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Wednesday, February 22, 2017 • Vol. 44, No. 3 • www.HCCEgalitarian.com • @HCC_Egalitarian

In Today’s Issue

John Wick is back! Keanu Reeves is as John Wick in the second chapter of the action pack series.

see Culture, Page 10

Image courtesy of HCC Board of Trustees Chair Eva Loredo, and trustees Adriana Tamez, Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, Robert Glaser and John Hansen pose with HCC staff and students on the steps of the Texas State Capitol on Community College Day on Feb 7.

Students lobby at capitol Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian

A beautiful struggle, Maria Equis Maria Equis discusses her life as a sex slaves for nine years, and her battle to save other women in the same predicament.

see Community, Page 4

AUSTIN, Texas – Students joined Houston Community College trustees in lobbying for the college at the Texas State Capitol. Fourteen HCC students traveled to Austin for Community College Day on Tuesday, Feb 7 when students from community colleges across the state swarmed the capitol grounds. The Texas Association

of Community Colleges hosts the event every legislative session. HCC Students visited the offices of state senators and representatives who represent HCC’s district. They spoke with elected officials and their staffers. Each of the students was able to share how the college has made a difference in their lives, and why the college should continue to receive state funding from the state’s tight budget. This fiscal year, HCC received

over $70 million in state appropriations which means state money is 21 percent of the college’s total budget revenue. For comparison, 35 percent of the college’s budget comes from tuition and fees while 44 percent comes from HCC district taxes and other local income. Most students chose to go knocking on the office doors of elected officials with one of the five trustees who came to Community College Day. Board Chair Eva Loredo and trustees

Adriana Tamez, Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, Robert Glaser and John Hansen all visited elected officials accompanied by students and a member of the college’s legal counsel. Three students chose to visit elected officials on their own, accompanied only by United Student Council Advisor Troy Jefferson. “My biggest takeaway is to

see

College Day, Page 2

Marijuana decriminalized Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian

NBA All-Star game recap In a game that means nothing in a season where you play 82 games, the stars came out and put on a show for the fans.

see Sports, Page 8

A new program effectively decriminalizes minor marijuana possession in Harris County. Under the program, qualifying individuals who are caught with less than four ounces of marijuana can take a four-hour drug and decision making class and avoid arrest, jail and a criminal record. This does not make minor marijuana possession legal, it just means that offenders in Harris County will not receive a criminal record. District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the new Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program on Feb. 16. The program will go

into effect on March 1. When the new pre-charge diversion program is in effect, a law enforcement officer will simply confiscate the marijuana and keep documentation of the encounter. Since there is no arrest, the individual will not receive an arrest record. Since there is no court date, there are no court documents regarding the offense. A criminal charge will be filed if the person does not complete the $150 class within 90 days. Regardless of their criminal history, repeat offenders will be eligible to be diverted through the program multiple times. The only exceptions are if an individual is currently on probation, on bond or deferred adjudication, in a penal institution or

@HarriscountyDAO/Twitter Harris County Distric Attorney Kim Ogg, introduced her Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program at the Harris County Justice Criminal Justice Center. correctional facility or has been caught in a

The Official Student Newspaper of the Houston Community College System

see

Marijuana, Page

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On Campus 2 Maintaining and preserving sacred grounds The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com

Wednesday Febraury 22, 2017

Skarleth Velasquez The Egalitarian

On a Saturday morning, you will find most people lying in bed, waking up late, or in my case taking a morning class here at Houston Community College. However, on the second Saturday of every month, from 8am–noon you will find Professor Angela Holder and her students volunteering at the historic College Memorial Park Cemetery. Holder began sharing this volunteering opportunity with her students in spring 2011. Three soldiers died on Aug. 23, 1917 as a result of the Camp Logan Mutiny Houston riot of 1917. Two died that night and were buried at College Memorial Park Cemetery. The third soldier died a few days later due to injuries and is buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery. Holder says that the two soldiers were, “hurriedly buried from what I could see because they never had headstones.” Working with the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and the Veterans Administration, they were able finally give the soldiers a headstone after about 100 years. The riot occurred shortly after the United States declared war on Germany in World War I. Holder explained that the riot was the soldier’s response to the issue of police brutality committed against one of the military officers in the Third Battalion of the black Twenty-Fourth United States infantry.

The black contingent encountered racial discrimination from the moment they stepped foot in Houston. While many of the men had been raised in the south and were familiar with segregation, as servicemen they expected equal treatment. However, police and other public official considered the arrival of black soldiers as a threat to racial harmony. Some police officers frequently harassed both civilian and soldier African Americans. Professor Holder noted that there were numerous other incidents between the citizens, police, and the soldiers regarding the enforcement of the Jim Crow segregation in Houston. Around noon on Aug. 23, 1917 a black soldier was arrested by policemen for interfering with their arrest of a black woman in the Fourth Ward. Early in the afternoon Corporal Charles Baltimore, one of the twelve black military policemen with the battalion, inquired about the soldier’s arrest. After an exchange, the policeman hit Baltimore over the head and he fled. The police fired at Baltimore three times, chased him into an unoccupied house, and took him to police headquarters. Baltimore was soon released, but a rumor had been started that he had been killed by police even though he came back to the camp later that afternoon. The men were still upset that there was a possibility that he could have been killed. In the riot 15 whites including four policemen were killed, 12 others were seriously injured including one policeman

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who later died due to his injuries. Four black soldiers were killed, including two who were accidently shot by their own men. A National Guard Captain was also mistaken for a policeman and killed. Sergeant Vida Henry of the Company who led the soldiers in the riot shot himself that night. “Everything pretty much came to ahead on that day, August 23,” noted Professor Holder. Randy Riepe serves on the Board for College Memorial Park Cemetery Association and is also a past president of the board. Professor Holder remembers meeting Riepe when she visited the cemetery to try to find the grave of the soldiers. “He was there by himself sitting there with his lawnmower and the cemetery was overgrown and needed cutting. He was so nice and helpful. I was so grateful for his help I said my students might be interested in coming out to help.” Students cut grass, remove trees that have died from drought or old age, they fill sunken spots where graves are and more. While her students earn volunteer hours, professor Holder gives them bonus points. “To see the cemetery as good as it is now to when it was overgrown before is really nice. Pretty much what we are doing now with the students is maintaining,” says Holder. Through the volunteer work, students learn about Houston’s history. “When they see some of the tombstones and they see the years, that the former

HCC POLICE BLOTTER (complied from HCC Police crime logs) Offense: Resisting Arrest, Search, or Transportation Incident occurred on: Feb 15 at 5:11pm Location: Hayes Road Campus, 2811 Hayes Road Description: Adult male non student was arrested and charged after he caused a disturbance in the computer lab. Offense: Burglary of Vehicle Incident occurred on: Feb 15 between 5:45pm-6:35pm Location: Eastside Campus, Parking Garage Description: Student’s vehicle was burglarized during his class. Offense: Disorderly Conduct Incident occurred on: Feb 14 at 5:48pm Location: Eastside Campus, Learning Hub Description: Registered but not enrolled student was cursing a financial aid employee after the legitimacy of her high school diploma was challenged. Offense: Harassment Incident reported on: Feb 14 at 9:04pm Location: Stafford Campus Area - Off Campus Description: Student complained that her ex-boyfriend has been sending her unwanted text messages. The messages started on Feb 8 after she broke up with her boyfriend. Incidents did not

occur on campus. She declined prosecution. Offense: Other Police Activity Incident occurred on: Feb 13 at 10:30am Location: Central - Midtown Campus, Learning Hub Description: Adult male student was arrested for outstanding warrants and placed in jail. He is a suspect in another theft at HCC. Offense: Harassment Incident reported on: Feb 13 at noon Location: Pinemont Campus, 1265 Pinemont Description: Adult student reported her husband sent her unwanted and threatening text messages on and off for years. Victim was referred to District Attorney’s Office for a new protective order since she did not want charges filed. Offense: Theft Incident Reported On: Feb 13 at 7pm Location: Central - Midtown Campus, San Jacinto Memorial Building Description: Student’s unattended cell phone was stolen from his classroom. Offense: Theft Incident occurred on: Feb 10 between 12:48pm-3:30pm Location: Central - Midtown Campus, San Jacinto Memorial Building Description: Student’s wallet and contents were stolen while he was playing basketball in the gym.

courtesy of @youthOnService Carnegie Vanguard High School students,Ronnald Dang and Nicholas Williams help with the cleaning of College Memorial Park Cementary. slaves, and former professionals that made Houston what it is and they can see some history there,” says Holder, “It’s really like a classroom experience as well.” Holder believes that “It’s my generation’s duty to teach the future generation to give back. I’m pretty much doing what was done for me and my generation. So, I’m just passing it on. Hopefully when you guys get out in the professional world, that you guys will give back too. You gotta pay it forward.”

