by Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Hope you're getting ready for Memorial Day Weekend and the festivities that are about to jump off. It's now only days away. But while we're anticipating merriment and fun, there are some weightier matters brewing in Brooklyn that can't be overlooked or pushed aside. I just received the following announcement that I'm sharing with you, in hopes that you will pass the word. After you read it, my comments that follow will have even more relevance:
THE FLYER FOLLOWS:
Please Distribute widely:Medgar Evers College Coalition for Academic Excellence and Mission Integrity and Concerned Students of Medgar Evers College You ToA TOWN HALL MEETING &CALL TO ACTION!Get an Update on the Presidential Search atMEDGAR EVERS COLLEGEWednesday, May 29, 20137:00 pm ● Free & Open to the Public966 Fulton Street(Between Cambridge & Grand Avenue)Fort Greene Sr. Citizens CenterCentral Brooklyn Black Legislators Demand Appointment of Interim President forMedgar Evers College & A Full National Search
“Education is the most powerful weapon which
you can use to change the world.” - - Maya AngelouFor more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Valerie, 646 474 0120,
NOW FOR THE COMMENTARY:
I wanted you to read the flyer first and absorb the contents - "Central Brooklyn Legislators Demand Appointment of Interim President for Medgar Evers College and a Full National Search."
Having attended a meeting recently comprised of some of the electeds, including Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke, Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, Council Member Al Vann, and others, I can tell you that the situation at Medgar Evers is about to become a battle ground.
Now that Pollard has finally been excised from the school as the ersatz president (a lackey hired to destroy and dismantle the school that had enjoyed 20+ years of progress under former president, Edison O. Jackson) they are trying to make sure that they don't get fooled again.
And well they should, because there are as many posers right in Brooklyn and nearby boroughs who are also now vying for the position of President, that you could not find when the battle was raging, students and faculty were in the rain picketing; meeting early and late, and taking on the CUNY hierarchy to challenge the cuts Pollard had made to essential programs, as well as the dismissal of faculty and staff.
Among the names that have been floated are John Flateau, Rev. Calvin Butts. While they are admirable in their own right, they may not be the best fit for Medgar Evers.
There are individuals who wanted to remain "neutral" during the time the faculty and staff were going against the Draconian policies imposed upon the school by Pollard. You couldn't find them with a Geiger counter. Somehow, now that the dust has been cleared, and Dr. Brenda Green, Esmeralda Simmons, brother Rasul, former congress member Major Owens, and the rest of the stalwarts have finally succeeded, they now "step up to apply for the candidacy of president for Medgar Evers...?" Really? Now that the hard work and the heavy lifting have been done, they come out from under their hiding places to be the new "negro president."
I think Medgar Evers College has had quite enough of that for one decade - in fact for a lifetime. Clearly there's more to being the president of a Black college or university than just having a PhD. Education is important, of course. But they also have to have "BLACK BONE" as well, so they don't cave in to the other white meat. They have to have cultural currency so they can help Black students achieve a degree, maintain the college on a steady, stable forward path, not sell out, and move forward as proud, productive Black men and women (hell no! we're not post racial - the very fact that they tried to dismantle Medgar Evers and Boys and Girls High, among others, proves that).
This is now about the survival of the fittest. We either survive, succeed, or be marginalized. The days of Trojan Horse negro wannabe presidents is over. Don't get hung up on popular names, either locally or nationally. Look deeply into the records of what they've done for the Black community over the past 20 - 30 years; and then what have they done for you lately. You're likely to find them weighed in the balance and found wanting.
And don't think this is just a Medgar Evers Problem - this is a Brooklyn, NY Problem; this is a New York City Problem, this is a New York State Problem, and this is a Black People's Problem - locally and nationally.
Not only was/is Medgar Evers on the target for dismantling, but major schools in Black communities throughout the US are facing the same fate - including Lincoln University right down the road in Pennsylvania. And in many cases, the meanstream powers that be are succeeding, while the community complains, but does nothing to stop it. They are hiring "presidents" who look like us, who have degrees, but have no credibility when it comes to the Black community and education of Black students. The concept is to make Black colleges and education a thing of the past.
This is a WAKE UP CALL!
Many have viewed it as too late, and have just thrown their hands up in defeat and despair. Others have likened it to closing the barn door after the horses have gone. We've allowed to many horses out of the barn door. But, thank goodness, the team formed by Dr. Brenda Green was relentless in bringing them back, putting them in the corral, and rounding up the rest of the herd (sorry, that's my Oklahoma upbringing creeping through). It took them four years, but they did it. Now the hard part begins. Getting a real president again for Medgar Evers College.
So, not only do I urge you to make sure you attend the meeting on May 29th, but to seriously think about who the next president needs to be, what are his or her qualities, and what you can do to help Medgar Evers heal from the damage that has been done under William Pollard and his gang.
We have an election coming up for City Council, Borough President, Public Advocate, and other key positions. This is the time to tie their feet to the fire. If they have no position on Medgar Evers, school closings, educational standards, etc., they have no business representing you.
We are our own salvation. Our future is in our hands - no one else's. We have a vested interest in our own future - others only want what they can exploit us for. Sounds harsh, but if we don't love ourselves, and each other; if we don't work together, all that our forebearers have sacrificed for will be lost; what Brother Medgar Evers died for will be disgraced and forgotten; and so will we.
Now that you know, what will you do?
Stay Blessed &