· MLA Exercise 2, Using Electronic Resources (1302).pdf MLA Exercise 2, Using Electronic Resources (1302).pdf – Alternative Formats (152.878 KB)
Prior to completing this exercise, be sure to review the above lessons on how to create a Works Cited list in MLA format and the video tutorials on how to effectively search online databases.
Save and open the attached MLA Excercise #2 document and follow the instructions to complete the exercise on locating sources and accurately citing them.
To complete this exercise, you will need to access both the DCCCD Library Catalog and the Online Databases to which the college subscribes. This exercise will give you practice in writing citations in MLA format as well using these resources for research. Click the appropriate links below to access each resource.
NOTE: In the document you create, please keep the items numbered and in the same order.
When you are done, save and submit your document. Be sure that this is formatted correctly and has a proper heading. Your assignment must be submitted as an attached .doc or .docx file. Name your file correctly, using your last name and brief description of the assignment: (e.g., Morrison, MLA Ex.2.docx).
Lesson: Annotated Bibliography
· Annotated Bibliography guidelines, DL.pdf Annotated Bibliography guidelines, DL.pdf – Alternative Formats (21.485 KB)
· Sample Annotated Bibliography, DL.pdf Sample Annotated Bibliography, DL.pdf – Alternative Formats (94.336 KB)
For the research paper, you need a total six sources (minimum), as noted in the instructions. You also need to have a variety of types of sources: once again, you need a minimum of 2 newspaper articles, 2 new magazine articles, and 1 scholarly journal article.
So that the research is not overwhelming, you will submit you Annotated Bibliography in two installments, each with just three sources. You will submit these (AB #2 and AB #3) a bit later, but you should get started with the research soon, as that can be very time-consuming.
As before, the best place to search for credible sources is within the databases the college subscribes to. You can access those by clicking this link.
As you write your annotations, be sure that your citations are in MLA format and complete and be sure that for each source cited you have two paragraphs, one of summary paragraph and another of evaluation.
This is the first installment of your Annotated Bibliography for the research paper. For this assignment, you need cite and annotate three sources (of the six required).
As you write your annotations, be sure that your citations are in MLA format and complete and be sure that for each source cited you have two paragraphs, one of summary paragraph and another of evaluation.
Before submitting, be sure that your document is formatted correctly and has a proper heading. Your assignment must be submitted as an attached .doc or .docx file. Also, name your file correctly, using your last name and a brief description of the assignment (e.g., Johnson, Annotated Bib #2.docx).
This is the second installment of your Annotated Bibliography for the research paper. For this assignment, you need an additional three sources (of the six required).
Be sure that between the previous installment and this one you have covered the required types of sources as well (once again, a minimum of 2 newspaper articles, 2 new magazine articles, and 1 scholarly journal article).
As you write your annotations, be sure that your citations are in MLA format and complete and be sure that for each source cited you have two paragraphs, one of summary paragraph and another of evaluation.
Before submitting, be sure that your document is formatted correctly and has a proper heading. Your assignment must be submitted as an attached .doc or .docx file. Also, name your file correctly, using your last name and a brief description of the assignment (e.g., Johnson, Annotated Bib #3.docx).
For this discussion board, you will write about the elements that you believe make a given essay an effective argumentative essay. In other words, you will assess the presentation of the argument as well as elements of the writing, per the instructions below.
To begin, read each of the sample essays in the Reading section above. These are all from students who previously completed this course. You will select just one of these essays to discuss with your peers. Next, select two of the following elements to comment on in your initial post:
– Introduction – Thesis statement – Topic sentences – Paragraphing/organization – Supporting Claims/Evidence – Counterargument – Clarity of ideas – Grammar – Conclusion
MLA Exercise 2,
Using Electronic Resources (1302).pdf
English 1302 MLA Exercise #2 Using Electronic Resources Directions: For items #1-10 below, use the information provided to locate the source in either the college Library Catalog or the Online Databases. Once you find the source, provide a citation for it in the proper MLA format (that is, as the source would appear in a Works Cited listing). Before starting, take note: • The citations provided in the Library Catalog and the Online Databases are often outdated,
incomplete, or simply incorrect. DO NOT copy and paste info that you find. Build your own citation, following the guides and models.
• Be sure to follow the new 8th edition of the MLA Handbook. The Purdue OWL provides a
very detailed and helpful guide to MLA format: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_style_introduction.html
• Newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals are often referred to as periodicals in reference guides, such as the Purdue OWL.
• Volume and issue information is only given in citations for scholarly journals, not for newspapers or magazines; for those, you simply give the date of publication.
• All electronic items (those freely online or through a subscription database) should be followed by the date that you accessed the materials (“Accessed [day month year]”).
• For the items below in EBSCO databases, please also use this generic URL:
• For the items below in EBSCO databases, you must list both the name of the database used and the publisher of the database (unfortunately, the Purdue OWL does not clarify this). Here is an example of how that looks in a complete citation:
Reich, Robert. “The Political Roots of Widening Inequality.” American Prospect, vol. 26,
no. 2, Spring 2015, pp. 26-30. Social Sciences Full Text, EBSCOhost, www.ebscohost.com. Accessed 2 June 2018.
Using the DCCCD Library Catalog (http://richlandcollege.edu/library), find and create MLA citations for the following: 1. A book about The Simpsons, published by Palgrave in 2012. 2. A book about water, written by Steven Solomon.https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_style_introduction.htmlhttp://www.ebscohost.com/http://www.ebscohost.com/http://richlandcollege.edu/library
3. A co-edited collection of essays about zombies published by McFarland in 2011.
4. An essay called “The Press the Founders Knew,” which is one of several in an edited
collection of essays dealing with the First Amendment and edited by Timothy Cook. The essay, written by Craig M. Freeman, appears on pages 35 – 49 of the anthology.
Using the Online Databases (http://libguides.dcccd.edu/az.php) listed below and their respective search engine features, find and create MLA citations for the following sources.
NOTE: Before starting, be sure to review the tip on using online databases provided in the MLA Information section of the class website. Also note that the databases identified below are all published by EBSCO.
5. In the Academic Search Complete database, find an article discussing the issue of assisted
suicide, written by Josh Sanburn and published in Time. 6. In the MasterFILE Complete database, find an article discussing the issue of same-sex
marriage, written by Theodore B. Olson and published in Newsweek. 7. In the Humanities Full Text database, find an academic essay on evangelical religion and
wrestling, written by Jonathan Ebel and published in 2009. 8. In the OmniFile Full Text database, find an article discussing voter identification laws in
Texas, published in Texas Monthly in August of 2015. 9. In the Academic Search Complete database, find an article about reality television, which
was published in The Journal of Popular Culture and written by Deborah Kaplan. 10. In the Social Sciences Full Text database, locate an article discussing the political roots of
inequality, written by Robert Reich, and published in The American Prospect.http://libguides.dcccd.edu/az.php
Bibliography guidelines, DL(1)(1).pdf
The Annotated Bibliography An Annotated Bibliography is merely a standard Works Cited list that includes a brief summary and evaluation for each source cited. Creating Annotations: 1. Cite the source of your information in MLA format. Be sure to include all of the relevant and
required pieces of information for the type of source used.