College Day, From Page 1 realize how much the student voice actually matters. I felt empowered today,” said Mona Colter-Mosley, the student government president of the Central and South campuses. Mosley said that with the trustees, the students worked “hand and hand to accomplish one common goal.” Besides state appropriations for the college, HCC’s current Legislative Initiatives includes advocating for requiring all public institutions of higher education in Texas to use a common course numbering system. This would help students understand what are the right courses to take before transferring and would make transferring smoother because a class like U.S. History I would be called HIST 1301 at all public colleges and universities in Texas. The HCC students and trustees also advocated for maintaining and expanding state grants to students like the Texas Educational Opportunity Grants or TEOG which provides financially needy students enrolled in Texas public two-year colleges money to afford college. Keji Folawiyo is the southwest student government president, she spoke about how she was able to make connections with legislative staffers and meet with her representatives. “It feels nice to know that

although I’m about three hours away from the capitol, these guys are looking out for us and they actually care about us and want to listen to what we have to say,” said Folawiyo. She said that she will “go back to school feeling like you’re important, that we all are important.” “I think this was a really successful trip,” said Dominique Williams, the parliamentarian of the Southeast Student Government Association, “it wasn’t just come up and watch things happen, but we actually got the chance to do something as well.” HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado visited with students the evening of Monday, Feb 6 when they arrived in Austin. Maldonado thanked the students for coming and reminded them how important it is that they are representing the college to legislators. Most of the students who participated in Community College Day are student government officers, or they hold leadership titles with other campus clubs and heard about this opportunity through their club advisors or student life coordinators. Editor’s Note: The HCC Egalitarian News Editor Alyssa Foley participated in Community College Day. Budget Source: http://www.hccs. edu/media/houstoncommunity-college/district/ pdfBabyBookFY2016-2017.pdf


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Marijuana, From Page 1 school zone. Anyone under the age of 18 is not eligible for this new program but will be processed through the juvenile justice system and able to use existing juvenile diversion programs. Officials say that more than 107,000 misdemeanor marijuana cases have been handled in the past 10 years, and this proposal would keep about 12 thousand people a year out of the already overloaded court system. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted that, “We’re finding better more cost-efficient ways to address drug misdemeanors that benefit community, offenders while maintaining #publicsafety” According to the DA, Harris County has spent about $25 million a year for the past 10 years prosecuting and jailing

people for misdemeanor marijuana offenses. Ogg believes that’s far too many tax dollars being spent, “prosecuting a crime that has produced no tangible evidence of improved public safety.” City Council Member Dwight Boykins said that “The goal of this program is to ensure that the resources needed for court and jail are being used to effectively increase public safety and acknowledge that those in possession of misdemeanor amounts of marijuana are not stigmatized by criminal records that limit their employment, education and housing opportunities.” The program will affect every law enforcement agency in Harris County since they rely on the DA’s office to prosecute criminal cases. The Houston chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws praised the new program.

“Law enforcement should focus on protecting our communities instead of wasting their resources arresting people and ruining their lives over a misdemeanor amount of cannabis,” said Houston NORML Executive Director Cara Bonin in a press release. N e i g h b o r i n g Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon criticized the plan at a press conference. “No one has the right to choose to disregard the laws of the state of Texas,” said Ligon, “As the elected district attorney, you’ve got one job and that’s to enforce the laws. If you want to change the laws, then run for state rep or state senator.” Democratic Ogg beat incumbent Republican District Attorney Devon Anderson back in November after campaigning on promises of reform, including reducing the arrests for minor drug offenses.

3 Gunfire at Ben Taub Wednesday February 22, 2017

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Michael Graczyk Associated Press

No one was found injured and there was no evidence that a shooting happened amid reports of gunfire Tuesday inside a hospital at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, authorities said. “I can’t say there was no shooting,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said. “I am confident if there was a threat, that threat is not present here now. We have thoroughly searched this facility on more than one occasion. There is no reason to fear.” He said dogs trained to detect gunfire found no evidence and that normal operations at Ben Taub Hospital, one of the city’s major trauma centers, were resuming. Officers were left on each floor as a precaution. The hospital has nearly 500 beds. Witnesses reported hearing “two large bangs,” the chief said. “It’s a hospital,” he said. “Who knows what the bangs were?” He said police received multiple

reports of gunfire Tuesday afternoon, and dozens of officers and a SWAT team responded. Hundreds of employees and some patients were evacuated. Patients on gurneys or in wheelchairs continued to be cared for outside the hospital. About two hours later, they were being returned inside. Police searched all six floors and the basement of the hospital, then conducted a second search to make sure nothing was missed, Acevedo said. Authorities also hope to examine surveillance videos as part of their investigation. The hospital declared a “code white” emergency, an internal designation that set evacuations and other protocols in motion. Ben Taub is part of the Texas Medical Center, which bills itself the largest medical complex in the world. It covers 1,345 acres a few miles south of downtown Houston, employs more than 100,000 people, includes more than 9,000 hospital beds and conducts more than 180,000 surgeries annually.

Trump administration enforces immigration Alicia Caldwell Associated Press

Millions of people living in the United States illegally could be targeted for deportation — including people simply arrested for traffic violations — under a sweeping rewrite of immigration enforcement policies announced Tuesday by the Trump administration. Any immigrant who is in the country illegally and is charged or convicted of any offense, or even suspected of a crime, will now be an enforcement priority, according to Homeland Security Department memos signed by Secretary John Kelly. That could include people arrested for shoplifting or minor offenses — or simply having crossed the border illegally. The Trump administration memos replace more narrow guidance focusing on immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes, are considered threats to national security or are recent border crossers. Under the Obama administration guidance, immigrants whose only violation was being in the country illegally were generally left alone. Those immigrants fall into two categories: those who crossed the border without permission and those who overstayed their visas. Crossing the border illegally is a criminal offense, and the new memos make clear that those who have done so are included in the broad list of enforcement priorities. Overstaying a visa is a civil, not criminal, offense. Those who do so are not specifically included in the priority list but, under the memos, they are still more likely to face deportation than they had been before. The new enforcement documents are the latest efforts by President Donald Trump to follow through on campaign promises to strictly enforce immigration laws. He’s also promised to build a wall at the Mexican border — he insists Mexico will eventually foot the bill — and Kelly’s memos reiterate calls for Homeland Security to start planning for the costs and

construction. Trump’s earlier immigration orders, which banned all refugees as well as foreigners from seven Muslim-majority countries, have faced widespread criticism and legal action. A federal appeals court has upheld a temporary halt. Kelly’s enforcement plans call for enforcing a longstanding but obscure provision of immigration law that allows the government to send some people caught illegally crossing the Mexican border back to Mexico, regardless of where they are from. Those foreigners would wait in that country for U.S. deportation proceedings to be complete. This would be used for people who aren’t considered a threat to cross the border illegally again, the memo says. That provision is almost certain to face opposition from civil libertarians and Mexican officials, and it’s unclear whether the United States has the authority to force Mexico to accept third-country nationals. But the memo also calls for Homeland Security to provide an account of U.S. aid to Mexico, a possible signal that Trump plans to use that funding to get Mexico to accept the foreigners. Historically, the U.S. has quickly repatriated Mexican nationals caught at the border but has detained immigrants from other countries pending deportation proceedings that could take years. The memos do not change U.S. immigration laws, but take a far harder line toward enforcement. One example involves broader use of a program that fast-tracks deportations. It will now be applied to immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the United States longer than two years. It’s unclear how many immigrants that could include. Since at least 2002 that fast deportation effort — which does not require a judge’s order — has been used only for immigrants caught within 100 miles of the border, within two weeks of crossing illegally. The administration also plans to expand immigration jail capacity. Currently Homeland Security has money and space

