In the past few decades in America’s history, we launched our first space station, witnessed the September 11 attacks and watched the election of the first black president. One thing held constant in those two decades, and it is the drug epidemic that took the lives of tens of thousands. However, there is one difference between the 1980s and 2018, and it is the repercussions for those using drugs: incarceration vs rehabilitation.
The Nixon administration locked up those who sold and used drugs and created an image for the public to “associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” explained former Nixon Aide John Ehrlichman.
This rigid economic policy defunded inner-city schools and pushed away many jobs. It pushed the black unemployment rate to 20 percent in 1980, ripping black families apart due to unstable job markets that were forcing many men in economically unstable communities to sell drugs.
According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, throughout the 1980s, black people were doing drugs at the same rate as white people, but black people were being arrested and sentenced disproportionately. By 1990, the US held 25 percent of the world’s jail population, with the largest percentage being black men who were charged with non-violent drug offenses. 
Now in 2018, addiction is being classified as a disease according to research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This ideology has shifted to prescribing synthetic opioids to help victims come down easier from their addiction instead of just throwing them in jail. While this is beneficial for many facing the opioid epidemic, one cannot look past the fact that there is one major difference between 1980 and 2018—race. Treatments and perspectives of drug users has drastically changed, especially considering that those who use are now predominantly white teens. 
“It is very clear that this epidemic is overwhelmingly white,” explained Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a drug abuse expert and professor at Brandeis University, in an NPR interview. 
While times certainly have changed, racial stigmatization has not. Like any point in American history, privilege and power equate. There seems to be a racial advantage to being white. 
“They are able to flip the narrative and play innocent because it's the doctor’s fault for prescribing them opioids, and now it’s the doctor’s fault that they have to go out and get heroin,” Johnson continued. 
White teens have been able to switch the narrative, and they became victims of an ongoing drug war. Opioids used by white people started a quick and effective transition to better and healthier drug prevention and rehabilitation. This distinct difference has caused a lot of confusion and hostility towards the U.S. government for how they reacted to these epidemics because truly, the opioid epidemic finally became a crisis when white people became involved. 


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Aries: While Mars may have just left retrograde, you are still feeling its effects. You will start falling back into habits of self care. Be careful of your finances for they may shift unexpectedly.

Taurus: You may start to feel the least connection to your sign. Your emotions may lead you to being more concerned for others and yourself. Trust your instincts for others may lead you down the wrong path.

Gemini: Emotions will reach all time highs as you start to feel the effects of Saturn in retrograde. Do not play into your emotional weaknesses and if needed, seperate yourself from situations. Rely on your intelligence to help you combat insecurities. 

Cancer: September will be a rough time for you. Having those you trust around is going to be key to your survival of this month. You will find yourself in the middle of plentiful offers, some will be good. 

Leo: As summer comes to an end, your professional affairs will start to dwindle. Use this time to invest in family matters and your emotions. Your open mindedness will allow you to grow and adapt to issues to that present themselves.

Virgos: As you enter your astrological season this month is all about you. Listen to your heart. Allow them to guide you but be weary of professional and personal relationships for they may take a dip this month.

Libra: As Libra season approaches your mood and emotions will take a full swing. Love is in the air for Libras in this month. Take a chance. Be wary because with love comes heartache. Listen to your heart but trust your brain even more. 

Scorpio: In September your ability to be oneself will blossom so explore your inner thoughts. If there is something you thought about doing but were unable to, now is the chance. Add a new work out to your routine. Be spontaneous.

Sagittarius: Slow and steady wins the race all throughout September. While you are known to be spontaneous in nature, it is time to settle down and think things through. Karma is coming so be ready for your bad to catch up to your good.

Capricorn: September is your month for love! Recently you have found yourself distracted by your thoughts and emotions towards other issues. Allow work to take a back burner and work on yourself. Spice up your life and do the unexpected!

Aquarius: September is a month of self care for you. It is time to take a moment and take care of yourself. Freedom will find its way to you as Uranus stays in retrograde. Expect the unexpected and do the unexpected. 

Pisces: Let's talk about how out of all the signs September will be the best for you. Neptune’s retrograde will help your find yourself.You may not think you are lost but regardless you will be found. Use this new you to find a date, go see a play. Be fun and be free!


