Iman Baber

All my life, I’ve been told to help other people. To make a positive impact in our society and do good deeds. But also, to always enjoy and love what you are doing.

It’s why I joined the journalism program.

Writing is a powerful tool. It inspires and motivates. It can build and destroy empires. The raw, untamed power of words has always appealed to me. The idea that I can inspire and move so many people just through my voice, is just so amazing. It’s how I will use my right to free speech and a free press. An unalienable right as written by my country’s constitution.

A right that is being attacked, by none other than the man sitting in the Oval Office.

Donald Trump has recently adopted a new favorite saying: “Fake News.” A phrase that is, no doubt, emotionally jarring and shocking. One that he blatantly hurls at media outlets across the nation.

Our constitution outlines the freedom of press and speech as a fundamental aspect of our country’s foundation.

A democracy relies on a diverse and strong press functioning as the eyes and ears of the nation. When the president and the administration attack this foundation, they also attack a fundamental right outlined in the very document they claim to hold so sacred. They attack the freedom of the people by restricting the very connection between the citizens and their government.

While most may blow off the President’s statements as drama or empty rhetoric, we cannot deny that these seemingly harmless words will only rip the seams of our country even deeper. People won’t know who to trust, cultivating the perfect breeding ground for ignorance and chaos.

So today, I am wielding this right given to me by this country. I will raise my pen and my voice, stand with my fellow journalists, and fight these blatant statements. The press is one of the many pillars that keep this country standing. Its a voice by the people for the people. And we will not back down. Today, I’m using my voice. Will you use yours?