Author Archives: Ashley

About Ashley

Hi, my name is Ashley! I am majoring in International Business. Feel free to contact me through my email address: ashley.bedford and I hope you all have a great day!

UT Student’s Opinion about J. Davis Petition

Sanders, Bob Ray. “Don’t Remove Jefferson Davis Statue – Rather, Learn from It.” Star-telegram. Star Source, 15 May 2015. Web. 11 Aug. 2015.

Chevelle, Innocent.  “NO! Do NOT sign his hateful thing. The premise that Jefferson was some kind of white supremacist is wrong, absurd and doesn’t have any factual basis. Davis and his wife adopted an abused orphan black child named Jim Limber Davis who lived with them and their own children. After the war, Union soldiers kidnapped and murdered Jim Limber. Davis was a US hero of the Mexican War, a US Senator, US Secretary of War, and was elected as president of the CSA. This was truly a great man who should be admired, similar to George Washington. People such as Zim are free to make fools of themselves, as he has done with this moronic ‘petition’.” Facebook. 17 May 2015. 10:32am [11 August 2015. <>]


A major incident recently hit the media. A teenage boy named Dylann Roof murdered a group of African Americans at a local bible study in South Carolina. When investigators researched him, they found Roof with Confederate pictures. Following the release of Roof’s Confederate pictures, a new wave of hatred towards Confederate-related symbols rose up in America. Along with the many other attacks towards these symbols, most University of Texas students oppose the Jefferson Davis statue being on campus. As the majority wishes this statue be removed, other students wish that wed keep the statue on campus. A current UT student, Innocent Chevelle, poses herself as an unreliable source when she uses fallacies to claim that the Davis statue petition is wrong.


j davis

This is where Chevelle’s post and Zim’s comment can be found.


Chevelle uses an Ad Hominem Argument to open up. “The premise that Jefferson was some kind of white supremacist is wrong, absurd and doesn’t have any factual basis,” she attacks Zim for assuming that Jefferson was a white supremacist. I disagree, because Jefferson spent a good portion of his life fighting for slavery to be legalized. I feel that her argument is illogical, because she gives no clear evidence as to how Jefferson was not a supremacist. She goes on by saying,”Davis and his wife adopted an abused orphan black child named Jim Limber Davis…After the war, Union soldiers kidnapped and murdered Jim Limber Davis,” (Chevelle). Chevelle doesn’t thoroughly explain how this adopted slave ties back to Jefferson not being a white supremacist. As the readers, we don’t know if Thomas Jefferson adopted a slave because he wanted to use that slave for house work. We don’t know if he actually wanted to save a slave from working under someone.


Chevelle appropriately labels Davis’ roles, which is acknowledged by the reader. Her use of facts and appeal to ethos makes her more credible. Chevelle uses Name Calling by saying, “ People such as Zim are free to make fools of themselves, as he has done with this moronic ‘petition’.”. Although, Chevelle feels that Zim is a fool and moronic for commenting about the petition, personally attacking Zim leads her to lose her credibility. Chevelle also fails to explain herself. Why did she feel that his petition post was moronic?


Overall, Chevelle based the majority of her argument on fallacies. This does not make the readers feel she is a trustworthy person, because she uses little evidence and no explanations to backup her claims. The audience, people who read this blog, should not believe this post. Chevelle’s claim is not backed by any evidence that would support her argument. Also, her heavy appeals to pathos overwhelm readers, because they feel as though Chevelle is just talking randomly in an angry way and not organizing her reasons in the right way. Appeals to pathos are heavily shown when Chevelle demeans the author through her use of negative adjectives and the style she writes this in.


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Issues in Baltimore Run Deeper than Racism!

City Life Image

This is a picture in the article “City Life” by Jelani Cobb. (Press the image for a clearer view.)

Cobb, Jelani. “What Racism Has Done to Baltimore.” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 11 May 2015. Web. 03 Aug. 2015.

This text is useful in relation to the Donald Trump tweet, because it helps others see what’s behind the Baltimore riots. It shows how the history of major issues, mainly aside from racism, could lead to this event happening. This article would be a good introduction and background information source in my paper and would highlight Trump’s flaws in credibility even more by showing how he lacks knowledge on the history leading up to the main issues of the Baltimore rioting. He only made racist remarks and failed to take into account the other issues within the city, tearing down his credibility.

