The Thoughts of an Educated Young African American Male

My Ghetto Graduation

Over the past weekend, I was fortunate to graduate from law school. I have not posted in a while because I have been busy getting prepared for this date. I won’t be posting much after this because I will be studying for the bar. But, at my graduation from an HBCU, the band put down their instruments to dance while people recieved degrees, people grabbed the mic and “shouted-out” their frats, family, and friends while people recieved their degrees, and fraternities and sororities party hopped around their seats while people recieved their degrees.

It was a sad day for black higher education. In a moment to celebrate, we looked like fools. This post is edited, as in a moment of bad judgment, I spoke of the fellow alumni in a maner unbecoming of them and myself. Name calling gets us no where. However, I still hold contempt for those who made my graduation a minstrel show. Can we ever hold ourselves out with dignity and respect. And, if not at graduation, then when? Just a question.

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May 8, 2007 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black women, college, ghetto, graduation, HBCU, Uncategorized, university | 10 Comments

2 FAMU Kappas convicted for Hazing

Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Debbie Giangrosso, left, tries to pull a handcuffed Michael Morton away from kissing his fiancee as he and Jason Harris, center, are being led to the Leon County Jail after being found guilty of hazing.This post pains me, mainly because I am a member of a black Greek letter organization founded before 1913, and I understand, while disagreeing, with the hazing culture which it fosters. But, with two of the Kappas getting convicted under
Florida’s new hazing statute, the stakes seem to be higher than normal to haze guys.

I have already commented on my blog before about how stupid I think hazing is. I have standing to say it because I was hazed and am a member of one of these organizations. For those who disagree, I ask, were we founded for the purpose of going to jail for hazing? Were we founded to look more like gangs than non profit organizations for the purpose of service? Are the guys how are going to jail any more “real” for their acts. Truthfully, they are paper, because where they are going they have no credibility. They are not thugs. They were college men attempting to get a good education at a respected HBCU. They are not ready for their possible maximum 5 year sentence.

And, the parents are unsure if they are suing the fraternity civilly. This is sad and should serve as a wake up call, because no black Greek organization can survive a major civil suit for the hazing the majority of us inflict. Just think, to be sure your pledges get the respect; you may be the sole cause for bankrupting and ending your organization. Is that what you want? I doubt that’s what the founders wanted.

December 21, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, college, court, FAMU, Gangs, hazing, HBCU, Kappa, Kappa Alpha Psi, university | 7 Comments

One HBCU is Listening to a Young Black Man!

Last week the Durham Herald Sun reported that HBCU (school name ommited by me) would focus on customer service. (See the article below). In the article, they refer to a letter sent to the board of trustees which complained of customer service at the school. It just so happens, that I sent a letter to the board of trustees complaining of customer service. See my letter under the news paper article.

Our classmates may not like it, but speaking up is the only way to facilitate change!
 

 article, which can also be found online at: http://www.heraldsun.com/durham/4-785275.html

HBCU to focus on customer service
November 5, 2006
BY GREGORY PHILLIPS, The Herald-Sun

Leaders at HBCU want to see the school’s employees paying a little more attention to customer service.     Recent incidents yielded letters to the board of trustees . And they have that body’s executive committee concerned that, while Chancellor James Ammons has set up an office reporting directly to him to handle complaints, more needs to be done to prevent them from happening in the first place.    

Every time we get a letter like that we have lost a potential contributor to the university ,” Chairman Cressie Thigpen told the trustees executive committee last week. “Sometimes I wonder if we are moving as quickly on that as we should.”    

Thigpen said a complaints office, while necessary, amounts to a Band-Aid approach when what’s needed is a change in the way HBCU hires and trains employees.    

The committee will present a list of recommendations to the full board of trustees meeting later this month, including customer service training for new employees, a mandatory annual seminar for all workers, monitors to deal with university departments and rate their service, plus a reward program for customer service.    

Board Secretary George Miller said some employees need reminding that, “We’re here to provide service and an education, not to keep someone in their place.”    

