What So Proudly We Hail’d at the Twilight’s Last Gleaming?


Three Antioch Students Reflect Upon Recent Violence in America.

“It’s hard for me to have any hope for the violence to end.”

In regards to the recent violent acts that have occurred in the past couple weeks starting with the death of Alton Sterling in Louisiana, then Philando Castile in Minnesota and then the deaths of 5 police officers in Dallas during a peaceful protest, it’s hard for me to have any hope for the violence to end.

These acts are becoming the norm and are considered less as crazy outlier events. I find myself starting to feel numb but also very fearful that this type of behavior will only escalate and spread. If there is one thing to be learned is that this can happen to all of us and it affects all of us.

Photo Courtesy of CNN (httpwww.cnn.com/2016/07/07/us/gallery/police-shootings-reaction/index.html)

Photo Courtesy of CNN

These truly terrible events can bring together people who also feel angry, helpless, confused and all the other numerous emotions that come up from our current situation. We can all take a serious look at what kind of world we want to live in. What I have also realized is that I can not expect government officials or other people of authority to fix the problem. It is up to us, the people to create meaningful change and it is up to the politicians and the government to allow us to do so.

  • Lia Durham


Unreasonable violence and deadly use of weapons by the police makes me angry.


Examples such as the killings of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, or the sniping of numerous Dallas police officers during a peaceful protest shows that the proneness to violence is as evident as ever. Issues such as racial bias in the justice system, police brutality, and the growing cynicism of society surface in the wake of these events, and it shows us that we need to do something.

In today’s society everything can be photographed, filmed, or even live-streamed (as in the case of Castile’s death) which helps broadcast injustices committed across the country.

The issue surrounding overuse of violence also sheds light on another problem, which has been up for debate for decades: Guns. Are we safer having them? Or are we just making matters worse? Does it even make sense that we have more guns than people?

  • Jeff Kong

The Land of the Free they say. I have not yet seen it. I have seen the land of the constrained. The land of the abandoned. The land of the broken. The land of the scared. I have seen everything but free.

In a very short time we have seen hate, violence, killings. We have seen brutality, lack of empathy, ignorance. Darkness is prevailing lately, but everything is at a standstill. We’re not doing anything. In the land of the free we are strangely “unfree”, silent, with out hands tied behind our backs, scared of speaking up. We have no freedom, but still some claim we are free.

Is it really free when it seems logical to get more weapons to feel safe rather than getting rid of the thing that terrifies us? Is it really free when people are accidentally shot, just because their toddler is imitating what daddy does? Is it really free that anyone can voice their frustrations or delusions by gunning down those who don’t agree rather than having them listen to their voices?

Image courtesy of httpsvinaylal.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/gun-cartoon-wright.jpg

“It’s our right!” people say, “We have the right to bear arms, our constitution says so!”

We also used to have the right to buy and sell people; we also used to have the right to deny women and people of color suffrage. We used to have the right to be even more oppressive than we are today. It was all written in the constitution. But the constitution was changed. Maybe it’s time we change it again. Or we might just cross out the word “free” from the slogan of this country.

The land of the free they say.

  • Marta Waldrop Bergman

About Author

Marta Waldrop Bergman

Marta Waldrop Bergman is a BA student at AUSB with concentrations in both communication and media, and environmental studies. She moved to Santa Barbara from Sweden two years ago in order to study, as well as figure out everything there is to life. Through hard work and determination she graduated from SBCC this spring with two Associates degrees, and she is now pushing to get that final diploma in June 2016 (she really likes wearing those funny black hats). Marta is a quirky person, and she hates it when people take themselves too serious. She does however appreciate quality minds, and she always strives to know more about the world. While not in the Sage Library at Antioch, she is most likely all over Santa Barbara, since she always wants to see new places.

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