Jae C. Hong / Associated Press People wave U.S. flags during a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in Los Angeles. Since Trump’s immigration enforcement order and travel ban, immigrants have been rushing to prepare applications to become Americans. to jail 34,000 immigrants at a time. It’s unclear how much an increase would cost, but Congress would have to approve any new spending. The American Civil Liberties Union said it would challenge the directives. “These memos confirm that the Trump administration is willing to trample on due process, human decency, the well-being of our communities, and even protections for vulnerable children, in pursuit of a hyperaggressive mass deportation policy,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. However, Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, applauded the Trump effort, saying the memos “overturn dangerous” policies from the Obama administration. The directives do not affect President Barack Obama’s program that has protected more than 750,000 young immigrants from deportation. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals remains in place, though participants could be deported if they commit crimes or otherwise are deemed to be threats to public safety or national security, according to the department. During the campaign Trump vowed to immediately end that program, which he

described as illegal amnesty. The directives indicate that some young people caught crossing the border illegally by themselves may not be eligible for special legal protections if they are reunited with parents in the United States. And those parents or other relatives that the government believes helped the children would face criminal and immigration investigations. Under the Obama administration, more than 100,000 children, mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, were caught at the border. Most were reunited with parents or relatives living in the United States, regardless of the adults’ immigration status. The enforcement memos also call for the hiring of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, but it’s unclear how quickly that could take place. Currently, two of every three applicants for Customs and Border Protection jobs fail polygraph exams and there are about 2,000 vacancies. The government also plans to review a program that allows local police and jailers to act as immigration agents and a program that used fingerprint records from local jails to identify immigrants who had been arrested.


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Wednesday February 22, 2017

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Community

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A beautiful struggle, Maria Equis John Cañamar The Egalitarian

“I woke up to my mom grabbing me and telling me in a whisper to get my shoes and my jacket that we were leaving.” “It was three or four in the morning and raining like I had never seen it in my 13 years of life. My dad was lying face down in a puddle with blood coming from the soccer ball size hole in his back,” recalled Maria Equis about the last day of her childhood. Maria was born in a small town in the jungles of the most southern part of Mexico, to a family whose social class was below poverty. She was born to the uncounted, the indegenous tribes of the Yucatan. “That was the last time I felt that I was loved and belonged in this world.” Hours after Maria’s mother awoke her, they were on a train that they hopped, leaving the jungle and her life. By daybreak, they were headed north although they did not know where they were going or how far. Maria’s mother had just escaped with their lives and was running to keep her daughter safe from the men who killed her father, grandfather, grandmother and two brothers. Those men were from a Guerilla Army that was clearing the jungle for land developers for a price. After being on a train for five days Maria and her mother were in a place that had a strange white powder on the ground, and it was colder than she had ever felt. They had arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah in the winter of 1995. That night they slept under a bridge, and her mother passed away before morning. Maria found herself in a strange land where she knew no one, did not know the language, with only herself and the blouse and skirt that she had been wearing for the past week. She does not recall how long it had been before she woke up in the home of the couple who saved her life. After being in this home for roughly six months, the family went on a trip to Seattle where they left her with a new family. At this time Maria says that her nightmare began. “I was sick to my stomach and was bleeding. I had no idea what was happening to me so I told the lady what was happening as best I could.” She had not learned enough English to communicate at this point. She had had her first menstrual cycle. The man was overjoyed with the news. That same night he took her to a meeting where there were many men. She recalls seven of them took turns raping her until she just “went away.” Everything after that night, Maria says, “Is a slow-motion horror movie playing on a loop in my mind.” Maria endured four more years of being used as a “Party Toy” for men at their social club events until she was too old for them to find her attractive any longer. At the old age of 17, her “Slave-Father” sold her to a woman in Albuquerque, New Mexico who owned a bar. The bar owner introduced her to heroin which Maria took a liking to, to escape not only the physical torture she had been living but the demons within her mind. Heroin was the way the bar owner kept Maria under control and turning tricks in the broom closet size room in the back of

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the graphic nature of the story, reader discretion is advised. Maria’s name has been changed to protect her identity. the bar. Maria recalls the bar owner teaching her how to shoot up the heroin under her toenails so that the johns would not see track marks and not realize that she was a dope fiend. “The worst thing of all was when I was at the point that I did not even want to die anymore, I wanted the next john to walk in so I could pleasure him, and then go collect my hit. The only thing that I loved in the entire universe were those four to five minutes of high I would get after pushing that warm liquid into my system, and just that fast I would be back in the front of the bar looking for my next fix.” “My owner loved me, because I brought money in all day long, sometimes four or five days straight without sleeping. My candy was more important than food, sleep, anything for that matter.” “In 2003 I traveled to San Diego, willing, with my owner and her man to work the Super Bowl. They took me to a salon where they fixed my hair, nails and even put makeup on me. It was the first time that I can recall truly looking into a mirror since leaving my home in the jungle.” Maria expressed that she felt important that her owner would spend money on her, little did she know that they were just fixing her up to be auctioned off to a celebrity madam. Maria was sold to a madam who took her all over the country going from event to event where she would service high dollar clients. Maria was shocked when her madam gave her money. It was the first time she ever held American currency, she was never paid by any of the men at the bars and never even “rewarded with heroin” at the social clubs. “It was not until late 2003, that I knew I could just leave if I wished. It never occurred to me to ever try to run away. In 2004, I found myself in a sex raid in Houston where the officers and a counselor asked me my name. No one had ever asked me that question; it made me break down and cry because I heard my Dad’s voice in my head saying my name.” “That night I was taken to a hotel room where I was not asked to perform any acts of any kind. The counselor interviewed me the following morning where I told her my entire story. With the help of the counselor, I was not charged with any crime and was put into a drug program.” Maria spent six months in a drug rehab hospital where she was able to break the grasp of her heroin addiction. Fast forward 13 years and Maria now works with groups that go around to bars and spas trying to help ladies who are in the web of human sex trafficking and shutting down the business establishments that have these women and girls as slaves. In Maria’s 12 years as an advocate, she has been able to convince eight women to testify against their owners and has helped in over 200 police sex raids. Over 1,800 women and young girls were rescued in these raids.

John Cañamar / Egalitarian A replica of a back room inside of a “Cantina” latin bar, where women and girls are held as sex slave. This room is a display at the Museum of Modern Day Slavery.

