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Spotlight Thursday: June 3 - June 9

Spotlight Thursday: June 3 - June 9

by Kathleen Wang

 

This week’s roundup of current events include the outcome of the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election, a recently concluded but still very much debated college rape case, and the death of famed boxer Muhammad Ali. Check out these stories and our takes on them below!


2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: (June 8, 2016) Presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton becomes Democratic nominee for 2016

On Tuesday, history was made when Hillary Clinton took the stage as the first female presidential nominee from a major party after the final state primaries in the 2016 elections. The night before, the Associate Press crowned Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee after additional superdelegates pledged to support her at the Philadelphia convention. This pledge catapulted Clinton to the 2,383 delegate mark, enough to clinch the Democratic nomination.

This breaking news will not only mark the first time a female candidate won a major party nomination, but will also permanently alter the game for girls. Although females gained suffrage and legal rights decades ago, they still face a plethora of social stigmas: society has told girls and young women – both overtly and subtly – what they could and could not be. Housewives? Sure. Teachers? Yes. President? Unlikely. Yet, Clinton’s victory Tuesday night has served as a living, breathing example of overcoming gender based obstacles and, ultimately, becoming one step closer to equality.

 

STANFORD COLLEGE RAPE CASE: (June 6th, 2016) Stanford University swimmer convicted for sexual assault sentenced to six-month in jail, eligible for probation after three

On Tuesday, a California judge gave a Stanford University swimmer convicted for sexual assault, to a six month jail sentence, eligible for probation after three. The swimmer, Brock Turner, was found raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, and in the ensuing yearlong legal battle, was ultimately found guilty by a unanimous jury and convicted on three different accounts of rape and sexual assault. According to the judge, “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on Brock,” his justification for the light half year sentence.

This is not the first rape case in the US, and it doesn’t take a genius to realize that this will not be the last. The problem isn’t “provocative” women looking for trouble in dark allies; the problem isn’t intoxication and promiscuity; the problem, one that is so prominent and which slaps us in the face today, is America’s skewed legal system, one that is marred by male and class privilege. The judge’s rationalization for Brock’s six month sentence in the rape case – a felony punishable to up to 14 years in prison – was Turner’s studies and athletic career at a prestigious university, all of which “less[ened] the moral culpability attached to the defendant.” In other words, California’s Superior Court has doled out a six month sentence to a convicted rapist the same punishment given to people who drive without a license. And all because of his “outstanding swim record at an Ivy League institution.”

 

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MUHAMMAD ALI’S DEATH: (June 4th, 2016) legendary boxer Muhammad Ali dies at age 74, due to ‘septic shock’

For decades, Muhammad Ali’s named has been revered both domestically and internationally as the legendary boxer and social activist. During his lifetime, he has been awarded some of the highest honors in both only sports, but also in social activism and humanitarianism. After decades of fame, Ali died last Friday at 9:10 pm at age 74, surrounded by family. The funeral fo the legendary boxer will be held this Friday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, and is open  to the public. As family spokesman Bob Gunnell said at a press conference last Saturday, “Ali was a citizen of the world, and he wanted people of all walks of life to be able to attend.”

 

Want to contribute to this column? Contact kathleenzywang@yahoo.com for more information.

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