A year ago, HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” did a piece on hazing among Black bands. I talked about it on Twitter and Facebook, and a lot of students at HBCUs got really upset with me, especially those at Southern University, who were upset because their school was featured. A year later, [a] drum major at Florida A&M University is dead, suspected of hazing.
So, what does it actually say when we sit here, and we’re sending Black kids to school to get an education, and parents are bringing them home in coffins? I don’t care what anybody says. Whether you’re in a fraternity, sorority, or the band, hazing is absolutely ridiculous. Look, I’m a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha, and when I pledged at Texas A&M, I made it perfectly clear that nobody was going to hit me because of some letters. That makes no sense.
But you know what? This happens in high schools. When I was at Jack Yates High School in Houston, I was in the band my freshman year, and they tried the hazing stuff there as well.
How in the world can we sit here and talk about education; and, yet, for some reason, folks are getting beaten? It’s time for parents to tell their children, “You don’t let anybody abuse you and touch you, even if it’s a band, fraternity or sorority.” We don’t know all of the circumstances around the death at Florida A&M, but I can tell you this: if it’s hazing, kick everyone involved out of school.
That’s my perspective. What’s yours? Sound off in the comment box below …