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by Dr. Boyce Watkins
It seems that these days, any HBCU with a band is not going to have that band for very long. The bands at Florida A&M, Clark Atlanta University, and Texas Southern University have all faced suspension this year for hazing related activities. Clark Atlanta’s team has been cleared and allowed to take the field again, but this doesn’t put an end to the problem of hazing on college campuses.
Hazing deaths baffle me because there is no sillier reason for a student to die or be put in prison. College is a place to get an education, not to ruin your life by engaging in stupid behavior. What’s worse are adults who encourage students to maintain a code of silence that might lead to someone’s d***h or administrators who look the other way when this activity is occurring right beneath their noses. The fact is that even when students don’t die, they far too often end up ruining their GPAs, or turning into alcoholics after being carried away by counter productive extracurricular activities that have nothing to do with college (this happened to two of my friends who are alcoholics to his day).
Every young person should be taught to snitch on anyone engaging in any kind of behavior that might cause serious harm to another person. I don’t care if their friends get upset or they end up violating some imaginary code that was created when black people all decided that we should be Greek instead of African. With all due respect to the good that is done within Greek letter organizations, we all have an obligation to weed out self-destructive ignorance and buffoonery when it comes our way.
If we want to t*****e a college freshmen, then make him go to the library for 10 hours a day or force him to study all night without any sleep. t*****e him in ways that are going to make him stronger, not in ways that will turn him into a menace to society. We are better than this, and it’s’ up to all of us to speak up against negative behavior when we see it. Kids should not be going t college so they can end up d**d or in jail….we’ve got enough of that BS out in the streets.
We spoke to some readers on the Your Black World Facebook page on this very issue. Their responses are below. Until then, let’s be great and not be determined to ruin the greatness of our people. We need our intellectual soldiers to be strong.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and creator of the Building Outstanding Men and Boys Family Empowerment Series. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.