Disney’s gay problem

Stefan Carlson, Photos Editor

Stefan Carlson, Photos Editor

In the recent live action remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” (see pg. 5 for a film review) Lefou, Gaston’s lovable, dim-witted lackey is Disney’s first openly gay character. However, this is a problem. 

Not that Disney’s finally featuring openly LGBTQ characters, it is about time Disney started including more under-represented groups in their movies, but the issue here is that Lefou is a hollow caricature of gay men.

Here, we see a flamboyant and promiscuous Lefou desperately pining over the straight, machismo villain Gaston as his sexuality becomes the butt of almost every joke. 

Not only does this further the false assumption that all gay men fetishize straight guys, it also implies that gay men are a merely minor presence, worth nothing more than a quick laugh.

Disney is a cultural institution, and to have Lefou, whose name literally translates to ‘the fool,’ as the first instance of an openly gay character is a step backwards. To have children perhaps experience their first instance of a gay character, a possible model of what gay people are like, is particularly concerning.  


Not only does this further the false assumption that all gay men fetishize straight guys, it also implies that gay men are a merely minor presence, worth nothing more than a quick laugh.


It is also concerning to see people championing his inclusion as a victory for progress. In no way is it progressive to include a gay character to be mocked while the straight characters fall in love. It is a big step backward. 

Disney’s so-called representation of gay men is symptomatic of a bigger problem in pop culture and entertainment:

The way in which Hollywood represents minorities with stereotypes. 

Diversity is championed in Hollywood, yet no major Hollywood players seem to want to get involved. And when they do, it feels like part of a calculated strategy, a move to create buzz or appeal to progressive demographics. 

Disney especially has a history of taking advantage of minorities, using their stories and their backgrounds for context and flavor, while whitewashing them to make them appeal to a broader, straighter and whiter audience.

And the inclusion of Lefou is just a twist on the formula. By making its only gay character into a joke, Disney has revealed how it really feels about gay people.

We need to hold Disney accountable, and remind ourselves that this is not what progress looks like. 

Greek Life is Getting Lazy

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor

As I drove down the main drag on Illinois State University’s campus this spring break, the columns and dipping porch facades outside the Greek houses created a sense of emptiness. The students are nowhere to be found, either inside recovering from a hangover or neck deep in homework in the library. The inactive homes are opposite of the modern fraternity/sorority image of hand-signs, weird hugs and some symbols I will never understand. Greek life’s materialistic bubblegum-sweet image is overtaking any of the true missions they are trying to make.

Focusing back at EC, our lack of Greek houses make representation of Greek life more of a matter of material possession rather than territorial presence. Albeit there is some territorial instinct over tables and spaces in the cafe, and you can see sororities slap posters, cheap paper banners and their bright colored shirts everywhere. The image is king — if you are Kappa, you are cool, and it isn’t based on your personality.

So what is adding to their reputation of being “cool”? It could be the events they sponsor for charity to some. However, I am not buying it. Glammed girls slouched at a table in the Frick Center with handmade banners looking for donations aren’t swaying my opinion. They have the power to do more, yet they are slacking by thinking being “Greek” is enough.

You barely hear about the actual services they do, but if you do it is on a T-shirt made for the event. Why must you parade your good deeds for “fundraising nights” or “awareness weeks”?  Bringing awareness is very different than actually trying to help a cause. Your vanity activism doesn’t add to your integrity — just your brand. 

What we do see are the nylon flags spread in your profile photos; your hand signals on the beach on Spring Break; your group photos out with the “sisters”. The phrase “throw what you know” comes to mind. Wow, you can make shapes with your hands. It isn’t fooling everyone, it is making some curious as to what their real goal is. It seems like there is more effort put into the frat parties and sister bonding we are shown on social media than the charity service that is a part of their “mission statements”.

“Bringing awareness is very different than actually trying to help a cause. Your vanity activism doesn’t add to your integrity — just your brand.”

Even our relatives pipe up when you talk about their Greek chapter with positive vibes. Some alumni still meet up years after graduating for golf and some beers to “remember the old times,” but why not a reunion to adopt another highway or work with troubled youth? It is not necessary anymore, they just are trying to reminisce on the things that mattered most to them. 

