i wish it were easier but we’ve got this.

these are the things i wish i could say to you,

i know it’s harder than it has to be, but everything happens for a reason. there are times where you might feel discouraged or tired of fighting but remember we wouldn’t endure this pain if we couldn’t handle it. you are stronger than you know so stand your ground in the midst of this chaos, it’ll be over soon.

i wish it were easier but we’ve got this.

i know no soul brighter and more full of love than yours, no love better than what you’ve shown me daily. there isn’t one thing that could get in between us, this goes to show how valid that statement is. i know that this hurts but soon we’ll be so happy we won’t remember the pain. brighter days await us darling.

i wish it were easier but we’ve got this.

i’ll support you through this all, i’ve got you no matter what you need. don’t stop fighting for what you want, everything we are going through is worth it. we just have to get through the next few months, soon i’ll see you again. please don’t ever stop fighting.

i love you

you are strong

i’m not going anywhere

It’s Who You Love.

It’s Who You Love.  

Dear …,

I want you to know that how you feel isn’t crazy.  I know that it seems scary and like you’re doing the wrong thing by loving as you want to. It takes so much courage and strength to love openly and freely…. I promise you can do it no matter how tough it may seem. I know that you’re afraid things will get messy with your family finding things out and that they may not be the most accepting at first but this doesn’t mean you need to live constantly fearing what comes next.  I’ll keep this short, I just want you to know that you are strong and you’re the author of your own life. Be bold, I love you. – MT

I’ve never understood the individuals who are hateful towards people who do not allow society to put a label on their love.  Friendships, families, communities etc. are being torn apart by the societal expectation that an individual needs a label in order to fit in.  These are the individuals that fail to understand, It’s Who You Love.  It’ll never be up to them to decide how you feel.  

This serves as a message to the individuals out there that are living in apprehension, WHO YOU LOVE, IS WHO YOU LOVE. A message to those who think they are  “different”, the ones who can’t form the same intimate connection with one gender, however, instantly click with another, the ones that fall in love with “who they shouldn’t” unexpectedly, and “mistakenly,” desperately wishing it wasn’t the case. This isn’t a topic that you need to dwell upon or let keep you up at night, it is something that you just need to accept, you need to be able to love yourself for who you are and look past the hostility.  It’s your life.

The desire to feel accepted by those who you love often acts as an impediment to truly being yourself.  Individuals are constantly living in fear of how the ones who care most will react to their truth, this isn’t how it should be.  Love shouldn’t have labels.  Love shouldn’t be circumstantial.  

Love isn’t forced, and it isn’t wrong.  These are two concepts that I feel are frequently blown out of proportion by individuals within society who believe that they are better off conforming to what the collective views as “normal.”  Despite our progressive movements within the past few years, traditionalist manners persist throughout our societies across the globe acting as an obstruction to some people’s’ freedom.

  1. You can’t be forced to fall in love.  People often forget this, they believe that just because their parents say this or their friends say that, that their emotions can only be validated through an outside or external force. This isn’t the case and it should never be, you should never attempt to fabricate your emotions in order to fit in with the “norms of society.”  WHO YOU LOVE, IS WHO YOU LOVE, no one should make you question this.  Regardless of whether those acting as “stressors” are your parents, friends, or merely a random passerby with nothing more to offer than a judgemental glance or snarky comment, you should be proud of who you are and who you love,  I can’t stress that enough.  
  2. It might feel scary but it  isn’t wrong to feel the way you do. I feel like this is such a common concept, people try to instantly convince themselves that it’s wrong to feel new emotions because it’s just, “not the way they are,” or it’s, “only this one person.”  Your emotions are not meant to scare you, listen to yourself and yourself only. There isn’t something wrong with you simply because you’re open to loving freely. Love is a beautiful thing once you find it, be open to finding it, don’t deny this from yourself.  

So if you’re an individual who needed this message, if you have been up all night wondering why you feel the way you do, if you feel like you just can’t accept how you feel, if you feel like your love depends on your friends or your family, like it isn’t in your hands…. Look further than the backlash, conquer your fear; don’t let it get to you, love yourself and others freely.  This is your life, only you get to decide what you do with it.

8-Year-Old Guatemalan Boy Dies in US Custody on Christmas Day

featured image courtesy of (Reuters/Eric Gay/Pool)

Officials reported this morning, that an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy has passed away while in custody of United States Customs and Border Protection.

