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Viewpoint: Neo-Nazi’s Congressional Campaign is Emblematic of the Trump Presidency

Former American Nazi Party member Arthur Jones faces no opposition in a March Illinois primary.

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Arthur Jones has tried to run for the Republican nomination in the third Congressional district of Illinois five times with no success.

This time around, however, he faces no opponent in the March 20 primary, likely ensuring he’ll be able to take his campaign all the way to the general election in November as the nominee. But he won’t have support from the Illinois GOP along the way.

The former member of the American Nazi Party is an abhorrent nominee for a historically Democratic Congressional seat, but his existence is emblematic of a more disturbing problem in the current political climate.

People like Jones are too narrow minded and shallow to see that a diverse America is best for the future of democracy

Jones is widely known as a Holocaust denier. There is an entire section on his campaign website dedicated to conspiracy theories about the Holocaust and comments from Jones himself disputing its existence. His website features hateful language against the Hispanic and LGBTQ communities, as well as a depiction of the Confederate flag as a symbol of “white pride and white resistance.”

Jones will likely lose the general election, as a Republican hasn’t held the seat since the 1970s, but his progress in the race is troubling.

He truly would not gotten this far if Donald Trump was not in the White House. Though white supremacy did not begin with the election of Trump, his presence in politics has emboldened racists and Neo-Nazis to have a place in popular discourse.

Trump is widely known as the “America First” president. It’s no coincidence that Jones uses the saying as a tagline for his own hateful campaign.

It’s clear what they both mean by this. They envision the US as a country where everyone looks like them. When they say America First, the underlying meaning of their words is ‘White People First’.

It’s not a stretch to say that Jones, Trump, and many within the GOP see America as a land being invaded by a kind of diversity anyone with a heart and half a brain should fully embrace. People like Jones are too narrow minded and shallow to see that a diverse America is best for the future of democracy.

The Republican Party has disavowed Jones for his beliefs, but they’ve failed to realize their own party caused his rise and emboldened his ideas by supporting Donald Trump and refusing to condemn similar extremists as they’ve come along over the years.

The third district of Illinois, compromising of parts of Chicago and its southwest suburbs, is interesting on the Democratic side as well.

Marie Newman is waging a strong campaign against incumbent Democrat Daniel Lipinski, one of the last remaining conservative Democrats in Congress. Newman has been endorsed by most progressive groups across the district as Lipinski loses support from longtime colleagues and other key political operatives.

Newman or Lipinski will likely beat the controversial Republican nominee. But Jones is where he is because of a divided GOP that’s made it permissible to celebrate white supremacy and neo-Nazism.

And that is a truth that cannot be ignored.

Jones won’t admit that he’s a Nazi, but his past involvement with the American Nazi Party does not leave much room for debate. His disregard for the unimaginable tragedies of the Holocaust prove that he’s not only unfit for office, but also a danger to society regardless of whether or not he’s put in a position of power.

He also publicly expressed support for the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville last year and praised President Trump for condemning the protestors acting against the Nazi rally.

The influence that Trump has had on his candidacy is incredibly evident, and it’s likely that the other Arthur Joneses and David Dukes of the world will take notice. This could result in a greater influx of far right, white supremacist candidates in contests across the nation.

And that is where the power of resistance must come in.

Lauren Grimaldi is a senior political science student at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Roosevelt Torch, the school's student run newspaper. When she graduates in May, she hopes to find work in policy reform, political campaigns, or political writing. Follow her on Twitter @laurengrimaldi_.

MeToo

Viewpoint: There is No Problem with the #MeToo Movement

#MeToo is here to change America: Empowering survivors and giving their voice a platform.

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Recently The Atlantic posted a short video of writer Caitlin Flanagan explain what was wrong with the #MeToo Agenda.

Her first point was that it covered too much as it “descends the ladder from rape to bad dates making it a category big enough to be meaningless.” But there is an obvious difference between rape and a bad date and there is a huge gray area in between and the line is drawn with consent. I know too many men and women who are survivors of sexual violence. But I also know people who have had bad dates (myself included). A bad date is someone who’s rude or narcissistic or just not someone you’re interested in, Rape and assault are crimes. The difference is clear and no one tweets #MeToo over a bad date, they just “girl me too” to a friend.