Any directive from the trustees is just a recommendation, but Thigpen said changing the customer service culture at HBCU has to come from the top.    

The chancellor has to send the word out that we’re not going to tolerate people treating other people badly ,” he said.    

Thigpen also wants to see the trustees more actively involved in the university’s capital fundraising campaign. The committee agreed that all trustees should contribute money, but past chairman Ed Stewart also pushed for a minimum pledge level.    

“We all should be a participant of at least $1,000 each,” he said.    

Although Stewart’s suggestion got no traction, Miller said he’d never been asked for a donation during six years on the board.    

“I don’t think we need to set a dollar amount, but each trustee needs to know there’s an expectation,” he said.    

     COPYRIGHT 2006 by The Durham Herald Company. All rights reserved.

My letter to the board of trustees.

I have attended HBCU School of Law for two years. I have enjoyed my experience here at the law school. The staff is educated, respectful, and the facilities are exceptional. However, that is where my love for this institution ends. While I have attended the law school, there has not been a year where the main campus staff and employees have been anything more than rude, disrespectful, and completely unhelpful.    Unlike many who attend the Law School, my undergraduate degree is from a historically black college/university. I understand the struggles which face our HBCUs. However, HBCU ranks, in my mind, as administratively, one of the worst institutions a person could attend. Some of the reasons why include:  

  Financial Aid I have never seen such an unorganized group of individuals like what I have seen in the fiancial aid building. It is typical to wait for hours on the phone in an attempt to talk with someone. Once someone is on the phone, students are greeted with an unpleasant employee who chides students and rushes people off the phone before disseminating any useful information. In person, financial aid workers are often on cell phones while lines wrap around the room. Like over the phone, workers treat students like children and chastise them about problems. Students are there for information about their money. Such lines would not be necessary if financial aid did their job through out the year explaining the processes and procedures. In financial aid, students are not treated as if they are respected and valued, but as a burden in the day of the workers. You may make undergraduate students believe it is like this everywhere, but the graduate students know better, and we know you do as well.  

Now, financial aid tells the law students we will not receive our refund checks until October of this year. What is equally as frustrating is that the financial aid office is placing the blame on the students! What did we do wrong other than fill out the same forms and financial aid with came in September last year? If a change occurred in procedure, I would assume it would be financial aid’s job to inform students about it. However, that would require people to do their job, and at HBCU, that is always asking for too much.

Parking

Why are the law school parking lots VIP parking for football games? There is no where to park on Saturday’s to do school work. Students cannot study our rigorous course work because of these events. Indeed, there is no parking for students to use the undergraduate library during games. So, attending the athletic events is the focus on HBCU. Funny, at most schools, getting an education comes first. What do you think your serious students do instead? They travel to UNC-CH, Duke, or NC State to have a place to study. When students feel that it is too much of a hassle to study at their own institution, do you think they will become an alumni dedicated to giving contributions to improve the university? I hope not, because most students I talk to feel it was a mistake to come here, mainly because of the issues dealing with administration.

In regards to the daily parking problems revolving around the school, what attempts have been made to increase parking areas? All many students see is increased enrollment with no new lots. The law school itself has enough students to fill all the lots surrounding it. Because your administration is slow to act on anything non athletic, the law school pays a local church to rent parking spaces for its students. At least the law school takes swift, affirmative steps to show its students it is working with and for them.

Cafeteria and other services

At HBCU, I have witnessed, on multiple occasions, employees of this institution using profanity at students for asking questions like: ‘what is that for dinner’; ‘is there anywhere to park’; and ‘why can’t I wear my undergraduate school paraphernalia in the gym’? Overall, the staff at your institution is disrespectful and rude. Most graduate students feel being on campus only leads to hassle, and head-ache and prefer to stay here only for class. Is that the reputation you want for this university?

