Individual Rights vs. Public Order
Lately we have seen firsthand what a fine line there is between individual freedoms and public protection, and we have often been reminded of this delicate balance between personal expression and civic order. At MBU, we’re not afraid to talk about this issue in the context of Christian grounding.
The Association of Black Collegians at Missouri Baptist University is hosting a panel discussion Thursday, Sept. 29, in the Performance Hall, focusing on this important topic: What must we as individuals sacrifice to facilitate public order? Where is the balance?
The event, which runs 6:30-8:30 p.m. and offers Chapel credit for students who attend, will include MBU students, faculty and staff members on the panel.
For more information contact Grace Adams, president ABC@MBU in Student Affairs, or Professor Brenda Bradford, chair of the Business Division and ABC adviser, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a primer for the event, MBU Timeline staffers generated blogs examining various current topics relevant to race relations and culture, ranging from recent protests by professional athletes who decline saluting when the National Anthem is played prior to sporting events, to how our presidential candidates stand on issues of race relations, and locally, MBU’s efforts in this arena.
The Colorblind Way of Life
By JOSH EATON
Skyscrapers and business attire cloud the streets of cities nationwide, drastically emphasizing the difference between the metropolitan and green grass suburb way of life.
Growing up with the white picket fence suburb lifestyle ingrained in me, the fences weren’t the majority of objects wearing white.
The private school my family chose to send me to growing up was nearly 100 percent white.
My junior year of high school was the first year African American students in my age group attended Christian High School in O’Fallon, Mo.
Parents didn’t choose to send their students to CHS because of the amount of same colored students it had, but because of the academic opportunity and preparation for college level learning, it just so happened the students were primarily white.
I never saw the problem with this until my junior year when the school finally began diversifying its campus.
Its students, myself included, weren’t able to experience any other cultural norms outside of our own.
As I transitioned from high school to college, my eyes began to open to the segregation happening nationwide, my high school was just a small sample size.
At college, where the African American to Caucasian enrollment numbers seemed to be almost even, I still saw separation between races.
The whites hung out with other whites and vice versa.
When will we see a day where comfortability with other human beings doesn’t first come by the color of our skin?
We’re all human beings, equally capable of being great co-workers, friends, parents, contributing to society, despite the black and white lens society is still seeing each other through.
“Let Us Pursue What Makes for Peace”
By CHELSIE BARTLEY
What happens when your formative years are spent in a diversity-barren town?
I grew up in a village of 600 people in southern Illinois and while many people, when Illinois is mentioned, think of Chicago and the diverse melting pot that it is, my home was very far from that.
I would never say the people in my hometown were racist because honestly they were never given the opportunity to be, at least not while I was around.
We were simple, peaceful, removed.
So arriving at college in St. Louis was a bit of a wake-up call.
The diversity of my friend group expanded along with my worldview and then my sophomore year, the unthinkable happened.
Racial tensions, of which I had never experienced, exploded in Ferguson and it was then that I realized just how deeply America was sick with hatred.
Of course, it affected the African American communities the hardest, especially those directly harmed by the riots, the ripple effects of which are still felt to this day.
However, it cannot be denied that the whole of the United States is still under the heavy burden of racism, riots and most of all, hatred.
It would be tempting to retreat to my peaceful home and try to purge myself of what I’ve experienced, but it’s then I remember the call of Christ and the foundation on which this country was built.
In Romans 14:19, we are given a charge, “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
Once you experience hatred, you can’t forget it. You can’t turn a blind eye and try to move on.
You’re a part of this world and this country.
Love one another.
When Politics and Racial Tensions Collide
By JOSH DAUGETTE
Is Donald Trump a racist?
Throughout this entire presidential campaign Trump has been called a bigot, xenophobe and racist.
However, his following aggressively denies these claims. Why then, is this such an influential archetype of his campaign if there is no truth to it?
I think the most prominent embodiment of why many who oppose Trump categorize him under these characteristics is his ardent stance on the birther movement.
To question the validity of the first black president specifically because he is black is inherently racist, and to continue the accusations that President Obama was from Kenya throughout almost his entire two terms is racist.
If the president was white, Trump would have raised no objections. Even though the probability of the white president being from Germany is just as high as the possibility of President Obama being from Kenya.
The Associated Press has summarized this story all the way to when Trump’s aide admitted that Trump did in fact think that President Obama was born in the United States.
Peddling this false rumor has only served as a divisive issue causing the further questioning of Trump’s race relations and assertions of racism.
There are other examples that further deteriorate the views of Trump’s character, but for me this is the only issue a person should need to cite to adequately posit that Trump is a racist and always has been.
