Monday, October 19, 2009

Kwasi on Hampton University's Ms. Hampton


OK, I guess everyone knows by now that Hampton University has it's first white Ms. Hampton, and the battle cries are going out about Hampton's sell-out, integrationist-bent, Dr. King mania. To be clear, I don't like it either, because of the implicit message it sends to our Black youth about the euro standard of beauty trumping the Afrikan standard. But, I'm not going to get heartburn over it. Why? Because there are bigger, more important battles to fight, and a warrior with limited resources must select which fight to engage in. And I'll get to the bigger educational fight in a moment.

But first, I want to deal with this idea that Dr. King, et al, brought us to this integrationist mode that has caused us to some how slam his memory and contributions toward the liberation of Afrikan people. Integration has been blamed for a large portion of our current social ills. But, I believe, in the larger historical sense that the culprit is not integration, but the blame should be placed squarely on US! Integration, i.e., the concept of equal access to public facilities, jobs, schools, economic opportunities and so forth, is not a new social phenomenon at all. Our KMT ancestors also essentially practiced it by opening their doors to the so-called Greek scholars to engage in advanced study at the great KMT "mystery" schools/university. From Thales to Plato, Pythagoras and numerous others, the first busing "actually shipping" of foreign students to the mother/father land occurred. I have Dr. Asa Hilliard on video saying that KMT opened it's doors to foreigners and they were permitted to join the society and actually rise up into positions of power in KMT.

Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, on his visit to Atlanta, said that ancient KMT had white slaves in practically every household. And the society of KMT was so just that those slaves could actually sue government officials in court and they were also permitted to advance in the society according to their merit. (To be sure, Afrikan "slavery" was much more humane than that practiced by the Arabs and europeans--See the comparison chart in the Black Panther Party Reparations handbook). The essential difference in the two integrationist models, is that the KMT maintained their cultural persona, while we left our culture at the door when we stepped into the what was previously an exclusive white domain! We forgot about the traditional Afrikan principles that Dr. Karenga encapsulated in the Kwanzaa rituals. We forgot about buying from each other, we forgot about taking care of our elderly, our homeless children, we forgot about a sense of community wherein the whole village was responsible for the welfare of each and every child, and taught them, instead of preying on them. We forgot our deep rooted Afrikan spirituality and readily absorbed euro/arabic religions, and more importantly adopted euro/arabic world views. Yes our enslavement had devastating impacts on our culture, but we still maintained a healthy vestige of that culture after enslavement, according to a study conducted by Professor Manu Ampim. We typically did not engage in wide-spread socially dysfunctional behavior such as disrespect for our women,and children, the elderly until we crossed the threshold into integration were we forgot our soul. I repeat, the problem was not integration, the problem is US! Dr. King had his flaws like all of us do, but I'm not going to dis-respect what he did to enable us to obtain access to the public coffers that our tax dollars were paying for. As a very personal example, my mother transitioned to the ancestral realm before 1965, prior to equal access. She fell sick at work and instead of them taking her to the nearest hospital around the corner, they trucked her 30 miles across town to the "Black" hospital. That delay in her receiving prompt medical attention was causal in her death; she arrived at the "Black" hospital DOA! So don't anyone get in my face about how integration is our enemy; if society was integrated then, my mother would likely still be here.

Now for the larger educational fight. President Obama has cut over $85 Million from his budget for aid to Black colleges! Get as mad about that as about the Hampton students who elected a white queen in a beauty contest open to all female students. Even Bush passed the &85M in his time. And if you're mad enough, you can tell it to the President and to Congress. I'll make it easy for you:
President, Senate,, House

To a HBCU, which typically doesn't get the mega-dollars endowments that the white schools receive, the loss of any revenue stream has tremendous negative impacts. If the Administration thinks that in this so-called post-racist era, Black schools are no longer needed, we need to remind them that most of US who get Bachelor's Degrees get them at Black colleges, and if Black colleges aren't needed anymore, then they should stop funding Georgetown , and other such predominately white-religious schools which were founded under similar social conditions as the Black schools: to eliminate racism in the main stream white schools.

Finally, if anyone thinks that to petition the government for the redress of wrongs is selling out to the system. Let me remind you that Malcolm taught us to use everything at our disposal for liberation "by any means necessary." incidentally, Malcolm later said that he regretted not taking a more pro-active role in the "civil-rights" struggle. Further, Dr. Diop told about how he was imprisoned in his birth country of Senegal for his activities in attempting to obtain the right of free assembly. This was a political move that he said almost killed him in prison.


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Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth said...

I don't feel bad for them. The students voted for a white 'Miss Hampton.' And Hampton has notoriously been known to be the most bourgie of all the HBCUs. It was just a mater of time.

CoCo said...

I know this is old news and (like the article pointed out) there are always more pressing issues, but to add insight to this particular topic: students DO NOT vote for Miss Hampton. She is chosen by a panel of judges from the Miss VA contest...2 of which work within HU's administration. No students are involved in the selection process.

The issue wasn't so much that she is white (the Mr. Pirate -- who the students DO vote for -- is Asian), but that no one knows her. She is a transfer student who doesn't even attend the main campus. She attends the VA Beach "campus" which is more of a community college ran under the university's name (they have a different, less competitive application process, pay MUCH lower tuition, and do not interact with the main campus in any way). Because of this, she is naturally not a part of any campus organizations or activities. She has never "rocked the blue and white" at a game, sang the fight song or the alma mater, lived in the dorms, eaten the terrible cafe food, walked through the student center between 12 and 2, suffered through University 101, attempted to get out of going to Opening Convocation, etc. Add the above to the fact that she is not Black: she does not represent the university, even in the most superficial way!

Another issue was that the day after she was selected, she ran around desperately seeking attention from local media, claiming that HU students (none of which she even has to interact with, considering she attends classes 45 minutes away from the main campus) were "hating on her" because of her race (the "reverse discrimination" lie). She then wrote a poorly written letter to Obama asking him to come to campus to address this foolishness, as if he is the disciplinarian of Black folk and not the President of a major world power who might have more important matters to worry about (like passing comprehensive health care reform, and juggling 2 wars that he promised to end).

*My above comment is only meant to add commentary on the circumstances regarding a white Miss HU, and is not intended to dismiss or disrespect the larger issues at stake, especially with regards to the post-segregation culture.