Tag Archives: trial

Hillary Clinton: Life Lessons from the Benghazi Testimony

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Yesterday, when my daughters and I came home after school, I put on the live stream of Hillary Clinton testifying before the Benghazi hearings.

I’m not sure if they were 6, 7 or 8 hours into grilling Hillary Clinton yet, but at that particular moment, a Republican congressman was shouting at her. My girls watched, first with horror and then laughing – who is that man? (Actually, my 11 year old daughter asked “Who is that crazy man?”) As he continued to give his own theory on Hillary Clinton’s actions around Benghazi, my 8th grader, who has done mock trials in Elementary and Middle School, asked if that is how a hearing is supposed to go – are you supposed to make up someone else’s story? Or, are you supposed to ask questions, listen, and gather information, facts?

But it was Hillary’s demeanor – calm, collected, in control – that made the most dramatic impression on my daughters and me.

She listened. She reviewed her notes. She didn’t attack.

She smiled as a panel in front of her berated her with nonsensical questions. She acted like a seasoned world leader.

Here are a few life lessons that my girls and I talked about after the debate: Continue reading

NYC Marches for Trayvon Martin – 10 Powerful Photos

On the rainy night of February 26, 2012 an altercation took place between 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and 28-year-old George Zimmerman that left the former dead and the latter bleeding from several wounds. There were no witnesses and no apparent cause for the dispute, and Zimmerman was shortly thereafter released on the basis of “self defense.”

But the story, and the pain and anger and debates, did not end there. Almost overnight there arose a pubic outcry over the event, calling for justice on what was largely seen as a racially-motivated event. Had Trayvon not been black would Zimmerman have perceived him as a threat? Would Zimmerman have been initially let go? And now, after this weekend’s verdict, would he have been acquitted of all charges? It’s a troubling line of reasoning to go down, but one that many can’t help consider.

Reactions to the verdict have been heart-wrenching, as many feel not only the tragedy of the teenager’s lost life but also anger toward a system that seems to value some lives more than others. New York City held one of the largest rallies on Sunday, with thousands convened in Times Square to protest the jury’s decision.

Here are 10 powerful photos from NYC’s protest, reminding the country that Trayvon Martin lives on in the hearts of many:

What are your thoughts on the Zimmerman verdict? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

What Happens When A College Rape Victim Posts Her Attacker’s Name to Internet

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 12.54.32 PMAfter months of inaction by local police and her university’s authorities, a 21-year-old college student decided to take matters into her own hands and post her rapist’s name and picture on the Internet. In her article, originally published on XOJane.com, the woman writes:

After my university failed to take immediate action against the student who raped me (despite having been provided with several audio recordings in which my rapist confessed to raping me) and after I became so socially ostracized that I contemplated suicide, it was suggested to me that I did not have to wait for the world to decide whether it would advocate for me or not.

In this young woman’s case, her rapist was also her boyfriend, which unfortunately may have contributed to authorities’ lack of urgency in moving the investigation forward. She nonetheless provided ample evidence of the man’s guilt and suffered the psychological effects of trauma for over a year afterward.

This isn’t the first time social media and the Internet at large have gotten entangled in cases of sexual violence. Some of the biggest recent scandals – from Rehtaeh Parsons’ tragic case to the much-publicized Steubenville trial  – have been exacerbated by leaked photographs and endless debates across social media platforms. The quick spread of information on these sites has also allowed the community at wide to think about and discuss these issues, which is perhaps one positive outcome of the phenomenon. It is also heartening to see that some victims are able to break through societal inhibitions and come out in the open to raise awareness about sexual violence. Too often are victims silenced, perpetuating an overwhelming culture of shaming and excuse-making.

On the other hand, our legal system is supposed to uphold fair trials and “innocence until proven guilty” – so is it fair to expedite this process by proclaiming guilt in mass dispersal via the Internet? The argument could be made that this man’s identity and privacy should be wholly respected until he is actually convicted. We’ll leave it to the cyber masses to judge.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Photo credit: mislav-m

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