By Chloe Hunt '21
“Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal...You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong...we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
Those are the words of Donald Trump speaking to the Save America rioters before they stormed the Capitol. He continued to tell his supporters they must “fight like hell” because otherwise, they would “not have a country anymore.” Likewise, Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s loyal followers, made it clear to rioters that the fight had just begun.
“Let’s have trial by combat,” Giuliani said. “I’m willing to stake my reputation, the President is willing to stake his reputation, on the fact that we’re going to find criminality there.”
Rhetoric has repercussions, and as President-elect Joe Biden said, “At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite.” Wednesday, January 6, Trump incited thousands to storm the Capitol in a deadly siege. Windows were smashed. Lawmakers feared for their lives, and some of their offices were terrorized.
Confederate flags filled the operational heart of our democracy. Nooses were erected outside of the building. Protestors brought weapons, seemingly prepared for battle. White supremacists and conspiracy theorists donning Trump merch gallivanted through the Capitol, leaving threats, stealing mail and other items, and assaulting officers.
Considering that Trump tear-gassed peaceful protestors for a photo-op and reinstated the law that mandated 10-year prison sentences for vandalizing Confederate monuments, you would think that his response to the siege would have been brutal. After all, he stands firmly for “law and order,” right? He also tweeted messages during BLM protests saying, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” so you would think that he would not want to see the Capitol Building terrorized, right?
No. Instead he put out a video message – a one minute video message – that affirmed his supporters’ mission. He stated that the election was rigged, and both sides know it. He briefly said “go home,” but he also said to these mobsters that they were great people, and “we love you.” Nowhere in his speech before the siege did he say “protest peacefully.”
We have known who Trump is for some time, for years in fact: an egotistical maniac, a liar, somebody who lost the 2020 election not because people loved Biden, but because people wanted somebody who was not Trump. Trump’s rhetoric proves dangerous time and time again, and finally, the walls are closing in as White House staffers resign and the possibility of invoking the 25th becomes more likely.
After this devastating event, many Republican legislators have flip-flopped and decided that they do not support Trump’s assault on democracy. Two anomalies are local: Representative Ben Cline and Representative Morgan Griffith. Cline and Griffith continue to contest the election results, even signing their names to lawsuits to overturn legitimate votes.
They continue to support these baseless claims and echo the rhetoric that is dangerous and deadly. This is why I, alongside other constituents in the area, ask both Representative Cline and Representative Griffith to resign. Both lawmakers have proved they cannot uphold their responsibilities to the Constitution, and by feeding into Trump’s sore-loser, delusional, narcissistic rhetoric, they support the violence and chaos like we saw on January 6th.
I was a fan of Biden from the beginning. When people asked my why, I brought up his experience and policies. I also reminded others that he is a moderate and with that, he could hopefully bring together people from all sides.
One thing, though, that I found myself and other Biden supporters saying was that he is "presidential."
He looks very presidential, or he acts very presidential. When you see him, you think president.
These statements, essentially, are somewhat problematic.
In comparison to President Donald Trump, Joe Biden is very presidential. He does not angrily tweet, and when he speaks, we see the typical suave of a politician. With his glittering smile, he seems to assure prospective voters that the future of America is hopeful. So what could be problematic about saying that he is presidential?
During the 2016 election when I fervently campaigned for Hillary, knocking doors and making phone calls, I often heard this counterargument: Hillary just is not presidential enough.
And when I debated with Democrats and Republicans about Joe Biden's female opponents, I heard these exact words: Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris just aren't presidential. Neither is Amy Klobuchar.
As a female with a deep interest in politics, I am sick of hearing that females are not presidential enough. Perhaps we get this message because history shows us that old white men are presidential, but enough is enough.
It is the 21st century. Is the country finally ready for a female leader?
Kamala Harris marks a pivotal milestone in our country's effort to include women in the political sphere. I am very excited for all that Joe has to offer, but in the 2024 election, I know that I will be casting my vote for a woman.