The young boy was showing several signs of early illness on Christmas Eve after being previously detained with his father. On Monday afternoon the boy was treated at a hospital in New Mexico where he was prescribed ibuprofen and amoxicillin for what seemed to be a common cold. After being released, the boy returned with “nausea and vomiting” only to die a few hours later.

This event marks the second death of a migrant child following 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin who passed away December 8th 2018 in El Paso, TX. Jakelin’s body was recently returned to Raxruha, northern Guatemala.

This is a developing story, information will be added as time progresses.

Tragedy Averted… America, We Have an Issue.

Featured Image courtesy of CBS News

BREAKING NEWS:

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Santa Fe High School 5.18.18 – Photo Courtesy of Yahoo

May 18th 2018.  7:45 a.m: A shooter opened fire on students at Santa Fe High School today killing over 8 individuals and injuring many others.  

May 18th 2017.  7:45 a.m: A shooter opened fire on students at Santa Fe High School today KILLING OVER 8 individuals  and injuring many others.  

May 18th 2017

7:45 a.m

Shooter.

Santa Fe High School.

KILLING.

OVER 8.

Santa Fe Independent School District has confirmed via Facebook that there were injuries sustained in an active shooter situation which has recently been contained with two suspects identified. One in custody the other detained.  The district has not confirmed the fatalities however it was mentioned that there could be anywhere from 8-10 deceased.

 

BREAKING NEWS:

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Dixon High School 5.16.18  – Photo Courtesy of ABC News

May 16th 2018.  Wednesday morning.  19-year-old former student used a 9mm semiautomatic rifle to open fire near the auditorium of Dixon High School in Illinois.  Mark Dallas shot and wounded the gunman. Tragedy averted.

May 16th 2018.  Wednesday morning.  19-year-old former student used a 9mm semiautomatic rifle to open fire near the auditorium of Dixon High School in Illinois.  Mark Dallas shot and wounded the gunman. Tragedy averted.

May 16th 2018.

Wednesday morning.

Former student used a 9mm semiautomatic rifle

Suspect Matthew Milby opened fire near a graduation ceremony rehearsal.  The suspect was quickly identified and chased by Mark Dallas, Dixon Police Officer.  Milby and Dallas exchanged fire at one another until Officer Dallas shot and wounded Matthew Milby, the 19-year-old former student in possession of a 9mm semiautomatic rifle.  

Tragedy averted…. or was it.  

 

Fatalities do not mark a tragedy.  

 

The gun culture in America is a tragedy in itself encompassing, “behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs about firearms and their usage”.  To obtain a firearm federal law requires an individual to be at least 21 to purchase a handgun, and only 18 to purchase a long gun. Specific states however have decided to bypass these federal laws and allow children as old as 15 to purchase a firearm with no parental consent.  Many individuals may argue these laws are harmless and the matter of the transactions are carefully monitored and professional. This is the root of the problem. Americans are addicted to their guns and they don’t want to face this fact.

 

Unfortunately many elected officials are not helping the cause. Understanding the extent of their political abilities, their continued inaction on the legislation that could potentially prevent these inhumane acts have only opened doors for more to occur.

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Gun Control Debate – Photo Courtesy of The American View

Individuals are missing the mark, we need gun control.  Eradicating guns is unlikely, and unnecessary, we need to monitor and control the transaction, trade, and behavior of gun owners, sellers, buyers etc.  As a community we need to ensure that the background checks and mental examinations of individuals with possession of firearms are strengthened and religiously utilized.   

 

Understanding the mental stability of the individual plays a significant factor in the recently observed violence and damage,  the loosely followed laws and lack of frequent background/ update checks allow for these potentially mentally unstable individuals to obtain these firearms.  

 

While taking into mind that many mass shooters obtain their weapons through a family member or through legal purchase it is important that any individuals with firearms in their household or in an accessible place undergo examination or background checks, and that any suspicious behavior is documented and reported by friends and families.  The phrase, “If you see something, say something” cannot be stressed enough.  

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Background Check – Photo Courtesy of Dr. Deb

In comparison to other nations, the protocol to obtain firearms in the United States is seemingly inadequate.  Understanding no background check can truly identify the intended use of the firearms or the early warning signs of a potential mass shooter, psychological exams as proposed by Utah cops and lawmakers may prove extremely beneficial.  

