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- The Soapbox in the News
Last Tuesday, our Editor in Chief, Madeline Costa, was featured on NewsMax's live broadcast. She was interviewed about conservative newspapers challenging liberals on college campuses. Thank you to NewsMax for having us on your program!
- “Cultural Appropriation” or Elimination?
Why is it acceptable to wear a cowboy hat but not a Native American headdress? “Cultural appropriation” has more than one meaning and discriminates based on culture and nationality. At the start of the semester, I received a message from a student organization that I’m a part of. It warned students not to wear costumes from other nationalities or cultures to costume parties. Being an international student from Peru meant I couldn’t wear cowboy boots and hats like everybody else because I was not American. But when I asked about it, I was told it wouldn’t be offensive for me to do so. That left me wondering, what is “cultural appropriation”? According to Oxford Language, it is “the inappropriate or unacknowledged adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity.” But I found this wasn’t the case. “Cultural appropriation” only applies to non-Western cultures outside America and Europe. Dressing up as a cowboy, Viking, or Greek goddess is entirely acceptable, even if you are not a part of the culture of origin of those costumes. But a Mexican sombrero, an Indian headdress, or a Japanese kimono are all unacceptable unless you are a part of that culture or nationality. Why is that, and who gets to make that decision? After researching it, I found that “cultural appropriation” is called “assimilation” when applied to people from non-Western cultures. And apparently, it is acceptable for minorities from non-Western cultures to take part in a majority culture, but it is not okay for majorities to take part in a minority culture. The effect? The further propagation of the majority culture: Western culture. “Cultural appropriation” doesn’t set all cultures on equal standing. All cultures are equally important, regardless of their history or current popularity, and they shouldn’t be classified or treated differently. This inequality divides cultures and categorizes some as “privileged” and some as “marginalized.” Adhering to woke Western ideologies, such as “cultural appropriation,” suppresses minorities’ opinions and exalts white-knighting practices. In essence, “cultural appropriation” seems more like a Western imperialistic scheme to prevent all other cultures from propagating. This situation is precisely what has happened, not just with Halloween costumes. Many brands and organizations that had logos with stereotypes of a minority culture have eliminated their logos, such as Aunt Jemima’s maple syrup, the Washington Redskins football team, and the Cleveland Indians baseball team. But why are only minority stereotypes, or to put it plainly, POC faces, considered offensive, but white stereotypes are not? After all, Quaker oatmeal, the Minnesota Vikings football team, and Cap’n Crunch cereal aren’t going anywhere. The effect of “cultural appropriation” has been slowly but steadily erasing other cultures. Nothing belonging to the dominant white culture is offensive, while everything else is. To whom? Is it offensive to the people of that culture? If you ask them, they’ll say it’s not. More likely than not, they’ll be happy to see you wearing something that represents part of their culture. I know I would feel proud to see anyone wearing an Inca costume, trying to make Peruvian food, or listening to huayno music. And in fact, people from other countries do that. They are not afraid to take part in another culture. So why are people discouraged from doing so here in America? If these woke Western ideologies continue, diversity and inclusion will mean nothing. If students do not have the freedom to partake in other cultures, how will they learn? Mocking another culture by wearing a costume is wrong, but wearing a costume from another culture is not equivalent to mocking it. And it is not considered offensive, either. Students of this generation will have to choose between being accused of “cultural appropriation” or partaking in cultural elimination.
- What is LatinX... and should you use it?
