Thursday, April 02, 2009
This post is going to pain me, but in the spirit of keeping it real, I have to do it.
Growing up I didn't have a brother, I am one of only two children and obviously the only boy. So when I tell you that the man I am going to to write about is like a brother to me you have got to understand where I am coming from. I was in his wedding, he was in mine, and I can't begin to tell you the stuff that we have done together. We have been as "thick as thieves" ever since we met some twenty years ago. And since I know that he will read it, I just hope this post doesn't change the nature of our relationship.
So anyway, Tony Clayton is the chairman of the board of the Southern University System, the largest land grant African American system of higher learning in these divided states. They are charged with educating thousands of our young people who are primarily from the state of Louisiana. The board consists of 16 people who were all appointed by powerful political people down in Louisiana, and who are, themselves, players in the very complex political world that is the Bayou state; a world I know all too well.
The Southern board recently voted 11-5 to give the System President, Ralph Slaughter, the Donald Trump treatment. (Yes Ralph, "you are fired") And no one was more surprised than Slaughter himself. I hear from very good sources that Slaughter was making nice with Clayton over dinner not too long ago, and that he was assured by the Chairman that he wasn't going anywhere. "You are my man Ralph, I am with you all the way." Well, not so fast.
“This had nothing to do with the president’s evaluation,” said Clayton of Port Allen. “Just like the president of our own country, sometimes it’s time for a change."
But why now Mr. Clayton? Why when you are going before the state legislature really soon to beg for more money for a very important HBCU? They are already telling you that they are going to slash your 30 million budget by 18%, and you are possibly taking an interim president to go and meet with them? Why not take the man who has been at the helm of the University, and who, by all accounts, have been doing a good job? "Oh field, come on, who cares about what happens at some HBCU down in crawfish country?" Well I will let student Jamal Taylor answer that for you:
"Student board member Jamal Taylor, who is the student body president of Southern’s Baton Rouge campus, also backed Slaughter.'This is the wrong time,' said Taylor, noting that the Southern system is facing about an 18 percent cut in its state funding. 'We’re putting ourselves in a predicament where we may be sending an interim president down there (to the State Capitol).'There is no place for politics in higher education, ' he added. Taylor said Slaughter scored a 3.64 in his evaluation on a scale of one to five, with one being poor and five being excellent. Southern Faculty Senate President Sudhir Trivedi said he is disappointed the board acted against Slaughter without faculty input."
Thank you Jamal, you nailed it! "There is no place for politics in higher education". And faculty member, Sudhir Trivedi, nailed it as well. But isn't this typical of some of you Negroes here in A-merry-ca? You get a little power and you get drunk with it. You forget how and why you got that power in the first place. Memo to Southern University board members: Your job -and only job- is to look out for the welfare of those children who you are supposed to be educating. Your job is to give them a good education and send them out into the world to become better citizens and human beings. Your job is not to play politics with the lives of these young people.
And another thing: I know Bobby Jindal had his plant on the board as well, and I am going to bet that Al Kaline baseball card of mine that Jindal's guy on the inside had something to do with the vote to remove Slaughter. Let's see what he has to say for himself:
" Board member Patrick Magee of Lafayette, who was named to the board by Gov. Bobby Jindal last July, offered the motion to remove Slaughter from office. But Magee declined comment and directed questions to Clayton after the meeting. "
Hmmm, so was it you who offered the motion to remove Slaughter Mr. Jindal appointee? Now I am really pissed. Because I know damn good and well that "slumdog" Governor does not have the Jaguar Nation's best interest at heart.
Something else about this story stinks: A couple of years ago a young lady was allegedly sexually harassed by a former board chairman while on an alumni retreat. The terrified young lady came forward and reported it to President Slaughter. What followed was an embarrassing attempt by the University and the board to cover up what happened to the poor young lady. (I wonder why I didn't hear any of this from any of the blogs that always advocate for women?) It took Slaughter coming forward to expose the alleged serial harasser; but instead of praising him the board closed ranks around the scumbag who allegedly harassed the young lady in the first place. It took a lawsuit and public pressure to prevent the university from getting rid of him, but unfortunately for Slaughter, like Napoleon, his Waterloo was bound to come.
"Clayton also said the decision had nothing to do with Slaughter’s 2007 lawsuit against the board.."
Yeah, Okay, and I don't find Lark Voorhies in the least bit attractive. Come on Tony, I love you man, but you have to start keeping it real. Stop playing politics with our children's lives and tell your buddies on the board to do the same. You are the student's last defense against the poli-trick-sters in Louisiana who would love nothing more than shut SU down, or change its mission completely. Don't let the "slumdog" Governor influence what goes on in Jaguar Nation, he doesn't care, but you should.
Oh, and one more thing before I go: Can someone tell me why Matt Drudge featured this story today? Hey Matt, we get it, I know it's an inside joke, but us black folks aren't laughing.