Cuba came along way.

 

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Picture is courtesy of Laura Vargas, by Laura Vargas.

The taboo has been broken. The Cuban boarders are open for Americans to travel there. Although, this recently happened Cuba has an untold story about its people. Although,this recently happened Cuba has an untold story about its people.

Similar to the United States, Cuba has had its share of racism/caste system within its borders. Now that Americans can visit, they will notice that the majority of the population is Afro-Cuban. According to native Cuban Laura Vargas the percentage of Afro-Cuban is between 33 percent to 62 percent. Of course this depends on who you ask.

 

 

Blanqueamiento is a political, social, and economical practice that is literally means whitening. This is whitening was meant to “improve the race.” Improving the race involved marrying a pale person and producing lighter-skinned children. In that time period it was obviously beneficial to have lighter-skin. Throughout the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro saw the inequality of life that racism/prejudice had produced. After he cemented his rule, Fidel Castro made racial inequality a crime. Mrs. Vargas gives a brief statement on how the social caste system affected her and her family.

“Personally, it didn’t affect us since my family is not racist and, we treat everyone equally,” said Mrs. Vargas.

Now with years of reforms that has taken place, things have improved in the society. There is no discrimination in Cuba. According to Mrs.Vargas , in 1891 Cuban independence fighter Jose Marti wrote an essay titled “Nuestras America.” Mr. Marti said there is not  races in Cuba therefore, there is no racism. The unity of Cuba depended on the people seeing themselves as Cuban, instead of using ones racial identity. So in this era Cubans identify themselves as Cubans instead of using their racial identities .

“None discriminates against your color anymore. Inter-racial marriages are extremely common in Cuba. In fact, the most famous sports athletes are black,” said Mrs. Vargas.

Although, Mrs. Vargas said that prejudice no longer exist, a survey was taken at North Lake College and not everyone agrees that racism/discrimination is extinct in Cuba. Along with this survey two others were taken as well.

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Few of us know what it is like to visit or live in Cuba. The only way to observe if racism still exist there is to travel, and view the country for yourself.

 

 

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Ezekiel Elliott, bust or star?

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Instagram user ezekielelliot

On Thursday April 28. the Dallas Cowboys selected Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Many fans and experts wondered why the Cowboys made such a pick when they had 3 running backs on their roster including two-thousand yard rushers in Darren McFadden and newly acquired Alfred Morris. The Cowboys defense was also horrendous last year finishing last in the league with 11 takeaways. Since their defense struggled so much last year many people expected and wanted the Cowboys to pick standout Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Fans and experts believed that Ramsey would help bolster the Cowboys weak secondary to help them get more takeaways and said that Ezekiel Elliott would be a bust and would not be able to help the Cowboys as much as Ramsey could.

However, given Elliott’s college performance and the weapons the Cowboys have around him we feel Elliott will be the next big NFL star. Coming off back to back 1800-yard seasons at Ohio State and a National Championship in 2014 Ezekiel Elliot will have a field day behind the Cowboys spectacular offensive line that includes three pro-bowlers. Even though the Cowboys finished the season with the fourth worst record in the NFL, Darren McFadden still finished the seasons with the fourth most rushing yards (1,089) while only starting 10 out of 16 games. Since starting quarterback Tony Romo and starting wide receiver Dez Bryant were injured most of the season it hindered the Cowboys offense and put a lot of the load on the running game. With back-up quarterbacks Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden and Kellen Moore unable to move the ball down the field effectively through the air it allowed opposing defenses to gameplan against the run. Considering this it’s quite impressive what McFadden was able to accomplish last season and when you look at how McFadden is nowhere near his 4.3-speed and run you over power he had coming into the league when he was drafted fourth overall by the Raiders in 2008, just imagining what Elliott can do behind this offense when everyone is healthy is mind-blowing.

We decided to ask fans what they thought of the situation by doing a twitter poll. However, our sample size was not very large and most of the people were from the DFW area making the data a little skewed since the majority of them were Cowboys fans.