When I arrived on campus for my freshman year as an international student from Peru, I first heard the unfamiliar term “LatinX.” Although I did not know the meaning of this word, I quickly learned the ironic reality that it refers to me. LatinX is a fabricated, gender-neutral word devised to replace the terms “Latino” and “Latina” as a description of people from Latin America. However, the term LatinX is not used in any Latin American country. In fact, the term was created in America and, predictably, is not used anywhere else in the world. Of Puerto Rican origin, the term LatinX goes against the established rules of the Spanish language, which categorizes most words as either feminine or masculine. In the early 2000s, the term LatinX began to trend as a word used to describe those who identify as non-binary. It was called a solution for the so-called “un-inclusive” Spanish language. However, Latino and Latina are obviously not the only Spanish words that end in the feminine “a” or masculine “o.” In fact, most words fall into one of these categories. For example, “mesa,” or table, is feminine, and “zapato,” or shoe, is masculine. This rule is an intrinsic part of not only the Spanish language but all other Romance languages, such as Portuguese, Italian, and French. Additionally, the term LatinX neglects the fact that the plural word “Latinos” is already gender-neutral and inclusive of everyone. The phrase “Latinas” refers only to women, which can still be used in the appropriate context. The word Hispanic is also gender neutral. So why create a novel term or alter an existing word to solve a problem that does not exist? According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2020, only a fourth of Latinos living in America were aware of the term LatinX, and only 3% ever use it. These meager numbers indicate that Latinos in America do not identify as “LatinX.” The Hispanic community has outright rejected this expression. Opposing the native tongue spoken by millions of people throughout centuries is not only ridiculous but also insulting. Why, then, is the term being used in every major company, corporation, and organization when referring to Latinos? Even LSU's Latin American Student Organization (LASO) refers to Latinos as “LatinX.” How has this linguistically obsolete term survived two decades of rejection from the very people it was meant to describe? The answer is simple: the continual push of the term in America by “woke” companies, organizations, and individuals. People at the grassroots level often feel obligated to use it because it is “politically correct.” This is the result of something I like to call “Woke Imperialism,” which stems exclusively from Western countries. But that is a topic for another day. After all this, you might wonder, “Should I use the term Latinx? Will I offend some people if I do not?” The answer is a loud and clear NO. In fact, by using this term, you are more likely to have the opposite effect, confusing or offending the very people you intend to please. Unfortunately, even if everyone stopped using LatinX today (not that actual Latinos ever did), it is still plastered everywhere Latinos are mentioned. Social media, mainstream news, checkboxes in application forms, and even student organizations use this term. Who gets to decide whether the word is used or not? This situation is remarkably similar to what happened with the term “African-American,” which was used to describe some people who had no African heritage. Although the term often wasn’t factually correct, everyone used it because it was “politically correct.” Maybe if we call people what they really are instead of trying to use “politically correct” terms and phrases, no more incorrect terms would be invented. You'd realize that your Mexican, Peruvian, and Cuban friends all feel included in the word “Latinos.” LatinX should be thrown into the trashcan where it belongs, along with all other “politically correct,” “inclusive,” fabricated words. The Wikipedia page for "LatinX" was also used for research purposes.
- Overturning Roe v Wade
On June 24th, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade with the landmark case, Dobbs v. Jackson. The Conservative wing of the court, including three Justices appointed by President Trump, voted in favor of striking down the case, while all three Democrat Justices voted to uphold it. This decision was a cause for celebration among the pro-life community, many of whom have dedicated their lives to the sanctity of human life. State Representative Blake Miguez, the Louisiana House Majority Leader, said, “Today is a huge win for pro-life advocates and Republican legislators who have worked tirelessly to protect innocent life in the womb. God bless America!” Roe v. Wade, decided in 1973, fabricated a Constitutional right to abortion through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states, “...nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without the due process of law;” Dobbs v. Jackson held that the United States Constitution does not grant any such right to abortion, overruling Roe v. Wade. This ruling restores the issue of abortion to be decided at the state level. The abortion argument has been one of the greatest controversies of the past few decades, with some believing that to restrict abortion is to restrict women’s rights, and others asserting that to have an abortion is equal to prematurely ending a human life. Now, the debate is to be decided once again by individual states, empowering the people to decide for themselves the morality of abortion. About half of the US is expected to outlaw abortion, with Missouri becoming the first state to do so shortly after the Supreme Court decision was announced. In Louisiana, a trigger law restricting abortion was enacted in 2006 and was set to take effect immediately in the event that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. This law prohibits all abortions unless the mother is at risk of death or serious injury. However, a Civil District Court Judge from Orleans Parish, Robin Giarrusso, issued a temporary block on this law until a hearing could take place. Several abortion groups filed suits claiming the law to be overly vague and unconstitutional. