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Columnist Byron Dobson on the FAMU hazing forum

Thank you, Mr. Dobson–Moderator

A’im Akbar, a Tallahassee native and nationally recognized clinical psychologist, bluntly reminded the crowd that brutal hazing is an offshoot of what slaves endured and how that practice has misconstrued perceptions about power and dignity.“We let someone else define (our) worthiness by that person’s standards,” he said of the abusers.

Hank Nuwer, one of the country’s leading researchers on hazing and author of four books on the subject, called it a human-rights abuse and an “equal-opportunity disgrace” perpetuated today by influential pro athletes to fraternities and sororities, including those at other elite universities. He ran down a list of predominantly white universities that have struggled with hazing. He drew strong applause when, in responding to a Twitter-submitted question on what FAMU could do about it, he declared Thursday’s forum a milestone as the “largest gathering of anti-hazing speakers in the world.” http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20120923/OPINION05/309230009/Byron-Dobson-FAMU-freshmen-get-message

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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