One NCNW panelist said “unless society changes police are not going to change” on Tuesday during a discussion on police brutality.
The general consensus was that teaching racial sensitivity amongst police is practically worthless unless the larger public or society learns to be racially conscious as well.
Likewise, the audience agreed that in order to improve the situation they have to raise future generations that not all police are good and not all of them are bad.
The panel for the evening included a combination of individuals from NCNW and Progressive Black Men Inc. The panelists were Siddiga Milord, Cassandra Allen, Rebecca Genestan, Gideon Richemond, David Bolden, Carl Hughes, and Rondel Thorpe. The hosts were Junisha Martin and Robert Holland.
The panelist and audience had a lot of feedback and theories in relation to domestic and mental abuse in the African-American community.
In regards to mental abuse and audience member pointed out that a significant amount of it stems from cyberbullying and making hurtful comments on social media.
Others stated that black people often do not give themselves permission to feel because they are taught to “just get over things” and not to address the issues.
With domestic violence, the female is often depicted as the victim because men are physically stronger.
However, panelist Carl Hughes, a junior health science major made a connection between the celebrity relationship between reality stars Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian. He stated that despite others objection he feels as though Kardashian is the victim in that particular situation.
It was noted that in domestic violence cases, the victim often takes the abuse because of self-esteem issues or lack of financial resources if in the event that they leave the situation.
The most passionate topic of the evening was the discussion of interracial dating.
The audience and panelists all seemed to have strong opinions and everyone wanted to give their two cents.
The people in support of interracial dating harked on the notion that “love is love” and people should be able to date whomever they want too. Continually, some even pointed out that they had family members who were in these kinds of relationships and it did not bother them.
The people in opposition, wanted to ensure that the people going into these relationships were not doing it for superficial reasons. These reasons range from self-hatred, fetishing multiracial children, or rejecting black women/men based on stereotypes.
Panelist Rondel Thorpe proposed the idea that some black men date white women once they reach a certain status because those women were not attainable before.
Brittney Cooper, 18-year-old freshman biomedical sciences major shared her thoughts on that stereotype.
“I love black men but it’s kind of ingrained in me now,” said Cooper. “Does a black man love me? Does he not love me?”
She further discussed these sentiments and her opinion that it seems as though, “all black men prioritize non-black women.”
Natalie Holt-Mitchell, a 22-year-old marketing major spoke on the stereotype of “light skins” versus “dark skins” in the African-American community.
“European beauty is what people focus on, “said Holt-Mitchell.
“Lighter in every culture is deemed as better.”
Cooper and Holt-Mitchell were not the only ones sharing their personal thoughts on black stereotypes.
Desire Davis, a freshman psychology major from the spoken word group “Project Spit” performed an original poem entitled “Just Because I’m Black.”
The poem combatted black stereotypes such as federal assistance, improper speech, and rudeness.
These stereotypes can most likely be associated with the lack of education in African-American communities.
The host of the evening revealed the shocking statistic that only 14 percent of black men obtain Bachelor’s degrees.
The thoughts revolving around this was that there are just not enough programs to push men to graduate.
They spoke on the fact that men need role models and they often lack the representation of black male educators.
Moreover, the focus amongst black men is on sports. When the golden ticket to sport’s opportunity is not granted, black male students often lose motivation.
An audience member made the point that growing up some people are not taught to go to college. On the same token, no one chose to live in poverty or “the hood.”
However, another audience member stated that it all starts with self-motivation. She spoke on the fact that if you want to get out of the negative situations you have to work hard to do so. She could attest to this personally.
Overall, Battle Royale sparked unique opinions and insightful discussion.
Those who wish to connect to NCNW and Progressive Black Men Inc. can follow their social media accounts.
This article was contributed by Abisola Adeyemo