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Ignorance isn’t bliss: Panel discusses racial divide, keynote advocates education and self reliance

According to its flyer, the target of “Ignorance Isn’t Bliss” was to address the recent shootings of black men by white police officers.  The keynote speaker, Derrick D. Grace II, and panel discussion said they aimed to inspire Clemson to “come together, listen to each other, and provide knowledge that may prevent such senseless tragedies in the future.” 
The discussion was hosted in Tillman on Sunday. 
Grace, an entrepreneur, author and father, told the audience that law enforcement was a brotherhood. 
“It’s no different than a fraternity … the mindset is that they’re going to protect each other no matter what,” said Grace, whose father and grandfather were both officers. 
“We’ve got to educate ourselves … We all think that police officers are bias — I’m not saying they aren’t some bad ones. We need to build relationships, and break down those barriers between [black men and law enforcement.]”
Grace questioned the audience on whether they “thought protests were efficient,” and “why is it that depending on the different skin color, some [shootings] receive so much more priorities than others.”
The discussion panel was led by moderator Patrick Walter-Reese, who started an educational consulting form called ASPIRE. 
Walter-Reese said he recommended that people focus on their Internet image and “focus on the wins,” so they can avoid a wrong altercation with a police officer. 
“Make yourself unshootable — give yourself a purpose and dedicate yourself to that purpose, and make yourself not dispensable.”
The discussion panel featured answers from six members of the Clemson community, asking how they were personally affected by the recent shootings in America. 
Many of those on the panel voiced concern for their children. 
“I have a 12-year-old son who’s already 5’11. He’s going to be a big kid. A big, black man. So that’s one of the fears in terms of cops,” said Clemson Director of Major Gifts Patrick Sapp, “and from my own personal experience, I know.”
Clemson University Chief of Police Hendricks also contributed to the discussion, detailing his own feelings towards the national issue. 
“When I see these things on TV, it outrages me … yes, there is a brotherhood in law enforcement,” said Clemson University Chief of Police Eric Hendricks, “but I can tell you one thing: we’re not above the law … no one is above the law.” 
Hendricks’ comments were met with a roomful of applause.
During and after the event, students took to twitter to voice their opinions about “Ignorance Isn’t Bliss.” 
“Clemson try again this was not it!! #IGnoBliss was full of ignorance,” said user @kiddNAPPY. 
Another user countered Walter-Reese’s urge for students to make 
themselves “unshootable.”
“You brought someone to Clemson to tell me to be unshootable? Don’t you think I attempt to do that on a daily basis?” said user @rockabyebaby. 
In another tweet, the same user said “Let me be clear: This was #ignobliss first stop on the college tour. Make it the last.”
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