Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Help Fund the Preston/Miller Defense Fund

We are all aware that Wayne’s administration does not tolerate dissent or even questions about his behaviors, policies and procedures.  The numerous attacks against dissent, many of which have been detailed on this blog and others which remain unexamined, are well known.  Anyone who has raised a question about a policy or procedure at CSU since Wayne’s reign began knows what I am talking about.  The retaliation firings and crony hirings illustrate the point well.

The most egregious cases of retaliation are currently making their way through the court systems as Wayne and his minions have engaged in the dirtiest of politics whereby they have accused students of illegal behaviors with the collusion of the campus police leadership; namely “Chief” Watson and campus enforcer, Mike Jones.  Willie Preston campaigned for student government President on a platform that included investigating how Wayne and FOWs (Friends of Wayne) were using their power to benefit themselves.  Wayne used his influence over students (namely, money) to instigate a series of events that lead to Willie being expelled from the university, having an order of protection against him by “Provost” Henderson, and eventually being charged with violating the order.  He is truly fighting for his livelihood, to stay out of jail and to continue to be a father and husband.  His next court date is scheduled for 9am on June 11 at 555 W. Harrison.  Please consider supporting him and fighting for him as he fought for all of us at CSU.

The latest attack occurred at the last Board of Trustees meeting in which Wayne and “Chief” Watson felt it necessary to demonstrate their power by demanding that student, Jokari Miller, remove his baseball cap.  In typical fashion the Watsons would not tolerate dissent as Mr. Miller refused to remove his cap and began letting all in attendance know about how they were once again attacking free speech and expression.  The minions including Farah Muscadin and police agents swooped in to silence Miller.  This led to police abuse including “Officer” Mike Jones placing Miller in a potentially fatal chokehold.  The incident led to an arrest but not the arrest of the extremely violent Jones and partner, Sawyer.  Instead, Miller was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.  Like Preston, Miller has been a constant fighter in the struggle to improve our university.  Like Preston, Miller is facing serious charges.

These incidents vividly illustrate Wayne’s politics.  He wants to hide his crimes and misbehaviors through intimidation, fear and attacks on free speech and expression.  Those who do not bend to his will will be punished.  Those of us who write for this blog or question him in committees or in public know this tactic well.  Ask Professor Madhubuti about his ordeal or Jim Crowley or Glenn Meeks or a number of lower-level administrators who have been fired for not doing Wayne’s dirty work.

The administration has been attacking Willie and Jokari and is now trying to railroad them in the courts.  They are using the university’s resources, our resources, to do so. This is obviously unfair.  Many believe this to be racist.  Would this be tolerated at a predominantly white university or if the two students were not Black men? Willie has found good legal representation and Jokari is still searching but they do not have the money to pay for it. If we think that what is being done to them is wrong, then we have a responsibility to contribute as we can to their defense; otherwise the university will win, and Willie, Jokari and their families will be further harmed; as will all of us as a victory for Wayne over these students will embolden him in his efforts to ruin our university  So I am asking you now to take a moment to make a contribution—as you are able—to the defense fund at   Please do not put this off. It will be an important help to the struggle against injustice at Chicago State.


  1. I just wish we could have contributed more to Willie. It's been a surprise to so few contributions after ours.
    On my way to donate to Jokari.

  2. I think that there are a range of issues that we need to discuss in this case. We should certainly be concerned about disproportionate and dangerous police responses, but we also need to be concerned about how we are teaching our students to express themselves in professional settings and what we are teaching them about responding when they disagree with someone.
    When a CSU student is asked to remove his hat in a formal board of trustees meeting, do we think that it is okay for the student to respond by yelling and shouting about his rights? I have asked several CSU student to remove their hats in my classroom, and a few have disagreed with me. We have had discussions about my expectations, their rights, etc. None of them have shouted during these discussions, and I would be shocked and disappointed if they did. There is a time and a season for every purpose under heaven and there is certainly a time and place for shouting and yelling about rights, but was the board meeting the time and place to yell about the right to wear a hat? Could this situation have worked out differently if the young man had simply stated "I have a right to wear my hat" and left it at that?
    We need to send our students into a political world ready to stand up for themselves, but we also need to send our students into a professional world where they need to learn to negotiate, compromise and where they need to show respect to others even when they disagree.

    1. This argument is a red herring. The issue is the violence of the State and Wayne's willingness to use it. To suggest otherwise is to minimize the repression and violence being used by Wayne, et al.

      I would argue with you as well that Mr. Miller's response was not appropriate. The repression at CSU coming from the administration has been incredibly intense for a few of us who have chosen to publicly voice our discontent with Wayne, They have continued to respond with aggression and repression and labelled their critiques as the unprofessional, the communists, the racists. Wayne and family use their institutional power to limit the rights of the rest of the campus and to limit our ability to express ourselves. Which response is the problem? the misuse of state power or the vocalizing of the disempowered's anger?

    2. of course, I meant 'critics' not 'critiques'.

  3. "Which response is the problem? the misuse of state power OR the vocalizing of the disempowered's anger?" (emphasis added)

    Must the student be completely and fully right in order discuss what is wrong with the current administration at CSU?

    1. The answer to your second question is: of course not. Clearly, one's response is always part of the equation. I offer two things here: 1) although this is a technicality, the confrontation did not occur during the meeting. It happened at the beginning of a recess. 2) taking a page from standard management practice, you praise publicly and criticize privately. What part did the negative and parental public confrontation begun by Wayne Watson play in setting the stage for the student's response? The way persons perceive conflict and respond to criticism is not uniform, that's why whenever practical, supervisors criticize employees in a private setting. That dictum is applicable to any situation in which there is an unequal power relationship, and I think is aporopos to this hypothetical discussion.

  4. Your question: "What part did the negative and parental public confrontation begun by Wayne Watson play in setting the stage for the student's response?"
    My answer: A LARGE part.
    I also believe that the student needs to take some responsibility for his inappropriate response, and faculty who model name calling in public share a wee bit of the responsibility as well.

    I believe that Dr. Watson has done great damage to CSU. I believe that faculty have a responsibility to confront him and to demand better for CSU. But I also believe that he is a human being.
    I believe that we will do a better job of preparing our students for the world if we do not present all conflict as a fight between the forces of good (us) and the forces of evil (the inhuman other).

  5. Mr. Preston -
    I assume that you mean "non-violence" as simply the absence of physical violence rather than the discipline and practices of Gandhi and King.

    Martin Luther King Jr.
    “[Nonviolence] is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who happen to be doing the evil. It is evil that the nonviolent resister seeks to defeat, not the persons victimized by evil.”
    ― Martin Luther King Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery

    “The non-violent resistor not only avoids external, physical violence, but he avoids internal violence of spirit. He not only refuses to shoot his opponent, but he refuses to hate him. And he stands with understanding, goodwill at all times.”
    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

  6. Take off the hat and the point is moot.
    Being a gentlemen and professional is not a "red herring".

  7. If the response to a request to take off your hat indoors is as described here, by a person who is supposed to be among our talented 10th of young black men that made it to college, even CSU, what can we expect from the sagging pants, blunt smokers that plague our communities ?