[McInnis] Behind the HBCU Merger | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[McInnis] Behind the HBCU Merger

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Don't be fooled into thinking that Gov. Haley Barbour's recommendation for merging the state-funded HBCUs is about the current economic crisis.

In 1970, the state's first response to the Ayers Equalization of Funding complaint was to close Mississippi Valley State University, merge Alcorn with Mississippi State, and rename Jackson State University as the University of Mississippi at Jackson. The majority of white Mississippians have always resented that their tax dollars are used to fund the development of African minds who compete with them for jobs.

However, the most racist aspect is the fact that Barbour has yet to consider merging or closing some of state-funded community colleges. Why? One, state-funded community colleges admit just as many white students as Afro-Mississippians. Two, state-funded community colleges are feeding grounds for UM, MSU and USM to gain African talent for their athletic programs, especially African talent that does not earn the grade or test score to be admitted immediately from high school into one of the so-called "big three."

In reality, although community colleges do offer unique programs, such as cosmetology and other skilled-labor professions, they mostly duplicate freshman and sophomore courses already offered at four-year colleges.

In fact, just a few years ago, Hinds Community College petitioned the College Board to offer junior-level courses as a way to gain more funding, which would have meant less funding for HBCUs. Why not simply close or consolidate the state-funded community colleges and move the bulk of the skilled labor programs to the four-year colleges? That would serve the same function of "reducing administrative jobs and eliminating duplication in academic offerings," which is supposedly at the top of the governor's list.

We at HBCUs have not done as well as we could be doing in our political organizing or in the product or service that we offer. Many of the 20- and 30-year professors at these HBCUs were silent during the Ayers case because they love white money and acceptance more than they love freedom.

Far too many of these tenured professors are mis-educated Africans who suffer from the same character flaw as fish; they are easily distracted by shiny things, which include position and status. Until African people begin to love freedom more than life itself, we will continue to be second-class citizens. That is why I find it laughable when so many JSU professors are angry with many of President Ronald Mason's decisions. Where were they during the 26 years of the Ayers case? The settlement was merely a sham of a deal to aid in the assassination of state-funded HBCUs. State-funded HBCUs are not just under attack from white racists; they are under attack from many types of misguided African people, each with their own affliction of self-hatred and personal agenda.

What can students, faculty and Afro-Mississippians do to defeat the plan to consolidate or close HBCUs? Number one, Afro-Mississippians must make it very clear to white Democrats that if HBCUs are merged or closed, white Democrats will not be re-elected. Most Afro-Mississippians who are angry with Barbour seem to forget that the sham of the Ayers case settlement was accomplished with a Democratic governor and attorney general whom Afro-Mississippians love.

To be honest, I don't know if there is much that can be done because MVSU, ASU and JSU are state-funded schools. One would hope that the Afro-Mississippian elected officials—some who hold key positions on House and Senate committees—would simply make it clear that until this recommendation is removed, nothing else will get passed or brought to a vote. However, Mississippi has more black elected officials than any other state, and we still rank last in almost everything. You can march, rally and protest, but Barbour and the rest of the Republican Party do not care about a group of people who don't vote for them or make contributions to their campaigns.

Additionally, closing and merging HBCUs gets Republicans one step closer to reassigning Afro-Mississippians as the permanent labor base, who will be forced, like other undocumented workers, to take what low-wage job they can find.

For years, the majority of Afro-Mississippians and African Americans laughed and called it crazy whenever an African American asserted that black nationalism, not integration, is the most effective way for African people to gain first-class citizenship. Well, they may still laugh at that thought, but less than a year after the election of the first African American president of the United States, who, by the way, decreased federal funding to HBCUs as one of his first acts in office, Afro-Mississippians are being faced with the reality that three of the five four-year institutions that believe in African genius in all of its various forms and levels will be eliminated.

As Carter G. Woodson asserted, by the 11th grade most African people are taught to hate themselves and love everybody else. As long as we hate ourselves, we cannot develop a plan in our best interest, and we will remain dependent on people who hate us.