2. Write the annotation. In general, a good annotation will include: • A summary of the information in the original source (one paragraph). • An evaluation of the quality and/or usefulness of the source (one paragraph).
Writing a Summary A summary is a restating of someone else’s words in your words. For all types of summary, the writer is responsible for generally stating, in his or her own words, the main information or argument of another writer. Many student writers tend to quote when they should summarize material. Quote only when the author expresses a point in a particularly telling or interesting language. Otherwise, simply summarize. Summary is more economical than quotation because a summary allows the writer more control over the argument. The summary should offer a concise version of the source material; show readers that you have understood the central claims or main ideas of the text; and provide readers with relevant examples, quotes, or supporting details. Summary Conventions 1. Use complete sentences to describe an author’s general points to your reader. If you quote,
use quotation marks and document the quotation. If you fail to document the quotation, you are plagiarizing material (presenting another person’s information as if it were your own).
2. Use the author’s last name as a tag to introduce information: for example, “Smith argues that population growth and environmental degradation are causally related” or “Brown notes that education in the U.S. has undergone major revolutions in the past 20 years.”
3. Use the present tense (often called the historical present tense) to summarize the author’s
argument. “Green contends that the Republican and Democratic parties are funded by the same major corporations.”
Writing an Evaluation The evaluation should reflect your careful consideration of things such as the appropriateness of the source for your research topic; the credibility of the source or author; the timeliness of the information; the validity of the argument; the quality of the evidence provided; the effectiveness of the author’s stance; etc.
July 1, 2017
“Anti-Vaccination Crazies Strike out in Bible Belt States.” Newsweek Global, 27 June 2014, pp.
1-6. Newspaper Source, www.ebscohost.com.
This article compares the states with tougher vaccination laws to many other states in the
nation who have become more lenient in recent years with their laws. In 2014, the nation
experienced a “20-year high” of measles, which came after an announcement that the disease
was eliminated in 2000. The article compares states like Mississippi and West Virginia, which
require any child entering kindergarten to receive all of their vaccinations – no exceptions – to
states like Colorado where “whooping cough was found to be 90% more common” due to very
high vaccination exemption rates. This article lays forth many other useful facts and figures
while also helping to display both sides of the argument that is being presented. The author
includes quotes from healthcare professionals that are responding to a parent’s reasoning for not
vaccinating her children.
I believe this article will be very helpful to present the “they say, I say” of my topic. It is
important to incorporate opposition, and I felt that this article allowed me to understand a little
bit more behind the thinking of the opposition. However, due to many facts presented in the
article, such as “exemption rates have doubled between 2006 and 2011,” followed by the effects
of the increase, I have a firm foundation for my thesis on the effects of the anti-vaccination
Foster, Melissa and Colleen Zacharyczuk. “AAP Focuses on Boosting Immunization Rates.”
Infectious Diseases in Children, vol. 23, no. 9, Sept. 2010, pp. 30-31. Academic Search
This particular article began as a summary of an event held in Times Square aimed at
gaining support for vaccinating children. The event involved the community to make them more
aware of the dangers of not vaccinating children. However, the event was set up to appeal to the
general public, but in the process, the message may have gotten lost. The illustration of the event
was used to fully explain the emotional appeal that a new parent may be hearing from the anti-
vaccination movement compared to scientific data showing that many curable diseases are on the
rise. The author claims that vaccination rates are cyclical. When they are at high levels, most
parents are fully supportive, but when it reaches a peak, many parents begin to believe that
vaccinations are a matter faith.
This article will be very helpful as I try to include more of a naysayer perspective into my
argument. The author brings up many other causes for the increase of many diseases that may
have been eradicated in previous decades. In addition, the author discusses the history behind the
anti-vaccination movement. Although this article does relieve some responsibility from the anti-
vaccination movement, the base of the article is written to gain support for the need to boost
immunization rates, which ultimately aligns with my argument.
Rhys, Blakely. “Measles Infects Race for White House.” The Times. 4 Feb. 2015, pp. 32-34.
Newspaper Source, www.ebscohost.com.
This article, found in The Times, outlines how the debate on the anti-vaccination
movement permeated the election cycle this year. The author cites occasions when many
political candidates were asked about the anti-vaccination movement and how their answers
swayed sets of voters. Chris Christie leaned towards the right to choose whether to vaccinate
children, and Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to align anti-vaccination movement participants
with the people in our society who do not use science as legitimate reason, such as those who do
not believe in climate change. In addition, this article cites the many motivators for those who
have a stake in this argument. Many people are motivated by science, some parents are
motivated by guilt, and many politicians and medical companies are motivated by their own
I believe this article is going to be beneficial as I try to argue that the effects of the anti-
vaccination movement reach beyond children and their parents. This article and the author show
that the anti-vaccination movement has involved many more people that are well known within
our society. In addition, this article shows that there are different rationales behind supporting the
anti-vaccination movement. From my perspective, I gained much more insight into the
politicians and medical professionals that were cited, and how they have entered into this
Whelan, Allison M. “Lowering the Age of Consent: Pushing Back against the Anti-Vaccine
Movement.” Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, vol. 44, no. 3, 2016, pp. 462-473.
Academic Search Complete, www.ebscohost.com.
This article focused on the effects of the HPV vaccination, which is not a vaccination that
is mandatory for a child to attend public schools. However, there has been much debate whether
this particular vaccination is mandatory for children when they reach a certain age. “Lowering
the Age of Consent” reminds the readers of the history of the anti-vaccination movement and the
history of the legislation behind it, which is beneficial to cross check other publications and their
account of the history. However, this particular article offered a bit more insight into the
legislative approach and regulations surrounding the anti-vaccination movement. Also, the article
outlined the consequences for society as the anti-vaccination movement has continued to gain
For me, personally, the consequences are going to be the most helpful piece of writing
within this article. Many of the articles I have read continue to look at the current effects of the
anti-vaccination movement, but this article will be very beneficial to me as I try and craft looking
to the future and the many issues we may face, as a society, if we do not begin to recognize the
effects now. This article seems to be a great resource because it covers the many facets of this
argument that have culminated over many years.
