for abortion clinics threaten the future of American reproductive healthcare. bortion: we don’t tend to talk

age of 20. More still will consider

per year, and the decline hasn’t

about it unless we’re interested

abortion, but face too many road-

slowed. The current anti-abortion

in rehashing the morality debate. The

blocks to follow through. Abortion

presidential administration is

specifics of abortion politics can eas-

is an issue that affects people across

continuing to jeopardize the future

ily slide by undetected. But over the

our country, in our state, in our city

of these facilities. Just this past

course of this year, roughly 700,000

— people our age. So we are going to

April, President Donald Trump

women in the U.S. will receive abor-

talk about it — just the facts.

nullified a rule created by the Obama

tions. They may travel across coun-

Between 2011 and 2014, the

administration that protected

ties, cities, or even state lines to get

number of abortion clinics in the

Planned Parenthood and other

proper treatment. Of these women,

United States dropped from 1720

reproductive health care clinics.

about 18 percent will be under the

to 1671. That’s more than 15 clinics

Basically, he made it a lot easier


for the government to pull funding

with state budget cuts, but Bevin’s

from facilities that offer things like

spokespeople denied these allega-

has been clear in the past about

contraception, STD testing, and

tions. Currently, Planned Parenthood

his moral opposition to abortion,

fertility health care. Now, we are

refers abortion patients to EMW. The

and his opinion isn’t surprising

feeling this hostility towards abortion

only problem now is that EMW is fac-

seeing as Kentucky’s population is

rights and overall reproductive health

ing an almost identical fight with the

widely conservative. The plaintiffs

care in our own state.

state over the struggle to obtain their

claim that because Bevin disagrees

own transfer agreement.

with abortion and has much of the

A little over 3,000 women in Kentucky receive abortions each year, but unlike states such as New York and California, which each have over

An uphill battle

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin

state on his side, he and the state government are merely using the

About a year after Planned

transfer agreements as an excuse to

90 clinics, Kentucky doesn’t have

Parenthood’s abortion license was

close down the last abortion clinic

many clinics for women to choose

revoked, the Kentucky Cabinet for

in Kentucky.

from. In fact, Kentucky only has one.

Health and Family Services came to

After being subject to these

EMW Women’s Surgical Center here

EMW with the same complaint: the

accusations for the first two trial

in downtown Louisville is Kentucky's

clinic needed a transfer agreement

days, the defendant, the Kentucky

sole abortion provider, and now its

or its abortion license would be

Cabinet for Health and Family

existence is being threatened. Louis-

terminated. EMW promptly sued

Services, got the chance to make

ville also has a Planned Parenthood

the state government on March 29,

their case. With one witness, their

facility with an up-to-date abor-

and Planned Parenthood joined. The

portion of the trial took only a few

tion ward. They’re just not allowed

intense, three-day trial began

tense hours.

to use it. Earlier this year, the State

on Sept. 6.

Health Department revoked Planned

The plaintiffs, EMW and Planned

Parenthood’s abortion license for

Parenthood, argued that Kentucky

the same reason that it might soon

needs easily accessible abortion

revoke EMW’s: failure to obtain a

clinics because many women do

transfer agreement.

not have adequate transportation,

What’s a transfer agreement?

monetary means, or time to travel to another state. EMW passion-

The law already says if you go to the hospital for any reason, if you show up at an emergency room, the hospital has to treat you.” Elizabeth Watson

the American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing EMW

A transfer agreement is a contract

ately fought for abortion procedure

between an abortion clinic and a

access because they believe that,

nearby hospital stating that, in the

without it, the reproductive rights

the defense is that a transfer

case of a medical complication dur-

of women in Kentucky — and in the

agreement is important in sustain-

ing an abortion, the woman would

nation — would be in jeopardy.

ing the health and safety of women

be sent directly to that hospital.

The plaintiff also fought the

The main argument behind

who seek abortions, because an

While a transfer agreement is rec-

transfer agreement, stating that the

agreement can put the abortion

ommended by the National Abor-

Kentucky law which requires it is an

clinic and the specified hospital

tion Federation (NAF), they don't

unnecessary burden on the facility

on the same track, allowing the

consider it a requirement. Neverthe-

and abortion access in general.

process to move faster in the case

less, Kentucky state law requires

As Elizabeth Watson, the Ameri-

of an emergency.

these contracts in order for clinics

can Civil Liberties Union attorney

The state also argued that the

to retain their licenses.

representing EMW, said, “The law

clinics cannot be excused from this

already says if you go to the hospi-

requirement because they didn’t try

managed to lock down a transfer

Planned Parenthood originally

tal for any reason, if you show up

hard enough to adhere to it in the

agreement with the University of

at an emergency room, the hospital

first place.

