“In teaching about inequality, protest, and social change, I’ve sometimes cited the Moral Mondays/Forward Together movement to offer an example, or to link general principles to local events.
“In doing so, I’ve found that, in a class of thirty or so students, only a few will know what I’m referring to, let alone who is protesting what. I am thus reminded that most of the time students spend on their smartphones is not devoted to following the news but to communicating with their equally detached peers….
“It would be a mistake to blame students for what they don’t know, to chide them for being absorbed in social media or celebrity trivia. Students are products of their culture, time, and place. As are we all. If college students today know more about the Kardashians than about politics and policy, it’s because of what they’ve been taught to mind and taught to ignore….”
On this day in 1988: Basketball legend “Pistol Pete” Maravich, who played at Broughton High School in Raleigh when his father was coaching at N.C. State, dies from cardiac arrest during a pickup game in Pasadena, Calif. He is 40 years old.
Less than a year earlier, Maravich spoke in Charlotte about his recent conversion to Christianity:
“My valley was the bar, it was alcohol, it was women. I had that external glow of happiness, but inside I was so empty. I wouldn’t trade where I am right now for 1,000 NBA championship rings.
“If people just see a basketball player when they look at me, forget it, my life is nothing. The old Pete Maravich is dead and buried.”
“Nobody now fears that a Japanese fleet could deal an unexpected blow to our Pacific possessions…. Radio makes surprises impossible.”
— Josephus Daniels, publisher and former Navy secretary, dedicating station WLAC at North Carolina State College, Oct. 16, 1922.
On this day in 1965: About 1,000 N.C. State students converge on the student newspaper office to demand that editors apologize for having proposed that “Dixie” be stricken from the repertoire of campus musical groups.
About 400 protesters march on to the Capitol. In the evening’s only conflict, a poster reading “Down with Dixie” is ripped from the hands of two black students and destroyed.