As a New Yorker journalist, History Professor at The University of Connecticut, and author of “The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress.”, Jelani Cobb has successfully established himself as a reliable journalist in society. Regarding the Baltimore riots, he wrote the article “What Racism Has Done to Baltimore” in hopes of shedding light on the real issue at hand. “For a long time, our domestic affairs, or at least the portion of them most explicitly tied to race, have resembled a nightmare doomed to be repeated until the underlying conflict is resolved,” (Cobb 1). Background Information on Jelani Cobb can be found here. This article is credible, because the author has the knowledge and awards to write this article. He also illuminates Baltimore’s racist history and the real issues underlying the the riots in Baltimore.

Cobb starts off by mentioning a piece of Obama’s speech. He specifically calls out Obama’s statement, “This is not new,” because it shows how this crisis was always around and how we shouldn’t treat this as a new topic (Cobb 1). He also states that, aside from one, there are different instances in history in which riots against police tactics that have occurred within the African community. Cobb uses a statement from the police department to argue that the use of aggressive police tactics have become a main concern in Baltimore and society (Cobb 1). The author agreed with the mayor of Baltimore that the zero-tolerance policy has decreased the amount of crimes and homicides. That author has trouble with the amount of African American homicides occurring, because currently it is at a 189 out of 211 (Cobb 2). This highlights the real issue of “black-male-death” rates in that area, not “a homicide problem” (Cobb 2).

The author iterates that although race is an issue, regarding the Boston riots, that there are issues that extend beyond race. Sharing more historic information on Baltimore’s racism issue, Cobb uses the example of the first African American in 1910 to own his own property on a white block and how whites argued that would drive property values” down (Cobb 3). With this example, Cobb points out that the area of Baltimore started of majorly racist towards African Americans. As the city’s popularity decreases, the rate of African Americans grew within the city and shifted the area to being more crime-stricken and poor. Race isn’t a main issue, Cobb explains, but the area’s popularity worsening making the bad areas continue to stay that way and never progress.

The last thing Cobb points out is that there is a major issue with the securing of “poor, crime-prone communities” (Cobb 3). It’s not that African Americans don’t have an opportunity to impact their area through leadership positions in that area, it’s just that the cycle of bad communities in the city of Baltimore stays unchanged. He also compares Ferguson with Baltimore. Cobb brings up that Ferguson had more of a racist issue, not allowing blacks to progress in that area, whereas Baltimore has a cyclic issue of a poverty mentality.

This argument points out the history leading up to major issues associated with the Baltimore riots in early 2015 and hopes to get to the root of the problem beyond racism. The history of Baltimore explains how the city got to where it is now and in my paper would lead to the reason why Donald Trump would choose to tweet about the issues in Baltimore now.

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Hey Trump! Aren’t you too old for Twitter?

Bever, Lindsey, and Abby Ohlheiser. “Baltimore Police: Freddie Gray Died from a ‘tragic Injury to His Spinal Cord’.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 Jul 2015.

Dur, Jessica, and O. Network. “Donald Trump Slams ‘African American President’ on Baltimore Riots.” USA Today. Gannett, 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 Jul 2015.

Hilton, Perez. (@PerezHilton). @realDonaldTrump That’s not even subtly #racist of you. It’s overtly racist and disgusting!” 28 Apr 2015, 3:15 p.m. Tweet.

“Policing Baltimore’s Police.” The Baltimore Sun, 4 May 2015. Web. 29 Jul 2015.

Somanader, Tanya. “President Obama on Freddie Gray’s Death: “This Is Not New, and We Shouldn’t Pretend That It’s New.”” The White House. The White House, 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 Jul 2015.

Trump, Donald (@realDonaldTrump). “Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!” 27 Apr 2015, 9:38 p.m. Tweet.

Trump, Donald J. “Donald J. Trump: Biography.” Trump: The Trump Organization. The Trump Organization, 2015. Web. 29 Jul 2015.

DJT_Headshot_V2_400x400As a 2016 presidential candidate, international business owner, and joint title owner of The Miss Universe Organization, Donald Trump successfully created a name for himself economically in society (Trump 1). Recently, the media set its attention on the presidential race. One specific thing that has caught the media’s eye are the twitter posts made by Donald Trump over controversial topics and personal attacks towards others.

During the month of April, a young man by the name of Freddie Gray was pronounced dead a week after he was brutally acted upon by local police officers. In response to that incident, riots occurred that caused the city of Baltimore to undergo a strict set of temporary rules, like setting a city-wide curfew and having police in the streets to manage the riots (Bever 1). President Barack Obama, former law student at Harvard University and member of Illinois State Senate, also responded to this incident with how he planned to go about changing the police brutality issue in America (Somanader 1). After all of this occurred, Donald Trump resorted to Twitter sharing his views on Obama’s actions, regarding this issue.

