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Jarrad Henderson’s take on the Tameka Harris controversy

Moderator:  This is a really well-thought-out essay. 

 

Excerpt: It goes beyond how hard we fought for our letters. It’s not the potential loss of authenticity/exclusivity that bothers us. It has to deal with more than the legacies of great leadership that we were built upon. Somehow, silently, Black society has allowed our most organic, collectively progressive and influential group of African American organizations to become taboo to criticize.  Even more insane is the idea that public conversations, which surround BGLOs, only happen when Divine Nine organizations are being criticized about cases of pledging and hazing. While I understand the emotional response of members who are upset at the “Tiny” misunderstanding, I also feel that the Divine Nine’s ability to grow its mission is heavily contingent on our ability to examine ourselves outside of the lens of entertainment and positively construct better representations of our culture. It’s a challenge I have personally adopted as an independent filmmaker trying to tell positive stories about our organizations. Sometimes I feel like Chris Rock when he said that he loves Hip-Hop music, but he’s tired of defending it. I love Black Greeks, but sometimes it’s hard to defend some things we do.  I could not defend someone who thinks that an appropriate response to Tiny’s hand gestures should be some type of punishment or verbal “checking.” It’s juvenile and extremely ironic when we consider that more and more the disrespect of our image is coming from members within our own Greek communities. – See more at: http://madamenoire.com/487199/a-tiny-misunderstanding-should-black-greeks-be-mad-at-tameka-harris/#sthash.7bqjfKX6.dpuf

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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