HC Wake-Up Call: Trump Supporters Built A ‘Human Wall’, Elizabeth Warren’s No First Use Act On Nuclear Weapons, & Neomi Rao Apologizes For Past Writings On Sexual Assault

Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds — we’re all only human, after all. 

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Trump Supporters Built A “Human Wall” After The President's State of the Union Address

Before the State of the Union address on Feb. 5, Donald Trump promised that he would build his border border wall between the U.S. and Mexico—even if it meant building a “human wall.” According to The Washington Post, Trump supporters on Saturday tried to make a “human wall” in support of the president’s wall. 

The Post reported that multiple Trump followers stood between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. They reportedly carried and waved American and Confederate flags; many wore “Make America Great Again” hats. The Huffington Post reported that others brought signs that read “Stop the drugs that destroy our youth!” and “Stop child trafficking!”

The “human wall” came just two days before the president was scheduled to hold a rally in El Paso Monday night. 

During his SOTU speech, Trump made some claims about El Paso’s crime rate. “The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crimes—one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” he said. “Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.” 

Many were quick to point out Trump’s misleading and unsubstantiated information on the city. According to The El Paso Times, the cities crime rate actually fell before the border’s construction began.

The No First Use Act On Nuclear Weapons Could Have A Major Impact

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Adam Smith introduced the bill No First Use Act on Nuclear Weapons on Jan. 30. The bill is short in length, only 12 words long, and it reads “the policy of the United States not to use nuclear weapons first.” 

The bill was jointly introduced by Warren and Smith. According to The Washington Post, the lawmakers explained that the bill confirms what “most Americans already believe—that the United States should never initiate a nuclear war.”

In a statement, the lawmakers said: “Our current nuclear strategy is not just outdated—it is dangerous. By making clear that deterrence is the sole purpose of our arsenal, this bill would reduce the chances of a nuclear miscalculation and help us maintain our moral and diplomatic leadership in the world.” 

The lawmakers outlined three main points for the legislation. First, the two believe the bill would “[reduce] the risk of a nuclear miscalculation by an adversary during a crisis.” Second, it would “[strengthen] our deterrence and increasing strategic stability by clarifying our declaratory policy.” Finally, it would “[preserve] the U.S. second-strike capability to retaliate against any nuclear attack on the U.S. or its allies.” 

This is not the first time that a bill like this has been passed around by lawmakers. According to Vox, Obama almost passed a similar legislation, but his cabinet advisors were openly against it, so he decided not to pass it. An argument against the No First Use Act is that it could destabilize nuclear policy internationally, which could cause nervousness with U.S. allies and disbelief with the country’s enemies. 

Neomi Rao Apologizes For Past Writings On Sexual Assault

Neomi Rao, President Trump’s pick to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit tried to apologize for her past writings that blamed sexual assault survivors for their own rape, The Huffington Post reported. 

After the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Rao about her controversial Yale op-ed on sexual assault, she sent the committee a letter on Monday explaining that she was a “sheltered” college student who had since changed her views on sexual violence

“Many years later, I have experienced more of the ups and downs of life,” Rao wrote. “Becoming a mother, my perspective has shifted to focus on the safety of my daughter (15) and son (11). With greater maturity, I have more awareness of the silent victims of assault and rape.”

Rao wrote that watching her parents work with survivors and learning about “previously untold stories” of sexual abuse and harassment under the #MeToo movement has opened her eyes. 

“I have not written or spoken about issues of rape or sexual assault since college,” she added. “If I were to address these issues now, I would have more empathy and perspective.”

Multiple people, including 54 South Asian law professors, human rights attorneys, and sexual assault survivor advocates, have condemned her in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee: 

"We firmly believe in the importance of a diverse federal judiciary, and it is not lost upon us that if confirmed, Neomi Rao would be the first South Asian American woman to sit on a federal appellate court. However, we are deeply alarmed by Neomi Rao’s record, particularly around gender rights, and we do not believe that she will bring independence and fairness to the federal bench,” they wrote. 

In a 1994 piece, she wrote, “It has always seemed self-evident to me that even if I drank a lot, I would still be responsible for my actions. A man who rapes a drunk girl should be prosecuted.” 

She continued, “At the same time, a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober.”

On Monday night, the hashtag #RejectRao trended. 

What To Look Out For….

Avril Lavigne and Nicki Minaj will drop their new single  “Dumb Blonde” on Tuesday.