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The Morehouse Dilemma

By / 10.13.10

Life is all about addressing issues.

Mississippi has a history of teaching abstinence instead of safe sex practices as if kids aren’t going to actually have sex until they’re married. This is one of the reasons the state perpetually has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the country. There’s a failure to address the real issue: teenager hormones trump all have put the state in the situation it’s in.

A couple of days ago, Vibe.com posted a feature that focuses on the homosexual community in Morehouse, causing a hell of a firestorm. Was the article perfect? No, but the gripe that the author should have kept her story to herself as a show of black solidarity is just ridiculous and goes against the idea of journalism. The author didn’t do much editorializing, only showing the viewpoint of a few “men” on campus. Morehouse students, alums, and the president himself are all furious about the story. But really, Morehouse only has itself to blame for not addressing this problem head on a long time ago.

Let me offer up another example.

I went to a small liberal arts college that prides itself on its incredibly tough workload. The students got little sleep, tons of work and rare good grades for all of our efforts. It’s a work hard, party hard institution where getting drunk on weekends to unwind and let off steam became a part of the culture for most. Our administrators knew and accepted the fact that 90 percent of us would get wasted at some point before we turned 21. So, during our freshman year, we had to take an Alcohol 101 course that basically taught us how to not die when we went out and got drunk.

By addressing the issue that, yes, students will drink a lot when they get here, the college was able to teach us how to manage our alcohol intake and stay safe. As a result, there were very few serious issues with health and alcohol and students didn’t wind up dead from drinking too much. The school’s honesty and introspection allowed it to realize that the workload and demand drives us to drink, so they might as well deal with that instead of pretending that we’ll all just wait until we were of age and never overdo it.

Apparently, Morehouse never had this honesty with its student body. By pretending that, despite national statistics and the fact that the school is in the Black homosexual hotbed of Atlanta, every man on campus is straight, Morehouse allowed things to get out of hand to the point that this Vibe story has shaken the institution to its core. Because, face it, men aren’t going to want to apply to a school that has a national reputation of being a place where secretly gay men go to exercise their closeted lifestyle or get turned out.


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