Rupert W. Nacoste, Ph.D.
When Pope Francis arrived in the U.S. he was warmly and respectfully greeted by President Barack Obama. Seeing Pope Francis on American soil should remind us that Americans once were afraid to have a Catholic as our President. Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, had to over and over again highlight his belief in the separation of church and state.
Verbal expression of resistance to an American President being a Catholic was religious bigotry. The same goes for expressions about an American Muslim. Dr. Ben Carson was an outstanding, groundbreaking neurosurgeon; he is not outstanding as a political leader. In public, Dr. Carson firmly said no American Muslim should ever be “…allowed” to be President. Anyone running for President should know that the U.S. Constitution says that “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Ben Carson’s statement then, is not a part of our American political structure; it is religious bigotry. Yet Dr. Carson has been surprised by the objections to his statement about Muslim American citizens. He is surprised because his is a primal bigotry. It is a prejudiced belief so firmly and confidently held that the person does not understand how anyone would disagree or be repulsed by that bigotry. Bigotry can be about any group. Nowadays too many are confused about that fact. Anybody, you see, can be a bigot. Skin-color does not prevent or absolve bigotry.
That is why talking about racism at the individual-psychological level is inaccurate, misleading and confusing. Yes, there has been a long, painful history of racism in America. Yes, there continues to be pockets and remnants of racism in America. But racism is a system of institutional and organizational patterns of law, policy and action that support individual prejudice and bigotry. Through the Civil Rights Movement’s grass root protests and legal challenges based on our Constitution, we have successfully attacked and dismantled the systems of racism, sexism and gender-ism. If we had not, someone who tried to violate the Supreme Court’s rulings on unconstitutional (racial, gender, religious, sexual-orientation) discrimination would not end up in jail like Kim Davis did.
Talking about racism as if it occurs at the individual-psychological level is what has led some to try to absolve black people as a (once) racially oppressed people, of being able to have racial prejudice that can be expressed in verbal, nonverbal, and other behaviors (bigotry). Yet skin-color does not eliminate the possibility of bigotry coming from members of any group. When it comes to individual’s feelings about people from different groups, bigotry can come from anyone; there are no innocent.
Social psychologists, like me, have analyzed intergroup tensions this way since the 1954 publication of Gordon Allport’s classic book, “The Nature of Prejudice”; prejudice is not bigotry; bigotry is not racism. Back then discussions of bigotry focused mostly on race-relations, but now the issues of intergroup tension are multi-dimensional. In today’s age of neo-diversity, there are so many American groups that individuals can feel prejudice towards; homosexuals, Muslims, transgendered persons, Christians, women, persons with visible bodily-conditions, military veterans, persons with mental-health conditions, interracial-couples, and on and on. Neo-diversity gives all us individuals lots of targets for expressions of anti-group feelings (prejudice) that can be expressed in behavior (bigotry). Especially in that neo-diversity context, anyone can be a bigot. Any college-educated person who believes that skin-color prevents bigotry has been miseducated. Ben Carson is just one example of an apparently upstanding person, who happens to be black, being a religious-bigot.
Dr. Rupert Nacoste is Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Psychology and author of “Taking on Diversity: How we can move from anxiety to respect.”
Staff ReportStudents of Habitat for Humanity at NC State are leading “Build-A-Block,” a record-setting campaign to build 11 townhomes on Lake Wheeler Road for Wake County families in need of affordable housing.The project is the is largest-ever to involve a campus organization and a Habitat for Humanity affiliate. In collaboration with students, faculty, staff and alumni the campus chapter aims to raise $715,000 for the project.
— NC State DASA (@NCState_DASA) August 23, 2015Fundraising for the construction of the multi-home building project has already begun. Last week the campus chapter joined 46 other student organizations in the Brickyard for the annual student-run fundraiser, “Shack-A-Thon.”All students are welcome to get involved. Those who want to learn more about Build-A-Block and opportunities can attend any one of the upcoming information sessions.Build-A-Block information sessions are as follows:Monday, September 28 @ 12:00 noonTalley – Rm 4101Tuesday, September 29 @ 5:30 p.m.Witherspoon – Rm 201Wednesday, September 30 @ 2:00 p.m.Hunt Library – Rm 4106Wednesday, September 30 @ 7:30 p.m.Talley – Rm 4101“Over the course of the project, there will be hundreds of opportunities for individual students and student groups to coordinate build days,” said Student Leadership and Engagement marketing and communications coordinator Aaron Thompson.“So, this is really an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience and to learn, in a literal way, what it means to build community through service.”Families will work alongside volunteers to begin construction of the 11 townhomes in August of 2016.
The only identifying African-American running for President, retired neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson trails behind television personality and real estate developer Donald Trump in the polls. Carson continues to turn heads with his use of divisive language and controversial comments.
Among Republican voters in North Carolina Trump leads Carson by only 1 point, according to an Elon University poll released on Saturday. He visited Raleigh in June for the North Carolina Republican Party’s three-day annual state convention.
The American public was quick to point out that he himself belongs to a group historically held from public office.
We invite you to share with us what you think about Dr. Carson and his recent behavior. Do you think he should be in the race?
Share your thoughts by tweeting us your comments along with the hashtag #NubianVoice
Select tweets will be shared in our Oct 7 issue in the “Your Voice” section.
Stephanie Tate | Staff Writer
The time in which we will have to say our goodbyes to the Obama family as our first family is approaching rapidly. Although we may want to mourn the removal of the Obama’s boldness, it has become critical that we start thinking about the future of our country.
With former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the lead for the Democratic Nomination, it is time that we examine the sixteen candidates in the running for the Republican Nomination. After having our very first African American president, many wonder will we have another anytime soon.
According to the twitter page of leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump, we won’t be seeing another African American president for a while. Trump’s tweet read “Sadly, because president Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won’t see another black president for generations!” Ironically Trump chose to ignore two factors. First, the hard fact that we have had a number of white presidents perform poorly, yet we continue to elect white men and second, Ben Carson.
According to CNN, Carson, the only African American candidate and retired neurosurgeon, is polling at third for the Republican nomination.. Just slightly behind Carly Fiorina, Carson has definitely made a splash against the competition. Because of his race, many have dubbed Carson a representative for the black community. The real question is: as the only African American candidate does Ben Carson accurately represent majority of African Americans? According to the New York Times Carson first made his appearance in the political sphere after a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013 in which he heavily criticized President Obama.
With his original claim to political fame being his critiques of President Obama how well can Carson poll with the African American electorate? Carson has clearly demonstrated his views on issues such as health care, taxes, and more. It is not difficult to see that Carson fares on the more conservative side of the political spectrum when he favors flat tax rates or is known to be adamant about cutting Medicaid.
During his time as a Fox News commentator Carson referred to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act as “the worst thing that has happened to this nation since slavery.” After considering the 9/11 attacks, police brutality, Jim Crow, numerous wars and more, is it appropriate to say that Healthcare is the worst thing to happen since almost 400,00 people were uprooted from their home for profit? Social media has shown that Carson has not garnered the type of support from the African American community that some have anticipated. With Carson’s conservative views and his risky statements it becomes increasingly difficult to see how anyone could consider Carson the voice for the African American people.
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