Museum of Modern Day Slavery John Cañamar The Egalitarian

In a small building at 5818 Southwest Freeway, Interstate 69, in Houston, Texas sits a museum that is not on many people’s radar. In fact, many people are blind to the subject matter that is preserved and documented there. It is the Museum of Modern Day Slavery. Now you may be thinking slavery ended back on December 6, 1865, when the 13th amendment that abolished slavery in the United States was ratified. While that may be true, slave owners in the past as in the present only care about one thing, the money their slaves can generate for them and not what the letter of the law states. Today slave owners do not have their subjects out in the fields picking crops, as what most people have in their minds when they hear the term slave, no they have them on their backs performing sexual acts. Yes, prostitution may be the oldest profession in the world, but not all those in the industry are there by choice. Today’s slaves may not have been brought over to this country by the thousands at a time and sold out in auctions to the highest bidder in the town square; they are still however; held against their will and force to do task they wish not due and sold amongst owners like pieces of property. Today’s slave is not the strong man who can plow a field or a woman who can spit out babies so that the owner’s assets can grow as if stocks on the market that mature and split making the owner a small fortune every time it happens. No today’s slaves are the young girls and boys that run away from home to escape their terrible situations at home and end up in the claws of a pimp who will turn them out until they no longer fulfil the desires of the trick’s need. Today slave is the helpless mother and daughter that travel thousands of miles for a better life and end up being kept in the back of a spa or cantina to pay off a coyote’s, human smuggler, fees that will never be paid because the brothel or

madam adds taxes and living expenses on top of the “travel” fees. These are the stories that are told at this museum. The Museum of Modern Day Slavery itself has a history in the industry it telling the story of. Not too long ago, roughly four years back, the museum was a pleasure spa itself. Cat French, a former HCC professor, held a prayer rally outside of the building that at the time was known as Angela’s Day Spa. The spa was just that in name, it was actually a modern-day brothel that had young Asian girls displayed behind Plexiglas for customers to pick as if at a vending machine. French the founder of Elijah Rising, the organization that help close down Angela’s Day Spa, runs the museum to enlighten the community of what is the reality of the sex trade. The museum it is split into two sides, the history of prostitution around the world and the modern-day form of prostitution in the United States. On the history side, there are displays of old routes slave ships would have traveled and propaganda for both in favor of prostitution and against. The modern-day side of the museum has displays with dirty mattresses and make shift side tables that are actual artifacts that have been found in raids from around Houston. A display hangs in the area that was once the shower area, not for the girls but the customers, so that they could be check for weapons or police wires. The display shows how frequent the girls are moved around the country to prevent from being found by family or law enforcement. The back room houses one of the rooms that was inside of the building when it was a spa. An eerie feeling still hangs inside of the building reminding you that it is a very dirty and dark business that is sex trafficking, or modern day slavery. ___ If you find yourself in need of help you can contact Elijah Rising at 832-6283439 or at www.elijahrising.org


Wednesday February 22, 2017

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5

Hundreds of Texans may have voted improperly David Rauf

The Egalitarian Texas election officials have acknowledged that hundreds of people were allowed to bypass the state’s toughestin-the-nation voter ID law and improperly cast ballots in the November presidential election by signing a sworn statement instead of showing a photo ID. The chief election officers in two of the state’s largest counties are now considering whether to refer cases to local prosecutors for potential perjury charges or violations of election law. Officials in many other areas say they will simply let the mistakes go, citing widespread confusion among poll workers and voters. The Texas law requires voters to show one of seven approved forms of identification to cast ballots. It was softened in August to allow people without a driver’s license or other photo ID to sign an affidavit declaring that they have an impediment to obtaining required identification. Even after the affidavits were introduced, voters who possess an acceptable photo ID were still required to show it at the polls. The revelations come as President Donald Trump makes frequent claims that the nation’s voting systems are vulnerable to fraud. The president has repeatedly said, without citing any evidence, that he would have won the popular vote if not for 3 million to 5 million immigrants in the country illegally who voted for his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. An Associated Press analysis of roughly 13,500 affidavits submitted in Texas’ largest counties found at least 500 instances in which voters were allowed to get around the law by signing an affidavit and never showing a photo ID, despite indicating that they possessed one. Others used the sworn declarations to lodge protest statements against the law.

One affidavit from Hidalgo County, along the Texas-Mexico border, read: “Did not want to ‘pander’ to government requirement.” In Tarrant County, an election judge noted on an affidavit: “Had photo ID but refused to show it.” “If we see that somebody blatantly says ‘I have ID’ and refused to show it, we’re going to turn that over to the D.A.,” said Stephen Vickers, chief deputy elections administrator for Tarrant County, which includes Fort Worth. “If they tried to use the affidavit to get around the system, yeah, I see that as a violation.” The disclosures came as top Texas Republicans cheered the case of a Mexican national who was sentenced to eight years in prison for illegal voting. Rosa Maria Ortega was convicted earlier this month on two felony counts of illegal voting over allegations she improperly cast a ballot five times between 2005 and 2014 in Tarrant County. Her attorney has said Ortega was a permanent U.S. resident who mistakenly thought she was eligible to vote. Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans, cited the case as proof that voter fraud is real and requires preventative measures. Abbott crowed via Twitter: “In Texas you will pay a price for Voter Fraud.” His office did not return a request for comment from the AP. Questionable affidavits were identified in more than 20 counties around the state. Tarrant County alone had at least two dozen. In Bexar County, home to San Antonio, the top election official estimated that a large chunk of the nearly 600 affidavits submitted should have been declined and voters instructed to cast provisional ballots instead. Travis County, which includes Austin, identified 70 such cases out of roughly 2,300 affidavits. In Fort Bend County, a suburb of

Stock Photo / Associated Press A sign tells voters of voter ID requirements before participating in the primary election at Sherrod Elementary school in Arlington, Texas. Attorneys challenging tough voter ID laws in Texas and North Carolina say they’ll keep pressing their lawsuits without the support of President Donald Trump’s Justice Department if necessary. Houston, more than 15 percent of voters who submitted 313 affidavits said they possessed a photo ID, but they were not required to show it. Under a court order issued last year, election officials were not allowed to question a voter’s reason for signing an affidavit. The cases do not amount to voter fraud because people still had to be registered to vote to qualify for an affidavit, said John Oldham, Fort Bend County’s elections chief. Poll workers were trained to “err on the side of letting people use the affidavit instead of denying them the chance to vote,” Oldham said. “We don’t consider it something that we want to go out and prosecute people over,” Oldham said. “But I wish we didn’t have this affidavit process. It makes the whole photo ID law entirely meaningless.” The affidavit process was adopted after an appeals court ruled that the voter ID law discriminated against minorities. The

change was intended to help voters who could not obtain identification for a variety of reasons, including disability or illness, lack of transportation or conflicts with work schedules. Nearly 9 million Texans cast ballots in the presidential election, according to state data, and Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by more than 800,000 votes statewide. That means the hundreds of disputed ballots could never have made a difference in the outcome at the top of the ticket. New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice estimated that more than 16,000 affidavits were submitted statewide in Texas. The director of the center’s voting rights and elections project said it would be difficult to prove voters intentionally tried to thwart the system by using an affidavit. “As far as I’m concerned, these are the better part of almost 20,000 voters that would not have been able to participate in this election,” Myrna Perez said. “This is just a scratch on the surface.”

Judge blocks Texas cutting Medicaid to Planned Parenthood Paul Weber

Associated Press A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Texas can’t cut off Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015 that launched Republican efforts across the U.S. to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider. An injunction issued by U.S. District Sam Sparks of Austin comes after he delayed making decision in January and essentially bought Planned Parenthood an extra month in the state’s Medicaid program. Texas is now at least the sixth state where federal courts have kept Planned Parenthood eligible for Medicaid reimbursements for non-abortion services, although a bigger question remains over whether President Donald Trump will federally defund the organization. Sparks’ decision preserves what Planned Parenthood says are cancer screenings, birth control access and other health services for nearly 11,000 lowincome women at 30 clinics. Texas originally intended to boot

Planned Parenthood in January but Sparks told the state to wait pending his ruling. Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi and Louisiana have also had similar efforts blocked. Sparks’ unsparing opinion excoriated Texas for not providing “any evidence” of Planned Parenthood wrongdoing and stalling on the ouster for nearly a year. “A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations — these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program,” Sparks wrote. “Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources.” Like in other states, Texas health officials accused Planned Parenthood officials of making misrepresentation to investigators following the release of secretly recorded and heavily edited videos by an

anti-abortion group last year. Investigations by 13 states into those videos have concluded without criminal charges, and Planned Parenthood officials have denied any wrongdoing. Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the state intends to appeal in a statement that repeated accusations that Planned Parenthood manipulated the timing of abortions to benefit researchers. Planned Parenthood has denied those claims, and Sparks said there was no evidence the organization violated ethical or medical standards. “No taxpayer in Texas should have to subsidize this repugnant and illegal conduct. We should never lose sight of the fact that, as long as abortion is legal in the United States, the potential for these types of horrors will continue,” Paxton said in a statement. A Houston grand jury indicted two activists behind the videos over how they covertly gained access inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, but a judge later dismissed the charges. Planned Parenthood serves only a fraction of the 4.3 million people enrolled in Medicaid in Texas, but

Ben Torres / Associated Press Abortion rights supporters chant pro-choice slogans during a rally outside of the Planned Parenthood South Dallas Surgical Health Services Center, Saturday morning. Sparks said he was not convinced that its clients would quickly and easily be able to find new providers. Anti-abortion activists emboldened by a new Trump administration are looking for the federal government to cut off all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. That would cut nearly $400 million in Medicaid money to the group and result in roughly 400,000 women losing access to care, according to the nonpartisan

Congressional Budget Office. In one of his first acts as president, Trump last month banned U.S. funding to international groups that perform abortions or even provide information about abortions. Vice President Mike Pence strongly opposes abortion, citing his Catholic beliefs, and the newly confirmed health secretary, Tom Price, has supported cutting off taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood.


