Disingenuous Political Agendas

As a woman, I am always heartened at the sight of seemingly heroic advocacy groups battling on behalf of women against injustice at the hands of unscrupulous men, whether in the world of business, Hollywood, or politics. Sadly, however, the reality that such valor has nothing to do with truth or standing up for women checks my initial optimism. Too often it is a cynical charade employed as a political tactic to promote one party and damage the other.

Before you dismiss me as a republican and a Trump supporter: I am neither. I am a registered Independent who did not vote for Trump. My views vary issue-to-issue -- some are more conservative and some are liberal. But hypocrisy and exploitation are intolerable, regardless of the perpetrator.

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High Fashion and ‘Class Appropriation’: How Much is Too Much?

While shopping in Boston over fall break, I stepped into The Frye Company and wandered around the high-end footwear store looking at various men’s boots. Stopping at a pair labeled “Prison Boot,” I could not help noticing the price. They were $378.00. I put them back and continued browsing. The next pair I found was called “The Union Worker Boot”—priced at $298.00. The irony was not lost on me. There is little chance that Frye sells these boots to their namesakes. It markets them to a wealthy clientele.

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Why So Many Brazilians Support the Far-Right Candidate

I neither support nor condone many of Jair Bolsonaro’s views, especially those related to homosexuals, people of color, minorities, and women. I believe that Brazil’s ethnic diversity and national pride in its rich cultural heritage define us as a nation. I also believe, however,  that over the past few years it has become a completely different country. After moving to Rio de Janeiro in 2013, I witnessed first-hand the rapid decline in Brazil’s economy. Facing its longest recession in history, the economy suffered eight consecutive quarters of shrinkage. The combination of economic decline, a fearful spike in crime -- with a record-high homicide count of 63,880 people in 2017 -- and corrupt politicians makes it safe to say that Brazil is in a crisis. For these reasons, Brazilian citizens are looking for a last resort, someone to change the country’s course. Many, including myself, believe that right-wing populist candidate Jair Bolsonaro is our only hope.

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Henry Ossawa Tanner and Gateway, Tangier

As the age-old adage goes, “Every painter paints himself.” Countless artists including Michelangelo, Raphael, Artemisia Gentileschi, Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Marc Chagall, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and even Lucien Freud have revealed as much. If painters paint themselves, then paintings say something of real consequence about their biographies.

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Nikita Khrushchev’s Failed Corn Crusade: A Maize Love Affair

Nikita Khrushchev, the peasant-born Soviet leader who rose to succeed Stalin, is well known for instigating the Cuban Missile Crisis. People might not know, however, that he loved corn. His infatuation with corn forced the Soviet Union on an agricultural crusade that would disappoint him almost as much as the missile crisis humiliated him. Khrushchev, desperately needing to increase the Soviet food supply and facing competition with the United States, implemented reforms to elevate corn as the new crown jewel of the masses that would fulfill their demand for meat and dairy products. At the end of the day, his efforts showcased political ineptitude and short-sightedness more than they fostered progressive, beneficial change.

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