Restricting Speech is a Disaster for Democracy

Restricting Speech is a Disaster for Democracy

Every major social development in our country’s brief history has come about through the freedom to discuss ideas without impunity. In antebellum America, the abolitionist movement found strength in framing slavery as a reprehensible, immoral evil, a narrative that grew in acceptance and established itself as truth after a bloody...

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Can We Measure Racial Resentment?

Can We Measure Racial Resentment?

Barack Obama’s presidency and Donald Trump’s success have reignited an interest among political scientists in quantifying racism.  However, racism has proven difficult to measure in surveys, as most participants will not voluntarily describe themselves as prejudiced.  Many political scientists and pundits will nevertheless use the limited available methods to study...

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White Supremacist Posters Found in Stevenson Library at Vanderbilt

White Supremacist Posters Found in Stevenson Library at Vanderbilt

Today, posters blatantly supporting white supremacy were found hanging in a Stevenson study room—a Stevenson study room that is frequently visited by Muslim students of our community. The posters feature an older white man pointing Uncle Sam style, and read: Men of the West Don’t give in to hate Love...

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The Legacy of Slavery At Vanderbilt

The Legacy of Slavery At Vanderbilt

This article was written in collaboration with the Vanderbilt Historical Review. By Avi Mediratta and Sydney Bub In 1933, the United Daughters of the Confederacy donated $50,000 to construct Confederate Memorial Hall on land that would eventually become part of Vanderbilt University. In 2002, Vanderbilt attempted to remove the word “Confederate” from...

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The Student Who Marched into Kirkland Hall and Changed Vanderbilt

The Student Who Marched into Kirkland Hall and Changed Vanderbilt

You’d be hard pressed to find a current student who has done more to change Vanderbilt than senior Akaninyene Ruffin. Last year, Akaninyene and the Hidden Dores, a student group aiming to increase awareness of minority issues on campus, felt the administration wasn’t listening to their concerns. Or, if they...

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Why are Drugs Illegal, Anyway? Part 1

Why are Drugs Illegal, Anyway? Part 1

The fact that drugs are illegal is so embedded in our collective consciousness that we rarely question why this is so. The answer that comes to mind is that “drugs are bad”—bad for your health, bad for the economy, bad for society, and, consequently, laws should curtail their use. But...

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