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Statement on Charlottesville and other current events

Ever since the horrific tragedies that happened last week in Charlottesville and our “president” claiming that the violence had “many sides,” I have been so afraid for our country. The fact that our leadership does not acknowledge the terrorism going on in our own backyard is frightening and, frankly, pathetic. As a Jewish person, this situation looks all too familiar to me. I know what happens when a leader supports white supremacy and anti-Semitism, and those sorts of events have no place in our world. The fact that there are people out there who do not want people of color or Jewish people to exist is scary. People who support white supremacy are people who want families like mine to perish, but they will not get to us. Time and time again, people of color and Jewish people have risen up and shown that we deserve to be here just as much as white non-Jews. When we were slaves, we escaped to freedom. When people wanted to obliterate the Jewish people, although many were killed, our culture, religion, and traditions prevailed.

 

I want to take a moment to thank all of the Gentiles who have stood up in support of Jewish people. Your bravery and courage saves lives and makes sure that we can practice our religion and celebrate our culture without fear. You are the reason that we are still here today. I am so indescribably grateful for every single Gentile who realizes how dangerous this situation could be and is taking steps to counteract what 45 wants to do.

 

I also want to reassure that my fellow Americans of color and anyone else who is scared of the impact of the toleration of white supremacy that I stand with you and I will do everything I can to make sure your rights and lives are protected. As I have said before, history has taught us that if we do not stand up for others, terrible things will happen.

 

Finally, I firmly believe that what makes this country strong is its diversity. Every single day, people of all races, abilities, religions, ethnicities, genders, ages, and sexualities come together to make a positive impact on the world. In the end, love will always trump hate, no matter what.

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My vendetta against Snapchat

Anyone who knows me well enough in real life knows that I absolutely cannot stand Snapchat. It bothers me on so many levels, but I promise that there is a legitimate and concrete explanation for my opposition to it.

During sophomore year of high school, some dinguses in my class would take videos and photos of my friend and me during class WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION and Snapchat them to the whole world. At first, I didn’t notice it, but my friend told me about it, and I got really upset because I am a really private person when it comes to sharing my life on the Internet. I like having complete control over what information of mine is public and what information is private. The only photos and videos of me online are photos and videos taken by my parents on our family vacations. I have no problem with my parents posting photos and videos of me on Facebook because I don’t mind my parents’ Facebook friends seeing them. I know most of the people my parents are friends with on Facebook, and my parents’ Facebook friends whom I do not know would probably not send a picture or a video of a random teenage girl around to their friends to laugh at. Also, the photos and videos that my parents post aren’t *that* humiliating. Most of them are either of my performances or of brother and me swimming or doing other typical vacation-y stuff. Beyond posed family vacation photos, I really don’t feel the need to have any other pictures of me on the Internet.

Another reason why I was upset by having unsolicited photos and videos of me floating around on Snapchat was that the photos and videos that were posted painted a very goody-two-shoes image of me. The photos and videos were often taken while I was speaking in class, and in the particular class that the photos and videos were taken in, my friend and I were the only consistent participants. Everyone else Snapchatted pictures of us explaining our answers or taking notes to the whole school for their own amusement. I obviously do not want to be seen as the teacher’s pet or goody-two-shoes. Yes, I take notes and turn in my homework on time and get good grades, but I only try hard because it makes me feel good about myself and that I did something right. However, I don’t want to rub my success in other people’s faces because I don’t want to come off as boastful or like I feel that I am superior to everyone else.

I kind of went off on a tangent there because I really was upset by having unsolicited photos of me floating around the Web. Back to the main focus of this article, which was my unadulterated loathing of Snapchat. The basic premise of Snapchat is that one can take a photo or video and send it to one’s friends, and when one’s friend receives the photo or video, it “disappears” a number of seconds after one’s friend views it (of course, nothing on the Internet ever *really* disappears. It is definitely possible to hack into Snapchat and access a particular person’s Snapchats). The illusion of a photo or video “disappearing” gave my peers the freedom to take photos of my friend and me, without our consent, to entertain themselves.

If a platform allows people to easily hurt others, I will not support it in any way, shape, or form. Many of my friends do have Snapchat, and I do not hold that against them. If they ever want to post a picture of me online, they always ask me first because they know that privacy is important to me. My friends also find ways of keeping in touch with me other than Snapchat. In fact, most of them are even willing to revert back to the archaic communication method of texting. Imagine that!