Tag Archives: Central Connecticut State University

A Reflection on Tim Wise at CCSU

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By Jackson Rioux

Anti-racism advocator Tim Wise gave a passionate speech at CCSU for nearly two hours at Bridging the Gap: A Dream Deferred on Dec. 10.

His rhetoric was harsh, inspiring, and at times, even humorous. Perhaps not everyone in attendance agreed with everything Wise said.

Photo from the 2015 Bridging the Gap promo video.

However, you can’t say Wise’s speech wasn’t thought-provoking.

One part of Wise’s discussion that struck a personal note was when Wise brought up Louisiana, and New Orleans.

Louisiana is one of my favorite places to visit. I love the vast variety of cultures, food, and people who inhabit the state.

My favorite player, and New Orleans native, Leonard Fournette.

Most of all, I love watching LSU football. I don’t know how my love for LSU came to be, except that I was a child and playing the latest NCAA Football video game on my PlayStation.

I’ve been to Louisiana twice. Once in 2008, and again in 2012. Both times, I was relatively ignorant to the dominant issues that plagued Louisiana.

David Duke was one Louisianan I had never heard of until Tim Wise spoke of him.

I was astonished.

How could a Neo-Nazi, white nationalist, and former Klansman be allowed to run for Governor of Louisiana in 1991?

Yes, he lost, but the disturbing fact is that six out of 10 white voters voted for him. Wise appropriately points out that Duke, and other politicians base their campaign platform on blaming, “the others.”

In reality, the people of Louisiana, and this country, should be looking at the rigged economic system.

Wise’s Louisiana story comes full circle when he talks about the two communities that were most devastated by Katrina.

These two communities were the Lower Ninth Ward and Chalmette.

The Lower Ninth Ward was 95 percent black while Chalmette was 95 percent white.

Wise describes them as, “Working class areas located right across the street from each other.”

During Duke’s bid for Governor of Louisiana, “70 percent of the residents from Chalmette voted for the racist candidate.” Instead of looking at the “underclass” as the problem, the residents should have looked at the policies instituted by the government.

It would come back to haunt them a mere 14 years later.

The politicians had left the working class citizens out to dry. It didn’t matter what color they were.

Rather than spend money on levees or reform, the government decided it was better suited for other things, such as, in Wise’s words, “Casinos, overpasses for tourists to get to the casinos, and giving the rich tax breaks.”

Had the black and white communities of the Lower Ninth Ward and Chalmette united to look at the area’s real issues, perhaps policies would haver changed.

Wise summed it up best when he said, “Those white folks in Chalmette would have been a hell of a lot better off if they joined hands with the black and brown folks…together they could have marched on Baton Rouge demanding a better deal.”

From right to left: Max, Tim Wise, Myself, Spencer
From right to left: Max, Tim Wise, Myself, Spencer

It’s important that we stop scapegoating and blaming others. It is imperative we work together as human beings. We can no longer hold unwarranted attitudes toward people simply because they do not look like us.

Let the destruction of the Lower Ninth Ward and Chalmette be a cautionary tale.

Is There a New King in Town?

On April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the Letter from Birmingham Jail in the margins of the daily newspaper while sitting in prison. In the letter he discusses how there must be direct non-violent action to confront unjust laws.

Fast-forward to the current year 2015, where an African American President is currently leading the nation. One could be under the belief that racism and unequal treatment ended long ago with Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wrong.

On October 26, 2015, my communication class was graced with the presence of Bishop John Selders. Selders, a musician as well as a third-generation preacher, realized that a silent approach in politics could not accomplish change on a larger political scale. This realization came at the means of great loss. On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed African American, was shot by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

The compassion and energy Bishop Selders expressed over equal rights and the passion in support of the Black Lives Matter movement was explosive. Bishop Sanders, like Martin Luther King Jr., would prepare his team for non-violence action protests. Here was a man willing to shut down streets, get arrested, make a stand, and speak out because of unjust treatment of African Americans.

If interested, please refer to their website- moralmondayct.wordpress.com

One thing that I found particularly interesting was Bishop Sanders reference to dog whistle politics. Dog whistle politics are when individuals or groups support in silence. They are typically afraid to confront mainstream views, even if they believe them to be wrong. Similarly, to Martin Luther King Jr. who believed that staying silence is as bad as committing the act itself.

If you haven’t read about or seen Bishop John Selders, that may change quickly because he has the integrity to make a difference.

 

Olivia C. Granja

A Look at College Scorecard

The U.S. Department of Education recently released its redesigned College Scorecard website. The 2.0 version has drawn both criticism and praise.

Supporters have called the website “revolutionary,” and cited the massive amount of useful data as a resource for high school students and families to analyze.

After being left off the White House's College Scorecard, Hillsdale College cited its conservative principles as the reason for its omission.
Hillsdale College cited its conservative principles as the reason for its omission from College Scorecard.

Detractors have said the website shuts out conservative schools and limits a college decision to a “single number.”

One school even said it was excluded from the website because it “Doesn’t count students by race.”

Personally, I think College Scorecard is a step in the right direction. It may not be a “finished product,” but it is definitely an upgrade from the 2013 version.

Statistics from Central Connecticut State University
Statistics from Central Connecticut State University

Look at the graphic to the right. The average cost of the college is broken down into family income brackets. This is an extremely useful tool for a high school student.

The website also takes other important factors into account. This includes, graduation rate, earnings after school, financial aid, etc.

Other popular college information websites such as Naviance and Collegeboard simply don’t go into this amount of depth.

Similar info from Collegeboard. Which do you find more helpful?
Similar info from Collegeboard. Which do you find more helpful?

This doesn’t mean College Scorecard is perfect. Improvements can certainly be made.

Continuing to build upon this information, and even going more in-depth is a must for the U.S. Department of Education.

With more information, college decisions may not be so difficult and stress-worthy for wealthy, and particularly, struggling families alike.


By: Jackson Rioux