C. Liegh McInnis is author of seven books and the editor of Black Magnolias Literary Journal. He teaches English at JSU.

Previous Comments

ID
153678
Comment

I don't think people are really understanding this issue, and are getting all worked up because of irresponsible "opinion" articles like this one claiming racisim. One of this article's claims is that Barbour didn't propose to merge community colleges because of atheletic recruiting. Do you seriously believe that? It's just a proposed consolidation of the administrative offices, something state agencies do all the time (see the changes to the Dept. of Agriculture and Commerce in Barbour's proposal, for instance). And, BTW, community colleges WERE included in his proposal if you bothered to read it before writing incindiary articles.

Author
The Eskimo
Date
2009-11-27T12:13:31-06:00
ID
153679
Comment

"The majority of white Mississippians have always resented that their tax dollars are used to fund the development of African minds who compete with them for jobs." Dude, you pegged me. Nice shot. "However, the most racist aspect is the fact that Barbour has yet to consider merging or closing some of state-funded community colleges. Why? One, state-funded community colleges admit just as many white students as Afro-Mississippians. Two, state-funded community colleges are feeding grounds for UM, MSU and USM to gain African talent for their athletic programs, especially African talent that does not earn the grade or test score to be admitted immediately from high school into one of the so-called "big three." These conspiracy theories are heating up. "You can march, rally and protest, but Barbour and the rest of the Republican Party do not care about a group of people who don't vote for them or make contributions to their campaigns." I actually agree with this to some extent, but that could be said about Democrats as well. Either way, if I had some white money, I would definitely enroll at JSU and take one of your English classes. I can only imagine the rhetoric you spew in the classroom. Also, why am I the first person to comment on this guy's editorial? Perhaps because nobody wants to dignify his opinion?

Author
jbreland
Date
2009-11-27T13:08:15-06:00
ID
153681
Comment

[quote]Perhaps because nobody wants to dignify his opinion? [/quote] Bingo! :)

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-11-27T15:36:05-06:00
ID
153683
Comment

I think it has more to do with it being published on Thanksgiving Eve. It's not our busiest time for angry, nasty comments. Thank God. This doesn't make sense: "You can march, rally and protest, but Barbour and the rest of the Republican Party do not care about a group of people who don't vote for them or make contributions to their campaigns." I actually agree with this to some extent, but that could be said about Democrats as well. You can complain about Democrats for many reasons, which I often do, but you can't say that Democrats do not care about an ethnic group that is very important to their voting base. Whether for the right reasons or not, a Democrat with any political prowess whatsoever never in a million years would have proposed merging JSU, Valley and Alcorn. C. Liegh is right that Barbour and his particular Republican followers don't care about angering the alumni of those schools. They get very few of their votes. I don't necessarily agree with C. Liegh's first statement you quoted–I disagree with many of his viewpoints–but that sentence replaced with "many" would certainly be true, certainly historically (hopefully things are changing). And that's not rhetoric; that's simply basic history lessons. Hopefully, those are taught at Ole Miss, too. And obviously, just because you don't feel that way doesn't mean that the statement is patently false. You don't have to agree with C. Liegh to respect the right to his opinion, which is held by many AFrican Americans in the state. If you want to show that you're not among that majority he speaks of, the best response would be respectful disagreement, not personal jabs that don't add anything new to the conversation.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-11-27T18:16:59-06:00
ID
153687
Comment

The sad thing about this piece is McInnis will ALWAYS be a 2nd class citizen as long you are putting ANY WORD/TERM/NOUN/VERB (whatever the case may be) IN FRONT OF THE WORD AMERICAN!!! We're AMERICANS, this is our rally call. Not Afro American's or Latino Americans, etc. YOU'RE AMERICAN! Until you can accept this you'll always have self-esteem issues. I suggest you leave the USA for at least 90 days then come back and see how glad you are to be an AMERICAN.

