“This is the Worst Thing to Happen to Morehouse.”

Anthony Harris

Opinions Section Editor

anthonydeanharris@gmail.com

As the story goes, Men of Morehouse raped two Spelman Women. Within the course of forty-eight hours, a series of protests took place. News helicopters hovered above Spelman College. They followed the crowd of black women in white shirts through the promenade of Clark Atlanta University. They swept down Fair Street as the wave moved through the Morehouse green to the steps of the Kilgore center. These women were angry. These women ARE angry.

Two of their own have been allegedly raped. Many within this Atlanta University Center are rather apathetic. The stories continue throughout the years. This is old hat. But as they chanted as they moved through the strip, “It’s not okay. It happens everyday.”

As they crowded the steps of Kilgore as the sun reached the top of the sky, the Morehouse SGA prepared to announce results for the subsequent elections. A podium was put into place. Many assumed it was for the angry women below. A man in a green vest and matching bowtie walked up, did a brief mike check, and spoke.

“I’m glad there is such a large crowd here… to hear these election results!”

People on all sides were outraged. Some Men of Morehouse commented amongst themselves, “If we were to try to protest on their campus, they’d stop us immediately.” “They can’t just interrupt us like that!” “We have to go on with business.” Some could only retort that women protesting rape, in general, will win out against school election results.

As I stood in this immense crowd, I overheard many saying, “This is the worst thing to happen to Morehouse.” I can only beg to differ.

We entered into this school year with two murders. The national spotlight was on our little liberal arts school to talk about the brutal murder of one of our own over a mere $3,000. Black Enterprise Magazine changed its ratings standard and lowered our rank from the number one institution for black students to 45. Our president of twelve years has recently announced that he is resigning, which in any normal case should have been announced in May of the previous school year.

This is not the institution that we were at our inception. The Augusta Institute of 1867 is not the Morehouse College of 2006. What once began as a means to teach black men has become a business school and a stepping-stone. We are not reaching toward Thurman’s crown; we are not the ideal of Morehouse.

We are releasing more business majors dead set on making money as opposed to actually helping people. We tout an extensive liberal arts curriculum that only weeds out students and fails to teach the importance of the liberal arts. Professors are worried about the state of their jobs because of their lack of publishing. What was a teaching school is now research-based institution. Morehouse releases people to graduate school without creating young men truly satisfied with their undergraduate years.

And now we have disunity with our own sisters. We seem to lack concern when women are violated. We seem to lack concern when they speak on the subject. We attempt to overrule their outrage. We looked insensitive. We probably have been. One of our own raped one of our sisters, and we pulled up a microphone and tried to shoo them away.

This is not the worst thing to happen to Morehouse. This is one of a long list of things that in conjunction is the worst thing to happen to Morehouse. This is not a liberal arts teaching college. This is not a school of rapists and murderers. This is not a school that should be designed to take in lackluster students (and their first year of tuition payments) only to expect them to fail out after the years due to rigorous courses that fail to teach relevantly.

We should all reach to the Thurman crown. We should all truly learn from our classes and apply the skills. We should learn how to write papers and integrate functions and know why we are doing so. But we should also have an administration that supports us. We should have an admissions office that is willing to let the riff raff go in order to truly mold new black leaders. Our courses should not be the first line of defense for separating the wheat from the chaff.

We need to show that we are not rapists and murderers, but we need to show that Morehouse didn’t make us. We learned through our parents, our neighborhoods, our respective religions and intrinsic moral codes. Morehouse does not make rapists and murderers. Morehouse does not make insensitive leeches. We learn what we can at home and we share our skills here.

Now is the time to get back to basics. Now is the time to show to our Spelman and Clark Atlanta sisters that we are men that support. Now is the time to show to our Clark Atlanta brothers that we look to one another in love. Now is the time to show to the city of Atlanta that we are not simply some jewel of the West End, but one that reaches out to help. Now is the time to show the nation that Morehouse is still a school in which we should all be proud. It’s time to leave our bleak period and step into a new phase of the excellence that expound so much. It’s time to reach for the Thurman crown.

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