Quson Brown talks about attending the Institute of World Politics

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 12, 2016

By Quson Brown

Special to the Post

On April 25 I had the opportunity to attend the Institute of World Politics, sponsored by former Ambassador of Estonia Dr. Aldona Wos. The meeting was phenomenal, and there were students from all over the state from schools such as Duke University, Elon Law, Belmont Abby and others. When Dr. Fisher and I arrived at the Grandover Resort, I was told that students would meet with the honored guest speakers, James Woolsey, a former CIA director and former under secretary of the Navy and current chancellor of the Institute, and John Lenczowski, the founder and president of the Institute of World Politics. Before the meet and greet, I looked for people to engage in conversation.

Eventually I was invited into a group of students, who had a great demeanor, with even better questions. The question that left an impression on me was asked by the students’ advisor: “It must be difficult for you, being a young black man and a Republican. How do you deal with others ridiculing you?”

The answer was fairly simple: communication and understanding with one another. It’s hard to understand someone’s views and beliefs if you don’t communicate. Arguing is never a reasonable answer; however, simple conversation is. After my own personal meet and greet, the students got to meet the speakers. They gave us very vague details about their past and current jobs; however, I personally was hooked when I heard Woolsey talk about his career in the CIA, although he served in the Army I didn’t let that judge the integrity of this man.

Dr. Wos started a question and answer session during a catered lunch and the crowd was very interested in the answers that were given by these two creditable men. After Dr. Wos finshed with her questions, the students were asked to line up if they had a question to ask. Being the only student from a public high school attending, I was determined to make my presence known. With the nudge of Dr. Fisher I went and stepped in line in the middle of the dining area, and asked my question. I was third in line, which is very good, because they decided to limit our speakers’ answers due to time after me.

My question was, “With the election coming up and with our two front-runners, is there any hope or strategy to solve conflicts in the east?” Needless to say, I was nervous that my question was a bit premature, I felt assured when the audience clapped after I finished speaking — yes I was the only person the audience clapped for, question-wise that is. Woolsey answered my question.

“When Reagan was elected, the Iranian government let go of their American prisoners. . . . In the end it depends on who gets elected,” he said.

I was more than content with the answer I received and then waited for the other three students who were behind me to finish asking their questions. At the end of the event I went up to the speakers and had some face time with them and expressed my gratitude. I was thoroughly honored that I could go and be a part of the event, along with being honored by having my question answered.