Author
CMYK
Date
2009-11-27T22:30:07-06:00
ID
153689
Comment

C. Liegh didn't put the hyphen there; history did. I don't completely agree with C. Liegh either--I think he sees malice from whites who don't care about black folks, when the reality is that it's usually more about selfishness and apathy--but I'm delighted to see this article in the JFP and hope he writes more. Optimally we'd live in a state where EVERY educational institution believes in the power of black minds, because otherwise there's little point to being an educational institution. I turn a jaundiced eye to Ole Miss because, despite the fact that it has a significant black student population, it is so allied with the Confederate legacy as to have an ambiguous white supremacist identity. We need to do something with that school--rename it the University of North Mississippi or something--and make JSU the flagship of our higher education system. But this legislature isn't going to do that, because three-quarters of it is made up of good old boys. And I agree: there's no point to putting pressure on Republicans. We couldn't even get the state party chair to disassociate the party from an overt white separatist organization, which the Senate Tourism Committee chair glowingly endorsed while speaking at their annual convention. That tells us all we need to know about what the Mississippi Republican Party thinks of people of color. And there are obviously parts of the Democratic Party that operate in the same way, but at least Democrats know that half their majority in the House is made up of black legislators, and that two-thirds of their statewide and national-election vote is black. So even if white Democratic party leaders don't give a damn (and most of them probably don't), they know which side their bread is buttered on.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-11-28T04:44:20-06:00
ID
153691
Comment

I'm responding to dignify C. Liegh's right to have an opinion. To many hyphenated 2nd class citizens in Mississippi, C. Liegh is a highly respected writer, speaker, publisher, poet, educator and activist. I'm proud and honored to know him as one who is passionate about maintaining the pride, dignity and ability of black people in Mississippi and this country. To me, he embodies the purpose of poet Langston Hughes' literary manifesto: The younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly, too. The tom-tom cries, and the tom-tom laughs. If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn't matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain free within ourselves. Also, thank you Donna and the JFP for your patience, fairness and benevolence towards all writers, no matter what hyphenated color, creed, or origin they are, to be Free Within Themselves. Peace, love and universal understanding, Stiggers

Author
Stiggers
Date
2009-11-28T11:19:29-06:00
ID
153693
Comment

Hey, Tom's almost cynical enough!

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-11-28T12:42:24-06:00
ID
153704
Comment

Great job, C. Thanks for writing a very thought-provoking column that is not meant to please everyone or gain a consensus. Way to call out some of our Black teachers. I basically disliked if not despised most of the Black teachers I had in high school. Too many, if not all, went right along with a racist and corrupt system just to have the shinny cars, a little prestige, so-called good jobs and bigger houses than the rest of us. I remember wondering all the time why they wouldn't stand firmly against the obviously racist and corrupt system we experienced. I vowed to never be like them no matter what I became. To our great surprise, we had one male teacher, Mr. Wayne, a graduate of Grambling, who stood up for us like a real man. He eventually quit though to keep from going completely off on some people. He was even accused of giving me grades during his period of time with us. He told me the principal said no one grades could fluctuate like mines did - from average to the very top. We both knew though that some Negroes were quite blessed intellectually and did very well when they applied themselves.

Author
Walt
Date
2009-11-28T16:03:00-06:00
ID
153727
Comment

"However, the most racist aspect is the fact that Barbour has yet to consider merging or closing some of state-funded community colleges. Why? One, state-funded community colleges admit just as many white students as Afro-Mississippians. Two, state-funded community colleges are feeding grounds for UM, MSU and USM to gain African talent for their athletic programs, especially African talent that does not earn the grade or test score to be admitted immediately from high school into one of the so-called "big three." " The most racist aspect is this uniformed and ignorant article! Let's start by clarifying your article with some factual information. Barbour is proposing cutting the JUCO budget by 12%. He also has recommended that office operations be consolidated, closing some satellite campuses, and cutting athletic programs. My question for you is regarding "African talent that does not earn the grade or test score to be admittted into the big three". What test scores are required of the HBCU? If they are receiving tax dollars than the admission requirements should be the same. Are you suggesting that the HBCU allow anyone to attend because of skin color? Great job JFP for allowing such garbage in your paper!

