New White House administration discussed at Campus Conversation

Sara Welch

Students and faculty talk about Obama’s ability to unite people

Students and faculty gathered in the Student Center last night to discuss “the drama behind Obama” and the promise of the new administration.

The Campus Conversation, sponsored by Black United Students and Kent State’s NAACP chapter, began when Timothy Moore, associate professor of Pan-African Studies, asked what makes President Barack Obama black.

Moore said in the United States, Obama is considered black because of the “one-drop rule.”

“If you have one drop of black blood in you, you’re black,” Moore said. “In my opinion, we are the human race. The concept of race is a social creation.”

Dylan Sellers, junior applied conflict management major, said he thinks people pay too much attention to Obama’s race.

“He is for America and that is everyone,” Sellers said.

Sellers said one of the most important things the Obama campaign did for this generation was to bring people from all walks of life together for a common cause. He inspired people of all races.

“I hope the change that every American is behind right now doesn’t lose its glory,” junior psychology major Quiera Lige said.

During his campaign, the media equated Obama with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. These two men are parallels, Sellers said. King and Obama had a moral vision, not just a race vision, he said.

“It wasn’t just black people around him (King); it was everyone,” Sellers said. “That’s how it was for Obama during the election.”

Obama’s relaxed attitude and intelligence were also regarded as favorable qualities during the election. Barbara Hipsman, associate professor of journalism and mass communication, said for a change, America can respect someone who is smart.

“He continues to find a common thread with people and remind us we are all American,” said Danielle Flickinger, a higher education and student personnel graduate student.

Della Marie Marshall, associate director for the Center of Student Involvement, said she was excited to see other world leaders treat Obama with the respect they never had for former President George W. Bush.

Marshall said Obama is regarded so highly because he doesn’t make quick, rash decisions. He takes the time to get all the information necessary to make the right decision.

Obama is an American president, not just a Democratic or Republican president, Sellers said.

“I want to see him pulling together people,” he said.

Moving past this “color” that has seeped into our realities is the real challenge, Moore said.

“We are like flowers in a garden,” Moore said. “All the flowers aren’t the same color.”

Contact ethnic affairs reporter Sara Welch at [email protected].