When walking the same halls everyday, its hard to recognize just how much world events and public issues effect our  school community. Read below, and take a look at issues facing the world around us.



“Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide, it’s a small world after all”~  Sherman Brothers


 

 

Having Fun or Making Fun?

The Fine Line Between Cultural Appropriation and Halloween Costumes

By: Veronica Venditti

            October 21st, 2017- When you think of Halloween, several things come to mind: scary movies, trick-or-treating, candy, and of course, costumes! While dressing up is one of the more famous aspects of this holiday, few people really think about what their chosen disguise represents. In today’s world, where equality and equity for all races and genders is a hot-button issue, Halloween costumes (and the stereotypes they represent) are finally being examined.

One of the major issues with Halloween costumes is the act of cultural appropriation or “the adoption of certain elements from another culture without the consent of people who belong to that culture” (Nittle, 2017). Cultural appropriation often results in the belittlement of cultures, and can take away the true meaning behind a ritual. While many people choose Halloween costumes that derive from the appropriation of culture, few understand just how offensive their disguises can be.

Society may be more sensitive to issues of race and gender now, but there are still real examples of cultural appropriation in Halloween costumes today. “Can you imagine being Mexican, hearing Donald Trump call all Mexicans rapists, and then seeing guys partying in sombreros on Halloween? Or being a Muslim and unable to get on a plane without being pulled out of the security line, and seeing someone dressed up as a terrorist?” (Refinery 29, 2015). While certain costumes may seem ‘perfectly acceptable’ to you, society needs to be more mindful of the thoughts and feelings of all cultural groups. “It’s important to recognize that most people aren’t just offended to be offended” (Shrayber, 2017); there are real historical events or negative biases attached to minorities, and there is a good chance that if someone finds your costume offensive, there’s a reason for it.

There is even a war being waged against cultural appropriation in children’s costumes. “Moana” (being a new Disney princess) is sure to be a popular costume, yet some parents question whether the costume is appropriate. On the one hand, the character of Moana is of Polynesian origin, and therefore represents an ethnicity with its own distinct culture that is to be respected. On the other hand, some parents feel that bringing the idea of cultural appropriation into the conversation results in racism and a new double standard, “unless you… plan on condemning any non-white Snow White, Cinderella, or Belle you see” (Moroney, 2017).

The truth is very straightforward: there is no clear answer on cultural appropriation. Will society continue to wear costumes that emulate and offend minorities? Which costumes are considered appropriate and which ones culturally appropriate? While it can be difficult to know, here are some tips to ensure that you do not find yourself committing cultural appropriation:

  • Inform yourself. Before committing to your costume, research the history of your chosen disguise and if it holds any cultural significance.
  • If you appreciate another’s culture, don’t try to imitate it. “Performing” a certain cultural element is a good sign of cultural appreciation.
  • Finally, be thoughtful. Even though you don’t mean to offend, certain people might take offense anyway. You don’t know everyone’s history or experiences, so always consider what others might find rude or distasteful.

Read below for content from previous issues

 

Breaking Records and Not in a Good Way: 2017 May Be the Worst Year for Tropical Storms

By: Veronica Venditti

      Wednesday, September 20th, 2017- By now, everyone has heard about the devastation in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Southern United States. Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on Texas, and Hurricane Maria left the entire island of Puerto Rico without power. Of the thirteen cyclones that formed during this year’s hurricane season, seven have turned into full blown hurricanes (Rubin, 2017). It has certainly been a deadly month in terms of tropical storms, but could 2017 really be the worst year on record?

There is a definite possibility, according to Colorado State University tropical meteorologist Phil Klotzbach. He stated that “only eight other years in recorded history… [have] generated seven or more Atlantic hurricanes by the same point in the season” (Rubin, 2017). However, the worst may lie ahead; there is still 40% of 2017’s hurricane season left to go.

It is hard to imagine anything worse than Hurricane Harvey, the Category 4 storm that left Texas with $190 billion worth of damage (Holmes, 2017), or Irma, the strongest hurricane to hit Cuba since 1924 (Pulver, 2017).

With Global Warming becoming so apparent in today’s world, is there really any way to prevent against these intense storms? Global temperatures have risen almost 1 degree in 100 years (NOAA, 2017), and while that seems like a small number, the rising heat is melting ice and raising sea levels and temperatures. This warming, as well as changes in ocean conditions, are contributing to the frequency and severity of extreme weather, thus leading to a more intense hurricane season.

Global Warming is changing our world, and with it comes changing weather. Currently, 2017 is now on track to surpass 2005 in terms of major hurricanes (Rubin, 2017). With this hurricane season’s peak just behind us, and Hurricane Maria heading north, there may still be more in store for certain areas of the U.S., Caribbean, and Mexico.

 

For more information regarding disaster relief, or to donate, please visit: relief/hurricane-relief http://www.redcross.org/about-us/our-work/disaster-

 

 

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