Before the Law School MPRE exam, a white individual said, “I was told to not take the exam at HBCU. Hopefully nothing will go wrong.” Not surprisingly, a fire alarm went off during the test. Many students are appealing the scores and want to invalidate the results. This is embarrassing to the institution. The students who took the exam are not just HBCU students, but students from across the world taking the NC Bar examination. The widely known reputation of HBCU as being ghetto, inefficient, unprofessional, unorganized, and dangerously susceptible to crime continues to grow with each instance where outsiders come on campus. Most students at the law school leave immediately after class because they do not feel safe here. In addition, many students here illuminate their undergraduate institutions in interviews because HBCU is thought to be a stain on any resume. After internships, many employers remark that they are impressed with our work despite coming from HBCU. All of this combines to make this institution the worst collegiate experience most of us here at the law school have ever experienced.

HBCU is a business and the students are its customers. The customers are dissatisfied. Most of my classmates agree that our children will never attend this institution. Further, we have no since of pride for anything here outside the law school. This letter could be longer, but you have heard all I have to say before. The question is, will you do anything about it or continue to hide behind the fake guise that this is a great institution with no problems?  

Young Black Man

School of Law, Class of 2007

November 13, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black women, college, HBCU, Law, Law School, university | 6 Comments

HBCUs Administratively, are a bunch of Sell-Outs!

Frederick Douglas was beaten by a slave owner for attempting to read. See, generally, the Narratives of Fredrick Douglas. Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted his children to be able to go to school and play with children of different races. See, generally, Dr. King Jr. I Have A Dream Speech.  During most of African American history, whites have been the divisive line between African Americans and education. Now, however, the line has been drawn by African American leaders at HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) who make a fortune off of hindering the students they proclaim to serve.

 

Yes, there are exceptions. N.C. A&T State University had Renick, who has transformed the school into a modern university and a beautiful campus to which the entire state system can be envious. But, what about the others? Sadly, they fall short of providing students what they need to succeed. Further, they don’t come close to facilitating simple amenities that others students at predominately white schools enjoy.  

 

Recently, I sent an email to the Board of Trustees to an HBCU asking, why is their campus closed off during football games? No student can get on campus to do what they came to the institution for, which is to study and to get good grades. They act as if every student wishes to participate in homecoming. This school has a professional school. Yet, most of the professional school students which to go elsewhere to study.

The Law School building at this HBCU closes at midnight, while every other law school is open 24 hours a day. Yes, they have access cards, and so does everyone else at the schools they attend. The security says they refuse to patrol the law school past midnight, and see it as a waste of time. What they should say is the truth, they do not want to do their job and am not going to be responsible if someone gets hurt because they didn’t feel like making sure the building was secure.  And, blacks wonder why more HBCU do not have professional schools. The answer is clear, because black administration will not run an professional school with the class, leadership, and integrity that these schools deserve.  Blacks universities wish to have professional schools for the sake of having them with no intention of properly funding and supporting them.  

What if Fredrick Douglass lived today? Supposed he went to an HBCU law school. He would be prevented from diligently studying because other blacks don’t want to support him. Yet, these same blacks want to proclaim heritage to their race. The security will work a step show, a homecoming concert with other African Americans who promote a lifestyle that is detrimental to our race, but won’t support students attempting to get an education.

 

In youth culture, a sell-out is someone who does work, studies, does not get in trouble, and attempts to make a good living because they are not “acting black.” (See, Act Like the Middle Class Negro You Are).  Now, I am changing the mold. I am calling any black a sell-out if they  do not support other African Americans in getting a quality education or advancing in their careers.

 

So, HBCU administration, are you a sell-out? Who cares if homecoming is great? Are your students employable upon graduation? Can they get into a graduate degree program other than ones at an HBCU?  Are they competent in the work force? Are they seen as graduating from a respectable university? They have to pay back a lot of loans. Figures say that over 3/4of students at HBCU are on financial aid. Are they getting their monies worth? Is your salary too high for the work you do? Do you REALLY care about the student body? So far, I think the answer to all the before mentioned questions is no, and HBCU administration, as a whole, is a bunch of sell-outs.  Now, I want you to do something about it.

