Thursday, May 15, 2014

Graduation Day Thoughts: Congratulations to Jokari Miller For Graduating! Congratulations to Wayne Watson, Angela Henderson and Anthony Young for Demonstrating Their Ability to Trample the Powerless and Their Committment to Authoritarian Governance

Congratulations to Jokari Miller on his Graduation!

“You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police ... yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts. . .” Winston Churchill, Blood Sweat and Tears.

“We despise and abhor the bully, the brawler, the oppressor, whether in private or public life, but we despise no less the coward and the voluptuary.” Quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt.

”And when I speak, I don't speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America's so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy - all we've seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don't see any American dream. We've experienced only the American nightmare.” Quote attributed to Malxolm X

As Chicago State holds its graduation today, perhaps it is time for sober reflection upon what this university has become. Last Friday, May 9, at the Board of Trustees meeting, this purported school stopped being a public university. As administrators and members of the Chicago State University Board of Trustees looked on and did nothing, Michael Jones of the Chicago State police choked and arrested Jokari Miller, a graduating senior, for wearing a baseball cap to a public open meeting. As Wayne Watson and Anthony Young stood only feet away, the police dragged Miller off to jail. Watson had no response, possibly considering the incident another “job well done” in his never-ending effort to destroy any opposition to his cancerous regime, while Young and the board responded idiotically, by promising to enact a “dress code” for subsequent board meetings.

Today, Watson will preside over another graduation ceremony at Chicago State. Following his Kangaroo Court hearing yesterday, Jokari Miller will not be able to attend the ceremony. There will undoubtedly be flowery and fulsome praise for Watson’s “greatness” and “leadership” from a number of sycophants, with nary a reference to how he and his police treated Miller. Also present at the ceremony will be another key player in the administration’s repression efforts, our faux provost “Doctor” Angela Henderson. Will Anthony Young be there to receive the plaudits of the pro-Watson crowd? I suppose we will just have to wait and see.

One of the board members has publicly drawn a stark distinction between the “rightness” of the Watson administration as opposed to the “wrong” stance of his critics. Taking that Manichean argument into consideration, it seems appropriate to examine the two sides of this coin. In terms of repression and oppression at Chicago State, let us reject the notion that the persons doing the oppressing are actually the victims. Instead of believing the administration’s nonsensical rhetoric on this topic, we can examine the behavior of the persons involved in this latest incident.

The real perpetrators of the “violent, harmful or criminal acts” (dictionary definition of perpetrator) are Wayne Watson and Angela Henderson abetted by the board and its chairman, Anthony Young. Simply read the complaint filed by Willie Preston and Brittany Bailey on Monday, simply consider the brutal response to Miller’s baseball hat on Friday. If you are not completely obtuse, you’ll get a pretty fair idea of how these two “leaders” administer this campus, particularly their efforts to neutralize anyone who disagrees with them. Using the power of the state against both Willie Preston and Jokari Miller, the nightmare twins have continued their destruction of the university as an academic institution. In fact, they have worked assiduously to create a 1984-esque police state here on the south side of Chicago, heedless of the damage they are causing to other human beings.

When you consider the empty seat that should have been occupied today by Jokari Miller, also consider the persons responsible for the travesty. For my inert colleagues, I will not waste any more time exhorting you to action. Perhaps you think you can just “ride this out,” in your office, perhaps you don’t like the persons involved in the opposition to Watson, perhaps you are uncomfortable with the “tone” of our rhetoric, perhaps you simply want to safeguard your own position, perhaps you are unwilling to sacrifice the “social capital” you have accrued, perhaps you simply believe that this kind of corruption will never touch you, perhaps you even support Wayne Watson and his regime. So be it.

In any event, here are the perpetrators to whom you are expected to kow-tow. Shame on them for their gross abuse of the power they are supposed to exercise responsibly. As you walk into the ceremony this morning, keep in mind that under that sparkling edifice runs a foul and polluted stream.

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