Kierra Leggett | Editor-in-Chief
A 19-year-old Black male does not fit the bill of a stereotypical Klansmen. This however did not stop someone from sliding an application for the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan underneath the dorm room door of a Black N.C. State Student, who lives in Tucker Residence Hall.
According to Phillip Hathaway*, a sophomore in nutrition science, the application was slipped into his room on Sept. 25, 2013 while he was unpacking.
The application included a drawing of a hooded Klansmen as well as questions such as “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” and “Have you ever been in a klan before?”
Though for many, receiving paraphernalia from an organization such as the Ku Klux Klan would warrant
a phone call to Campus Police, for Hathaway it simply meant publishing an angry post on Facebook. “I picked [the application] up and took a picture of it and then just threw it in the garbage because I thought it was stupid,” said Hathaway.
Hathaway said his mother who learned of what happened from his post on Facebook, insisted that he do something more with the picture. However, he said he did not report the incident to Campus Police because at the time, he “didn’t think too much of it.”
Despite his initial feelings, Hathaway said he remained angry about the incident for a while. “Anger was bubbling in me for a longtime after it happened,” said Hathaway. “ For a good few weeks it didn’t go away because I knew, someone on my hall or someone in this building had something to say and they just were hiding in the shadows basically.”
After he found the application, Hathaway said he asked around to see if anyone else had received one. According to him, no one else told him that they did. Hathaway is not sure why he was targeted, however he does not think the application indicates the existence of a Klan on campus.
Jack Moorman, Chief of the N.C. State Police Department stated via e-mail Tuesday, that Campus Police has received no reports of students receiving membership applications for the Ku Klux Klan. Moorman also stated that there have been no reports of such incidents as Klan recruitment or activity on campus within the past year. He expressed concern about the incident Hathaway described saying in part, “If this type of incident is not reported, then it cannot be addressed, which means it is more likely to happen again to someone else.”
Classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a hate group, the Ku Klux Klan was founded by veterans of the Confederate Army in Pulaski, Tenn. in 1866. Since its inception, the Klan has experienced several periods of record high membership, most notably during the 1920s when it had more than four million registered members. National membership for the Ku Klux Klan also peaked during the 1960s, when according to David Cunningham, author of Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan, North Carolina was home to more Klansmen than the rest of the Southern states combined.
The SPLC currently estimates that there are between 5000 to 8000 active Klan members in the United States and that nine active chapters of the Ku Klux Klan exist in North Carolina.
According to Dick Reavis, an associate professor of English as well as a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, the Ku Klux Klan does not pose the same threat for African-Americans now as it did during the organization’s heyday. “The real danger is not the Klan,” said Reavis. “When they raise college tuition, that’s doing more damage to Black folks than the Klan has done in a generation.”
Though Klan membership has fluctuated throughout the years, its reputation as a White Supremacist organization that gained infamy through acts of terror and advocating against the mixing of races has remained constant.
It is the history of this reputation that worries Hathaway about the impact, finding the application could have had on another student.
“It could have just went so many different ways,” said Hathaway. “I could have called up some friends and been like, ‘Lets go look for them’ and it could have blown up into a really big thing. I’m also thinking of the more impressionable people,” said Hathaway. “A freshman could have received that application and been like ‘maybe this isn’t the school I thought it was, should I even be going here?’”
In hindsight, Hathaway is not sure that he handled the situation in the best manner. “I [initially] put it under the table, and I’m not sure if it was the right thing to do. To this day I continue to wonder, ‘what could have happened if the people who did this were found?’”
* – indicates that the name has been changed to protect the identity of the subject.
Feb 26 2014
This unsigned editorial is the opinion of the Nubian Message’s editorial board, and is the responsibility of the editor-in-chief.
In his first letter from the editor, Tony Williamson stated, “The Nubian Message has been created to represent the African-American community at NCSU totally, truthfully, and faithfully. In doing so, we shall cover every aspect of African-American life at NCSU.”
With this statement, Tony confirmed the Nubian’s commitment to providing its readers with an accurate media representation of the African-American community at N.C. State. As that media voice, our job requires that we tell not only the good, but also the bad and the ugly.
As journalists, it is important to the Nubian Message staff that we hold our peers to the same fair and objective standards. As a publication, we understand that at times inaccuracies do occur— we ourselves are guilty and have made plenty of mistakes, despite our best efforts to serve this campus. We appreciate constructive criticism; in fact we welcome it and can attest that our peers do as well.
The Nubian Message staff firmly believes that “Until the Lion has his own historian, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” We regard ourselves as historians of the Lion’s Tale and therefore will protect it at all costs, even if at times, it means disagreeing with others in the pride.
Feb 26 2014
Chris Hart-Williams | Staff Writer
The graduation rate for undergraduate African-American students reached 65 percent, the highest its been in a decade, according to the N.C. State Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity’s (OIED) most recent, 2012 report.