November 4, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, college, HBCU, Law School, university | 6 Comments

Duke Lacrosse, from the Start to Now, from a Durham, NC Perspective

Kim Roberts (Self Proclaimed Stripper) is one of the many people involved in this case that will say anything for the attention and national spotlight.Now that the trial in the Duke Lacrosse Case is a mere formality, I want to share my views on the case. For those who do not know, I attend law school in Durham NC.  There are only two law schools in Durham, and both have students involved in the case. When the news of the accusation broke last spring, I was in a class named Criminal Procedure. Of course, after class, we had our views of what was going on. The females were ready to join the protest in front of the players’ house, spoke of racism and how wrong the players’ were. I reminded them that “WE ARE IN LAW SCHOOL” and that they need some actual facts before they could make an accurate decision or opinion.

 

Then, I said something that changed my fate at the law school for the rest of my time here. I said, “What you ladies need to do is go to NCCU’s Main Campus and hold a forum with other students groups telling our black women to stop hoe-ing, stop stripping, and start acting like intelligent women” (a clear theme on this blog).  The black women thought the forum was a terrible idea. They said, “She had a child. She had to do what she had to do to put money in the child’s mouth. You don’t understand the struggles of a black woman!” To this day, many of those women will not speak to me, do not respect me, and various other things not to be mentioned here.

 

Now, we know the alleged victim lived with her parents. So, while people claim that stripping pays the bills, it did not afford her enough money to get her own place. These black women didn’t believe me, but most strippers don’t make a lot of money.

 

The truth is a stripper may make a lot of money living in a major city like Atlanta, New York, California, etc. But, in Durham, a predominately African American city, where the majority of wealth is still in the hands of whites, the average black stripper in a black strip club will not make any more than she would make working at Leaner. Don’t believe me?

 

First, most people are cheap in strip clubs and throw out one dollar bills. Further, most of the African American males in Durham are either in high school, in college with student loan money, or adult locals who are not making a decent living.  Therefore, there is not a large amount of wealth within the African American community. And, the money they do have gets spent on the frivolous things blacks spend money on, i.e., rims, a car, shoes, hats, jerseys, and just anything that does not appreciate in value. Jay Z and big named rappers are not throwing hundred dollar bills around in Durham strip clubs. Second, the club takes a large percentage of private dances for which they charge the most. So, even the money she gets is taxed.

 

Third, because Durham is not a major city, every night is not a party night. A stripper has to make the majority of her money during weekends, and specifically around pay days, because Monday-Thursday will yield low profits for a stripper. It’s just not in Durham’s culture to go out on a Monday night. This is still the south, has southern ways, and nothing has modernized the city to change that.

 

I am digressing.  These women had convicted the boys from the beginning. I wanted to wait. Never the less, asking to wait for facts, in their eyes, made me anti-black, anti-woman, and just an outcast. How could I side with the white boys?  But, I wasn’t. I just wanted to hear some concrete evidence before making a decision. 

 

The forum I proposed wasn’t totally about money. I thought it was needed to show our young black women that they won’t make enough money to pay back those student loans, so don’t use that excuse. Notwithstanding that, it was more about not placing themselves in adverse situations.

I told the black women I know, “take the victim out of the picture, no black women should be shaking her ass for money at anyone’s house.” But, the excuses continued. Men need to stop hiring them. I agree with that statement, but the issue at hand is black women and stripping. Can black women admit that stripping is wrong?

And, young black women need to know, that while no woman deserves to get raped, putting yourself in adverse situations will increase the odds that something bad will happen. No black man deserves to get killed, but dealing in drugs will increase the odds of a man reaching that fate. Can we tell women that if you strip, you may get raped, and you will have to prosecute the man, and the world will know that you are a stripper? The men will deserve to go to jail, but your secret of stripping will fade. So, if you strip, the odds of your secret being revealed are greater. Are they ready for that? Are they ready to be disrespected?    

