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YPIE QuaranTimes Volume 9

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

October 15, 2020

By Danielle Yeboah, YPIE Scholar 2027

In this Issue​



A Prominent Need for Justice

President Trump Picks Amy Coney Barrett to Replace Late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

How Much In Taxes Are You Paying?

Entertainment and Lifestyle

The Golden Ticket


Our Voices Heard

Turmoil in Azerbaijan

YPIE QuaranTimes Staff


Salamatu Lawal, Editor-in-Chief

Alyssa Lee, Our Voices Heard Editor

Catarina Mendes, Politics Editor

Julia Azulay, Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor

Shemar Forbes, Layout Editor

Yismel Castro, Layout Editor


Yismel Castro

Shemar Forbes

Salamatu Lawal

Alyssa Lee

Catarina Mendes


Max Silverman

Welcome to the YPIE QuaranTimes

Produced by YPIE’s Journalism major, the YPIE QuaranTimes is a way for YPIE students to connect and share experiences during these unprecedented times. YPIE Scholars are using this time in so many creative, meaningful ways. As such, the YPIE Journalism major hopes to highlight all of the talent in our community through this publication.

Unleashed by Shemar Forbes, YPIE Scholar 2025


A Prominent Need for Justice

By Yismel Castro, YPIE Scholar 2025

The Breonna Taylor case is one that is well-known due to its egregious nature and the emotional impact it has created within the community. It is known that Taylor was a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was shot six times by the officers, and died in the hallway of her South Louisville apartment during an attempted LMPD search for drugs and cash that went wrong. The people have been demanding justice for 5 months only to be denied and start the fight once more.

The officers who were involved in her shooting were Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove. Even though the evidence to convict these officers for the murder of Breonna Taylor is beyond convincing, justice has been difficult to achieve. The only infamous officer who faced charges is Brett Hankison, 44, on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. In other words, he was charged for the shots that were fired outside of Taylor’s apartment, without any regard to her death. At 4:30 p.m. Hankison was booked into the Shelby County jail. He was released by 5:02 p.m. after posting a $15,000 cash bond.

Many individuals may ask themselves, “how can a case so palpably erroneous be denied justice?” Well, it may have very much to do with the people who are running our government. Donald Trump is known to be a racist individual, however, he is the president of the United States of America. Trump has appointed more federal appeals court judges to date than any recent president at the same point in their presidency; he has appointed 53 appeals court judges and 143 to the District Court.

So, why is this important? These judges will be serving for the remaining time of their lives. These are judges who meet the criteria that Donald Trump is looking for, people who will support his views. Our president will only be allowed to serve two terms of 4 years, however, these appointees will be serving for the rest of their lives. It matters because their say plays a major role in big decisions such as the Breonna Taylor case.

Individuals need to realize that when they are voting for a president, they are not just voting for the next 4 years. They are voting for many more years to come due to the power the president possesses in being enabled to leave their mark in government. Voting is important because when we vote, we may be able to help other Breonna’s who might need assistance to obtain justice.

Even though Breonna Taylor wasn’t able to get the justice that she deserves, you have the power to make sure that virulent events like this obtain the reprehensible recognition that is required. Breonna Taylor will forever be in our memory. Most importantly, she will act as a catalyst that will help us become more involved in the process of ameliorating the quality of our government.

President Trump Picks Amy Coney Barrett to Replace Late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Shemar Forbes, YPIE Scholar 2025

Upon the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Donald Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett as the potential new Supreme Court Justice. If confirmed, Barrett will be the fifth woman to serve in the Supreme Court and the youngest member of the current court at 48 years old. More significantly, Barrett’s confirmation would create a 6-3 conservative majority.

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Barrett grew up in a conservative family of nine, including her mother, father, and six siblings. She attended St. Catherine of Siena Elementary School and St. Mary’s Dominican High School where she received a Catholic education.

In many ways, Barrett’s Catholic and conservative upbringing has influenced her decisions as an adult. For instance, when Barrett was a law professor, she signed a statement that criticized then-President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act since it provided women with abortion services. She deemed this a “grave violation of religious freedom.”

During Barret’s three years as an appeals court judge, she earned the reputation of being an originalist and a textualist. In Kanter v. Barr, she claimed that someone’s status as a felon does not affect their right to bear arms. In Cook County v. Wolf, which dealt with President Trump’s “public charge” rule that made it difficult for immigrants on public assistance to receive green cards, Barrett insisted that the court is not responsible for handling controversial policy disputes.

Given Barrett’s conservative disposition, many Democrats are concerned that she will reverse many of Ginsburg’s progressive policies; therefore, there is uncertainty surrounding her confirmation.

Recently, there was a coronavirus outbreak in Washington that infected President Trump and spread to the Senate; however, Barrett has tested negative for COVID-19. Some Republicans are opposed to carrying out Barrett’s confirmation in light of everyone’s safety.

But with President Trump’s re-election in jeopardy and the possibility of the Republican Party losing its Senate majority, many Republicans are determined to confirm Barrett’s nomination, even if it means rushing it.

How Much In Taxes Are You Paying?

