Letter to the Editor: Feb 1, 2013



Gene Shelton

Being a professor at Kent State University is an honor. I’ve lived an extraordinary life thanks to this university. Kent State prepared me for life, and now I have the privilege of giving back through teaching. Life has not been and is not easy. I am 63 years old, and I am still waiting for us to overcome.

As a kid visiting my grandparents in Birmingham, Ala., I had to ride in the back of the bus. Many of us are still riding in the back of the bus. America is a white, straight, male-dominated society. There is a fear that that dominance will change as America changes. That fear triggers racism. I have never seen a sitting president disrespected by so-called government leaders as President Barack Obama has been. He’s had fingers flying in his face and he’s been called a liar. Fairness and bipartisan compromise went out the window when he was elected. And that was at the top of our government. Imagine how it is for the rest of us.

We’re celebrating Black History Month. What does it mean? It means that last week’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. should have been standing room only. It wasn’t. Finding a seat was easy. It means we cannot overcome because we cannot stop shooting and killing one another. Until we get our act together, we’ll continue to climb slowly to the mountaintop. If the legacy of Dr. King, Barack Obama in the White House and Black History Month cannot empower us, what can?

Gene Shelton

Associate Professor

School of Journalism and Mass Communication