Racial Politics and a Drum Major’s Death

Gregory Kane, Washington Examiner, January 4, 2012

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is a white guy and a Republican. For some folks at Florida A&M University, that’s crime enough.

The school is more famously known as FAMU. It’s a historically black university renowned for its high-stepping, dazzling Marching 100 band. But with that fame has now come some infamy.

Robert Champion was a drum major in the Marching 100. In late 2011, Champion died as a result of blunt force trauma. An investigation is under way to determine if hazing played a role in Champion’s demise.

Now if you think folks at FAMU are angry at those suspected of hazing Champion to death, then you haven’t been living in the America of the past 20 years or so.

Getting angry at those responsible for Champion’s death would require blacks at FAMU to get angry at other blacks, and we can’t have that, can we?

Instead, they chose to get angry with Scott. And what was Scott’s offense?

Why, this cheeky chap had the gall to suggest that FAMU’s board of trustees suspend FAMU President James Ammons until the investigation into Champion’s death—and a separate, unrelated investigation into employee fraud—are completed.

Here’s Scott’s exact comment, according to a story that appeared in the New York Times:

“For the sake of appearances and to assure the public that these investigations are clearly independent, I believe it would have been in the best interest of Florida A&M University for President Ammons to step aside until all of the investigations are completed.”

That sounds perfectly reasonable and innocuous to me, but FAMU’s board of trustees, some students and Florida state Rep. Mia L. Jones are reacting as if Scott wanted to shut down the entire school.

The board went into some pious routine about not giving in to “outside influences.” A group of FAMU students demonstrated outside of the governor’s mansion to protest Scott’s stand. (Note that there were no demonstrations anywhere, by anyone, after Champion died.)

Jones said that FAMU’s board “should be allowed to fulfill its duties in the manner outlined in Florida statutes without influence from the legislative or executive branch of government.”

If there were ever a comment that should be taken with a grain of salt, it’s Jones’. According to the Times story, she’s the head of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus. These days “black caucus” is nothing more than liberalese for “blame white Republicans first.”


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  • Anonymous

    If you want to do an investigation and hold incompetent bureaucrats responsible, you’re a racist.   If you want to hold the perpetrators responsible, you’re a racist.   If you have to take over the finances of corrupt and bankrupt counties and cities, you’re a racist.  It’s never enough.

  • Korst

    I don’t understand this line of thought. This is a reasonable request asking a man being investigated for fraud to temporarily rescind his duties, and the student body becomes incensed, even more so than when a classmate was beaten to death.

  • crystal evans

    This story is nothing new. A feature on HBO’s Real Sports did a feature on hazing on new members of bands at HBCU’s. After this story broke, there should have been investigations done  at each school to prevent the hazing. I read where Robert Champion’s parents stated that their son was gay and they wonder if this was the cause for the hazing.

  • Anonymous

    This story is really something. The 26 year old was beaten to death on a bus during a hazing ritual. Shortly before this happened a female student was beaten in a similar manner and had her thigh bone shattered.

    The black students involved are not in jail, they are back at school. The family is busy suing the bus company and they plan to sue the school.

    Interview with parents who blame everyone BUT the blacks that beat their son to death:

  • Anonymous

    Does this surprise anyone here?  These are people who will kill a fellow black man so they can take his shoes off of his feet.  Murder isn’t shocking in this community.  What is shocking to them is slavery white people who deign to criticize.
    I had a black friend in high school who was intelligent and mature enough to discuss race relations without chimping out.  He revealed the key to understanding the black mentality with this comment: “white people have a duty to see to the welfare of those they held in bondage, but they cannot be critical of the battered culture that bondage created, because the white man’s hands are forever stained by the ‘original sin’ that created it.”
    Or in other words, pay up and shut up, Whitey.  Forever.  Because it’s all your fault.  I used to be very much in favor of giving monetary reparations to each and every black in the US with the understanding that they will shut the hell up about it right now and forevermore, but after that comment I realized that’s not going to happen.  No amount of money in the world will rectify their grievance because what they really want is to rule over us and “return the favor,” as they see it.
    Whites have a nightmarish future under non-white leadership.

