I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We have two huge universities in the city in Louisiana State University (PWI) and Southern University (HBCU). I grew up around Southern. My mom and a lot of my aunts and uncles went to SU. I also attended a summer program on the HBCU's campus for four years while I was in high school. I love SU however it was not the school for me. Not because I did not want to go to a HBCU but because LSU was my dream school. It was the school I always wanted to attend as a child. I remember going to all the basketball games during the Seimone Augustus era. I remember going to my first football game when my Tigers beat Tebow and the Gators in a Death Valley classic. I remember my big cousin Tasha going to LSU; me and her were always the smart ones and when she went to LSU I knew I had to make it there too.
I do not like or agree with the fact that some of you activists make it seem like blacks who attend PWI's are traitors. For many blacks, as well as myself, college is not a choice between attend a HBCU or a PWI, it is about choosing the best situation for you. Do you want to stay in state or venture out? What school offers the best opportunities and programs for the major they would be pursuing? The biggest deciding factor for many blacks is WHAT IS THE MOST AFFORDABLE OPTION! There are great Higher Ed options for PWIs and HBCU institutions and I believe blacks should have the opportunity to chose the best choice for them.
If I can be totally honest with you, I am not completely innocent. I have engaged in the HBCU vs PWI debate before. Most of the times they occur here in BR is after a LSU loss; somehow those seem to always spark LSU/SU Twitter wars. Now while I have ridculed SU students about an empty Lacunba cage and incredibly long financial aid lines. I personally have never went too far below the belt. Most of the shots I received back gone a little something like this "They dont even want you up there". Well I say Martin had a dream and Rosa sat on that bus so I could go anywhere I please. I personally have experienced and seen racism during my tenure at LSU. None of that stopped me from receiving great grades, starting my own TV show while on campus or getting that beautiful degree hanging on my wall. Racism is not just alive on PWI campuses, it is alive in America period. If we should have learned anything from the situation in Mizzou it should have been that you should stand up to racism head on to get change and not avoid it.
During the GOP debate, I believe it was the MTV Awards or BET Awards that Viacom put on ALL their channels. Twitter was of course all tuned in to the award show and I remember seeing a tweet saying "they are trying to distract y'all from the real issues". Ironically, look at what we are doing now. Instead of focusing on and supporting the black students at Mizzou, we are arguing with one another over the choice of college. Blasphemy. Can we not all be excited for the simple fact that our fellow brother and sister is attending college PERIOD? Whether it's PWI, HBCU, Community College or Trade School, we should applaud one another for trying to better ourselves. I know people who graduated from HBCUs and PWIs who are thriving; I also know many who are not. Hell, my brother graduated from BRCC and is doing better than a lot of people with four year degrees. When you walked across that stage, did your friends and family hug you and congratulate you on completing your HBCU or PWI? Not at all! They were proud of you for working hard and obtaining a DEGREE!
At the end of the day of the day, let us stop having this debate. Let us get these degrees, get this mula and better this crazy world we live in.