Monday, August 31, 2009

Blackboard Feature: Myron Rolle

Who is Myron Rolle? From the picture above, he surely looks like a studious guy. If you were thinking that before I said that, you are absolutely right. Myron Rolle is a very studious guy. Myron Rolle attended Florida State University and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science in just 2.5 years with a 3.75 GPA. Myron Rolle was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and will study at Oxford University for the 2009–10 academic year in order to earn an M.A. in medical anthropology. The Rhodes Scholarship is an international award for study at the University of Oxford and was the first large-scale programme of international scholarships. According to the THE-QS World University Rankings, which is an annual publication that ranks the "Top 200 World Universities", and is published by Times Higher Education(THE) and Quacquarelli Symonds(QS), the University of Oxford is the 4th best University in the World ranked only behind Harvard, Yale and The University of Cambridge. Twenty-five British prime ministers have attended Oxford and at least thirty other international leaders have been educated at Oxford. The Rhodes Scholars may study any full-time postgraduate course offered by the University—whether a taught Master’s programme, a research degree, or a second undergraduate degree (senior status). The 106-year old award is arguably the most prestigious honor an American undergraduate can receive. Here is a small list of past Rhode Scholars:

Howard Florey
University of Adelaide
Australian pharmacologist,Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1945 for Penicillin

Wilbur Jackett
University of Saskatchewan
Chief Justice of theFederal Court of Canada(1971–1979)

Nicholas Katzenbach
Princeton University
U.S. Attorney General (1965-1966), U.S. Under-Secretary of State (1966-1969)

John Brademas
Harvard University
U.S. Congressman (Indiana) 1959-1981, President of New York University 1981-1992

Bill Bradley
Princeton University
American politician, NBA star, U.S. Senator for New Jersey,1979-1997, and Democratic presidential candidate, 2000

Bill Clinton
Georgetown University
American politician, 42nd President of the United States, 1993-2001, Governor of Arkansas, 1979-1981 & 1983-1993

Franklin Raines
Harvard University
Chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae, 1999-2004; Director of the Office of Management and Budget, 1996-1998

Susan Rice
Stanford University
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1997-2001, and United States Ambassador to the United Nations, (2009 - present)

Piyush "Bobby" Jindal
Brown University
Governor of (Louisiana) 2008-, U.S. Congressman (Louisiana), 2005-2007, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, 2001-2004, President of the University of Louisiana System, 1999-2001

Hopefully, I have demonstrated that Oxford University is one of the best universities in the world and that some of the smartest people in the world have won the Rhodes Scholarship.

With that, you surely know that Myron Rolle is one of the smartest people in the United States and the world. But did you know that this is also Myron Rolle:

Myron Rolle is also former safety for his college football team, the Florida State Seminoles. In 2008, he earned Associated Press 3rd team All-American honors as well as Football Writers Association America 2nd team All-ACC and CoSIDA Academic All-America. In the 2008 season game versus the University of Miami Hurricanes, Seminoles defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews remarked that Rolle played the best and most complete game he has ever seen a safety play at Florida State University in his 25 years of coaching. Rolle, a potential 1st Pick for the NFL, announced on January 12, 2009, that he will first study at Oxford for the 2009–10 academic year in order to earn an M.A. in medical anthropology and will then enter the 2010 NFL Draft. Rolle passed up a chance on NFL millions (Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez, the last pick of the 2007 first round, earned $5.4 million in guaranteed money) for a tuition-free Oxford experience.

Rolle is of Bahamian descent. He was born October 30, 1986 in Houston, TX to Beverly and Whitney Rolle of the Bahamas. He is very proud of his Bahamian heritage and Myron Rolle, along with his family, plan to open a free health services clinic in Steventon, Exuma in the Bahamas. The clinic will be named the Myron L. Rolle Medical Clinic and Sports Complex.

Usually there is not one day where you won't see Michael Vick on television fighting dogs, Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg and OJ Simpson over and over again. Isn't it sad and disappointing to you that you can't even get a glimpse of a truly amazing story? This kid has put the NFL on hold to pursue his educational dreams. The media does not stress stories like this. However, we will try to feature these kind of stories on The Blackboard to show people the positivity that is out here amongst the black community. It is our job to only watch and not absorb the Vick and Burress stories. We should be absorbing THE MYRON ROLLE STORY and showing young black kids that you can really do anything you want if you put your mind to it. There are a lot more positive images of blacks out here but we just are not exposed to them. Barack Obama gets well deserved acclaim for what he has done but please teach your children and yourself to understand and absorb the Myron Rolle's.

