Dear HBCU Presidents; Do Better!

trump blackDear HBCU’ Presidents,

Do Better!

There are very few institutions that represent what it means to be a black man or woman in America like the Historically Black College. It’s a place where kids had to go because schools like the University of Texas and Baylor wouldn’t accept them. Out of hate and bigotry rose Texas Southern University, Prairie View A&M University and countless other colleges throughout the south.

Colleges that gave young men and women pride, opportunity, a place to be amongst their own and thrive. Where has that pride gone? Why can it be found in twenty three year olds but not in the men and women that have risen the ranks to run these colleges?

Donald Trump is the President of the United States and we have to accept that but we don’t have to accept is his policies, his child like behavior and the unqualified and ill-intentioned people he has put into office.

Explain something to me because I am genuinely baffled. On February 28, 2017 over 80 Presidents of HBCU’s met with Trump and they were treated no better than tourist. Given a small speech, given a couple pictures and some lunch. No real conversation, no real change. A month later the Trump Administration questioned the need for HBCU’s and just this week word has come out that Trump wants to either defund or reduce funding for HBCU’s but you still want to reach out your hand to members of his administration?

I respect the work ethic of the generation that came before me but I cannot and will not respect men and women that are selling out the integrity of their schools for a check or photo op. Stop allowing people in high places to use you.

These young kids are not willing to sit back and accept it. You can’t charge them for degrees and make them work and struggle only to tell them that they have to do as you say or else.

Baylor, Rape and a Culture That Doesn’t Respect Women

baylor“Actions by University administrators directly discouraged some complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes and in one instance constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.”

The above statement is part of a statement released by Baylor. A school that just fired the most successful football coach in its history. There was a lot in the statement that made me cringe but the part I’m writing about today is the part that makes this almost unforgivable. It’s the part where Baylor not only told young women to not report the abuse but it’s the part where they retaliated against one of the women for reporting the abuse.

This wasn’t a football coach that told a player’s girlfriend to take it easy on him for cheating on her. This was a football coach that ignored his peers advice and brought football players into Waco, Texas that were nothing more than sexual predators. In one instance Art Briles said he’d never heard of off the field incidents with some of the transfer players he’d brought in. That was disputed by then Boise State head coach Chris Peterson who said he told Briles about the incident in which Sam Ukwuachu beat his girlfriend.

The same Sam Ukwuachu that while at Baylor was convicted of raping a female soccer player at the school. The same Sam Ukwuachu that was a known bad guy. He wasn’t one of those, “He needs a second chance” guys. It wasn’t until the guy was arrested that they finally decided to put him off the team.

Then we have Shawn Oakman. Maybe the most intimidating looking man in college football. Standing almost 6 feet 7 inches and muscles everywhere. He’s currently facing charges of sexual assault. According to reports he met a Baylor grad student out, took her to his apartment. Forcefully removed her clothes and raped her. Even before this case there were whispers out there about him and his past.

School officials, not football guys, but actual suit and tie academics decided to sweep all this under the rug. Why? Because for the first time in school history Baylor Football mattered. They were tired of getting stomped on by Texas and Oklahoma and they wanted it to continue. It continued alright, it continued at the expense of women all over campus.

It’s hard for me to call college girls women because most of them are coming straight from their parents protection and are still children. Baylor literally served them up on a platter for no reason other than wins.

If You Want My Vote; Stand For Something

IMG_0701Yesterday was the last day of early voting for the run-off elections in the city of Houston and Saturday is the actual elections. As someone that loves politics and the effort and selflessness a lot of these men and women put into their campaigns and offices I have to be honest and say; I have not been very impressed as of late by any politician.

Where are the politicians that inspire? That are willing to take a stand when it’s not popular. That are willing to offend people that need to be offended. Too much history went into getting me the right to vote for me to just give my vote away. It’s easy to talk about police brutality when something happens that makes news but why don’t I ever hear a politician blame the officers that sit back and do nothing while they know some of the men and women they serve with are bad apples?

When President Obama ran for President, I remember walking door to door trying to register people to vote knowing Texas was a red state. I didn’t care though, wearing that t-shirt, feeling proud to be a part of something new and encouraging. It changed me. Seven years later, where are the new generation of politicians that are going to have 18-28 year olds not going to happy hour but walking door to door?

I don’t care if you have money behind you or went to an amazing school. I don’t care if you have experience in politics or who your father was. What I care about is your love for the people and your passion for making our City, State and Nation better. I’m seeing too many people that are simply saying things because they sound good. People that have the nerve to ask me for my vote when they won’t make a statement about anything of relevance.

Donald Trump is leading the Republican candidates for President not because he’s the best option, it’s because he’s the only option that’s getting people inspired. As racist and ignorant as his comments are at times, they are views that are shared by a lot of people and that is something we have to pay attention to. Where is the Democrat that’s inspiring these sorts of passions? Is it Hilary Clinton? The same Hilary Clinton that wouldn’t stand alongside President Obama and quit on his administration so she run for office? Is it Bernie Sanders? A man that’s been around for a long time and has good ideas but no one knows or cares about? In a country as big as ours, where are the options that will change the world?

Why I Regret Stepping Foot On A College Campus

A College Campus

A College Campus

I remember my senior year before I went to college. The sort of advice I received was be sure to use condoms, don’t do drugs, don’t party and study so you can make good grades and make your family proud. What no one told me, what I wish I would have known before I stepped one foot on that beautiful country campus is that it wasn’t drugs, women or study habits that would haunt me long after those college years; it was finances.

My first week on that college campus there was a table set up. Two attractive, cool college kids asking me if I wanted a free t-shirt and twenty five dollars. “Hey man, you’re away from home; you need a credit card for expenses. Gas money, maybe a date, a book you need right away.” Eighteen years old, not even a bank account in my name I signed up for the credit card and ten minutes later I was approved. That same week when I sat across from a counselor in the financial aid office she laid out several options for me. “This is what the University is offering you, A Pell Grant, your partial scholarship, four loan options.” All I saw was green, more money in my hand than I’d ever seen, a couple thousand more than I needed. I signed that promissory note not realizing I was signing my future earnings away.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the University I attended for my bad decisions. I don’t blame the Federal Government or the Student Loan Lenders. Without those programs a lot of kids and adults would never even have a chance at college. I blame myself for not being better informed and though I can’t go back I can learn from my mistakes. My sisters, cousins, my future children will never be able to say, “I didn’t know.” I will be there with them letting them know, apply for scholarships, work a part time job, pay your student loan interest while you’re in school, maintain academic progress. Things I wasn’t told until it was too late.

I don’t regret going to college, I regret going to college when I did because I simply wasn’t prepared mentally. It’s what you’re supposed to do right? You don’t want to be the guy still staying at home working a job while all your friends are off at college. You don’t want to go to the military just as 9/11 happened and be deployed six months later. So I went to college and though the academics weren’t as hard as I thought the maturity level just wasn’t there.

Everyone in my office is excited about W2’s because who doesn’t love an influx of money? I on the other hand will be experiencing my third straight year of the Federal Government withholding my income taxes. All because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do when I was younger. A part of me is almost grateful that I am going through this because it’s forced me to budget more. It’s made me accountable. This hasn’t been easy but it’s been necessary. Though I wish I would have learned these lessons in my youth I still have a lot of life to live if God says the same and for that I’m thankful. Talk to your children about not just the parties, drugs, women or men. Talk to them about money and respecting it or it will come back to haunt them.