Tout de Suite

A handwritten letter on crisp sheets of heavy stock paper is an uncommon and cherished possession in this day and age, a tangible sentiment, a time capsule. It is a substantial artifact to be kept near at hand: in a nightstand drawer, folded in a book, stored in a collection, held in a box with other pieces of a treasure trove, hidden in plain sight in one’s personal “Room of Requirement,” or under a floorboard. It is only to be brought out once in a while, to recall a poignant memory or valuable confirmation. Letters we write and receive change our story; they penetrate our surface existence and reveal our identity, what we love and what we scorn.

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What You Didn’t See in the News: Myanmar

Last Friday, Hamilton College hosted the Model African Union Conference for the New York Six. The keynote speaker was Adama Dieng, the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Genocide Prevention. Mr. Dieng spoke about Myanmar, a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar (formerly Burma) has a population of roughly 53 million people. While its major religion is Buddhism, there are 1.1 million Rohingya in Myanmar, according to a recent article posted by the Qatar-based news organization Al Jazeera. According to the article, the Rohingya are a Muslim-majority ethnic group who have lived in Myanmar for centuries. During his keynote address, Dieng spoke of the mass persecution of the Rohingya peoples . His message was simple: action must be taken. The world cannot stand by and let Myanmar government carry out these atrocities on its own people.

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The GOP Tax Bill and the Midterm Elections

Last January 3, an overjoyed Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell took their seats in the new 115th Congress hoping to undo President Obama’s legacy and establish a conservative one of their own. The next months, however, did not live up to their expectations. Despite their surprise victory in the 2016 elections, which gave them the presidency and allowed them to maintain control of both houses of Congress, the Republicans found themselves divided, consumed by unsuccessful attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and unable to pass any major legislation. This has all changed in recent weeks, with a new tax bill likely to become law. 

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White Privilege on College Campuses

Conversations about race and racism on college campuses have prompted debates about political correctness, free speech and white privilege. Do students of color face a more challenging academic environment? Does navigating these spaces put them at a disadvantage?

Many students of color have to endure institutional racism, but they also must engage in academic environments that have historically and culturally favored white students. Particularly at predominantly white schools like Hamilton, students must weather the cumulative effects of living in an academic culture characterized by white dominance.

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Mugabe Out, Authoritarianism to Stay in Zimbabwe

On November 19, almost a week after the Zimbabwean military seized control of the country’s government, President Robert Mugabe resigned after 37 years in power. The world’s oldest head of state fought to the last minute, resigning only on the day when the parliament began its impeachment proceedings. Soon after, the country erupted into celebration, its citizens filling the streets dancing in joy with high hopes for their nation’s future.

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On Liberal Elitism

Turn on Fox News between 8 and 11 p.m. and watch for an hour. There is a good chance that you will hear the words “liberal elitism.” Occasionally, liberal elitism is referred to as “northern” or “coastal” elitism, due to the locations (the Northeast and the West Coast) of these liberal elitists. While the Oxford English Dictionary has yet to define the term, resources such as the Washington Post, National Review, the Huffington Post, and the Independent have attempted to provide a definition. The most concrete definition I’ve found is from Wikipedia, which defines liberal elitism as “a pejorative term used to describe politically leftists, whose education had traditionally opened the doors to affluence and power and form a managerial elite.”

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