Author
js1976
Date
2009-11-30T12:24:46-06:00
ID
153732
Comment

Wow, the personal attack-dogs are out in force right now. Didn't y'all have a relaxing Thanksgiving?!? js1976 et al, please re-read the column before you start hurling insults that don't actually match what he said. Agree with his opinion or not about motive, what C. Liegh wrote is that Barbour is not "merging or closing" any of the community colleges. You quoted that and then bated and switched it by trying to argue that it wasn't factual. Cutting the budget and closing satellite campuses is simply not the same as merging or closing. And I say that as someone who is undecided about how/if schools in the state should be merged/consolidated. I'm simply correcting your facts and misread of the column. You're welcome. Oh, and don't bother posting aad hominem garbage on this site. Be respectful of other opinions, or take a hike. We can all agree without being disagreeable and sounding like a 7-year-old. Let's leave that kind of behavior for the Egg Bowl thread. (smile)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-11-30T13:04:41-06:00
ID
153735
Comment

Ladd, please quote the complete statment. C. Liehg wrote "Barbour has yet to consider merging or closing some of state-funded community colleges". This statement is untrue because the community colleges are on the chopping block as well. Barbour IS considering it. How is closing a satelillite campus not the same? It is one less place available for education. You didn't correct my facts so no thanks is necessary. Oh, and I still say articles such as this that provoke racism are garbage. That is my opinion and if you are true to your word you will just have to respect it. or take a hike.

Author
js1976
Date
2009-11-30T13:17:06-06:00
ID
153737
Comment

C. Liegh is talking about Barbour's recommendations, which do not include any specific proposals re: merger or closure of community colleges. I don't agree with C. Liegh McInnis about everything, but he has his facts right.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-11-30T13:24:59-06:00
ID
153739
Comment

js1976, I don't have to quote it; you're quoting it. And what you're quoting is not supporting what you're saying C. Liegh said. Barbour did not propose closing or merging community colleges, right? I don't know if he has seriously considered doing so. Nor do you, I suspect. Or C. Liegh. Clearly, it is your opinion that he has, and C. Liegh's opinion that he hasn't. Neither opinion is more valid than the other. Obviously, closing a satellite campus is very different from closing a college or merging it into a school of a completely different name, etc. If you closed the MSU campus in Meridian, it might tick some people off, but it wouldn't be the same as closing a school completely or by merging it into another existing school. It's really not that hard to understand. "Racism"? I'm guessing you have no clue what that means. C. Liegh did not call for systematic control, subjugation and discrimination by blacks over whites. You might have meant "bigoted," which could at least exist in this conversation, whether or not one agreed with it. I can't take a hike from my own site. Sorry. It's stuck with me. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-11-30T13:26:21-06:00
ID
153743
Comment

Ms. Ladd here is a quote from the CL on 11/18/2009 regarding the budget and community colleges. Again C. Liegh wrote "Barbour has yet to consider merging or closing some of state-funded community colleges". Just as I stated before this statement is not true! "Earlier versions of Barbour's budget had included cutting the number of community colleges, but during his proposal, Barbour said he decided to spare the two-year schools because he thinks it's important to provide access to affordable education options."

Author
js1976
Date
2009-11-30T13:36:44-06:00
ID
153745
Comment

BRAVO Mr. McInnis. If I am correct this is C.Leigh's first article with JFP, right? If so, way to create a stir buddy!!!! Now that's how you come into the game...padded up and ready to play! KUDOS!

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-11-30T13:50:37-06:00
ID
153778
Comment

Before I make this post, I want to point out that ALL of our major Universities operate at a loss. The idea is to mitigate those losses by merging some of the more out-of-control operating costs: According to the most recent State audit, when annual operational losses are compared to the current enrollment reports, you get the following: Alcorn: looses approximately $13,144 per student enrolled Valley: looses $12,236 per student MSU: looses $11,044 JSU: $9,365 Women: $8,658 USM: $8,505 Delta: $6,766 Ole Miss: $5,322 See for yourself (Warning! Math & critical thinking required!): http://www.osa.state.ms.us/documents/ihl-rpt/08ihl.pdf Pg. 107, last line. For current enrollments, look up any school on Wikipedia and check the banner to your right. BTW, financial statements are written in BOTH black AND white.

