How hazing hurts reputation of black Greek life

How hazing hurts reputation of black Greek life
Lawrence C. Ross, The Grio | March 8, 2011

So seven members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority were charged with hazing a University of Maryland pledge. The Zetas allegedly followed the usual modus operandi, beating the pledge with an oak paddle, pushing her against a wall, and causing what the police say were “severe bruising on the arms and chest”. And now that this has become a police matter, all of the accused Zetas are shocked, shocked I say! that this pledge has been hazed. How did this happen? In the words of one of the accused lawyer, his client “abhors” hazing. Yeah, right.

Now we go through the usual dance of the people saying that these accused Zetas are innocent until proven guilty, and that the pledge shouldn’t have “allowed” herself to be hazed in the first place. The Zetas involved will probably get off with a slap on the wrist, some sort of community service, and the national organization will get a lawsuit that will cost at the minimum, thousands of dollars, and at the maximum, millions. But do you know what I wish would happen? I wish Zeta Phi Beta’s national headquarters wouldn’t wait until the accused are declared guilt to make a decision on their fate. I wish Zeta expelled the accused immediately and without a hearing. Maybe then we could get the attention of black fraternity and sorority members.

You see, hazing isn’t something that you just happen to run into or just happen to do. No, hazing is a very deliberate and specific process. It’s a conspiracy of individuals who all pledge to themselves a code of silence in order to protect themselves. If you’re going to haze pledges, you have to set up an illegal underground pledge program, identify the members of your chapter or organization who aren’t trustworthy, exclude them from knowledge of the illegal pledging, and then figure out when and where to haze your pledges. The idea that you’re in the room where hazing is going on, but you didn’t participate, is as absurd as saying that you were in the pool, but you didn’t expect to get wet. You’re there, you’re guilty, whether you throw a stroke of wood or not.

And that’s why I wished Zeta dropped the hammer on the accused. Forget that the accused ranged in age from 20 years old to 26 years old, or in the words of my mother, are grown a** women who should know better. The very existence of an illegal pledge process, and that the accused participated in it, injuries or not, would be enough for an immediate expulsion.  (Read more)

Is Image Everything to the NAACP?

As I watched the controversy that developed over the NAACP’s nomination of some artists who’s images might not what you would consider to be…ummm….positive, I thought about the difficulties of being a conscious artist and getting recognition. I understand that the NAACP Image Awards want A list celebrities so they can generate ratings and too often artists that make music that’s intelligent don’t make it into the “mainstream”. I asked on Facebook and Twitter why the NAACP Image Awards doesn’t have a category for inspirational artists, if they did here are just a few I would nominate.

Wise Intelligent

If he’s not in your top five dead or alive you’re just not listening. But he’s not just an artist, his work in the community of Trenton with the Intelligent Seedz means he just doesn’t rap it he lives it. Pick up his new new album The Unconkable Djezuz Djonez on itunes

February 28, 2011 – March 6, 2011

Black Student Assigned to Play Slave in Mock Auction
Evann Gastaldo, Newser, March 6, 2011

Big Brothers Big Sisters Worried about Budget Cuts
Alexa Helms, News Channel 9, March 6, 2011

Monitoring the District’s Troubled Youth
Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, March 5, 2011

The Holy Spirit, Jesus and Social Justice in Black Churches: Making Noise or Making a Difference?
Brad R. Braxton, Huffington Post, March 5, 2011

Turning point praises President Obama’s stance on dating violence
Marion Star, March 5, 2011

Achievement Gap Persists in African-American Graduation Rates
Soyoung Kim, Neon Tommy, March 5, 2011

The Big Payoff from Black Colleges
Michael Lomas, The Root, March 5, 2011

Is UNCF’s fight for HBCUs a ‘waste’ of mindpower?
Staff,, March 4, 2011

African-American studies scholar lectures to students about racial issues
Gabrielle Royal, The battalion online, March 4, 2011

Can universities keep the minority students they woo?
Sarah Butrymowicz,, March 3, 2011

Obama Signs Short-Term Spending Bill that Kills LEAP Program
Inside Higher Ed, March 3, 2011

Howard Changes Reflect New Era Among HBCUs
Dorothy Rowley, The Washington Informer, March 3, 2011

For Young, Sex Falls in Survey
Associated Press, March 3, 2011

BSU holds ‘Expression through Black Art’
Tito Benavides, Talon Marks Arts, March 2, 2011

New book tackles ‘religious beliefs crippling African American youth’
Frost Illustrated, March 2, 2011

Editorial: Poverty is root cause of racial disparities in school discipline, March 2, 2011

Black Brits Shut Out of Top Universities
Huw Evans, The Root, March 2, 2011

Preferences for White Males and the Diversity Rational for Affirmative Action
Ilya somin, FavStocks, March 1, 2011

Black teachers help shape America
Bill Shrum,, February 28th, 2011

Monitoring the District's troubled youth

Monitoring the District’s troubled youth
Theresa Vargas, Washington Post | March 5, 2011

Joseph Mitchell parallel parks his Ford Explorer in the Huntwood area of Northeast Washington, leaving enough room to pull out quickly – “a little safety thing I do,” he says – and walks under a night sky toward an apartment building hidden from view.