Bashing is not the goal here — but to make a point about what we see versus what we do. Some sororities are doing wonderful things for all, yet we aren’t seeing it at EC. This is a request to see Greek life stick out — it hasn’t always been about the letters you represent, so why is that the most important thing now?

Editorial: When faced with graduation hurdles, take initiative

As discussed in previous Leader issues, ECIC’s skills and development tags system sheds light on key issues for students, namely transfers, who are undergoing an unnecessary hurdle in meeting their graduation requirements. 

In 2011, the system drafted by faculty, some of whom are no longer a part of the EC community,  was implemented to promote a diverse and well rounded education for EC students. 

Ideally, a versatile foundation is necessary to nurture students into well rounded and employable individuals for the workforce, which is the center of focus for a liberal arts college such as EC.  

The integration of experiential learning and social responsibility, for instance, are arguably key aspects of one’s education that should be required. Students should disperse their energies into experiences beyond simple classroom lectures. 

Still, in an issue acknowledged by faculty, transfer students are finding themselves having to prolong their graduation time. 

In light of this, the system, while in good intention, tends to create friction between students wishing to graduate on time and the system that is making it an arduous task. 

The problem with the tags system is not the promotion of variety, but rather the requirement of arbitrary tags that transfer students feel they could have accomplished within their first two years of college. 

While some majors allow overlaps between courses, other majors are essentially left in the dust. Students are finding that courses taken at separate two year institutions or universities don’t meet these requirements. Thus, they are left with extra classes that will not necessarily contribute to their major.

Thus far, discussions on whetheror not to amend the ECIC system, or perhaps reconstruct it all together, has only involved a few members of SGA, one other student and faculty members. This is to be expected since a change in how the ECIC functions would constitute a major change in how professors construct their classes. 

Thus, beyond the stagnancy of executing this much needed change,  students must also take a meaningful role in the discussion.

The amended version of the ECIC system that was presented to faculty last November was meant to be retroactive, meaning that current students would be affected by the changes as well. Despite the relevance of this change to students’ graduation requirements, not a single student attended the meetings.

If a change to the ECIC system were to actually pass, the newly restructured system could be the difference between some students graduating on time or having to pay the tuition for an extra year at EC.

We aren’t necessarily suggesting a complete omission of this current system, but rather a redesign or simplification of criteria that allows all majors to be on the same page. 

In order to accomplish this task, we urge students to actively engage faculty, who are essentially in charge of drafting this redesign.

As part of the student body, we acknowledge the struggles of our peers in dealing with this affirmative yet inconvenient system. However, the voice of the student body must also come into play in allowing faculty to hear their voices of struggle and to reach a more fitting system that gives equal footing for all of its students.

Letter to the Editor

A message from a group of concerned students


President VanAken, 


The students of EC appreciate the student focus you have brought to our campus as well as the positivity you are starting to create. We all want what is best for our students and share the vision of making this campus as inclusive as possible. We support you in this mission. This message is not intended to be a commentary on political leanings, but rather we are giving feedback regarding a sentiment shared by many students and are asking for you to act. 

We recognize the hesitance to release any kind of statement, as it could be interpreted as promoting a particular political ideology. However, acting upon values the college possesses, not just reaffirming them, should not be seen as controversial. 

We waited for acknowledgment or a statement of support following the November election results. Many students, faculty and staff were shocked and upset by the outcome of the election, with the very real possibility of vitriolic campaign rhetoric translating to detrimental policy. We have waited and seen those policies play out, and we can’t wait any longer. Ignoring politics is a privilege many of our students do not have. 

Many other institutions across the country appeared more in tune with the climate of their student body and came out with statements soon after the election. Unfortunately, at EC, this statement didn’t come until recently. This created a sense, fairly or unfairly, that our college is out of touch with its marginalized students. Students should be made aware of what Elmhurst College is specifically doing to reinforce its commitment to inclusion, not just a simple reassertion of the college’s mission and core values. 

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Office of Student Activities, the Office of Intercultural Student Affairs, the Chaplain’s Office, the Niebuhr Center, Campus Security and International Education and International Student Services for providing programming and support to our students.

Thank you to concerned faculty members who in November penned a letter affirming that “Elmhurst College will remain a safe and humane learning environment where all students are welcome, where all may join in dialogue, and be respected and affirmed for who they are.” 