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry promised to fight Giarrusso’s ruling, declaring, "We would remind everyone that the laws that are now in place were enacted by the people through State Constitutional Amendments and the LA Legislature.” “Suit up,” Landry said to those looking to fight the abortion law, “I would tell you that if you’re in Louisiana, you’re in for a rough fight.” On July 8th, State District Judge Ethel Julien declined to extend the temporary block, clearing the way for Louisiana’s ban on abortion to take effect. Julien moved the case from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, where she says the case should have been originally filed. There, another Judge, Donald Johnson, set a new block until another hearing scheduled for July 18. According to Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti, the case will likely go all the way to the Louisiana Supreme Court. “Abortion clinics may get a chance to open again for a short period of time. But ultimately, I think, because of the issues raised by the vagueness, it’s going to be decided, again, by the legislature clarifying the law,” Raspanti said. In Louisiana, any attempt to permit abortion will likely be futile given the state’s long history of pro-life legislation. The reaction to Dobbs v. Jackson was mostly supportive in the state of Louisiana. US House Minority whip Steve Scalise, a representative from Louisiana, said, “This historic ruling for life is a day to celebrate, and after we celebrate this victory, pro-life Americans across the country will continue our work in legislative bodies to encourage a culture that protects life.” Hannah Poltorak, a junior here at LSU, explained her feelings, saying, “With pro-choice and pro-life, it’s simply not about the mother anymore. This potential child deserves a chance at life and should not suffer because of the mother- and father’s- choice.” Poltorak goes on to point out, “If you’re not ready to be a parent, don’t have sex irresponsibly. Abortion isn’t Plan B, it’s taking God’s choice into your hands with irresponsible consequences. As a woman, I know that, and I act responsibly.” Not everyone in Louisiana was pleased with the ruling. A statement from the LSU group Feminists in Action (FIA) reads, “This decision erases years of work put forth by women to make decisions about their own bodies.” According to FIA, the unborn child in the womb is not its own person yet, but a part of the mother’s body. The statement goes on to say, “It disproportionately affects women of color and puts them in even greater risk.” FIA draws attention to the greater likelihood of women of color to have an abortion, with black Americans comprising 36% of abortions despite making up only about 13% of the population. In fact, in New York City, there are “more black babies killed by abortion than born,” according to CNS News. FIA’s reference to abortion’s effect on different populations within the US brings about another uncomfortable truth about Roe v. Wade; The decision was heavily driven by eugenics, the immoral theory of “racial improvement.” As Liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put it, “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” Ginsburg’s statement suggests that the original driving motivation of the Supreme Court’s decision to grant Constitutional abortion rights was to target those populations who they deemed less valuable to the economy or society. The ties between abortion and eugenics are undeniable. It doesn’t get much worse than the heinous statements of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, who wrote, “It means the release and cultivation of the better elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extinction, of defective stocks--those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.” The Feminists in Action statement goes on to say, “[Dobbs v. Jackson] is not a decision made by the people of the United States or for the people of the United States.” However, the Supreme Court decision reads, “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.” According to the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The “right” to abortion is not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states. Therefore, according to the Supreme Court, the Constitutional authority to permit or prohibit abortion is reserved to the states. If the Constitution truly grants the authority to regulate abortion to the states, it may not be the Supreme Court decision that FIA claims neglects the people, but the Constitution itself. “There is a lot of misinformation going around”, explains The Soapbox digital media director, Claire Neal. “If the opposing arguers put aside their differences and discussed the truths of the situation, it would result in a much less polarizing circumstance.” Kayleigh Kotter, a rising sophomore attending SELU, shares her opinion about the decision: “My first thought was ‘there is about to be a lot of screaming.’ Whether this decision was right or wrong, people were about to be very, very upset … People screamed when slavery was overturned, they screamed when women’s suffrage came, and they will scream now.” Kotter puts the entire circumstance into perspective, saying, “Then I wondered what the child born because Roe v. Wade was overturned would think. The ones who would have narrowly escaped death if their abortion appointment had been today. Would they regret living? Somehow, I doubt it. “But I guess the great thing about being alive is that they’d be able to decide for themselves.”
