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Archives for : December2014

Demetria McKinney (RHOA’s newest member) covers “I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston {Video}

Chills.

There have been MAYBE 3 artists that I’ve heard do this right. Maybe.

Demetria is now added to that list. I appreciated this.

And. She’s. Sitting. Down.

I just hope she doesn’t make me hate her on RHOA. She definitely has a BEAUTIFUL voice. Now she just needs the right people to put her in the right place so she can blow up.

What do you all think?

Bowie State Student sues Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for $3 million due to hazing.

Before I have my say on Mr. Kevin Hayes, here’s the story:

BOWIE, Md. (WJZ) — A renowned fraternity is in hot water, facing a $3 million lawsuit after a Bowie State student says he was hazed while he was pledging—and he has pictures of the abuse to prove it.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on the lawsuit against Alpha Phi Alpha.

A 17-page lawsuit details how the student—a junior at Bowie State—says he was punched and paddled by other fraternity members.

Photos show the injuries 20-year-old Kevin Hayes says he sustained while pledging Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Bowie State University.

“It broke me down. It’s something I never felt before,” he said.

He says his punishers were other fraternity members.

“Something must happen so no one else has to deal with these issues,” Hayes said.

In the lawsuit, Hayes says nights of pledging could last five to eight hours, where he was “punched, hit and slapped.”

“They have a duty under Maryland law to make him safe,” said Jimmy Bell, his attorney.

In a statement, fraternity officials said, “Any member found violating the fraternity anti-hazing policy will be immediately suspended with recommendation for expulsion.”

Bowie State University—which is not named in the lawsuit—did release a statement on the hazing allegation. In that statement, officials say, “Bowie State University has a stringent anti-hazing policy that is coupled with a strong anti-hazing education program. The university considers hazing to be indefensible and contrary to the interest of the university community.”

The alleged hazing incident took place between September 2013 until November. One night, Hayes says an older fraternity member went through Hayes’ phone and found a photo someone took of Hayes’ injuries.

“They began to say `You’re a snitch; you’re always talking. We are going to blackball you.’ They began to ostracize me,” Hayes said.

The lawsuit says Hayes and other pledges were often given jewel shockers, back racks, and fat joes, as well as taking wood during the pledging process.

“This type of stuff, it kills people and it needs to stop,” Bell said.

The alleged incidents of hazing happened off-campus.

{source}

I read this.

Twice. Some parts more.

And my final reaction:

I’m sorry (not sorry), but GROW UP. You cannot sue a fraternity because your desire to belong outweighed your conviction against being physically hazed.

Now. Don’t get me wrong. Yes, I am a member of a Black Greek Letter Organization. And I am aware hazing is illegal. But this right here is a bunch of bull. Let’s say you go one night. This night you find out the members are going to put their hands on you. You decide you are not about that life. You express that and move on to file your complaint. Period. I would understand that. But this guy WENT BACK!? You CONTINUED to go back to 5 to 8 hour nights of physical hazing?

That was a decision you made, and you made alone.

And now, since they found out you were taking photos of your injuries and blackballed you….NOW you want to file a lawsuit? Oh PLEASE. Like I said, GROW UP. Take accountability for your own actions and decisions. Your feelings got hurt. Now you want to sue?

The bottom line, people? “Pledging” is a choice. Going through hours and hours of physical hazing is a choice.  YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT. As I said before, one time and you decide, “NAH”…I get it. But deciding to sue after going through it for months so you can get attention? Because they blackballed you?

Have a seat, sir.

Alpha Phi Alpha is responding appropriately. Here’s a video of the story with their response:

And my message to all of my fellow BGLO undergraduate members?

It’s not the same.

It’s a new day.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

President Obama responds to Chicago teen’s Christmas wish, “I just wanna be safe.”

This is such a bittersweet story:

Malik Bryant, 13, who lives in the Englewood section of Chicago, a high-crime neighborhood in the south side of the city, participated in a Letters to Santa program through DirectEffect Charities, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Most of the 8,500 Chicago public school students involved in the program asked for things like school supplies or winter coats.

Not Bryant.

“All I ask for is for safety. I just wanna be safe,” Bryant wrote in the letter.

{source}

What happened next is the CEO of DirectEffect got the letter to U.S. Rep Michael Quigley, who then worked to get the letter into the hands of President Obama.

“Someone bigger than Santa needed to see this letter,” DiGiacomo told the newspaper. “I thought the President of the United States needed to see it.”

While waiting to hear back, Bryant’s mom suggested that the program should get him things to entertain himself inside – since walking outside in their neighborhood has many potential dangers.

“Sometimes he wants to go over to my sister’s house nearby, to hang out with his cousins,” Bryant’s mom told the Sun-Times. “But he can’t because he has to cross gang lines and walk past all these gang members on some of those blocks. And all he ever hears on the news about our neighborhood is shootings, gangs and violence. Malik knows he’s not safe.”

Through the program, he received a Wii game and a new computer on Christmas Day – and it didn’t stop there.

On Saturday, Bryant received a letter from the White House, signed by President Barack Obama.

