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Perspectives

  • nmlogo
    Feb 26 2015

    OPINION: Combating thoughts & beliefs, the new battlefield

    Jillian Smith | Staff Writer

    Black news has encompassed a variety of matters within the past couple of years.

    In 2012, we lost Trayvon Martin and the man that killed him was acquitted.

    Voters’ rights legislation was an ongoing issue throughout 2013 as a limitation on the usable ID threatened to take away the rights of many Americans.

    A year later, 2014, was plagued by tragic losses, violent backlash and ever-increasing racial tensions, spilling over into the New Year. While the events mostly occurred on the eastern side of the nation, outrage rippled in waves throughout.

    Things like New York’s ¨stop and frisk law,¨ and Alabama’s stop and search law provided means through which racial profiling was essentially legalized.

    The most recent event, happening Feb. 20, a Sacramento, CA student was suspended for “willful defiance.¨ Dwayne Powe Jr., says he was just asking another student to borrow a pencil when the teacher told him to leave the class for disrupting.

    We know the reasons behind racism, we know racism is not dead and will not die. It is so deeply ingrained in our nations past and present, we have been, until recently, fairly complacent with the progress that has been made so far.

    It’s written that we all have  equal rights under the law, but equal treatment under these laws has yet to be seen.

    So all of this has happened to us, and we’ve reacted, and now we’re wondering: What’s next?

    Some of the issues we are facing are so similar to what black Americans had to deal with prior to the Civil Rights Movement. Officers being acquitted after blatantly committing murder, such as the case with Eric Garner, is nothing new to the black community.

    However, some issues are completely unique to our time, and those are the issues that obscure the message we want to send.

    There are no obvious laws or concrete words to target this time. What we are battling is an ideology.

    An ideology that includes stereotypes, prejudices and beliefs that continue to keep black Americans living as second-class citizens.

    This is the new battlefield. Trying to combat thoughts and beliefs, however, is proving to be a challenge.

    We need to rally around the idea that now, after we have gained legal equality, we need to work on gaining social equality through changing the way we think and relate to each other.

    Have you ever looked at someone and assumed something about them (keep it 100!)? That’s what happens everyday to millions of black Americans.

    The first step in gaining social equality is admitting to and understanding that everyone makes snap judgments, casts someone in a stereotype or attributes some specific quality to them.

    What we need to do now is make sure that these judgments do not guide our decisions and actions. Actively encouraging yourself and others to do this can make a major difference in open mindedness and perspective on other cultures, religions and yes, races.

  • Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch addresses a session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 24, 2008.   REUTERS/Denis Balibouse   (SWITZERLAND)
    Feb 25 2015

    Fox News: friend or foe?

    Jillian Smith | Staff Writer

    Fox_News_Channel_logo

    Fox News, an affiliate owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox media company, has a long-standing history of conservative right-wing opinions.

    Murdoch, born in Melbourne, Australia was raised in the United States, proudly achieving what some might consider “the American Dream.”  In the years since, Murdoch created News Corp., his media conglomerate, and has since accrued a massive international network of print, broadcast and online media outlets and a personal net worth of $13.3 billion according to Forbes.

    Being the CEO and Chairman of a major international corporation certainly increases ones’ international influence.

    This influence puts Fox News, and all of Murdoch’s outlets, in a paramount position which he has used to spread strong right-wing messages.

    ¨I believe that most of the information that is shared [on Fox News] is educating an audience on what seems to solely be based on opinions and not actual data,” said Davante Falls, a senior in Communication.

    “I’m a curious person who’s interested in the great issues of the day, and I’m not good at holding my tongue,” Murdoch admitted at the Leveson Inquiry on culture, practice and ethics of the press in 2012, reports Bloomberg Business.

    Along with a lack of self-control in his speech, Murdoch bolsters a lack of media censorship in the acceptation that he allows his outlets immense freedom in their pro-republican broadcasting as well as in their extreme anti-democratic attitudes.

    ¨Another problem that I see within the ethical realm is that they are very close-minded when it comes to hearing other opinions,” said Falls.

    On many of their popular programs, such as “The Five” and “Fox and Friends,” Fox News reporters not only take an anti-democratic political stance, they also seem to be harshly critical of some of the major groups of Democratic constituents such as women, blacks and latinos.

    ¨Nine times out of 10, I feel offended by things on Fox News, one of the many reasons I don’t watch it as much,” said Falls, who identifies as a  black male.

    Following the terror attack on Paris’ satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, Kennedy Montgomery, co-host of Fox’s “Outnumbered,” said on the topic of profiling “sometimes bad guys don’t look like bad guys.” Co-host Shannon Bream then amended her earlier suggestion of profiling to reduce terror attacks by saying that it may not work if the alleged suspects don’t “look like typical bad guys.”

    What does the typical bad guy look like to a Fox News reporter?

    That fact that these “reporters” are informing people on how to profile the “typical bad guy” shows how illegitimate this source of “news” is, as well as how prone they are to making derogatory racist comments.

    To further their illegitimacy, Fox News has frequently been caught using manipulated images, graphs, video clips and other multimedia to distort the viewers’ perception and manipulate their opinion.

    Crystal Lu, a junior in International Studies and Communication agreed saying,”they use flawed studies and skewed stories to gain their audiences’ attention and support. They also seem very bigoted and ignorant when they interview people of different mindsets.¨

    According to Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact, only 10 percent of Fox News claims could be proven true while 58 percent were proven mostly false or worse. This can be compared to rates like 80 percent of claims proven true for CNN and 44 percent proven mostly false or worse for NBC and MSNBC.

    This “news” is more like a source of conservative propaganda rather than honest, ethical journalism.

    ¨It seems that Fox News is not a news station, but just a platform to use as a political resource for certain subjects,” Lu said.

