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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Faculty panel discusses racial atmosphere of modern U.S.

The SGA Diversity Commission hosted a program Thursday night to discuss this question: Do We Live in a Post-Racial America?
We as an organization felt it was time to raise awareness in regards to race and ethnicity, supplementing aspects of diversity imperative to Vision 2020, said diversity commission vice president Kamiar Kordi.
The SGA Diversity Commission exists to provide a more inclusive, welcoming and knowledgeable campus climate to any individual, regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion or political affiliation.
Thursdays event in the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building was organized with a panel of five faculty members from three different fields of study, including sociology, anthropology and psychology.
Many people believe that with Obama as president, we are in a post-racial America, Kordi said. We are here to provide an educational view of the question from three different departments, without taking sides on either end of the spectrum.
Audience members submitted questions at the opening of the event, to which the moderator, assistant professor of philosophy and humanities Tommy J. Curry, read the panels response.
The program covered all angles of the spectrum, ranging from the implications of the Civil Rights Movement to the correlation of global capitalism and racial oppression.
Joe Feagin, professor of liberal arts, represented the field of sociology on the panel. He emphasized the presence of modern racism with statistics.
In the U.S., 93 percent of top corporate executives are elite white men, Feagin said. This demographic only makes up 32 percent of the U.S. population.
The general consensus of the panel was that the U.S. has not reached a post-racial stage. The members provided adequate reasoning to this theory.
We continue to fight and in some areas make progress, said Pat Goldsmith, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology said. At the same time, there are still many areas that need improvement. This is not a one way road.
Many who attended the program responded positively.
Junior supply-chain management major Keltin Jordan, who found out about the event through a friend, felt the program adequately answered many of his questions and provided him with useful knowledge on the topic.
I wanted to hear a different perspective on where we are as a society today, Jordan said.
Jordan also provided his observations in regards to racism on campus.
A&M has made a lot of major strides, such as Vision 2020, but there is still a lot more we can achieve, Jordan said. Racism today may not be as direct, but it is still there. Low-key, maybe, but still present all the same.
While there was a descent turnout to the event, Kamiar Kordi believed it could have been better.
We hope to reach as many people as possible here on campus, Kordi said. Not because we have a certain view or stance, but because we want our students to feel they are a part of Texas A&M, and they belong and have a chance to succeed in this institution.

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