The Nubian Message has been around for 30 years. As we’ve grown and changed as a publication, so has the world around us. I would also like to make note that the opinions of one individual does not reflect the opinions of everyone on our team. So let’s look back at some of our predecessors’ opinions, and give some of our own.
Separate but equal Students are dividing themselves by race (Madavia Johnson Feb. 27, 2009)
“ …Think about it, when you walk into the Atrium you see people sitting with their ethnic group. This is something that I call “self-segregation,” because we tend to separate ourselves from others who look different than we do, choosing instead to sit with people who look just like us. It is not such a big deal to most people I guess because it comes so natural, but yet we are not taking advantage of the dream and hope of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other equal rights activists. I know that we feel more comfortable talking to people who we believe can relate to our situation, but in reality we all have the same problems. Everyone is so much alike, the only difference is our skin color and personality. We should not let these differences keep us divided, because deep down we all go through the same problems, such as exams, relationships, schedules, and classes.” – Madavia Johnson
I feel that there is a lot to unpack with this one. Firstly, I don’t think wanting to be surrounded by those who share similar cultural experiences is disregarding the work of civil rights activists. Secondly, something people need to accept is that some experiences are not shared. A lot of aspects that make up a person are going to be heavily influenced by the culture they grew up in. Yes, students attending NC State will face struggles that come with being a student, however not every student on NC State campus is going to deal with microaggressions or racism.
I also find it odd that this opinion mainly seems targeted at Black people. I understand this may be because Black people were the target audience, but why are we always the ones who have to build bridges? I just find it interesting that non-Black people are not expected to diversify their social life as much as Black people. Also I think most Black people already go into PWI’s knowing they will have to interact with people outside of their race. I don’t think people “self-segregate” simply because we believe we’re “different”, I believe that it is more out of a concern for one’s own safety. You will never know if someone is actually racist until they let you know, whether that be from an ignorant comment, a microaggression or by straight up calling you a slur. Most people may already deal with that in class or at work; so when it comes to moments that are supposed to be relaxing, I think it is okay for people to want to be surrounded by their own race and culture every now and then.
The Gospel Truth & Black Mental Health (Amanda McKnight Jan. 23, 2013 )
“Is the prayer mentality advocated by the black Protestant faith causing more harm than help? In the past, access to proper mental health care was not an option for a majority of the black community. The church house was the only place that provided solace in a world full of duress. Lack of funds, time and trust were also factors for people in seeking health care. Due to medical misconduct, such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment wherein groups of African Americans were purposely refused treatment and misled about their syphilis diagnoses, there is an entire generation of African Americans who do not trust doctors. These individuals feel as though they are being taken advantage of and swindled; this mistrust is then transmitted onto the next generation, and so on. Today, we do not have to live our lives in fear of health providers. Overall, they are trained professionals who know how to diagnose, treat and provide care for their patients with minimal impact upon daily life. No more is your pastor or an elder in the community the only option when it comes to taking care of your mental health.”-Amanda McKnight
I somewhat agree and disagree with this one. The stigma around mental health in the Black community needs to be addressed. Thinking about the history of Black people and healthcare in the United States, I don’t think it is shocking that most people, especially older ones, would want to stay away from doctors in all fields. There does come a point where religious culture may be doing more harm than good for one’s mental health, despite religion being a comfort for some people. That being said, I don’t think that we should totally disregard concerns that come along with seeking professional help. Many people in the Black community have come forward about their struggles when seeking mental health help. The Black community still holds very negative feelings towards healthcare professionals. I am not a mental health professional, but I think Black people have every right to be cautious, and I think the way to handle it is by staying well informed and looking for Black professionals in the field.
Bite Activists, They’re Hungry For Attention (Shawn Murray Feb. 13, 2013)
“Because of this desire to be down for a cause, many in the college age group are standing for something that they are not fully informed about. Even more so, it has become a common practice for students to take a phrase and run with it, using it in various contexts in which it does not belong. Ashley Davis, a senior studying Political Science, created a term for this phenomenon. She calls it, “sound bite activism”, in which people take something that they hear, and if it sounds good, relate that idea to situations in which it is not applicable.”-Shawn Murray
I love the term soundbite activism, and despite this article being written in 2013, I think the point still stands today. When I think about the pace that the media moves today, I think “soundbite activism”now has the perfect breeding ground. It takes only a second for an important movement to get watered down. A perfect example of this would be Instagram infographics. A lot of these infographics can bring light to important issues, but I feel a lot of them lack the necessary context and history that is needed to fully understand an issue. I also feel this form of activism is comparable to virtue signaling. People just want to show that they’re on the “good side” without actually wanting to contribute or be progressive.
Donald Trump’s Ridiculous Run for Presidency (Sampson Bloh Apr. 28, 2011)
“As far as his chances of winning the Republican presidential candidacy and possibly the presidency, chances are slim to none. In fact, Trump has no chance at all. Trump and his supporters are pushing him way too hard. It’s ridiculous that he is playing this game with fellow Tea Partiers regarding the notion that President Obama is a scary non-American foreigner who has illegally taken the White House. This would sound good in the ears of the Tea Party folks and others but overall, it does not serve well for Trump. It could hurt him politically and it could hurt his business.”- Sampson Bloh
It’s almost hard to read something that has aged so poorly. Reading this in the Biden administration while there are still people who want Trump to run for 2024, I find that Bloh’s reasoning for Trump’s slim chances of winning are exactly why he won in 2016. It was the sheer ridiculousness of it. I mean, a television host spitting hateful rhetoric about other groups. Nobody thought he was gonna’ win so people wasted their votes on a dead gorilla or Kanye West. But the people who didn’t find it ridiculous were his supporters that would hang onto every single word he said. Donald Trump may have been ridiculous, but he gave bigoted people a space to also be ridiculous and hateful. Trump supporters are dedicated regardless of if what they are saying or supporting is based in reality, and it’s how he won the 2016 election. People around the country were faced with the harsh reality that the ridiculousness had won.