    • Anonymous

      Well, for openers, your friend was a complete idiot. Unfortunately, he’s not at all unique. It’s also unfortunate that many liberal whites will actually take him totally seriously, and will use labels like “ignorant”, “racist”, “uneducated”, and so on, to easily dismiss anyone white who denies the soundness of your friend’s ramblings (just visit the comments section of any race-related story reported at Huffington Post, and you’ll see). Otherwise your friend’s 2¢ on that issue wouldn’t matter. By “white people” he’s referring to slave-owners. By “those they held in bondage”, he’s referring to their black slaves. How does that include you and me? Understand that people like him have created an entire ethos holding whites accountable for black failure, pathology, underachievement, and culture. Nothing you say or do is bound to change his mind. There is literally nothing going wrong in his life that he won’t try to trace back you and/or your ancestors. That includes the culture he and others like him create or maintain (in other words, the one you imposed upon him, remember?), the crime in his midst, his grades, or even the failure of his marriage. Just be grateful that “racism” and its synonyms are gradually losing their bite.

      P.S. Intelligent and mature? The jury’s out.

  • Anonymous

    Well, you see the same thing in Detroit, it’s obvious a whole lot of black don’t have a problem with corruption, incompetence, negligence and flat out crime as long as the people perpetrating it have the same skin color as them.

  • Anonymous

    These days “black caucus” is nothing more than liberalese for “blame white Republicans first.”

    Blacks will never solve their problems because they blame everyone else but themselves.

    They’re suing the bus company and the school and yet there seems to be no interest in the person who inflicted the fatal blow.

    Typical black obfuscation. Muddy the water. Bring up unrelated incidents. Blame intangibles like racism and the legacy of slavery; anything or anyone but themselves. 

    Their son died at the hands of thugs and this family is looking for a payoff, not justice.

  • Anonymous


  • Sincerely Concerned

    Here in Florida Rick Scott is written and talked about like he is the Antichrist.  Each week, for example, Creative Loafing publishes an article derailing him for one thing or another and usually just for existing.  It gets very inflammatory and borders on calling for his death.  However, he was somehow elected in the first place.  That said, any Republican and white person who is elected as anything will be blamed and defamed for every ill conceivable.  In the case of Florida A&M it is striking how no one raised a ruckus when the drum major was killed but now people suddenly picket the Governor’s residence.  Then again, it’s par for the course in Florida for any person that isn’t in lockstep with CL and the rest of the crazies.

  • Anonymous

    There does seem to be a lot of attention given to this story by the media. The Governor of Florida has been on the warpath against the president of FAMU. He must have a vendetta against him.

    • Southern Man

      That is the typical liberal claptrap thinking process that we are exposed to.  Governor Scott simply appealed to the FAMU Board of Trusts to put Pres. Hammons on leave while the investigation is ongoing.  That is “on the warpath”? So radical7 what has been the result since the Governor was turned down?  Well in the January 15th edition of the Tallahassee Democrat it is revealed that hazing has continued and several students have entered new complaints of new student band members. In one case, the student was threatened with harm if he didn’t join a secret organization composed of band members. Oh did I mention that this sub group was curiously the one responsible for Champion’s death. Yeah, blame Gov. Scott, you, a democratic party operative.

  • Reminds me of what used to happen in Atlanta during Freaknik in the 1990’s. One time some of the so called students broke into Macy’s after hours and stole Fubu and Tommy Hillfinger merchandise. During Freaknik, these black college kids with fancy cars paid for by their parents would cruise in Atlanta, blocking traffic, while they are partying on the street. In fact, there was one woman who got her clothes ripped off and raped after she left her office for the day and was going home when she got pulled into a car filled with black college students. In fact, after Atlanta dropped the event, organzers approached New Orleans and asked them to host the event, the mayor and the city council refused.

  • Ljot

    Not even a nation of 300 million can lift the blacks up.  Give them a couple of southern coastal–better, a couple of coastal New England states–load em’ up with fiat money, and let them sink or swim, behind a sealed border. There, they would be free to follow Jesse, Al, Barack, et. al., into their glorious separate future.