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Twitter user Jeremycrane32

Therefore the majority of the voters predicted that Elliott will be a star, while the rest of the votes were split between bust and average. Only time will tell what Elliott actually turns out to be but with the weapons around him and the system in place we believe he will be the next big NFL star.

 

Muslims on Campus

 

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The star and crescent symbol of Islam.

North Lake is a diverse multicultural community college. NLC is inclusive and helpful to make every student feel at home. But, what happened when Islamphobia hit the country?After 9-11 many people stereotyped all Muslims as terrorists. The nation started labeling Islam as a hate-based religion, this lack of knowledge or misinformation created an intolerant behavior among Americans.

Even recently some presidential candidates drag the attention of voters pointing out that ISIS is the representation of Islam and the root of evil. However, NLC’s inclusive atmosphere hasn’t been poisoned with hatred.

During the Fall 2015 semester NLC held the panel: “Islam: Myths and Facts.” The panel was a success getting student and faculty attention. After the panelists answered questions from the audience, Dr. Imam Zia, the author of Islam: Silencing the Critics said, “I would urge everyone in the future, if you really and truly want information about Islam, then interact and get involved with Muslims.”

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Also, NLC has a Muslim Student Association where Muslims and non-Muslims can interact and learn about Islam.

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Sadiya Patel is the President of the Muslim Students Association, and an officer of Alpha Zeta Eta the North Lake College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Also, she is part of various clubs and organizations on campus. Photo by Alejandra Zavaleta Melara

The president of MSA, Sadiya Patel, is an example of dedication and hard work.

“My liberal side made me into an ambitious, goal-oriented feminist which combated many of the stereotypes.”

Patel is easily to recognize on campus as one of the only Muslim students that wears a Burka. Stills, a lot of people probably will think that wearing a Burka or a Hijab means oppression to women.

However, wearing a Burka or Hijab represents of modesty in her religion.

“I just grew closer to God on a spiritual level and felt like I could do more to maintain my modesty,” Patel said. “I felt that my beauty wasn’t meant for everyone’s eyes and that I could choose to be in control of my image and body.”

 

ISIS has claimed so many terrorist attacks in Europe, and with the civil war in Syria, people misassociated Islam with ISIS.

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Saida Elshantaf studying for finals at NLC library. Photo by Alejandra Zavaleta Melara

“Islam means peace, therefore we’re a religion that promotes peace. Just because a minority, which I would rather not call them Muslims, are promoting terror doesn’t mean that this idea applies to all Muslims,” said Saida Elshantaf, NLC student. “I respect all other religions, and I love to be in a place where I feel respected.”

Islam is a religion that actively encourage peace and tolerance, yet like in every other religion some people are extremist and have given bad reputation to the faith.

“Islam was never a religion of terror and hatred,” said Burhan Lokhandwala, NLC student. “We do not mean harm and all terrorists are not Muslims and they do not understand the real message of Islam anyways. We love everyone and we are a peaceful community.”

 

The 2016 Dallas International Film Festival

The Dallas International Film Festival celebrated their 10-year anniversary. DIFF is an annual festival held in North Texas operated by the Dallas Film Society. The festival was an 11 day event that ran from April 14-24.

The festival showcased regular screenings, gala screenings, short films, centerpiece films and much more.

Valerie Coll, Rachel Hawkins, Zahra Lokhandwala, and Nathan Woodham were fortunate enough to have received press passes to cover the film festival for the News-Register.

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April 16

Shorts 2 Film Screenings

The second shorts screening included a presentation of seven short films were during the third day of Diff. The following short films were shown to filmgoers Verbatim: The Ferguson Case, PB, The Rain Collector, Battalion To My Beat, Maman(s), How To Lose Weight In 4 Easy Step and Over.

Most of the filmmakers attended the second shorts screening. Below is a video of the filmmakers holding a Q&A panel.

April 18

Zahra Lokhandwala and Rachel Hawkins had the opportunity to meet Seth Kramer the director of The Anthropologist after the film’s screening.