Inspiration Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life 6

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Wednesday February 22, 2017

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“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Maya Angelou

“There’s no excuse for the young people not knowing who the heroes and heroines are or were.”

“When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”

Nina Simone

George Washington Carver

“If you can’t fly RUN, if you can’t run WALK, If you can’t walk CRAWL, but by all means KEEP MOVING.”

“I want to grow. I want to be better. You grow. We all grow. We’re made to grow. you either evolve or you disappear.”

Martin Luther King Jr

Tupac Shakur

“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”

Malcolm X

Jackie Robinson

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as y the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climg that wear you down. It’s the pebble in your shoe.”

Booker T. Washington

Muhammad Ali

“I am no longer accepting the things I can not change. I am changing the things I can not accept.”

“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

Dr. Angela Davis

Fannie Lou Hamer


Inspiration 7 e is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Wednesday February 22, 2017

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“Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”

“I want to be remembered as someone that used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom. I want to be remembered as one who tried.”

James Baldwin

Dorothy Height

“Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the though of giving government the power to control men’s minds.”

“Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men.”

Thurgood Marshall

Marcus Garvey

“If women want any rights more than they’s got, why don’t they just thake them, and not be talking about it.”

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning through failure.”

Sojurner Truth

Colin Powell

“Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what’s more than enough.”

“Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brain power.”

Billie Holliday

Barbara Jordan

“Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life,and not something you do in your spare time.”

“We all do ‘do, re, mi,’ but you have got to find the other notes yourself.”

Marian Wright Edelman

Louis Armstrong

“Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Michelle Obama

Barack Obama


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Wednesday February 22, 2017

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Sports

All-Star game in the Big Easy Zain Ali

The Egalitarian All-star weekend is a time where the players put on a show for the fans by doing contests that showcase their skill. The contests that fans care about are the skills challenge, 3 point contest, dunk contest, and of course the all-star game. The overall level of talent in the NBA is quite incredible, and at the all star game the top 24 basketball players in the world are on the court at one time. The ratings for the all-star game last year were great with 7.6 million viewers seeing the game. A six percent increase from the previous year and with young talents like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and Anthony Davis, the league is in good shape from a talent perspective. So let’s get into the first event. 3 Point Contest The NBA is starting to become more perimeter oriented, and teams are looking for the best shooters to stretch the defense out. Because of this trend, shooters are better than ever, shooting 3 pointers at a higher clip than ever before. No team shoots more 3 pointers than the Houston Rockets, and it’s only right that a Rocket comes out on top. Eric Gordon won the 3-point contest coming in with 9/1 odds. With his first rack, he had a score of 25, which stood as the highest mark of the contest. The preliminary rounds eliminate 5 of the eight contestants leaving three shooters to shoot for the trophy. After securing his spot in the preliminary rounds, Eric Gordon was joined by two other contestants, Kemba Walker and 2013 3-point contest champion Kyrie Irving. Kemba went first and put up a disappointing score of 17 which was surpassed right after by Kyrie Irving with a score

of 20. Eric Gordon was next, and he did well on his first four racks getting 19. All he needed was two more shots or a Moneyball (worth 2 points) on the last rack to secure his victory. He got noticeably tired and made only one shot on the final rack to tie Kyrie Irving at 20 leading to a sudden death shootout. Gordon was crushed looking down at the ground in disappointment knowing he needed one more shot to take home the trophy. Going into OT Kyrie went first and finished with a score of 18 leaving it up to the man that has made 184 3’s so far this season to top it. Gordon stepped up to the challenge and caught fire early, not even needing his last rack. Impressively he won with a score of 19 only using four rows. Right after paying the other contestants respect he was asked how does this feel, and he said, “Glad I got the hardware, got to compliment those shooters out there, those guys are great, it was just my night tonight.” Indeed, it was, and the Rockets have their first 3-point contest champion in the history of the franchise. From a drama and excitement standpoint, the 3 point contest was incredible encapsulating everything the all-star weekend is supposed to be about. Dunk Contest Speaking of drama and excitement, the dunk contest didn’t display any of it. Last year might have raised the expectations of the contest because of the video game dunks Zach Lavine, and Aaron Gordon did last year, but there was no excuse for it to be this bad. Aaron Gordon returned to avenge the crushing loss he endured last year, but he underperformed mightily. He had a foot injury coming into the contest, and it clearly hampered him the whole

night. Then came Deandre Jordan and his size made all of his dunks look unimpressive. Being a big man in the dunk contest is tough because the dunk contest has a component of power, but overall it’s a finesse contest. The type of dunk that one does is more important than the force in which they throw it down. Afterward came the unknowns, Derick Jones Jr. and Glen Robinson the third. Derick Jones failed on most of his dunks; he missed mostly all of them and the ones he made lost its fervor because of the countless number of attempts. Making it on the first try brings a level of surprise and shock that these dunkers did not understand. Derick Jones Jr. did good advancing to the next round with Glen Robinson with average dunks. Glen Robinson ended up winning with the same dunk Aaron Gordon did last year. Overall it was a underwhelming dunk contest as the fans complained about it on the different social media platforms and begged the stars to perform in events like this. All-Star Game The West won the All-Star game comfortably in an alright all-star game. The game wasn’t close at the end and defense was routinely not played. The all-star game is a sight for all NBA fans to be amazed at the best players in the world on one court. Seeing Lebron and Kevin Durant on the court is always a treat, especially when they are joined by James Harden and Steph Curry. There was no defense being played in this game just as it hasn’t been played since the early 2000’s. The all-star game has started to become a dunk contest and a 3 point shootout. Nobody even attempts to guard their man hence making the game a walkthrough. The purpose of

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon shoots during the All-Star 3-point shootout as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night events in New Orleans, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. this is to make sure nobody gets hurt in a pointless game, in years past it was competitive, and no one ever got hurt. The fans in New Orleans chanted “Defense!” in the third quarter because after a while it’s just players are shooting open shots. The goal is to get the best players to compete against each other with the other best players. The NFL does a 50,000 increase for the winner of the contest and baseball’s allstar game has the home field rights in the finals to play for. The NBA has no incentive to for the players to try in the game. If the NBA did what baseball does, and they had home court in the finals on the line Lebron, and the other great players would be on their A game. The game featured some cool dunks,

and the young players got their feet wet in the spotlight which helped. Hometown star Anthony Davis broke the record for points in an all-star game previously held by Wilt Chamberlain with a 52 point performance. Anthony Davis took home the trophy, and his fans loudly cheered for him as he held up the MVP trophy. Also, New Orleans got Demarcus Cousins in a trade right after the all star game which Anthony Davis was very happy about saying, “All-Star MVP and now getting Boogie. It doesn’t get better than this” In conclusion, the all-star game was average and although some thought it was boring, no players got hurt this entire weekend which is the ultimate takeaway from the break.

