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Photo Credit: MCT Campus The Jussie Smollett case teaches a lesson in confirmation bias. PAGE 3



Photo Credit: MCT Campus Climate Reality Leadership Corps comes to Mesa to talk climate change. PAGE 6

Photo Credit: Poets share pesonal stories to prove black history is more than a month. PAGE 4

Photo Credit: Erik Acosta Double-header: Mesa looses one, then answer back with a win. PAGE 8

THE MESA PRESS Volume 63, Issue 2

First Person Account


the Independent Student Publication of San Diego Mesa College

I Smell Gunpowder

MARCH 5, 2019

Shooting at the Asian Bistro


trench-coated figure strolling down the street stopped and fired 19 shots with an AR-15 into Asian Bistro in Hillcrest on Feb. 12. With bullets aimed high and patrons ducking low, nobody was physically injured. Felon, Stefano Parker, is facing 374 years in prison. About 20 minutes after the shooting, the suspect was detained. Witnesses had stated they had seen Parker disrobing south of the scene in an alley. According to CBS on Feb. 13, “Witnesses at the scene described the suspect as a heavy-set black man wearing dark clothing, possibly a hoodie. A man matching that description was found nearby the discarded clothing shortly after the shots were fired.” Later that week, on Feb. 15, Parker, 29, faced charges for being a felon in possession of a firearm, discharging a firearm, and 11 counts of premeditated attempted murder. Interestingly enough, I know I saw more than 10 other people in the restaurant when I was dining there that night. “It is miraculous that no one was injured,” stated Deputy District Attorney Paul Reizen after the arraignment. Following the shooting, Police are still figuring out if the incident was a hate crime. Hillcrest is well-known for its welcoming and LGBTQ-inclusive environment. The incident is also following the vandalism of a historic LGBTQ monument and flagpole on Feb. 11. That same day trucks drove down University Ave. and passengers yelled out homophobic slurs out of a truck at the open air bars around 2nd and 3rd Ave. Prior to the shooting, Parker made some alarming posts to Facebook. He wrote on Jan. 31, “Who told all these gayfers it was safe to come outside…..?” Though there were no hate crimes filed against him, Reizen reiterated that if there is any evidence that the crime was directed towards the restaurant, patrons, or LGBTQ community, charges will be pursued. Parker, a transplant from Alabama, had a previous conviction of homicide and had served time in prison. Reizen said he had no further information on the criminal

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OPINION..................PAGES 2-3

Four of the 19 bullets shattered the glass door of the Asian Bistro as patrons were enjoying a quiet supper inside the restaurant. Photo Credit: Kole Lavoy history of Parker. That Tuesday night, just as I would every Tuesday night, I sat in my usual seat in the back corner of the bistro. About the time it took me to drink half my glass of water was how long until bullets began penetrating the restaurant. The attack took under a minute, at around 7:30 p.m., for our lives to be shaken up. My very first thought was, “Why is it so loud in here?!” I covered my ears and looked to the front of the restaurant and saw the glass fall out of the door and fly to the back of the restaurant. Puffs of smoke coming off the disgusting mustard yellow colored walls and holes being ripped through the artwork (It was time for it to be replaced anyways.) It must’ve been three or four shots until I knew to get under my table. I fell to the floor just like they taught me to during active shooter drills in high school. I thought those drills were pointless. I also thought I didn’t learn or remember anything from high school. I also thought I would never /themesapress

be in a shooting. Once silence finally struck, we all waited for footsteps to enter the room, walking through the galaxies of broken glass. Thankfully, the man never did try to finish the job by reloading his AR-15. I lifted my head when silence fell over the room. I saw that glass from the door everywhere, people’s entrees spread across the walkway. I saw a couple holding each other so tightly, I don’t know if they’ve ever felt such strong intimacy before. I glided my hands across my legs and torso. My ankle was wet, I didn’t know if it was blood or the glass of water I was drinking. I felt blood drip down my forehead and I pulled a piece of glass about the size of my pinky nail out of my brow. None of us knew if anyone was shot, much less ourselves. Then someone finally spoke up after what felt like hours. Our terrified young waitress yelled out that we flee out the backdoor. We ran upstairs to some quiet apartments and I sat @themesapress

FEATURES..............PAGES 4-5

on hold with 911 for three minutes. Once I was on the phone with the operator I realized I was the only one with the clearest mind to fix the situation. I kept asking everyone if we needed a medic, no one knew. We didn’t know if we left someone downstairs bleeding to death. Police came quickly and had us wait in the kitchen. Then waited for two hours for detectives to evaluate the scene and interview each victim. In that time, we were a family. We only had each other to process the terror that would haunt us. “There were about five shots, then a pause giving us enough time to use our tables as shields,” Autumn Howard, the closest person to the front of the restaurant, said. Howard added, “Then he just kept shooting… I lost count and held my best friend’s arm.” Alyssa, Autumn’s friend, said, “I couldn’t stop thinking about my two kids and what it’d feel like to be shot and not come home to them.” Cont. on Page 6


NEWS........................PAGE 6


SPORTS....................PAGES 7-8


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The Mesa Press

The Word

Q: What movie should have won best picture at the Oscars?

“I would say ‘BlacKkKlansman’ should have won best picture … I feel like that movie just broke so many stereotypes and it just, I think, brought up a cool conversation.” -Aditya Varrier, 19, Liberal Studies

“I would say best picture would be ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

“I think ‘A Star is Born,’ just because it was an awesome movie.”

