November 2015

HBCU’s vs. PWI’s

“The question is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be? The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.” – Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The current events taking place at the University of Missouri, in my opinion, are examples of being creative extremists. These students used creative tactics such as boycotts, game strikes, a hunger strike and protest to enforce their desire to remove Tim Wolfe as the university’s president.

I was not completely shocked after learning about racism at the University of Missouri because I believe racism is still in full effect today. Outside of a school environment, these different tactics that I mentioned would not be necessarily appropriate, but in the college community where protest is a tradition, tactics such as these would be considered acts of creative extremism.

Students everywhere are upset by what’s going on in Missouri. For instance, I spoke with Cianna Fisher, a senior at Saint Augustine’s University majoring in Visual Arts. “It is very disturbing that this level of discrimination is prevalent at colleges when many claim that racism is dead. Every human has a right to purse an education without being afraid. Skin color shouldn’t matter.”

Monica Pittman a senior majoring in Journalism, agreed. “I feel that the problems arising in Missouri involving racism is eye-opening and it proves that we still have a long way to go in terms of being accepted as black students,” she said.

This is a new day, a new time and a new age. This younger generation will not tolerate or cooperate with any one regardless of your title and who think they can mistreat this black generation. What is happening at the University of Missouri shouldn’t be ignored because it can be happening at other campuses.

Some SAU students are happy they picked an HBCU over a Predominately White Institution because of situations like those in Missouri. LaQuasia Jackson, a senior majoring in mass communications, said, “I am happy that I made the right choice by picking and HBCU. I cant imagine being on a campus and having someone harass me and call me the “n” word.”

But the issue is bigger than whether one attends an HBCU or a PWI. We need to hold government elected officials responsible for low-balling our HBCUs with very little funding and giving PWI’s more.

We need more contributions, activities, scholarships and grants given to the HBCU’s so we can look beyond color, treatment, and finances. Bring our race to its superior level where we all can maintain and nourish our minds, body and souls.

This a new day, a new time, a new age of black power.

— Brittany Peay