I guess all athletes aren't thugs!!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Majority of Athletes Are Thugs.........I Don't Know About That

I recently watched an Outside the Lines Report on ESPN about former Detroit Lions Receiver Charles Rogers. Outside the Lions is a news program that is show regularly on ESPN and it examines topics outside the realm of sports pertaining to athletes. This story was about Charles Rogers really blowing his opportunity in the NFL because of drugs and bad decisions. Additionally, Charles Rogers is trying to get back into the NFL so this was his platform to try to make the claim to the public and the NFL. I shared this story with a friend of mine who is white and we proceeded to have a discussion about it. I always find myself defending things that I assume my friends who happen to be white are saying indirectly. That does not mean that they are saying that be we have a mental button that goes off in conversations like this. I don't know. Let's just call it our duty or responsibility to know the view of your side. Maybe that can enlighten him. The link to the article and video is:

The start of the emails are below. I did not specify what friend the email exchange is with just to conserve his identity. The emails that are labeled "From:Dario Mobley" are my emails to him and the emails labeled "To:Dario Mobley" are from my friend.


From: Dario Mobley
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 7:29 AM

Story on ESPN right now:

Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 8:59 AM
To: Dario Mobley
Subject: RE:

The Lions should let him play on their team… and not pay him for the 8.5 million he owes them.

Calvin Johnson (current Detroit Lions football player) and Charles Rogers.

With Dante Culpepper/Stafford. (current Detroit Lions football players)

From: Dario Mobley
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 8:05 AM
Subject: RE:

You are probably faster than him at this point. If you are garbage, you can’t play in the league for long. Simple

Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 9:07 AM
To: Dario Mobley
Subject: RE:

Said he’s running 4.5 (speed he runs the 40 yard dash) consistently back to back to back… I doubt I can do that. He deserves a second chance. He’s shown in his past to have the work ethic and he’s showing it again now. If he can get back into football shape let him fly.

From: Dario Mobley
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 8:10 AM
Subject: RE:

Charles Rogers is 28 years old. Every receiver in the league is running 4.5.

Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 9:10 AM
To: Dario Mobley
Subject: RE:

Every receiver in the league has been in shape for the past 8 years. He has not been and is already at a 4.5.

Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 9:10 AM
To: Dario Mobley
Subject: RE

That is a good Point. Did you hear him say “I Blew”? Also, do you notice how he always looks down?

Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 9:09 AM
To: Dario Mobley
Subject: RE:

I haven’t seen the YouTube thing… I just read the article you sent.

From: Dario Mobley
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 8:15 AM
Subject: RE:

The video is on ESPN accompanying the article

Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 9:17 AM
To: Dario Mobley
Subject: RE:

I think the majority of athletes are kind of hood thuggish type dudes who really shouldn’t be worshiped. That is just my feeling on all of them. So Rogers still fits the bill.

From: Dario Mobley
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 9:30 AM
Subject: RE:

I have to disagree with that. I don’t think the majority of star athletes (professional, collegiate, high school) are from “the hood”. Also, in my opinion, I would say that half of them who may have grew up in a bad neighborhood are not “REAL hood dudes”. I simply mean that they are not doing things that we associate as thuggish acts like selling drugs or in gangs and stuff of that nature. How can you be a star athlete, going to school everyday, practicing all the time and on the road a lot and then claim to be some real street dude that is doing real street things? It just does not make sense. Ray (a friend of mine) always asks that question about athletes and I do too.

One factor I will lean on to support my claim that all star athletes are not thugs is Ray. Ray works in New Orleans, which is arguably the toughest streets in America, as a police officer. The proof that New Orleans is tough is that New Orleans had the highest murder rate in 2008:

I have never heard him say that a person he has encountered in a criminal situation was a star athlete in high school or an athlete at all on any level. I would think that he would encounter someone if “the majority of athletes are hood thuggish dudes” because of the size of New Orleans. He would be running into a high school star athlete frequently. It would be inevitable. The star athletes in high school are usually the ones that play professionally and on the collegiate level so if they are thuggish dudes now, they would have been thuggish dudes then. That fact should tell you a couple of things. The first thing is that star athletes with professional skills are far and few between. Secondly, it should tell that there are a few athletes that give the majority a bad name and that is magnified by the media because of the interest in celebrities. Additionally, the most common crimes from my standpoint are usually “weed”, “domestic abuse” and things like that. Misdemeanor crimes like “weed” and domestic abuse occur on a daily basis but you rarely see normal people getting their name dragged through the mud for that. Plaxico shooting himself and the “Dog Fighting King” are rare cases and should be attributed to that individual making bad decisions. That should not be lumped into stereotyping all or the majority of professional athletes. So if you could, don’t let your opinion and perception become fact to you because of a fake wannabe on TV looking stupid.

I would think that more kids have problem comes when they have nothing else to do. For example, let’s say a kid played ball in high school and was fairly good but when he finishes high school, he is not good enough to go to college. That is when the issue comes in because of lack of drive, environment, stupidity, or just a need to make “ends meat.”