-Justin Rico, 18, Kinesiology

-Megan Corieri, 27, Psychology

Who is the Trump administration kidding?



he Trump administration has The presumed platform of the GOP tor” to the foster kids they work with. During the migrant crisis, decided to follow through includes being pro-life. The Trump Trump’s presidential policy called with the domestic “gag rule” administration has been consistent on Customs and Border Protection it had been planning. On Feb. 22, the with that stance about as accurately (CBP) to separate children from their Trump administration’s Health and as any other GOP politician. families, causing unquantified psyHuman Services (HHS) department In keeping in line with conservachological and emotional harm to published a rule ordering that fam- tive arguments for less government, those children. As reported in June ily planning groups and organiza- the Housing and Urban Development 2018 by a BBC article, those same tions receiving federal funds cannot (HUD) department was given a dras- children were put in metal cages refer patients and given mylar to abortion survival blanproviders or kets, because the federal agencies perform abortasked with their tions. care were given Accordminimal funds. A ing to an arpro-life administicle by The tration, indeed. Wa s h i n g t o n Whether or Post pubnot this recent lished on the legislation will 22, “Clinics actually work as will have 120 intended is not the days to comquestion, because ply with the the answer is probrequirement ably no. The conthat family stitutionality of planning and this domestic gag abortion serrule will undoubtvices are kept The domestic “gag rule” recently passed wasn’t passed in the interest of women. Photo Credits: MCT Campus edly be called into financially question in court separated and because news fl ash, abortion is, in a year to comply with the physical tically reduced budget during 2018. A fact, legal in the U.S. and no amount separation requirement.” smaller budget is obviously helping of legislation can change that (barThis recent piece of legislation is obviously pandering to Trump’s poor families HUD’s services was ring a reversal of Roe v. Wade.) The question should be: if the evangelical base, the core of his sup- originally intended to be used for. Another Washington Post ar- Trump administration claims to be porters. A continuation of his war on progressive culture, Trump knows ticle published on Feb.19 details how pro-life, to what extent is that true? that being socially regressive in re- the Trump administration is seri- How true is the term “pro-life” if gards to such issues like reproductive ously considering denying same-sex Trump is willing to reward groups and LGBTQ rights will always be couples the right to adopt from faith that refuse to give qualified parents justified in the face of evangelicals, based agencies, after he promised foster children because of those pareven if he doesn’t believe it himself. religious leaders that those agen- ents’ sexual orientation? Is the welIn the interest of limiting ac- cies would still be receiving funding fare of a child at all relevant when cess to abortions and thus limiting while attending a National Prayer their family can no longer afford abortion numbers, Republican con- breakfast. Several faith-based orgahealthcare? How about if they’re on stituents and politicians have taken nizations have already actively disfood stamps? aim at organizations like Planned criminated; South Carolina’s Miracle The Trump administration Parenthood and enacted legislation Hill Ministries “refused to work with should instead be accurately labeled intended to criminalize abortions. a Jewish woman seeking to be a men- “pro-birth.”

“I felt like all the movies were deserving of best picture, but I liked ‘Green Book’ a lot. So sure, I think ‘Green Book’ deserved the award.” -Noah Dean, 20, Psychology


Founded in 1966

Erik Acosta Cara Williams


Erik Acosta Cara Williams



K.K. Interchuck Racheal Habon




Janna Braun


Joshua Edler Davis, Savannah CadetHaynes, Maggie Irvine, Pia Mayer, Serena Randazzo, Guadalupe Santillo Salinas, Jacob Wdowiak, Hana Woodward


7250 Mesa College Drive, San Diego, CA 92111 Phone: 619-388-2630 Fax: 619-388-2835 This publication is produced as a learning experience for aspiring journalists. All materials, including the opinions expressed herein, are the sole responsibility of the authors and should not be interpreted to be those of the San Diego Community College District. To submit a letter to the editor, please include your name (unsigned letters or letters signed with aliases will not be printed), age, major/profession, college attending (if not Mesa) and email address.

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By Cara Williams EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

The Mesa Press

Calling on corporate

The saying goes that the customer is always right. But in reality? It’s rather that management overrides policy to meet the unrealistic desires of a paying client, and do so often at the expense of employees’ mental health and safety. According to a 2017 post the Mental Health America (MHA), the Work Health Survey uncovered that manufacturing, retail, and food service industries ranked in the bottom 10 percent for workplace mental health. Mental health struggles? In my retail workplace? It’s more likely than you think. Scammers and fraudsters are quick to take advantage of lenient or flexible policies, despite those policies being designed to attract repeat customers by offering what appears to be personalized service or exceptions to rules. As a result, front-line employees must adapt to recognize and, ideally, outsmart these scams. But even honest customers abuse this leniency. Bad customers are common enough to prompt dozens of articles and blog posts explaining tips and tricks to navigate their behavior safely and diplomatically. Wiki-How’s post, “How To Deal With Aggressive Customers,” is a detailed list of steps, complete with pictures. The post has been viewed more than 120,000 times. Take hate speech, for instance. Hate speech has no legal definition under U.S. law. According to the American Library Association, hate speech “enjoys substantial protection under the First Amendment,” and it can “only be criminalized when it directly incites imminent criminal activity or consists of specific threats of violence targeted against a per-

son or group.” Meaning, in short: any customer fully has the right to scream racial or homophobic slurs at any employee, with no repercussions, unless management decides that person has become physically violent or disruptive enough to be

space. “It all comes down to treating employees like they’re human beings worthy of respect,” the post summarized. Customer service policies enabling bad behavior are a slippery slope. The longer that bad behavior — pitching fits, shouting out employees, resorting

Service workers are people, too. Try to avoid taking your anger out on innocent employees. Photo Credit: MCT Campus. removed from the premises. Because free speech is so heavily protected in the United States, federally mandated protections for employees against abusive customers are out of the question. The responsibility, therefore, must fall on the shoulders of store leaders and managers to protect their employees. Among Work Health Survey respondents, the MHA post said the most positive reactions were related to workplace culture, not perks or fancy recreational

to personal attacks or slurs, even becoming physically violent — is tolerated, the worse that behavior will become. Treating front-line service workers with respect must start with management if customers and consumers using the service industry are ever to respect service workers. Without consistent boundaries protecting employees in the service sector from bad behavior, customers will continue to abuse their free speech rights like privileged children throwing

