Muskegon Community College “And Justice For All” lecture series

On September 24, 2015 Muskegon Community College hosted the 3rd installment of their “And Justice For All” lecture series. The series consists of a panel made up of Sociology Professor, Nicholas Budimir; Women’s Studies professor, Gretchen Cline; adjunct instructor, Floyd Cook; and Papa N’jai, an anthropology professor. Budimir prompts the series, and in order to make the series more interactive for the student audience, everyone was given a turning point clicker in order to partake in the online quizzes.

Today’s topic of interest was bias and inequality in today’s society, with primary discussion based on overt bias and micro or individual level inequality. Professor Budimir stated that the national conversation on race was arguably ignited 3 years ago by the death of Treyvon Martin.  Budimir also went on to say that most of the bias that we see today has been affected by new age technology, and stated that in certain hands cell phones have become guns. Budimir also said that since the 60’s the United States has become segregated again.

There was some initial technical difficulty before starting the interactive quiz, but after the ball got rolling the questions were eye opening, a portion of these questions and answers from the audience are as follows;

How motivated are you to stop prejudice within yourself: 24% said they were highly motivated, 4% voted not at all, 20% said they were slightly motivated, 51% were moderately motivated.

Professor Gretchen Cline commented that she thought these answers were positive and that she had expected to see far more people that were moderately motivated and slightly motivated, but overall was happy with the results.

Another question was: Blacks should have to work their was up like other minorities have had to do: 7% said they strongly agree, 17% said they agree, 33% said they disagree, and 22% said they strongly disagree.

The questions focused on the racism that is prevalent between the races of African Americans and Caucasians. Most of the questions were extremely broad and clearly circumstantial, which were hard to answer clearly. Professor Papa N’jai stated that he thinks that based on these answers society is moving in the right direction.

After the quiz was given Adjunct Professor Floyd Cook made a statement saying, racism is still alive and well, and that there is only one real race which is the human race. There was a question from the audience regarding the definition if this race discussion and if the racial issues regarding Middle Eastern and other minorities fit into the same bracket and are even more of a problem in this day and age. Cook made the rebuttal that he believes that the largest form of racism today is between the black and white population, not Muslim or Middle Eastern.