Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dr. Michael Dyson Speaks at Vol State

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, speaker, author, and Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, spoke to Vol State on the subject of race titled “Obama: One Year Later” on Monday March 1st.

“As a moderate democrat he sought to overcome some of the left over issues from the sixties. Barack Obama certainly wanted to find a way to link himself with the founding fathers as a black man. He wanted to be judged by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. He had to convince America that he was not obsessed with race,” said Dyson.

Dyson is a controversial speaker, and talked about issues that many people wouldn’t even think about unless they are African American. Dyson talked about scientists and how “some black folks don’t want to donate their organs.” He jokingly said, “Don’t take my heart! I’m still breathing!” He said that African Americans aren’t afraid of science, just some scientists. “Remember the Tuskegee Air Experiment? Can black people get the same treatment as animals?” he added.

Dyson said, “Rich, white people run America. We don’t speak our mind about how we feel about race issues. Mr. Obama knew he had to address this issue.”

Dyson went on to say that, “I don’t want white brothers and sisters to stop being white, black people to stop being black, Asians to stop being asian, etc. I want people to be who they are. Be accepting of who you are. When we look at race in America, I don’t want to live in a post-racial society, I want to live in a post-racism society. We have to accept who we are.”

Deondra Moore, student, said she thought his presentation was great and really enjoyed it. “I’m hoping that we can have a lot of speakers in the future.”

“It will definitely take some time,” Moore said of the challenges of racism. “As far as challenges racially at college, I haven’t run into any,” she added.

Moore is a light skinned African American woman and said she deals with racism due to the color of her skin. “It’s not so much white people. It’s black people that tease me about being light-skinned,” she said.

While the issue of racism is a touchy subject, it is still prevalent in America, even a year after Obama’s election into the presidency.

Volunteer State Community College

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