Shea: Céad míle fáilte

Delaney Shea is a second-year studying pre-engineering. This fall, her column will focus on social justice and politics, while she is studying abroad in Ireland.

Delaney Shea, Columnist

Hello, all the way from Ireland, where I am currently studying abroad for a semester at University College Cork!

During fall term, I am excited to share with Corvallis my columns on international perspectives on America’s current state, along with the occasional travel anecdotes, tips and photos. When I return, presuming I avoid accidentally saying, “Top o’ the mornin’ to ya,” to a real Irish person and becoming hospitalized, I will be producing weekly columns on important issues, both domestic and international, at the intersection of social justice and political events. There will be a focus on local impacts of broader changes, and there will most certainly be an attempt to encourage thoughtfulness beyond knee-jerk reactions.

My goal, as a columnist serving the public, is to illuminate undeniably true facts in an understandable way that avoids sensationalism and bias. As these pieces are columns, my opinion will be present alongside the truths I report. However, I aim to present facts without bias, and present my opinions in the context of beliefs from all sides of any matter. I know that social justice and politics are quite possibly the top two things to steer clear of at family dinners to avoid serving awkward soup and pie a la regret. However, the fact wwthat it has become the norm to come into such discussions with self-righteousness and cynicism is itself an issue that must be addressed. The term “political correctness?” A great term to say in a crowded room when craving attention. Too often I catch people, first and foremost myself, basing whole opinions off one quote. My guess is that this stems from our culture where being wrong is a cause for ridicule, and where being able to speak empty words confidently is a huge asset. We are better than this.

I am currently trying a new approach to encounters with controversial issues, whether I am faced with them through one of various media networks, or through an informal conversation. This method is, subsequently, the way I will present them in my columns – it is with an intolerance for tricky writing and a tolerance for humanity. Let me explain. A presentation of an issue that tries to goad a viewer, to force an opinion or to purely demolish another viewpoint, is unreliable. And, kindness is essential. If one comes into a discussion with the desire to refrain from feeling angry, spiteful, smug or frustrated for as long as possible, and then some, and aims to reconcile viewpoints…that is how alliances are made. Perhaps this is a naive viewpoint. But for now, it is my viewpoint, and it is how I will be collecting and offering facts to readers on events such as protests in America, the effectiveness of anti-poverty policies, military movements of America in other countries and so forth. 

I will not agree with everything I publish. But, trust that I will be straightforward, earnest and happy to have to opportunity to provide some clarity in these confusing times.


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