Protest for tomorrow, today

Mar 29, 2018

Change is deeply unsettling, no matter how you look at it. We all go through it at some time or another. Regardless of who you are, it is hard to accept. I am here to tell you that each of us is capable of momentous achievement by being even the simplest proponent of change. Protest is an ultimately effective form of this, shown time and time again.

Every era of humanity brings with it great times of turmoil and political unrest. Opposing sides clash, untimely feuds ensue, feeling are hurt, lives are lost but, most importantly, we progress from where we were last. When human lives band together to change something they feel needs adjusting, it is hard not to consider their cause. As of recent, this is happening again, just as it always has and will continue to do so.

Lives are meeting unfortunate ends at the hands of those holding the trigger, leading to smoking barrels and unloaded ammunition. While the culprits of these atrocities are known to the public, citizens of America cannot come to a consensus to what specifically is to blame.

Protests such as the nationwide walkout, March 14, and the more recent March For Our Lives, March 24, gave groups with an opinion a voice. Luckily, these were carried through with a sense of poise and were, for the most part, peacefully executed. The sad truth is not every movement for change transpires with as much grace as we might hope them to.

There are multiple sides to every issue, but sadly most Americans believe there only to be two. This creates greater tension on both sides to be right, as there is rarely middle ground. For example, the liberal left wants to constrict gun ownership to a certain degree while the conservative right wishes their gun rights to stay to the same- open. To be honest, I couldn’t care less about which side you are on because the majority of shared opinion is congruent with only two opinions, the rest is usually not heard. This is not to say that it can’t, but it is wise to understand what we have to work with.

I have always thought that it is better to try, and then fail, than to never have tried at all. This is an abstract that we can assuredly apply to protesting. When you have an opinion about an obvious, or not so obvious, wrong you see in society you should make that grievance heard. We need to reevaluate how we are communicating with each other. If you do not speak up, who on this earth will, if not yourself? I am sure you have heard this more than enough times, but there is a reason behind that too.

I wish I could sit here and tell you that everything can be solved by protesting, but I would be lying to you. It won’t fix everything, but it’s definitely a start. You are the change, not the protesting. No matter which side you align with, fight for what you believe in. If you disagree with the other side, make your voice heard. Living inside of an echo chamber is hell.

Death Penalty Discussion: Distinguished Lecturer sheds light on Missouri’s death penalty

Feb 22, 2017

Roman Catholic Nun and state execution opposer Helen Prejean led the Northwest Missouri State community in conversation about the death penalty.

The Distinguished Lecture Series was held in the Charles Johnson Theater at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 with the assistance of Distinguished Lecture Series Committee Chair Kenton Wilcox.

“The opportunity to cooperate with the Seminary (Conception Abbey) was part of why we chose her as a speaker,” Wilcox said. “She is also an internationally recognized voice, she has experiences that are not already represented on campus and her topics address interdisciplinary concerns, all of which help the Distinguished Lecture Series address its mission.”

Prejean taught at the Congregation of St. Joseph before beginning work at Hope House in the New Orleans St. Thomas Housing Project. She also served on the board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty for 10 years, and was the chairperson for three years.

“The death penalty is one of the great moral issues facing our country, yet most people rarely think about it, and very few of us take the time to delve deeply enough into this issue to be able to make an informed decision about it,” Prejean said on her website.

Prejean acts a national voice for issues concerning the death penalty and works to help form the Catholic Church’s outright objection to state executions. She is also part of the organization, Ministry Against The Death Penalty, that “believes in the dignity of all people and fosters creative, reflective and educational programs that awaken hearts and minds, inspire social change and strengthen our democracy’s commitment to human rights,” according to their website.

“If you want a litmus test about what you think about God, look at the death penalty,” Prejean said in her presentation. “What kind of God wants the death of a human being to pay for their sins? It’s about life. He said before you, choose life. Love and forgiveness are the opposite of hate. You can’t call an act of love shackling a person to a chair and then killing them.”

The process of lethal injection normally involves the use of three drugs. The first is used to induce unconsciousness, the second causes muscle paralysis and the third stops the heart.

Missouri is one of 18 states that still use the death penalty for particularly heinous crimes, such as murder. Missouri law authorizes the use of lethal injection or lethal gas as valid forms of execution.

 

Published February 22, 2017 @TheMissourian