Ethnic studies are a valuable component in a student’s education and should be offered in all schools. Northern Arizona University defines ethnic studies as “the interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity, as understood through the perspectives of major underrepresented racial groups in the United States." Taking ethnic studies classes in high school was the most formative and important experience of my educational career. As a first-generation Mexican-American student, it wasn’t until then that I was taught about Mexican history and Mexican people’s contributions to American history.
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With less than 50 days until the 2020 U.S. presidential election, there has been a lot of news about the potential voter suppression that American voters could be facing. In an interview with Politico, President Trump said, “My biggest risk is that we don’t win lawsuits.” He continued on to say, “And if we don’t win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk.” The lawsuits he was referring to were filed by his administration and the Republican National Committee in more than a dozen states and seek to fight the expansion of mail-in voting as well as limiting voter access to the ballot box in November. In short, Trump and his Republican allies are attempting to limit access to voting this upcoming election cycle under the guise of concern for voter fraud when, in reality, fraudulent votes — especially via mail — are virtually nonexistent. What is this? This is textbook voter suppression.
Police brutality is not new to our country. Now more than ever, change within our policing system is being demanded all over America. With the murder of George Floyd that was committed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin this past May, the voices of the Black Lives Matter movement have become louder than ever and have gained great attention across the nation, and around the world. This year alone, police in the United States have killed 1,019 people. With that, 28% of those 1,019 were Black Americans, despite Black people only making up 13% of the American population. Why is it that Black Americans are killed at a disproportionate rate as compared to their white counterparts? Is race a factor?