For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Sep 23 2016
by Karly Matthews

Weekly Political Round-Up: Protests, Skittles, and Bridge-Gate

By Karly Matthews - Sep 23 2016

This week has seen multiple examples of violence on American soil as well as protests, unlikely political events and developments of old news. Nevertheless, all these events have the potential to affect November's election and of course, beyond.

1. High school football players follow Kaepernick's lead.

Around the time that football player Colin Kaepernick, taking a knee, appeared on Time's cover, high schoolers and younger athletes in general are following his lead. Students from California and New York have shown their support. While some of these younger athletes are facing consequences for kneeling, their message is loud and clear to the American people.

2. Protests in Charlotte after another act of police brutality.

After Keith Lamont Scott was killed by a police officer on Tuesday, protests and riots erupted in Charlotte. The exact details of the shooting - and the video - had not been confirmed nor released until this morning, but the unrest in Charlotte is evident. The death of Terence Crutcher this week as well only added to the frustration and anger of the movement. After two nights of violent protests in which one protester was killed in the fray, the third night was relatively peaceful.

3. George H.W. Bush announced his vote will go to Hillary.

On Monday, Bush 41 announced that his presidential vote will go to Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump. The Bush family's skepticism toward Trump is no secret considering the comments the GOP nominee has made regarding Bush 43's presidency and Jeb Bush's character.

4. Appalachian State experiences on-campus conflict.

Appalachian State University, located in North Carolina, has experienced student against student conflict this week as a result of discriminatory chalk messages left on campus sidewalks. Students spoke out about the messages but were met with very little support from the school board, which sent a general apology email after the messages were reported. To discover the whole story, read Fresh U's coverage here.

5. Trump puts "birther" controversy to rest.

In 2011, Donald Trump announced that he believed President Obama was not born in the United States; therefore he was not qualified to be the president. Trump pushed Obama to show his birth certificate and "prove" to the American people that he was born a US citizen. Of course, Trump's actions in this situation were extremely controversial, and now with a campaign to run, Trump put the "debate" - if it even was one - to rest.

6. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's Bridge-Gate resurfaces.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a GOP presidential candidate in the primaries, will most likely never live "Bridgegate" down, especially if it keeps developing. This week, the investigation resurfaced to the headlines, and According to, Christie may have known more details than he implied, and a subpoena - a writ ordering someone to court - may be issued. Fort Lee's mayor Mark Sokolich also revealed that he lied about the situation in fear of Christie's retribution.

7. Monday will be the first Clinton-Trump debate, moderated by Lester Holt.

Hosted by Hofstra University in New York, the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be Monday at 9 pm on all major news networks - ABC, NBC and CBS to name a few. Lester Holt of NBC will be the moderator of this straight-forward hour-and-a-half debate. There will be six segments, each featuring a major topic, with fifteen minutes allotted to each. Libertarian Gary Johnson will not be on the stage. For more information and how you can watch, stay tuned to Fresh U's political coverage.

8. Donald Trump Jr. makes a controversial comparison.

Regarding the Syrian refugee debate, Donald Trump Jr. compared the refugees to Skittles, asking if Americans were willing to take a handful of Skittles if some random candies were poisoned. This tweet caused outrage on social media and beyond, and Twitter users tweeted Trump back photos of Syrian refugees asking if they were Skittles. As well, the Skittles company released a statement regarding Trump's use of its product.

9. New York City and New Jersey experienced bombings, possibly terroristic threats.

Sunday night, the country watched with bated breath as news erupted that a bomb exploded in New York City and New Jersey. Fortunately, no one was killed and only treatable injuries were sustained by any victims. That said, bomber Ahmad Rahami, revealed to be a jihadist, was later arrested and taken to the hospital for injuries, where he remains. 

10. Clinton and Kaine take talk shows.

On the lighter side of politics, Democratic presidential and vice presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine appeared on "Between Two Ferns" and The Ellen Show respectively. This trend is becoming more and more popular with political candidates because it humanizes them to the American public, and voters feel as though they're friends. But, the other argument is that these appearances break the wall of professionalism for which politicians strive.

Even though the presidential election is in everyone's mind, some of these political events will have ramifications that last long after November's vote. Chris Christie's governorship is in question, protests against police brutality continue and Colin Kaepernick has started a movement.

Lead Image Credit: Arturo Pardavila III via Flickr Creative Commons

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Karly Matthews - Temple University

Karly Matthews is a political science and journalism major with a Spanish minor at Temple University. In high school, she was editor-in-chief of her school's online newspaper, a member of the yearbook staff, a Spanish Club officer and a dancer for 12 years. In her free time, Karly drinks too much coffee and follows politics with an obsessive passion. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @karlymatthews_!

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