Baseball’s invaluable super subs Paul Newberry Associated Press

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Jace Peterson starts out the day shagging fly balls in the outfield. Then, he changes gloves and heads to the infield to take some grounders. Don’t try to label this guy with a position. He can play just about all of them. “Man, it’s fun,” Peterson said. “You get to move around the diamond. You get to work everywhere.” Peterson is part of an ever-growing trend on big league rosters: the super sub. The Atlanta Braves have two of them, in fact. Stock Photo/ Associated Press Peterson can play second base, Chicago Cubs’ Javier Baez, right, scores shortstop, third base and all three on a sacrifice fly by David Ross during a baseball game in Cincinnati. outfield positions. Chase d’Arnaud does

him one better, having added first base to his repertoire this spring. “Those guys are invaluable,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. All over baseball, teams are placing huge importance on those who can play everywhere — especially in an era when teams are carrying at least 12 pitchers on their 25-man rosters, leaving only four or five players on the bench. It matters even more in the National League, where pitchers must hit and there are all sorts of lineup issues to deal with over the course of a game. Pinch hitters. Double switches. Defensive changes. One of the top priorities for the defending NL East champion Washington Nationals was to re-sign 33-year-old Stephen Drew, who didn’t exactly put up huge numbers last season (.266 with eight homers and 21 RBIs)

but made starts at second, short, third and designated hitter. Nationals manager Dusty Baker thinks these are jobs for more experienced players, one who “had some success and knows not to get down when he doesn’t have success.” Then again, Cleveland made it all the way to the World Series with a major contribution from 24-year-old Jose Ramirez, who in his first full big league season played 117 games at third base but also got time in the outfield (84 games), second base (nine) and even shortstop (five). He hit .313 with 11 homers and 76 RBIs while shifting around to all nine spots in the batting order. “A lot of times, with young guys, when see

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Year end review of the AFC South Zain Ali

The Egalitarian The NFL offseason is upon us, and the AFC South has a lot of questions that need to be answered. Last year the division ended up being one of the more interesting divisions in the NFL. The overall rosters are not that bad but in the NFL, today if you don’t have a Quarterback then it is tough to win games. That happened to be the case for the Texans and Jaguars, Brock Osweiler and Blake Bortles have lost a lot of trust with their franchise and rightfully so. Houston and Jacksonville have stacked rosters, but they cannot utilize any of their pieces because of their Quarterbacks. On the other hand, the Titans and Colts are in need of talent on defense. Their defense is the biggest concern because Marcus Mariota and Andrew Luck can mask most of the problems on offense. Surrounding Luck and Mariota with talent is the main objective for as long as they are healthy. Last year the Houston Texans won the division by hounding opposing offenses with the number one overall defense in the NFL Houston Texans (9-7) Houston is the mystery of the NFL because in this passing league we are in, quarterbacks are so vital to the success of a team, and the Texans lack one. Brock Osweiler was supposed to be the savior quarterback after so many debacles at trying to fill that spot. Under current coach Bill O’Brien the Texans have had Osweiler, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum, T.J. Yates, Brandon Weeden and Tom Savage have played QB for Houston. O’Briens reputation is getting tainted by the day; people are starting to wonder whether it was just Tom Brady making him look good in New England

instead of him being a great quarterbacks coach. It could also be that the Texans front office has not provided him a QB that can play at this level. QB. Brock Osweiler signed a four-year contract with the Houston Texans worth $72 million on March 9, 2016, and the Texans, fans regret that decision. The contract is probably one of the five worst contracts that have ever been done. He is a horrible Quarterback, and the Texans took a huge risk, and it hasn’t paid off. From the lack of accuracy to the lack of throwing power and field awareness, Osweiler is not a starting QB in the NFL. He has all the requisite weapons around him as well, a solid running game, time in the pocket, and a good receiving core headlined with Deandre Hopkins who makes almost everyone look good… except for Brock Osweiler. No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney panned out well, after a couple of bad seasons early on. Clowney, alongside JJ Watt, who got injured last season, and Whitney Mercilus the front seven will be able to get to the pocket on every play and harass opposing Quarterbacks. Having the number 1 defense requires more than just a front 7 to get the job done, a full 11-man unit is needed. The back 4 played amazing as well especially in man coverage sticking wide receivers all game long and maintaining the number 2 defense in passing yards. If the Texans re-sign cornerback AJ Bouye, then this defense will be intact for another year with JJ Watt being an addition to the best defense in football. The Texans front office has proven to be a good group that finds the best talent at every position except for Quarterback. This year there should be no excuse for not getting a QB, with Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo on the trade market and the quarterback class in the

Baseball, From Page 8 they struggle, if they haven’t done it, you’re like, ‘Oh man, are they over their head a little bit?’” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “But when they’ve done it, it’s nice to know that.” The World Series champion Chicago Cubs have the best of both worlds, relying heavily on 35-year-old Ben Zobrist and 24-year-old Javier Baez to shift seamlessly between the infield and outfield. The New York Mets discuss the versatility of their players in the earliest days of spring training, hoping it will pay off when the games really count. Wilmer Flores has been a starter at every infield spot. This spring, the team is planning to give infielder Jose Reyes some work in the outfield, while

draft is better than most years as well. The Texans can be scary if they have a formidable quarterback. Houston can become a real contender in the AFC. Draft Need: QB, RG, OLB Tennessee Titans (9-7) The Titans finished 9-7 this season playing extremely well throughout. Consistency became the problem week in and week out with the Titans. After beating Green Bay, they loss to the Colts, Tennessee beat Kansas City and Denver, but then end up giving up 38 points to the Jaguars in a loss. This team has an identity, and it is running the football with brute force. Running back Demarco Murray and left tackle Taylor Lewan were the stars of the offense; playing like pro bowlers and making Marcus Mariotas job a lot easier. The Titans were number 2 in the NFL in stopping the run, and the defensive front seven got after the quarterback regularly. The meat and potatoes are solved for this team; they can run the ball, stop the run, and get after the quarterback. The problems are the skill positions; the secondary, linebackers and wide receivers were below par and positioned other teams did not have to worry about. Delanie Walker cannot be the number one option on pass plays. Mathews stepped up, but they need a speedy Julian Edelman type of receiver that separates from opposing corners and makes it easy on Mariota. Every throw Mariota makes feels like he fits the ball into a small window. Since they have the Rams’ pick at number 5, the best option should be Mike Williams at wide receiver. Draft Need: WR, CB, LB, S Indianapolis Colts (8-8) For the Colts, the job is easy, just find Andrew Luck some talent. The goal of the Colts franchise has been the same since Luck was drafted. Defensively the Colts have never been good, the

outfielder Jay Bruce will spend time at first base. This could be especially important for a team that doesn’t know how much it will get from David Wright following neck surgery. “If somebody goes down, can we move this guy or that guy here?” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “You just never know when all of a sudden you look up, as we saw last year, and we need help. That versatility — if we have it and can make it work — will help us get better.” Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield epitomizes the way the game is going. He spent most of the last seven years in the minors in part because he didn’t have a true position. Now, he’s a nearlock for the Royals’ roster for the exact same reason. He played 81 games after finally getting called up last season, split between left field, right field,