Candelas, Every Child
Deserves a Family(2).pdf
Candelas, Roberto ENGL 1302 Essay 2 Final Draft December 6, 2018
Every Child Deserves a Family
As we enter the holiday season, take a moment and reflect on what it is you remember
most about seasons past—the memories made, the moments shared. For many of us what
makes the holidays so sentimental and so memorable is the time spent with family, celebrating,
reminiscing, and creating new memories. These special moments are not afforded to all
though—many children living in the foster care system would like nothing more than to be
placed with a family of their own and have the opportunity to begin building some of these
memories for themselves. To this end, it is imperative that every loving family that is willing and
able to adopt and foster children is permitted to, without regard to whether that family
happens to be constituted of a same-sex couple. Passage of the Every Child Deserves a Family
Act (ECDFA) seeks to ensure that same-sex couples have uniform and equal access to the
adoption and foster care system, replacing the existing state-by-state patchwork of laws that at
times discriminate against these couples and deny them the opportunity to create families and
provide those children waiting for a loving home with one and the lasting memories that come
along with having a family to call their own.
In 2015 the landmark Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex
marriage in all 50 states, acknowledging that same-sex couples should be afforded the same
rights as their heterosexual counterparts. Much of the reasoning in the decision focused on the
importance of marriage as the foundation for family creation, as Justice Kennedy stated in the
ruling “Without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers, children suffer the
stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser” (Khimm). While the rights of same-sex
couples to marry were affirmed under the decision, and their equal footing was acknowledged,
there was left unanswered several questions regarding the rights of these couples to creating
families—specifically through surrogates and adoption. In the absence of explicit guidance from
the Supreme Court states and localities took varying tracks on the matter.
Between 2011 and 2013, bills were passed in Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan,
and Virginia that included specific language that allowed faith-based adoption agencies the
right to refuse service to same-gender couples or to give preference to heterosexual couples
(Montero). As recently as February 12, 2014, Kansas House Bill 2453 was passed prohibiting
sanctions on religious groups that refused services to gays and lesbians (Montero). The bill
would allow religiously affiliated adoption agencies the right not to place children with same-
gender couples. Texas House Bill 3959 was passed in 2017 and signed into law, permits this
type of discrimination not only against same-sex couples, but also those of other faiths and
single-parents—using the pretext of religious freedom (Reynolds). Same-sex adoption is
currently legal in all 50 states as of 2016, when Mississippi’s ban was struck down. However,
there exists no federal legislation mandating that foster-care and adoption agencies receiving
federal funding extend their services to same-sex couples. This state-by-state uncertainty is the
most urgent reason that federal legislation should be passed to ensure that all citizens are
treated equally in the eyes of the law. Opponents of same-sex adoption have seized on this gap
to attempt to pass several pieces of discriminatory legislation that would allow foster-care and
adoption agencies that are faith-based to deny their services to same-sex couples—as well as
single parents and those of other faiths. In order to ensure that the number of children waiting
for families are placed is maximized, and to ensure that the spirit of Obergefell is fully realized
passage of the ECDFA is imperative.
Imagine that you just celebrated your first wedding anniversary and you find out the
same day that your spouse received the promotion they’d been waiting for at work. Along with
this you’d both discussed starting a family and decided that as adopted children yourself, you
wanted to adopt to build your family and pay all of the love and kindness you received forward.
With your partner’s new job, you will finally be able to afford a bigger home and the hefty costs
associated with the adoption process. Your spouse’s promotion is moving you all from
California to the company headquarters in St Louis—you make the move and begin the
adoption process, only to find that all of the local adoption agencies refuse to work with you
because you are a same-sex couple. You consult your attorney friend only to have him tell you
that, under Missouri law and recently passed legislation, faith-based adoption agencies have
the right to deny service to you based solely on your sexual orientation. Living in a conservative
state and with the near monopoly that Catholic-affiliated agencies have in your area you are
little with no recourse. This is the potential reality for many same-sex couples seeking to access
adoption services in conservative states that have passed so-called religious liberty laws.
In considering how impactful having a family is for the well-being of children it is
important to remember that numerous studies have found that there is no significant
difference in life outcomes between children that are raised by same-sex couples compared to
those raised by heterosexual ones. In his New York Times article Daniel Victor cites research
from Columbia University showing that “75 of 79 scholarly studies that met their criteria
concluded that the children faced no disadvantages” (Victor). Children are inarguably better off
when they are placed in a loving family—regardless of the sexual orientation of the parents.
Public sentiment would seem to echo academic research, as more and more of the population
believes that same-sex individuals and couples deserve equal treatment under the law. Darrel
Montero’s “America’s Progress in Achieving the Legalization of Same-Gender Adoption:
Analysis of Public Opinion, 1994 to 2012” illustrates how public sentiment has changed, with
only 28% of respondents in 1994 supporting same-sex adoption, to 61% of respondents
expressing approval in 2012. This growing public support for extending equal treatment to LGBT
citizens in the adoption and foster care system does not always seem to be mirrored at the
state legislative level. Americans understand inherently what some of their elected
representatives do not—that a family that is willing and able to shelter and provide for children
in a loving environment should have the opportunity to do so, without regard to sexual
orientation. Without evidence that children are harmed by allowing equal access to LGBT
couples to the adoption process, there is no reason for state legislative officials to try and
create a system that is biased and exclusionary and there does exist a moral and ethical
imperative to extend equal treatment to all citizens by taxpayer-funded government entities.
There are those whose will contend that compelling adoption and foster-care agencies
receiving government funding to extend their services with no regard to sexual orientation,
causes a dilemma for those groups with an expressly religious founding or charter. Namely,
some will say that by doing so and granting equal rights to the LGBT community that we
trample the religious rights of these faith-based groups by compelling them to make decisions
contrary to their beliefs or risk losing government funding. The title of Jamie Dean’s article in
The World says it all: “Adoption Defense: A Wave of New Laws Provides Vital Protection for
Faith-based Adoption Agencies—but LGBT Advocates are Putting Up a Fight.” In her view, if
faith-based agencies are compelled to extend their services to LGBT couples many will instead
choose to withdraw from the system completely, resulting in fewer placements. Dean envisions
individuals making choices based on their Christian faith and seeking out agencies that are able
to place their children in Christian homes and being unable to find such entities as equal
treatment legislation is passed and enforced. Even though civil rights groups who have brought
forward litigation to challenge discriminatory practices have explicitly said they are only
targeting those groups receiving public funding and not private agencies, Dean and those who
feel as she does think that there is something far more nefarious at work and see their religious
convictions as being assailed. In response, faith-based groups have advocated federal
legislation of their own in the form of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act that would
ensure that faith-based agencies could discriminate against any group they choose, based solely
on their religious convictions.