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In January 2018, Donald Trump's former communication manager, Jason Miller, was arguing with CNN correspondent Brian Karem, when he surprised viewers with some unexpected vocabulary. “If it’s not true, then we need to go and make sure we’re being very clear here. So, please don’t try to throw shade,” said Miller.
From “throwing shade” to “getting read” to “clocking someone’s look,” much of queer slang has gone mainstream. Chad Ochocinco, former Miami Dolphins wide receiver, recently commented on his daughter’s Instagram picture saying, “you betta give me looks sis” and “come through hunty.”
In gay culture, there are many phrases unique and dear to us, such as “reading” or referring to someone as “sister” or “mother.” But it is not just our vocabulary that has been popularized, it is also our dances—voguing, death drops, duck walks—and our mannerisms. The issue for many homosexuals is when queer references and actions are used in mainstream pop culture, but are not credited as originating from queer culture. 
 Queer culture and pop culture do not correlate, explained Zach Phelan, a freshman at The Savannah College of Art and Design. “It’s annoying to me when Vanessa Hudgens says she’s ‘so into voguing right now’ because voguing isn’t a fad happening right now, it’s apart of a lifestyle and has cultural significance,” said Phelan. 
Phelan continued saying, “decades of gay people being completely isolated in a heteronormative society, and now it’s trendy to have a gbf [gay best friend] and people don’t even understand ball culture and where all our trendy moves and lingo comes from. It’s just frustrating.” 
Madonna’s iconic song “Vogue” sold more than six million copies worldwide to date. She popularized an underground, queer dance fad, and introduced it to a mainstream audience without crediting queer culture for it creation. Many homosexuals criticized Madonna for erasing the queer roots of her hit song. 
Nicole Thompson of The Latin Post, criticised the pop artist in her article “‘The Madonna-Free Zone:’ The History of the Harlem Vogue Scene,” saying Madonna “took a very specifically queer, transgender, Latino and African-American phenomenon and totally erased that context with her lyrics.”
 Voguing was the expressionary form of “shade,” explained Willi Ninja, a dancer and choreographer, in the documentary “Paris is Burning.” 
“Voguing came from shade because it is a dance that two people did because they didn't like each other. Whoever was throwing the best moves was throwing the best shade," he said. 
According to Madonna, in her song “Vogue”, her lyrics infer she views voguing as just the opposite. It was an escape from yourself, it was allowing your body “to move to the music.” “Vogue” ripped off the legacy of many queer men, discrediting and removing their acknowledgement from the limelight.
“It's infuriating when you're forced out of a space, seek asylum among other similarly marginalized individuals, create a thriving community for yourselves and those who look like you, and the people who expelled you (in this case cis-hetero black women, cis-hetero black women and white people in general) co-opt your comfort and survival mechanisms for their own enjoyment. All while refusing to acknowledge the trauma they inflicted, forcing you to create those things in the first place.” explained Ryan Sides, writer and digital strategist.
 As time continues, the way we talk, walk and move keeps finding its way into mainstream pop culture. Queer trends, fads and slang has grasped the attention of many heterosexuals, but we are not being credited for the creation of such trends. Behind every new trend and pop queen is queer culture originating the next fad. 


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Last December, I participated in my first racially motivated school walkout. In order to prepare for the event, other students and I took the following steps. 
We stated the purpose of the protest: standing in solidarity with a minority student who was called the N-word on school grounds. The protest also called for the school administration to deal with racial tensions properly. We hoped to increase transparency between the administration and its students. 
We made flyers. Make sure to include the exact date and time of your walkout. Thanks to the power of social media, we were able to spread our message. This garnered posts from individuals saying whether or not they were going to participate in the walkout. 
We caused enough ruckus for the school to hear us. Most people believe that approaching the school first would have solved the problem, but I do not think so. If you have an administration who sweeps most things under the rugs, I would avoid seeking their attention. By allowing the school to hear you, they might take preventative measures to try and stop the protest. This part is important because it lets you know where they stand. 
Learn some chants. My favorite are “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Complicity has got to go!” “The People united will never be divided” or the iconic “Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like.”
Walk out and accept the consequences. If you are fed up to the point where you do not care about the results of your actions, then live freely. Luckily for me and my school there was no snapback to our walk out.
Finally, see the changes of your action. Walking out is meant to enact change in your school, not to start drama with your administration. After walking out, sit back and watch the change roll in like a thunder cloud. It is worth the watch.
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Pumpkins, apple cider, Halloween and that nice period between t-shirt and winter coat season—fall is a great time for all of us. Where it’s just warm enough to go for a walk in the park to admire the scenery yet just cold enough to snuggle up in a nice blanket on the porch to watch the sunset. For some, with fall comes a new wardrobe. People with this understanding have designated seasonal clothing and continue to slay year-round. These pioneers truly encompass what fall should look like and for that reason this article isn’t for them for they do not need help. That being said, Ladies you need read no further... Men this one’s for you.
First, let’s cover the fashion basics. Do wear neutral tones to provide a parreling aesthetic to the scenery around you. Deep green, golden yellows and plum purples are great fall colors and allow men to extend the color vocabulary they tend to not have. Do not wear shorts. I understand that 60 degrees is some sort of magically warm weather haven for you guys, but I can promise you, save it for spring. 65 degrees and below is not shorts weather, you want to comfortable while fashionable, not cold while tacky. Fix it. 
Now let's talk about outfit choices. Peacoats are a great accessory to any neutral outfit you wear. Long and fashionable they allow you to give your fit a little je ne sais quoi. Now while you have pea coats on top how about trying some plaid combinations on the bottom. Plaid in some instances can be tacky, but paired with a nice khaki or dark jean they work well with your outfit. Finally time to for some fresh kicks. Save your hot pink, red, white and blue shoes for the summer. Sperry, Vans and Toms are cute and provide versatility while comfortability
Aside from color blocking many men—including myself—struggle with one major category: layers. Layers are a simple and efficient way of staying warm and looking cute. Layers allow one to replace certain types of clothing for other types to provide the same function but for less of a climate hassel. For example, wearing a cardigan and a thin shirt because the thin shirt is fashionable, but your cardigan can keep you warm. 
Men, you can be complicated but that doesn't mean your clothing choices have to be. Always keep in mind that fall outfits can be recycled every year so don't be afraid to start or add to your collection. 


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