John Canamar/ Egalitarian AFC South logos in order of their standings within the division at the end of the year. offensive line continues to be awful, and if it weren’t for Luck, the Colts would be the Cleveland Browns. The run defense gave up 4.7 yards per carrying and they were equally as horrible defending the pass. On offense, they were very productive finishing with the 8th ranked offense. They faced the no. 1 overall defense (Texans) and the no. 6 ranked defense (Jaguars) a total of four times. A difficult schedule doomed the Colts, and the lack of talent ended up overwhelming Luck and company. Firing their general manager should help, the draft will make or break the Colts season. Draft Need: Everything except QB Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) Jacksonville had some lofty expectations before the season started because Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson showed flashes of immense talent. We have come to a realization that Blake Bortles is not very good and even though he played horribly this season he still has a lot of time to develop and make the most of his talent. Comparisons to big Ben may

third, second, first and DH. Texas has its own MVP off the bench with Jurickson Profar, a former top prospect who battled injuries and finally made it back to the big leagues for the first time since 2013. While he had some cringing stretches at first base, where he started 13 games after a very quick lesson, you won’t hear any complaints from the Rangers. He also got 15 starts at second base, 16 at third base, 10 at shortstop and eight in left field. Some players are taking this versatility thing to the extreme. Christian Bethancourt, who made it to the big leagues as a catcher, is now looking to pitch for the San Diego Padres. “I’ve never done that before, but we created a plan,” he said. “I’m getting better on the mound and they clocked

have been too much for him to handle. Jacksonville has great talent, and on the defensive side of the ball, they were exceptional. The Jaguars were the 6th defense in the NFL in total yards, with the addition of rookie Jalen Ramsey, this defense became an issue for opposing offenses. Pass rushers were great, and the secondary was just as good preventing most passing games from being effective. The one area where they could get better is stopping the run. They had the 14th defense regarding stopping the run. The offense turned the ball over a ton this season (3rd most) and the defense had to step up on multiple occasions. Turnover differential is vital to winning, out of the ten teams with the best turnover differential 7 made the playoffs. Jacksonville has to make a decision about whether or not Bortles can progress and become the franchise quarterback they thought they were getting with the 3rd pick in the draft. Draft need: DT, OL, and decide whether Bortles is the long-term solution.

me between 94 and 98. My breaking ball now is a cutter, and throw that around 88, 89. I’m working on a curve and a change.” Jordan Schafer took a similar tack with an eye on extending his career. The 30-year-old outfielder is getting a chance to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals. “We’re going to make this an opportunity for him to learn and compete, and then figure out how it fits,” manager Mike Matheny said. D’Arnaud, who came up as a shortstop, figures he might already be pursuing another career if not for his versatility. “I don’t know if I’d still be playing baseball if I’d never learned to play the outfield,” the 30-year-old said. “It surely has helped out my career being able to play the infield and the outfield.”


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Wednesday February 22, 2017

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Culture

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Commentary

Wednesday February 22, 2017

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11

Corman, an underrated pioneer C.D. Calderon The Egalitarian

It’s hard to defend the things you love. It’s always something personal, that can only have value to you alone. Perhaps that explains why an average movie fan can only shake their head and wonder why artists like Robert De Niro or Martin

Scorsese would heap praise on a film called Teenage Caveman. Believe it or not, both have reason for their enthusiasm. The director of the above title was named Roger Corman. It also happens that Corman gave the same two men their first professional gigs as an actor and director. For Scorsese, it was behind the camera shooting a film called Boxcar Bertha. For De

Anchor Bay Films Movie poster of Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel realesd by Anchor Bay Films.

Niro, it was starring opposite Shelly Winters in Bloody Mama. Corman stands at the launch of their careers and at the center of Alex Stapleton’s 2011 documentary Corman’s World. For 89 minutes of runtime, audiences are treated to a behind – the – scenes glimpse of a part of movie-making that few ever think about. That’s because it’s hard to defend or talk about schlock. Schlock used to be a derogatory term assigned to B-grade and low-budget exploitation films. These were not the kind of flicks that got a wide advertisement. If they’re still being made, you’ll never see them sharing marquee space next to Zootopia or anything like that. These were films that, any various ways, presaged the current Indie film scene. These were not glorious production numbers. In a schlock B picture, the budget was always limited, meaning that filmmakers had to economize in terms of both film and talent. The funny thing is how often they got away with it. This was always Corman’s strength. Working with just a dime store amount of money and time, Corman would churn out a completed film in just under a week. He got his start working for distributors James Nicholson and Samuel Arkoff under their indie production company, American International Pictures. Together, the three men helped spawn a plethora of drive-in features that are still treasured memories for directors such as Joe Dante and Steven Spielberg.

Corman’s work can be neatly divided in two. On the one hand, there are such films as Attack of the Giant Crab Monsters and It Conquered the World. Despite a few naysayers, these are not bad films. Often they deserve a more fair hearing than they are able to get with average film-goers. However, these were still not Corman’s first tier work. That distinction belonged to The Wild Angels, The Pit and the Pendulum and The House of Usher. With these films Corman was able to revitalize the horror genre and give a voice to a whole counter – cultural generation of teenagers looking for a change. They were able to find part of that outlet in Corman’s work. He was able to communicate with Baby Boomers using a vocabulary that they understood. In Corman, the 60s-generation recognized someone who understood them on some level. In the process, he created a space for the genres we are currently familiar with today, such as Sci – Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. If Corman is an underrated pioneer, then he’d probably be the first to admit he could never have done it alone. The other accomplishment Corman is known for was his ability to discover talent in others, and to nurture it. One of the strengths of Stapleton’s documentary is the light it shines on what one interviewee dubs “The Corman School”. It’s a term that describes one of the most remarkable features of Corman’s life. This was never done on purpose, the incredible fact is that actors like Jack Nicholson, or starving artists like James

Cameron, Joe Dante and Ron Howard all came to Hollywood looking to break into the industry. That they just happened to cross paths with Corman, and that he was responsible for giving these A-list names their big break is just one of those strange turns of luck and circumstance. This is something that Corman’s graduate alumnus are still aware of, and it’s a treat to see Howard recalling his misspent youth trying to helm an unstable low-budget flick like Grand Theft Auto. The most energetic and surprising interviews are given by Jack Nicholson. From beginning to end, he is unflagging in his enthusiasm for the man and the movies that started his career. “This is it,” Nicholson recalls of his first starring role, “I’m here, I’m gonna be big!” Nicholson’s devotion and loyalty to Corman are on full display in a surprising scene where he almost begins to tear up over the good old days. In the last analysis, what makes the films of Roger Corman stand out is that there is a clear purpose behind even the bad ones. It’s not a kind of declaration, so much as an alternative way of looking at film in particular, and stories in general. It’s hard to say how many are able to get on board with this kind of alternate cinema. In a day when many films go out of their way to be as clean and professional as possible, viewing a Corman flick can sometimes be a muchneeded shot in the arm. If anyone is looking for a good intro to this alternative, Corman’s World is a good place to star.

John Wick is back! Fabian Brimms The Egalitarian

John Wick was one of the movies no one had on their list when it came out three years ago. However, it was very successful, bringing in profit more than four times higher than its $20 million budget. No surprise that the producers wanted to make a sequel; in fact a whole trilogy. But can John Wick: Chapter 2 live up to such high expectations? John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a hitman, one of the best, but seeks to retire after his wife’s (Bridget Moynahan) death. He cuts all ties with his acquaintances and tries to live a peaceful life with the new dog he found at the end of the first movie. However, mobster Santino D’Antino (Riccardo Scamarcio) pays him a visit and demands Wick to uphold an old blood oath he once took. John Wick then gets pulled back in the crime world he wants to leave, and on the way out the body count rises to unprecedented dimensions. This movie is the opposite of a “chick flick”. Similar to films like ‘The Fast and Furious’ series or ‘Hardcore Henry’, this is essentially two hours of action. There’s fighting, shooting, and the coolest oneliners since Bruce Willis saved the world in ‘Die Hard’. ‘John Wick Chapter 2’ delivers

on the promises of the first part, and it’s definitely one of the best action movies of recent years. The fights and shootouts are masterfully choreographed, and the punches are so hard you can almost hear bones cracking. Director Chad Stahelski was Keanu Reeves’ stuntman for ‘The Matrix’ trilogy, and he certainly knows how to make a fight look good (and painful!). He always finds something refreshing to break the tension and create action scenes that don’t feel repetitive. John Wick is the MacGyver among the contract killers and, in a sequence, he knows how to make use of a pencil better than Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’. Nothing and no one is safe when Wick is angry. With this series, Reeves found the perfect franchise. Although often mocked for his acting abilities, he is in his element when it comes to action movies like ‘Speed’, ‘Point Break’ and ‘The Matrix.’ The ‘John Wick’ trilogy will further reinforce Reeves’ image as an action icon. On Wick’s side, together for the first time since ‘Matrix Revolutions’, is Laurence Fishburne. Rapper Common has one of the bigger parts in the movie, and he does a good job embodying the role as bodyguard Cassian on a revenge trip. In cameos, John Leguizamo and Bridget

