The Oberlin Review

Reaction to Tibbetts’ Death Reveals Toxic Culture of Politicization

Katie Friedemann, Contributing Writer

September 7, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This article discusses physical violence. Politics permeate everything we do and say, from deciding which candidates or issues we support to our everyday interactions with other people. Our political alignments even seem to guide how we cope with both everyday and abnormal circumstances and events, such as major tragedies. This constant and inescapable politicalization is especially clear when observing reactions to the recent death of Mollie Tibbetts. Tibbetts, an Iowa college student, was going for a run in her hometown when a man named Cristhian Bahena Rivera began to pursue her. According to what Rivera later told law enforcement, Tibbetts threatened to call the police, and Rivera panicked. What h...

“Citizen Illegal” Rejects Generalizations of Immigrant Experience

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

September 7, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

  The current immigration system in the United States is a hopelessly broken contradiction. We demonize immigrants and yet rely on and exploit their labor to sustain our economy. Our highest court upholds policy that uses the arbitrary justification of borders to dictate who is banned from entering our country. It is within this context that Citizen Illegal — a stunning debut by poet José Olivarez — exists. As its title suggests, the collection of poems focuses significantly on immigration, borders, home, and movement, particularly in a Mexican and Mexican-American context. Olivarez’ work is so powerful, however, because of its personal anecdotes and its commentary on how our national contradictions complica...

Increasing Medical Marijuana Accessibility Would Help Fight Opioid Epidemic

Editorial Board

April 6, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

President Trump gave a speech on March 29 in Richfield, Ohio, that, among other topics, tapped into a conversation which hits home for many Ohioans: opioid addiction. As of December 2016, Ohio’s opioid-related death rate of 39 percent was second only to that of West Virginia. Out of the 4,329 general drug overdose deaths in Ohio in 2016, 83 percent of these deaths were opioid-related. Despite numerous attempts at lowering this death rate through policy, nothing seems to work. Trump’s audience, mainly union engineers and maintenance workers, and the setting, an industrial barn, were carefully chosen; his words, less so. One topic that he failed to mention — as most legislators have failed to as well — is the po...

Activists Must Tackle Bigotry on Local Level

Nathan Carpenter, Contributing Opinions Editor

March 10, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Donald Trump’s presidency endangers many people in the United States, citizens and non-citizens alike. Over the past week and a half, this threat has materialized in a very real way for the Oberlin and greater Lorain County communities. Earlier this month, a swastika and hate speech were carved into the door of a synagogue in Lorain. A Facebook page called Oberlin Illegal Immigrant Tipline began encouraging people to report undocumented immigrants in our community. These dehumanizing acts of hate are local, immediate examples of how Trump’s rhetoric is inciting violence in increasingly personal and intense ways. We as a country put a virulent racist in the White House, and now we’re seeing the impact of that...

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

March 3, 2017

Immigration Raid Discourse Requires Moral Intuition

Will Cramer, Contributing Writer

February 24, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have been arresting undocumented immigrants across the country for the past week, targeting those with and without criminal records. These raids mark a policy shift from former President Barack Obama’s executive orders that worked to ensure that law-abiding immigrants without proper documentation would be able to remain in the United States. While Obama’s deportation of millions of people earned him the nickname “Deporter in Chief,” President Donald Trump has set an even more dangerous tone as he blames immigrants for the country’s economic and social problems. There are logical reasons to allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. Immigrants support the eco...

Off the Cuff: Sophie Smith and Alicia Dinsmore, Activists

Off the Cuff: Sophie Smith and Alicia Dinsmore, Activists

February 24, 2017

Sophie Smith and Alicia Dinsmore both work in Arizona with La Coalición de Derechos Humanos and No More Deaths, providing humanitarian aid for undocumented immigrants. Smith is a writer, community organizer, and desert aid volunteer. She joined the Abuse Documentation Team in 2015 and coauthored the report series The Disappeared. Dinsmore is from Phoenix, AZ, and has worked providing aid in the Sonoran Desert. She received her bachelor’s in anthropology and global health from Arizona State Univer...

Immigration Ban Undermines Urban Values

Joe Bialek, Cleveland resident

February 17, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: My grandfather, Albert Joseph Bialek, came to the United States from Poland in 1910. According to the Ellis Island website, he boarded the ship Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse in Bremen, Germany. He had just completed his service in the Austrian Army. Poland, at that time, was divided into three spheres of influence by Austria, Prussia and Russia. Upon being discharged, he returned to his father’s farm. Officers from the Austrian Army made an attempt to re-enlist him, but tradition dictated that he could remain at home so long as he was sorely needed on the farm. Immediately after the officers departed, Albert’s father gave him his brother’s travel documents and instructed him to immigrate to the Uni...

Open Mic Night Centers Immigrant Narratives

Open Mic Night Centers Immigrant Narratives

February 10, 2017

Since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, immigration has been at the forefront of his administration’s policy agenda. Trump seems to have every intention of fulfilling his campaign promise of building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico with little regard to economic or logistical practicalities, let alone the humanitarian impact of this endeavor. When Trump signed his executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim, protesters and lawyers rallied at ai...

Interfaith Students Offer Solidarity

210 people of diverse faiths, and counting

February 3, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: We the undersigned, representing a wide spectrum of worldviews and campuses all across the country, wish to express our support for refugees and immigrants all over the world impacted by the executive order issued Jan. 27 that bars them from entering the United States. We are especially disheartened as the order was signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day dedicated to remembering what happens when we close our doors to innocent people because of our fears. Barring refugees and immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries is a direct assault on religious freedom and disrespects foundational American values. Out of 3.3 million Muslims who live in America, only 11 have committed a crime of ter...

Executive Order Threatens U.S.

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

February 3, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: To date, it has been American citizens who have slaughtered masses of people in this country, except on 9/11 when 19 foreigners, mostly Saudis, attacked the U.S. Because of the Internet, those outside the U.S. wishing to do us harm do not have to travel here; they can from anywhere in the world inspire Americans to kill Americans, and they have succeeded. All agree that we must do everything legally possible to reduce the chances that more Americans will be radicalized; it’s the lone wolf, an American citizen among us, that poses the greatest threat to our security. We are much safer if American citizens band together to notify authorities of those among us who might hurt us. The Presidential ban ...

Administration Should Back Sanctuary Petition

Editorial Board

November 18, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The symbolic solidarity of declaring Oberlin College a sanctuary campus for undocumented students is reason enough for President Marvin Krislov and his administration to take action, but the actual impact that creating such a policy could have is invaluable. Amid a growing national movement for colleges to become sanctuaries in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination last week, it is critical that Oberlin take the necessary steps to protect its undocumented students. There are three crucial questions that naturally follow requests to declare Oberlin’s campus a sanctuary: What does it mean to be a sanctuary for undocumented people? What kinds of policies can be enacted? And what are the effects of bec...

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