MARCH 5, 2019

tantrums. Holding consumers accountable for their behavior is the only way to change the current climate of worker abuse. Historically, unions are the most effective tool to guarantee a consistent basis for protections in the workplace. Historically, unions are also something corporations intensely fight against. For example — a leaked video exposed one of Target’s anti-union employee training video, as originally reported by Salon in 2014. The article cites the new video, observing, “Workers are warned that ‘this is a very competitive business that we’re in,’ and that ‘If Target faced rigid union contracts like some of our competitors, our ability to serve our guests could suffer dramatically — and with fewer guests, what happens to our team?’” Employers must come to understand that service workers are not robots, and should not be expected to endure continued abuse on top of some of the lowest wages and weakest employment benefits. Employers must understand that if they don’t want unions, they must take responsibility for protecting their frontline employees. If neither option is amenable, service industry employers should at least have the decency to publicly announce, in no uncertain terms, that they believe minimum-wage, barely-part-time, nobenefit employees — often higher education students saddled collectively with trillions of dollars in school debt and no financial assets — deserve the abuse they receive for the good of the billion-dollar multinational companies they serve.

The Jussie Smollett case teaches a lesson on confirmation bias

K.K. Interchuck



ccording to a NBC Chicago article published on Feb. 21, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett turned himself in to the Chicago Police Department, a day after being charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. This is just one of the most recent updates surrounding the Jussie Smollett case. The full storyline stretches a month long, garnering the attention of news outlets and audiences across the nation along the way-- and it’s still not over. In case you missed it, here’s a quick rundown. According to a CBS News published on Jan. 29, Smollett, who is black and openly gay, filed a report that day that detailed an attack made on him by two masked men. The two men allegedly hung a noose around Smollett’s neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him, all the while hurling racist and homophobic remarks. To top it off, they allegedly yelled “This is MAGA country,” a reference to Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. This story in particular is unique in that it is chock full of theatrical elements as well as plenty of leaked information, but considerably less full of factual evidence. Most headline stories updating the public were riddled with information attributed to “unnamed law enforcement sources.” Now, several twists and turns later, having poured countless resources into the investigation, Chicago police say they have “shifted their trajectory.” There are quite a few reasons Smollett’s story has captivated a nation-wide audience. The first and main reason being the theory that Smollett staged the

entire attack, shifting him from victim to suspect. With each development in the story, the probability of a hoax seems more and more likely. Despite this, Smollett continues to presume his innocence. According to a Feb. 21 article from NBC News, Smollett’s legal team released a statement after the indictment stating: “Mr. Smollett is a

young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.” One reason for this story’s large-scale audience is that it directly involves a celebrity. Naturally, many other celebrities

Actor Jussie Smollett pressed against the wall after turning himself in to central booking in Chicago. Photo credit: MCT Campus.

rallied to support Smollett after the initial report of the attack. Others openly posed their suspicions. Almost everyone was quick to take to social media to express their opinions. Some, apparently, may have done so a bit too quickly, sparking conversations regarding confirmation bias and media literacy. On Jan. 30, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the attack made on Smollett via Twitter. Nearly three weeks later, after it was revealed that the attack was allegedly staged, the tweet was deleted. According to Vanity Fair on Feb. 18, a spokesman for Pelosi said, “Given the turn in the investigation, we decided to no longer amplify the original accusation.” This stresses the importance of withholding judgement until all the true facts of any story are revealed, something the responsible news consumer would never fail to do. As each new leak made headlines, people were all too eager to favor whichever narrative confirmed their biases before any further critical details emerged. “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah touched on the situation during the Feb. 21 episode, stating, “That’s when I think you have to be even more vigilant [before jumping to conclusions], is when it confirms everything you’ve believed.” If Smollett is convicted he will face a potential sentence of up to three years in prison as well as “restitution to compensate for the cost of the investigation,” according to NBC News. In the meantime, let’s all try to practice savvy media consumption by allowing our biases to standby as we patiently wait for the full scoop.

MARCH 5, 2019


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The Mesa Press

Black history is more than a month

By Savannah Cadet-Haynes STAFF WRITER


an Diego Mesa College hosted their annual Open Mic Night on Feb. 20 in room M-211. The month of February, also known as Black History Month, was celebrated with a series of multiple events around campus. The events were designed to spread awareness of the struggles the black communities face through creating a safe haven for students. “I am powerful, I am great, I am the force that will change the world,” was shouted across the room. Christopher Starr began his poem with this “repeat after me” call. Starr, a 22-year-old black studies major, performed four of his poems. It gave poets the opportunity to speak out on living while black, inviting community members and students to express their experiences of being black in America using spoken word. The room was filled with comfort, emotion and love while the poets presented their pieces. The audience was welcoming and joyful, giving the room a sense of acceptance. The listeners shared similar reactions, snapping their fingers, nodding their heads, and making comments that connected their experiences with the poets and their pieces. Laughter was shared throughout the room, giving the poets the opportunity to express their feelings openly. Many of the poets expressed their life lessons while others created lyrics and poems.

