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Hazing: Who’s responsible?

Hazing1On my drive in to work this morning, I heard a news report about two women in DC who are suing Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for hazing and human rights violations. They also plan to sue Howard University for not protecting them. As I listened intently, I was actually surprised at the claims made by these two women. According to the V103 segment, the two women believe they were hazed because they were forced to take sorority members to the airport, enter in doors that were not entered by sorority members, not eat in the cafeteria at Howard University, nor were they allowed to wear sorority colors. There were a few other claims that I can’t recall, but none of them involved violence. Yes, I do know the meaning of hazing, and understand that hazing is not limited to violence. When doing some internet research,  it appeared that the ladies thought they should have been automatically inducted into the sorority due to their familial status; their mothers are AKAs. When they weren’t inducted, the suit followed.

Without knowing all of the details surrounding this situation, I will say that I think these two women are probably bitter because they weren’t admitted into the organization. I haven’t heard of legacies being denied membership, but there’s probably valid reasoning why they weren’t selected. FAMU-hazing-deathHazing is a very sensitive topic, and has been on the forefront since the death of FAMU’s Marching 100 band member, Robert Champion. Champion died after being beaten during a hazing ritual. The 12 assailants are being charged with 2nd degree manslaughter, a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Just to be clear, hazing is not limited to Greek-lettered organizations. It has been held as a tradition for football teams, bands, police forces, military operatives; the list goes on. Just last year, a 19-year-old army private was hazed because he was considered to be weak by his Sgt. and five other soldiers. He was dragged, and had rocks thrown at him. He later committed suicide.

When it comes to hazing, I think both parties in these instances have to take responsibility. People always want to blame the organization, and not put any blame on the so-called victim. The reality is that the people who are interested in joining these organizations are so set on becoming a member that they don’t use their better judgement. No one can make you do anything that you don’t want to. I wonder, while the initiates are going through their process, what makes “hazing” acceptable at the time, and then wrong later on when they find out they weren’t accepted? 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am most certainly not placing all of the blame on these folks, but I’m not placing blame on the entire organization either. There are individuals within these sororities, fraternities, and process-oriented organizations that are reckless. When someone beats someone senseless all in the act of hazing, that person has a problem. It’s definitely comparable to police officers who get on the force, and invoke brutality against individuals who are undeserving. 94022694-hazingThese individuals are on power trips, and have a desire to cause havoc. They shouldn’t be representative of an entire entity though, just like one rogue cop shouldn’t be representative of an entire police department. These individuals need to be handled as just that; an individual who obviously had their own agenda. As a member of a sorority, we were told constantly not to haze anyone, and not to allow ourselves to be hazed. Individuals involved in hazing make the decision to not take heed to what they were told. They are adults, and as an adult, they know what’s right and wrong.  Their parents stopped holding their hands a long time ago. People can’t act like something is right for the time being, and then say that it was wrong because the end result is not what they anticipated.

It’s frustrating to read the comments from people who are looking in from the outside. To them, sororities and fraternities are just another form of gangs. However, what they need to realize is that you can’t judge an entire group of people based on individuals who obviously don’t embellish the real meaning, focus, and goals of these organizations. This way of thinking should  go for all groups of people though, except those who were obviously founded on hate. These organizations that have been taking a bad beating due to some rogue members, have done remarkable things within the United States and the world, but no one wants to talk about that. It’s not news-worthy.

All I’m saying is that as adults we have to take responsibility for our choices. First and foremost, we are ambassadors for ourselves; everything else is secondary. Please share your thoughts. 527568_10151149811010256_1393799275_n

Super Bowl XLVII 2013

Superbowl2013As expected, the Super Bowl was filled with a ton of surprises. From the commercials to the power outage, the Super Bowl did not fail to entertain. With that said, I’m going to break down the Superbowl, and give my opinion. Don’t hesitate to share your opinions as well!

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The Commercials 

As someone who has studied broadcast journalism, and has taken courses in advertising, public relations and the likes, I must say that I was very excited to see this year’s ads. Overall, I was pleased with what I saw. There were a few commercials that left a lasting impression. Although I hated the ad, the Go Daddy commercial was definitely the most memorable. I knew this would leave a nasty taste in a good majority of the viewers’ mouths. I thought it was completely inappropriate, and I felt for the parents who had their young children tuned in.

Here’s my Top 5 Favorite Super Bowl Commercials (No order):

1. Doritos featuring the goat “Goat 4 Sale”

2. Budweiser featuring the Clydesdale “Brotherhood”

3. State Farm featuring Mayhem as a flag

4. Hyundai Sonata “Stuck”

5. NFL Network – “Leon Sandcastle”

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The Entertainment 

Aside from Jennifer Hudson and the Sandy Hook coed choir, I thought the Super Bowl entertainment lacked this year. I thought it was a great idea, and very heart warming to have the Sandy Hook choir come and sing at the Super Bowl. It definitely relayed the message that we can overcome. Jennifer Hudson looked wonderful, and sang beautifully. She never disappoints. Alicia Keys sang well; it just wasn’t amazing. I wasn’t taken aback by her performance at all. She seemed to have done the minimum through her performance. The highly anticipated Beyoncé “concert” was okay. I thought the light show, and special effects were really good. Again, I wasn’t shocked or taken aback by her performance. To me, it seems very comparable to the performances she has already done. The dance moves mimicked what has already been seen, and I didn’t particularly like her song choices. Beyoncé looked very beautiful, as did Kelly when she came out for the Destiny’s Child portion of the show. Michelle, well what can I say. I’m not sure why or how she managed to  stay on as a member of Destiny’s Child. I think she’s the weakest link of the group. Smh. I could barely hear her; her mic was extremely low. Kelly’s mic was kind of low, too. However, that’s neither here nor there. Now, what I think would have taken the cake with Beyoncé’s performance would have been if she brought out the original members of DC before she did the reunion with Kelly and Michelle. I do think Beyoncé is a good performer, and a decent singer, but I wasn’t wowed by her Superbowl performance. And I was kind of thrown off by the Illuminati sign, I mean the Rocafella sign she threw up. Not sure where that came into play, but oh well.

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The Game

This game was insane and full of surprises. I thought it was really cool that two brothers would be coaching teams in the Super Bowl. It was exciting to see their expressions throughout the game, and how different they seem to be in terms of reactions to different situations on the field. Now, I’m not a big football fan, and I don’t have a particular team that I root for. So, when the Super Bowl comes around, I usually cheer for the underdog team. In this case, I was going for the Baltimore Ravens. They played really well, up until the power outage. That power outage definitely took them out their game. It definitely came at the wrong time, especially after Jacoby Jones ran back that 108-yard touchdown. The 49ers ended up scoring 17 points in the 3rd quarter, thus making it a tight game. I was definitely on the edge of my seat. The controversial play at the end of the game sealed the victory for Baltimore Ravens, making them the 2013 Super Bowl Champs. Overall, I thought the game was well-fought by both sides. I think the referees did a decent job, and in regard to no-calls, I think they did so equally for both teams.

The 2013 Super Bowl was definitely worth watching, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to participate in a major American tradition.

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