Author
The Eskimo
Date
2009-11-30T17:01:03-06:00
ID
153811
Comment

Interesting his take on the Ayers Case and lack of voice the Black professors had in the settlement. I agree that too often the "Black Bourgeoisie" sells out the black masses. With that he is dead on. I think the most poignant point he makes is about Black nationalism. Overall, he is right. Black people have taken black nationalism off the table to our detriment. Obama campaigned on the notion of expanding democracy and the American Promise for all and I, honestly, bought in. While I do think that the American Democracy is all of our democracy, I don't think Black people should have to claim it at the expense of our own institutions, of which HBCU's are included (the state funded ones, though, are in a precarious situation here). Diversity does not mean melting pot, it means respecting distinctions. Black people have heritages, cultures, and institutions that we should not have to disown in order to be "Americans". Barbour's plan is one born of political ideology (not sound problem solving)and callous disregard for a wide population of Mississippians. But, is this anything new from the Barbour Adminstration? Blackwatch!!!!!!

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2009-12-01T11:11:22-06:00
ID
153885
Comment

All this discussion is moot. I work at the only major private HBCU in the state. If you really want to keep the traditions of the smaller colleges alive (HBCUs or the W) take them private. See if the alumni and student tuition can keep them going. Being tied to ANY administration will compromise your values and keep you beholden to state handouts.

Author
revdrstewart
Date
2009-12-02T14:59:21-06:00
ID
154009
Comment

OMG! Before I wrote my comment I wanted to read everyone comments first just to see how Mr. McInnis' article was received! It reminds me of when President Obama was running for the Democratic Nomination. African Americans were taken by this well versed, young, African American Male. I was one of the few among my peers that did not support Obama as the democratic nominee. I was considered a traitor in a sense. But, my thing is this, everything that looks good, smells good or even taste good is NOT always good for you(This goes back to McInnis' comment about the flaw of fish.)!! You have to investigate. Let us stop stopping at the surface and let us look beneathe it! Let us stop selling each other out for a buck or for personal gain! I am so glad Mr. McInnis took a stand in an attempt to wake up so many in our community that are living in a fog. Even though Mr. McInnis feels it will do little good to protest, I still feel the need to do so!This entire idea to close our beloved HBCU's in our state is about Race!!! There is NO DOUBT in my mind! Republicans,as a whole, could care less about the education or the betterment of the African American Community. In some cases, neither do some African Americans care, but I do! Great Job Mr. McInnis!! Can't wait to read more of your work in the future!

Author
Tan
Date
2009-12-04T15:48:41-06:00
ID
154010
Comment

"Even though Mr. McInnis feels it will do little good to protest, I still feel the need to do so!This entire idea to close our beloved HBCU's in our state is about Race!!!" Tan they are not closing any of the HBCU's. None of these locations are being closed but some are being consolidated. I'm quite sure someone on here will disagree with me, but closing and consolidating are not the same. If we consider this a racial issue then I say close them! We are all supposed to be living together in a segregated society. Yet when we have a school that is referred to as a "black college" we are still divided!

Author
js1976
Date
2009-12-04T16:08:08-06:00
ID
154016
Comment

js1976 writes: "If we consider this a racial issue then I say close them! We are all supposed to be living together in a segregated society. Yet when we have a school that is referred to as a "black college" we are still divided!" Great idea, js. So--this goes without saying--you support UMC being incorporated as a branch campus of Jackson State, right? After all, they're both in Jackson, and if we're committed to ending segregation in this post-racial age, step one should be merging institutions that are in the same city. Wouldn't you agree? I expect you, being the proud anti-segregationist that you are, to be first on the scene to call for the JSU-UMC merger--it wouldn't be closure of UMC, after all, because UMC would still exist as part of Jackson State--as step one of this process, and I'm sure Governor Barbour, who shares your post-racial priorities, will enthusiastically endorse your proposal as a sign that there is no longer any need to distinguish between white and black institutions. While we're at it, let's merge the Madison and Canton school districts, and bring Delta and Valley State together. After all, it's not about race, right? Because if it were about race, we might, say, just suggest the "merger" of three geographically disparate HBCUs into a single institution... Separate from--but equal to, mind you--one of the four freestanding historically white institutions whose identities would remain intact. I know Governor Barbour is being accused of doing that, but that can't be right because, hell, as you point out, that would imply he believes there are such things as "black" schools. That's crazy talk; obviously we're making too much of a typographical error committed by one of his staffers. He's focused on budget-cutting, and that means geography, not race, would be his first criterion. So, yeah. UMC as a campus of Jackson State would be the first cost-cutting, race-neutral phase of this process. I expect you'll be getting right on that; please let me know how it goes.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-12-04T17:16:54-06:00
ID
154023
Comment