 

Now, because the case involves the underworld of stripping, we have a situation where every stripper involved is standing up, telling anything and everything they can, trying to get national media attention, and trying to work the media like the men they work in the VIP rooms.  The case has become an embarrassment to our culture.

 

Speaking of culture, what happened to the New Black Panthers Party? They came down to our town, made a little stir, were mostly disorganized, did not raise the level of fear and shock that they wanted, and left. They promised to be back, but we haven’t seen them sense. We will likely never see them again. What a joke. If you’re going to do something, be organized and follow through. They tried to march on Duke and got shut down so fast the national audience may have missed it. I was there when they came. The media was laughing at them. CNN, FOX, NBC, ABC, everyone was there. They laughed. They found it funny. They were mocking the New Black Panther Party, taunting them when they were late to arrive to their own press conference. They were left to hold their press conference at the gates of Duke’s West Campus. Hell, any other idiot can ride through campus anytime of the day or night. It’s never shut down. To be so political, I am suprised the New Black Panther Party could not find one student to reserve a room for them!

 

Further, the racial rhetoric doesn’t work well in Durham. Jackie Waggstaff  (former Durham County School Board Member) was voted out of office here for using similar rhetoric. So, when she appeared with the Black Panther Party, the credibility of the party was lessened worse than imaginable. And, before radical blacks respond about us being too middle class, she was voted out in a predominately black, lower income, part of Durham. Yes, we all know that the Duke family gained wealth using slave labor and tobacco. Tell me something new within the past 100 years. The so called refrences to Duke as the “Plantation” were only for national media. I have lived in Durham for my entire life, minus 4 years of undergraduate school, both of my African American parents work at Duke, as do many African Americans in Durham, and I had never heard that phrase until this case. So, for the New Black Panther Party to come in and tell me about my city, when they were not even here long enough to be called visitors, showed how wrong, off point, and comical they truely were.

 

Those who were ready to hang the white lacrosse players last spring are really quiet now. I hope the lesson learned is to take race out of the equation, wait until facts come out, and make as much as an informed decision as possible.

November 3, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black Panther, Black Panthers, Black women, club, college, Duke Lacrosse, HBCU, hood economics, Law, Law School, university | 8 Comments

Black Women, Enough is Enough!

My inaugural post on my blog (see very bottom post below) talked about women consenting to being touched in a club. Now, I will briefly discuss how such behavior is just foolish. The below You Tube video is my example. Why, in the world, would women rotate on grinding on a wguy? Why would they allow this behavior to be recorded in front of hundreds of people, singled out for the crowd to see?  I wonder if they think this behavior will make them marriage, girlfriend, or eployment material? I believe that this behavior makes them look like sluts, and further affirms the stereotypes that whites have of our culture.  Sadly, you can see whites in the crowd cheering more than most of the blacks in the crowd. Have you read Ralf Ellison’s Invisible Man (appogies for using Richard Wright in the original post. Heis, however, my favorite writer)? The video is all to similar to the book. Except, it is black women put on display for the enjoyment of others oppopsed to black men.

The sad part about this is that these women are put on a spot light. Singled out to see who can dance the most slutty. Interestingly, at the end of the clip the camera man pans the audience, and you can see that many black men and women in the audience are not comfortable being on tape. They do not want to be seen there. They do not want to be precieved to condone this behavior. The women do not have to get on stage. And comparing the bottom video with the top one, it is clear that SOME women will dance this way notwithstanding a man being there or not. This is not an excuse for men to act in any way, this is a plea from a black man, asking black women to not act and dance like sluts.

 

Ellison wrote the the embarrasment that blacks suffered by being put on display for the entertainment of others (whites particularly). Here, these women do not seem embarassed or ashamed. They seem proud to be there and happy to entertain the crowd. Is this the state of our black women in society? I want them to be ashamed. I want them not to act that way. I want them to be better. Am I asking too much?

