Same sex marriage: For the first time in American history, gay marriage was addressed in an inaugural address. By putting Stonewall with Seneca Falls and Selma in his address, followed by a statement on the importance of equality, President Barack Obama showed that he’s dedicated to fighting for gay rights in his second term. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Manhattan that was raided by police in 1969, prompting riots and a more determined effort in the gay rights movement. Mentioning Stonewall in the same sentence as Seneca Falls, a significant site for the women’s rights movement, and Selma, a site important to the civil rights movement, Obama demonstrated that the gay rights movement is of the same importance as the civil rights and women’s rights movements.
Minority applicants: According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, there will be a significant increase in the number of minority applicants to colleges by 2020. Projections from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education show that by 2020, minority students will account for 45 percent of public high school graduates, an increase from 38 percent in 2009. The study also stated that by 2019-20, nonwhite students will account for the majority of public high school graduates in Arizona.
School shootings: There was another shooting yesterday, at a Lone Star College campus. Fortunately, no one was killed, but the incident should still emphasize the importance of the gun regulation talks going on in Washington D.C. While the passing of Obama’s gun regulation legislation may not fix the problem, it would certainly be a step in the right direction.
Threats to Obama: During the inauguration there were a number of Twitter posts expressing hope that the two-term president would be shot, with one person even going so far as to say, “The only reason police would arrest someone who assassinated Obama, would be shooting a coon out of season.” The posts remind us that just because the country has elected an African-American president doesn’t mean the fight for civil equality is over. Maybe these people were just trying to express their disappointment at the election results, but they took it much too far.
Winter weather: Finally, people will stop complaining on Facebook and Twitter about how cold it is outside. With temperatures expected to be in the high to mid-70’s for the rest of the week, the days of screen shots from Apple’s weather app are finally behind us.