The Oberlin Review

Democratic Party Should Shift Attention to Texas in Future

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

March 6, 2020

 Texas on Super Tuesday in the wake of numerous accusations of rampant voter suppression across the state. This voter suppression could have contributed significantly to Biden’s win in the state. This result is alarming and something that the Democratic Party must take notice of and capitalize on in future elections. Texas is one of 21 states in the U.S. ruled by a Republican “trifecta,” meaning that the Texas House of Representatives, the State Senate, and the office of the governor of Texas are all currently controlled by Republicans. There has been a Republican trifecta in Texas since 2003, essentially giving Republicans relatively unchecked power in the state.  This trifecta allowed significant changes ...

Don’t Buy Into Mass Coronavirus Hysteria

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

March 6, 2020

 Coronavirus has now spread to 81 countries after breaking out in Wuhan, China just a few weeks ago, with over 97,800 confirmed cases and 3,332 confirmed deaths as of March 5. As is typically the case with contagious diseases, false news, overblown risk assessments, and conspiracy theories have spread quickly, inducing plague-level fears surrounding a disease that is only slightly more of a risk to the global population than the common flu. And while everyone should doubtlessly be taking coronavirus seriously, the hysteria surrounding the disease, on both a social and governmental level, has realistically done more direct damage to global quality of living than the disease itself. Here’s why that hysteria is so d...

In Congressional Race, Let the Boys Fight; A Woman Will Prevail

Ilana Foggle, Columnist

February 28, 2020

 For the past year and a half, we have seen constant coverage of one primary and one primary only: the Democratic presidential primary. At this point, many Oberlin students and community members have already decided who they will be voting for as the Democratic nominee for president. Yet, if you asked Oberlin students who is running for Congress in our district, most would be at a loss for words.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that students see no scenario in which a Democratic opponent unseats Republican incumbent Representative Jim Jordan in our heinously gerrymandered district. Well, for the first time since Oberlin was gerrymandered into Ohio’s 4th congressional district, I can say with absolute confidence that we ...

Trump’s Strike Against Iranian General Has Proven Ineffective

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

February 14, 2020

 You’ve doubtlessly heard that on Jan. 3, President Trump ordered an execution strike, killing Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, along with Iranian politician and commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and several others at the Baghdad airport. In the following days, many speculated: Are we headed towards another undesirable Middle East conflict? Is this the beginning of a dangerous and illegal shadow war between Iran and the U.S., rife with rebounding political assassinations? Have years of growing tensions between the two countries now triggered an irreversible wave of violence that will kill and maim countless Iraqi and Iranian civilians? Thankfully, for the time being, the answer appears to be “no.” When Iran r...

Simply Voting Is No Longer Enough

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

February 7, 2020

 Today, citizens and residents of the U.S. are more angry, emotional, and divided than we’ve ever been — and, doubtless, there’s plenty to be angry about. Children remain separated from their parents and locked away in prison camps on the southern border; successive conservative administrations have all but annihilated the pro-poor welfare policies of the mid-20th century; and now, the president has been acquitted by spineless politicians who seek to avoid accountability for aiding and abetting high crimes and misdemeanors. The racist and colonialist foundations of the U.S., which have driven this country in a conservative arc for centuries, have now given rise to an administration so thoroughly invested in m...

It’s Time for Amy Klobuchar to Drop Out

David Mathisson, Columnist

February 7, 2020

 Amy Klobuchar just finished fifth in the Iowa caucuses with 12.3 percent of the vote. A near nonfactor in the presidential race until December, Klobuchar could certainly spin such a performance as a victory. But a more apt term for her performance would be pre-defeat. She’s spent more time in Iowa — her downstairs neighbor — than in every other state combined. That’s left little time for campaigning anywhere else. The next primaries will take place in the notably more progressive New Hampshire and Nevada, then South Carolina, where Joe Biden’s dominance over the moderate lane will likely block her. After that comes the 46 states where only Michael Bloomberg — another moderate in the race — has advertised. T...