Trump’s response to President Obama’s actions, regarding the police brutality issue and rioting in Baltimore, is not credible, because he addressed the president in a disrespectful way. He tweeted, “Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!” (Trump). Trump could not possibly understand or relate to the “thugs’” lives and the environment that they live in everyday (Trump). As a multi-billionaire, Trump came from an affluent family of five and his parents could afford to send him to boarding school. Throughout his whole life, he has always been affluent and never had to worry about the problems that “thugs” in Baltimore face everyday (Trump).

imagesThe sarcasm in “our great African American President” is very apparent and comes off as a racist notion from Trump (Trump). With his twitter post, he means to say, “If the president is so great, why did he not end the rioting and positively tried to impact that city, as opposed to allowing policemen to guard the area? Why did he allow the citizens, specifically people of color to ruin the city with riots?” Our President, Barack Obama, is indeed African American. Race should not have been a factor to bring up if one was to speak about this issue. Race has nothing to do with leadership effectiveness. One could be white, black, green, or blue and still be a great or even bad leader. Condoleezza Rice is an African American woman who was deemed one of “America’s Most Influential People” by Forbes because of her political and military related contributions to society promoting peace between many different nations. Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina to be promoted to the Supreme Court. She impacted society through her votes on major issues in defining major laws in the Constitution. Her being a Puerto Rican and American has not affected her ability to serve as a Supreme Court Justice in our country. Our president has served two presidential terms, unlike Trump. Which shows that he knows exactly what he is doing and what he can and cannot do, regarding this issue. He also has so many issues that pull on him daily, so for Trump to call him out on this one issue when clearly Trump hasn’t done anything to reduce his issue, makes him look like a joke to others.

hilarious trump meme2Blogger and Television star, Perez Hilton, responded to Trump’s post, “@realDonaldTrump “That’s not even subtly #racist of you. It’s overtly racist and disgusting!” (Hilton). Hilton also is Caucasian, has been affluent all of his life, and can relate to Trump’s life, but his views on this tweet are different. Perez Hilton discrediting this post highlights the pure ignorance of Donald Trump’s tweet and discredits it, even more than it has discredited itself. Also, writing a tweet about a very sensitive issue, such as Baltimore riots and police brutality comes off as an immature move for a politician. Twitter generally has a younger, “hip” and “up-to-date” demographic compared to Facebook. This would be viewed as an amateur move, because typically young people use Twitter as an outlet for their problems. Donald Trump tweeting this would make society think that he is a young boy ranting ignorantly about an issue that doesn’t even relate to him. Donald Trump’s content and the place that he shared this content, regarding this Baltimore issue, is very inappropriate for a sixty nine year old politician who should be American’s role model.

Trump argues that “our African American President” did not do his job effectively (Trump). He should have contained these “thugs” drevilqmrioting in Baltimore and “positively” impacted the citizens, also known as “thugs”, in this community (Trump). Through other tweets, From a Republican standpoint, Trump argues that the highest taxpayers, high class citizens, are expected to rebuild the city destroyed by these “thugs” (Trump). He blames the law enforcement officials for allowing Baltimore riots to happen. He bashes the Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, because she also allowed this rioting to happen as a retaliative cry for help.Trump also gives advice to President Obama to bring “both sides together” in Baltimore, basically calling for peace, in which he attempts to redirect the president of the United States on this issue (Trump). Donald Trump speaks for the affluent, potentially Caucasian, American who feels that Obama has not done enough on this issue and wishes that he would have contained the city better so that the wealthy elites don’t have to go out of their way to pay for the damage that is done.

-RS3 written by Ashley Bedford

***Just for laughs.***

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From Hip Hop to Conspiracies, Let’s Talk Communities

         *Quick Disclaimer: This post is super long and I laughed at myself writing this. So feel free to laugh at me while reading this.*

710441 When people initially look at me, they assume that I listen to Taylor Swift, go to Starbucks everyday, and am super rich. Why do people think this? To be honest, I’m still asking myself this everyday, because none of those assumptions are true. I hate Taylor Swift. I hate coffee and prefer tea without sugar. Let’s be honest, if I was rich, I would have started a company, like Paris Hilton did, and just get richer from there. I wouldn’t come to UT. (I’m not hating on UT, I love it here!) My name is Ashley Bedford and I belong to “typical” and “non-typical” communities.