Many students don’t find our campus to be as safe and accepting as it’s promoted to be. An institution that is touted as a safe, inclusionary and diverse place should have its values on display now, more than ever. Our marginalized students need this campus to be a space in which they are free to learn and are safe from discrimination and hatred.

Although support has come from several pockets on campus, the passivity from administration has hindered productive dialogue focused on building community and unity. Rather than ignoring our current political climate, students should be encouraged to learn from people with different experiences, backgrounds, and beliefs. Our campus should be committed to denouncing hatred and learning from one another before prejudice and biases divide us.  

We recognize you are new in your role, and you might not be aware of what our students experience, but that does not mean they are not impacted by the changes going on in our country. From families being impacted by Executive Orders, to career anxiety over cabinet appointments, institutional leadership is crucial for making sure the wellbeing of all students is a priority at EC.  

We wholeheartedly agree with the previous opinion piece and ask for the administration to take a more active role in creating a culture and platform on campus for students, faculty and staff to talk with one another, and to listen. Our hope is that concrete action will transpire from these conversations and Elmhurst will be stronger for it. Reaffirming our college’s core values is a nice gesture, but it makes it seem as though our college is only abiding by those values when they are convenient. 

In light of an unpredictable administration, we would like to see timely, public responses from the college. We would like the college to be transparent and let all students know what the administration is doing to ensure our campus is safe and welcoming to all.  

Many want to know if EC will act as a sanctuary for undocumented students, as many of our peer institutions have. We want to know what the college is specifically doing to support students whose families have been affected by the travel ban and what the institutional leadership is doing to ensure students’ safety and wellbeing at the college, particularly members of marginalized communities. Institutional support is necessary to improve upon the student experience in this tumultuous time. 

We ask for a formal, public statement from the college to stand with its students and a commitment to diversity, inclusion and unity. We are inviting you to lead and asking you to believe in your ability to bring about change to Elmhurst.

When we look back on this point in history, we want to make sure our college was unwavering in its commitment to supporting students. If there was ever a time to be vocal about Elmhurst’s values, now would be it.  




Noah Pearson

Diana Puga

Mario Navarrete

Emily Soriano

Sara Fread

Natalie Barnes

Justin Hayes Douglas

Ixtel Viramontes

Estrella Vargas

Tristan Duff

Callen Williams

Perode Charles

To my future child

Stefan Carlson, Photo Editor

Stefan Carlson, Photo Editor

I stand here at a crossroads. Here I am, in my senior year of college, with almost an infinite number of possible outcomes ahead of me. 

One day I imagine I’ll be envious of my current position, but as of right now, the sheer uncertainty of everything is utterly terrifying. 

I’m afraid.

I’m afraid and anxious because of all these possibilities, of all the branching paths my life could take. That I will screw up; That I will let the people I love down; That I will let depression and apathy overtake me, as they have before. 

But despite the great fear I feel in the unknown. I know one thing. 

No matter which path I go down, they all lead to you.

I take great comfort in this. That no matter how I get to where I am when you read this, there is no doubt in my mind you’ll be there with me. 

Even now, the promise of your presence lifts a small weight off my shoulders.

One day I imagine I’ll be envious of my current position, but as of right now, the sheer uncertainty of everything is utterly terrifying. 

I’ve wanted you since around high school, I think. Before that, the idea of caring for any being except myself seemed incredibly illogical. 

I criticized your grandparents. They sacrificed so much. My dad worked too hard for too long trying to make sure we were comfortable. 

But I grew to admire them more than anyone else because, for them, and now for me, a life spent caring for someone else, is a life never wasted. 

I imagine I will take great joy in the simple things:

Your wide eyes, marveling at the world in all its novelty. Your small hands reaching out to grab hold of the things you do not understand. In this way, I will watch you learn.

I will also watch you grow. I will watch you grow into a world that is too big for you. Too horrible for you. Filled with people that will hurt you. That will try to convert you and conquer you with the power of their hatred.

This is selfish of me. I know. 

I know because I won’t always be able to make it better. I won’t be able to promise you that the world’s going to treat you right. I cannot even promise to always be with you. 

All I can promise is that I will always be there when I can and I’ll do my best for you. 

So here I am, at a crossroads. I have many decisions to make in the coming months, even in the coming days, but I take comfort in the fact that you will be there no matter what.

