Does the availability of social media become a problem when voicing individual opinions and judgments? How soon is too soon to turn initial emotions into comments, which could be both misguided and clouded with misinformed conclusions? Are users too quick to take a headline, cutline or photograph as evidence they’ve read an article?
The Eagle’s Eye Newspaper is obviously a proponent of Freedom of Speech, but at what point does that freedom impede on the right of citizens to a happy and healthy life? With a recent human rights incident in the dorms, the Sierra Nevada College student body needs to reevaluate its tolerance levels and address its ability to curb hate.
Like yelling “fire” in a movie theater, which causes a disruption where people can get hurt, there are things that shouldn’t be said. Words can be just as harmful as stampeding people trying to get away from danger. Though the damage that words can do are much more difficult to measure. Discrimination has different effects on everyone and there’s no way to know the impact of your words.
With a student population of just over 550, it would be expected that everyone would know about the hate speech. Since this is not the case, we, as students and members of the Incline Village, need to call attention and stop the discrimination. Several different groups on campus have worked together to host the Speak Out Against Hate event, including the Provost Office, Residential Life, Student Government Association, the current Spoken Word and Core 101 class, that was held on Monday, Nov. 4.
We’re college students, gathered here at SNC to further our education and enjoy our postcard surroundings. We don’t have to be friends with everyone we meet, we don’t have to get along with everyone, but what we do have to do is respect one another. There is a reason every student ended up at SNC and if you take the time to listen to how someone ended up here you may find you have more in common than you originally thought.
Victims of discrimination need to know that there is a support system here at SNC, which was made clear at the Monday night event, and that there are ways to stand up against it both big and small. As the voice of student news the Eagle’s Eye accepts submissions at any time, though we may not print everything in the paper, our online site is available for update at any time. Email the Editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to student support at SNC the Tahoe Basin does have the Tahoe Safe Alliance, which offers 24/7 support both online and by phone: 800.736.1060, and three separate locations in Kings Beach, Calif., Truckee, Calif, and Incline Village. The Incline Village locations is located at 948 Incline Way, the phone number to reach them is 775.298.0010. You can also visit their website at www.tahoesafealliance.org.
Make a change by standing up for those that can’t, speak up to call attention and stop the hate.
Twitter, an online social networking and microblogging service, or a stream of hate speech and slurs? Twitter boasts over 500 million registered users, who post an average of 400 million tweets daily, making it one of the top 10 most visited websites. Yet, how much of Twitter’s content is racist, sexist and homophobic? Several sources have begun to compile a list of hate speech, and the users associated with the tweet, to gather data on how often offensive language is used and where the users are posting from geographically.
The site nohomophobes.com tallies the number of times daily, weekly and over the website’s history, that the word “faggot,” “so gay,” “no homo,” and “dyke” are used. As of 5:22 p.m. on Nov. 4, the word “faggot” has been tweeted 24,089 times. Since the site’s inception on July 5, 2012, “faggot” has garnered 20,112,210 tweets.
Another initiative, established by students at Humboldt State University, geotagged the most hateful tweeters based on region in an interactive map that narrows the categories into “homophobic,” “racist,” and “disability,” with subcategories for each of the aforementioned. The results are staggering (users.humboldt.edu/mstephens/hate/hate_map.html).
A third recording “for hate speech relating to gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, religion and class,” is HateBrain, as described in a July 2013 article in wired.co.uk. This computer resource collects “the time and content of hateful tweets, as well as the location and usernames of the tweeters.” The data is being used in association with The Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention, to “build a database of hate speech that researchers can access via an open API, technologies that enable websites to interact with each other.”
With these websites, as well as several others, gathering information regarding hate speech on Twitter, the question now lies in what to do to prevent the spread of offensive language and negative connotations. The vast amount of tweets makes screening incredibly difficult for the 900 approximate employees of Twitter. Could software be designed to eliminate hate speech or might the ways in which we communicate need to be altered?
As an international student in the United Kingdom, I was provided free health care by the UK’s National Health Service. An appointment that would have cost me hundreds in the United States, cost me nothing besides a step in the door and a handshake with a friendly British doctor. Granted, I pay for health care in the U.S. Americans oppose paying higher taxes to fund the health care of others. But compared to the UK, Australia and other European countries with universal health systems, we spend more tax money per capita on health care, according to John Green, New York Times bestselling author, on the YouTube video, “Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?”