He knocks on the first-floor door of a 15-year-old recently charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

The teenager is joining about a dozen young offenders Mitchell monitors daily on behalf of the District’s juvenile justice system, supplementing the work of probation officers and social workers. Mitchell and other monitors – described as the eyes and ears of the system – visit the youngsters in school to make sure they’re in class, stop by their homes to make sure they’re in by curfew and sit in court with them to make sure they don’t feel alone. Seven days a week, at all hours, they walk through some of Washington’s roughest neighborhoods and into the lives of troubled youth others might cross the street to avoid.

They do this as part of a job that most people have no idea exists and that now faces competition from a little black box. The city, using a $400,000 grant, has launched a year-long pilot program expanding the use of Global Positioning System devices to monitor juveniles. The devices provide real-time tracking at a lower cost.

With 175 devices at their disposal, juvenile justice officials have until Sept. 30, when the pilot program ends, to weigh the benefits of computerized efficiency against those of human interactions, to ask, among other questions: What is lost when no one knocks on these youngsters’ doors every day? And what is that worth in a time of financial strain?  (Read more)

Chicago's Lost World

No matter how much sex there can be or how generous your pay checks come, you still have not experienced real amazement until you’ve been to a Chicago-style poetry slam. For four years, the end of February and beginning of March has marked the season in which I unleashed my craft. As a freshman in high school a new world adopted me; I became a slam poet.  In these seasons I wrote to be recognized by a community of poetic giants, who spoke through images clamoring for points, and who aroused audiences causing their members to break the chairs in front of them. Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB), Chicago’s annual city-wide youth poetry slam festival, pulled my school into a writing process that I now understand to be an element of distinguished poets. I have seen five generations of poets evolve. Yesterday I witnessed my alma mater’s fifth collective of LTAB preliminary bouts and I could not be more proud of the dynasty that I have succeeded. But bigger than my own dynasty I realized—as a non-poet this year— the value of my city’s poetry community.

Mock Slave Auction: Ohio Student Humiliated

WBNS 10 News (via The Root) | March 5, 2011

Nikko Burton, a 10-year-old student at Chapelfield Elementary in Ohio, says he was humiliated by his teacher when she tried to demonstrate what it was like to be a slave on an auction block. Burton, one of two black students in his class, was chosen to be a slave. Students who were the “masters” inspected the “slaves” to see if they would be able workers.

“The masters got to touch people and do all sorts of stuff,” Nikko said. “They got to look in your mouth and feel your legs and stuff and see if you’re strong and stuff.”

The principal called to apologize to Burton and his mother, but Nikko is still waiting on an apology from his teacher.

See the news report here:

Whitney and Bobby? No, Chavez & Qaddafi

There are some relationships that are just doomed from the start: Bobby and Whitney, Amy Winehouse and drugs, Lindsey Lohan and alcohol, etc. It seems as if every time Ms. Winehouse says “no, no, no, no” to rehab she says, “yes, yes, yes” to climbing psychedelic trees. Although she claims that her penchant for indulging in the forbidden fruits of society haven’t had deleterious effects on her work, her mere appearance tells another story. For those of us who enjoy her tough British contralto voice, her personal decline into an abyss of hopelessness has hurt us deeply. Although many of us have tragic flaws, it becomes problematic when we mix two ticking time bombs together because the explosion is that much more dangerous. In the world of geopolitics, the partnership of Hugo Chavez and Muammar Qaddafi is more dangerous than P. Diddy and Jenifer Lopez in a NYC club.

As the world sits and watches the Libyan crisis devolve into a civil war, many policymakers, activists, and concerned citizens are worried about the potential merger of power between Qaddafi and Chavez. According to Chavez, the U.S. and other Western nations are exaggerating the events in Libya to justify military intervention. Maybe Chavez is smoking the same dope as Charlie Sheen because his rants are becoming slightly comedic. His offer for international mediation is nothing but him thumbing his nose at the international community. The Venezuelan leaders attempt to mediate is nothing more than a ploy to help a friend hold on to power.