Derrick Mckinnie, a 23-year-old music production major, indicated that the inspiration for writing his poems and songs came from the realization of the outcome of being low, frustrated with his situation. “No matter the outcome of what you do, at the end of the day I couldn’t point the finger at anyone. I was the common denominator of all these bad things that were happening,” he said. Mckinnie took responsibility of his actions and put it all into a song and multiple poems. Mckinnie’s poetry ties Black History Month to his personal life experiences. “We can only stop what is happening to us --only us. No one else is going to do it because we’ve seen it time and time again. Everyone loves our culture, everyone loves what we do, but when it comes down to it, is everyone going to defend what everybody loves? People clearly don’t,” he said. As a society we have seen numerous incidents of cultural appropriation, where black culture is exploited by non-black people and they are praised for it, yet, no one wants to defend black culture. For example, the Kardashian family has a long list of appropriation: while they continue to build their empire and make profit off of the black community, they have little regard for the people who they steal their hairstyles and clothing from. The line has become blurred for social media influencers and famous people regarding

Thekima Mayasa, a Black Studies Professor, speaks to an engaged audience during a Black History Month event at Mesa College. Photo Credit: cultural appropriation, something that society once called “ghetto” is now called the current trend. “Black history month means the world. There are a lot of hidden things and treasures under the surfaces that even historians don’t know about that our ancestors created. So, when it comes to hearing ‘Black History Month,’ what I think about is the world,” Mckinnie said. The Open Mic Night had the overall message of positivity and acknowledging the power of healing. The night ended

with a music video called “Little Things” by India Arie, reminding everyone to acknowledge that the little things matter. Our voice matters, our lives matter, and our community matters. The poets shared the same passion, as well as similar life experiences. With the constant reminder of letting your voice be heard, students and community members were able to enjoy the Open Mic event and use it to their advantage.

From the comic strips to Netflix

By Guadalupe Santillo Salinas STAFF WRITER


udiences are roaring about Netflix’s new show, “The Umbrella Academy,” which had its series premiere on Feb. 15. The show tells the story of the dysfunctional Hargreeves siblings who are brought back together after the death of their father. The show takes on the darker side of superheroes, their insecurities, and strained family relationships. The origins of “The Umbrella Academy” come from Dark Horse Comics

written by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba. The influence of its origins is seen through the character designs, including the iconic Umbrella Academy logo that makes its way into the opening credits in various creative ways. The adaptation takes on character design with a more modern look compared to its comics. The changes made to their designs help bring the characters into the screen. Although, this somewhat backfires since the character design is not up to par in comparison to the designs from

For the first time in 17 years, Vanya reunites with her siblings during their father’s funeral. Photo Credit:

the comics, which many viewers were expecting. This is specifically seen with Vanya, played by Ellen Page. In the comics, Vanya is seen with white hair and a violin bodysuit but those elements are switched for a simple white suit and tie. Hopefully, this will be seen in the next season. The storytelling of the show is unconventional as it involves time travel due to the power of Five, played by Aidan Gallagher. Some scenes repeat, but the outcomes of these scenes differ. This element was meant to tug at viewers’ heartstrings. Although, it is yet another element that seems to backfire. Just as there seems to be a happy ending on the rise, it must be given up for the greater good of the storyline. It also seems to allow the audience to see the dynamic between the Hargreeves siblings as they try to rebuild their relationships. We are able to further see the powers of the Hargreeves siblings in action. As they begin to overcome their personal hurdles through each other’s company, the audience gets to see a good amount of character development. This is especially seen through Klaus, played by Robert Sheehan, one of the many characters who at first who rejects his power. His quirky and risqué characteristics quickly make him into a fan favorite. However, the help he offers to his siblings does not only help the storyline progress but allows the audience

to have a deeper understanding of Klaus as a character. The reasons behind his drug addiction, his hatred towards his father, and why he begins to fight himself to stay clean are all revealed as his character unfolds. Within the realm of character development, the show poses a question to its audience. What happens when an ordinary character takes an unexpected turn and develops into a villain instead of the hero they were once meant to be? An aspect of the show that was very enjoyable was the vibrant music that helped provide a layer of comedic effect during violent fighting scenes. Way’s past as a musician clearly has an influence on the choice of music. A clear indicator of this is Way and Ray Toro’s collaborative rendition of “Happy Together” along with their original song, “Hazy Shade of Winter,” both used in the show. Despite its dark concept, the show is very entertaining, all while maintaining its superhero nature. According to, the show has been renewed for a second season. With its season one finale, a lot of questions arise. Will the gang be able to save the world without killing each other first? Will Five finally get a decent cup of coffee? Find out in The Umbrella Academy’s upcoming season, scheduled to go into production at the end of 2019.

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The Mesa Press

MARCH 5, 2019

ʻSoul of a Nationʼ — at its roots, life imitates art

By Cara Williams EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


esa art history professor Dr. Denise Rogers hosted a presentation on Thursday Feb. 21 to provide historical context and background for the art of the Black Power movement, as part of Mesa’s celebration of Black History Month. Rogers’ presentation functioned in part to highlight an upcoming contemporary art show, “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” arriving at The Broad in L.A. on March 23. Some of the artists featured in “Soul of a Nation” made it into Rogers’ presentation, such as Faith Ringgold and Barkley L. Hendricks. But Rogers’ goal was not just to talk about Black-Power-era artists — it was to discuss the movements that inspired and ultimately enabled the Black Power art movement itself. “I wanted to show that (the Black Power movement) didn’t just start,” Rogers said. “A lot of the artists who’re in the show were looking back at the artists of the early 20th century. They felt like they provided a foundation for them to not only be artists, but to look to Africa, and African forms and African ideas, and incorporate them into their work.” The difference, she said, was that the Black Power artists transformed those things into expressions embodying their own perspectives. Rogers put up a slide of pivotal figures

who laid the philosophical groundwork of the Black Power movement, such as Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, and Alain Locke. These people, Rogers indicated to the room, piloted the movement to shift society’s narrative of blackness away from hateful stereotypes. A new slide confronted the audience: a collage of old propaganda illustrations rife with imagery leftover from anti-black minstrelsy, such as an advertisement for the blackface minstrel show “A Darkley Misunderstanding,” as well as the film poster for D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation: The Fiery Cross of the Ku Klux Klan.” These images represented a slice of how American society characterized blackness at the start of the 20th century. Rogers told the audience that big thinkers like Locke, who is often called the father of the Harlem Renaissance, believed it was necessary to recreate the image of black society. Locke wrote in his book, “The New Negro,” that for “generations in the mind of America, the Negro has been more a formula than a human being — something to be argued about, condemned or defended … a social bogey or a social burden.” But in overriding a racist visual narrative with expressions of the reality of black identities, he believed society would shift away from the mindset that beget and perpetuated black oppression. “By shedding the chrysalis of the old

“Steve,” 1976: Barkley Hendricks’ work will be featured in “Soul of a Nation” and appeared in Rogers’ lecture as examples of artists capturing the personality and uniqueness of the world around them. Photo courtesy: Mesa Art Department.

