I am quite certain that many of you doubted my initial message to you a mere week ago when I predicted that “you have most likely never met a Professor like me.” I am also certain that the events of yesterday were extremely shocking to you as well.
Although I was fully prepared for the answer of “No” that you provided regarding if you had completed your homework assignment, I am quite certain that you were not expecting my response of, “Please, leave my class as there is nothing positive that will come out of your presence today.”
This communication is an explanation of why I took the extreme action that I did.
Let me first explain that not too long ago I was in the same position that you currently find yourself as an undergraduate student at a fine academic institution. It was while a student at The Ohio State University that I swiftly learned that education is quite possibly the institution that rests upon the concept of “meritocracy” like none other; put simply, your reward increases as your interest, focus, and diligence increase. It is this reality that made me react in the manner that I did. Your failure to complete your initial assignment presented itself as the initial step down a journey that would unnecessarily result in the ruin of your collegiate career and the aborting of your career/professional aspirations. This is a process that I am naturally compelled to disrupt with every fiber of my being.
Although your generation often behaves as if they are totally unaware of the following fact, your feigned-ignorance of it does not lessen its truth, that truth being the world can be an extremely harsh and unforgiving place for those who do not prepare for it by developing a success strategy.
Make no mistake about it, not only is the world unfair, but also there is no manner in which you, the next generation of African-American leaders, will be able to not be affected by the environs in which many of you were raised; that being an economically depressed, politically disorganized, and culturally dysfunctional community. I know of which I speak because I also hail from what I now understand to be a multi-generational disassembled community.
Although these environs are from whence we hail, I have found via experience that there is nothing in that background that determines one’s future path.
In fact, the reality that your ancestors were not provided an opportunity to pursue the ‘higher-education’ that many of you scoff at and make a mockery of via disinterest and the conscious decision to sinfully perform at what can be termed a less than optimal level should bring unbelievable amounts of personal shame. It is imperative that you realize your debt to the ancestors whose shoulders upon which you stand at this very moment.
As I mentioned during our initial meeting, “you have most likely never met a Professor like me.” Let me explain to you exactly what that means.
You have most likely never met someone whose demand that you rise to a higher level is solely motivated by an unshakable belief that genius and greatness is dormant inside of you; I consider it my job to activate those latent powers. Trust me when I say that it is imperative that we activate your internal gifts as they are the only thing capable of saving not only yourself, but also this nation, and the Race. The only way to activate your God given gifts and talents is through hard-work, focus, diligence, commitment, and the execution of a fully developed plan that moves your vision beyond surviving today.
Please keep in mind that the opportunity to earn a first-class education that is presently within your grasp was paid for with the blood sweat and tears of the ancestors whose shoulders you now stand. And it is for that reason that it is unacceptable to me, your parents, your grandparents, and African-Americans in general, when you allow even one educational opportunity pass you by. Whether you want to realize it or not, we are counting on you to succeed. If you fail, rest assured that we have no one else to send.
It is for this reason that I will continue to demand that you reach for a higher level.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016