Louisville hospital, but following

has to treat you.” In other words,

management turnover, Planned Par-

transfer agreements are simply

judge will review the case and make

enthood was unable to reach such an

redundant formalities.

a final decision. This decision will

agreement with the new administra-

Representatives from the

In the near future, a federal

not only determine the immedi-

tion. After that, Planned Parenthood

plaintiff’s team allege that the real

ate fate of Planned Parenthood and

struggled to reach an agreement with

problem is not only about transfer

EMW here in Louisville, but the

any other hospital. Planned Parent-

agreements and legal contracts: it’s

case could also affect the state of

hood claimed that hospitals would

about female reproductive rights

women’s health care in Kentucky

not agree to the contract because

and Kentucky’s political and cultural

and throughout the nation. While

Governor Matt Bevin threatened them

views regarding abortion care.

the trial has largely stayed under

37

On The Record


our radar as youth, its outcome

deaths due to illegal abortion in

could bolster the anti-abortion

the United States, according to the

be confusing as well. It’s hard to

movement and threaten the stabil-

Center for Disease Control.

know for sure what goes on behind

ity of abortion clinics throughout the nation.

So what?

and images spread on social

is incredibly low-risk. In fact, a

media and protest signs are

first-trimester abortion in facilities

skewing the facts.

like Planned Parenthood’s abortion

clinics isn’t a Louisville-specific issue.

wards or EMW is less dangerous

national, anti-abortion organiza-

It’s not even a Kentucky-specific is-

than a routine penicillin shot. Ac-

tion called Operation Save America

sue. Missouri, West Virginia, Wiscon-

cording to the Guttmacher Institute,

(OSA) gathered around a Jumbotron

sin, and South Carolina are just a few

fewer than 0.05 percent of abortions

outside Louisville City Hall during

examples of other states with less

have complications.

a weeklong protest against EMW.

These conflicting opinions and

On July 26, protesters from a

They stared at the abortion video

stands out because it's so close to

facts just go to show how little

having no clinics at all. Anti-abortion

most of us actually know about

activists are hopeful that, by the end

how abortion works and the role

activists use often: show graphic im-

of the trial, Kentucky will be abortion

Planned Parenthood plays, so let’s

ages of abortions to tug at people’s

free — a shining example for other

break it down.

heartstrings. The OSA protest was

states to follow. And their hopes aren’t necessarily misplaced. After all, they have the governor’s support.

We want to show graphically and vividly the suffering and the injustice that’s taking place behind closed doors.”

WTF: What’re the facts?

playing on the screen. This strategy is one anti-abortion

no different. For the entire week, people stood in Jefferson Square

First, let’s talk about abortion. A

Park and outside the clinic itself

lot of us are confused about the

holding signs with bloody images of

abortion process, about the risks of

dead fetuses.

abortion, and about the effects that come from it.

“It's been a long standing principle or tactic that's been used in

Perhaps one of the most

awakening people to social injustice,”

common misconceptions about

said Jason Storms, OSA’s youth out-

abortion is that it causes severe

reach director, to On the Record as

mental instability. Prominent anti-

he stood in front of Louisville Metro

abortion organizations such as the

Hall on July 27. “We want to show

American Life League, the National

graphically and vividly the suffering

nation from a moral and spiritual

Right to Life Committee, and the

and the injustice that's taking place

perspective that is desperately

Pro-Life Action League cite some

behind closed doors.”

needed,” Governor Matt Bevin said.

variation of “Post Abortion Stress

“Kentucky will lead the way.”

Syndrome” as a common effect

ing the images to inform women of

Jason Storms

OSA’s youth outreach director “We have a chance to lead this

But what really happens when a

In other words, they’re show-

of abortion. They list depression,

what an abortion looks like

state loses all of its abortion clinics?

nervous disorders, suicidal behavior,

because, from the anti-abortion

Just because there’s no professional

and abusive tendencies as side

point of view, it’s the abortion

abortion provider within the state

effects, but there is no reliable,

patients who have been receiv-

doesn’t mean women will stop hav-

independent data that affirms the

ing misinformation from Planned

ing abortions. They just start having

existence of Post Abortion Stress

Parenthood and other pro-abortion

more dangerous abortions.

