Bringing new school political leadership to old school academic values provides a promising yield.
I know that amongst the faithful of Hip Hop Nation, Hiram, OH is not a place where many would say they could find an offshoot of the New School – politically or otherwise.
However, Hiram (HI’ rum) College in rural Ohio outside of Cleveland provided the platform – and the blueprint – for the future of political thought, particularly how the political media looks at the issues of the day in government and leadership.
On Monday, Hiram College’s Garfield Institute panel featured Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco-Soto, political science professor at Northwestern University and Charles Ellison of “The New School” radio show on XM Radio (Saturdays at 7 AM EST on XM Radio’s POTUS channel) for a 90-minute discussion on our experiences in the media as new school politicos. The significance of this discussion occurring at tiny Hiram (www.hiram.edu) starts with the fact that one of the rising elections experts in the country – Hiram’s professor of political science Dr. Jason Johnson – hosted the event as a staff professor. It moves forward from there in that the surprisingly diverse and impressively well-rounded students were connected to a diverse panel. This panel consisted of a Latina originally from Arizona that teaches at one of the most prestigious institutions in the nation and a hip-hopper from Philadelphia that worked for New Gingrich as a centrist – or even a Hip Hop Republican that has more in common with custodians than the average Republican politico may.
Yet, it all came together – the leveraging of the past and the vision for the future.
So what, right? Well, this is what…
In today’s times, without the proper perspective of the past, we risk following the current directives of today’s political leaders (federal, state, and local) to a place where the bind of Americanism gets lost in the fog of American instant gratification. The panel – set in a little tiny town that would be considered an unlikely bastion of diversity, political leadership, or even Hip Hop Republicanism, for that matter – brought light to how and why we must keep a focus on both what America has always been and what America must grow into being moving forward.
That vision is not going to come from neither the Nancy Pelosis of the world nor the John McCains of the world. It is going to come from the students of Hiram College and the readers of Global Grind. Further, it’s not going to occur with any level of effectiveness without a solid bridge between the two factions of new-school Americans.
And this is where the blend of new-school political leaders such as Dr. DeFrancesco-Soto and Mr. Ellison into the fold of America’s societal filter for politics becomes so important. Never before has America had a chance to bridge the gap between academia, the media, the streets, and the government as