hqdefaultIf someone were to go on my Spotify, they would find a bunch of Hip Hop and R&B music. Since I am African American, this music choice should be a given, right? Actually, no. When I was a young girl, I would go places with my friends in their parent’s car and when they turned on the radio, a hip hop song would come on. 102.3 The BEAT was the radio station of choice. I just started moving to the rhythm and fell in love with how upbeat the music was. I never paid any mind to the lyrics back then, but nowadays I try to be more attentive to it. Keyword, try. I also fell in love with Hip Hop music, because my friends and I could dance to it. Whenever I would sleep over at Haley’s house, my best friend, we would rant about our lives. Then, we’d turn on the jams and completely lose ourselves in the music by dancing. People look at me and think, “Oh, she’s too pure for Hip Hop music,” because of how proper I speak and act. I don’t ever understand the assumptions people come up with, but I just roll with the punches. Hip hop music is a pretty big part of my life. I listen to it when I’m doing homework, when I’m cleaning, when I’m mad, and when I’m bored. Without it, I would have many boring, uneventful days. Being African American does not limit my music taste. I listen to alternative rock, bandas, salsa, french, and remixed music. I’ll even play jazz and classical music sometimes. Race has nothing to do with music taste.

I also belong to the community of conservatives. Many people would not think that I’m a conservative person, at first, because I’m young. The general stereotype is that all young people are “young, wild, and free” liberals. In my case, only being young fits me.

Starting at the age of three, I was influenced by my father who worked tediously to instill core values and morals in me. To this day, I keep many of those values and morals dear to my heart. He taught me during car rides and at different restaurants, that God should be number one in my life and the world that we live in is reverting to evil, like Sodom and Gomorrah. This is going to sound super crazy to some people, but personally, I’ve found that most things my dad tells me are true. He would always give me bible lessons. Through those lessons, I would uncover truths about my life and the world around me that I would have never discovered, if it wasn’t for him showing me. I get a lot of my observing and picky tendencies from him. He always taught me about the power of observation and how shifts in our society lead back to the bible.


It all sounds like conspiracy theories to others, but it’s very real to me. My dad told me that our world is full of lies and deceitful behavior, which directly contributes to me being more conservative than liberal. I used to shrug him off, but one day I found evidence to backup his claims. It was pretty mind-blowing! For example, many people believe that most of the food we eat is acceptable for our bodies and couldn’t harm a fly. I discovered, through research, that the mass production of corn in our foods, GMOs, are not good for us and that there are various carcinogens in everything we eat. Basically, we are killing each other off (mainly businesses that manufacture these cancer causing items) and the medical industry is profiting on people who are getting cancer. It’s a repetitive vicious cycle, actually. People typically shrug me off, but if you look close enough, our world isn’t the “rainbows and sunshine” place that everyone makes it out to be.

I went to Golden Coral one day, paid to enter the building, got food, then sat down. Well when I got up to get more food, I took a minute or two to just observe my surroundings. I saw a bunch of people scarfing down food, like it was a “dog-eat-dog” environment.  This directly ties to the book of Revelations and the end of the world. Tying that back to the earlier example, carcinogens lie in that food. Too much of it could potentially lead you to a hospital bed. I worked on limiting my portions ever since.

Enough about my “crazy” conspiracies.

Just because I classify with the conservative group, does not mean that I don’t share anything with liberals. I’m pretty liberal about the death penalty issue. I think it should be abolished, because I’m all for emphasizing the importance of life and living. I’m also liberal about the environment and gun control issues. We should care about our environment, because we live here. We should also abolish guns for citizens, because I promote peace. There is power in our hands and what we put in it should matter. If you put a pencil in it, that hand has the power to write beautiful, uplifting words. If you put a gun in our hands, that gives us the power to end the lives of others by force. Lives are precious, not something to be toyed with. Of course, one could say, “words are powerful too and one could write bad words that could lead to someone’s death,” true, but a gun is more direct. If you pull the trigger, you could end a life, against their will,  right on the spot. If you write something harmful, it is up to that person to react positively or negatively.

Alcohol-Drugs-Sign-PKE-14463_150 I also haven’t experienced many things that society deems as bad to do, like smoking and drinking alcohol. It’s just a personal decision that I made to not participate in these things. I personally don’t think others should participate in them either, because they have seriously negative effects on our bodies and brains. Everyone can have a great time without a stimulant to aid them. I feel that the body is a very important part of us and we should treat it with care. This has a lot to do with how conservative I am as well.

Also, just because I have conservative views does not mean that I will keep these views forever. I have conflicting views sometimes, but recently I’ve been digging into the root of my beliefs and am starting to define them as they are now. Many people think I’m mature because I observe our world and respond differently than many other young people do. I take that as a compliment, but i’m still a work in progress, just like everyone else. I’m certain that Hip Hop music and God don’t match, judge me as you please. I’m certain that many of you have contradicting actions and values in you lives as well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARegarding hip hop music, I recently got into DJ-ing and have been looking into the Texas Electronic Music Club. There, I could learn how to take hip hop music and make catchy remixes from them, because I also love remixes too. I could find more experienced people who would be willing to show me the basics of DJ-ing, like how to make a loop. I’m sure that many students are talented in making remixes. To top it off, my dad used to DJ and make new beats. He gave up wanting to be a famous DJ in the nineties, but that’s a another story for another day.