Syndrome. Currently, the disorder

rights organizations.

Between the 1930s and the 1960s

isn’t recognized by the American

The immediate rebuttal to this

— that is, before Roe v. Wade, the

Psychological and Psychiatric

tactic is to say that the images are

1973 Supreme Court case in which

Associations. While abortion

fabricated, but that’s not entirely

abortion was officially legalized —

patients may experience anxiety or

true. According to an 2010 article

an estimated 200,000 to 1.2 million

distress, most women experience

in Slate Magazine, anti-abortion

woman sought out illegal abortions

these emotions before their

activists get many of these im-

every year. The result? Anywhere

abortion, not after. Any cases of

ages from one photographer — a

between 200 and 2,700 abortion-

severe post-abortion mental issues

woman named Monica Migliorino

related deaths per year.

have been attributed to pre-existing

Miller who’s been taking aborted

conditions and other unrelated

fetus photos since 1987 — under

illegal abortions has dropped drasti-

factors, according to the American

an agreement that they won’t

cally. In 2012, there were no known

Psychiatric Association.

alter the photographs. But if the

Now, the number of dangerous

38

operation room doors when videos

perform abortions, the procedure

Like we said, this decline in abortion

than five abortion clinics. Kentucky

On The Record

When licensed physicians

The actual abortion process can


Illustration by SOPHIA FOWLER

images are real, how are they a form of misinformation? Basically, even though the photos aren’t fabricated, the context for them is not supplied. Almost all of the signs that the protesters hold show late-termination, or late-term, abortions despite the fact that 89 percent of abortions occur during the first trimester of a pregnancy, before the pregnancy tissue looks like a human baby. In fact, abortions later than 20 weeks — about half-way through the second trimester — are illegal in Kentucky. When so few abortions look like the ones on the signs, labeling the images “the reality of abortion” or “the truth about Planned Parenthood” doesn’t actually provide a reality check.

Planned Parenthood's role

When both sides are claiming to have all the facts, it can be hard to sort out the truth. What many people don’t know is that one of Planned Parenthood’s primary missions is to provide quality, comprehensive sex education for all. Their staff includes educators whose purpose is to visit schools to teach young people about puberty, healthy relationships, consent, and sexual health. They also offer medical consultations, including STD testing, mammograms (testing for breast cancer), pap smears (testing for cervical cancer), and prostate exams (testing for prostate cancer) at a discounted rate or even for free, making it possible for anyone to receive professional reproductive

health care. Planned Parenthood is now reaching more people than ever before with online health counseling as well as a slew of health care apps such as their Spot On Period Tracker. Over the course of this year, nearly 2.5 million women, men, and youth will visit a Planned Parenthood location where they will receive quality, confidential health care. Seventy million more will access their online health care presence, and 1.5 million students will be educated by a Planned Parenthood employee. Planned Parenthood can provide us with information about our reproductive health care rights, but in a state like Kentucky, they can't necessarily protect them. In the coming months, we'll find out if the courts will. «

39

On The Record


HOT AND

BOTHERED The urban heat island effect continues to grow.

On The Record

40


D

T

words by ZAKEYA BAKER & MADDIE CURRIE » design by PATRICK HARPER, MADDIE CURRIE, & LAUREN HUNTER

he first to go was the Clean Water Rule, which expanded federal reach over small waterways. The second was the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Then the Climate Action Plan (CAP). Then the disbandment of the Climate Advisory Panel, which kept track of the nation’s climate change status. All in the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump has made it clear that there will be no more talk of climate change and has silenced the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But what does this mean for us?

41

On The Record


The effects of removing these

Urban heat islands develop in

Louisville. After all, Louisville is

climate change and other environ-

cities where asphalt and concrete

the fifth worst urban heat island in

mental issues.

have replaced significant amounts

the country… but we’ll talk about

Rest in peace, policies

of land and vegetation. Instead

The CAP was rolled out in 2013.

absorb it, causing the tempera-

ronmental policies put in place

It was the first policy of its kind

tures in urban areas to increase

by the Obama administration

and had three main goals: cut

at a faster rate than in rural areas.