 

Konrad Chen stated he thinks its a, “good idea to make sure that [gun owners] are sane and that they are capable mentally to handle firearms”  further Chen mentioned that if, “there were any signs of issues that they could go ahead and take care of that before issuing a firearm”. The conversation continued with Chen further stating that these psychological exams could also ensure that the prospective gun owner knows how to safely use the firearm.  

 

The issue lies in the fact that many gun owners are hesitant when approached with the idea that their ownership of a firearm may be jeopardized due to increased legal action ensuring the safety of all.  It is important for individuals to understand that increasing the security and monitoring of the transaction of firearms is imperative to ensure that firearms are being obtained by stable, and mentally capable individuals.  

 

It is our hope that individuals continue to take action and speak out against the lack of action taken in order to alleviate the pain and suffering the lack of gun control has caused.  We cannot afford to remain silent in the midst of the chaos present.

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March For Our Lives – Photo Courtesy of CNN

 

“ If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”

– Desmond Tutu

Orange County Communities Enraged Over Viral Hate Crime

Orange County Students Face Repercussions For Hateful Image

Just recently a photo was published on social media depicting a series of Orange County high school students posed in front of swastika made from beer cups while holding out their arms in a Nazi salute. This image, taken at a party, pictures students from several schools within both Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. The students now identified via classmates etc. are facing serious repercussions and backlash from communities across the US and especially within Orange County.

Communities of Jewish individuals have come together to speak out about this topic and the sadness and anger it provokes. Students from schools within the OC/LA area mentioned they were not surprised and that, “swastikas are carved into bathroom walls and desks on campus.” Anti-Semitism still exists and it is becoming more and more prevalent as time progresses. Other students have turned to social media to express their disappointment in their community for allowing Anti-Semitic behaviors to persist while asking individuals to open their eyes and work to create change.

Angered parents of students across Orange County have spoken out about this issue, many of them members of the Jewish community as well. Amongst the parents was Mr. and Mrs. Bernstein who spoke out about this issue that touched home.

In January of 2018, college student Blaze Bernstein was murdered within Orange County, CA. Bernstein, a 19-year-old student at the University of Pennsylvania and member of both the LGBTQ+ and Jewish community, was found deceased and brutally stabbed in what seemed to be an inhumane act rooted in both homophobia and hate.

Both Blaze’s parents spoke out about the current situation recently stating it was hate like this that murdered their son. Anti-Semitic and homophobic behavior that led to the loss of a beautiful life. Truth lies in their statements as, unchecked hateful behavior within high schools not only in Orange County provides an outlet for hate crimes across the country, Blaze’s tragic death being only one of many.

What Can We Do As A Community?

Promoting the rights of all individuals within our society is imperative when looking for solutions to the wave of hate we have been facing. The behavior of these students is disgraceful and hurtful to our community, reflecting ignorance and a lack of knowledge. Many of the students have taken the defensive side justifying their actions mentioning it was merely, “fun and games” or that it was, “humorous.” It is important to speak out and report this type of behavior as it it truly has the power to divide our communities.

If you witness something it is important you report the crime to a hotline or your local police station immediately.

Hate Crime National Hotline (USA)
206-350-HATE (4283)

It is also important to support your local organizations promoting the rights and equality of all individuals despite race, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. There are myriad organizations members of all communities can join that focus on providing protection and a sense of security to the many marginalized communities within our society.

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King.

Florida Shooting: What We Know

Nikolas Cruz, a 19 year old former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School opened fire on students and faculty Wednesday afternoon killing 17, and wounding others.  Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High had a planned fire drill Wednesday morning, so when the second alarm blared through the speakers students were confused but didn’t think much of the situation.  It was not until they heard gunshot that students  began to frantically flee and barricade themselves desperate to stay alive.

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Nikolas Cruz, 19, Time

Cruz had been previously expelled and recognized as a danger on school grounds by the schools administrators, his expulsion was a product of his violence presented towards his ex-girlfriends current boyfriend.   Recent statements from students attending Marjory Stoneman mention Cruz had a tendency to “obsessively stalk”  or “threaten” many females within the school.  Classmates had also mentioned Nikolas would make, “dark, gun-related jokes” joking about, “shooting people or shooting up establishments” (USA Today).  Many students were able to immediately identify their former classmate equipped with smoke grenades, an AR-15 style weapon, and a gas mask.

