Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Welcome to our first newsroom of the semester! First off, we are barely a month into 2020 and the world has just been going bonkers. Oh so much to discuss and many topics to cover so, let us not waste time and get right to it.

International News

Coronavirus has NO CHILL

When Dr. Tim Miller gets on the wire about an international health scare, you know sh*t is serious. But seriously, with the World Health Organization declaring a global health emergency, and over 200 fatalities claimed thus far, Coronavirus is literally the last thing you want served with a side of lime this beach week. The scoop on Coronavirus is this: over 9,000 cases of this respiratory transmitted SARS look-alike have been reported in China and according to everybody’s watchdog momma, Mother Jones,

“In an effort to contain the epidemic, Chinese authorities have nearly completely cut off this city of 11 million from the rest of China, with all transportation and other points of access shut down.”


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, as a city of 11 million is being quarantined, Americans are being transported out of the country on chartered flights. As Mother Jones went on to say, “a chartered flight is being arranged to transport approximately 36 diplomats and their families.”

Is it fair that a city the size of like, 600 JMU’s is going to be cut off from outside resources, but Americans get an out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Trump attends March for Life rally

The March for Life rally, which took place on Friday, January 24, 2020 was attended by Trump, making him the first ever president to speak and attend the event. This event was originally founded in 1974 by anti-abortion activist Nellie Gray, the year after the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling. The plan is to continue the event until Roe is overturned, according to the march’s organizers.

As a republican Trump is not shy in his pro-life stance, even signing. Bill that would allow states to deny funding to Planned Parenthood (even they do wayyyy more than abortions, but hey, what does he know). Additionally, the SCOTUS is currently preparing to hear arguments over a 2014 law in the red state of Louisiana that currently requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital. This means the state currently requires providers to admit patients at a local hospital in order to perform abortions. This limits access to clinics where women who are seeing an abortion.

Kobe Bryant

On Sunday, January 26, 2020 the nation literally stopped as we learned about the unfortunate passing of Kobe Bryant due to a helicopter crash. Not too long after we found out that his 13 year old daughter was also a victim in this fatal incident. It was said that the passengers were on their way to a youth basketball game In all there were 9 people who were in the helicopter, and of these there were no survivors. 

The victims include: Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Peyton Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan. Those are all of the victims who have been named at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with all families involved in this tragedy.

I do think that it is important to mention as a feminist blogging site that Kobe Bryant did not have a perfect history. I ran across this tweet/thread on Twitter and I think it sums up pretty well for someone like me who advocates for sexual assault survivors, but also had minimal knowledge on his sexual assault allegations so I only knew Kobe as a hero in the black community:


Harrisonburg, VA — A different kind of Sanctuary City?

Many of you may have noticed the blue, orange, and green stickers + signs that are a part of the Harrisonburg landscape. In 3 languages they read: “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.” This motto and our richly diverse population of immigrants and refugees is a part of the reason why Harrisonburg, the friendly city, is known as something of an unofficial Sanctuary City.

More recently, however, this term is being co-opted by 2nd Amendment rights activists to purport their right to live in a city that maintains lax gun control laws, and goes out of its way to protect gun owners. Protesting their right to bear arms, a few bare-armed 2nd Amendmenters showed up to the state capital last week to talk all things arms and bears. As The Hill reported,

“Tens of thousands gathered in Richmond last week to protest against the planned action, while at least 91 out of 95 counties in Virginia have declared themselves “sanctuaries” against gun control laws passed by the state.”


In a show of solidarity with the nouveau Sanctuary City supporters, Portsmouth City Councilman Nathan Clarke took to sporting his AR-15 to a city council meeting. BOLD move, Natey boy.

Listen, y’all — I grew up in a rural area where HUNTING WAS LIFE. My dad is a proud gun owner, and I had a hunting license by age 12. But something about the push for common sense gun control laws tells me that my dad’s right to his rifle for hunting season won’t be threatened, but that maybe, just maybe, people like our friend Nathan will think twice before sporting an automatic assault rifle in a community meeting.


MLK Week 2020

Last week, CMSS (Center for Multicultural Student Services), gave us another great year of MLK Week events, with the 2020 theme being “What affects one directly, affects all indirectly”. The week kicked off with the MLK formal program filled with entertainment from both student run organizations as well as independent student acts and guest speaker Ray Suarez. On Wednesday, DEEP Impact had a dialogue titled, Women Behind the Movement, where attendees had the opportunity to learn about Septima Poinsette Clark, Pauli Murray, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, three brave women who played a influential, yet hidden part in the civil rights movement. On Thursday, students, staff and faculty marched from the Jimmy statue to Warner commons, hearing from our Latinx Student Association, Madison Equality, and B.O.N.D. (Brothers of a New Direction). the March transitioned to the Speak Out portion as participants moved to Madison Union Ballroom to reflect on this years theme, the meaning behind signs used in the march, and what it means to be an active advocate.

MLK Week activities wrapped up with the MLK Student Gala, which was put on thanks to the hard work of student orgs: NAACP, Esteem Models and Black Student Alliance. A night filled with dancing, selections from our Contemporary Choir, and Furious Flower’s Dr. Joanne Gabin as keynote speaker. In all, it was a week of powerful events, all with the intent to reflect on how we can model the dream that Dr. King emphasized on that day in Washington. May we all continue to fulfill the dream that so many risked their lives for as early as 55 years ago. 

Photo by Brian Kraus on Unsplash

That’s a wrap from the ShoutOut Newsroom this week. What stories do you want to see coverage on for next week? Let us know in the comments below!

Til next time, @onemelaninmind + @sarahjeanmay

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