In a recent townhall meeting held for Morehouse students, the president of the university Dr. Robert M. Franklin gave a rousing speech focused at not only the black men at his university, but those out there ready to nip the status quo in the butt. Dr. Franklin touched on every facet of action that he wanted to see improved both at the university and in the country as it pertained to young black men.
He let the student body know in no uncertain terms that violence and other stigmas on black men would not be tolerated on his campus. He has a “zero tolerance” policy for any type of violence against women as well. There will not be any “sagging” of the pants and “to those who would experiment with wearing clothing associated with a women’s garb” it will not be tolerated on his watch.
But the more poignant part of the speech had to do with the doing away with of mediocrity. He is building a young black male at his institution that should “have a healthy impatience with the status quo.” He went on to say that he would “declare at every Morehouse commencement that Morehouse men must be so sensitive to the presence of disorder, mediocrity and injustice that they cannot sleep well at night until they tip the scale toward justice.”
The speech is elaborate and thorough to the core of what is needed to be said to young black men in this very minute. Dr. Franklin left no stone unturned and minced no words or made any apologies for what is necessary to be said in a state of emergency that appears to be oblivious to our communities. The time for playing will come. One of the greatest quotes Denzel Washington added to the film “The Great Debaters” was “We do what we have to do, so we can do what we want to do.”
Now is the time for work, especially on the heels of our first African American President that has led the way to the White House through the example of what he deemed necessary for our young black men to acknowledge about themselves and their journey…anyone can do it.
Do yourself a favor and read Dr. Franklin’s speech in its entirety here.