What those on the other side of the argument fail to realize is that federal funding has
always come with strings attached—and there is no one compelling them to accept funding—
but if they choose to, they must accept the restrictions placed on them. The government has an
imperative to treat all of its citizens equally under the law, and in the history of our country,
extending rights and freedoms to previously discriminated classes of people has never led to
negative outcomes. These agencies are free to practice their faith and make choices in keeping
with said faith; I would contend that this does not preclude them from being able to extend
their services without regard whether those seeking their services share their convictions. The
diversity of America is reflected in its religious communities as well, and whether they are
aware of it or not it is almost certain that these agencies have worked with individuals whose
beliefs have not aligned with their own. In order to do the most good, by way of having the
most number of children possible placed in loving homes, I think it is possible for faith-based
groups to extend their services to those of a different mindset, belief system or sexual
orientation without explicitly endorsing those contrarian beliefs.
Throughout the course of American history there have been times when our collective
moral consciousness has compelled us to realize when the time has come to extend freedoms
that were once restricted to disenfranchised classes of citizens. Civil rights issues of the 20th
century including women’s suffrage, segregation, and same-sex marriage have all called upon
us at various points to acknowledge when we as a people have been wrong and wake up to the
new reality present to us. That time has come for the same-sex adoption movement. When
there is so much at stake that is so impactful and emotionally compelling with an issue like
creating families, I think it is paramount for us to acknowledge the occasion and rise to it by
swiftly passing the ECDFA.
Beitsch, Rebecca. “Despite Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, Gay Adoption Rights Uncertain in Some
States.” Stateline.Org, 19 Aug. 2015, Newspaper Source Plus, www.ebscohost.com.
Accessed 31 Oct. 2018.
Dean, Jamie. “Adoption Defense: A Wave of New Laws Provides Vital Protection for Faith-Based
Adoption and Foster Agencies–but LGBT Advocates Are Putting up a Fight.” World
Magazine, June 2018, pp. 40–43. Academic Search Complet, www.ebscohost.com.
Accessed 29 Oct. 2018.
Khimm, Suzy. “The New Nuclear Family.” New Republic, Fall 2015, p. 8. MasterFILE Complete,
www.ebscohost.com. Accessed 4 Nov. 2018.
Montero, Darrel M. “America’s Progress in Achieving the Legalization of Same-Gender
Adoption: Analysis of Public Opinion, 1994 to 2012.” Social Work, vol. 59, no. 4, Oct.
2014, pp. 321–328. Social Sciences Full Text, www.ebscohost.com. Accessed 2 Nov.
Reynolds, Daniel. “Are LGBT’s Under Attack in Texas?: The State Guts Rights and Endangers Kids
under the Guise of Religious Freedom.” Advocate, Aug. 2017, p. 10. MasterFILE
Complete, www.ebscohost.com. Accessed 5 Nov. 2018.
Victor, Daniel. “Kentucky Judge, Citing Conscience, Declines to Hear Same-Sex Adoption Cases.”
The New York Times, 1 May 2017, Newspaper Source Plus, www.ebscohost.com.
Accessed 5 Nov. 2018http://stateline.org/http://www.ebscohost.com/http://www.ebscohost.com/http://www.ebscohost.com/http://www.ebscohost.com/http://www.ebscohost.com/http://www.ebscohost.com/
Can Save the Planet(2).pdf
16 Nov. 2018
Essay 2 Final Draft
Veganism Can Save the Planet
The idea of going vegan is not usually sought after by the average person, but what if
going vegan had the potential to save and restore the planet? There is much debate on whether or
not our diets have anything to do with climate change, but over the years, recent studies have
shown that going vegan has the most powerful effect on the restoration of our planet (Clark 22).
As scientists continue to warn us globally of our harmful and undesirable treatment of the earth,
it is time for us to come together, and fix the mess that we have all created. A study performed
by Oxford university, Agroscope, Joseph Poore, and Thomas Nemeckd, found, that by
universally switching over to a plant-based diet, we have the ability to reduce the land used for
animal production by 76 percent, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49 percent, and reduce the
amount of air pollution by 50 percent (Clark 22). The numbers achieved by making the switch in
your diet are not possible by simply using paper straws, recycling, riding your bicycle instead of
taking the car, etc. Unfortunately for some, it will take the sacrifice of giving up meat, dairy, and
poultry products in order to give our planet the break that it needs. By going vegan, we can make
the greatest impact on the environment by stopping deforestation, saving freshwater and
decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
For a lot of people, veganism and deforestation may not correlate, but actually, our
consumption of meat is responsible for the cutting down of many of our last remaining large
forests, such as The Amazon (McDermott 54). Nearly 80 percent of all of the world’s
agricultural land is consumed by livestock, and as the population continues to grow, there is a
high need to free up more and more space to support the meat industry’s mass production of
animals (McDermott 54). The need for more land results in deforestation all around the world,
creating huge amounts of carbon emissions, as the trees in forests are known to store carbon
dioxide. Not only are we allowing huge amounts of carbon to enter the planet, we are
eliminating a great source of oxygen, that allows us to live and breathe as human beings.
Furthermore, it is disturbing the amount of space the meat industry devotes to livestock in order
to feed the billions of people living in this world. The question then becomes, what will we do
when we run out of space? According to the Population Division of the United Nations, the
world holds nearly 7 billion people, and by the year 2050, this number will grow to 9 billion
(Capper 235). Plant-based agricultural farming takes up 115 million acres less land than animal
agriculture, and produces 512 percent more food (“Farming Animals”). Growing food for a
plant-based diet not only occupies far less space than livestock, it actually serves more efficient
in the amount of food produced. By going vegan, we can save so much of our agricultural land
and drastically reduce the need for deforestation.
Saving the world’s freshwater is among the top benefits of ditching meat and sticking to a
plant-based diet. Think about the amount of land used by livestock, and then think about the
amount of water being used to keep this livestock alive, keep crops alive, clean equipment and
facilities, etc. There is no surprise that with every 2 pounds of beef, we are wasting about 3,900
gallons of water, only adding up more and more with other animals by the millions supported on
these farms (Carr). With water being a very poorly managed system on this planet, it is important
to start thinking of ways to save freshwater and successfully keep it as a renewable resource, so
that it is always accessible to us. In addition, water pollution has escalated all around the world
in extreme amounts due to the impact the meat industry has on water waste flowing into other
rivers and streams. Farms use very little water to feed crops and animals in comparison to the
amounts of water they use on washing carcasses, removing the hair on hogs before
disemboweling, and cleaning and sanitizing the facilities equipment (Djogo 31). Water waste is
stored poorly, allowing the waste to trickle into many other waterways, carrying pesticides,
nucleic acids, amino sugars, and much more, and many of the components found in our
waterways are causing many viruses and diseases to spread, such as salmonella and E.coli,
resulting in fatalities and illnesses globally (Djogo 32). The need to stop the mass production of
meat is urgent, as it is only expected to get worse with population growth. Change your diet and
save the planet from polluted waters, and use freshwater in more efficient and valuable ways,
allowing it to remain one of the Earth’s well known renewable resources.