In a 2007 poll depicted by Green, which depicts U.S. health care expenses per capita versus those in Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, UK, Italy, Japan and New Zealand, U.S. expenditures double that of almost every country.
“Only about 28 percent of Americans get their health insurance through government funded programs,” said Green. “Mostly poor people, old people and Congress. Private health care funding, which most Americans are insured with through their employers, is way higher than anywhere else in the world.”
So, when criticizing ObamaCare and its high costs, think again. American health costs are already through the roof, and in the end, doesn’t your health matter to you? It’s a complex problem with a complex solution. At least ObamaCare is a step in the right direction. Whether you agree with ObamaCare or not, it’s been implemented and it is a law.
All laws in the United States begin as bills. All bills in the United States begin as ideas. If the House of Representatives and the Senate agree on the idea, then the process continues with the writing of the bill. That bill is then forwarded onto a committee. If the committee agrees on the bill, discussion for provisions are open by both houses. After the bill passes in one house, it repeats the procedure in the other house. When all changes have been made to the bill, it is ready to be voted upon. If the House of Representatives, the Senate and the President all approve the bill, then the bill becomes a law.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, went through this exact process in the Capital Building and is now a law – and it should stay that way. The goal of this reform is to provide all Americans with affordable health care. The idea behind this health system is that when an individual buys into health care, he/she gets a tax deduction as a way to lower his or her effective tax rate. However, many Americans oppose the law because they believe it will increase debt, because now, more people are forced to buy health insurance. Some Americans also believe that eventually, everyone will be forced into government health care, which will lower the quality of health care provided.
However, a privatized health system creates inequality between the classes in society. Individuals with lower incomes have greater concerns about medical fees than individuals with a higher income. Also, the majority of health insurance is provided by employer-based insurance, mostly for individuals with high income. Rarely do employers cover individuals with low incomes. Regardless, Americans with health insurance may continue with their provider and are not required to apply for ObamaCare.
Before ObamaCare was passed, insurance companies could easily deny people based on pre-existing conditions. Those with health insurance fail to see the struggle of individuals with pre-existing conditions who were once denied insurance and expected to pay out of pocket. President Obama is trying to tread the way between privatized health care and single-payer health care. By forcing everyone to buy into it, this elevates the imbalance between patients who need health care and those who don’t.
ObamaCare offers these benefits: “New Health Insurance Marketplaces (aka exchanges) allow shoppers to compare health plans that include all new benefits, rights and protections, cost assistance to individuals, families and small businesses through the marketplace, no annual or lifetime limits on health care, insurance companies can’t drop you when you are sick or for making a mistake on your application, you can’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, you have the right to quickly appeal any health insurance company decision, a large improvement to women’s health services, reforms to the health care industry to cut wasteful spending, better care and protections for seniors, new preventative Services at no-out-of pocket costs, you can’t be charged more based on health status or gender, young adults can stay on their adults plan until they turn 26, plus many more,” ObamaCarefacts.com. For more information, visit ObamaCarefacts.com or healthcare.gov.
Insurance companies need healthy patients to pay into the system too because that’s how they make profit. It all reduces down to whether the insurance companies are making money, not if the people are saving any or being fully covered. This aspect is unfortunate. However, the implementation of ObamaCare is leading us in the right direction of maybe one day having a single-payer health care.
But people are still afraid of this kind of health system. People are opposed to the idea of a government-run health care program. Well guess what Americans, health insurance provides individuals with the ability to afford medical expenses and improve health. It is important. And if the United States is moving in the direction of having single-payer health care, the benefits would be given to all Americans, decreasing inequality between income classes.
What Republicans are afraid of is that ObamaCare is going to work. They don’t want it to work. They are afraid to give President Obama credit and see him succeed. But, whether you agree with ObamaCare or not, it is already in effect. This bill was passed by both houses of Congress, and it is now law. Whether it is a good law or a bad law, it’s still a law. You can’t shut it down. So why cost our country billions and hurt the economy by shutting down the government? People are always going to agree and disagree. But in the end, it is a law and it was implemented as of Oct. 1.
Parking will forever be an issue at SNC as long as the student population continues to grow. SNC needs more parking for students, faculty and staff in order to allow the population to grow. Parking should not be a limiting factor in the future.