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Wikipedia

After arriving at the campus, Cruz entered buildings where he immediately opened chaotic fire shooting through windows, computer screens, ceilings etc.  Many students hid inside closets, bathroom stalls, and classrooms however others found themselves attempting to flee the campus in order to reach a safe ground.  Students remaining on campus witnessed bullets spraying through classrooms in no particular direction hitting their classmates, and shattering windows.  Students used their mobile phones, specifically Snapchat, to record these traumatizing moments, while others texted their friends and families what they thought was their final goodbye.

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Students evacuating Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, France 24

Cruz had killed the majority of the victims on campus however did shoot and kill an individual down the street.  It was mentioned that Cruz did not remain on campus throughout the duration of the shootings, and was constantly, “on and off campus”.  Cruz was eventually identified and taken into custody by local law enforcement officers, and has since been charged with 17 counts of murder.

The moment Nikolas Cruz was taken into custody by local law enforcement after killing 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Fla. Wednesday. 
Nikolas Cruz being taken into custody by the law enforcement after brutally murdering 17, WPTV West Palm Beach

12 bodies were found on campus, one off campus, and others succumbed to their fatal injuries on the way to the hospital or at the hospital.  The known victims are as listed:

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Aaron Feis, MassLive.com

Aaron Feis – Assistant football coach killed after throwing himself in front of  the spray of bullets to shield the students.

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Nicholas Dworet, NY Daily News

Nicholas Dworet – Nicholas was a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, and a  swimmer recruited by the University of Indianapolis.

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Jaime Guttenberg, Sky News

Jaime Guttenberg – Jaime was among the 17 individuals who lost their lives in this inhumane tragedy.

Meadow Pollack was killed on February 14, 2018 when Nikolas Cruz, 19, shot and killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018.
Meadow Pollack, Facebook

Meadow Pollack – Meadow was among many who were thought to be missing until her father confirmed her passing this morning.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10211229977607668&set=gm.1801617480134672&type=3&theater
Gina Montalto, Facebook

Gina Montalto – Gina was a member of her school’s color guard team, and unfortunately succumbed to her injuries Wednesday night.

Luke Hoyer was killed by a gunman who shot and killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Luke Hoyer, Family Handout

Luke Hoyer – Luke was one among the 17 individuals shot and killed by Nikolas Cruz.

Martin Duque was killed when Nikolas Cruz Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018.
Martin Duque, GOFUNDME

Martin Duque – Martin, a freshman, was also a victim to the school shooting Wednesday.

Related image
Peter Wang, Facebook

Peter Wang – Peter, a freshman, was also a victim to the school shooting Wednesday.

 Joaquin Oliver's family are searching for the young man, saying he was at the school when the shooting started
Joaquin Oliver, Facebook

Joaquin Oliver – Joaquin’s passing was confirmed by his cousin Thursday morning.

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Cara Loughran, Facebook

Cara Loughran – Cara’s passing was confirmed by a peer counselor at the church in which she attended.

Scott Beigel, Facebook

Scott Beigel – Mr.Beigel was a geography teacher at the school, aiding students in reaching safety however unfortunately being shot and killed during the process.

Alaina Petty, Facebook

Alaina Petty – Alaina was confirmed deceased by the Bishop of the Coral Springs Ward, alongside her great aunt Thursday morning.

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Alyssa Alhadeff, Facebook

Alyssa Alhadeff – Alyssa’s death was confirmed by her soccer club Thursday morning via Facebook.

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Chris Hixon, Facebook

Chris Hixon – Chris was an athletic director at the High School who fell upon the 17 victims of the shooting.

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Madeleine Wilford, Facebook

Madeleine Wilford – Madeleine was among the victims of the school shooting Wednesday.

Our hearts and condolences go to the families of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Shooting.

*this is a developing story as updates become available they will be posted*

Kpop gains momentum as BTS make history

The NG Magazine

featured image via pinterest

*

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there is no way you could’ve missed BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys, swift ascent to the top of the K-pop hierarchy. Since BTS’s inception four years ago, the seven-member Korean boy band is one of the peninsula’s raising acts breaking records every beat of the way. With their increasing popularity at home and internationally, they have gained momentum as leading K-pop artists since their debut in 2013. BTS solidified their popularity by receiving prestigious awards such as (Daesang) in Korea’s major K-pop award functions such as Artists of the Year from Mnet Asian Music Awards, Album of the Year from Melon Music Awards and also one of the most eminent award of the world, Billboard Music Awards for Top Social Artist.

BTS’s musical style and image ranges from a tough boy image to a more youthful image…

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