Lastly, by going vegan, you can decrease the amount of Greenhouse Gas Emissions being
released into the planet, such as carbon dioxide and methane. The amount of air pollution
produced by animals is completely mind boggling. The United Nations has reported that,
although it is hard to test the exact amounts of carbon dioxide and methane being released by
each animal, they believe that livestock is accountable for at least 18 percent of GHG emissions
on the planet (McDermott 56). A more recent study done by the Worldwatch Institute in 2009,
found that, half of greenhouse gas emissions date back to the beginning of raising of animals for
food (McDermott 56). By going vegan and declining the meat industry’s business, you can
eliminate more GHG emissions than carpooling, using public transportation, or even not driving
a car at all, as livestock is responsible for more of the pollution that goes into the air than any
other component alone (Matthews). Although all animals can cause some sort of GHG emissions
by the way that farmers raise them or the way that they slaughter them, beef is the absolute worst
among all of the meat, and it just so happens to be the most popular, especially in America.
Cows are raised and stored in large numbers producing methane and carbon dioxide even in
digestion, resulting in very large amounts of pollution when they give off any sort of gas, which
is something that is completely unavoidable. Without decreasing the amount of cows that are
only produced for our consumption, we have no ability to reduce high amounts of air pollution.
By going vegan, we have the control to knock out a lot of the greenhouse gas emissions that are
associated with global warming and climate change, making this planet a safer and more reliable
place to live.
Conversely, when the topic of going vegan comes up, it is rarely something glorified and
appreciated. There are many naysayers who believe that going vegan is pointless, unsubstantial,
and the best one of all, not worth it as they cannot single handedly make a difference in the
environment by going vegan themselves. There have been so many scientists who have spent a
lot of time studying and researching the affects that we as humans have on the planet,
specifically how our consumption of meat is involved, and it turns out that we can in fact make a
huge impact, even on our own. “Meatless Mondays” have become very popular throughout the
world, and have allowed people to feel like they are making somewhat of a difference in the
treatment of the planet. As popularity grows around the idea of giving up meat for only one day,
many have found this to be an easy and effective way to make their small contribution to
restoring the Earth. Studies show that by skipping meat for only one day a week, individually, it
is the equivalent of not driving your vehicle for 320 miles, including your whole family saves 5
weeks’ worth of driving and additionally, 3 minutes off of everyone’s daily showers (Worrall).
This goes to show that it doesn’t necessarily take the whole planet to participate at once for there
to be change, everything takes time and everything starts with one person. You can participate in
meatless Mondays, only depriving yourself of meat for 24 hours, and make such a great step in
the right direction towards the resolution to global warming. There is no reason to feel like your
decisions don’t impact the way that the planet is affected, nor should that be an excuse to not
even try something that has been scientifically proven to work. We can all make a difference,
and we can all make this place better.
In conclusion, going vegan has the ability to stop deforestation, save freshwater, and
drastically decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into our air. We have
neglected the planet for too long, making its life expectancy much shorter than originally
thought. The good news is that we have the power to change it, and reverse the direction of the
current negative rate global warming is going in by simply changing a few things in our diet,
even if only for one day a week. Taking out meat, dairy and poultry dilutes the need for mass
production of livestock and in return, saves the planet from a lot of harsh treatment. We have
reached our max capacity for anymore livestock stored in small cages by the millions on farms
for our consumption, and because of that, we need to begin thinking of other effective ways to
prepare for the peak in population growth and the decline in Earths life expectancy.
Capper, J.L. “Should We Reject Animal Source Foods to Save The Planet? A Review of The
Sustainability of Global Livestock Production.” South African Journal of Animal Science,
vol. 43, no. 3, Sept 2013, pp. 233-246. Academic Search Complete, www.ebscohost.com.
Carr, Dawn. “If You Went Vegan for January, Don’t Make the Mistake of Going Back Now.”
Independent UK, 29 Jan. 2018. Newspaper Source Plus, www.ebscohost.com.
Clark, Cristy. “Will Veganism Save the Planet?” Eurika Street, vol. 28, no. 11, 3 June 2018, pp.
21-23. Academic Search Complete, www.ebscohost.com.
Djogo, Maja. “Meat Industry Wastewater Management in Vojvodina Region (Serbia)- Current
Situation.” Acta Technica Corvininesis- Bulletin of Engineering, vol. 9, no. 3, July 2016,
pp. 31-36. Academic Search Complete, www.ebscohost.com.
“Farming Animals Vs. Farming Plants-A Comparison.” Faunalytics, 4 July 2017,
Matthews, Christopher. “Livestock a Major Threat to Environment.” FAO Newsroom, 29 Nov.
McDermott, Mat. “Assessing the Meat Industry’s Impact on Earth’s Climate.” Hinduism Today,
Jan-March 2017, pp. 52-57. Academic Search Complete, www.ebscohost.com.
Worrall, Simon. “Eating a Burger or Driving a Car: Which Harms Planet More?” National
Geographic, 11 March 2015, https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150311-
May 3, 2017
Religious Freedom and Prisoner Rights: The Case of Holt v. Hobbs
There has always been some debate on how many natural American freedoms a person
loses when they go to prison. Some scholars say that they are still Americans and should be
treated as any other citizen, while others contend that it is up to the prison for many issues based
on their own standards. I tend to agree with the latter. As with almost all Supreme Court cases,
Holt v. Hobbs has its own set of controversies. In this case, prisoner Gregory Houston Holt (also
known as Abdul Maalik Muhammad) is arguing that he should be able to grow his beard to half
an inch in length, claiming it is part of his Muslim faith. Facial hair (other than a small, trimmed
mustache) is currently prohibited by the Arkansas prison where he is serving a life sentence for
stabbing his girlfriend (although he has been involved in several prior incidents). The only
exception to the facial hair rule in place is if a prisoner has dermatologic problems as diagnosed
by a doctor. The prison has cited several reasons for their unwillingness to accept Mr. Holt’s
facial hair proposal, which include safety and identification concerns. Mr. Holt formulated a
hand-written petition to the courts to appeal that he should be able to exercise the freedom to
grow his beard. Although religious freedom is an essential part of American life, the right to
grow facial hair to practice a faith is sacrificed while in prison. Prisons are justified in banning
certain individual rights when they directly impact prison safety, and that option should not be
Holt originally petitioned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in
2013 saying that his religious rights were being violated under the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act or RLUIPA. This case was looked at and the prisoner failed to gain
the sympathy of the three judge panel after originally being granted the motion, according to
Katie Hoesly of Willamette University College of Law. This ultimately led to an appeal by Holt
to the highest court in the land. After the appeal, the Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to
decide on the matter. Holt was able to grow his beard to his desired half-inch while the case goes
on as ruled by the Supreme Court. This case would officially determine whether or not the
Department of Corrections could regulate the length of their prisoners’ beards without violating
“RLUIPA or the First Amendment” (Hoesly).