have been aimed toward slow-

domestic carbon pollution, pre-

A meteorologist at The Weather

ing climate change. The CPP and

pare the U.S. for climate change

Channel, Ari Sarsalari, stated that

the CAP were just two policies

impacts, and lead international

the difference between cities and

that directly focused on reducing

efforts to address global climate

surrounding rural areas can be as

carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

change. The Obama administra-

much as 22 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, on March 28, Trump

tion hoped to accomplish these

Elevated temperatures, es-

signed executive orders to nullify

goals by working with state and

pecially in the summertime, can

the policies, reversing environmen-

local governments to promote

cause health problems like heat-

tal reform and curbing efforts to

energy-efficient projects. The

stroke and respiratory issues. And

stop global climate change. Trump

plan encouraged the U.S. to take

that’s not to mention the increase

made it clear that he wanted the

the lead in the global transition

in demand for air conditioning in

EPA to rewrite the CPP to help

from fossil fuels to cleaner and

homes and businesses. In 2017, the

keep open hundreds of coal power

safer energy sources.

EPA reported that the electricity

For the past nine years, envi-

plants that the EPA had set to shut

Then, the Obama administra-

of reflecting sunlight, the roads

used for air conditioning increases

down. To Trump, the issue is black

tion put out the CPP to reduce

emissions of air pollutants like sul-

and white: jobs or the environ-

carbon emissions from power

fur dioxide, CO2, and other green-

ment. And because jobs are what’s

plants, which produce nearly 35

house gases. According to the U.S.

important to a significant portion

percent of U.S. carbon emissions

Energy Information Administra-

of his voter base, his choice isn’t

according to the U.S. Energy

tion, the U.S. emitted 5,171 million

surprising. He even told coal min-

Information Administration. The

metric tons of electricity-related

ers, “C’mon, fellas. You know what

CPP was developed under the

CO2 into the atmosphere in 2016.

this is? You know what this says?

Clean Air Act, a federal law put

That’s like charging your phone for

You’re going back to work.”

in place to authorize the EPA to

52.6 trillion hours.

But wait, there’s more! In the

establish air pollution regulations.

A little over a third of the CO2

summer of 2017, the Trump ad-

The CPP established state-by-

came from the U.S. power sector,

ministration said they would pull

state goals for carbon emissions

which provides the energy the

out of the Paris Climate Accord —

and invested in renewable energy.

public uses to heat, cool, and

an agreement within the United

A couple years after their

power its homes. Greenhouse

Nations focused on greenhouse

implementation, the CAP and CPP

gases like CO2 contribute to the

gas emissions reduction that

had reached several goals including

overall issue of global climate

would start in 2020. After Syria

power sector limitations, increased

change by trapping heat from the

joined the agreement during the

climate resilience funding, and

sun in the atmosphere.

United Nations Climate talks

a 9 percent decrease in green-

on Nov. 7, the U.S. became the

house gases between 2013 and

U.S. are at risk of becoming

only nation out of 198 that hasn’t

2015. These policies were leading

urban heat islands. Louisville is

promised to sign. Trump stated

the way in slowing global climate

already one of the 10 worst cases

that the accord placed unfair

change and creating a healthier

in the country.

environmental standards on U.S.

world for us to live in, but their

citizens and corporations

nullification isn’t just a global issue.

keeping coal power plants up and

that would “undermine our

It also directly affects us daily.

running, carbon emissions will

Currently, most cities in the

So, what does this mean? By

economy” and “put us at a

Louisville temperatures are

continue to pollute the atmos-

permanent disadvantage.”

rising because of increased carbon

phere, and urban heat islands

emissions, causing what is known

across the nation will continue to

as the urban heat island effect.

grow — especially in Louisville,

Amid the nullified policies and disagreements, environmental-

42

The rise of heat islands

happen without a plan to combat

that later.

On The Record

ists are left to wonder what will

national policies trickle down to


ON THE RISE 33˚

90˚

32˚

88˚

31˚

86˚

30˚

84˚

29˚

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE

F°92˚

RURAL

SUBURBAN

URBAN

which has one of the fastest urban

homes and neighborhoods and

heat island growth rates according

reducing city temperatures.

to the Louisville Metro Department of Sustainability. Utility bills could go up as Lou-

You could create a green roof of

According to Climate Central’s research report published on Aug. 20, 2014, the average temperature between rural, suburban, and urban areas of some cities have increased by 15-27 degrees Fahrenheit.

