The Thoughts of an Educated Young African American Male

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.       

Advertisements

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