Swipe left on heteronormativity

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor

The era of online dating is in full swing. Swiping left and right have become slang terms for the masses, each of us basking in the impending chance the person on the other side of the phone swiped right too. However, it isn’t all puppy love and awkward dates, apps like Tinder and Bumble are breeding grounds for heteronormative pillaging that needs to be ousted.

The search for love online seems gentle enough; you choose if you are a woman seeking women, a man seeking women or even seeking either. Yes, this allows those in the LGBTQ community to search for a spark, but it is still pretty vague.

 This idea is allowing sexual minorities to be grouped in a crass way. Not all trans people identify with one gender, and what about asexual people looking for love? These apps are forcing us into more traditional boxes that don’t fit the D.I.Y.  generation we live in.

I know — we cannot blame technology for our faults, but it isn’t fair that we should have to jump over threesome advances and straight women ‘looking for friends’ like hurdles. These applications were originally meant to find love— but it is putting those who identify as anything other than heterosexual seem like they shouldn’t be there.  Inclusivity cannot be half- assed.

I’m not here for your threesome, I’m here to find other gay women. You are entitled to a lot when you are in a straight relationship, so why must you continue your tirade by taking the small things we were finally able to have access to? Gay women are seen as these sexual accessories meant to accommodate your heterosexual lull, when in reality a lot of us are just wanting a companion.

There are apps for the LGBTQ community, so we aren’t completely in the dark. However, they aren’t popular enough to get a genuine population of lesbians, bisexuals or transgendered people. These applications won’t thrive and quickly drop off once you cycle through the same three profiles. So we are back at square one.

The only booming application we have is Grindr—projecting the gay community as a promiscuous profile. It’s also directed toward the traditional cis white man without taking acceptations with an open mind. The majority of gay people are not looking for hookups, we are looking for love just like you. 

Unfortunately, some days we never interact with someone in the gay community in our area. As much as people come out, we continue to be marginalized. People do not ask us for our numbers in public, and we can’t believe in love at first sight—chances are we are going to be rejected.

I don’t mean to be a sob story, I guess I am just tired. I’m tired of thinking my sexuality means you have the right to play with my emotions or that I will want to be intimate with you and your boyfriend. Technology has become a large aspect of our culture and everyday life. Here’s to hoping that dating sites can become a safe haven for the LGBT community in the future, instead of providing a façade of gay-friendly features.

Check out our video on Tinder on The Leader's Youtube page.


Grind now, party later

Marielle Decena, Opinions Editor

Marielle Decena, Opinions Editor

The brutal winter months are coming to a close and the fresh signs of warm weather remind us that spring break is just around the corner. As a college student, the pressure to take advantage of this temporary freedom is all too real. This is the time in which young adults throughout the U.S. are scrambling to book flights to party destinations and take part in utter debauchery and self indulgence. 

At the prime of our lives, we are convinced that we should let loose while we are still young. The so-called “financial freedoms” of our youth should be taken advantage of along with our indispensible time. 

This is the time in which young adults throughout the U.S. are scrambling to book flights to party destinations and take part in utter debauchery and self indulgence. 

After all, we are young, uncommitted and autonomous individuals with the world full of opportunities. Yet, we often face the pressure of living life to the fullest at such a dynamic time in our lives. In spite of this, our years as young adults should not be spent on fretting that we aren’t living it up, but rather be utilized as a time to benefit our own personal goals.

Whether it be raising your GPA, gaining an internship, being a better parent or overcoming depression, you should never feel guilty about placing such priorities over personifying the typical college experience. For many of us, success comes at different points in our lives and there will be plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of our labor

On Instagram or Facebook, we become invested in the lives of others who seem to have it all together. Perfect grades, perfect relationships and endless travel time all seem to prompt some inner guilt within those of us who do not necessarily mingle with these expectations. 

Taking part in the occasional party is perfectly fine,  but it is necessary that you establish a sense of autonomy from these social pressures.

We are consumers of the false trend of #joy and #blessed, but we all know better than to enslave ourselves to this obsession. Outside of social media, we face the reality of student loans, soul crushing studying sessions and the fear of failure, but these are the very things that mold us into the people we should truly aspire to be.