- Surviving Cancel Culture
On Thursday, January 27, 2022, one student noticed the words, “POC [People of Color] Climbing Night” displayed on an LSU UREC television. Dismayed, she snapped a photo of it and posted it to her private Snapchat story with the caption, “Segregation at its finest. The student, who will be referred to as Rachel for confidentiality, is an openly conservative sophomore who has never been shy about her views. She is confident in her thoughts and often shares them on social media. “I am very firm in my beliefs; I am not swayed by people’s opinions or other people’s agendas,” she said when retelling her story. Despite her confidence in herself, Rachel’s reputation was jeopardized when the wrong person saw her post and took matters into her own hands. This was the first time Rachel herself would be canceled. She posted what she believed online, and those sensitive to the subject, consciously or not, ruined her reputation. Katelyn, a girl who Rachel has never met, reposted the story portraying Rachel as a racist. This accusation resulted in Rachel being harassed, threatened, and even kicked out of her sorority. “(Sorority name), come get your girl,” Katelyn posted on her public Snapchat story. Only two hours after the story was posted, Rachel was asked by her sorority to remove the post. However, despite the short amount of time it was up, her post had already spread like wildfire. The sorority’s historian was notified of the situation and had a call with Rachel to understand her perspective on the situation. Rachel explained that the sorority merely wanted to “clear their name from the situation,” and they hardly cared about her. A week later, the situation had only worsened. "YikYak," the notorious anonymous blogging app, was flooded with Rachel’s name, Instagram, and the sorority’s name and letters. While this was against Yik Yak’s anti-doxing policies, there were just too many comments flooding the LSU area to remove. One particular post garnered many “upvotes,” defaming Rachel and posting her personal information to the public. The comment said, “That racist in (Sorority name) is [Rachel] and ngl most of the PC class doesn’t like her nor support her racist ass views.” A more astonishing comment read: “[Rachel]who? We need last names people?? *waves Glock.*” Rachel was truly feeling the heat of the “cancel culture” that she had heard so much about. “People are intolerant,”she said. They were slandering her name when she did not know them, and they did not know her. Concerned by the attention, Rachel confronted Katelyn and asked her why she had called her out in her post; she was only met with animosity: “Babe, listen,” she began, “I’m not sure if you just don’t know, but POC have had it a little worse than white people.” Rachel finally spoke in her defense, citing the definition of segregation as, “The literal act of segregating, the action or state of setting someone or something apart from other people.” Katelyn replied, “You are closed minded. And that’s such an issue...” “It was just a big mess,” Rachel said of the situation, although there were some silver linings. Even though she was canceled, she stood up for what she believed in and refused to back down.She addressed the toxicity of social media and how it went from being a good thing to a bad thing very fast. “The people that are screen-shotting this, just like the black squares, are doing it because they have the savior mentality.” Rachel emphasized that the people who had harassed, threatened, and called her names were mostly internet trolls who knew nothing about her or the situation. Rachel recalled herself on the phone with her mother saying, “Mom, this is happening to other people. I’m not a big fish in a little pond right now." She recognized how rare it is to have this opportunity to make a difference in the way people see free speech. She also knew that she wasn’t alone. Finding people in Turning Point USA, she said, helped her find her “own little escape.” Turning Point is a non-partisan, non-profit that focuses on the support of students with conservative American values on all campuses around the United States. She emphasized that Turning Point was essential to overcoming her situation, and she was lucky to have had people that had her back. “I’m glad it’s happening to me, but I’m not glad it’s happening in general. It’s an experience that I wouldn’t go back and change.” Please note: the Soapbox is NOT affiliated with LSU, nor is it affiliated with on-campus organizations (such as Turning Point USA). We are an independent newsletter located in Baton Rouge, catering to LSU students.
- As crime rates rise, what should LSU students do to feel safe?
Baton Rouge is no stranger to crime, with a crime rate of 57 per 1,000 residents according to the analytics company, Neighborhood Scout. To put that into perspective, that is about 2,050 documented crimes for the entire student body of LSU. When looking at a map, one will notice that Louisiana State University sits right in between two areas with especially high crime rates. In 2019, “LSU reported 207 safety related incidents involving students.” This should come as no surprise, since LSU students are constantly receiving emails about stolen goods or violent acts on or near LSU property. The severity of the crimes in these notifications, however, is beginning to escalate. Just a few weeks ago, every LSU student received an email of a shooting at the Ion Apartment Complex, located across the street from the West Campus Apartments and the Beach Volleyball lot. The escalation is not only restricted to the immediate surroundings of our campus. In February, a shooting at the Mall of Louisiana took place, leaving two people dead. Various national news outlets have reported on this increase in local homicides, bringing the severe issue to light. But what safety measures is LSU taking to make campus safer? Of course, Louisiana State University cannot control what precautionary measures off campus apartment complexes take. However, there are several precautions LSU has taken, and still can take, to keep the grounds safe. Some of these precautions include self-defense classes offered at the UREC and various hotlines to call after an accident. Although these measures are a strong start, many students feel more preventative measures may need to be enacted as well rather than just remedial. One important area that LSU could focus on would be making students feel safer when walking through campus at night. A program many students have voiced their preference for enacting is the “Blue Light System,” where alarms would be placed throughout campus for students to access if they felt they were in danger. These alarms would alert campus police and send them to the student immediately. Although some argue this would not be the most efficient option, and that it could be misused, many people feel it is an important feature the school should incorporate to create a safer campus for Louisiana State University Students. Nonetheless, students should always be acutely aware of their surroundings and continue to voice their concerns over their safety to the administration to enact change.
