I’m a Chinese Ph.D. student who came to Cornell to pursue the world’s best education and technologies, hoping to one day make a contribution toward the evolution of all human societies. I usually follow political news but always stay apolitical myself, since I like to keep my life simple and focused on science. However, upon reading two recent articles from The Sun — entitled “Claims of Vandalized Pro-Hong Kong Posters Bring Overseas Tensions to Cornell” and “When Victims Become Perpetrators: The Human Condition of Chinese Students” — and the pro-Hong Kong protest slogans actively appearing around campus, I’m deeply concerned by the serious misinformation and lack of communication between the Chinese and American communities. I’ve never felt so unrepresented before, and the past few weeks have been the most difficult time during the six years I’ve spent at Cornell. I’m not writing to directly contradict the opinions from those aforementioned articles.
When I was younger, I thought the idea of two guys fighting over me was very Shakespearean and dreamy. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that fighting over a girl was just a concept that men have romanticized to excuse their toxic masculinity, violent tendencies and feelings of ownership over women. And no two guys have ever liked me at the same time, but that is beside the point. When violence and romance become entangled it is usually a bad sign. Earlier this month, Nikolas Cruz used an AR – 15 to kill 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Alternative to Tapestry and Speak About It, “What would be more effective is if LGBTRC, Women’s Resource Center, A3C and other resource centers and identity groups could partner together and have a mandatory workshop during orientation week,” Scott Ho ’18 said.
“The chief failing of the day with some of our well-meaning philanthropists is their absolute refusal to face inevitable facts, if such facts appear cruel.” -Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race
As a prelude to his article, the second of my series on tumult and upheaval in 1916, I must warn any potential reader that the content may be distressing to those sensitive to racism and violence. I would advise discretion. The controlled use of violence as spectacle has been a social glue since time immemorial: the Romans handpicked slaves to fight to the death over the graves of their patrician masters, and the despots of feudal Europe relished the drawing, quartering and parading of ghettoized pariahs and their ilk, be they Jewish, Huguenot, or Cathar. These previous blood-shows of Antiquity and the Middle Ages were the concerted efforts of knightly orders to, as they saw it, cut off gangrenous social limbs from the corpus politicum. D.H. Lawrence, in his compendium of critical analysis on the growth and stagnation of American literature, once wrote that a white man would never be at ease on American soil: the dust and mud and bronzed ochre itself would forever reject him, the usurper of one native population and the enslaver of a another he had imported.
I’m baffled. I’m appalled. I hope the majority of Americans are as well. Last Friday evening, a rally that Donald Trump scheduled in Chicago was canceled and tensions between protesters and his supporters reached incredible new heights. As expected, the newscasters began asking, “Was Trump to blame for the violence we were seeing?”
As we wind down from Spring Break, it seems appropriate to turn a critical eye to that perennial destination for Spring Breakers, Mexico. On March 5, Cornell’s communications office sent out an email alerting us all to the State Department travel alert for Mexico and the continuing violence there. Violence in Mexico has been escalating since the government launched a crackdown on corruption and the drug cartels, even going so far as to order the military into the streets.
By now, anyone with a computer and an internet connection has seen the photos of Rihanna after she was allegedly assaulted by Chris Brown the night of the Grammys a few weeks ago. In the wake of this incident, adults and teens alike have struggled to talk to one another about abusive relationships. It is unfortunate that such society needs such an event to provoke this conversation, but what is even more disturbing are the trends that seem to be emerging from the national dialogue.
Cameroonian security forces have destroyed street stalls in the capital of Yaounde as part of an effort to clean up the city for a visit next week by Pope Benedict as part of his first official trip to Africa, according to a recent Reuters article. However, this leaves thousands of people without means of survival, and the Cameroonian government will not compensate them for their losses.
A couple of weeks ago I watched the Colin Farrell film In Bruges for the first time. The movie (which debuted at Sundance last January) tells the story of the depressed and ADD-addled Ray (Farrell), a neophyte assassin who has bungled his first assignment and is now hiding in the Belgian city of Bruges with his more experienced (and tranquil) colleague Ken (Brendan Gleeson).
In Bruges is great for a number of reasons — it’s smart, it’s got great acting and it’s filled with funny British accents. But the thing I enjoyed most about the film was how it took a rather standard premise — two assassins on the run flirting with death — and turned it into a vehicle for serious reflection.