The opponents of the prison’s policy believe that Holt should be protected under the
RLUIPA that was passed in 2000. This religious act changed the law for inmates and prison
chaplains, according to Ron Taylor in his magazine article “Inmates’ Religious Rights: A
Chaplain’s Perspective on RLUIPA.” In the era before RLUIPA, inmates had to make a
compelling argument and “prove they were members of an approved religion” (Taylor 70).
RLUIPA says that the state now has to prove that the prisoners are not affiliated with the religion
that they claim to be part of. This new law has granted numerous prisoners the right to do various
things regarding religion since its inception. It is not a “cakewalk” to change rules for an
institution even with the new law. According to Taylor, there are 10 steps put in place to respond
to a request (72). These include the inmate forming a written request, determining whether the
inmate is sincere, and finally deciding whether the request “jeopardizes institutional health,
safety and/or security” (Taylor 73). Supporters of Holt claim that all of these criteria are met and
question the motives of the prison for not allowing him to grow a beard.
I would argue that while he may seem sincere and did formally write a request, it does
not pass the safety test. Adam Liptak of the New York Times wrote an article about the case
called “Supreme Court Agrees to Weigh an Inmate’s Right to Grow a Beard for Religious
Reasons.” In this article, he quotes some experienced prison officials that understand the danger
in people growing beards. During the Supreme Court debate, they testified that “homemade darts
and other weapons” and “cellphone SIM cards could be concealed in even half-inch beards”
(Liptak). This is not the only known problem with facial hair behind bars. There is also the issue
of identification. If an inmate is allowed to have a beard behind bars, then it becomes easier to
disguise their look by simply shaving in the case that they try to escape, or otherwise fool prison
officials. The Arkansas prison promotes good “health and hygiene” and believes that beards
should remain banned (Liptak). Officials from the prison also contend with opponents that they
do not want to be responsible for maintaining the proper length of inmates’ beards. An example
of a potential problem would be a prisoner getting upset or disagreeing with guards on how long
the beard is, which could lead to violence.
Holt’s lawyer, Professor Douglas Laycock, from the University of Virginia, has been
involved in five previous Supreme Court cases, according to Sarah Pritchett in her article “U.Va.
Law Prof. Douglas Laycock to Argue Religious Liberty Case Before Supreme Court,” published
in the Cavalier Daily newspaper. He is nationally recognized when it comes to religious liberty,
and he cites that Congress believes that prisoners should be allowed to practice religion in order
to “aid” themselves to “rehabilitation” (Pritchett). An argument that Laycock makes is that
beards do not serve the interests of safety of the inmates because they would be able to hide
contraband in other places, such as their shoe (Pritchett). He also addresses that 43 states allow at
least the half-inch beard that Holt wants. According to the University of Virginia School of Law
website, Laycock also claimed that he believed that this decision by the Supreme Court would
ease the burden on lower courts. He feels that it will be easier for prisoners to get religious
benefits as this decision will “provide better guidance to prison policymakers” (“Laylock to
Argue”). Laycock went as far as stating that the “Eighth Circuit is so deferential to the prison
officials that protecting religious liberty is effectively nullified” (“Laylock to Argue”). Holt’s
lawyer clearly believes that prisons are using tactics purposefully to go against their inmates’
religious beliefs. In his interview with the University of Virginia, the crafty lawyer scoffs at the
thought of someone using the term “prison security” to decline a religious practice.
In response to his lawyer’s argument, I feel that some power should remain with the
correctional facility. It seems like they do not have a say in how to run their own facility. The
reason that debates like this come up is because it is a well-documented fact that people lose
certain rights, such as the right to vote or own a weapon, when they go to prison. While his
assertion that inmates could hide contraband in other places is a valid point, I contend that prison
officials should not be forced to allow the prisoners to have an extra place to hide smaller items
such as shanks. In my opinion, this man made the mistake and must live with the consequences
on the prison’s terms. Holt is currently serving a life sentence and can be seen as a person with
nothing to lose. In the article “Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person’s Act,” author
Stephen J. Ingley (Executive Director of the American Jail Association) looks at RLUIPA and a
case in Ohio called “Cutter v. Wilkinson” where gang members “sought religious
accommodations that would undermine Ohio’s anti-gang activities” (7). Ingley reveals that the
court reviewed the RLUIPA law and eventually determined that it was, in fact, constitutional on
its face, but could be “problematic” depending on the circumstance (7). If Holt ends up winning
the case then it would set the precedent that people could practice their faith by wearing a beard.
This seems like a tough sell. The question that will always loom is: how do we know that they
are not lying? Many people who have fought to change RLUIPA argue that “prison gangs use
religious activity to cloak their illicit and often violent conduct” (Ingley 7). As prison officials
have pointed out, it is easy to hide small shanks in a beard or cheek which renders it a tedious
task for guards to have to make sure that the safety of all inmates is maximized. Family members
or even lawyers can sneak in items during visiting hours for the prisoner to hide. It seems that
with a Supreme Court backing, many non-believers will claim faith and take advantage of the
system. Personally, I am fine with the man wanting to practice his faith. However, because of the
environment that he put himself in, the lack of safety for prisoners and guards alike seems too
great to overcome. Another question is: where does this stop? Could we have another appeal in a
few years that says that beards should be as long as inmates want in order to practice faith?
Human history has shown us that people always want more. It is simple economics and
psychology. As Mr. Laycock himself has said, it will become easier for the lower courts to
determine if the inmate should be allowed to grow a beard. If Mr. Holt wins then we will very
likely begin to see many more court cases where prisoners try to claim a faith to be able to
follow his lead. To summarize my point, I believe in the freedom of religion as it is a basic right
of Americans. However, I think that the prisons should have more power to decide their own
policy. They should be able to make rules and a dress code, within reason, while of course
continuing to guarantee basic rights, like nutrition, without being scrutinized. Holt’s case all
comes back to personal decision making. Nobody was questioning his beard before he
committed the crimes because he was a free man. Now he should have to play by the prison’s
rules. Ingley pointed out in his article that because security for prisoners is a priority and is a
“governmental interest,” the “courts are still required to give due deference to corrections
officials” when it comes to security (7).
