Local Issue: the City of Chicago’s Segregation

Development: 

     The issue of segregation is a topic engraved in the country’s history. It was a national predicament that is reinforced by numerous factors. Throughout many stages of history, racial tension and segregation laws made it more blatant and obvious than the concealed ways it may manifest in today. A look at Chicago, for instance, a city among the greatest in population of the country, the abrupt changes it has undergone may have just been what led it to be the most segregated city in America. In 1970, Chicago’s high rate of middle class families sustained the city. Population shift has bred an income of white residents which has steadily risen since 1990. Meanwhile, the economic income of black residents have fallen below 1990 levels despite a climb at the end of the last century. An expert on the issue, Lauren Nolan, an economic development planner at the Voorhees Center has referred to segregation, redlining, housing policies, and discrimination as influences and causes of the inequality depicted. Ways in which people are affected by previous actions, such as housing and mortgage policies that deliberately limited the black residents confined to Chicago’s poorer neighborhoods have been observed. These effects manifest in limiting the people’s ability to buy homes and accumulate wealth. Many of the issues accumulated as a result and encompassed by segregation includes poverty and unemployment. Analyzed reasoning for the concerns has been drawn upon as the loss of manufacturing jobs on the south side of the city in the past 15 to 20 years. Declining incomes and higher poverty rates among blacks can be considered as effects of development through critical  confinement of the wealth and distribution.

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Current Status:

Future:

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International Event: Israel/Palestine Conflict

Development: 

     A partition between the entities of Israel and Palestine, regionally located in between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea resulted from failed state-building programs, countless UN negotiations, international summits, and failed peace plans. Efforts have not effectively led to the settling of sovereign claims over the land. The considerable dominant nation state of Israel, advantageous militarily and resourcefully, is up against a group of displaced, exiled Palestinians. West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and Gaza are places seized by the Israeli military since 1967. Israeli occupation limits Palestinians civil, political, and economic rights. Systemic discrimination and denial of basic freedoms are enforced by virtue of being the dominant entity. Israel’s establishment in the formal Palestine was embarked by negotiations made post WWII as a creation of a Jewish Homeland. Great Britain maintained colonial governing over the then state of Palestine (1948), and opposed the creation of an entirely Jewish immigration reform so not to disrupt Arab relations with the Palestinian majority. It held vital political and economic interests with Palestine, and regionally the population is majority Arab. Concerns for reactions were underestimated, but held to prove discontent. While the US pushed for the creation of Israel under Truman’s administration,in 1947 the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that divided both states. Resistance from the Palestinians began as 100,000 displaced people began to fill in the idea for a Jewish State. Issues of sovereignty and legitimacy as well as questions of religious significance surrounding Jerusalem are administered by the United Nations.

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Current State:

     Israelis and Palestinians project discontent through various demonstrations, attacks, and other violent and forceful methods. Citizens have taken it upon themselves to act when diplomatic measures are not favorable. In the meantime, the Middle East has been heavily influenced by authoritarianism and terror groups like al-Qaida and ISIS. This has brought support from powerful countries to redirect energy and resources toward Iraq and Afghanistan. The Arab Spring revolts in 2011 shifted world attention away from Palestine. Some Arab regimes found alliance with Israel more so than with Palestine. Options are mostly polarized among states, as most legitimize the state of Israel and recognize Palestine as a stateless nation of people. The stateless nation defines the identity of a Palestinian, with culture distinct to them but without an inhabitable collective diplomacy, or under a government with borders of its land. The Human Rights Watch extension of the United Nations oversees the action. Palestinian Authority and Hamas arrest activists who criticize leaders, security forces, or policies, and many face alleged torture in detention, raising concern for human rights compliance. Human Rights have been violated by measures taken diplomatically and by activists and civilians. The violence seems never ending as the border fence is heavily patrolled and Israeli authorities have considered it the “no-go” zone, because Israeli soldiers fire at those who enter it. They continued to shoot at the Palestinians inside the imposed “no-go” zone. The sea use is controlled, as Israeli imposed a six mile limit restriction on fishermen inside Gaza’s northern and eastern borders. The restricted access has been defended as to prevent weapons from being smuggled and restrict the no-go access, and prevent cross-border attacks.

