Nobody is bigger than Florida A&M University. No individual can kill the school and no single person can save it. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a whole community to make a university what is should be: a safe place to educate a student and a good place to experience the benefits of higher education.
Tallahassee area newspapers are being permeated, flooded and bombarded, if you will, with countless editorials and opinion columns about how FAMU will be destroyed if improvements in operations and/or staff are sought for the university.
Church after church has had preachers, pastors and other religious leaders preach about how enemies of FAMU are trying to bring the school down and how said “enemies” will soon be FAMU’s footstool or how no weapon formed against current FAMU administrators will prosper.
The world press has been focused on stories about murders, beatings, child molestation, hazing and financial mismanagement but, locally, emphasis has been placed on praising the university president.
Well, I don’t know FAMU President James Ammons and, if you believe what you read, Ammons is a well-loved guy and a wonderful university leader. But I do know that we all reap what we sow and I know that anyone, including college presidents, who has the same priorities, hires the same type staff members, implements the same policies, ignores the same laws and at the same time expects different results is insane.
I also know that every university has supporters that think their college president is the greatest ever.
Lucius Gantt is a graduate of Florida A&M — not me but my Merit Scholar son, who was recruited by then President Fred Humphreys and recruiter Rudy Slaughter when FAMU had more scholars attending the school on the hill than many of America’s so-called
Ivy League institutions. I remember when FAMU was considered one of the most prestigious schools in the nation.
But how is FAMU perceived today?
God willing, the home of the Rattlers will return to its glorious and outstanding ways. When the school rebounds from its current issues — and it will — it will not be because false prophets, imperialist puppets, good old boys, childhood friends, former classmates, jump-offs and people who have been honored or people who have benefited in some way from the university have written what they have been told or ordered to write about how administrators should not be held accountable.
We all should slow our roll and let the chips fall where they may.
If university employees are found to be innocent of wrongdoing, neglect or criminal activity, good. If people are found to be untrained, unconcerned, unprofessional, uncouth or unable to do jobs assigned to them, that is good, too.
No matter how much you love The Gantt Report, the truth will be told and good columns will be written and published whether The Gantt Report is in existence or not.
No university president will be president forever. The next president of Florida A&M will be loved and supported by Rattler faithful whenever there is a change in the administration.
The idea that I love my school no matter what because I would not be where I am if not for my school is ridiculous.
If that statement were logical, I guess all African Americans should love slavery because if it were not for slavery none of us would be where we are.
We should support FAMU and all other black community institutions but “titles” don’t deserve respect or unconditional love; individuals do.
*Lucius Gantt is a consultant based in Tallahassee and author of the book Beast Too: Dead Man Writing. He may be reached at www.allworldconsultants.net