The Broad’s official poster for “Soul of a Nation” features Barbara Jones-Hogu’s 1971 piece “Unite,” which embodies the theme for the show. Photo courtesy: Mesa Art Department. Negro problem,” Locke continues in the book, “we are achieving something like a spiritual emancipation.” Rogers talked about Locke’s mission to gather together black artists attempting to recover their cultural history, as individuals whose ancestral lines were often unknown or obscured, obliterated by the nature of slavery. Locke, she said, had noticed how European artists like Picasso and Matisse had begun to appropriate native African imagery and sculptures into their work, to the point that the art community associated African motifs as inherent aspects of European Modernism. One artist Rogers highlighted, Hale A. Woodruff, combatted that association in an attempt at reclaiming the imagery. His 1928 painting “The Card Players” was a Modernist take on a contemporary scene, but used African mask motifs to represent the players’ faces. One of Rogers’ slides featured Palmer Hayden’s 1926 piece, “Fétiche et Fleurs,” translating to “Fetish and Flowers.” Rogers said that Hayden was an artist uncomfortable with the idea of reclaiming African imagery he was unfamiliar with, and “Fétiche” was an underhanded jab at other artists and curators who did. The still life depicts a Fang reliquary sculpture atop a ceremonial cloth worn only by Kuba kings — two culturally unrelated and contextually sacred things placed like

decorative baubles beside a vase of flowers. Hayden’s and Woodruff’s approaches to reclaiming their histories were poignant studies in the dilemma black individuals face in defining their own cultural narratives. Rogers related it to her own experience as a black woman. “It’s like reconnecting,” she explained. “You can’t miss it because it wasn’t something you ever experienced, but … learning about history gives you a sense of identity.” She added, “You’re getting a fuller perspective.” Highlighting “Soul of a Nation” and the history behind the Black Power movement was important, Rogers thought, because it reflected today’s social climate. “I think everyone feels a sense of anxiety and frustration,” she said, “wondering what direction we’re headed in.” She continued, “Within this show, (the organizers are) focusing on this idea of unity, recognizing that there are things that are the soul of the nation that aren’t being addressed, that allow for certain actions or certain words to continue — and until we address those things, until we address the soul of the nation, nothing is going to change.” According to The Broad’s website, “Soul of a Nation” will feature more than 60 influential artists from 1963 to 1983, exhibiting paintings, sculptures, photography, and more from the civil rights and Black Power movements.

Trevor Paglen unveils ‘Sites Unseen’ at MCASD Downtown



uthor, artist, geographer and MacArthur Fellowship award winner, Trevor Paglen, displays over 100 pieces of original art in his exhibition, “Sites Unseen,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Downtown San Diego. Originally exhibited at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Paglen unveils his mixed-media exhibit in this mid-career survey, displaying the obscurity in art, science, surveillance, and the universe of telecommunication. Paglen captures a similarity seen by American photographers such as Timothy O’Sullivan in the 1800s and Ansel Adams in the 1900s who interpreted the world through their landscape photographs. O’Sullivan and Adams have captured these scenes before but Paglen recaptures them through his own lens. In Paglen’s photographs, the importance in surveillance infrastructures is evidently displayed through his mixedmedia works of various spy satellites, a monitored telecommunications cable, unidentified spacecrafts, and clandestine military installations. In Paglen’s “DMSP 5B/F4 From Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation”

from 2009, he recaptures O’Sullivan’s “The Pyramid and Domes, Pyramid Lake, Nevada” from 1867, but in a newer element. In a darker atmospheric perspective, the viewer witnesses stars making their journey in the same direction, but only one traveling in an opposite way. Paglen reflects that the star traveling in an opposite direction is actually a spy satellite taking pictures of Pyramid Lake. His 2015 work on “Trinity Cube,” is made up of several different earthly phenomenons from both the U.S. and Japan. The cube is made up of irradiated glass and trininite. The irradiated glass was taken from inside of the Fukushima exclusion zone in Japan, a site from the 2011 nuclear disaster, and makes up the outer layer of the cube. The cubes inner layer is made up of trininite, a mineral created in 1945 from when the U.S. exploded the first atomic bomb in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Paglen’s intentions through his photographs attempt to exhibit a glimpse into the technological world from an outsider’s perspective. One of his works include detailed maps of the cable systems, as Paglen believes society knows little

of these systems. In an interview with Maureen Cavanaugh on a KPBS Midday Editions podcast he explains, “For many many years (I’ve) been trying to see where in the world are these infrastructures? What do they look like? And if we know that they’re there? How does it transform the way we see the world around us?” The exhibition entertains the belittling interest concerning the telecommunications world. Paglen told Cavanaugh, “It’s interesting the way we experience telecommunications systems, whether that’s the internet or email, its very abstract in the metaphors we use… But we don’t talk so much of the of the physicality of these kinds of systems.” “Sites Unseen” opened on Friday, Feb. 22 and will continue to be displayed until June 2 of this year. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego allows free admission to students with a valid student ID card. The museum also offers “Downtown at Sundown,” which guarantees free museum admission and exhibition tours on the third Thursday of every month.