By Chloe Hunt
Thread: "if you take men out of politics"
It seems as if every pressing issue in society is reflected through this problematic, partisan schism that reaps consequences for all involved. As we see Black Lives Matter finally enter the limelight, Republicans emphasize the "burning and looting" of cities whereas Democrats, for the sake of simplicity, embrace defunding or abolishing the police.
I fall somewhere in the middle, leaning to the Democrats. It is not effective to bring up the "burning and looting" as an anti-BLM argument. After centuries of systemic racism including slavery (obviously), Jim Crow laws, redlining, police brutality, and the NEW Jim Crow, people are angry, rightfully. It does not help when the President tear gasses peaceful protestors for a photo, either. However, hard-fast slogans like "abolish the police" and "defund the police" are often misconstrued by the other side. For that reason, we should not be so quick to jump to catchy slogans; instead, it is much more important to focus on upstream solutions.
Defunding the police, in essence, is a great idea. Diverting funds in order to tackle crime prevention will be great in the long run, but caution is advised. "Defunding the police" looks like education equity and infrastructure. Instead of defund, let us use the world reallocate or fund diversion. When Republicans see the word abolish or defund, we will make no progress, and with an issue this important, we cannot afford that.
Throughout the school year, I know that I am not alone when experiencing FOMO. We see our friends gleefully hanging out, and if we are not there, for most, a feeling of isolation consumes us. Perhaps it is a question of: why was I not invited? Why did my parents not let me go out? Why do I have so much homework? Why did I say I didn’t want to go?
We all gravitate towards people in some respect. Whether you are an introvert and you recharge at home alone or an extrovert who thrives on social interaction, our lives are, in fact, grounded by the people around us.
If you stick to the notion that you are an introvert who is comfortable away from people, perhaps think about the time you spend on social media. In that sense, people are ever present in your life as you scroll through their profiles absentmindedly or check their stories on Snapchat.
Amid tragic deaths and fumbling leadership, there is a silver lining to the pandemic and our “new normal.” I, among others whom I have talked to, have discovered the comfort of isolation.
Last summer, if I was in town, I could not possibly imagine spending the day cooped up in my house. What would I do?! What about all my friends? Like most, I would seek out the sun or the water, or maybe just hang out with friends. A normal summer surely seems appetizing right about now, yet, I am much happier in my home than I have ever been.
By that, I mean that I have become much more resourceful, relaxed, and goal-oriented. Usually, if I spent more than half of the day at my house, that was a bad sign. Somehow, if I was at home during summer, I was doing something wrong. Now, though, I happily wake up, drink my coffee, and spend the day pursuing existing passions or finding new ones.
In regards to FOMO, I see lots of tantalizing Snapchat stories. Friends, classmates, and acquaintances from across the region are proactively flaunting their ability to hang out with large groups of people without any immediate repercussions. I, thankfully, have been advised by my parents not to do so, but now, I do not envy them. I do not envy them for a couple reasons. Obviously I do not want to get sick, but, secondly, I would rather be alone, at least for a little while.
I think that my friends and classmates would not be socializing if their parents did not allow it, and if they did not have FOMO. There are many ways to stay in touch with friends digitally, and perhaps it is not the same and as rebellious as going out at night, but, I do sincerely think that a lot of the mid-pandemic parties are rooted in one’s desire to not miss out.
None of us want to think of ourselves as excluded or missing out on something valuable. However, the seniors who thought they were going to be “missing out” ended up going to the beach as a large unit and contracting Covid-19. They did not just infect themselves, but they also wreaked havoc on the others’ lives.
At this time, I urge my fellow students to not succumb to this pervasive idea of FOMO. We will see our friends either in the classroom or on Zoom soon enough, and as this virus spreads, the FOMO-driven socialization is contributing to your complicity throughout the pandemic.