    Glen Beck, former headliner on the Fox network, once said “I could give a flying crap about the political process … We’re an entertainment company.”

    So, viewers beware.

     

  • Black_American_Flag
    Feb 11 2015

    Can Anything Be the New Black?

    Aaliyah Singleton | Staff Writer

    For me it is hard to see anyone or anything as the “new” Black mainly because while we all can share in understanding another’s struggle it is hard to ever say that my struggle is the same as someone else’s. In particular, Black people have had a very unique experience of living in America, so to have Native Americans and other minority groups, to be fair, but to say that our trials and tribulations were somehow in the same vein as Native Americans or the Italians or Polish is difficult to swallow.

    Every group has undeniably a grand story to tell in regards to the lineage of their people and their history in America.

    Black_American_Flag

     

    All minority groups who have journeyed to America has been combated with American bigotry and nativism, reworked drug policies and some level of police brutality throughout their short time here. However, for the majority of these groups this oppression would fade, for African-Americans or Black people, it largely has not.

    For the majority of our time here we have toiled under systematic degradation and oppression. To almost simple-mindedly proclaim there is a new Black is to create a blanket term that fails to acknowledge the continued work that needs to be done both in larger American society but also within the Black community itself.

    To have a new anything, something else has to be old, done, finished. Black people to say the least are not finished. To make that assumption is to state that Black people have graduated from an unspoken second class citizenship, from the struggles of doing any kind of activity while Black, from inequality and racial disparities both in the classroom and on the job, but also in the criminal justice system.

    Within the community, we would be so over colorism, and the seemingly generational debate over the usage of the N-word would be no more. In addition, we wouldn’t need to have a discussion about black appropriation seemingly every Grammy period, especially with those that fail to recognize its existence or the fact that they benefit from it (Iggy Azalea cough, cough) and finally–yes, finally–we might be able to say that there is such thing as Black privilege. As if, in reality, none of this has happened yet, and thus to say that in someway we are at a point that we can even begin to move on to the newest marginalized group is disappointing to say the least, and a at worst another example of America’s continued disdainment with the plight of African-Americans.

    While I believe everyone wants to be able to attain that grand dream of equality and universal acceptance let’s not be so quick to become so completely color blind that we forget about our history and what our ancestors were able to accomplish in spite of the challenges thrown at them.

     

    In recent months, celebrities such as Raven Symone and Pharell have sparked debates over referring to one’s self as Black. Many have countered with the simple exclamation of Black or African-American: either way same thing right? Actually, wrong.

     

    The difference is that when one uses the term Black you are making a political statement, as it originated in the 70’s as part of the Black is Beautiful movement. Whether it is a consciously made decision or not, your usage of the term Black is a political statement of your affirmation that your Black is beautiful, whatever shade that might be. That your life matters, that you deserve the same rights and level of decency as anyone else.

     

    While I see what the colorblind movement is trying to accomplish, what I fail to see is any kind of color affirmation or empowerment. Just because I am colorblind does not mean I need to be so blind that I fail to embrace the pride of my ancestral lineage.

     

    Whether you’re colorblind or not, you still have a color.

     

    Why not embrace the term Black?  As a person of African descent you have literally been making a number of political statements since birth. Consider how you choose to style your hair, or the way you dress. Even the way that you talk, the music you listen to and the people you choose to date say a lot about what kind of person you are and what you stand for. The concept of being Black is so much bigger than the superficial idea that because one is literally not the color black then they cannot be Black.

     

    Thus to be Black is a state of mind, while one simply is African-American based on the Americanized system of using geographical origin as a means of .

     

    To be African-American is analogous to being Japanese or Irish-American–you were born in the US, and yet your ancestral people originate from elsewhere. A system more rooted in America’s nativist tendencies than ancestral pride.

     

    To be Black is to acknowledge and proclaim your ancestry as well as the political attributes that go with it.

     

    During this month of February, the one month amongst eleven consecutive months where all we are taught is history based on the perception of the white male conquerors, we as a people should be proud to celebrate our lineage. We come from a strong, proud people, thus the same way that Jews have no shame in their game when they go celebrate Yom Kippur or Passover, we should not feel at all embarrassed or ashamed to celebrate the great things our ancestors have done, because our Black has and always will be beautiful.

     

     

     

     

  • 1987 Centennial commencement ceremony | NCSU Libraries Special Collections
    Feb 11 2015

    Go ‘Head My Sista!

    Jessica Stubbs | Staff Writer

    1987 Centennial commencement ceremony | NCSU Libraries Special Collections

    1987 Centennial commencement ceremony | NCSU Libraries Special Collections

    Now, I know a few of us have had one of those days where we are zoned out in class thinking ‘why am I here?’, but I can assure you that there’s a purpose. Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

    In recent years, there have been significant leaps and bounds in education in regards to the African American community. Education has always been a pillar of success in the community, but now we have officially made history.

     African American women are the most educated by gender and race. In a study by the U.S. Department of Education between the years of 1999-2000 and 2009-2010 the number of women earning bachelor’s degrees remained between 57 and 58 percent and from 2009-2010 Black females earned 68 percent of associate’s degrees, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of all doctoral degrees awarded to Black students.

    The number of associate’s degrees awarded to black females increased by 89 percent, bachelor’s degrees increased by 53 percent, master’s degrees increased by 109 percent, and doctoral degrees increased by 47 percent.

    Overall, this data shows that women are most educated by gender and race. Across the board, Black women earned more degrees than their counterparts (white women, Hispanic men, Black men, Hispanic women, etc.).  As reported by the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau, the college enrollment rate for Black females is 9.7 percent. This may not sound like a lot, but considering that Hispanic men had the lowest enrollment rate of 5.9 percent, we are making progress as a people whose history is based on fighting for equality.  

     

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