While I will concede that a decent argument can be made in favor of Mr. Holt growing a
beard, I cannot bring myself to believe that the freedom of a prisoner is more sacred than the
freedom and security of the prison. There have been other precedents in the past which allow
prisoners to practice their religion in a less controversial way. According to the ACLU
(American Civil Liberties Union), inmates are allowed to observe religious days such as the
Sabbath for Christians or Friday services for Muslims (“Know Your Rights” 3). Prisoners are
also freely allowed to pray while in prison as well as own religious literature (“Know Your
Rights” 4). These rights gained by prisoners to practice the religion of their choosing would seem
to be adequate. These rights have been upheld, and are not in question of violating safety
regulations as they appeal to the more genuine believer. For instance, a person who is not of faith
would be less likely to attend services or read religious texts than a person who is genuine about
what he/she believes. As the ACLU article “Know Your Rights Freedom of Religion” also points
out, “prisoners have rarely been successful in challenging grooming and dress regulations” (4).
The reasons for this come back to safety and identification concerns. It is difficult to stress the
importance that we need to place in not only the justice for prisoners, but also for the justice of
the correctional facility and the dedicated people who run it. I wholeheartedly believe that the
prison officials in Arkansas know what they can handle and can see that it would not be
beneficial to them if prisoners could grow facial hair because of the possible danger and violence
that it could lead to.
Overall, it seems that the Supreme Court case Holt v. Hobbs will come down to the
interpretation of what rights the Justices feel should be given to the prisoner, and what rights
should be controlled by the prison. There is Mr. Holt, who believes that his strong Muslim faith
should allow him to grow a beard, and there is the Arkansas prison that argues that safety
concerns, among other things, is a strong enough reason to keep him clean shaven. The Justices
will also be forced to deal with the precedent that they will set if they allow Mr. Holt to grow his
beard. It will become much tougher to determine who is being sincere in their beliefs and who
simply wants to take advantage of the system. If the government does not give back some control
to the prisons and give them deference to run their own facilities, then I predict that we will
continue to see the RLUIPA being taken advantage of. Religious freedom is an essential part of
being an American as it is guaranteed in the Constitution, but some of those rights can and
should be taken away when a person fails to obey the law. Holt v. Hobbs is a perfect example of
how safety should always come first.
Hoesly, Katie. “Holt v. Hobbs.” Willamette Law Online (2014): n. pag. United States Supreme
Court Updates. 3 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Ingley, Stephen J. “Religious Land Use And Institutionalized Person’s Act.” American
Jails 19.3 (2005): 7. Academic Search Complete. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
“Know Your Rights Freedom of Religion.” ACLU. Aclu.org. ACLU National Prison
Project, July 2005. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
“Laycock to Argue Prisoner Religious Liberty Case Before U.S. Supreme Court.” University of
Virginia School of Law. N.p., 5 Mar. 2014. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
Liptak, Adam. “Supreme Court Agrees to Weigh an Inmate’s Right to Grow a Beard for
Religious Reasons.” New York Times 4 Mar. 2014: A11. 3 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Apr.
2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/us/supreme-court-agrees-to- weigh-
Pritchett, Sarah. “U.Va. Law Prof. Douglas Laycock to Argue Religious Liberty Case before
Supreme Court.” Cavalierdaily.com. N.p., 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Turner, Ron. “Inmates’ Religious Rights: A Chaplain’s Perspective On
RLUIPA.” Corrections Today 76.1 (2014): 70-73. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12
1 December 2017
The Monumental Question
One of the most fiercely debated topics in the news and media over the last several
months is the removal of Confederate monuments and statues from public display. Recently, this
issue has come under the spotlight as many cities across the United States have decided to
remove their statues. The debate can basically be divided into two camps: those in support of the
removal of the statues, on the basis that the statues were erected to pledge allegiance to the
defeated Confederacy and that their presence only increases racial tensions, and those opposed to
the removal, who claim that these monuments represent a part of history that must be preserved,
and that taking them down will not solve the deeper issues of racial tensions today and will in
fact only make them worse. Both sides certainly do make a point. However, after researching the
issue and giving the matter some thought, it seems pretty clear that while the first group
definitely has a valid argument, their demanded results do not necessarily have to be (and
therefore should not be) implemented. States and cities that currently have Confederate statues
and/or monuments should not remove them from public display, because doing so would be
trying to hide an integral part of American history. Rather, they should look to other methods
such as contextualizing the monuments so that it is clear that there is no so-called loyalty to the
Confederacy and so there is less means to cause aggravation among the African-American
community and others who take issue with the monuments.
The first reason why Southern states and cities should not remove their Confederate
monuments is simply because many Confederate soldiers were actually upstanding, noble people
who fought a war because they had to, and not because they personally wanted to defend the
institution of slavery. This does not mean to say that slavery wasn’t the main issue that caused
the war. Such a theory was heavily acknowledged by Southerners in the late 19th century-early
20th century, and is infamously referred to as the “Lost Cause.” However, this ideology has been
rejected by all historians and is today known only because the Lost Cause era “gave political
cover for the worst and most violent period of segregation” (Gilbert 38). Nevertheless, on an
individual basis, there were many officers in the Confederate Army that were not necessarily
fighting to defend the enslavement of African-Americans, and yet were immensely successful
military leaders whose contributions to military history should be remembered.
Perhaps the greatest of example of an individual of this sort is also ironically the figure
whose monuments are at the forefront of the issue: Confederate General Robert E. Lee. In the
article titled “Robert E. Lee: Answering His Critics,” Steve Byas provides a few biographical
sketches of General Lee. Among other things, he mentions repeatedly that Lee was personally
opposed to the institution of slavery, and although he did inherit slaves from his father-in-law, he
treated them decently and released them immediately after the Emancipation Proclamation went
into effect (as did Union General Ulysses S. Grant, for the record). In fact, Lee himself wrote in a
letter to his wife on December 27, 1856 that “in this enlightened age, there are few who will not
acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil” (qtd. in Byas 35). At the
same time, Lee was a spectacular military leader whose strategic skills allowed him to lead many
successful defeats of the Union Army. In fact, Lee’s strategies have been studied at West Point
and US forces used a version of his battle plans from the infamously successful Battle of
Chancellorsville during the First Persian Gulf War to defeat the Iraqi army (Byas 33). These
facts all indicate quite clearly that if nothing else, Lee was a spectacular military leader who
made serious contributions to the world of military history. However, it is also known that Gen.
Lee was an exceptionally devout Christian and as such an exceedingly kind and noble person
who never drank, smoked or used profanity. On one occasion, after a Union veteran who had
wounded his leg tried to disgrace the Confederacy after the war, Lee humbly dismounted his
horse and wished the soldier well (Byas 36). When you add these two aspects of Gen. Lee’s life,
it appears that he was in reality not only an influential military leader, but also a distinguished
man of faith and character.
