Notre Dame community members discuss racial issues, love

first_imgMembers of the Notre Dame community gathered in the Joyce Center on Tuesday to celebrate and honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, hearing from a panel entitled “A Call to Love: Bridging the Racial Divide.” Speakers discussed racial issues both in the world  and at Notre Dame, reflecting on how love and hope can help mend divides among groups. The panel was moderated by Jennifer Mason McAward, director of the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights and associate professor of law. The panelists were Rev. Hugh Page, vice president and associate provost of undergraduate affairs; Rev. Peter McCormick, C.S.C., director of Campus Ministry; Ernest Morrell, director of the Center for Literacy Education; Notre Dame senior Alyssa Ngo; professor of art Maria Tomasula; and third-year law student Cameasha Turner. McAward began the discussion by giving a general definition of racism and asked the panel what they believe racism to be and how they see its manifestation in society. “Bigotry involves individual, interpersonal acts of meanness, based on a recipient’s racial, ethnic or cultural identity,” McAward said. “Racism refers to the systematic distribution of resources, power and opportunity in our society to the benefit of people who are white and the exclusion of people of color.”Ngo drew the distinction between individualized racism and systemic racism, stating that people should realize that the type of racism that most permeates society is systemic. “In terms of a systemic, institutionalized matter of discrimination, that’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about racism … and I think it’s important that we get that definition on the table,” she said.Morrell agreed with Ngo but countered that individual racism is what perpetuates the cycle of hate throughout the years.“It’s the thoughts that individuals have that undergird the system … Our thoughts about others, our perceptions about others, that undergirds the system. While I would agree that racism is systemic, it is only sustainable because of individuals’ thoughts and actions in our society,” Morrell said. The panel then moved on to discussing the Inclusive Campus Climate Survey, focusing on the fact that 47 percent of students did not agree that Notre Dame demonstrated an authentic commitment to diversity. “There is no shortage of work to do in every aspect of life that we have here,” Page said.“When we think about this mission and tradition, it comes back to who’s making these decisions,” McCormick said. “If we believe our mission to be robust enough that it can enlighten hearts and minds and that other people from varying perspectives can come and take it and amplify it, in my estimation, we should strive in every way to allow that to be accomplished.”In addition, Turner discussed the disparity between the values taught in the Christian tradition and the action taken by churchgoers. “I challenge, not only the students, the faculty to re-examine what it means to be a Christian and not just attend Mass, not just attend church and be okay in that moment, but to actually leave church, to leave these panel discussions and implement what we talked about, what the pastor preached and what the priest told us,” Turner said. The conversation then turned to King’s provocative quote, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear,” and discussing how love affects the movement to end racism. “If you take the lead of Dr. King and embrace the idea of a commitment to love and a commitment to justice, then that really is a demanding call that requires both soul-searching and, really, truth-telling,” Morrell said. Tomasula echoed Morrell’s idea of love that requires action and hard work. “For me, love that doesn’t move beyond a feeling, that’s fine, but not that useful and not that useful for a struggle that Dr. King was engaged in,” Tomasula said. “However, as I said, love can take many forms, and love that takes the form of action seems to be the sort of love that’s needed.” The panel then moved to talk about the next steps to combat racism both at the University and in the world. Ngo cautioned against simply using prayer as an excuse to stay complacent in the fight for racial justice. “We are instruments of God’s plan on Earth, and so if we are praying to God to end racism, how are we acting as instruments to end racism,” she said.McCormick echoed this point, saying that people should not pick and choose when to be involved in the anti-racist movement, but rather fully commit to the cause.“How is it, then, that we encounter one another, learn from one another, engage one another, educate one another, because something beautiful is possible,” McCormick said. “But when we hold back and only choose to opt in here or there or when we choose, something is lost in the process.”The conversation ended with panelists expressing their hopes for the future of equality despite the despair that often arises due to the sheer volume of the task ahead. “I have hope because we’re here,” Page said. “I have hope because of this panel. I have hope because of Walk the Walk Week, not only because of what it represents in terms of our concrete steps to build positive relationships with one another and to engage in a soul-searching, transformational world that will help us live into the aspirations that we have, but also that we are in the process of building things that will stand the test of time and survive all of us. Walk the Walk Week is an institutional investment in the creation of structures that will survive even without those of us that are here.”Tags: Call to Love panel, martin luther king jr. day, Racism, Walk the Walk Weeklast_img read more

Van Gaal nears decision on players

first_imgLouis van Gaal will sit down with his players after their tour and tell them whether they have a future at Manchester United. Van Gaal and his 25-man squad fly back to Manchester in the early hours of Tuesday morning following their final game of the US tour against Liverpool. Van Gaal has racked up morale-boosting wins over the Los Angeles Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, but he is still unhappy with certain aspects of his squad. Van Gaal thinks Van Persie is unlikely to be fit to face Swansea on August 16, but the other two could be in contention for United’s Barclays Premier League opener, depending on how they react to training. “I have to look at Robin van Persie if he is coming back or not,” said Van Gaal, who coached the striker at the World Cup. “But if you have three weeks holiday and only four days training before the Valencia friendly (on August 12) you are not fit enough. “For the first game in the Premier League it’s possible but I don’t think so.” United’s money-spinning tour of the US started amid a blaze of publicity in Los Angeles, but two-and-a-half weeks later, their presence in the US is a lot more low-key. Only a couple of hundred invited guests turned up at the Sun Life Stadium to watch United’s final training session in America. The session was more of a warm-down as they only played Real Madrid on Saturday night. On the eve of the match, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said Van Gaal is facing a totally different challenge to any other he has faced in his long and successful career. Van Gaal, who has won titles in Spain, Holland and Germany, says he is up to the challenge. “That’s why I’m here,” he said. “Maybe he is right because I have to experience that but I was also in Spain and in my first year I won three titles, in Germany I won two titles. “If I win one here we will all be happy.” Van Gaal is expected to ring in the changes for the final in Miami, which kicks off at 1am BST on Tuesday. The winner takes home a prize of one million US dollars (£600,000). Javier Hernandez, Shinji Kagawa and Wilfried Zaha face uncertain futures after limited playing time in America while Marouane Fellaini and Anderson, who have not made the trip, could also be shown the door. Van Gaal wants to tell his players whether they have made the cut well before the transfer window closes so he will approach them individually and inform them of their fate when they get back to England. “I shall make judgements after the tour,” the United boss said. “I have let all the players play so I know now more than I did before. “But in football you have to judge. Always you have to give a chance to a player to make a transfer when you see that his perspective is not so high to play. “You have to say it in advance. When you say it on August 31st it’s too late. I shall say to the players what I think after the tour.” Van Gaal has sent coach Marcel Bout back to England to work with the likes of Robin van Persie, Adnan Januzaj, and Fellaini, who have been given time off following their exploits at the World Cup. “They (Van Persie, Fellaini and Januzaj) have already trained. I sent Marcel Bout back to train them, along with Nicky Butt,” Van Gaal said. Press Associationlast_img read more