Lokhandwala and Hawkins also attended the media roundtable event for the film Orion, which was held at the DIFF Press Studio. Director Asiel Norton and lead actor David Arquette were in attendance.

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April 19

Three Days in August

It was a full house at the Tuesday night premiere screening of Three Days in August at the Angelika Film Center & Cafe located in Mockingbird Station Dallas, TX.

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April 20

Tower

The beautiful and chilling animated documentary Tower directed by Keith Maitland based on the sniper-shooting-massacre from the tower at the University of Texas at Austin back in August 1, 1966.

April 21

Signs of Humanity

A documentary that features and is directed by Willie Baronet. Baronet goes on a month-long journey from Seattle, WA to New York, NY to purchase as many signs possible from the homeless. The signs at the end of the film are gathered and used as artwork in an exhibit in hopes to help outsiders understand the many struggles homeless people face each day.

The director and filmmakers of Signs of Humanity held a Q&A panel with audience members after the screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Dallas .

Make sure to check out the 2016 DIFF film reviews at the News-Register Online or grab the April edition of the News-Register located throughout campus.

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Soñadores, es así como DACA funciona para usted Usted puede ir a la universidad y se puede obtener becas

Dreamers o estudiantes DACA pueden aplicar a la universidad y se pueden solicitar becas para completar el sueño americano. DACA, es sinónimo de Acción Diferida para los jovences que llegaron en la Infancia. Acción Diferida es una política anunciada por el gobierno de Obama en junio de 2012. Esta política provee una subvención de dos años de acción diferida a ciertos individuos que no están en estado de inmigración legal y entran en los Estados Unidos como menores de edad. Son elegibles para la autorización de trabajo, lo que les permite trabajar legalmente en los Estados Unidos; que podrán solicitar un número de la seguro social y que pueden obtener una licencia de conducir dependiendo del estado, que viven. Las personas que califican para beneficios de acción diferida deben cumplir con ciertas pautas como esquema en la Oficina de Ciudadanía y el sitio web de Servicios de Inmigración (USCIS), bajo la consideración de acción diferida para los que llegaron a pequeña edad (DACA).

Estos son los pasos para calificar como DACA. 1. La entrada a los EE.UU. antes de la edad de 16.

Cinco años de residencia y presencia física en los EE.UU. desde el 15 de junio de 2012, apartir de 2007. 3. Estar inscrito en la escuela o haberse graduado de una escuela secundaria u otro programa educativo o tener un certificado de GED. GED es la equivalencia del diploma de educación general. 4. Los estudiantes deben tener un historial limpio, sin condenas o delitos graves. 5. Tener por lo menos 15 yrs. de edad en el momento de la aplicación, pero no más de 30 años. de la edad, el 15 de junio de 2012.

Las estadísticas muestran aproximadamente 65.000 estudiantes indocumentados que se gradúan de la escuela cada año. sólo el 5% y el 10% va a la universidad. Para aquellos estudiantes que piensan que la universidad está fuera de su alcance debido a las preocupaciones financieras y legales, no debe ser una preocupación más porque hay 18 estados, que permiten la matrícula estatal para ellos. Mientras que el reclutamiento para el programa de levantamiento de la estrella en las escuelas secundarias, tengo la oportunidad de trabajar con los estudiantes y padres de todas las nacionalidades. Algunas de estas familias no poseen documentos o los padres de un estudiante indocumentado potencial. Llegan a mí con preguntas relacionadas con el proceso de admisión y para ver si hay posibilidad de que sus hijos puedan ir a la universidad después de graduarse de la escuela secundaria.

