NIU students’ thirst for knowledge tantalized

By Jen Bland

Jacob Carruthers was at NIU Wednesday night giving a lecture to tantalize students’ thirst for knowledge.

Carruthers is a professor and associate director of Northeastern Illinois University Center for Inner City Studies and former president of the Association for the Study of Classical African Concept (ASCAC).

The focus of the lecture was “Neo-Hegelian Multi-Culturalism: A Critique on Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. ‘Disuniting of America.'”

Carruthers defined his ideas of the “defenders of Western Civilization” and divided the defenders into two camps—the hard-liners and the soft-liners.

Carruthers defined hard-liners as people who believe African-Americans owe their heritage to the Western European civilization that took them out of history to educate them.

He defined soft-liners as people who are willing to admit that the system is one-sided and needs to be changed.

Further, he suggested that soft-liners, in an attempt to appease angry African-Americans, offer certain recompenses.

“Basically, these people are offering to come to terms if we’re civil,” he said.

In addition to his discussion about defenders, Carruthers critiqued Schlesinger’s book. He said it is used to lecture African-Americans.

In his book, Schlesinger said he disagrees with what the ASCAC teaches young African-Americans about their heritage.

He also said ASCAC should not teach young African-Americans that they are oppressed, but teach self-esteem.

“We do not feed their complex, we teach their oppression is

wrong,” Carruthers said.

Finally, Carruthers opposed Schlesinger’s idea that the African-Americans disunited the country.

“This country has never been unified where race is concerned,” he said.