Flanagan also mentions men who are unfairly caught in the crossfire among accusations of powerful men being brought to justice. She cites Matt Damon who said “groping someone’s butt was different than sexually molesting a child.” While Damon was correct from a legal standpoint, and that these two acts are different, both acts are acts of sexual assault or violence.

There is no excuse for assault or violence on any scale. The fact that Damon doesn’t realize this is a perfect example of how microaggressions find their way into our common media. Any act of unwanted sexual advances made by anyone is unacceptable.

To Flanagan, Damon is misinformed and part of the problem. But most of that comes from the fact that he was misinformed.

She criticizes women for thinking male power structure is part of the problem and suddenly smashing the patriarchy being added to the list of goals for the #MeToo Movement. You can only do so much good targeting individual offenders who have taken advantage of the unfair power structure stacked in their favor. Soon enough you need to address the root of the problem, and it often lies in our history of male centered power structures.

While we can’t undo history, we can work towards equal representation and allowing each individual to be able to thrive under a power structure instead of allowing the people at the top take advantage of everyone below.

Flanagan notes, “It seemed as though almost every woman had some sort of goal she wanted to add to the agenda. No problem was too small or too vague to be included–So long was a man was to blame.”

Have you stopped to think that there actually is a problem? If every woman can identify at least one time in their life where someone has made unwanted passes at them this is clearly a problem that needs to be handled.

Perpetrators needs to face justice and survivors need to heal.

This isn’t just a women’s issue: sexual violence affects everyone: More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

The #MeToo movement is about bringing those guilty to justice. Not attacking men.

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Campus Crime

Student Jailed for Sexually Assaulting Sleeping Frat Brothers Shown No Leniency

The former Albright College student argued that his sentence should be reduced.

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Former Albright College student Robert Convery Jr. shown in a booking photo. (Handout)

A Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Friday that a student who committed multiple acts of sexual assault on his fraternity brothers while they slept does not deserve a break on his sentence.

Robert Convery Jr., a former Albright College student, was sentenced to 13-to-30-years behind bars in 2016. He had argued at his trial that the sex was consensual, but a jury disagreed.

PennLive reported that the assaults were committed in 2013 and 2015:

Both of the victims were his friends as well as his Pi Kappa Phi frat brothers… Convery assaulted one of them twice, and apologized afterward.

All three assaults followed the same pattern. The victims fell asleep after drinking and awoke to find Convery performing oral sex on them.

Convery appeared in court seeking a reduction in his sentence. His attorney argued that his harsh sentence was a punishment for taking the case to trial instead of negotiating a plea deal or admitting guilt.

Judge Mary Jane Bowes found there was no evidence that Convery was punished for going to trial.

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Apps

There’s Another iOS bug Crashing iPhones, iMessage and Other Apps

Looks like we’ve got a few new bad Apples.

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A bug discovered earlier this week is capable of crashing iPhones, iMessages and various messaging apps, like Facebook messenger and WhatsApp. The news was first reported by Italian blog Mobile World,

The bug is an Indian language (Telugu) character that can be sent through messaging platforms on any Apple product that runs iOS 11 or macOS. Apple users will be unable to open their message app once the bug has been sent.

According to The Verge, the only way for users to recover their message app is to have someone send another message, try to access messages and delete the thread of messages with the special character.

This discovery comes after Apple found multiple software issues before the end of 2017. Apple plans to address the new bug with a new iOS update before the spring release of iOS 11.3. While the bug crashes iMessages with iOS11 or 11.2, those with the beta version of iOS1.3 are immune to the issue.

Apple products encountered similar problems in past experiences thanks to other special characters, links or videos. 2015 brought a small string of text that would shut an iPhone down, in 2016 there was a 5-second video that crashed iPhones and 2017 had a link that would freeze an iPhone completely.

Apple will address these issues soon with an updated version of iOS 11.2.

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