I found a club called, “Young Conservatives of Texas – University Chapter”. It is a club I could go to and have people who believe in the same principles that I do. I could have a student to talk to you and relate to me on political issues. I could even have someone to debate with, because I share many liberal ideals as well, just not as many as conservative ideals. There I could formulate new opinions and aspects on different issues. I could also continually educate myself on “hot topics”.

– Blog Post 2 written by Ashley Bedford


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Leniency, Please!

Slodysko, Brian. “Law Enforcement Stance on Pot Starts to Shift in Louisiana.” The Louisiana Weekly, 18 May 2015. Web. 19 July 2015.

Brian Slodysko, a thirty-two-year-old who received his degree in journalism and contained experience in writing about crimes and courts, wrote the article titled “Law Enforcement Stance on Pot Starts to Shift in Louisiana,” on May 2015. Slodysko speaks on the strict marijuana policies in Louisiana and the effect these policies hold on citizens’ prison sentences and, ultimately, their lives. He pinpoints that despite the unchanging policies, citizens seem to hold a “change of heart” when it comes to lightning marijuana charges on small possession amounts.

Recently, the state of Louisiana agrees they should lighten “sentences for people with multiple marijuana possession convictions” because they enforce too harsh of sentences on everyday citizens (par. 6). Slodysko argues that common citizens go to prison for long amounts of time simply because they possess a small amount of marijuana, which is very drastic. One could serve “up to 20 years in prison on your third arrest” for possession of marijuana (par. 2). Slodysko points this out to reiterate the harshness of Louisiana’s marijuana laws and wishes that Louisiana reconsider these laws to create a fair sentencing system for all. He also points out how ineffective these strict policies are by quoting Sen. J.P. Morrell, the response from politicians used to be “We are really tough on marijuana – and it is working,” but currently it’s, “Now we are having conversations about marijuana that were not even possible five years ago,” Slodysko knows these strict policies will evolve into  more lenient ones, with due time, and used Senator J.P. Morrell’s quote to highlight the contrast between what politicians said then compared to what they say now and he also uses an example, “Bernard W. Noble, a New Orleans father of seven, who was sentenced to over 13 years after he was arrested on his way to work for having two joints. Noble’s court battle came to an end last year after losing his last appeal,” to display the effect of these strict marijuana policies in Louisiana (par. 7,8, and 9). Using the example above, Slodysko knows that these marijuana policies got to the point that people’s lives and freedom are threatened by the mere possession of this drug and things have gotten out of hand and further goes on to compare this man’s sentence with a criminal who used drugs with bad intentions’ sentencing, which shows his point even more so this way.

There are benefits to creating more lenient marijuana policies, argues Slodysko, “The cash-strapped state – where one in 14 arrests is for marijuana possession – could also benefit, saving an estimated $23 million a year by reducing felony marijuana possession to a misdemeanor, according to Louisianans for Responsible Reform,” he presents an economic standpoint to even further back his claim that Louisiana should lower their strict laws (par. 16). Although, the citizens of Louisiana seem to want change, Slodysko states that change will not come so soon, “Measures to decriminalize marijuana, or mimic California’s permissive medical marijuana law, appear to be nonstarters,” and the harsh enforcement of marijuana laws in this state continues on (par. 18). Louisiana will be one of the last states to catch up to the decriminalization of marijuana, if that occurs, and the way Louisiana enforces their marijuana laws will continue on for a long time, Slodysko predicts.

Overall Slodysko states marijuana laws in Louisiana should consider lightening their laws to reduce citizens’ sentences, lower state costs regarding this law, and reduce the fear of losing your freedom, if caught with marijuana, within the community. I found this article useful, because Slodysko emphasized key points that I just now became aware of, such as common day citizens getting theft-level charges and the economic benefits of lightning marijuana possession charges, that pushes my personal viewpoint. Americans should not fear that they will go to jail for the rest of their lives, even if the amount of marijuana they got caught with was small, on any marijuana possession charge. Other politicians, in states with strict marijuana possession policies, would benefit from this article, because they could realize the negative effect those laws place on everyday citizens in their state and how restricting these laws are in relation to citizens’ freedoms. Instilling fear in people to get the result you want is not the way to go and should not be an option that someone uses to get what they want, this is also known as manipulation and this should not be acceptable.


– RS2 written by Ashley Bedford


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