The misconceptions surrounding Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights
By tess alekseev
“Oh, Chanukah? That’s like, Jewish Christmas, right?”
“Oh, Chanukah? That’s like, Jewish Christmas, right?”
It’s everywhere. No matter where you go, what you do, or who you talk to, the craze of social media is there to follow you. Programs like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat were originally meant to help bring people closer together, but as these sites have grown, they have begun to tear their user’s personal relationships apart. Continue reading “Social Media’s Flaw”
Though it may sound like he’s discussing the results of a close football game, he’s discussing Charlottesville protesters who chanted Neo-Nazi phrases such as “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us” while carrying torches. Why wouldn’t joining a group of Neo-Nazis disqualify you as a very fine person, or even an acceptable American? How is Neo-Nazi speech okay in the United States?
Free speech is an incessantly discussed topic in the news, but the discussion never progresses. The phrase “free speech” has been thrown around so much that it’s become a useless buzzword to raise attention and alarm. In reality, the definition of free speech is fairly convoluted.
The first amendment was created to allow citizens to speak against the government with no punishment. This is called political speech, and it’s the only fully protected type of speech. The congressional definition of speech includes symbolic speech, such as physical actions and displaying symbols.
The amendment doesn’t protect all forms of speech, however. Speech is prohibited and can be regulated if it’s considered defamation, fighting words, threats, or similar. Anything that isn’t unprotected speech or political speech is a gray area. Generally, as long as it isn’t unprotected speech, anything goes.
Now, that doesn’t always apply. Students are legally subject to their school’s rules. If school policy bans a type of speech and it disrupts school, then the school can shut it down. The same goes for platforms such as radio stations or ads, and private organizations; the government or organization may shut down what it deems offensive.
DHS’s code of conduct says that students cannot disrespect the civil rights of others, cause a disruption, display things intended to be offensive, be discriminatory, and must obey the law at all times. For an example of how this applies, if you were here last year the day after Trump was elected president, you might remember kids chanting “repeal the 19th amendment” (women’s voting rights) in the halls, along with making otherwise stupid comments. While they may have been joking, it heavily violates DHS policy. Free speech doesn’t protect being an asshole.
So, what does the Constitution have to say about arguments involving free speech?
One dead horse that the media continues to beat is NFL players kneeling for the anthem. Kaepernick’s choice to kneel is the embodiment of symbolic political speech. He couldn’t be in a more respectful position, especially considering that army veteran Nate Boyer originally suggested that position to respect fallen soldiers. The flag code doesn’t say you have to stand, and it wouldn’t override freedom of speech even if it did. People need to either focus on the significance of kneeling or stop talking about it, because nothing is being accomplished.
Something that doesn’t fall so neatly into protected speech is Trump’s constant flow of insults. One of many cases of this defamation is him accusing women suing him for assault of lying. His attorney is defending him by saying that calling them liars is political speech. If “political speech” means “any comment on anything that involves the law,” then sure. Otherwise, this was just a characteristically ineloquent and non-political ad hominem attack.
This brings us back to the idea that Neo-Nazis have fine people among them. They went on a liberal campus, shouting inflammatory phrases to cause tension, anger, fear, and, ultimately, violence: the exact definition of fighting words. Their actions shouldn’t be supported by any American who believes in the Constitution’s establishment of our rights. Yet, people still choose to focus on some NFL players rather than real issues.
America is, at least in concept, founded on respect and liberty. Freedom of expression was established so that anyone could safely practice whichever religion they wanted, fight for whichever causes they believed in, and more; it wasn’t established so that people could denigrate others for their own gain. Americans have yet to live up to the potential for equality and unity that our government set up for us.
How can Americans call people exercising their right to free speech to peacefully protest un-American while arguing in favor for giving people as disgusting and un-American as Neo-Nazis a platform?
“Imagine if Christmas didn’t fall into winter break. People would be outraged,” sophomore Aden Angus said when asked how not getting Jewish holidays off affects him.
It seems unrealistic (because it is), but, just for fun, imagine if it didn’t. Imagine the number of students that would miss school on Christmas, Easter, or other major Christian holidays. In Dexter, it would be a ridiculously large number, easily large enough to cancel school.
So why is it not the same for Jewish and Muslim students?
After another 0-9 season did Coach Jacobs really make any changes to the football program?
Last year, Coach Koenig was let go after going 1-35 in four years giving Dexter football the worst losing streak of all of the high school football programs in Michigan.
Coach Phil Jacobs was hired to be a motivator and rebuild Dexter to its former glory, he was working the kids extra hard in the weight room and on the field, making sure that the team would be ready for those close games in the fourth quarter and have the energy to pull out the win. Unfortunately, there were no close fourth quarters as the team went 0-9 for the fourth season in a row.
This month, you’re likely to see slogans like: “I Stare Because I Care” and “Save The Boobs!” While, yes, the messages are well-intentioned and (seemingly) very pro-feminist, the harsh reality is that these slogans only serve to make women affected by breast cancer feel even more isolated.
Why do the slogans have to focus so much on the breast, and not the woman? The fact is, most affected women have to undergo mastectomies, or breast removals, to get rid of the cancer. In order to save the woman herself from cancer, the breasts have to be sacrificed.
If you’ve ever gone on a walk in autumn, you’ve almost definitely seen a mushroom or two popping up from the ground. You were also probably told that you were not to pick, and certainly not to eat, any of the mushrooms you found — they’re poisonous! But what if they weren’t?
While, yes, some mushrooms are poisonous, they make up a small percentage of the species, and they’re relatively easy to identify.
Whether you’re interested in mycology (the study of mushrooms) or just a curious adventurer, knowing how to identify common poisonous mushrooms is a skill that could save your life in a pinch! Continue reading “Death By Name, Death By Nature”
Everyone’s gone through it at least once. The unfortunate few, a couple of times. Most people can agree that freshman year of high school is usually an ugly duckling phase.
Transitioning from being the big fish at the middle school pond to bottom feeders clinging to the walls in high school, just hoping to make it to their sophomore year.
Here at Dexter High School, there are many sports that are not recognized by the school, and subsequently are categorized as club sports. Field hockey, lacrosse, freshmen baseball, water polo, and equestrian are the club sports at DHS. These sports are only given a varstiy letter if they meet the set requirements. Continue reading “Club Sport Struggles”
Michael Brown was just 18 years old when he was gunned down by a white police officer. He was unarmed. Eric Garner was strangled to death in public while repeating “I can’t breathe” over and over again. The police officer who killed him went unpunished. Kendra James was 21 and the mother of two. Philando Castile was 32, and his girlfriend and her young daughter were in the car with him.
These stories of unjust and tragic police brutality against black Americans are disgustingly common and horrifyingly repetitive; they show up constantly in ours news cycle, and the debates that follow are always the same. Continue reading “Take A Knee”