Future:

     Solutions are still questioned and proposed, compromise and efforts toward it have worsened through the years. Central concerns include “promotion of democracy, human rights, freedom of the press, and non-violence among Palestinians, and peaceful coexistence and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.” Many powerful United Nations member states including Canada and the United States have failed to recognize Palestine as sovereign. As an option, a two-state solution has been discussed. In order for it to be effective, it would have to be a fair and lasting peaceful compromise, which does not seem viable given the excessive lengths gone to destruct each other. Essentially, for Palestine to move forward it would have to end terrorism against Israel, recognizing their right to exist as they were granted the liberty. Israel in turn must end targeted killings, end settlements on Palestinian land while protecting their homes, businesses, and infrastructure. Both sides hold heavy responsibility that may only be achieved as long as they’re held accountable. If a third party/embassy were to hold them accountable equally, as in both legitimized, it would most likely help with the process of building and sustaining two nations. As of 2016, approximately 70% of Gaza’s population of a cumulative 1.9 million relied on humanitarian assistance. Israel’s closure of the Gaza strip limited movement of people and of goods. The consequences are continued for the civilians in manifestation of separating families, restricting medicare access, and educational and economic opportunities are limited. The perpetuated unemployment and poverty has drawn international intervention, international actors seek to provide military aid, mostly to Israel. In 2016, the United States provided $3.1 in military aid to Israel and an opposed $400 million to Palestinian security forces. Though Trump has somewhat moderated his stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, shifting from the Israel support vowed through the 2016 campaign, a set signed 10 year $38 billion military aid deal was signed by the US and Israel.  

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National Issue: The Opioid Epidemic

Development:

     Easing human pain through medicinal opioids is derived from centuries of remedy methods and techniques. Medicinal opioids trace as far back as the sixteenth century as laudanum, an opium was prepared in an alcoholic painkiller. Though very effective and powerful, opiates can be highly addictive. Because of its partly recreational purposes, one of the most active substances in opium is morphine, which was named after the Greek God of Dreams, Morpheus. What helped ease (and addict) American Civil War soldiers in the early nineteenth century, as morphine began being extracted from opium in pure form, has now become a national epidemic. The uses and benefits are compared to the death and devastation of the highly addictive nature of opiates, most commonly abused as heroin. The epidemic has caused pressure on medical practitioners and government legislators and officials alike. The concerns are raised considering the growing abuse that struck with the accessibility of it, and several facts are drawn upon as causes and effects of the crisis. In 1971, President Richard Nixon first used the term “war on drugs,” the term influenced greatly the way that people think and react to drug abuse. The complex issue further complicates as implications of race are brought to light. The suggestions embark on how attitudes about prevention and abuse are manifested. Especially at the federal level, the opioid epidemic carries backstories in efforts to try and stop the use, or to limit it in certain regions, and with judgement on the intentions and viability.

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Current State:

The opioid epidemic, though largely influenced and an effect of many contributing factors, has a large scale effect that brings the nation down holistically. Its effects are definitive and madly destructive. In a NYT special report “inside a killer drug epidemic: a look on the nation’s opioid epidemic,” the severity of the epidemic comes to light as it is so commonly distributed. Shockingly, the drugs are smuggled throughout the country through interstates and out of “pill mill” clinics. But opioids include heroin as much as pain relievers used and available by legal prescription.  When taken for a short time, they be safe. Misuse comes in the form of overconsumption at once or without prescription because of the euphoric and pain relieving sensation. Some of the recent coverage of accounts reflecting the severity include overdosing in dollar store aisles, librarians training on how to help someone undergoing an overdose, and addicts speed dialing the only doctors in the county able to prescribe a medication. Public health officials remark it as the worst drug crisis in American history. Drug overdoses surpassed gun homicides in 2015 for the first time. With so many issues culminating from this one crisis, the role that law enforcement and health professionals alike play in addressing and controlling it becomes controversial and generally discussed. Essentially, one of the greatest being should it be an issue that is dealt regarding criminal acts, or is it an issue of victims falling into unhealthy lifestyles and is it up to the health community?

Future:

     Prevention and Treatment regarding opiates are long discussed and heavily influenced by many factors. Research continues on the links and topics of heroin and opiates for a better understanding of the complexities. Interestingly, cities have taken various approaches to the national issue, as it is distinct regionally and affects people differently. New ways in combating the issue include the consumption and treatment usage of laughing gas, trigger point injections, and a therapy harp rather than opiates in one New Jersey Hospital emergency hospital. This alternative may offer less risk of addiction and still provide the same help intended. At least in an emergency rooms, the treatments for fast acting painkillers rather than the accumulation of the opiates after procedural help seem like viable options. The creation of safe consumption facilities has also sparked controversy for the future of the opioid epidemic. Safe consumption facilities, in which addicts are permitted clean syringes and needles to inject themselves with, raise questions about how the issue might be even more facilitated and perpetuated rather than attacked. Essentially, the attendees, who are addicts, are provided those resources and permissibly able to smoke crack, or inject heroin, however, under supervised measures. These alternatives shape the way that one views drugs and drug consumption. The future of the opioid epidemic is ultimately dependent on the people’s discontent. Where the issues on the development and severity of consequential declaring a “war on drugs” had expanded itself, what people choose to do about the crisis now changes how to be aware and able to hold those accountable for the facilitation accountable.

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