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Sunday, November 28, 2021

It’s the home stretch, Gators. Graduating seniors are counting off the last few weeks of their college careers. Others are gritting their teeth and trying to make it to summer. With less than a month left of this Spring semester, every responsibility, every deadline, every little grade point is piling up, and now’s the time that makes us or breaks us. If you’re sitting in lecture now, trying to pay attention, but really just thinking of your summer abroad, why not pretend to be doing something more favorable than daydreaming and turn to this week’s...

Darts & Laurels

On Thursday, North Carolina repealed the controversial House Bill 2, also known as HB2 and the “bathroom bill.” HB2 sparked national attention, as it restricted protection for members of the LGBTQ+ community and, most contentiously, required that transgender people use the bathroom corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate. The new governor, Democrat Roy Cooper, repealed HB2 yesterday morning. He says it is not his preferred solution, but that it was an important first step. We’re giving a laurel to this repeal — it might not be perfect, but it’s an important measure for LGBTQ+ protection and rights, especially in a state that was determined to deny people the right to relieve their bladders in peace.

Netflix premiered its trailer for “Death Note,” based on the manga of the same name. There was something noticeable in this trailer for a series that is supposed to be Japanese. Namely the fact that the main character — Light Yagami in the original, now Light Turner — is played by a white actor. This is only the most recent example of Hollywood whitewashing. Earlier this month came another manga-inspired film, “Ghost in the Shell,” starring obviously not-Asian Scarlett Johansson, as well as Netflix’s latest Marvel series, “Iron Fist.” Although the original “Iron Fist” was not Asian, fans have pointed out that this was a prime opportunity for a narrative about an Asian American getting in touch with his roots, especially when British-Singaporean actor Lewis Tan was heavily considered for the role. Once again, American media continues to rob Asians and Asian Americans of their own stories; sure, the Japanese version of “Death Note” used an all-Japanese cast, but who’s to say the default “American” is white? We’re throwing a heavy dart at Hollywood, Netflix and American media for this continued whitewashing, despite constant backlash.

As Floridians we’re all familiar with the Florida panther — we mean the subspecies of cougar here, not the hockey team — and we’re all pretty aware that these big cats are highly endangered. In fact, they have struggled to breed in the northern part of the state for a few decades, now. But earlier this week, two Florida panther kittens were spotted north of the Caloosahatchee River. This is great news for the subspecies, which has been trying to recover in numbers for decades now. Hopefully this means that panthers will start moving north and reclaim the territory they once had. So a laurel to these lil’ panther kittens — the survival of your species depends on you guys, and also, you’re pretty darn cute.

Moving on to a more depressing topic, since his measure to overturn the Affordable Care Act did not work, President Donald Trump turned his attention to other Obama-era policies, namely the former president’s Clean Power Plan, which was intended to reduce our country’s greenhouse gas emissions and get us on track to clean energy. This is the future of our planet at stake here. Even if, hypothetically, human-caused climate change is one big myth, what do we have to lose if we work for cleaner energy and eco-friendly solutions? What we’d get is a healthy plan- et, ready for the next generations, one that won’t be destroyed by mankind’s own greed. Trump wants to focus on bringing back coal jobs to America and making us energy independent, but the fact is, the future of our environment is a problem that every nation is going to face. And we all need to do our part to give the next generation a tomorrow. A dart to Trump for cutting back these vital environmental regulations — what good are more jobs going to be if there is no planet left for our grandchildren?

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