Psst, Tom: The JSU-UMC thing has been discussed before. It won't end well. :) But I suspect you're being humorous, so I'll pass.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-04T18:00:01-06:00
ID
154024
Comment

IG, you're catching on. :o)

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-12-04T18:59:58-06:00
ID
154026
Comment

posted by js1976 on 12/04/09 at 04:08 PM Tan they are not closing any of the HBCU's. None of these locations are being closed but some are being consolidated. I'm quite sure someone on here will disagree with me, but closing and consolidating are not the same. I understand that they are wanting to consolidate, I used the wrong terminology. Thx

Author
Tan
Date
2009-12-04T19:09:43-06:00
ID
154029
Comment

Eskimo, Mississippi History 101: Racism and Jim Crow Racism Rears its ugly head once again. MSU is a Federal Land Grant institution. Alcorn is a Federal Land Grant Institution. MSU gets a $15 million dollar Federal Appropriation. Alcorn gets zero. Why? Racism methinks. When JSU built or renovated dorms in the 60's, 70's and part of the 80's they had to use Federal loans, which they paid back with interest. In addition the IHL (or whatever it was called back then) actually reduced the State approproaition to JSU by the amount of the Federal loan = a double whammy. Meanwhile the white institutions built dorms with State appropriations with no payback or interest obligations. JSU and Alcorn have been saddled over the decades with these types of shennaigans, from which they have not, and propbably will never recover, even with the Ayers Case Decision in their favor. And white Mississippians wonder why the HCBU's appear to be so different from their white counterparts in facilities, programs and recruitment.

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2009-12-05T13:01:28-06:00
ID
154031
Comment

If you want to see a quick change of heart about de-funding or merging the HBCU's in Mississippi, don't waste time marching on the Capitol. Just have every student at all of the HBCS's announce that they are abandoning their existing educational institutions and transferring to Ole Miss. If the powers-that-be thought that the lily white UM campus would soon be home to over 11,000 African American students, there would be an immediate announcement that the HBCU's would receive all of the funding they ever wished for.

Author
Tom Ramsey
Date
2009-12-05T14:19:38-06:00
ID
154032
Comment

Wintrhop, You little devil!

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2009-12-05T14:23:35-06:00
ID
154034
Comment

Wintrhop: So we'd irritate a few thousand rich brats under your proposal... where's the downside?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-05T15:52:34-06:00
ID
154035
Comment

Frankmickens,
"MSU gets a $15 million dollar Federal Appropriation. Alcorn gets zero. Why? Racism methinks."
Perhaps, but please site your sources, as I did, when making claims about what universities do and do not get regarding financial assistance. This whole issue, after all, is about saving the state money.
But please understand, I don't "not believe" what you're saying. Undertones of racisim do indeed exist in this state, especially in our public education system (take the all-white, so called "private" academies for example, which, by the way, is a "swept-under-the-rug" story I would LOVE to see the JFP tackle, since they appear to be the only periodical willing to publish controversial issues.)
In my opinion, I just think the opponents of Barbour's proposal are a little quick to call racism in this issue. No school is proposed to close, or lose their name, or football team, or any of the other claims I've heard mentioned. It is, at its base, a proposal to take a BUNCH OF SMALL, redundant, offices filled with accountants and administrators, and replace that with ONE BIG, more efficient, office of accountants and administrators. Basically, just consolidating all the financial and record-keeping duties. Paperwork.
Honestly, I'm a little stumped as why people are so up in arms about this, since it seems that it would be a GOOD thing (if you think saving money is good, that is) for the HBCUs, or any of our public institution for that matter.
Barbour's biggest mistake politically, me thinks, was lumping all the HBCUs together, b/c the uninformed masses were sure to call racisim on this, but that does not mean his general idea of administrative consolidation is without merit. Some of the best ideas are met with the most criticism.