On Addressing Student Stress, Oberlin Must Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

David Mathisson, Columnist

December 17, 2019

Recently, Student Senate presented findings on mental health to the Board of Trustees. I’d like to thank fellow Senators, including College third-year Emma Edney and College second-years Raavi Asdar and Kofi Asare, for leading Senate’s efforts in this area. They identified a distinct connection between the mental health of students and investment in student happiness. Their presentation made it clear that Oberlin must expand resources available in times of crisis; invest in areas that impact Oberlin students’ day-to-day happiness — i.e. housing and dining; invest in adding more events to the community social scene; and eventually upgrade Wilder Hall so it can justifiably be called a student union. Investments...

Hong Kong Protesters Hold Tight to ‘One Country, Two Systems’

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

December 13, 2019

 The youngest generation of Hong Kong’s citizens has never seen anything like the summer and fall of 2019. Protests that broke out in March of this year in response to a controversial criminal extradition bill have since morphed into a massive, complex, and well-organized civil uprising. Looming over Hong Kong’s civilian protest movement is the specter of mainland China, to which Hong Kong was repatriated in 1997 after a century and a half of British colonial rule. Hong Kong has since received special status within China — commonly referred to as “one country, two systems” — allowing the city to maintain a liberal economy, protection from the Chinese Communist Party’s influence, and limited participatory democ...

Statute of Limitations Harms Victims, Should Be Repealed

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

December 6, 2019

 Democrats in the Ohio General Assembly have recently introduced a bill to the state legislature that would abolish the statute of limitations for sex crimes in the state. This same bill would also eliminate exemptions for sex crimes including spousal rape and sexual battery.  The introduction of the bill comes in response to Governor Mike Dewine’s comments following the exposure of previous sex crimes committed at The Ohio State University. Richard Strauss, a former athletic trainer at OSU, was found to have committed at least 177 separate cases of sexual abuse during his time at the university between 1979 and 1996. Strauss committed suicide in 2005.  Despite the number and severity of these cases, it is...

Land Mines Remain a Global Security Issue, Must Be Addressed

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

December 6, 2019

 In the canon of weaponry often involved in crimes against humanity, what comes to mind for most people is a realm of technology including biological weapons, chemical gas, and drones. However, in recent decades, land mines have risen to prominence as a grave security threat for civilian populations in war-torn countries and disputed territories. This is because landmines are an indiscriminate weapon; because they are triggered by the victim instead of the attacker, there is no assurance that a buried mine will not take the life of a child, civilian, medic, or aid worker. Some land mines will stay active for decades after the conflict for which the mine was laid has come to a close and can be triggered in unrelated ...

Outward-Facing Philosophy Deeply Rooted in Oberlin’s History

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

November 22, 2019

 Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester. When then-First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at Oberlin’s commencement ceremonies in 2015, she had the institution’s social justice reputation in mind. “If you truly wish to carry on the Oberlin legacy of service and social justice, then you need to run to, and not away from, the noise,” Obama said. “Today, I want to urge you to actively seek out the most contentious, polarized, gridlocked places you can find. Because so often, throughout our history, those have been the places where progress really happens — the pl...

Ethnic Cleansing Threatens Uighurs

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

November 22, 2019

 In mid-November, The New York Times released a trove of leaked Chinese Communist Party files detailing a massive government crackdown in the northwestern Chinese state of Xinjiang. The leaked pages make a clear statement: China has systematically targeted, imprisoned, and mistreated members of the Uighur ethnic minority who have traditionally called Xinjiang home.  Several of the leaked documents detail a private speech by President Xi Jinping to party officials in which he argues that the Uighurs, a Muslim religious minority, are Islamic extremists whose dangerous ideologies must be vigorously suppressed. In the leaked pages, Jinping asserts that “the struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism...

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