“Trinity Cube” by Trevor Paglen, 2015. Medium: Sculpture made up of trinitite and irradiated glass. Photo Credit: Pia Mayer


MARCH 5, 2019

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The Mesa Press

Acclimating to a changing climate By Kole Lavoy PHOTO EDITOR


very week a STEM lecture is held on San Diego Mesa College campus and is open to the public. Climate Reality Leadershipa Corps, founded by Al Gore, spoke at Mesa Feb. 26 educating students on the different features of climate change, as well as the disasters that have developed alongside the issue. Dr. Cherry Robinson, the chairperson for the San Diego Chapter of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, started the lecture called, “The Climate Reality Project” with a simple statement. “Even if you don’t believe in climate change,” she said, “what’s the worst that can happen when we take care of our planet?” Throughout the lecture, she made sure to remind everyone that our planet is our home. “The air Australians breathe is the air we breathe,” she continued, “the water that South Africa drinks will eventually be the water we drink, too. This is all our home. We need to take care of it.” The first question she asked the audience was, “Must we change?” Robinson found this question most worthy of our time. The accumulation and extremity of natural disasters in recent years is comparable to the analogy about a frog in a boiling pot of water. If you put a frog in a boiling pot of water it will know it is too hot a jump right out. However, if you put a frog in the pot and then turn the burner on, bringing it to a slow boil, the frog will acclimate and never jump out. “This is what we are doing to ourselves, and we don’t seem to mind that it’s a little hotter,” Robinson was frustrated at the sigh she heard from the crowd.

Robinson recalled 2017 frequently during the lecture. From July to September, the entire world was under extreme weather conditions -- most notably, hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. During that period, the west coast was on fire, China was flooding, and Australia was on fire. Robinson also mentioned that “Not only are these disasters results from our changing climate, they signal the health of it overall.” She added, “The health is not looking good at all.” The damage from the disasters in the U.S. cost about $306 billion. The previous cost record set was at $90 billion, resulting from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The next question was “Can we change?” It is extremely clear that huge change has been made to fight climate change when we see what technological advances have occurred. Notably mentioned in the lecture, in 2016, solar energy production exceeded the projection laid out in the early 2000s by 75 times. In 1976 the cost of solar cells was $79.40/watt, now the cost is $0.41/watt. “These savings are extreme, we need to keep going. Keep making it better and cheaper to save our home,” said Robinson with a hopeful tone and smile. She added, “There was a time when no one wanted to go to LED lights and now we are projecting 95 percent of households will be using them! That is compared to the 1 percent back in 2010.” There is much hope in seeing how far we have already come and the investment the people have started to make for Earth’s

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book. I wanted to see the face of the man that faced me with a rifle. What was fascinating was a post he made mere hours before his bullets met my meal. This post spoke about obstacles and the journeys in life. “For me, I feel like my childhood interpretation of freedom has been much trampled and a bit destroyed,” he wrote. “So my process to grasp a personal understanding of freedom, to regain freedom, may be of a somewhat of a different approach then the approaches used by others.” Premeditated, constructive, and destructive thoughts. He concluded his thought, “Don’t get this post misunderstood.” Following the incident, I have experienced multiple episodes of sensory overload when a loud noise happens near me. In these moments everything goes black and I throw my hands over my ears, just like I did at dinner. I don’t know when the episodes will end. I have received calls from a San Diego Detective and a Victim Advocate who are periodically checking on me and the other survivors. They have offered trauma and PTSD therapy to the victims for free. I am thankful I am not injured or dead, and that I didn’t witness someone else in poor physical health either. I cross my fingers that lightning doesn’t strike twice and that this will never happen to me again. I can only wish no one would ever have to witness such a thing again.

I smell gunpowder Nick Mossman, 47, who sat in the back corner of the Bistro, recounted saying to himself during the incident. “Why are there fireworks and why are they so ridiculously loud?” he said. He had covered his ears before realising he needed to shelter him and his daughter behind their table. He still had blood on his brow, the glass from the shattered windows projected nearly as fast as the bullet itself and had hit his face, as well as his daughter’s. One man over 50, whose name I did not catch, was sitting next to me left to identify the suspect before I could speak to him. When we waited for police to arrive I recall him saying, “I heard the first shot and knew we were being shot at and threw myself onto the ground.” He was the only person the knew what to do, where we were all dumbfounded by the noise at the start. When visiting the scene, I saw two bullet holes in the back of his seat. If he hadn’t known bullets were spraying the Asian Bistro, those bullets would have probably killed him. The bond we survivors had was amazing. We joked to lighten the mood but we still gripped each other’s hands tighter and fiddled our thumbs faster when a haunting silence would cloud the room just as the gun smoke had. We never got each other’s names until after we said our goodbyes. After recollecting myself the days following, I decided to read Parker’s Face-

future. “We are already changing, so the answer is clear to ‘can we change?’” A panel speaker and lawyer, Lori Mendez, had quite a few reusable products to show the audience, pulling them from a bag she keeps in her fully electric car. “I carry a mug for when I am invited out to coffee. When I get food to-go, I bring my own container for them to use. I have reusable chopsticks.” After the lecture I conducted As the avergage temperature of the planet increases, permafrost an interview with icecaps are beginning to melt, destabilizing climates all over the Mendez and she world. Photo Credit: MCT Campus. told me, “You ment. This agreement is within the United cannot fix everything yourself. We each have to pick some- Nations Convention and deals with GHG thing and go that direction, I picked single emissions mitigation, finance and adapuse plastics (SUPs) and I ran with it. I am tion. It’s also good to note that the U.S. and aware, educated and picked something that China account for 40 percent of the emissions worldwide,” Robinson added. I can make an impact in.” Mendez states it as, “You have a voice, Finally, Robinson asks, “Will you you have a choice.” change?” So, will you change? “Since 2015, there have been 175 countries that signed on the Paris Agree-

