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Howard University Campus Protest labeling the university a Trump Plantation (512 hits)

My View From Harlem - Backlash at my Alma Mater Studiorum at the 150th Convocation.

I was blessed to be present for the 100th Convocation at Howard University in 1967.

I listened to President Nabrit speak with pride of all the recent civil rights courageous stances and accomplishments of our university.

In the tradition of President Nabritt spoke of, I was proud I walked the Quad and Valley with many people who became famous Statesmen, Authors, Clergy, Painters, Actors, Scholars, Professors, Court Justices, Lawyers, Architects and Engineers, Doctors, Musicians, Archaeologist, Anthropologist Singers from R&B to Opera, Educators, Pulitzer and Nobel Peace Prize Honorees, University Presidents, including one that became Howard's 15th President, my friend - President H. Patrick Swygert…

At my last “Throw Back Thursday” post for Howard's 150th Charter day anniversary, I spoke of my reflections of those years and the 50 years since....

I am open to discussion on my essay post, which maybe controversial and it's alright if you disagree with me.

However, I felt deeply insulted that some of my so-called fellow Alumni chose that moment to brag about how they “ousted” President Nabrit in 1969.

LET ME REMIND ALL OF YOU INVOLVED, THIS WAS MY 150TH ANNIVERSARY SESQUICENTENNIAL POST AND REFLECTIONS AND NOT YOURS!!!

WHEREAS THERE WERE PROBLEMS WHICH HAD TO BE ADDRESSED, FOR THOSE OF "US" WHO WERE PART OF THIS ERA, ONE DOES NOT TAKE PRIDE AND BRAG IN OUSTING A FAMOUS PRESIDENT SUCH AS Dr. JAMES NABRIT JR.

A PRESIDENT WHO WAS INSTRUMENTAL AND PART OF THE LEGAL TEAM WINNING “BROWN VS BOARD OF EDUCATION”

A PRESIDENT, AS A CIVI RIGHTS LAWYER, IN HOWARD UNIVERSITY'S TRADITION, DEFENDED OUR RACE OF PEOPLE BEFORE THE MCCARTHY "WITCH HUNT" HEARINGS OF THE HOUSE ON UNAMERICAN ACTIVITIES" BEFORE THE CONGRESS.

WHAT MAKES THIS STUDENT PROTEST SO HEINOUS AND MISGUIDED WAS, THESE STUDENTS DID NOTHING ABOUT THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES WHICH DIRECTED AND MANDATED PRESIDENT NABRIT.

LET ME REPEAT THAT, NOTHING DID NOTHING ABOUT THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES WHICH DIRECTED AND MANDATED PRESIDENT NABRIT.

I have been outspoken about President Fredericks's visit to the White House with the other HBCU Presidents.

Many of you in rebuttal insist that in order for Howard to continue and receive monies, and to quote one of you, “We must play the game”.

The late Dr. Carter G. Woodson credits his father for influencing the course of his life.

His father, he later wrote, insisted that “learning to accept insult, to compromise on principle, to mislead your fellow man, or to betray your people, is to lose your soul.”

Howard University had the opportunity to lead, take a stance and oppose this meeting.

In this greater attention would be brought to the needs for better funding of HBCUs.

Instead, President Frederick went to the White House and as far as I'm concerned, “With hat in hand”.

At the very least, Dr. David Wilson of Morgan State, had the decency and respect to first meet who said he consulted with student leaders, faculty, alumni and regents before agreeing to the meeting.

President Wilson said, “I was not there for a photo op with the president. I was not there to make any statement about legitimizing him”

Unlike President Frederick, who now chooses to have an "After the fact" town hall with students and faculty. Why bother??? It can only be more rancorous...

I have also spoken of the protest painting on the Quad's pavement and some buildings.

Some would argue to give him a chance to explain himself - really???

President Frederick should have done this before hand as President Wilson did and not after the damage was done.

For all I care now, he just should send out a press statement and think of more deflection to apply on Alumnus, Students and faculty.

Many of my fellow Alumni said it was “vandalism and destruction” and blame students.

Let me first point out, HOW DO WE KNOW IT WASN'T FACULTY, HOPING STUDENTS WOULD BE BLAMED?

HOW DO WE KNOW IT WASN'T FACULTY COUPLED WITH STUDENTS – IT'S HAPPENED BEFORE..

However, this was far from “vandalism and destruction”, it was a protest statement focused on the bigoted President of this country and President Fredericks.

No one destroyed any property, no one took a sledgehammer to the pavement or to the side of buildings that's “vandalism and destruction”.

The Howard University I knew of the 100th Centennial, would at the very least would have taken a stance and did much more.

However, the Howard University at 150th, by many of the complacent standards of alumni and student, condemned this action – what's wrong with this picture???

Well there's been a backlash by alumni and students alike, and at of all places at the 150th Convocation.

And on Thursday, students disrupted a university convocation to protest what they saw as Howard University’s catering to the Trump administration.

One student confronted Dr. Frederick, shouting: “Someone might have convinced you that money is more important than people. But we are asking you, in this moment, to choose us, to take a stand for us, and to do right by us.”

Here's a thought, President Swygert, Howard University's 15th President was mandated to raise $250,000,000 dollars as part of the university's fund raising. President Swygert not only raised the required monies, he exceeded the amount and raised $268,000.000.

And certainly never raised again by his successor, Sidney Ribeau in his 6 years as President. So much for hiring the head of the Board Of Trustee's Brother in-law...

The problem is Dr. Frederick either doesn't know how to raise these amounts or is incapable.

Instead, Dr. Frederick uses deflection and places it all in the hands of Alumni... Wrong on all levels..

I for one, will not suppress emerging minds of students and their concerns ,because it's comfortable for some alumni, faculty and President Fredericks taking the so-called "high road".

Now some of you might be very upset because of where this happened or this might have spoiled your Convocation Dinner - so be it..

I for one choose to be honest and not be part of a hypocrisy misdirecting what happened and why.

Morehouse's Presdeint already has come forward and said of the meeting and said and I quote, " WE GOT PLAYED"

After meeting with the Trump administration for two days and reviewing Cheddar Bob’s executive order on HBCUs, Morehouse College President John Wilson Jr. issued a statement Thursday admitting that over 100 HBCU presidents went to the White House, and all they got was a lousy Instagram photo.

Wilson said that he and other black college heads were excited when they heard Trump’s usual hyperbole promising to “do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before.”

After all, President Barack Obama set aside $3 billion for African-American colleges and made them a priority within the Department of Education, so Trump, Wilson reasoned, would at least give them $500 million more for this year alone, right?

Maybe he’d even boost Pell Grants and create an innovation fund! At least he’d do something Republican, like offer tax breaks to companies that donate to HBCUs! Those are reasonable expectations, right? Wrong.

And so now the Genie is out of the bottle and I leave you with my last Frederick Douglass quotes,

“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.”

and as far as your judgment of me, I say,

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/04/us/backlash-black-colleges-trump.html?emc=edit_th_20170304&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=63529486&referer
Posted By: Victorio Loubriel
Sunday, March 5th 2017 at 1:35PM
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