Recap of politics that happened over the summer

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Mekhiya Gregory

gmekhiya@radford.edu

A lot has happened over the summer break revolving around our government and our President’s decisions on topics that may affect our society as a whole. The topic that stands out to me the most is our President’s plan to rescind the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Policy. According to NPR.org DACA is, “a program created in 2012 by the Obama administration allowing young people brought to this country illegally by their parents to get a temporary reprieve from deportation and to receive permission to work, study and obtain driver’s licenses.” This program established dreams for immigrants that were brought into our country as children. It gave them opportunities to have a better life for themselves as well as do things that might’ve been hard to accomplish before.

NPR.org stated that ,”the Trump administration announced Tuesday it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, in six months if Congress doesn’t find a more permanent solution.” Maria Jose Salazar Avila, a student who attends Danville Community College, expressed her feelings about how President Trump’s plan to end DACA would affect her. Avila said, “This decision just turned my entire world upside down. I have lived here for almost 12 years and I have worked hard in school since I started second grade.”

Avila has made many academic accomplishments throughout high school as well as college. She’s an honor graduate, graduate of distinction, president of dental club as well as Spanish club and has joined Phi Theta Kappa (community college honor society). The list of her accomplishments goes on and on. “I am now in the hygiene program at my community college,” Avila said, “and I just found out my hard work might not be worth anything. I am starting my dream career and my worst nightmares are coming true. If something isn’t done by congress within six months I will be considered an illegal alien. I will have to live in fear and give up on chasing my dreams. This country is what I have known as my home since I was little and sending me back to a country I don’t know is plain cruel.”

Is this considered fair to send individuals who have considered America home back to a foreign land? A place that may not provide the opportunities that this country has. America was built by foreign people from foreign lands. All of us in some way have contributed to building this country up.

Another topic that stood out to me was the Charlottesville’s VA attack. What took place in Charlottesville showed a lot of issues that our country still suffers from after many years. Many individuals rallied over racism, freedom of speech and violence. These are issues that happens within our country every day that no one talks about that goes unnoticed until placed in front of media. According to Buzzfeed News reporter Blake Montgomery, “Most white supremacist and Nazi groups arrived armed like a paramilitary force — carrying shields, protective gear, rods and, yes, lots of guns, utilizing Virginia’s loose firearm laws. They used militarized defensive maneuvers, shouting commands at one another to ‘move forward’ or ‘retreat,’ and would form a line of shields or a phalanx — it’s like they watched ‘300 a few times — to gain ground or shepherd someone through projectiles. It seemed that they had practiced for this.” Later on, our President gave his opinion on the events that took place in Charlottesville. According to NYtimes.com he stated, “I think there is blame on both sides,” the President said in a combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent, nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”

Protesting peacefully is not considered violent in my book. We all have the freedom of assembly to be able to voice our opinions as well as protest for our rights.  Radford University student, Ishmale Davis, voiced his opinion about the attacks in Charlottesville. He said, “It’s senseless and had no real importance behind it on either side and I feel as though he was just saying what he thought would get him votes.”

Overall it is clear to see that America needs a lot of cleaning up. It is impossible to move forward with old mind sets. It is impossible to grow while depressing others down. Everyone eyes should be open to what is actually happening around us. Become aware.