Calling for action in support of SDCCD adjunct professors

By Josh Edler Davis STAFF WRITER


n honor of and in support for adjunct professors, the American Federation of Teachers hosted its fifth annual Mesa College Adjunct Action Day Rally on Feb. 27. Adjunct professors are part-time professors who must teach multiple courses on multiple campuses to receive equal pay compared to their full-time counterparts. Adjunct professors are also considered independent contractors, and are therefore responsible for their own travel. These professors have no offices, no benefits and no phones supplied by the school. Jeff Johnson, an adjunct professor, recounted a story of the time he was on Southwestern College’s campus during an active shooter warning. He stated that he didn’t receive the warning text and that one of his students had to warn him. The importance of this event isn’t only for the adjunct professors but for their students. The Adjunct Action rally was held to promote legislation designed to forgive student loans, give paid maternity leave, and lift the adjunct cap from 67 percent to 85 percent. Adjunct cap limits the amount of

For the record

courses professors are allowed to teach on each campus. Raising the cap will give professors more free time and time with students. One of the major issues that plagues the adjunct professors is the travel between campuses. Many of the speakers during the rally detailed times where they picked their professions over their spouses, and young children. If a female adjunct were to become pregnant and need to go on maternity leave she would have to forfeit her classes, and her pay. AB 500 is the name of the bill that would allow female adjuncts to receive maternity leave. This would resolve one issue, but there would be no guarantee that her job will be waiting for her when she returns. There is no difference in the qualifications between full-time and part-time professors, but the difference in pay and benefits is staggering. reports the average pay for adjunct professors is $31,357 annually, while the U.S. Board of Labor Statistics reports that the annual salary for a full time professor would be around $75,000.

In the issue dated Feb. 19, 2019, The Mesa Press would like to correct the following errors: Page 3: In “Virginia’s Gov. should resign after blackface controversy,” the name of current Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was spelled incorrectly. Also the name of former Gov. Douglas Wilder (first black governor since Reconstruction) was wrongly attributed as Lt. Gov. Douglas Walker, who does not exist. Page 5: In “Mesa Alumni are ‘Looking back, looking forward,’” the name of SDCCD was attributed as ‘San Diego City College District’ instead of ‘San Diego Community College District.’ Page 7: In “Men’s basketball gains hard-fought win,” the name of the basketball player Josh Edler Davis was spelled incorrectly. Page 8: In the article and photo caption for “Men’s volleyball falls in season opener,” the name of volleyball player Matthew Hursky was spelled incorrectly.


MARCH 5, 2019

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Olympians fall to Southwestern Jaguars in finale By Hana Woodward STAFF WRITER


an Diego Mesa College men’s basketball went up against Southwestern College on February 22 and lost 79-64. Both teams played with vigorous determination but only one brought home the win. Mesa forward Cameron Hill brought in the most points, a total of 17 with 30 minutes of playing time and 10 rebounds. Forward Adrian Lee attempted eight field goals and made five of them. With 24 minutes of playtime Lee made a total of 14 points. For the Jaguars, guard Marquavian Stephens brought in 22 points and played for 36 minutes, longer than any other player. Guard Marc Combs attempted 10 field goals and made five of them. Combs brought in 15 points for Southwestern. Throughout the game the crowd shouted at the refs for what they thought was bad officiating. Fans on Southwestern’s side kept yelling “You’re a scrub!” to Mesa’s players. At the end of the first half the score was 37-28 with Mesa behind. An hour into the game the teams huddled together for halftime to figure out their strategies. After halftime, Mesa attempted a comeback, with Southwestern ahead 3732, but Southwestern quickly upped their score. After the opposing team scored twice, Mesa’s head coach Travis Nichols called a time-out to reevaluate the team’s plan. When the countdown hit 13 minutes

Mesa attempts a free throw against Southwestern during their season finale. Photo credit: Hana Woodward. in the second half, guard Josh Johnson brought Mesa’s score up to 45 points. For the better part of the game Southwestern chanted at Mesa from their bench when Mesa had the ball. After the team returned from their second timeout, Hill brought Mesa’s score up to 51, then again up to 53 against Southwestern’s 56. The score grew painfully close to a tie but Southwestern upped their points again. Guard Jorge Ramirez fumbled with the ball and the opposing team grabbed

it and brought it back to their side of the court. Lee scored two points and guard Joseph Davis scored one point after technical foul throws, bringing the score to 58-56 with Mesa still behind. It was the closest Mesa came to catching up to Southwestern. With one minute and twenty three seconds left on the clock they called another time-out. After Mesa rejoined the court, some of the players’ fists went up in the air. They were ready to bring their A-game.

When there was only one minute left, the score at 77-64, Southwestern was granted another free throw, bringing the game to its final score of 79-64. When the clock hit 40 seconds, Southwestern’s guard Quincy Ferebee dribbled the ball without any attempt of interference from Mesa until the buzzer ended the game. The 2018-19 basketball season has come to end but the seasons playoffs are ongoing.

Women’s basketball puts up fight, but still not enough By Cara Williams EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


esa College women’s basketball ended the season strong despite a loss against Southwestern College on February 22, pulling off a hardfought 74-67 win. Olympian power forward Lavinia Moa was the top scorer for the game, with nine successful field goals and three successful free throws, bringing her to 21 points total. Olympian center Yusra Gharram was Mesa’s second highest scorer and the third highest scorer for the entire game, achieving six field goals and three free throws for a total of 16 points. The first quarter took off immediately, setting the pace for the rest of the game. Seven seconds into the first quarter, the Jaguars made their first bucket. Less than 30 seconds in, Southwestern forward Maya Robinson made the Jaguars’ second basket, setting them in the lead 5-0. But Gharram kept Mesa close behind, scoring a 3-pointer before the end of the game’s first minute. The Jaguars were intensely dedicated to maintaining their lead, scoring their second 3-pointer of the game less than 30 seconds after Gharram’s basket. The back-andforth started in earnest, with both teams driving each other up and down the court. The Jaguars turned the game back in their favor after nearly all of the Olympians’ baskets. The game ground to an unexpected halt when the home hoop’s computerized readout went haywire, blaring its buzzer and glitching wildly. With the clock stopped at 4:20, players idled on the court and the