The last time African-American students had graduation rates this high was in 2006, when the graduation rate was 64 percent, a mere one percentage point shy of the current rate.
During the ten-year span between 2002 and 2012, the rated dipped to its lowest point in 2002 at 46 percent.
OIED formed its report using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and the UNC-System’s Division of Institutional Research and Analysis’s, annual graduation and retention report.
According to the OIED data, the latest African-American student graduation rate is also the nearest to graduation rates of white undergraduate students since 2006.
Currently, the graduation rate of white undergraduate students is 72 percent, seven percentage points above African-Americans. In 2006 the graduation rate for white students was 71 percent. When comparing African-Americans to the N.C. student body as a whole, the results are similar.
71 percent is the graduation rate for all N.C. State students, one percentage point lower than White students.
Though the graduation rate of African-Americans is lower than both White students and all N.C. State students, it is higher than the public institution national average graduation rate of 52.8, according to the ACT’s, 2013 Institutional Data report.
According to the ACT, the national average graduation rate is 58.5 percent at private institutions.
In 1983, the ACT began annually conducting surveys of the nation’s two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions retention and persistence to degree rates for its own comprehensive database.
With graduation rates of 75 percent, undergraduate Asian students at N.C. State have the highest graduation rate of any other racial group. International students, the second most represented group at N.C. State after white students, have the lowest graduation rate of 33 percent, according to OIED.
There are schools where African-American graduation rates are equal to or higher than White students, as The Journal of Blacks Higher Education, JBHE pointed out in 2010 review of the nations schools.
North Carolina institutions that made the list include East Carolina University, UNC- Greensboro,Western Carolina University, Elon University, and UNC-Pembroke.
Like African-American students at N.C. State, institutions such as UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, and Wake Forest, African-American undergraduates have lower graduation rates than their white counterparts, this is according to recent data published by JBHE of 2013 graduation rates.
Feb 26 2014
NCSU Graduate, Cassandra Deck-Brown, Offers An Exclusive Interview to the Nubian Message
Aaliyah Singleton | Staff Writer
Cassandra Deck-Brown, a trailblazer and inspiration was sworn in on February of last years as Raleigh’s first African-American female Police Chief.
Deck-Brown grew up in Bunn, North Carolina with her parents and two siblings. She described her childhood as being filled with “a lot of playtime outside.” She went on to say, “My sister and I played school a lot, and I played teacher a lot. During the course of the summer I played a lot of summer sports and did quite a bit of reading.”
Her parents were very insistent on her and her siblings caring and helping out others in the community. During the summers Deck-Brown described harvesting the crops from her mother’s garden, a garden so large that it could literally “feed the entire community.” Deck-Brown stated, “We always had a huge garden, my parents felt a need to grow enough to feed everyone in the community, if need be, so you know the summers were spent, part of it at least, was spent harvesting fruits and vegetables so my mother could can and preserve them for whenever they were need throughout the year.”
Given her desire to help others in her community, Deck-Brown wanted to pursue a career in which she could “leave folks in a better place than they had been.” This inclination would eventually influence Deck-Brown to change her major after she “fell in love” with the criminal justice field.
When asked about how she ended up in the criminal justice field she said, “I hunted around, I even took a few classes in computer science because I wasn’t quite sure what to consider. But I went and talked to an advisor in the Criminal Justice department because I wanted to know more about that field…actually recommended a couple of courses to take and told me just to try the two courses first and see what I thought about them. I was so intrigued by the curriculum that eventually I did go back and change my major.”
After graduating from East Carolina University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, she was inspired by witnessing a woman in uniform. Afterwards, she entered the Police Academy and went on to receive a Master’s degree in Public Administration at N.C. State. Witnessing a woman in uniform inspired her to eventually pursue a leadership position within the police department.
Despite the difficulties of working in field dominated by white males, Deck-Brown says she never felt disrespected or mistreated however, she quickly adds that,” the level of competition was there.”
Deck-Brown overall praised the efforts of her supportive fellow officers and also that of her training officers who she points out “not only explained things to you but gave you the opportunity to step into the situation, engage the community.”
Last year, News and Observer reported that former Raleigh police sergeant Rick Armstrong described Deck-Brown as being, ”without a doubt the best person for the job,” due to having won the respect of her fellow peers as she worked her way up through the ranks. He continued to say, “Everyone already trusts her and knows of her integrity. Everyone thinks she’s a great leader.”
Outside of work, Deck-Brown is involved in many different community programs and events. To her sisters in the Raleigh Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and fellow worshipers at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, she is merely Cassandra. At the church she serves as senior warden, a position that ranks her second-in-command to the pastor. Deck-Brown is also the leader of her local Girl Scout troop and helps in coordinating Charm School, a program organized by the Raleigh Police Department to keep at risk teenage girls from getting into trouble over the summer. She is a very busy lady indeed, one certainly worthy of her title as Police Chief and Black History maker.
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