- LSU Military Museum Grand Opening
The evening of April 7th, 2022 marked the Grand Opening of the William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum. The museum is an impactful site that memorializes LSU’s heritage as the “Ole War Skule.” The grand opening was a terrific event, with attendees witnessing a flyover, a march of ROTC Cadets, several impactful video salutes, and remarks from both LSU President William Tate and Governor John Bel Edwards. Governor Edwards said, “I had the honor yesterday to attend the grand opening of the William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum. Over 1,700 names mark the rotunda of the museum, each representing a Louisianan who made the ultimate sacrifice. May we never forget their service.” The Military Museum is located inside Memorial Tower, one of the oldest and most sentimental buildings on LSU’s campus. Dedicated to the Louisianians who died in World War I, the tower is the perfect location to house the museum. Colin Raby, a student employee at the museum, explains his thoughts on the tower by saying, “Memorial tower was built as a monument to the worst losses but has also served to highlight the best of LSU's influence while inspiring hope for ... a better tomorrow.” The Memorial Tower has gone through extensive renovations to modernize and create the ideal environment for the Military Museum. According to Raby, “The improvements and exhibits aim to reconnect visitors with the history they may not have known or have forgotten.” The museum is divided into two wings, the main entrance being the central doors of the tower. Raby describes the museum by saying, “Upon entering, visitors will see the beautiful balance of a modern aesthetic combined with distinguished military maturity, indicating the monumental displays of military history. The 175-foot tower looms large at the apex, both physically and [metaphorically], representing the impacts everything inside has on LSU and our nation's history.” He continues, “Then in the wings, above each visitor, like the aspirations they represent, are words that can embody both the best of the past and the best of the future, should we accept their charge. Words like ‘selfless, trust, fortitude, integrity, and respect.’” Each display in the museum’s gallery is uniquely influential. One display, seen to the right, features a mesmerizing statue of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman, a world-renowned Union General who was the first superintendent of LSU. Another memorable display is the letters written back home from soldiers. This display truly humanizes the soldiers who we venerate, as well as highlights the importance of their sacrifice and the extreme cost of freedom. When asked to identify his favorite display, Raby explains, “Picking a favorite display is difficult since every display relies on the contributions and actions of those who came before and highlights different parts of LSU alumni impacts.” Although Raby could not pick a favorite, he does describe one exhibit: a profile of Lieutenant General (Ret.) Russel L. Honoré. Raby recounts the General’s biography by saying, “A native of Lakeland, Louisiana, Honoré has received many military honors and led the Department of Defense's response to Hurricane Katrina and Rita and was asked to chair the investigation into Capital security infrastructure following the January 6, 2021 events.” Raby also elaborates on one of the exhibit’s quotes that reads, “’You were born free by accident. You live free by choice. To die free is your responsibility.’ These are particularly pertinent words since, in the middle of a museum, they highlight that the work done by the many distinguished people on display is not finished” Raby also tells the story of the “Long Purple Line,” which is a phrase that emphasizes the ties every LSU student has to those who have come before and who will come after. Leaving us with these words to contemplate, Raby says, “The great LSU Campanile serves as the physical capstone to the foundation we are charged with continuing to build on and improve, all while encouraging and empowering others to do the same.” Read Raby's full interview here:
- The Middleton Dilemma
On June 19th, 2020, the LSU Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to change the name of the Middleton Library. The library was named after Troy H. Middleton, a decorated veteran of World War I and II and president of LSU. As Lieutenant General during World War II, Middleton fought in both the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Normandy, recording more days in combat than any other American officer. His success and bravery in battle resulted in praise from both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and General George Patton. Under Middleton’s leadership, LSU procured a variety of low-cost housing units for the influx of soldiers returning to school after the war. Middleton also oversaw construction of a new library, football stadium, auditorium, and an addition to the LSU Medical School in New Orleans. Middleton was deemed