 

El Dallas County Community Colleges ha sido un paso importante para un número de estudiantes indocumentados. Pueden solicitar la admisión si proporcionan toda la documentación requerida. Una vez admitidos a la universidad, pueden solicitar la Beca Rising Star u otras becas disponibles para usted. En los colegios de la comunidad DCCCD, los estudiantes completarán la solicitud de ayuda financiera o la solicitud FAFSA en papel. Se requiere una transcripción de impuestos que debe atribuirse a la versión impresa. Una transcripción de impuestos es un resumen de los datos fiscales de sus padres con respecto al año anterior. La transcripción de la declaración de impuestos proviene de los Servicios de Impuestos Internos (IRS) cuando sus padres reportan impuestos. Soñadores DACA o estudiantes con la acción diferida, se puede ir a la universidad y usted puede lograr un título de dos años en los colegios comunitarios como North Lake College y se puede transferir a una institución de 4 años. Hay fondos estatales para los estudiantes indocumentados o con la accion diferida y se puede aplicar para ciertas becas. No renuncie a sus sueños de obtener una licenciatura o de cumplir de sus metas académicas. Los sueños se hacen realidad si realmente lo desea.

 

 

Hillary Clinton Opinion

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Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton from Twitter @HillaryClinton

We are closer than ever of having Donald Trump be President of the United States. After both Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the Republican race, Trump remains as the only candidate for Republican field. In the Democratic side, pundits feel that Clinton is going to be the nominee, but with the shocking upset in Indiana this week, Bernie Sanders still has a chance.

Not many felt that Bernie Sanders would make it this far, but his promise of free tuition, free universal healthcare, destroying big banks, and helping the poor has him soaring through the polls and winning state primaries and caucuses. His promises have created a passionate voting base of young voters. But as the race continues, and many supporters of Sanders are “Feeling the Bern”, Clinton unfavorable ratings continue to grow. On a recent post by Realclearpolitics.com, they gather all the major news networks and new sites and seen a trend of Clinton unfavorable ratings grown. They have Clinton favorable rating at 38.4% and an unfavorable rating of 54.9%.

 

 

Not only news outlets polls have low favorable ratings of Clinton, social media sites such as Twitter has also express a dissatisfaction of Clinton. As I am writing this post on May 4th, the number one trend all day on twitter has been #DropOutHillary.

These tweets were examples of what people have been posting all over social media today. The most amazing part the trend is that many of people who are participating in the “DropOutHillary trend are Bernie supporters. Many around social media have expressed Bernie Sanders or bust and would reject a Hillary Clinton nomination. Include in that is actress Susan Sarandon who in a recent interview with MSNBC express that people in the movement will not vote for a “lying liar like Hillary Clinton, or anyone else who isn’t pure like Bernie”. Many have expressed they would rather have Trump win then see Hillary win.

With the support that Bernie has of young adults and college students, I wanted to get an understanding if the same support that Sanders has around the country applies to the students here at North Lake College. I went around campus and asked students to describe Hillary Clinton in one word

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From the few students above, Clinton is viewed in a negative tone. Some even said they have more words to describe Clinton. However of the 5 students who participated in the project, one student had one positive assessment about Hillary.

Like the student above who called her honest, most Hispanics do have a more favorable opinion about Hillary Clinton then other candidates. I asked a few Hispanic students to give their opinion about Hillary.

 

 

 

 

In a poll data that the Washington Post had on Feb 25th of this year, they did a national survey along with Univision on what Hispanic voters think about Hillary. She had a 67% percent favorably rating and between head to head with Bernie Sanders, she had 57% of voters and Bernie had 28%. However, young Hispanic voters between ages 18-35 favor Bernie 49% to 35%.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/wapo-univision-poll-2016/en/

 

One thing is for sure, ask any student in classes, or around campus of their opinion of Hillary Clinton and you will get a great responses, either negative or positive. The country is ready for a woman president, but is Hillary Clinton the right woman for the job? We will find out soon.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

IMG_4363“Don’t take yourself too seriously. Enjoy your time with friends and family and listen to music. Enjoy playing music and find something that are your hobbies, like playing tennis or going for a walk. Not taking school and life too seriously [and] being stressed out. I like the spiritual connection and emotional connection it [music] brings to other people and myself.”