Black Friday protests, Tax Reform Bill and political unrest in Zimbabwe


Regan Peterson

Night on its way, trees in the Klyde Warren Park are decorated with holiday lights in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 15. With the holidays closely approaching, the new tax reform bill claims that taxpayers can spend money on the holidays instead of in taxes.


Know: Richmond Heights police officers arrested one woman and six men at the St. Louis Galleria on Black Friday, Nov. 24.

Inform: The protests stemmed from an economic boycott effort announced in early November by African-American clergy and activists. Police treatment of African-Americans, bank loan practices and infrastructure neglect in north St. Louis are associated with the protests. Hiring minorities to build the new Delmar Loop Trolley caused organizers to target the loop, along with specific national retailers. Police arrested Bruce Franks Jr, a state representative and protest leader. The protesters walked through the mall’s corridors and many stores. The protest lasted about two hours. The protesters chanted “ No justice; no profit.” Police arrested Rev. Darryl Gray, one of the protest organizers. 50 other protestors and members of the news media waited in front of the St. Louis County Jail in Clayton.

Care: Citizens have the power to practice peaceful protest from their First Amendment rights. The fear of arrest shouldn’t shadow over the free liberty of speech. However while citizens have the right, being arrested is a consequence that comes with the freedom. After police officer Jason Stockley was found not-guilty of the first-degree murder of Anthony Lamar Smith, protests began in St. Charles one week later, Sept. 23. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department are under federal investigation for violating civil rights while handling protests, Sept. 29. Violations of civil rights included spraying chemicals at protesters and arresting them onsite. With protests constantly being regulated, the degree of practicing peaceful protest increases.


Know: The new tax reform bill could increase the national debt by $1.4 trillion in 10 years. According to Congressional Budget Office, with the Senate GOP’s tax plan, up to 4 million people could potentially lose their health care by 2019 and 13 million in 2027. The tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 per year, but the CBO report shows that the tax cut would only hurt the poor. With the bill set to expire individual tax cuts by the end of 2025, Americans earning $75,000 a year and below would have an increase in taxes, according to CBO. The divide between the rich and the middle class is shown in Senator’s efforts to reward high-income business owners.

Inform: The passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would reduce most individual income tax rates and change tax brackets, while greatly increasing the national debt. Current criticism over the tax plan stems from Republican Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and James Lankford of Oklahoma. For the third time in over a month, President Donald Trump will meet with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill to address the tax reform, Nov. 28.

Care: The GOP tax proposal shows to be unpopular between Americans, with 33 percent supporting it and 50 percent opposing it, according to a poll from the Washington Post. In Obama’s last year in office, the public began to appreciate the Affordable Care Act, with 52 percent supporting it and 39 percent opposing it, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, Aug. 11. The struggle between Democrats and Republicans remains in the White House. Democrats are adapting the tax bill eight years after Republicans were adapting ACA. While the divide couldn’t be more clear, a settlement between the two ideals is in the works.


Know: Zimbabwe’s military forced out the first president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, who ruled for almost four decades, Nov. 21.

Inform: Citizens and Parliament of Zimbabwe supported a military coup which took over the government and forced President Robert Mugabe to resign. As impeachment hearings began, citizens cheered when the effect from Mugabe’s economic policies could finally have a chance to change. While Mugabe ended apartheid, racial discrimination and segregation in South Africa, he ordered the Fifth Brigade, a formation of Zimbabwean soldiers, causing genocide. With an intention of eliminating 500 dissidents and followers of rival, Joshua Nkomo, the soldiers ended up killing over 20,000 people through concentration camps set up to systematically kill prisoners. While serving as a revolutionary politician, Mugabe had his faults.

Care: The political unrest destroys not only Zimbabwe’s economy (download Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe) but affects  international economies, as well. Inflation will make prices rise for things such as UGGS from Australia, designer clothes from France and or everything imported from China. Prices of items that citizens use on a day-to-day basis could increase dramatically from the inflation caused by political unrest in Zimbabwe’s economy. Political unrest doesn’t exist in isolation. America has always had an interest in spreading democratic principles from involvement in both World Wars to the anti-soviet approach in the 1970s.