The University of Kentucky Greenthumb Environmental Club has benefited directly from KSEC’s

your own, but joining an environ-

aid. It was even able to convince the

mental organization can be an ef-

university’s president, Eli Capil-

isvillians use air conditioners and

fective way to get the tools you need

outo, to sign a commitment to bring

other utilities more. And if we don’t

to take on urban heat islands and

carbon emissions down 25 percent

reduce emissions, respiratory health

climate change. One organization

below 2010 levels by 2020 through

problems like asthma could become

in particular, the Kentucky Student

new energy conservation methods

a much bigger issue in our city.

Environmental Coalition (KSEC), is a

and technology.

How can you help?

youth organization founded in 2007

“Because we are the ones in-

that aspires to help Kentucky’s en-

heriting this mess, we have a lot of

Although national government poli-

vironment, whether it’s by planting

room to advocate for the solutions

cies can combat gas emission issues

trees, educating Kentuckians about

that we want to see for our future,”

on a large scale, there are ways to al-

environmental issues, or volunteer-

Cooper said. “If we work together,

leviate the problem at a smaller level.

ing. KSEC also serves as a network

we can be a very powerful force for

By changing certain aspects of your

for various college campus groups,

making change happen.”

life, you could help shrink the urban

supporting them in their battles

heat island problem. But to create the

against these problems.

change we want to see, we have to

Cara Cooper, the co-founder of

It’s no secret that the earth’s environmental problems are getting worse by the day. Urban

take action. In April 2016, Louisville’s

KSEC, said, “We’re working together

heat islands are just the tip of the

mayor, Greg Fischer, did just that

across the state to build a Kentucky

rapidly-melting iceberg. Without

by signing a tree canopy contract to

where young people feel like they

plans and policies to guide the

incorporate trees throughout Louis-

have the opportunity to stay and

way, we are left to wonder what

ville in order to reduce the effects of

thrive after graduation, without hav-

will happen to the world in the

urban heat islands. By simply planting

ing to make choices between getting

next decade. That’s what makes

trees, either as a community or an

a good, meaningful job and having

Trump’s recent decisions so detri-

individual, you are helping the cause.

clean air and water.”

mental to the environment. There

Trees absorb dangerous gases like

Since 2015, KSEC has had sev-

may seem to be little light at the

CO2 and replace them with oxygen.

eral victories including convincing

end of the tunnel, but there are

Even people with no room to

Kentucky Senators Reggie Thomas

actually still ways we can help. Just

grow trees can help out by plant-

and Julian Carroll to sponsor the

because we ignore the problem

ing green roofs: small gardens with

Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alli-

doesn’t mean it goes away. It gets

vegetables and flowers on the tops

ance and support the Clean Energy

passed down to our children and

of homes and businesses. Not only

Opportunity Act. Both programs

grandchildren. But if we start im-

are the plants helping to produce

deal with putting Kentucky on track

plementing these strategies today,

more oxygen, but they provide

to increase energy efficiency and

we can pass down fewer problems

shade, naturally cooling down

create clean energy jobs.

and a cleaner world. «

43

On The Record


STATING THE FACTS

According to the climate research organization Climate Central, these are the top ten cities with the biggest average temperature difference between rural and urban areas. Louisville is in fifth place.

oregon -- pink

w

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

5.9%

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

4.9%

DENVER, COLORADO

4.8%

PORTLAND, OREGON

4.8%

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY WASHINGTON, D.C.

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS

COLUMBUS, OHIO

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON On The Record

44

4.7%

4.6%

4.4%

4.3%

4.1%

7.3 %


45

On The Record


SEX

t u b a k l a t s ’ t e l

Trump’s budget proposal affects the future of sex ed in public school.

P

words by WESLEY LYNCH ›› design by MIA BREITENSTEIN & MADDIE CURRIE

articipating in a high school

In short, public schools in our state

to fund abstinence-only sex educa-

sex education class is

can teach the sex education curricu-

tion and cuts nearly $214 million

something most of us can

lum of their choice.

from comprehensive teen preg-

relate to: the uncomfortable faces, the snickers of a few

hensive are the two main approach-

the country. If this current budget

es to teaching sex education. Those

plan passes, many health classes

tion of taboo words. Despite these

of us who received abstinence-

will start or will continue teaching

commonalities, our experiences

only education were only taught to

abstinence-only sex education.

might vary greatly depending on

refrain from sex until marriage to

the method or content our teach-

eliminate all possible risks of un-

ers or schools choose.

