Prairie View A&M President Scores at Century Theater
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 14:09
When the Bison football team hosted Prairie View A&M on Saturday, little did the students know that with the team, the A&M boys brought along a very important person-- funny, witty, real and often melodramatic orator Dr. George C. Wright. Wright was a guest speaker at NDSU on Friday, Sept. 21.
Speaking on the importance of diversity in American society, the president of Prairie View A&M University shed light on the history of black people in American society. While it was no surprise to see a noted historian speak about black history in America, the messages he gave to the audience were unexpected.
He is one of those few courageous people who believe in taking a stand rather than playing the blame game.
His extraordinary oratory skills were something to learn from and clubbed with his humorous perspectives. It made for a great lecture. He spoke with the humility of a church minister and yet had the energy of a rock guitarist.
The well-read author of three books was not ashamed to speak of his modest upbringings and explained how each tide he waded through in his life had made him the man he is today.
A firm believer in “total equality,” Dr. Wright feels it is our responsibility to work for the betterment of the society and make the future “easier for the generations to come.”
Born on the same day as W.E.B Du Bois, a famous African American writer and thinker, the 62-year-old feels he was lucky to be born at a time when American society was at a turning point.
He recalls how he was able to make it through college at University of Kentucky, because some “heroes” decided to take a stand for the black society. While he was praising Martin Luther King Jr. and the like for their work in the Civil rights movement, he did not forget the good things he had to say about his best friends, who are white.
He discusses that often it is the minorities who keep the discrimination alive by thinking they are special, and only efforts form both ends of diversity can bridge the gap. Dr. Wright intends for his perspective to be applied universally and not just to the blacks and whites of America.
He was so proud and happy to see the harmony in diverse cultures evident on the NDSU campus and congratulated EDGO Vice President Evie Myers for her achievement in cultural integration here at NDSU.
In his extensive travels around the globe, the humanist feels that we are too ethnocentric to recognize other cultures. This, he says, is a reason we are quick in branding and stereotyping.
However, he thinks oftentimes people take curiosity to be discrimination. Hence, people are afraid to approach minorities and explore their culture.
While speaking to Danielle Ellis of Black Students Association at NDSU, he told her that non-black individuals “will only understand you when you welcome them in your community.”
He thinks that groups like the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/ Questioning (LGBTQ) group and other minority groups will often spark curiosity in the outsiders. This curiosity must not be met with hostility if we are looking for peace between the factions. Rather, it should be utilized as a chance to exhibit the positivity of your group to them.
Upon being asked what the difference is between desegregation and integration, he said that, “integration is voluntary, where both sections of society prefer to be harmonious and at peace, while desegregation makes it sound like the union is forced on one or both the groups.”