By Salamatu Lawal, YPIE Scholar 2025

$750 is the amount of federal income taxes paid by President Donald Trump during his first two years of presidency, according to a New York Times Investigation. The article also reveals that President Trump paid no income taxes in 10 of the 15 years they investigated. When asked about his income tax history, during the Presidential debate on September 30, the president responded by saying, “I paid millions of dollars of taxes, millions of dollars in income taxes;” however, President Trump has not stated when he will release his tax returns.

It is not surprising how little taxes the President has paid as this is something quite common among the rich. The top 1% account for about 34% of misreported income. Tax avoidance is extremely easy for the wealthy and we Americans rarely question it--rather, it is met with jealousy and admiration. We have normalized and become indifferent to cases like this, but this is far from being ethical. These tax avoidances only benefit the country’s top earners and leave everyone else poorer. In an interview with IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti, he estimated that a 15 percent surtax is imposed on us due to the number of Americans not paying income taxes.

It makes one wonder how it is possible for one to legally evade a decade's worth of taxes, negatively impacting those who may struggle to pay their own taxes, in a country that revels in its “equal opportunities.” It is quite ironic that a country that protested tax injustices such as taxation without representation is now allowing individuals to evade taxes while still being represented. The same America of the Boston Tea Party is now sitting idle while the rich pay less and everyone else pays more.

Entertainment and Lifestyle

Serenity by Shemar Forbes, YPIE Scholar 2025

The Golden Ticket

By Alyssa Lee, YPIE Scholar 2026

What were once subtle similarities observed in TV shows and films have now become a broadcasted spectacle.

The lack of diversity spanning characters that represent people of color in the media is frequently overlooked.

Oftentimes, Black characters--depicted through the use of extensive stereotypes--portray the role of the side, mostly in the form of best friend to the main character. Or, serve as a “token” in order to symbolize inclusivity.

These side characters are often put into place to serve no other purpose aside from comic relief. Stereotypes are exaggerated greatly in order to contribute to the overall entertaining demeanor of these characters.

In shows like “Everybody Hates Chris,” the mother figure, Rochelle (played by Tichina Arnold) was characterized to perfectly suit the “angry Black woman” stereotype. She was often loud, took seemingly extreme measures to discipline her children, and displayed irrational anger overall.

On the other hand, her husband Julius (played by Terry Crews) was described as a penny pincher. He would go to great lengths in order to save a few dollars, painting the idea that the family was in a persistent struggle to make ends meet.

The truth of the matter is that they were managing just fine.

Coupled with the fact that the show took place in 1980s Brooklyn, the negative stereotypes surrounding the Black community were only enforced even more.

Living in poverty is the reality for so many, including Black Americans. However, when this becomes the only depiction of Black families seen in the media for decades on end, it somehow transforms this TV show plot into a universal story. One that people begin to believe is the truth for the entire Black community.

Despite the fact that these pieces are works of fiction, they prove to be very harmful to the minds of young children of all races.

Many Black children grow up without the necessary representation needed to supplement their fragile minds. They often see one portrayal of themselves on television and know nothing outside of it.

Aside from them, many other children may grow up thinking that all people they come across who look a certain way will act in a manner similar to those characters on TV.

The idea of a single narration blocks individuality and feeds into formed prejudices and discrimination.

All people, young and old, need to see members from all communities portraying roles that were once indicative of a certain race.

Diversity is an essential part of creating literature, films, and other works of art that encourage growth rather than hinder.

Our Voices Heard

Turmoil in Azerbaijan

By Catarina Mendes, YPIE Scholar 2025

Recently, a long-standing conflict in the Middle East has once again erupted as Armenia attacked Azerbaijani civilians. The two countries, which have been fighting over the border region of Nagorno-Karabakh for nearly 30 years, are now blaming the other for this latest disruption.

While it appears that Armenia’s attack was uncalled for, the country claimed that it shot down “one enemy aircraft and one drone.” It also blames Azerbaijan for the killing of 150 of its soldiers.

While Armenia did attack Azerbaijan’s military, it also deliberately attacked its civilians, an act that can not be tolerated. 19 civilians have been killed and 55 wounded so far by the Armenian military, according to the Azeri prosecutor general’s office. Neighboring Turkey, Azerbaijan’s closest ally, has pledged its support to Azerbaijan should it be needed, condemning the attacks.

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that, "We condemn in the strongest terms the Armenian attack which is a blatant violation of international law and has caused civilian casualties. With these attacks, Armenia has shown once again that it is the biggest obstacle on the road to peace and stability in the region".

The countries’ long history of turmoil and disputes indicate that this conflict will not be easy to resolve. Both sides claim they are right, and neither appears to be showing signs of backing down soon. According to Alexey Malashenko, a Russian based chief researcher for the Dialogue of Civilizations Institute, this type of situation between the two countries occurs frequently.

Far from peace, the countries appear to remain locked in conflict as they have been for the past nearly 30 years. With this new development, it doesn’t appear it will be settled in the near future.

Learn more about the YPIE QuaranTimes.

Interested in contributing? Email or Max Silverman, YPIE QuaranTimes Advisor and Director, College Readiness.

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