Vernon Colman | Staff Writer
While chilling in the cut this week, I started to reflect on something I saw last semester.
One week I noticed this elderly man who seemed to be in his 60s. He was a preacher or something of that sort and some of his main locations for giving speeches were the Wolf Plaza and Brickyard.
The first day he came out no one was really paying attention to him, but by the fifth day, there was a group of people surrounding him at the Wolf Plaza.
I usually don’t listen to the preachers on campus, but I decided to try to get the gist of what he was saying. As I listened, I heard him make racist remarks about President Obama and African Americans. He made remarks that belittled the community and said we were going to Hell. I was about to leave, until I heard some of my African Americans peers respond to his remarks in a disrespectful manner.
I wasn’t shocked, but conflicted rather, by what I heard some of them saying. They yelled at the man and cursed at him. One black female even told him to shut up. I noticed one black student imitating him and mocking him to entertain the others. I felt conflicted because, while I understood that most black people would be angered by the preacher’s words, I felt it was still disrespectful to curse, yell, and mock an elder.
I thought we are supposed to respect our elders even if we don’t agree with them. I personally can’t bring myself to curse at any elder, despite their beliefs. My parents raised me to respect my elders, and to disrespect this man, I believe, would be disrespectful to my parents.
While I understand that race is a sensitive subject, in this day and age, there is a proper way to approach racism.
Besides being disrespectful, I believe arguing with racist individuals is futile. Arguing usually does nothing to change their opinions, and instead makes them more agitated.
While reflecting on the situation, I wondered, even if we feel that yelling and arguing with the man was reasonable and justified, does this not perpetuate negative stereotypes of African Americans?
I believe in showing the ignorance in racist ideology by leading a life that debunks stereotypes.
We as African Americans shouldn’t get so caught up in our emotions that we go against our own raising. I feel that me cursing at that preacher wouldn’t have done anything but made me look bad. At the end of the day we will still be students at N.C. State, still have the right to vote, and we still have a black president.
Either way I’m just chilling though.