Nicholas Brothers takes a stand
By Christian Mengel
February 23, 2012
“Always low prices.”
That was what one Christmas gift card said referring to Walmart, but the only thing out of the ordinary was the picture of a sweatshop as the background.
This card was given to Dr. Jonathan Euchner, a political science professor at Missouri Western. One of his political science students – Nicholas Brothers – gave him the card as a joke, after teasing his professor for being a “proud Walmart shopper.”
“I just had to give it to him,” Brothers said, “to remind him where those low prices come from.”
Over the years, Euchner has seen Brothers blossom within the department, ever since he first had him in class in the fall of 2009.
“I could tell when I first had him as a student that he followed the news regularly,” Euchner said. “He had a point of view and was curious, and curiosity is the most important thing a student could have.”
This card was just one example of his style and how he has the ability to go to the extreme to voice an opinion, which is something he encourages everyone to do. Apathy and disengagement is what Brothers sees as the biggest issue with America.
“People just believe that someone else will fix it,” Brothers says. “Everybody’s voice and hands and feet are needed.”
Another way Brothers stays active in the political field is involvement. Brothers is a proud and consistent member of the Occupy St. Joseph movement, as well as the Missouri Western Democrats club. He also is supporting the idea of building a generalized political science organization here at Western for anyone interested in politics.
“I believe in the power of the people to non-violently change a situation,” Brothers said. “I’m a big believer of diplomacy, and I’m a big believer in our ability to actually come to understandings.”
Brothers first gained interest in politics the same way he believes most people become interested, by the level of political involvement of their parents. When he was just 10 years old he went door to door with his father, canvassing for Bill Clinton.
Ever since, Brothers has continued and increased his political involvement in any way possible.
Brothers is still considering graduate school. Even though Western doesn’t offer graduate studies for the political science department, he would most likely continue his education somewhere in-state. He one day hopes to work on an international level involving human rights to help others.
Nicholas Brothers five main issues with America:
1. Apathy and disengagement – It magnifies every other problem when people decide to just check out. When people just believe someone else will fix it.
2. Inequality of wealth – The number of prosperous people are shrinking, while the number in poverty is only getting bigger. People are dropping out of the middle class, they aren’t entering.
3. Money in Politics – The vast amount of influence someone can have, just by spending money. The fact that you can virtually buy your way into what is supposed to be a democratic process.
4. Military home and abroad – Whether it’s drone strikes Pakistan and Yemen or riots in Oakland, we’re all too willing to turn to force. We think that since we’re the top power, that it makes it okay for us to control the rules of the game.
5. Institutionalized racism and classism – There are still people out there who put a ridiculous notice on people of color and people of poverty, as if they were totally responsible for every problem. People tend to think that poverty is just about laziness and lack of work ethic. Generational poverty mindset is entrenched by this crushing lack of opportunity.