The Wayne State Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights will host “Deconstructing White Supremacy,” which will take place on Feb. 20. at 1:30 p.m. at the David Adamany Bernath Auditorium in the UGL.
The event will help promote American politics, with a better understand of what the meaning of white supremacists are, and what the future hold in a state of white supremacy.
Panelists of the event include Director of the Center of Peace and Conflict Studies Fred Pearson, Associate Professor of Political Science Ron Brown, Director of Cohn-Haddow Center for Judiac Studies Howard Lupovitch, Professor of Political Science and Law Brad Roth, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Marquita Chamblee and Associate Professor of History Liette Glidlow.
Dispute Resolution Specialist Barbara L. Jones will moderate the panel.
“[The Peace and Confilct Studies Department is] trying to have serious scholarly discussions of the various aspects and concepts of white supremacy, white nationalism, white privilege, white decline and what to make of them," Jones said.
"Each person on the panel brings different perspectives on the topic. Panels and discussions like this are valuable to help the audience understand social issues and how these concerns impact diverse perceptions. It is important that the community are a part of these public discussions."
Bushra Hussain, a current graduate student, said, "[In] a country constructed by immigrants, it is an unfair mentality to believe one race is superior to another; it violates the American Constitution.”
Hussain said it’s important to remember that the United States is a country of immigrants.
"WSU needs more events like ‘Deconstructing White Supremacy’ as a reminder to people about the history of USA and how there is no real American. We are all immigrants one way or another," Hussain said.
Jones said the university would benefit with more similar events like this.
"Although conversations like this can or may be difficult, I consider this public discourse necessary,” Jones said. “Based on the recent election, the topic in itself and various media reports, we want to examine the subject matter in a historical context, its validity and its effects."
Shreya Sutariya, an undergraduate international student, said when most people think of white supremacy, they think of people in the Ku Klux Klan or those who fly the Confederate flag.
“The truth is that the subtleties of white supremacy are evident in almost every aspect of our society -- from police brutality in the streets to the implicit racial biases that even elementary school teachers can have," she said.
Sutariya said it is important that WSU holds events like this because the university has a diverse group of students, faculty and staff. Because of this, she said WSU might be more likely to think white supremacy is not that significant on campus.
“It's important to realize that the implicit biases that result from white supremacy are present everywhere and so deeply rooted in our society that we need to made aware so that we can even attempt to change," Sutariya said.
Sutariya said WSU witnessed an act of racism with racist graffiti in a campus restroom, which bring about the fear of an up rise of crimes, more specifically hate crimes upon certain minorities.
"People need to realize that we attend classes with proud white supremacists. With that in mind, educating the rest of the campus about white supremacy is powerful and necessary," she said.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the event website.