We can now refer back to the issue of removing Confederate statues on the basis that
their presence in public display promotes racist and pro-slavery sentiments that run counter to
what is today considered morally acceptable. After you look at the facts about who these
individuals really where, it becomes strikingly clear that they must be remembered for their
tremendous contributions to American History. Firstly, we find that even generals such as Robert
E. Lee who commanded an army on behalf of the Confederacy that seceded from the Union
because the Union was not enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act (Gilbert 38) were not necessarily
pro-slavery. Additionally, it is very hard to argue with the facts that Lee and his Confederate
forces exercised extremely successful strategies against the North. Erecting a monument in
commemoration of figures such as Gen. Lee makes perfect sense: we want to preserve the
history of great American military leaders and men of great faith and nobility. Removing statues
of Confederate generals such as Lee seems to say that these are individuals whom we don’t want
to remember – even though the contrary is true.
Some may argue that the entire erection of Confederate monuments and statues was
preposterous from the outset. After all, the South did lose the war when Lee surrendered to Grant
at Appomattox – and since when do losing officers get their monuments erected for public
display?! Those who feel this way point the original placement of these statues back to the Lost
Cause era, the post-war period in which many Southerners attempted to claim that they had
actually achieved victory – in an ethical sense – in order to save face. Because the construction
of these monuments stems from this flawed revisionist mindset, it only makes sense to take these
statues down. The term “Lost Cause” was coined in 1866 by Southern historian Edward A.
Pollard who authored a book under that title, in which he attempted to construe the real reason
behind the war as being the North’s jealousy of the South’s landed gentry society, and this
philosophy gave birth to movement known as the Lost Cause (Wayne). Most Confederate
monuments were set up in the late 19th century-early 20th century by this movement to glorify the
former Confederacy (Gilbert 38). “Monuments served not only to freeze that sentiment but to
establish Southern white supremacy as a distinct cultural force destined to rise again”
(McDaniel). Hence, because these statues were put up for the sole purpose of restoring
Confederate values, they should most certainly be removed from public display in today’s
society, where the Confederacy is a thing of the past. Some may even go as far as to say that
“reassessing the placement of Confederate monuments has nothing to do with changing history
and everything to do with making sure we’re on the right side of it” (McDaniel).
It is certainly true that many if not most Confederate monuments were erected with the
initial intention of promoting Southern ideals. However, this does not necessarily mean that
therefore the statues should be taken down. While modern historians will all agree that the Lost
Cause was a fabrication, this does not mean that it wasn’t a part of our history. No matter how
you slice it, it is a fact that the overwhelming sentiment in the post-war South was that of the
Lost Cause. While no one is saying that they were right, it is still necessary to preserve this time
in American History for future generations to learn about. We see no problem in teaching our
children about the Ancient Incas of Peru, who worshipped the sun and offered human sacrifices,
even though it is fair to say every single sane American citizen living in today’s society will
admit that both of these things are absurd and inhumane. So too, we should teach our children
about the unfortunate reality that was the Lost Cause: when thousands of Americans deluded
themselves into believing they had achieved victory in the face of defeat. When you factor in a
compromise such as plaques that put the monuments in their proper context, it is very hard to
hear why these statutes should still be removed. The Lost Cause era “is part of our collective
history, but one that we need to acknowledge for both its propaganda and cruelty” (Gilbert 39).
Dealing with it honestly allows us to reflect on the history of racism in general, especially today,
when countless hate groups use Confederate symbols to promote their causes. Therefore, it
seems that leaving the monuments in place while also contextualizing them is simply a better
option than removing them, because by leaving them in public display we do not forget the
injustices that were committed in our country’s past.
In his article titled “Confederate monuments reopen old racial wounds,” Rick Hampson
cites the example of a particular Confederate memorial fountain in Montana that was erected by
the United Daughters of the Confederacy – a group that definitely promoted Lost Cause ideals.
However, he also describes that 1) the initial erection of the fountain aroused no opposition, and
2) the sculptor of the fountain was the child of a Union soldier. Thus, Hampson remarks that the
fountain not only helped to beautify the park it was placed in, but it was also an act of national
unity. He closes his article by describing how after some city officials were worried about how
the memorial might affect the city’s reputation, the issue was resolved by placing a sign that
properly described the significance of the fountain and how it came to be. Once again, it seems
quite clear that the issue is better resolved by contextualizing the monuments rather than
removing them. While the initial intention for their placement may have been wrong, this does
not mean that we today must take them down. Rather, we can preserve the important history
behind the monuments and their erection while also making it clear that the Lost Cause was a
fabrication simply by reaching a compromise.
Another reason why Southern states and cities should not remove their Confederate
statues is purely practical: taking down mega-sized statues and moving them to another location
is extremely expensive. It does not seem very compelling to say that thousands of taxpayers’
dollars should be spent on something that does not provide a single individual with any tangible
benefits. In his article, Hampson relates that on one occasion, a city’s decision to move its
Confederate memorial cost $400,000. Had the city opted to leave the memorial in its then-current
location, those $400k could have been used for arguably far more important things, such as
updating public healthcare facilities or providing meals for the homeless. While this reason does
not speak directly to the philosophical importance of preserving history, it does reinforce the
suggestion that states/cities look for alternative methods to subdue racist sentiments. Erecting a
plaque that explains the significance of the individual while also maintaining accepted moral
standards and eradicating any alleged support for the Confederacy would have been a whole lot
cheaper than $400k.
In conclusion, the arguments we have shown should lead us to rethink what has happened
in several Southern cities over the last few months. Unfortunately, many people still feel these
monuments must come down. Unless we make an effort to do something fast, we risk losing
important links in the chain of our history. As stated above, the best solution that should logically
leave everyone satisfied would seem to be to contextualize the monuments by erecting signs or
plaques that properly describe how each statue came to be and what it represents. In this manner,
cities can eliminate racist sentiments while also saving thousands of dollars and preserving these
statues for future generations to learn from.
Byas, Steve. “Robert E. Lee: Answering His Critics.” New American, vol. 33, no. 18, 18 Sept.
2017, pp. 33–38. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, www.ebscohost.com.
Accessed 22 Nov. 2017.
Curtis, Wayne. “Decommissioning Lee.” The American Scholar, 15 Sept. 2017,
theamericanscholar.org/decommissioning-lee/. Accessed 22 Nov. 2017.
Gilbert, Paul. “A Monumental Decision: What to Do with Confederate Monuments?” Parks &
Recreation, vol. 52, no. 10, Oct. 2017, pp. 36–39. Academic Search Complete,
EBSCOhost, www.ebscohost.com. Accessed 22 Nov. 2017.
Hampson, Rick, et al. “Confederate Monuments Reopen Old Racial Wounds.” USA Today, 23
May, 2017, Newspaper Source, EBSCOhost, www.ebscohost.com. Accessed 22 Nov.
McDaniel, Alex. “Removing Confederate Monuments Doesn’t ‘Erase’ History. It Fact-Checks It.”
Time.com, 18 Aug. 2017, p. 15. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost,
www.ebscohost.com. Accessed 22 Nov. 2017.
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