“I want to offer you a few words of encouragement,” the president wrote. “Each day, I strive to ensure communities like yours are safe places to dream, discover and grow. Please know your security is a priority for me in everything I do as president.”

“If you dare to be bold and creative, work hard every day, and care for others, I’m confident you can achieve anything you imagine,” he added. “And I will be rooting for you.”

Out of all the things children wish for on Christmas, this child wanted safety. A chance to walk down the street. A chance to live.

I’ve addressed the situation in Chicago before, and my sentiment is the same. I don’t know WHAT needs to happen to remedy the situation there, but something MUST happen. Children deserve the chance to have a future. People deserve to be able to walk outside without being in imminent danger. Something has got to happen.

Ndamukong Suh gives his reason for stepping on Aaron Rodgers’ ankle…

Again, here’s what happened…

Initially, the NFL suspended Suh for one game, but then he appealed and won, leaving him with no more suspension and a $70,000 fine annnnnd…

Well. This is what Suh said was his reason for stepping on Rogers’ ankle:

Again, he won his appeal.

 

 

BET writer suggests Michael Sam gets new people. Whew.

It’s not looking good for Michael Sam these days, as he continues to want to play in the NFL.  The only problem is that he continues to put his sexuality in the forefront, instead of football (which he doesn’t seem to be very good at anyway).

I tried to cut this piece from BET down, but I just didn’t know what to take out. I think it’s all worth reading so…here you go:

“Commentary: Michael Sam Should Abandon His PR Campaign”

A seat next to Oprah Winfrey on one of her TV specials usually guarantees good things for a person. Oprah is a kingmaker; she can transform a hack of an author or a C-list actor into an instant celebrity.

Perhaps the thought of what Oprah might be able to do for his floundering career drove Michael Sam, an openly gay athlete, to sit on a stage with her. He had to hope it would.

For there Sam was last Saturday, a yard or two away from the most famous Black woman in the world, praying his interview with her might do what nothing else had been able to do: earn him a spot on an NFL roster.

His interview with Oprah will not. It didn’t improve his time in the 40 or make up for his lack of bulk.

Instead, it raised concerns about Sam, who came across as a pathetic character. He whined to Oprah about how his homosexuality had cost him a roster spot. He tried to make her audience believe he was good enough for the NFL.

He failed there, too.

Sam, a rookie defensive lineman in waiting, could have been a genuine hero, someone who stood up to homophobic thinking in sports and who insisted his homosexuality wasn’t going to decide his worth.

He did have a noble, heartbreaking backstory, which recounted his life with dignity and pride, unashamed to tackle sexual orientation. But his backstory overtook his present story.

That story has turned those who had been aligned with Sam’s quest for an NFL career into critics. They aren’t asking for Sam’s silence; they are asking him to focus more on improving his skills and less on his public campaign that has become a sideshow.

At the circus, sideshows make people laugh, and Michael Sam is giving people plenty to laugh about. They are finding it increasingly funny that he’s building his football career on a stage, not in the workout room.

If homophobia is why people are laughing, their reaction is a reflection on those people and not on Sam. But if it is his whining, then laughter is appropriate.

They know the NFL isn’t looking for political statements, which Sam seems most interested in making. The league is looking for football players; it has no interest in putting a politician on a team’s roster.

“I did everything I was supposed to do,” he told Oprah. “I did everything right. I am proud of how I handled things.”

Everything? Sam can play politics if he prefers to, but he needs to hire a better campaign manager. Whoever has been advising him isn’t offering the man the best wisdom.

For even circus clowns could have told Michael Sam that sitting down with Oprah might draw rating points but won’t make him attractive to NFL teams. They want an athlete who talks less and practices more, and teams tend to cut athletes who do more of the former and a whole lot less of the latter.

Ouch.

I think it’s getting to the point where the same conversation is wearing people out. There is only so many times people are wanting to hear about your sexuality WHEN TALKING ABOUT YOUR JOB….and that goes for all people.

This is what I wrote in a comment on my Facebook page about the situation:

You know, on one hand, I get the desire to make history (I think that’s the correct word?). Similar to how the black community views being the “first black,” etc.

However, he doesn’t seem authentic. At all. I’ve always felt he was exploiting his sexuality for, as you said, personal gain. Him trying to film a reality show in the middle of tryouts added to that feeling.

In my head, I’m thinking his focus should’ve always been on proving himself. But then he speaks out on his sexuality, and then comes back to say he wishes people wouldn’t make it a big deal? Can’t have it both ways. I’m sure he was aware of the attention it would bring. But it seems like what he WASN’T prepared for, was playing professional football.

The problem here (for most folks, I believe) is not the fact that he is a gay football player. That is nothing new. The problem is that it seems he is using his sexuality to try ad push his agenda.

I don’t necessarily agree with the “distraction” argument, seeing as though there are other players who have brought huge amounts of negative attention to their teams, but I do think that it’s a lack of work and just a lack of ability to be in the NFL.

Either way, the more he talks, the worse it gets. So yeah, maybe he should surround himself with different people?