 

It is clear from the video, however, that the men are not to touch the women. Based on my first post (see bottom post on page) these women did not consent to the touch! But, does that mean that they are any more respected? You be the judge.

 

One final observation. You look look to the side of the stage you will see that theNational Basketball Association (NBA) is a sponsor of this event. As if we didn’t already know they were in the business of exploiting our culture and community.

 

November 2, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black women, club, college, HBCU, hip hop, Uncategorized, university | 5 Comments

Black Greeks, Stop the Hazing! You are not Helping Anyone!

Recently, black male fraternity at Florida A&M were not punished for allegedly hazing potentials. There was a hung jury in the case.  In a sense, I am sure they feel they won! Everyone, and anyone, who is in an African American Greek organization knows they are guilty. We all know hazing exist. Most of us were hazed ourselves.  But, as we get older, we realize that hazing is not cool. It does not earn respect, and that such behavior only hurts the organizations.

 

Many will argue that hazing is a way of earning respect, and proving yourself. I ask, who is trying to gain respect from?  Hazing doesn’t prove anything.  Most people in these organizations will tell you that people who love to haze are also the same people who are not financial, do not pay dues, thus do not pay insurance for the reckless behavior they love to embrace. They are not active members.  They will attend parties, they will hang out, but they will not attend anything that requires the service these organizations demand.  In short, people who love to haze are parasites to our organizations.  They add nothing and act in a way that could take everything.

 

African American Greek Letter organizations are a way to uplift our culture and aid in our success.  It is not paying for friends. Instead, it is joining a network system. Most blacks who are in high ranking positions are Greek. These organizations serve many benefits to members and the community. However, if they are used for the purpose of beating on one another, they are pointless.  Certain chapters in each organization allover the nation run counter to the objectives they claim to live by.

 

Some final questions about hazing. Did the founders haze each other? Did they say, “before we start this, we need to make sure we are all good. So, let us beat on each other for a semester to a year to make sure I can trust you.” Remember most of the organizations were founder in or before 1913. Thus, many of the founders had parents and grandparents who were slaves (which ended in 1863).  Being so close to the brutalities of slavery, do you think the founders of our organizations meant to create a group in which blacks would inflict pain on each other.

 

 Do you think the founders would condone hazing today? Likely not. Truthfully, any founder of any of these organizations (in which the founders were doctors, lawyers, teachers, PhD students, and in esteemed professions) would think the process of beating each other to prove worth is juvenile and brutal.  When these organizations were founded, being an intelligent person in college was worthy of respect.  These groups were meant to uplift, not to beat down.  We need to get back to those ideals.

 

To the men at FAMU and fraternity/sorority members nationwide: get it together. You did not win. You are not more a Brother/Sister of your organization because you haze. You do not do them a favor. The potentials are not more employable now than they were before you allegedly beat them.  However cool they might be after the incident, the white man in the business world could care less about the brutalities you suffered. They don’t care how much wood you took. So, help your potentials. Get their grades together.  Help them become men. Don’t beat them like children.       

October 26, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black women, college, HBCU, torts, university | 3 Comments

Go Ahead, Get Low, and Consent to the Touch

Lil John told females to ” bend over to the front, touch your toes, bounce that ass up and down and get low.”  They responded in droves.  In young African American society, it is common place for clubs and parties to mirror strip clubs.  Dancing has involved from a seductive form of affection to outright simulated sex.  Yet, I consistently hear the argument from females that “I don’t understand why guys touch all over me and ask me for sex in the club.” The basis for my argument is twofold. First, I will explore the legality of touching women and if it amounts to an assault or common law battery. Second, I will address the degradation of our African American youth by acting in such overly sexual ways in public.  

In the legal word, a common law battery occurs when a person, for purposes of this discussion a male,  acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the person of another or a third person, and a harmful or offensive contact with the person of the other directly or indirectly results.