MBU Stands Together in Christ
By MATT WILLIAMS
Is MBU white?
As a Midwest metropolitan school, Missouri Baptist University, thankfully, has seats filled with people of different color.
Pair geographic location and the nature of college with the belief in a man who has divided nations for millenniums, we wind up with a unique situation.
Especially when applied to race relations.
As a Christian university MBU has two major opportunities to offer anyone of color.
The first being a college education. Education is often arguably the ladder out of poverty.
MBU has the chance to open its doors to people who wish to change their position or outlook in life.
MBU can do this by being active in our surrounding communities and then creating opportunities through scholarships and employment that allow students to afford education, then bringing many minority groups out of a possibly difficult environment..
MBU also has the opportunity to blend the Gospel of Jesus Christ in with any educational materials and, specifically, any conversation about race.
The opportunity for all of us, though, and the role we all must play is to love one another.
Whether that looks like offering degrees and grading calculus tests, or dipping chili at a local soup kitchen on Sundays.
No differences, racial or not, will be solved until people look into the eyes of someone and feel compassion.
Many at MBU do this well.
MBU is home to an Association of Black Collegians, as well as a growing population of international students who now call America their home.
This has only been achieved because someone took the preconceived notions they had and set them aside.
They looked into the heart, and they welcomed people into the MBU community.
MBU exists to educate and to lead people to Jesus.
Everyone needs this, especially our brothers and sisters who live under the title of minority.
The Value of Cultural Competence
By SIERRA THOMPSON
What makes your college experience valuable?
Common reasons why people go to college are to gain different experiences, get an education and meet new people.
Arguably one of the most essential and beneficial characteristics of college would be its diversity.
Without diversity, college and pretty much any other place would be extremely boring and lack social understanding.
An article from the State Press explains just how important cultural intelligence is in an educational setting.
“It’s important for us as a society to recognize that diversity should not be a reason to live segregated based on culture and similarities. We shouldn’t isolate, judge or marginalize people because of our inability to understand.”
I think that growing up in a town with limited diversity greatly limited my own world view.
To put into context, my views were easily one-sided and lacked cultural knowledge.
It was not until I attended a women’s conference in St. Louis during my high school years that I realized just how little I knew about the world outside of my small town of Hillsboro.
At this conference it was safe to say that my friends and I were in the minority for this given event.
My friends and I journeyed from seminar to seminar that were mostly directed toward the African-American community.
It was quite a culture shock coming from a small town with little to no diversity.
Through most of the event I quietly listened to other young girls tell stories of oppression and hatred.
It mostly made me sad to realize just how many racial problems still existed throughout America.
If the event taught me anything, it was that I needed to be more understanding of my surroundings.
I needed to make an attempt to be more knowledgeable about the way others live.
My interpretation of the world is just one of many.
Cultural competence should not be overlooked for the fact that it allows us to be more understanding of others.
Having more of an understanding of others is what makes diversity so valuable.
The Reasons are Just, the Methods are Questionable
By CHAD OTEC
Athletes of all statuses have started kneeling or protesting during the National Anthem.
Are these players disrespecting our country and the men and women who have died for their freedom, or are they using their platform for the greater good?
Across the United States people in positions of recognition have begun taking action in raising awareness toward police officers unjustly killing victims.
Just last week, Keith Lamont Scott and Terrance Crutcher were shot and killed by police officers, their deaths received national attention, causing protests in Charlotte and Tulsa.
So do these athletes, such as NFL backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick or USA women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe, have a right to kneel during the National Anthem in order to raise awareness.
Of course they have the right to do so, as they have should try to use their platforms to raise awareness on controversial issues.
There is nothing wrong with the message they are trying to send, but I do not agree with how they are sending it.
The military and National Anthem have nothing to do with the police killings that Kaepernick is protesting or the oppression that homosexuals face, which Rapinoe is protesting.
I agree with the message athletes are trying to send, but I believe there are different methods that are more proactive in regard to fixing the problem.
I think things such as visiting troubled youth or going to dangerous neighborhoods to speak would be more beneficial to the problem.
Sadly, the media and those against athletes kneeling during the National Anthem appear as if they would rather focus on the athletes and their actions rather than the problems they are acting out against.
That being the case, I think those protesting any kind of oppression or problem with the police force should take a different approach in order to reach their goal and promote positive change.
Tags: ABC, Association of Black Collegians, Brenda Bradford, Chad Otec, Chelsie Bartley, Diversity, Grace Adams, Josh Eaton, Joshua Daugette, Matt Williams, MBU Timeline, racial issues, Sierra Thompson