Zuckerberg vs AOC


There are an innumerable amount of unhealthy activities that one can do on social media, and I frequently do all of them, frequently at the same time. So it shouldn’t be taken lightly when I say that my most favorite––and most damaging––activity is reading the replies to any post by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. No matter what the actual post is, it can be guaranteed that the replies will be a series of low resolution memes that are almost exclusively posted by people who believe Antifa is the secret reason they’re not allowed to see their kids anymore.


My favorite of these memes (there’s only 16 total, they all use the same three pictures of the congresswoman, sometimes feature Peter Griffin explaining the joke at the bottom, and all kill your brain cells) are the ones that claim that Ocasio-Cortez is inherently bad because she used to be a working-class bartender before getting elected to office while ironically also complaining about liberal elites. These are the cute little things that turn most social media networks like Facebook into a certified hellsite. 

While Facebook relevance to younger generations has dwindled to helping remind you what birthdays you forgot and letting you secretly read the comments from your mom’s friends hyping you up in incomprehensibly large photo albums, it has unfortunately had devastating effects on our democracy at it slowly morphed into the primary source of news for older folks. Around 2011 Facebook started being used as a venue for your uncle to repost irrefutable proof that Obama was actually the Kenyan anti-Christ. Now this type of posting has now turned into actual disinformation campaigns affecting hundreds of thousands of people at a single time, all because Facebook never took the initial problem seriously enough since they were too busy amassing all your private data in order to market hyper-specific shirts declaring that you were born in July and are not to be messed with. 

The entire video of AOC using her five minutes to grill Zuckerberg on a variety of different problems plaguing Facebook is absolutely worth watching. She opens on asking Zuckerberg when he became aware of the Cambridge Analytica, who were able to harvest the raw data on 87 million in order to persuade them to vote for Trump, which Zuckerberg couldn’t recall. She moved on, posing Zuckerberg with a serious of hypotheticals that exposed the flaws in the websites policy of not requiring that political ads be truthful, to which Zuckerberg was also unable to answer. When AOC concluded by asking Zuckerberg if white-supremacist tied organizations such as the Daily Caller met his standard for a verified fact-checker, Zuckerberg was once again unable to give a straight answer.

The intense questioning went viral, amassing millions of views on a variety of different platforms. The reason is clear: we’re not used to seeing our politicians this effective at cutting through BS and raising issues that are relevant to common Americans. This isn’t the first time AOC had turned congressional questioning into an opportunity to successfully stand up to the status-quo, asking an Exxon Mobil researcher earlier that very same day how much the company knew about climate change as they fought to cover it up.

The reason for AOC’s success is rooted in her anger, anger that she and millions of other working-class Americans feel everyday towards large corporations that ship their jobs overseas, cut their pay and fire them when they press a sexual harassment claim, overcharge for basic products and services, or pump their relatives with hateful propaganda; all in the interest of squeezing a couple more dollars of profit. AOC’s background as a bartender who fought her way into one of the most powerful elected positions in the country enabled her with the perspective that makes her so damn good at her job, and this country would be magnitudes better off if all our elected representatives had lived with that perspective as well.

Football coach subdues potential shooter


Parkrose High School, in Portland, Oregon, received a massive scare when Angel Granados-Diaz, 18, walked into a classroom with a loaded shotgun on May 17.

Granados-Diaz entered the school in a black trench coat and disappeared into a classroom, where he reportedly was going to commit suicide. Investigators say that Diaz was suffering from a mental health crisis following a breakup and aimed to kill himself in the classroom, where someone would call 911 once shots were heard.

It is noted that Granados-Diaz never fired the gun while on campus and didn’t intend to hurt anyone other than himself.

Before Granados-Diaz could end his life, however, he was subdued by Keanon Lowe, the school’s football and track and field coach, as well as former Oregon Ducks football player. Lowe lunged for the gun and held it away from Granados-Diaz while calling for help, then embraced Diaz for over a minute, although it was first reported that Lowe tackled Granados-Diaz to the ground. This revelation comes from security camera footage recently released from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

“This is a major red flag for the mental health community. The Center for Disease Control just recently released a report this month stating that between 2007 and 2017, suicide rates for individuals aged 10-24 have risen by 56%,” said Mackenzie Hemmer (’20), the President of Active Minds. “This should not just be a red flag for the mental health community, but for society as a whole. We have a crisis on our hands.”

“Additionally, I feel that situations like this do paint an awful picture of those that have mental illnesses and its potential connection with potential shooters. Individuals are so quick to blame it on the illness or the individual’s stereotypes, whether that is sex, race, etc,” said Hemmer. “We as a society are failing individuals that they become so ill, they feel as if no one is watching, and this is their last resort to get the attention they need, want or desire.”

Lowe has since, for the most part, been hailed as a hero across the country, and called to mind the importance of faculty and school staff around the world. However, his actions have sparked some controversy in whether or not he should have taken action in the way he did.

“While I understand that this can be controversial on whether or not he should have taken action, I think that it is important to look at the comparison of consequences,” said Hemmer. “There could have been numerous deaths from a scenario like this, but there wasn’t. We could have lost more than one life had things taken a different course.”

In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Lowe said that he felt he was placed in that room at that moment for a reason, and that he is thankful no one was hurt. In an interview with reporters at the Moda Center, he said that, “I had a real-life conversation. Obviously, he broke down, and I wanted him to know I was there for him. I told him I was there to save him; I was there for a reason, and this is a life worth living.”

Granados-Diaz pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public and one count of possession of a firearm in a public building and was sentenced to three years of probation, mental health services and substance abuse treatment, effective immediately. The gun seized by police was to be destroyed.

If you or someone you know is going through a crisis or intending to harm themselves, there are many resources that can help. To use the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, dial 1-800-237-TALK. To use the National Crisis Text Line, text “HOME” to 741741.

Additionally, on-campus resources include the Counseling and Wellness Center, which can be reached at 989-463-7225 and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For emergencies, call 911.


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