Taking part in the occasional party is perfectly fine,  but it is necessary that you establish a sense of autonomy from these social pressures. Sometimes it is okay to remain within your own comfort zone. Spend your break doing what is best for your own mental, emotional and academic health. There is no race to mastering life and we are all really just fumbling around learning from our mistakes and striving to better our lives. 

Spend your break doing what is best for your own mental, emotional and academic health. 

To put it short, we are human and we should not be limited to a certain time frame to be able to enjoy ourselves. This year, I will be spending my break working and I have come to the conclusion that there will be numerous opportunities to indulge myself other than spring break.

On that account, save some money to nurture your future, binge watch a netflix original if you have to, use this time to sneak in some extra studying and be comfortable with the fact life isn’t always supposed to be as glamorous as it is portrayed.

Trump cries wolf

Stefan Carlson, photo editor

Stefan Carlson, photo editor

One of the many roles of the press is to keep the president in check by reporting on the activities of their administration accurately and without bias, so it is unsurprising that Donald Trump hates us. 

With a cornucopia of impulsive executive orders, an intimate relationship with a certain foreign government and a shaky transition into the White House at best (Looking at you, former National Security Advisor Flynn), Trump has given us a lot to report on.

And if Trump’s tweet last week labeling the press as “the enemy of the American people” wasn’t enough of an affront against us, then his refusal to attend the White House Correspondent’s Dinner was. 

The annual event, which Trump infamously attended in 2011 only to be made fun of by President Obama at the pinnacle of the birther movement, is an opportunity for the Press and The White House to come together, poke fun at each other and most importantly celebrate their often tumultuous relationship. 

The press keeps the president and their administration in check, ensuring the president can never abuse their power, at least not without the people knowing about it. It’s an integral institution in American society, woven into its fabric by the point of the pen that put the First Amendment to paper.

Trump’s effort to delegitimize the press reeks of a president and administration that have a lot to hide. And if you’re a Trump supporter, you should be concerned about this.

Trump campaigned on promises to end corruption, corporate interests and self-serving political machines.

So here’s the thing Trump supporters:

Without a press we can trust and have faith in, there’s no way for the people to stay accurately informed. And although that gives Trump more power, he won’t be held accountable to anyone except himself.

And with a majority-Republican Congress giving way to seemingly all of Trump’s executive orders and demands, we have no way to make sure our best interests are being looked out for. Instead, it creates a perfect breeding ground for self-interest and corruption, despite Trump’s claims otherwise.

Putting blind, ignorant faith into an elected official every four years is not the way to participate in the political process. 

We need to stay informed. It is integral to our democracy and our freedom. And to stay informed, we need unbiased reporting, we need the press, even if it makes Trump look bad. 

The press isn’t trying to delegitimize Trump. Trump is trying to delegitimize the press. And that should concern everyone of us, except Donald Trump, of course. 

Professors have more to teach

Roxanne Timan, multimedia editor

Roxanne Timan, multimedia editor

Last weekend, I was shoulder to shoulder in a crowded restaurant, my cheeks flushed from a mix of strong beer, overheat and deep-dish pizza as The Leader discussed EC, past and present. We conversed about breakthroughs by past Leader members, uncovering the buried history of Elmhurst. The conversation lingered before Dr. Ron brought up Gwendolyn Brooks, which sparked an impromptu performance of Brook’s most popular piece, “We Real Cool”.

Every poetry class known to man references the chant poem, so it stuns me to hear that she taught at EC for one semester in 1967. She was the first black faculty member on campus, which obviously led to some issues of racism, but I yearn to experience her lectures, her voice.

It’s frustrating and surprising to think the college keeps such a pertinent piece of history under wraps. We had the honor of having one of the biggest Chicago writers teach at our school, yet our past has failed to shed a brighter light on Brooks. Among those who choose to be silent, there are people willing to stand up and recognize our shortcomings and learn from it. 

Brooks may not be with us today, but she lives innately in those around us, along with a lot of undiscovered history. Not everything we want to know can be found online, we have to use other resources. That’s where professors come into play, adding passion to campus stories.

The history of EC isn’t some boring academic lesson, there is truth within the institution. I’m talking about Gwendolyn Brooks, Martin Luther King Jr., and other inspirations that those before us have failed to bring to light. They had an impact on this community, and our professors know it. Decades of harvesting knowledge from students and staff alike mold each professor we have on campus into unique time capsules of honest wisdom.