Yusra Gharram (center) makes an offensive rebound during the second quarter against Southwestern. Photo credit: Cara Williams. refs used the time to contest the last score. When the game began again, the official tally was 19-7. With four seconds left on the counter, Gharram made another basket for the Olympians, bringing the first quarter score to 25-9. Halfway through the second quarter, Mesa head coach Dorchella James called to her team: “You have to control the game!” She followed up, “There’s too much pushing going on!” With about 30 seconds left in the second quarter, Moa caught a solid pass and made another basket. Moa then made a successful free throw shot, but Southwestern countered with another basket with 20 seconds left. Gharram snuck in one last basket

with nine seconds remaining and closed out the second quarter 38-27, Mesa still trailing behind Southwestern. During halftime, James expressed her frustration. She thought the best way for Mesa to break through the Jaguars’ defense was to keep passing, not dribbling. The game wasn’t going their way, she said, chalking it up to “last game jitters.” Moa made the first basket of the third quarter, prompting rallying cries of “Defense! Defense! Defense!” from the stands and Mesa’s bench. When the clock ran out, the Olympians were lagging 59-43. James’ voice rang out again as the last quarter began. “Hands up, hands up — rotate over!” But neither team made a basket

for nearly two minutes. Small forward Aaliyah Williams snagged the first basket of the quarter with a free throw, but the Jaguars countered with a score soon after. With just over two minutes left in the game, Mesa had regained some ground with the game 66-58. Assistant coach Romalyn Apostol called out, “Move with the ball, watch your elbow!” In the end, it was the Olympians who stole the last basket of the game. Gharram passed to guard Samantha LeMay-Zambrano, who passed swiftly to Moa, who scored on the final second of the game. The final score was a 7-point loss, 74-67. While the Olympians never overtook the Jaguars’ score, the team made great strides compared to their last game with the Jaguars, which ended in a 35-point loss. Despite their losses, James was hopeful for the next season. Since almost all her players were freshmen, she said, they’ll be playing together again. James pointed out that Southwestern was No. 1 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference — “I’ll take this loss,” she said. During the halftime break, the Mesa team had taken a few minutes to celebrate the coming graduation of power forward Melissa Craven. According to James, the sophomore player made the last basketball season possible by becoming the fifth player on the team. Craven was presented with a framed jersey and a bouquet of flowers. “She’s come a long way,” James said, and added, “She will be missed.”


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The Mesa Press

Baseball splits series with Barstow



he Mesa College baseball team faced a tough double-header at home on, Feb. 24 against the Barstow Community College Vikings. Barstow won the first game at the top of the ninth inning 8-5, but not before the Olympians answered right back with a 7-1 win. The Olympians currently stand at 5-6-1. After a week of continuous rain, the sunshine shined prominently on Saturday to let the doubleheader begin. Although sunny, some of the fans were chased away by the chilly wind that cut straight through jackets, although most stayed to support their Olympians. This windy atmosphere made pop fly balls fall erratically back down to the field. The first game saw almost no action from the batters until the fourth inning, in which Barstow put two runs on the board, then another four runs in the sixth inning. Barstow scored another in the seventh inning. Mesa finally crossed the home plate with their runners in the seventh inning, having 5 hits during that inning and ending the bottom of the seventh with a double play. The game ended at the top of the ninth inning with a strike and the score at 8-5 Barstow. With a small break in between, Mesa quickly shook off the loss and began

to get ready for the second game with Barstow. After some practice drills run across right field, Mesa headed to the field and the dugout as Barstow took the first at bat. Douglas Hall, was the starting pitcher. After some great in-fielding, during the top of the first and second inning, Mesa scored, with the first RBI of the game driven home by Jacob Engel. The second inning ended with a strikeout, with bases loaded, but still gave the lead to the Olympians 2-0. The top of the third inning ended with the bases loaded for Barstow, but Mesa was able to hold the gates and Barstow did not score. At the bottom of the third inning, Mesa’s own Jonathon Soto, catcher, stole second right under from Barstow’s noses, putting him in scoring position, which Barstow would later pay for. With the wind howling, No. 5, Raymundo Gutierrez, infielder, hit a pop fly off to right field. Barstow’s right fielder lost the ball in the sky, in between the wind and the sun, sending Soto in to score. That was an error for Barstow. One of the highlights of the game happened at the top of the fourth inning, when the Mesa shortstop Victor Ceniceros caught a nasty bullet with his bare hand. The ball came whizzing from the Barstow bat toward the center of the diamond, near

No. 28, Jorge Martinez, Sophomore, sends a rocket out to left field. Photo Credit: Erik Acosta. bunts and singles. The game ended on a double play, 7-1 Mesa. In an interview after the game, Ceniceros said, “Unfortunately we lost the first game, but we took a 30 minute break, got our mindset in the right place. Ended up with the win.” Ceniceros said it was critical, adding, “Forgetting about the first game, and focusing on the next game. Taking it one pitch at a time, control what you can control, and keep pushing until the last out. The fact that we were able to change our mindset in 30 minutes was incredible, and we came out with a win.”

second base, when Ceniceros grabbed it barehanded. “All I saw was the ball hit the mound, and as soon it bounced, it kicked to my right,” said Ceniceros regarding the catch. He continued, “It was a quick reaction.” Those cat-like reflexes paid off as he set his feet down and threw the ball to first for the out. Barstow did score their only run that inning, putting the score at 3-1 Mesa at the top of the fourth inning. In an attempt to seal the faith of the game, Mesa coaches and players did a phenomenal job at playing scrappy baseball in the sixth inning, scoring another 4 runs, through

I CHOOSE TRANSIT. Moving to my own rhythm.


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The Mesa Press, Spring 2019 Issue 2  

The Mesa Press, Spring 2019 Issue 2