The Daily Gamecock

Hakeem Jefferson

We're all University Ambassadors

Small actions, positive attitudes around campus make USC appeal to visitors 5,800 prospective students and parents are currently scheduled to tour our beautiful campus this month to determine whether the university that we have come to know and love is the place where they will choose to spend their collegiate career. As a University Ambassador, I am often told by parents and students how important the campus visit is in the decision-making process. Sure, parents and students care about the rigor of our curriculum and the reputation of our academic programs. But more often than not, the final decision regarding where to go to school usually comes down to one question: How does USC make me feel?

Discussions about race difficult, but necessary

Cornel West lecture should be attended by students, faculty, staff of USC Conversations about race are some of the most difficult conversations to have on any college campus. They are, however, especially difficult to have on a campus such as ours, in a state with a long history of racial oppression, racial segregation and, to some degree, racial reconciliation.

Fear of American Muslims unfounded

Rep. Peter King's claims of radicalization remind nation of McCarthyism Fear is the enemy of rationality. It was hatred and fear of communism that led Joseph McCarthy to investigate whether communists had infiltrated America's political system in the early 1940s. It is a very similar fear and hatred of Islam that has led Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee, to investigate the radicalization of American Muslims.

US response to Libya situation necessary

International community must assist in times of violence As we watch the people of Egypt and Libya take to the streets from the comfort of our air conditioned dorms and relatively safe apartment complexes, some of us may be tempted to look at our television screens and shake our heads.

Planned Parenthood misconstrued by conservatives

Republicans try to shift voter focus by cutting funding to organization From slavery to gay marriage, hot-button issues have been used by politicians to divide and distract American voters. For Reagan in 1980, the issue was states rights. For Bob Dole in 1996, affirmative action was used to turn out white voters who disagreed with Clinton's progressive views regarding the issue. For George W. Bush in 2004, issues of terrorism and gay marriage helped get conservative voters to support Bush's campaign. While each of these wedge issues is worth noting, the issue of abortion rights is one that divides and distracts like no other. Few understand the power of this issue better than Republican lawmakers who have the unique ability to make any debate about abortion rights. This past Friday in a debate about the nation's economy and discretionary spending, Republican lawmakers decided to cut all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides family planning services to millions of Americans each year. Did the Republican-controlled house decide to cut Planned Parenthood's funding because it accounts for a large portion of the federal government's budget? Did they decide to cut the organization's funding because Planned Parenthood was violating federal law and providing illegal services to Americans? Of course not. Republican lawmakers cut funding for Planned Parenthood because they understand how wedge issues work.

Black history deserves year-round recognition

The shortest month of the year has arrived, and all around us, celebrations of black history are taking place. USC has planned a number of events that will showcase the lives and legacies of African-Americans in our nation’s history. Carolina Dining has planned a month of food that represents the culture of African-American students and ancestors. The Association of African-American Students will be hosting oratorical contests and other events to highlight the talents of minority students.

Tea Party representative should keep mouth shut

Minnesota's Michele Bachmann makes uneducated, foolish comments Half-Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin better watch out. There's a new Mama Grizzly in town and she's got all the markings of an extreme right-wing success story — she's beautiful, outspoken and grossly misinformed. Once regarded as just one of 435 members in the House of Representatives, Michele Bachmann — the super-conservative Tea Partier from Minnesota not known for being the brightest bulb in the chandelier — has become famous for comments that make Sarah Palin and George Bush sound like Einstein and Shakespeare.

King’s dream not yet fulfilled

Nearly 50 years ago, a 34-year-old Baptist preacher stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and proclaimed before a crowd of thousands that in spite of the social and political ills that plagued the nation, he still had a dream. It was, he said, "a dream deeply rooted in the American dream" — a dream that found its basis in poetic words written in our country's Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." For too long, these words had meant little to millions relegated to second-class citizenship based solely on the color of their skin. Born into the land of the free and the home of the brave, citizens of color found themselves "exiles in their own land," unable to take full advantage of the many opportunities guaranteed to those of us born in the United States of America. As we prepare to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we remember both the dreamer and the dream. Recognizing how far we've come, we remember how far we have yet to go.

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