Author
The Eskimo
Date
2009-12-05T16:50:24-06:00
ID
154037
Comment

Eskimo, Correction. Barbour said he wanted to combine the "back room operations" of ALL of the Universities, as well as merge the HCBU's. And I agree that the back room merger proposal does have some economic merit. However the HBCU merger is definitely racist to its' core, and BOTH the un-informed and the informed Black masses know racism when we see it! We've been thoroughly indoctrinated in both its "in your face" and more subtle aspects. Even in this age we are aware of how it is planned, designed and implemented. In addition Eskimo of the North, you may not be noticing how Barbour's obviously racist use of code words (HCBU) also sends a message to the less than affluent MS whites he wants to snooker as well. "Hey ya'll I'm only doing this to those lazy Black so and sos." This is a time proven technique starting with Reconstruction right on thru to the Southern Strategy and "Tax Cuts for the Rich. Kind of "You can fool all of the less than affluent Whites ALL of the time if you put a Black face on the problem/solution. I'll give Barbour the credit he is due; he is a "master communicator", and us Blacks got the message. Barbour thinks he can re-create the coalition put together to keep the "Stars and Bars" on the state flag. His comments were no political mistake. It was a political message. Why didn't Barbour use a geographic basis for his university merger madness?

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2009-12-05T20:17:42-06:00
ID
154041
Comment

No downside in my view, Ironghost. I think it would improve Ole Miss greatly to have a dramatic shot of diversity. I just don't think the powers-that-be would see it the same way. As a matter of fact, I sincerely believe that if many supporters of Ole Miss thought the African American population on campus was about to dramatically increase they would do whatever was possible to fund the HBCU's, including giving out of their own pockets!

Author
Tom Ramsey
Date
2009-12-06T23:33:02-06:00
ID
154042
Comment

Wintrhop: Because all white people are full of hate, especially the rich ones. Is that honestly your view?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-07T08:32:50-06:00
ID
154048
Comment

What bothers me the most about the discourse is that there are lawmakers sounding alarmist about the impending budget and claiming that everything is on the table. Yet in reality, everything is not on the table. A couple of bubb...I mean State Senators were on the radio again this morning claiming that House Leadership and the Black Caucus were not willing to make tough choices necessary to balance the budget. Like the only thing we should be looking at is Barbour's proposal. Yet, none of them have even mentioned the posibility of re-examining the State corporate tax structure, merging U of MS and MSU and USM, and looking into things that might be hindering economic investment in the state, like it's strange and crippling obsession with the Confederacy. For instance, start looking at the public image and economic development of the state and how they are affected by the state flag (remember, everything is supposedly fair game). If they can consider closing/merging HBCU's and the W at a one-time savings of $35 Million, then they can also look at how much convention and corporate business is lost when the state celebrates Robert E. Lee day on the same day as Dr. King Day (pure ignorance). The reality is, the only thing that is fair game is anything that doesn't shift power to more groups of people and disrupt the status quo. If these folks were honsetly trying to deal with these bad economic times, why in the world aren't they asking some real hard questions about how MS has come to this point. Issues like the resegregation of public schools and how this impacts public education in general in this state, or the primitive practices and policies concerning criminal justice, issues with diversity, and how government is run. All of these things should be in the discourse, not just the things in Barbour's proposal. More of the same people, more of the same.

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2009-12-07T11:03:23-06:00
ID
154051
Comment

Tom what can I say, being the "proud anti-segregationist" that I am? Your comparison with UMC and JSU is funny I have to admit. All I can say is go for it! Turn over UMC to an admistration that has zero experience running a medical facility. Please, you let me know how that goes! At least offer up a suggestion that's feasible.

Author
js1976
Date
2009-12-07T11:55:36-06:00
ID
154061
Comment

JS: That was his point. He and I both recall the last time someone made that suggestion, the end result was that it'd cause tons more problems than it was worth.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-07T14:55:21-06:00
ID
154071
Comment

"He's focused on budget-cutting, and that means geography, not race, would be his first criterion." This is why this article makes me angry Tom, because the author made it a racial issue. I understand it's about buget cutting not race but Mr.C Leigh does not. I made a statment regarding race as a response to this article and the other posters who believe the HBCU's are a target because of demographics. It's all about numbers that the State Of Mississippi doesn't have to spend! Anything else you want to call me?

