Political Update

At the height of a presidential election, all the news can be overwhelming to consume. We’re torn between voting with our heart or mind when deciding between Sanders and Clinton.  Then burdened with the task of helping Flint, Michigan who is currently going through a water crisis. However, we are given hope when we hear that our favorite activist is running for mayor. Additionally, Obama continuously shows us how to be a true American. Below, are just a few political stories that have surfaced throughout the past week.

1. Iowa Caucus- For the past couple of weeks each presidential candidate was trying to gain votes from the Iowa Caucus.  The Iowa Caucus is the first caucus during election season and gives America a prediction of who may be the next president. Nevertheless, we didn’t get a clear prediction from the Democratic Caucus since it was 50/50. Hilary Clinton was declared the winner with 23 votes from delegates while Bernie Sanders earned 21 votes. On the GOP side, Ted Cruz (28%), Donald Trump (24%), and Marco Rubio (23%) are the front runners. Cruz gained 8 votes from delegates while Trump and Rubio both had 7. Moving forward, we can see that this will be a tight race within each party.

2. Flint, Michigan- Flint has taught America that systematic racism comes in all forms. Each day we learn something new water crisis and state of Flint. Russell Simmons and other celebrities have provided another prospective throughout the city. Simmons claims that the filters provided by the government aren’t working correct due to the high level of contamination.  On the other hand high profile attorneys like Benjamin Crump and Phaedra Parks are working on lawsuits on the behalf of Flint families. Celebrities and other volunteers continue to collect water for the city as well.

3. Deray for Mayor- One of the most prominent activist, Deray McKesson today is running for mayor in Baltimore. On Wednesday he entered the mayoral race right before the deadline. 13 other candidates are in the race to replace the current Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who won’t be seeking re-election. McKesson understands he isn’t a “traditional” candidate because he has no political experience. On the other hand, he believes he holds the solutions because he is a product and servant of the city. Since his announcement he has raised over $40,000 for his campaign. Some are wondering what will happen when the one who fights the power, becomes the power.

4. Obama visits a mosque- This past week President Barack Obama visited a mosque for the first time during his presidency. At his last state of the union address he encouraged Congress, not to pass any policy discriminating against race and religion. This past week he said, “We’re one American family” at Islamic Society of Baltimore. He encouraged Americans not to automatically associate Muslims with terrorism. Obama reminded us that Muslims have constantly kept Americans safe by being a part of our police departments, military, and The Department of Homeland Security. His visit was just after Ibtihaj Muhammad announce she will wear her hijab during Rio Olympic Games. It is obvious that we need to be conscious about terrorism while not stereotyping Muslim Americans.  

As students it is hard to differentiate which opinions to consume and not consume. Nevertheless, it is very important that we stay connected to the political arena. The decisions that the new elected officials make ultimately affect us.  Above are just a few stories that have circulated this past week and sparked conversations in America.