There is no question that the unwanted touching of a woman justifies a battery, and in most jurisdictions, the statutory crime of assault on a female. However, a defense to battery is “consent.” There are two types of consent, express and implied.  Express intent is when one overtly states that is acceptable to perform the touch that would otherwise,  in the context of this discussion,  be offensive.  Implied consent exist when the consent is formed from one’s conduct. This implied consent is what is at issue. Does the conduct of some women in club settings give implied consent to touching? I believe the answer is in the affirmative. 

For the conduct to rise to the level of implied consent I believe four factors must exist. Many women claim that these factors are a matter of right, and that they do not deserve certain treatment because they allow themselves to fit in these categories. However, it should be noted that for implied consent the test is an objective one. That is, would a “reasonable person” believe that they are consenting to the activity based on the conduct.  It is not a subjective standard of “what I personally intended to consent to by my actions.” Thus, for women who say it is my right to participate in the factors, I respond by saying simply that it is not about what you personally intended by engaging in the factors. Instead, it is what a reasonable person would intend and expect based on the conduct. If a woman brought a legal claim, would she be successful?  

At the outset of my listing of factors, it should be known I believe any factor, standing alone, does not give rise to consent. Instead, at least two or more need to be present for the implied consent to be attached to the act.

With that said, the factors I believe rise to the level of implied consent for women to be touched in a club include: (1) clothing which overly exposes the body; (2) dancing with anyone (male or female) in a style which simulates a sex act; (3) dancing in the manner described in (2) to music with highly suggestive sexual lyrics and ; (4) touching of the dance partners body parts. Each factor will receive an individual analysis.

Factor 1 – Clothing which overly exposes the body 

There is no doubt that men love to see scantly clad women. It is also known that local stores sell women’s’ cloths where skirts get shorter by the summer, and tops seem to reveal more of girls’ breast. Such is a matter of taste, and does not normally reveal anything that would amount to indecent exposure.

 

I believe such attire standing alone, is appropriate to wear in a club. There is a truth that in clubs, where intoxicating substances and consumed, that wearing such revealing cloths can have the dual effect of: (1) giving men an impression that you are loose and; (2) exposing more of yourself to strangers than you would normally do. This over exposure has the effect of saying, “Hey! Look at my ass!” Or, “Hey, look, my breast are out!” Surely enough, men get that message.

 

Even if that is not the message a woman is not trying to send, that is the message that is being received. Woman often take the position of, “It’s not my fault men look, I’m just here to chill with my girls.” This may be true, but a woman’s image and dignity is in her control. Don’t get mad if men take away the wrong message from the type of cloths you wear. Women have the right to wear what they want. Men have the right to interpret what ever signals they believe appropriate from what the woman wears.

Factor 2 – Dancing With Anyone (male or female) in a Style Which Simulates a Sex Act 

In an era of MTV, BET Uncut, and rap music from the southern regions tailored to strip clubs, there has been a vast movement in which dancing has become simulated sex. This is not suggestive, intimate, or sensual dancing. This form of dance includes females hands and/or  backs on the floor, mens pelvic regions firmly pressed against a females corresponding region or buttocks, and movement which essentially simulates sex acts. (See YouTube video below for an example) Often, a person can observe a man pick up a woman and bounce her on his pelvic region. In fact, men standing on walls, the traditional ‘wall flower,’ can now be found at his usual spot with a girl in front of him gyrating her buttocks on him. 

 

Again, this can lead to unintended consequences. First, if a woman simulates sex with one person, most other guys are going to want to simulate the sex act with you too.  This is because in a young teenage logical analysis, simulated sex leads to actual sex. In other words,  a teenage boy will think, “if she will grind her ass on me in front of these two hundred people in the club, imagine what she will do with me in private!”

 

Second, such loose behavior with strangers opens you up to contact with people whom you would not ordinarily include in your personal circle.  For example, clubs which are 18 and up do not just include college students.  Many of the men in these clubs are old, grown men. Why are they there? Because the ten dollars to get in the club is cheaper than getting in a strip club.  And, the benefits are greater. Women grind on men for free.  A guy may even get a phone number out of the deal.  If he’s lucky, the girl is as slutty as she dances.  So in essence,  while the girl may think she is just dancing and having a good time,  she is being set up by pedophiles all under the guise of a good time in the club.