Author
js1976
Date
2009-12-07T15:54:33-06:00
ID
154074
Comment

JS, How else can a proposal to merge all of the HBCU's while not commenting on the PWI's is supposed to be understood? If this were about numbers and geography, then merging Vally and Delta State and, really, U of MS would make more sense. If you look at the over all cost of those institutions, to continue with them in a "business as usual" way while merging/closing HBCU's can't simply be about numbers (not to mention the historical context that Fmickens notes). It is interesting to see how so called "fiscal conservatives" want to divorce these budget decisions from their historical and social contexts only when it bernfits them. I wonder how dire it has to get economically before the alumni of these schools and the "good ol' boy" leadership in this state would even consider "merging" U of MS and Valley? If it is simply about numbers, then close/"merge" U of MS!

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2009-12-07T16:28:25-06:00
ID
154077
Comment

Eskimo, The $15 million Federal Land Grant Appropriation for MSU and zero dollars for Alcorn I cited came from the source (link) YOU cited in your original post. "See for yourself (Warning! Math & critical thinking required!): http://www.osa.state.ms.us/documents/ihl-rpt/08ihl.pdf Pg. 107," The source of the information regarding how JSU had to borrow and repay, plus interest to the Federal Gov for dorms while the white universities received direct grants from the state, and the JSU state appropriation being reduced by the amounts of the Federal Loans, came from the autobiography of Dr. John Peoples, Past President of JSU.

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2009-12-07T16:48:11-06:00
ID
154086
Comment

Ironghost - I certainly hope all white people aren't full of hate. I don't think I am. Do you honestly think that the alum of Ole Miss would embrace diversity on such a scale as I suggested? Mississippi has come a long way since the days of Ross B. on the steps of the Lyceum, but I don't think we should kid ourselves into thinking that all is hunky-dory. Just look at what happened when some students and alums had to stop shouting a racially charged chant.

Author
Tom Ramsey
Date
2009-12-07T20:00:53-06:00
ID
154090
Comment

Wintrhop: I don't think we're at the promised land quite yet, but I do think we should acknowledge that we aren't back in the sixties anymore. There were Ole Miss students who didn't like the chant, and it was a biracial group that did go laugh at the kluckers. A lot of people don't want to admit we've made progress, because it would rob them of power over people.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-07T21:31:08-06:00
ID
154104
Comment

We don't need no education. We don't need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the legislature. Hey! Governor! Leave them skewls alone!

Author
revdrstewart
Date
2009-12-08T13:24:22-06:00
ID
154105
Comment

I know we aren't back in the 60's, but we haven't progressed as far as I would hope. We're working on it, but "traditions" like the TSWRA chant are one of this things holding us back in our own hearts and in the eyes of the world. It broke my heart to see bright-faced, smiling students posing with a hate-merchant like Richard Barrett in the Grove and holding up signs with TSSRA painted on them (www.nationalist.org). I wish the students would chant "The South is doing its best to live up to its potential!"

Author
Tom Ramsey
Date
2009-12-08T13:28:29-06:00
ID
154120
Comment

Look, this stuff goes much deeper than most people comprehend. First, an important point: "Ole Miss" does not and has never referred to "Ole Mississippi." The nickname started off as a joke among freshmen prior to the civil war. On the plantations, the slaves referred to the owner as "Ole Massa" and his wife as the "Ole Miss." Reflect upon that for a while. Many HBCU alums do not want to lose their frat/soror chapters and football teams. That is understandable; these were the only social outlets for networking among African Americans during Jim Crow. SO emotions run very deep. However, at some point we need to realize that a state with 3 million inhabitants simply does not need as many community colleges, state colleges, and private colleges as we now have. Some of them are simply going to fail due to demographic factors such as growth patterns, depopulation of the delta, etc. If we lose another US House seat after the 2010 census (which is likely) the influence necessary to get Federal appropriations with be further diminished. With two wars, a huge recession, 12% unemployment (at best), health reform, and a vast national debt there is no more money left. As I said before, take the smaller universities private and let the alumni step up, raise tuition, and apply for grants. Get an endowment going. Otherwise, the smaller colleges will die a natural death with no chance to save them.

Author
revdrstewart
Date
2009-12-08T14:42:17-06:00

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