More toys should be gender-neutral

Illustration by Eriana Ruiz

By Mykel Hilliard

In September, Mattel, the company that created Barbie, announced The Creatable World, a gender inclusive doll line that features customizable dolls with different wardrobe options including wigs that can be styled with short or long hair, pants, skirts or both.

I work for an after-school program and one of my students identifies as nonbinary. Over the years, I have researched, asked their parents questions and worked closely to make sure they feel safe and respected at our program. When I showed them the line of nonbinary toys Mattel was going to release, they lit up with excitement. 

Continue reading More toys should be gender-neutral

Mental illness in film ‘Joker’ serious

Illustration by Eriana Ruiz

By Matthew Brown

Layout/Web Editor

The new psychological thriller “Joker” is a raw new take on an old and popular DC villain. This time, though, there is no Batman to pierce the darkness. The movie follows Arthur Fleck, the man who becomes the Joker, exclusively, chronicling his long descent into madness.

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Black and white experiences differ

Photo by Malen Blackmon | The painting depicts three scenes from both white and black perspectives.

By Mykel Hilliard

Contributing Writer

A painting I saw at Brookhaven College contrasting the experiences that black and white people face in the U.S. sparked something in me emotionally.

While I didn’t identify with the painting completely, I did find myself relating to certain aspects of it. Many people don’t understand that the black experience is different from the white experience. I have been teased for my skin complexion, harassed, followed around stores and even been called the N-word by white people. I realize being harassed and teased is not an experience exclusive to black people, but it certainly is different because of the odds that are already working against us.

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NCAA generates over $1 billion, players get zero

Photo illustration by Eriana Ruiz

By David Schrupp

Contributing Writer

In 2017, the National College Athletic Association reported they had cleared over $1 billion in total revenue for the first time, according to USA Today. It is hard to believe the student athletes that helped reach that milestone didn’t receive a dime, considering there is no NCAA without collegiate sports.

As a sports fan, I used to believe collegiate student athletes should not be paid. But the more I research, the more I think they should be compensated.

Continue reading NCAA generates over $1 billion, players get zero

Concert photography slowly dying

Photo by Jacob Vaughn | Charley Crockett, a local blues artist, plays at the Majestic Theatre. Photographers are not free to shoot whenever they want during all of his shows.

By Jacob Vaughn

Editor-in-Chief/Music Editor

To some up-and-coming bands, photos of their shows seem priceless. Their relationship with concert photographers, who offer free press, promotional material and a glimpse into the magic on stage, is a symbiotic one.

However, when these acts reach a certain level of stardom, they become more interested in curating their image than in capturing moments. This is why concert photography is dying.

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Bare-knuckle boxing not KO’d

Photo illustration by Sam Mott | Bare-knuckled combat may be safer than boxing with gloves.

By Jacob Vaughn

Editor-in-Chief/Music Editor

Bare-knuckle boxing has a 173-year history that was put on pause in 1892, according to Sports Illustrated. Well over a century later, this legacy picked back up where it left off. Dallas-Fort Worth’s own mixed martial artist Johnny Bedford competed in the first modern regulated bare-knuckle event, which took place in Cheyenne, Wyoming, last June. He, like everyone who competed, lived to tell the tale.

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Entertainment violence doesn’t cause shootings

Staff Editorial

Over the years, violent entertainment has turned into the ultimate scapegoat for society’s problems. Most recently, politicians and policymakers have blamed the gaming, TV and film industries for the mass shootings that are so prevalent today.

In the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which exacted a combined death toll of 32 and left 51 people injured. President Donald Trump jumped on the bandwagon. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick did too. They singled out violent video games and movies as factors contributing to mass shootings like those. 

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Cancel culture unjustly destroys careers

Photo illustration by Sam Mott | Public figures such as comedian Kevin Hart and director James Gunn have fallen victim to cancel culture.

By Mykel Hilliard

Arts & Culture Editor

A wave of cultural and political correctness has swept throughout world. In the age of social media, information is abundantly available, and we expect everyone to be socially aware. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat allow users to share opinions, thoughts and ideologies – whether they are good or bad. These ideas come with little to no accountability because at the first sign of backlash, anyone can delete their comments or posts.

However, the same cannot be said for public figures whose every move is being watched by the world. From this, a culture of calling out, and essentially, boycotting public figures was created. It is part of a new societal norm called cancel culture. Any of these figures who step out of line can be “canceled” with nothing else but a wave of public outcry. And, often times, there is no means of redemption when this happens.

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Stopping violence requires specificity

Illustration by Susan Edgley | By some federal documents’ definitions, the term could encompass the Founding Fathers, modern active duty military or law enforcement officials.

By Morgan Hanson
Senior Staff  Writer

According to the Department of Justice, violent extremists are individuals who support or commit ideologically motivated violence to further political goals.
But this definition is far too broad. To fight violent extremism, effectively, we must define it much more precisely.
Police officers sometimes use force, too, to stop a crime or maintain the peace. They are empowered to do this by the legal framework built on the U.S. Continue reading Stopping violence requires specificity

Green New Deal was careless

Illustration by Susan Edgley | Democrat lawmakers’ radical Green New Deal fails to pass through the House of Representatives.

Morgan Hanson
Senior Staff Writer 

Climate change is a threat that needs to be addressed with a sense of urgency, but the Green New Deal is not the solution. Filed as H. Res. 109, the Green New Deal was an awful piece of legislation – a legal Trojan horse. It was radical, highly partisan and unrealistic. It’s not what the American people need.

We need a real, bipartisan Green New Deal. Continue reading Green New Deal was careless