EDITORIAL – 3.22.11


Image by Banksy

Revolution is spreading like wildfire through the Middle East, protests are roiling the American Mid-West, and even here at TCNJ, we begin to sense potential for bottom-up progress. Perhaps now more than ever, the times they are a-changin’.

We cannot emphatically enough support these struggles for democracy and change, from the liberation of Tahrir to the occupation of the Madison state house. Nor can we sufficiently condemn the efforts of autocrats and oligarchs to suppress them, from Col. Gaddafi’s brutal violence to Michigan governor Rick Snyder’s repellent, repressive new Emergency Financial Manager bill.

Many speculate that this is merely the beginning. If nationwide protests in Yemen, Jordan, and Bahrain were to follow in Tunisia’s footsteps, we may see an end to the Middle East as we know it. If Saudi Arabia were to revolt, despite that government’s immediate crackdown on the planned “Day of Rage,” oil prices might finally rise high enough to spur global energy reform.

Governors across the U.S. are feeling resentment against drastic budget cuts. Countless state capitals are holding demonstrations. Could this catalyze the revolution that Ralph Nader declared “long overdue”? It’s difficult to determine what might happen on the national scale – though President Obama’s decision to discontinue defending DOMA in courts and Sen. Rand Paul’s challenging our foreign aid to Israel are certainly good omens.

So, herein we address, ponder, question, and condone struggles for positive change on many scales, large and small. We reflect on the success so far in Egypt with a rundown of events from #Jan25 through Mubarak’s inevitable demise. We contemplate the need for tenure, and the ramifications of removing it now. Two members of Greek life discuss whether fraternities and sororities are living up to their purported aims, though they’re quickly taken to task for what could be myopic presumptions.

But our words, of course, are never enough.  For all the blogging blather ruminating on the power of social media, we can see that it is tangible, physical action that truly effects change.

With that mindset, we turn your attention to the various democratic movements in the works as you read this – abroad, at home, and here on your own campus. On March 19, anti-war activists rallied in DC to protest America’s endless occupations. New Jerseyans have staged and plan more demonstrations at the Trenton state house. At TCNJ, the Progressive Student Alliance just hosted the Tuition Monologues, affording students plagued with debt and financial troubles (isn’t that everyone?) a chance to take their problems to the open mic on March 16. Similarly, your Student Government invites students to testify to their budget-cut woes at the SG’s weekly, Tuesday night meetings.

We encourage these and other activist efforts to speak truth to power, to resist oppression on any level, and to fight back. Read on, write for us, change something.