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Proactive or Reactive?
The choice is yours, black people
By Charles McNair
Whal is activism? When most
people think of that word, mass
demonstrations, a flurry of activity
and “organized” chaos, mihtancy
and marching, chants and shouts
come to mind.
Webster’s Ninth New Colle
giate E>ictionary defmes activism
as “a doctrine or practice that em
phasizes direct vigorous action (as
a mass demonstration) in support
of or in opposition to one side of a
The word active means to be
“characterized by action rather
than by contemplation or specula
tion.” Do most people have a reac
tive notion of activism rather that a
proactive one? It is the former, re
activity, that pervades the hearts
and minds of the black population
here at the University.
We all know what reactivity
means. If someone hits you then
you hit them back—that’s reactiv
ity and reactionary.
Proactivity is taking the neces
sary steps before hand to discour
age someone from hitting you at
all. In The Art of War, Sun Tzu
leaches that hand-to-hand fighting
is a low form of warfare. The high
est form is actually defeating your
enemy without physical conflict.
Use your intellect and wit to
outsmart and defeat your enemy
before he even know there is ten
sion, thereby retaining peace. I am
not saying that there is never a time
for reactivity but proactivity should
be the primary goal. This is along
the same lines as the saying, “The
best offense is a good defense.”
You say, “Where is your evi
dence of this reactive nature among
UNC blacks?” 1 reply with the ex
ample of the on going struggle for a
free standing BCC. Yes, 1 say on
going because what we won was a
battle, not the war.
In my opinion, it was a minor
skirmish because if the tides turn,
which they may do at the Board of
Trustees or State Legislature lev
els, then 1 fear that the battle for the
Sonja Haynes Stone BCC may be
lost I say this, of course, with a
little skepticism, because I still
have faith in my people and more
faith in God but, “He helps those
who help themselves.”
My evidence for UNC’s black
reactivity is the amount of activity
and hype that occurred when the
media and Spike Lee were in town
a couple of months ago compared
to the inactivity now. And I am just
as guilty as anyone.
“But,” you say, “there’s nothing
going on now, inactivity is inevi
table. Besides, I got other, more
important things to worry about”
All of these statements are false.
There are things going on right now,
especially in the BCC.
Communiversity needs student
volunteers; the Cross Cultural Com
munications Institute needs more
participants; the Sonja Haynes Stone
BCC is understaffed (and they can
employ work study students too);
the BSM sponsors programs that
are more or less organized by the
same group of overworked mem
bers; the BAC has many proactive
programs; Bringing Racial Aware-
j ness Through Cultural Ed ucation
i (B.R.A.C.E.) is forming and has
I several empowering programs; and
I there are hundreds of other things
I going on.
1 Inactivity is only inevitable at
i death. You can only be defeated
! with a defeatist attitude. It is not
! that things slow down or stop; it is
j that you choose to slow down or
I stop. The activity continues on at a
! different level and it is only when
I enough people caich this defeatist
i attitude when there is inactivity,
' i.e. death.
Proactivity is vital to winning
' the war against White World Su-
! premacy. They used it and en
slaved your minds and spirits for
400 years and the meter is still run
ning. Activism must encompass
proactivity. The Communiversity
teacher is as much an activist as
Malcolm X was; both employ ac
tion after contemplation and specu
lation, which is the root of activism.
For all of you who talk and call
yourselves conscious, but don’t
walk, you need to truly wake up or
go to Hell! There is no lime for
' empty rhetoric as black jjeople die
every day of AIDS, drugs, homi
cide, suicide, genocide, ignorance.
poverty, self-destruction and the list
goes on and on.
Remember this, as your people
die, so do you. And when your
people are dead, so are you. If the
current trend of death continues, all
that will be left of the black pres
ence in America is a handful of
house niggas whose passport to in
dividual integration was a college
degree or entertaining the oppres
We are at a crossroads black
UNC. Which path will we choose?
Will we continue to choose reactiv
ity and sentence ourselves and our
people to die a slow death?
Or will we be proactive and help
insure a long and prosperous life for
hundreds of generations to come?
Choose life so that we may live.
The choice is yours. Aluta Con-
tinua sisters and brothers.
Teach Your Tfls!
The Center for TeacMng and
$eeidtid Afkican^Ameiican students to
participate in its^Diversity in tlieClasis-
room^ projects ii^ant to hear about
your experiences at WiC witli instruc
tors, courses, campus climate, etc.
Oet Involved and belp create an inclu>
sive clasaroonu Fosslbiiity of payment.
Call Kurt at the CTL, 96&
12S9, for details.
MLK Scholarship becomes endowment
Ink Staff Reports
In its 11th year of existence,
the Martin Luther King Jr. Schol
arship Fund has now reached the
$10,000 minimum amountneeded
to become an endowment.
The Theta Omicron chapter of
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
was a major factor in the drive to
achieving this endowment The or
ganization contributed in excess
of $ 1,000 to the MLK, Jr. Scholar
ship Fund making it the only cam
pus group to be on the corporate
This donation doubled the
organization’s contribution of ap
proximately $500 firom 1992.
Archie W. Ervin, chairman of
the MLK Scholarship Committee,
accepted the check on behalf of
the MLK Scholarship Fund.
Ervin said that the scholarship,
which was $200 two years ago,
has taken a giant step forward in
becoming an endowment and that
it’s now in the bank earning inter
est for future awards.
This year’s $500 award was
given to JarvisT. Harris. The other
finalists were Jacqueline Charles
Bennett gives check to Ervin as Luse and Watkins
and April Turner.
The money was raised through
the Def Comedy Jam performance
during the University’s Homecom
ing festivities. Bennett and Ervin
teamed with the production com
pany M&R Prime Inc. to make the
event possible. Don Luse, director
of the Carolina UnicHi, and Debra
Watkins, Union box office man
ager, helped negotiate contractual
agreements and ticket sales with
M&R Prime President Reginald
Kappa President Maurice
Bennett said that the planners of
the event put in several overtime
hours to help make the show hap
“The show would not have
been possible without the help of
Archie, Don, Debra and her staff,
Bennett said. “To put together a
show of this magnitude in a week
was a risk, but it paid off.”
An additional $300 was raised
through Martin Luther King, Jr
button donations that have be«;n
seen on the bookbags and jacke.
of many students.