Disclaimer: Cue The Rant is a weekly rant written by Roderick Red. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his and do not necessarily reflect the position of JessicaSimien.com.
Grambling State University’s football team’s decision not to show up for their game against Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi raised a lot of eyebrows. The fact that it was JSU’s homecoming brought it even more attention.
Overnight it became a big story, with all the major media outlets picking it up and it even had famous sports commentators commenting on the situation. But most importantly, it sparked the conversation of the lack of funding in HBCU’s, a conversation that’s been well overdue. Problems with HBCU’s draw similarities to problems within the black community in general. They both are extremely complicated and are caused by a myriad of problems rather than one reason. But as and when I heard that JSU would be filing a lawsuit against Grambling, I couldn’t help but to shake my head.
Cue the Rant!
Logically, it makes sense that Jackson State would sue Grambling after the football team boycotted one of JSU’s biggest and most important games, reportedly costing them millions. And that’s the only time it makes sense. In every other facet besides the one previously mentioned, this is the worst idea ever. It’s time wasting, petty and it’s just another example of us holding one another back.
First lets tackle this logically. Now while it might be logical to sue Grambling for what they did and what it cost JSU, logically it is a bad idea too. While the “having a contractual obligation” argument is valid, the “Wake up, Grambling was doing this because they were broke” narrative also applies. Somebody at JSU needs to explain to me what suing an already financially failing institution is going to do for you. You can’t possibly think they can afford that do you? Like the old adage says, you can’t get blood from a turnip, no matter how hard you squeeze. Good luck with that JSU.
I also think someone needs to remind JSU that you and Grambling are apart of the SWAC, the same conference that is riddled with financial problems. HBCU’s notoriously receive less federal funding from the government than all of the other schools. Grambling’s football team’s boycott is to shed light on the horrid workout facilities and struggling program. It has also helped to open the nation’s eyes to a lack of funding for all HBCU’s, which is something that will ultimately help JSU. So basically JSU is inadvertently shooting themselves in the foot by going after a hurting institution that was looking out for both teams.
You can’t kick a man while they’re down JSU. Simply put, suing Grambling is just morally wrong.
We as a people have to stick together. Over the past few years, I grew a disdain for people of Middle Eastern and East Indian descent in this country because of how well they were organized when it came to running their businesses here, including convenience stores and other businesses. And they always kept in the family and race, not to exclude other people but to help out the people directly around them. Then I realized I really don’t have a disdain with them. My disdain is with the African-American community not helping or uplifting each other like we should.
We have to take accountability for our actions as a race. In order for the school to be successful, they need alumni contributions. While alumni of HBCU’s love their college, love to go to the sporting events and participating in homecoming, that’s pretty much all that they do. They get so caught up in the social events they forget about the work that goes into running an institution. All schools, not just HBCU’s, rely heavily on alumni funding to help move their school forward but we aren’t giving back like we should.
And the buck doesn’t just stop at us. A poll suggested that 80% of HBCU alumni hasn’t given back to their institution because they simply weren’t asked. That falls on the administration and the alumni division of these universities to get the word out that they need help.
The bottom line is we as a people need each other to progress. And we have to work really hard in order to get to where our potential is, but we have to change the way we think.
Jackson State, get real.
That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to cue the Sir Charles.