#BlackJoy, Black Graduation, Black Men, Graduation, News, Opinion, University Of Florida -

Black Graduation 101: Why White folks need to chill when we Gwara Gwara like Donald Glover across the stage

#BlackJoy, Black Graduation, Black Men, Graduation, News, Opinion, University Of Florida -

Black Graduation 101: Why White folks need to chill when we Gwara Gwara like Donald Glover across the stage

There’s no doubt that college tuition is one of the biggest legal rackets there is. The cost of obtaining a degree is steadily rising as their actual worth steadily plummets. In-state tuition these days can hit for the price of a brand-new C-Class Mercedes Benz. Since it’s the first and most enduring debt most adults obtain, these schools end up controlling folks’ checking accounts around like a marionette until they have grandchildren in college.

And then there’s the stress that comes with a rigorous scholastic program: if you’re at a school and in a major worth a damn, you’re dealing with at least four years of sleepless nights, caffeine pills, mid-sectional chub that comes from eating like hammered shit and more than one curiosity as to if anyone would actually miss you if you dove headfirst from the roof of the undergraduate library.

So, the very f—ing least we can do is allow someone to take those extra few seconds to two-step their Black asses across the stage when they finally graduate.

READ MORE: University of Florida under fire for shoving Black students off stage during graduation for dancing

As usual, Florida is the worst

Apparently this isn’t the case at the University of Florida, which is catching light hell this week for a viral video showing a white, male faculty member basically shoving black kids off stage as they took a little extra time to celebrate like we celebrate.

I haven’t decided if I think his actions were egregiously racist, but it’s generally wise for anyone the complexion of banana pudding or lighter to keep their mitts off black folks in 2018 unless absolutely necessary, lest they wind up on that Starbucks screen.

To its credit, the school jumped on top of this quickly: apologies were issued and the offending faculty member was placed on administrative leave. Though his identity has not been leaked, he’s probably somewhere hiding behind his extensive Lord of the Rings toy collection in the hopes that you people don’t come after him.

That this happened at a Florida university does nothing to mitigate its status as the union’s equivalent of Tyler Perry’s film catalog. But I’m sure it’s far from the only university where a bunch of humorless, pasty-faced academics are more than happy to kill your joy in the name of “propriety.”

Let Tay-Tay and ‘nem be great

Sure, I get that graduation ceremonies are formal events that require some modicum of decorum, but it’s a celebration by design…not a performance of Hamilton where a nice old white lady from Connecticut might stab you for blocking her view.

Your family didn’t buy plane tickets and get dressed up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to sit in an auditorium for hours and listen to the keynote speaker who successfully grew and flipped a chain of Dairy Queens drone on about “following your dreams.” They came to clap, whistle and take shitty cellphone pictures during the 14 seconds in which your degree is conferred.

READ MORE: ‘I love hate speech’: 5 Things to know about the white woman who called cops on Black Yale grad student for napping in dorm

Anyone who has actually walked across a stage to graduate can attest to the rush of elation that makes you forget how much you actually disliked the scholastic experience. I hated my high school principal with the fury of a million suns and I scooped his stumpy, bowtie-wearing ass up in a bear hug as I walked across the stage.

My alma mater, University of Michigan, does a good job of letting Black graduates be Black graduates with its Black Celebratory. It’s a for us, by us evening celebration that stands in sharp contrast with the cold, boring ceremony held in Michigan Stadium with thousands of people you never knew and will never see again.

We remain on the losing end of an interminable achievement gap, and it’s often the case even now that many black parents in the audience of a graduation ceremony are there watching the  first in their family to finish college, so no one involved with a Black ceremony will kick up dust if Keshia wants to attempt the Dollar Castle version of Beyonce’s Coachella choreography, only to face-plant on stage. And of course your cousins have to do it for the ‘Gram.

Trust me…the folks in the audience might just find that silly shit worth the price of waking up early.

Dustin J. Seibert is a native Detroiter living in Chicago. Miraculously, people have paid him to be aggressively light-skinned via a computer keyboard for nearly two decades. He loves his own mama slightly more than he loves music and exercises every day only so his French fry intake doesn’t catch up to him. Find him at his own site, wafflecolored.com.

The post Black Graduation 101: Why White folks need to chill when we Gwara Gwara like Donald Glover across the stage appeared first on theGrio.


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