Though students find it difficult, digging up these time capsules simply starts with a conversation, which will prove to be rewarding. Ann Frank-Wake’s eyes brightened as I spoke to her about her past colleague, and gave me another author to this ongoing tale. Despite the positivity of having such an inspiring writer on campus, many made their assumptions based on the color of her skin. 

These are truths we need to hear; it isn’t all wonderful memories, but it is an honest glimpse into the past of our school. You won’t be able to find that in a history book or an online article with the same fervor. Enthusiasm runs wild on this campus, you just have to take the leap to find it.

There’s a lot we can learn in class or from trusted news sources, but it isn’t always as local as we want. Engaging our professors beyond a syllabus is the way to finding truth, whether it is insightful or a bit shameful. We just have to step out of our comfort zone to investigate the resources that surround us, as they are learning from us too.

categories: Strong Reactions

Death is the Finish Line

     Marielle Decena, Opinions editor

     Marielle Decena, Opinions editor

South of Eden

Death is the finish line

With one foot pressed on the clutch and the other foot idly hovering over the gas pedal, one man sits in a small orange Toyota Supra. He is positioned alongside another man revving the engine of a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T,  his hands grasped on the shifting gear and waiting for the cue. A bikini-clad woman stands in between them as she signals for the race to commence. In the blink of an eye, the two cars launch into the distance and their tires leave behind skid marks and trails of smoke.

At the pinnacle of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, I recall how zealously young teenagers were sold into the fictional lifestyles of O’Conner and Toretto. The mainstreaming of modifying small economical Japanese cars into so-called “import tuners” eventually encouraged the racing culture onto public roads. Petrolheads, as they like to be called, have profusely dominated the automotive culture, ultimately transforming the ingenuity of engineering’s greatest feats into a simple shit show of functionless metal donned with massive spoilers and obnoxiously loud exhausts. On a more ominous note, it’s taken the lives of drivers and pedestrians alike. 

Roadside memorials speckle the streets and news coverages of horrific automobile accidents show up on TV screens all the time, yet our minds are desensitized to the prevalence of speed-related casualties. We think to ourselves, “Oh, that kind of stuff will never happen to me,” and so it seems that illegal street racing will always be an inevitable occurrence. 

Every once in awhile on snapchat we’ll stumble upon a friend hitting speeds of up 100 mph through traffic, their phone cameras fixated on the speedometer as proof of their ballsiness. Sadly, such a mentality remains in the minds of naive individuals seeking an adrenaline-induced joy ride on the same streets in which mothers, fathers, daughters, sons and friends take to commute. It isn’t until we are faced with the surreal provocation of peering into a loved one’s casket that we realize we are not invincible, that mortality remains a looming reality. 

Just last week, a family from Arlington Heights was struck by an oncoming vehicle that had been travelling at nearly 100 mph. All members of the family and the driver of the speeding vehicle lost their lives that night in an accident that should never have happened. Reading through the news, I never would have imagined that the driver was a good friend of mine, and such a realization gives evidence to the vulnerability of human life. Humans are prone to error, we misjudge distances and we do not possess perfect discretion. What consumes my thoughts the most when these accidents occur is that they could have been easily prevented. Lives are wasted because offutile acts of stupidity and it is often the unassuming innocents that pay the ultimate price: their lives.

There are nights where I hear revving engines and the occasional burning of tires within our very own parking lots at EC and I can’t help but cringe at the foolishness of such actions. 

In retrospect, I’ve had my fair share of car enthusiasm and there is no greater feeling than the independence of improving one’s own car and testing its capacities. However, there is an appropriate time and place to test your car’s ability to go from zero to sixty. If you feel the need to burn some tires, take it to the actual tracks. There are about six known race tracks throughout Illinois that gives you the freedom of speeding without the risk of endangering lives, one of them being less than an hour away from Elmhurst.

Still, many will find the excuse of racing on public roads. They complain that the entrance fee for race tracks is a hefty price. Others simply enjoy the thrill of doing something illegal. In my mind, there is nothing else we can do about this selfishness other than to rely on law enforcement and to practice careful discretion on the road. We cannot escape these harsh realities and unlike fictional depictions of the “Fast and the Furious” and the glories of illegal street racing, tomorrows are never guaranteed.