wanted pregnancy and STDs; those

But why is this an issue? Let’s take a look at the stats. While abstaining from sex

who learned the comprehensive

does eliminate all risk of sexually

been an urge from government

way studied different types of birth

transmitted diseases and unwanted

and school officials to regulate the

control and overall safe sex, includ-

pregnancy, a 2007 study run on

ing abstinence.

behalf of the U.S. Department of

way sex education is taught because there are cur-

Our current presidential

Health and Human Services found

administration is pushing for a

no evidence that abstinence-only

rently no laws

completely abstinence-based sex

programs actually increased absti-

in the state of

education course to be implemented

nence. In fact, students in absti-

in high schools.

nence-only programs exhibited a

Kentucky that standardize sex education.

46

nancy prevention programs across

immature boys, the casual men-

For the last decade, there has

On The Record

Abstinence-only and compre-

Trump’s proposed budget for 2018 includes $277 million set aside

similar number of sexual partners, age of first sexual intercourse,


and rate of unprotected sex as

At the age of 14, Letson-Ettin

their peers who weren’t offered an

was raped. The scarring attack

abstinence-only program. On the

changed her outlook on life and her

other hand, evidence shows that

perception of herself.

the comprehensive approach ac-

“I knew it was wrong, but I

tively reduces frequency of sexual

didn’t know how wrong. It made me

activity, delays onset of sexual

feel worthless,” said Letson-Ettin.

activity, and increases condom and contraceptive use. When sexually active high schoolers are educated on how to understand contraceptives through

This was only a few months prior to her taking a mandatory health class, which featured an She experienced frustration with the sex ed curriculum at her

they are 60 percent less likely to

school; she said the class didn’t

get pregnant than someone who

make her feel any more prepared to

received abstinence-only educa-

deal with situations in the future.

tion, according to a study by the

In fact, Letson-Ettin remembered

University of Washington in 2008.

leaving the class feeling like her experience with sexual assault was

nonprofit research organization

her fault. She felt shamed for her ex-

that focuses on sexual and repro-

periences, despite the fact that she

ductive health, confirmed that 26

could not control her situation.

states require abstinence-centered

On Feb. 21, Letson-Ettin

sex ed curriculum. Technically,

stood in front of the JCPS school

it is the surest form of preven-

board members as a high school

tion; however, Centers for Disease

junior to read her 1 1/2 page letter

Control and Prevention reported

addressed to them. She urged the

41 percent of U.S. high school stu-

school board to implement a uni-

dents were sexually active in 2015,

versal comprehensive curriculum

so those teens probably aren’t

to ensure no one else would have

listening to the “no sex before

to suffer the experience of having

marriage” speech.

their worth demeaned.

The abstinence-only plan

barely addresses crucial aspects of

to not only increase the risks

sex that people need to know, for

of sexually active teens getting

example, consent,” Letson-Ettin said

pregnant or getting someone else

during her speech. her speech, the overall question of

face, thus adding to their health-

comprehensive versus abstinence-

care needs.

only sex ed in JCPS must be an-

health classes means we might soon see a change in sex ed curriculum. With such a strong push from the federal government for abstinence-only sex education, students could be leaving high school with little to no foundation to deal with sexual situations when they arise. And that’s dangerous. Teens aren’t the only ones who need to be educated about sex. Everyone — including married couples — needs to learn about safe sex at some point. If students aren’t learning how to make these types of important, complex decisions now, then when will they? That’s what school is for, after all. «

swered at a state-wide level. And,

there have been cases of sexual as-

of course, Trump’s national budget

sault victims coming out of absti-

proposal could influence any deci-

nence-only sex education classes

sions the state makes.

feeling trauma about what has hap-

education dominant in public school

Although the JCPS board heard

the sexual health problems teens

Furthermore, we know that

proposal to make abstinence-only

“Abstinence-only education

Trump is proposing has the chance

pregnant, but it would likely expand

-Sophia Letson-Ettin, 17-year-old senior at Atherton High School

abstinence-only sex ed unit.

comprehensive sex education,

The Guttmacher Institute, a

“Abstinence-only education barely addresses crucial aspects of sex that people need to know, for example, consent.

It is no secret that Betsy De-

pened to them. Sophia Letson-Et-

Vos, the U.S. Secretary of Education,

tin, a 17-year-old senior at Atherton

is an abstinence-only advocate. De-

High School, is one of them.

Vos’s support for the current budget

47

On The Record


Issue 1, Volume 3  
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