Niko Tavernise / Associated Press This image released by Lionsgate shows Keanu Reeves, left, and Laurence Fishburne in a scene from, “John Wick: Chapter 2.” Moynahan reprise their roles from part one. While the producers were able to preserve most of the crew, Dan Laustsen replaced Jonthan Sela as cinematographer. There is no worry to change since Laustsen brings back the cold look and the steadiness that make following the complex choreographies a joy. He also adds new notes, for example when Wick gets attacked by his enemies in a mirror-cabinet-like museum exhibition. ‘John Wick Chapter 2’ is a highly entertaining movie, but its testosteronedriven nature doesn’t make it a perfect date movie. Still, should the ladies crave for one

of the best shootouts in recent years, Wick’s second outing should pack more action than ‘50 Shades Darker’, which starts on the same weekend in the theaters. When you know what to expect, there is no way to be bored when watching the highoctane ‘John Wick Chapter 2’. John Wick Chapter 2 (2017); directed by Chad Stahelski; written by Derek Kolstad; cinematography by Dan Laustsen; with Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, John Leguizamo, Bridged Moynahan; 122 min; R-rated

Egal•i•tar•i•an (adjective) aiming for equal wealth, status, etc., for all people 3517 Austin; 303 Fine Arts Center; Houston TX 77004 Phone: 713.718.6016; Fax: 713.718.6601 Adviser: Fredrick Batiste

SPRING 207 EGALITARIAN STAFF Editor-in-Chief............................................Jimmieka Mills News Editor................................................... Alyssa Foley Sports Editor..............................................John Cañamar Culture Editor.............................................. Erik Calderon Photo Editor............................................................... TBA Social Media Mgr....................................................... TBA Staff Writer.................................................... Ana Ramirez Staff Writer............................................................ Zain Ali Staff Writer................................................... Fabian Brims Staff Writer................................................. C.D. Calderon Staff Writer................................................................. TBA Staff Photographer..................................................... TBA ——— The Egalitarian has been the official student newspaper of the Houston Community College System since September 1974. The Egalitarian is published bi-monthly, every other Wednesday except during holiday breaks. Print circulation is 8,000 copies per issue and distributed to selected HCC campuses in the Houston, Spring Branch, Alief, Katy, North Forest and Fort Bend areas. Comments and contributions are always welcome. Deadlines for contributions and advertisements are one week before the issue print date. The Egalitarian is written and edited by students of Houston Community College. This publication does not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, interests, attitudes and tastes of the Board of Trustees, HCC administration, faculty, staff or students. Opinions and editorial content of The Egalitarian that are unsigned do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Egalitarian staff or adviser. The Egalitarian reserves the right to edit any submitted material for grammatical errors, offensive language, libelous materials and space constraints. It may also refuse any advertising that does not adhere to the HCC mission.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

The Egalitarian staff consists of HCC students who must complete all tasks required to produce the newspaper, which serves all campuses of the HCC System. We want all students from all majors to contribute. However, we must follow our submissions policy in order to operate under our limitations of time, energy and staff. All staff and contributing writers must be currently enrolled students at Houston Community College. The Egalitarian interacts with contributing writers via e-mail and telephone. Visiting The Egalitarian will not help contributors get published, only quality work will. Publication priority is given to staff members and assigned articles, and verbal commitments for assignments will not be accepted or recognized. Press releases, story ideas, news tips and suggestions are always welcomed. Any student interested in joining The Egalitarian staff may request more detailed information regarding story length, topics, style, etc., by e-mailing The Egalitarian Faculty Adviser Fredrick Batiste at adviser@hccegalitarian.com.

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during a news conference following a meeting with MLB owners.

MLB three ring circus John Cañamar The Egalitarian

MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, is always looking for a way to streamline the game of baseball. The MLB has proposed two new ideas to the players’ union for approval. The first is the shrinking of the strike zone from the bottom of the knee, where it has been since 1996, to above the knee. The rule change would make the strike zone roughly two inches smaller. Great for hitters, not so much for pitchers. This attempt to shorten the game has a mass potential to lengthening the game from where I sit. First, pitchers would lose valuable space where they like throwing pitches like cutters and sliders leading to more balls being call and having pitchers going deeper into counts slowing the down the game. Second, batters are more disciplined than ever before and will lay off more pitches waiting on a fat one to drive. Once they get that hot zone pitch, they can turn it around leading to bigger innings and adding more time to the length of the game. Third, with both scenarios above will lead to higher pitch count, meaning pitchers being pulled earlier in games and more relievers coming into games leading to longer games. The second proposed rule change is the way an intentional walk is handled. MLB is suggesting that instead of tossing four pitches out wide to give the free pass for the pitcher or catcher to inform the umpire that they intend to walk a player and just let the batter take the base without ever throwing a pitch. This play is not rare in baseball; in fact, it happens once every two to three games. Where normally it is an exercise of throw and catch by the pitcher and catcher every so often one throw gets away from the catcher allowing runners on bases to advance. Where this rule could speed up the game, it would be by 45 seconds to one third of games played, not a huge savings of time in a contest of three hours. Also, coaches use that time to allow their bullpen to get warmed up and ready to face the following batter; now you are changing the way the game would have to be managed. If either one of these two rules would pass by the players’ union, I do not see any major uproar or dare I say it, a protest march by baseball purist. I cannot say that with so much confidence on what MLB is doing at their lowest levels of minor league ball and starting extra innings with a man on second. Yes, to shorten the game from going into late in

the night MLB is resorting to beer league softball rules. If a game goes into extra innings the player who had the last out, or the player who was the last to bat if another player was a force out, will start at second base. However, if that player is taken out of the game, as is normal when a coach pulls a double switch in these occasions, then the pitcher would be the runner at second to start the top of the tenth. “Let’s see what it looks like,” said Joe Torre, MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer and a strong proponent of the testing. “It’s not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch. As much as it’s nice to talk about being at an 18-inning game, it takes time. It’s baseball. I’m just trying to get back to that, where this is the game that people come to watch. It doesn’t mean you’re going to score. You’re just trying to play baseball.” With all due respect Torre as a fan of the game, we do like to see the oddity of a position player who has not thrown a competitive pitch since high school get on the bump and try to get one past the big stick of the likes of Mike Trout, Carlos Correa or a Kris Bryant. You have not been around the water cooler in a long time but for us the fans that is the topic of discussion the next day in the break room and the local bars. This rule is being put in place to prevent games from dragging into 15 or 16 inning marathons, that being said less than one percent of all games last year, 18 to be exact, went past 13 innings. If you, MLB, want to turn the beautiful game that is baseball into a backyard whiffle ball game with ghost runners and such, make it more fun than a man at second to start extra innings. Make it a full three ring circus. Get the hitting coach that throws batting practice out front and center and pick your best five hitters, a la soccer style. Have the coach throw three pitches to each batter, rotating teams, and have a home run contest to settle it. Baseball’s version of an MLS shootout. This would save teams pitching rotations, keep flights on schedule and get away days and can even be a whole new marketing angle for the league. I can see it now, Baseball’s Power Stroke 10th inning brought to you by the makers of Dodge Ram, or any other company willing to drop millions of dollars to be on all the sports shows and stadiums across the nation. When it is all said, and done, it is about the dollar; I mean the speed of the game.


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Wednesday February 22, 2017

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“Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.” —Frederick Douglass (c. 1818-1895): abolitionist, author, suffragist, editor and diplomat

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February 22, 2017 issue of The Egalitarian  

HCC students lobby at capitol; Houston DA decriminalizes marijuana; students help clean up historic cemetery; and more!

February 22, 2017 issue of The Egalitarian  

HCC students lobby at capitol; Houston DA decriminalizes marijuana; students help clean up historic cemetery; and more!

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