McClymonds students (left to right Jacob Miles, Lee Benson and Anthony Beron) take part in National Hoodie Day in support of Trayvon Martin.
by Anthony Beron
School’s out, but McClymonds students are closely following the Trayvon Martin trial, now in jury selection.
Several students, including juniors Jacob Miles and Lee Benson, took part in a National Hoodie Day, in support of the 17-year-old Florida high school who was murdered after buying Skittles and Arizona iced tea inside a gated complex in Sanford, Florida.
“I feel that what the man (George Zimmerman) did was out of pocket and the court should give him (Trayvon Martin) justice at least,” says Jacob Miles, a junior.
Zimmerman argued that he was in imminent danger of being attacked by Martin, who was at the time unarmed and pleading for his life, according to CNN.
“I’m angry. After all, this is just another example of how Black and Latino youth are targeted because of their skin color,” said Rafael (who would not give his last name), a Hispanic male in his 20’s from East Oakland, who was the apparent organizer of the rally. Rafael added, “We need a revolution!”
“I think George Zimmerman should serve a long sentence in jail, because he killed an innocent person. It was racial profiling: he just killed Trayvon since he was an African-American male, wearing a hoodie, just walking around,” argued Kardel Howard, a sophomore.
Zimmerman claimed to have been attacked by Martin before shooting him, and later took photos of himself with a broken nose and several cuts and bruises. The slug of the fatal round Zimmerman fired at Martin was lodged in the teen’s left chest before paramedics arrived and attempted CPR on him. Martin was later pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting.
Zimmerman’s defense team allegedly tried to form a jury with the least number of minorities as possible. They denied the allegating: “Absolutely not, but if there isn’t a black juror, that doesn’t mean anything either. It just means that we chose the best people based on their answers to their questions,” according to the New York Daily News.
“I feel like it’s not fair to choose people that are not minorities who can’t relate as much to Martin,” said Howard. “With more minority jurors, they can relate to racism and oppression better; it should be more balanced.”
Why Censorship is F****ng Stupid
by Khristan Antoine
Like any other art work, journalism has its own beauty and language. But what happens when that language is simply not enough? As student journalists, we are handcuffed by rules that say we can’t use certain words like sh*t, p*ss, f*ck, c*nt, c*cks*cker, motherf*cker, and t*ts.
We resort to using words that tame the real, strong emotion behind a significant quote even if it was uttered in the heat of the moment: just last week, an ecstatic Lady Warrior, who recently won the OAL championship after 37 years of deadends, said “We f***ing go.” And we had to use asterisks. In some school newspapers, we couldn’t even use the asterisks or the word.
For f*ck’s sake, we can’t even write a review of a rap album because we won’t be able to quote verbatim a decent lyric that portrays the meaning of the song entirely or precisely.
And there are myriad other examples. In an interview with a student for another story, the student talked about how her parents told her to wash the dishes and she sat on her butt and continued watching TV. After a while, they began to lose their patience and resorted to the language we all know as authoritative. She heard a loud bang and a scream that pierced the atmosphere. “Get your fu***ng a$$ up and do the God da*n dishes!” As she told us, “sh*t just got serious. ”
Cuss words carry the emotion of the person speaking them. They don’t necessarily harm or insult anybody but they make a strong impression. They change the tone of the conversation.
Words were never meant to be “bad.” Who gets to decide what is acceptable or not? I fuc**ng think words, all kinds of words, are just that: words. They were designed to fulfill their purpose to communicate and express emotion. If a word achieves its purpose, does it cease to be a good word? What a silly thing to suppose that words are bad or good.
A word is only as good or as useful as its context. As some may argue, cuss words detract from the eloquent nature of language, allowing for a lazier approach to social intercourse (you can SAY intercourse, but not the F word).
What censorship fails to address is inequality: not everyone has access to an education that provides the tools necessary to develop a more extensive vocabulary fit for use in society or even fit for a high school journalism blog.
I s**t you not, sometimes words unify and make it easier to have significant conversations — break ups, family showdowns, disciplinary lectures, just plain hurt feelings.
I do not believe “cuss words” should be the only words used in a daily interaction. There should be a professional level to everything and anything discussed or shared but cuss words unite us all. They’re so basic that there’s no possible miscommunication.
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Tagged censorship, cuss words, High School Journalism, west Oakland