As I sat down at my computer, moments after leaving the Quanell X lecture last Tuesday night, I found myself dismayed and even enraged at the events that went on that night.
I went into this ordeal with an honestly open mind, hoping that Quanell X would prove wrong my assumptions about the New Black Panther Party and its constituents.
However, even though I waited for half an hour for the man to actually speak, it took only minutes for him to confirm my suspicions that he is indeed a racist, and a very hateful man.
I first felt my indignation bubbling up when he made his first generalization about “white folk” working against the black people to keep him from speaking at Sam.
From then on, many more generalizations were made about the white people and what they allegedly believe. They were generalizations about racial ignorance that no people of my ethnicity that I know, have felt since the 1950s.
He proceeded to claim that white people were going to hell, and that we really didn’t want black people at our schools unless they were helping us in our athletic departments, and other such lies.
Not only that, but he even encouraged segregation amongst his own people, rallying them to attend “their own schools and to build their own communities.”
But this maybe would not have been so bad had not a majority of the people in that auditorium ignorantly cheered at every foul word he spewed.
I was reminded of what KKK meetings must have felt like in the 1950s and earlier. Even more dramatic, I felt like I was witnessing Hitler and the hatred he spread, and because of the people’s ignorance was able to spread across a whole nation.
Like Hitler, he used his oratory skills and charisma to move people to passion, instead of relying on sound diplomatic views.
In a previous letter to the editor, one student here at Sam mentioned that when Quanell X came to his hometown it stirred up many racial problems.
I have no doubt in my mind that the relations between most whites and blacks will be strained for at least a few days. I challenge every person who also witnessed this hateful man to analyze what he said, to look deep within himself to question if he teaches tolerance or hate.
Racism is just that on any side of the spectrum. I understand that all citizens of this country retain the right to free speech. However, it is our responsibility as Americans to decide for ourselves if we will allow such intolerance to infiltrate our community, or if we can continue to work towards the equality that Martin Luther King worked so hard to achieve.
Only our actions towards one another will show our true aims for this society, and our commitment to living together harmoniously.