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equality

Democracy

Minority faiths are bravely campaigning to reclaim the swastika from Hitler's Nazi legacy

Before it was corrupted by Hitler, the swastika was a sacred symbol of good fortune.

The swastika is a staple of Diwali in India

Odds are, seeing a swastika invokes only the most unsavory images of hatred, fascism and flagrant racism—both of Nazis and death camps from WWII, and, sadly, of white supremacy groups of today. There's good reason that many note it as a physical manifestation of evil.

However, even if it isn’t widely talked about, it’s no secret that this symbol once had a far more sacred and benevolent meaning among the cultures that actually created it a millennia ago. And as the diaspora of minority faiths continues to diversify the West, these cultures are speaking out in an effort to reclaim the swastika’s original intent. It’s a conversation worth having.

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Amelia Gapin

This article originally appeared on 04.16.18


For about a week before the 2018 Boston Marathon, news outlets around the country were busy freaking out about the idea of transgender athletes competing.

Specifically, the worry seemed to be that trans women (people who transitioned from male to female) would have an unfair advantage over cisgender (non-trans) women. Right-wing commentator and anti-trans ideologue Ben Shapiro painted the decision as a type of slippery slope that will eventually lead to the abolition of gender categories as a whole, saying, "Biological women will never win a marathon — ever — in history because men are faster than women on average."

Do Shapiro and others skeptical about the idea of trans women competing with other women in sporting events have a point? Not really.


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When we talk about systemic, structural, or institutionalized inequality, it can be hard for some to understand what those terms even mean. In a racial context in the U.S., the idea is that oppression like slavery and Jim Crow laws, racist policies like redlining, and the racism in scientific, medical, and educational and other fields erected various barriers for Black Americans. The laws or policies may have changed, but those changes didn't automatically dismantle all the barriers that went along with them.

Such barriers are invisible, though, and when you aren't impacted by them you might not even see them at all, or understand what it's like to be on the other side of them. That's where analogies come in handy.

TikTok creator @tavitalkstrash shared a video skit that illustrates how systemic inequality works with a metaphor of a fence and fruit trees.

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The past three presidential administrations have been a game of ping-pong for LBGTQ+ students' rights. During his term as president, Trump rescinded Obama-era protections for transgender students, and now the Biden administration is undoing that Trump-era guidance.

An announcement from the U.S. Department of Education today clarified that transgender and gay students are protected from discrimination under Title IX.

"Today, the Department makes clear that all students — including LGBTQ+ students —deserve the opportunity to learn and thrive in schools that are free from discrimination," Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

"The Supreme Court has upheld the right for LGBTQ+ people to live and work without fear of harassment, exclusion, and discrimination – and our LGBTQ+ students have the same rights and deserve the same protections."

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