Chloe Hunt '21
As a member of the tennis team and a rising senior, I can dream about senior night and playing some of my last matches with my teammates, but, unlike many others, I do not want to have a season this year.
Recently, I received an email from Coach Bagliani. It basically said that unless the VISAA changes their guidelines, our tennis season will still be happening. I assume that my fellow teammates are ecstatic about these news, and normally I would be too, but it seems irresponsible to continue sports right now.
Essentially, tennis is a low-risk sport. There is no contact during play, but, a full-fledged sports season entails lots of contact.
-Practices (drills in which we stand next to each other, run as a pack, share balls, etc.)
-Matches (spectators, team members all sitting together)
It would be understandable if our tennis season was just confined to match play or we only had our top eight players, but in the midst of a pandemic, I do not think this is necessarily a priority.
Do not get me wrong. I love tennis and cherish the time that I spend with my team, but at the same time, it seems as if we are moving a little too fast with fall sports.
As a country, we have been disproportionately affected by the virus in part due to leadership, but also citizens who believe a mask is an infringement upon their liberties. This ideology is not just ill-informed, but also detrimental. In our school bubble, we have many ignorant community members that have either politicized a mask or simply believe that it is ineffective. I do not want to be playing tennis with somebody whose mom or dad does not wear a mask to the grocery store or who I am completely aware is not social distancing on the weekends.
It is not like we will just be confined to the germs of our classmates either. For example, if we go to another school and use their bathrooms or locker rooms, who is to say that one of the girls who has been in there is not an asymptomatic carrier, and we may be sharing surfaces and inadvertently touching our faces?
That example may seem extreme, but in essence, that is how the virus is transmitted.
Though match play is low-contact, we must look at what has happened across the world. For example, in South Korea, when one fitness instructor hosted a dance session, the virus was spread across 112 people, 12 facilities, and over 124 miles in just 14 days.
So, as a two-season sports player, I am strongly urging North Cross and other schools to cancel sports until the virus has calmed in the United States or we have successfully developed a vaccine. This is one way that we can stop the spread.
International students enhance campus life; Trump Administration making pernicious decisions that express no regard for multiculturalism or diversity
One of the reasons that I love our community at North Cross is because of our thriving international program. Students flock from across the world to attend school in Roanoke, Virginia! This is incredible and often undervalued.
Freshman year, I had the opportunity to play tennis and take classes with Summer Zhang. Oftentimes, we would grab food downtown on the weekends or FaceTime and study for Human Geo. Through our friendship, I learned more about life in China, and she encouraged me to begin studying Mandarin. I have also had the opportunity to run track with Euan Spikers, an Australian student who loved sharing aspects of his culture.
Last summer, I counseled camps for Chinese students who got a taste of American life. While they experienced what our Virginian world was like through cultural activities, I got a better glimpse into Chinese life. We made dumplings, played ping-pong, got ice cream, hiked, and so much more.
I also made some great friends this past year as Tammie and Hannah came to the States from Vietnam. I got to hear Tammie sing as Olivia Murchison '21 played guitar downtown in the dorms. I also found out much more about Vietnamese culture through a presentation during the school year.
This is not to boast about these internationalist experiences, but rather to say that North Cross's commitment to education is not limited to Roanoke. Our international scope is what I treasure. If I had not met people from around the world, I would not be the same person. I doubt that I would have the same passion that I do for global studies, and I do not think that I would have delved into journalism, linguistics, or Model UN either.
Trump's newest policies, though seemingly just pertinent to colleges and universities across the country, will have real implications even on our campus. Fortunately, since we are offering in-person instruction, students from across the globe can partake in classes in some capacity. However, it will not be the same at all since international students (if participating in distance learning) cannot play sports, perform in musicals, or embrace extracurricular life.
I sincerely hope that we will be able to invite all of our international students back to campus this fall. After all, without their presence, NCS is predominately white and American. I loved how learning at NCS was not just confined to the classroom, but also personal exchanges with students from across the globe.
Gracean Ratliff '23