 

Third, when a woman has her butt gyrating on a man’s penis, simulating a sex act, it is natural for the man to believe that it is appropriate to touch the woman. After all, the man’s sex organ is being purposefully stimulated.  If women do not wish to do this, then don’t grind on the male.  Once upon a time, men and women danced without being joined at the hips.  Going back to the implied consent theory, the woman’s act of stimulating the man’s penis leads the man to believe, objectively, that she consents to be touched. Therefore, he may touch the girls buttocks, her breast, and at a minimum, her hips to grind harder.  If women to not want to be touched, then the obvious remedy is to not dance so suggestively with men.  

Factor 3 – Dancing To Music with Highly Suggestive Sexual Lyrics 

Today’s music, rap specifically, has gotten to the point where there is no simile or metaphor. Marvin Gay sang of “love” and R&B singers of the 60’s and 70’s sang of “groovin.” Today, rappers sing songs with hooks like “Girl gimme dat pu***,” “back that ass up,” and “fu**in’ you tonight.” Also, in videos, rappers are seen with women who, in real life are strippers, dance like strippers and make it seem like it is the status quo to do so.  The result, women in clubs dance to songs which imply that they are easy.

 

Would a black person ride in their car blasting old speeches of David Duke, or the Grand Wizard of the KKK? Obviously not, and the reason is simply they do not adopt their views, and do not want others to think they agree with their ideology.  So, what is different when a rapper says “girl gimme that pussy” and women rush to the dance floor. Are women sending the message that they do not condone men making comments which are similar to the words of a rapist?  No, they are essentially signaling that they agree with the message.  Thus, they agree with the hard tone rappers take toward women, they agree that they should be giving it up (sex), and they are implying that they want to be touched.  The argument that “I just like the beat” is not enough. In fact, it is a weak argument.  Women should be more conscious than that.  Look beyond the beat.  What is the song saying? Do you adopt those views?  If you want to dance to such songs, know that others will believe that you condone what is said.  Again, would an African American go to a Klan meeting?  Similarly, if you do not adopt the views of certain rappers,  do not go to their concerts and clubs that play their music.

Factor 4: The Touching of the Dance Partners’ Body Parts 

This is obvious and will not receive much attention. Some women dance in such awkward positions and in such a way, that it is necessary to grab a man’s thigh, waste, on grab his back. Sometimes, this touching is just intentional without the need for assistance. Regardless, this only further leads to the act simulating sex, giving the male the idea that it is reasonable to touch the corresponding body part of the female.

Putting It All Together 

In sum, the four factors, in any cobination, would lead an objective person to believe that a woman consents to being touched in the club. Not all four need to exist, but at least two of them do. The question then becomes, how long does this consent last?  Women may concede that there is an implied consent when dancing, and thus, this blog is a waste of time!  However, many women will say that the consent does not extend past the dance.  I believe that this could be true but is not usually the case.  If a woman dances suggestively and then goes and sits down,  I believe they does not want to be touched again.  However, if a woman leaves one man for another, song after song, with the factors as described above, then I believe she is essentially consenting to be touched by anyone while she is on the dance floor.  Thus, a woman should not get mad if she has been grindin’ on men all night long and then gets her buttocks grabbed when she is walking though a crowd.  I believe the consent ends when the woman attempts to leave the dance floor, when the women expressly says do not touch me, or when the music stops and the club is over.

I believe that when women adhere to any combination of the above mentioned four factors, they in fact consent to being touched in a club and could not successfully win a legal claim for battery based on a touch in a club or club like setting.

For an example of the factors in action, minus the dancing with a partner, please watch the video below. 

 

October 11, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black women, club, college, HBCU, hip hop, Law, Law School, rap, teens, torts, university | 16 Comments