Tag Archives: Robert Champion FAMU

Suspended!

The news this week that the famed Marching 100 band from Florida A&M University has been suspended throughout the 2012-2013 academic year has completely thrown me for a loop.  I admit that the band needed to be punished for its actions internally and externally.  And that is exactly what has happened!    Internally, the band has been suspended by President Ammons  for the last six months following Robert Champion’s death.  Externally, 13 band members have been criminally charged in the hazing death of the FAMU Drum Major.

We must have faith in the criminal justice system even though it is a reach for most of us who know that justice is not blind when it comes to black Americans.  Lady Justice might be blind but someone has certainly placed weights on the scales that do not favor us.  Herein lies the problem.  Who exactly at FAMU is calling the shots?  President Ammons must surely know that the FAMU football team is only partly the draw when it comes to our gridiron contests.  I will state unequivocally that most of us that attend FAMU football games do so with the intent to see the Marching 100 perform.

While it may be true that FAMU is not known primarily as a halftime show; it is a university that on a year to year basis produces the highest number of baccalaureate degrees amongst  African-American students.  And this is where my problem with Ammons comes into play.  I don’t understand who it is that is whispering into his ear that this is the appropriate course of action.  The Marching 100 is an instrumental recruiting tool that must not be abandoned because someone outside of the FAMU community said that it must be that way.  Are we going to run our institution or capitulate to those whose only agenda is not in the best interest of FAMU?

We must let the criminal justice system run its course and let them determine the guilt or innocence of those charged.  From my understanding, the State has a really weak case and will try to consolidate those with fringe charges against those with more severe charges.  That’s unfortunately how the system works.  Those who are guilty will be judged as such.  I have empathy for the Champion family but i also have empathy for the hundreds of members of the Marching 100 who had nothing to do with the crime.  And I still maintain my belief that Mr. Champion knew what he was getting into when he walked voluntarily onto that bus.

What happened to him should have never happened. The punishment must fit the crime.  And the punishment has already exceed the crime.  As a friend has already stated that there was no punishment when FSU coaches coached a black man to his death at two a day practices in 100 hundred degree heat. I’d call that hazing….  But then again, I’ve already stated that the weights have been placed on the scale underneath Lady Justice’s blindfold.

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Hazing!

I cannot attribute this photo.  Taken from the web!

One of the things that have been on my mind the last several months is the senseless death of FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion.  I wanted to comment on this issue earlier but several events have transpired in my life that have prevented me from doing so.  First of all, I’d like to thank Brother Chuck Hobbs who posted this article from The Orlando Sentinel on his Facebook  page which did a sensational job reporting on this story.  I don’t feel any remorse for canceling my subscription to my hometown newspaper The Tallahassee Democrat.  Worst newspaper ever…

I want to keep this short and sweet.  To Dr. Julian White, Director of Bands at Florida A&M University, I wholeheartedly apologize for calling for your firing.  Clearly, the evidence points to you doing everything in your power to curtail hazing.  The unfortunate thing about the matter is that no matter what those in power do to curtail the practice of hazing, the responsibility lies with the actual members of The 100 who seek to enthrall us every week when they take the field.

I have read ad nauseam the musings and opinions of those who think that they speak for the majority as if they were some kind of expert on our culture and would speak as if their words were etched on The Ten Commandments.  To Dr. Na’im Akbar, shut the fuck up!  Your analysis seems to suggest that people of our color cannot handle and should not be given the power for self determination. Herein lies the problem…

The strong will always prey upon the weak.  Robert Champion was set to become the head drum major next year.  He could have left it there and set the example for the rest of the band to show them that you can achieve whatever you want to by sticking to your own guns.  However, for whatever misguided thoughts that he may have had, he didn’t need to get on that bus that would eventually take his life.  Acceptance by fools is no acceptance at all…

No matter how this incident has hurt our university, we will prevail!  Bullies have been picking on the weak since time began.  Only when the weak stand up to the bullies and say no more of this shit, will stupid shit like hazing end.  If you are a lamb, it will be to your advantage, not to walk with lions.  Mr. Champion, you may have had the heart of a lion that day, but you should never have trusted them…  May you find the acceptance in the next life that you didn’t find in this one…. Hubba!

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