a racist when he was disavowed by LSU, citing segregationist views and repulsive comments towards newly admitted Black students in a 1961 letter, which was written to University of Texas Chancellor Henry Ransom. Though the letter is a horrible stain on LSU and Middleton’s legacy, the resulting accusations are not entirely factual. In 1965, four years after the letter was written, Middleton was appointed to lead the Governor’s Biracial Commission on Human Relations, Rights, and Responsibilities. The board’s goal was to enforce the Civil Rights Act; as chair of the board, Middleton fought a segregationist senator’s vicious opposition to the appointment of Black attorneys and helped to ensure the enforcement of civil rights laws after a Black-owned gas station was burned in Alexandria. Middleton explained the commission’s work by saying, “The world is changing. The commission helped make the necessary change a bit smoother." -Troy H. Middleton According to an article published by The Advocate, for his work on the board, Middleton received various awards, including the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters’ Louisianan of the Year Award for “his accomplishment in racial peace-keeping.” Middleton also received the praise of Dr. Albert Dent, President of Dillard University, who said, “If ever a man changed, that man was Troy Middleton.” There are many testimonies to Middleton’s character from some of the most distinguished people of all races. Proponents of Middleton’s removal from the LSU history books claim that Middleton’s name is a source of frustration and stress for students at LSU, citing a petition circled by social justice groups on campus. However, as current LSU President William Tate puts it, “When you come and tell me you have people who are frustrated, I say to you, 'Have you actually gone out and asked people do they really even know what these names are?' Because most don't, including Middleton, which I was very surprised, given all the things that have been related to that.” Tate’s observation, obvious to any student involved in campus life at LSU, is that the names of buildings do not generally affect student’s happiness or education. With this information and the knowledge of Middleton’s achievements and redemptive work, one puzzling question that may come to mind is that of the true intention of the erasure of LSU history. To answer this question, it is best to take a broader look around the world. It can be said that Middleton’s removal is an example of a larger issue that has plagued the entire United States in recent years: the destruction of history. Though it began as toppling Confederate monuments, the movement has led to statues of American heroes like Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant being removed, defaced, or destroyed. Just last November, a century old statue of Thomas Jefferson was removed from New York City Hall in another example of this destruction. The destruction of history, and furthermore identity, is a tactic often used by forces looking to institute fundamental change, such as proponents of Marxism. This fact does not exclude the Marxist organizations on campus at LSU. The organization "Cooperation Rouge” is a self-proclaimed Communist group who seeks to “analyze Capitalism critically as a systematic problem.” Cooperation Rouge, under their previous name of “Democracy at Work,” was partly responsible for the removal of Middleton’s memorials. On the Communist organization’s social media, there is a pinned post called “Renaming LSU,” which advocates for the renaming of twelve other buildings on campus, citing incomplete information much like that used to defame Middleton. To quote the Marxists’ statement, "There are more problematic buildings on campus and we cannot create a culture that catalyzes systemic change if we do not address them" Cooperation Rouge is openly saying that they seek not to improve the culture of learning or students’ mental health at LSU, but to drastically change LSU and the country by implementing their radical ideology. Groups like this are infamous for destroying history because the very history they seek to destroy gives people a sense of pride, tradition, and most importantly, identity. To put it simply, a person without identity or principles is vulnerable to indoctrination. Regardless of the validity of Middleton’s removal from LSU’s history books, it is essential that we call out the removal of history whenever we see it. As long as we hold true to our values and both remember and learn from our history, we will never fall victim to the malevolent intentions of organizations such as Cooperation Rouge. As Ben Franklin said, our founding fathers fought to give us “A Republic, if you can keep it.” It is our duty as Americans to uphold the principles our country was founded on to fulfill the second part of Franklin’s statement, as generations before us have. This means exposing the plague of historical eradication to preserve the values of America: freedom of thought, speech, religion, assembly, and, of course, market.