However, I think the problem with athletes comes when they get a lot of money at once. Firstly, when someone gets a large sum of money, it is a shock and many people make the wrong decisions with family members pulling them from all ways for businesses and borrowing money. Secondly, they feel that it is not imperative to change or conform because it is not necessary in their field. I feel that I conform at work sometimes when I don’t want to but that is what we have to do in a professional environment. They are in a position where they do not have to conform. Additionally, that non-conforming attitude is really common with a young kid in any field or anywhere just because of the simple lack of maturity. That is why you see a lot of the athletes learn when they get older and they start to realize they messed up the opportunity. They had all this money and they did not do the right thing and they still have all these responsibilities. The easiest example of that would be Charles Rogers coming on TV declaring he made mistakes.

I would say that most people who live in the hood and are athletes are praised by the neighborhood for getting out or being really good athletes. A good example would be Allen Iverson or Lebron James and that is considering they are really from the hood. Moreover, most star athletes in any area of the US whether it is Michigan, Montana, New Orleans or the suburbs of California are praised because that is just how it is. It isn’t right but being a good athlete is a popular thing in our society just because the business of professional sports is so big. It is associated with money and that is why you see professional athletes date such a diverse group of women. The color of money is green and some women are attracted to money which further explains the fascination in society with athletes.

Lastly, even if you grow up in the hood, that does not mean you don’t treat people with respect. It is an individual decision and it has to be taken in a case by case basis. A lot of the things can be attributed to lack of maturity and a lot of it can be attributed to getting large sums of money similar to what I said earlier. Have you ever read those stories about all those lottery winners being unhappy or blowing their money? Can we say that all the lottery winners are stupid? I don’t think so. Some people handle things better than others and that is why you only see a small percentage of professional athletes making the wrong decisions.

Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 10:00 AM
To: Dario Mobley
Subject: RE:

They’re not hood but some sure act it… loud mouth center of attention… I particulary don’t care for athletes and think it’s ridiculous that they get that much money and that people envy them so much. Society is stupid.

Athletes that I like would be:

Tom Brady

Barry Sanders

David Robinson

Steve Yzerman

Those type dudes keep themselves low profile (except dating super models on tom’s part).

It is mostly the media and societies fault and I agree with that.

But to the select dumb ones… like you said yesterday no one making that money should be talking/acting like that.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Generation X: How Did We Get Here?

While visiting Atlanta last weekend, I had a conversation with an intelligent brother about life as a high school English teacher in the inner city of Atlanta. In this conversation, there were a lot of things that seem almost unbelievable to me. The first thing that really struck me as weird is my own disconnect with a young black youth’s mentality. The English Teacher told me a few stories about his ongoing struggles as an educator. One of the things that really seemed to resonate with me was the response he got after asking the age old question that every high school student is undoubtedly asked multiple times throughout their high school career. That question was “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The shocking thing is the answer he got from a majority of his students. He said the majority of the classroom said they wanted to be a rapper or a professional sports player. Additionally, he said a disturbing portion of the girls said that they wanted to be a “Video Vixen”. The reason the girls said that they wanted to be a video vixen was because of the fact that the video vixens get a lot of attention from guys. When I heard that and it actually registered in my mind, the only question I can ask myself was:


I capitalized this and I had to put this in bold letters because I can’t help but think that this transformation is happening on our watch. What do I mean by our watch? This is happening on the watch of Generation X. For those of you who do not know what or who Generation X is, below is an excerpt from an internet article. Additionally, I have researched Generation X a little bit and most of the information I have found seems to consistently place generation X in the age range below.

Generation X can technically be defined as the generation following the Baby Boomers. Xers were born between 1965 and 1980, 1961 and 1981, 1964 and 1979, 1963 and 1979, 1965 and 1975 or since the mid-1960s, depending on which source you use. For practical purposes we will say that Generation X was born between 1965 and 1980.

Generation Xers were brought up on television, Atari 2600s and personal computers. They are the generation that was raised in the 1970s and 1980s, and saw this country undergo a selfish phase that they do not want to repeat.

So if you are in between the age of 29-44, you are part of generation X. Let’s think about this for a second. Close your eyes and try to put yourselves back into your high school classroom and relive that moment. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Please just take ten seconds and think about this…………………

I remember vividly hearing the majority of the people saying Doctor or Lawyer. Even though that was the cliché answer, most people in my class said that because that was the level of social and financial status that they wanted to achieve.

It seemed like a possible goal. It seemed like a reachable status. Most of our parents fought through the civil rights era for the right to vote and to have equal rights and they were intent on telling their kids whether they believed it or not things like this:

“You can be a doctor.”
“You will be a lawyer.”
“Damnit, you are going to make it.”

That is what our parents did for us. They fought for themselves and future generations while getting sprayed down by fire hoses and still managed to have enough courage and energy to pass the torch to their Generation X kids.


Where did we lose control?

Was it BET, The Internet, MTV or what?

When did the power of the media eclipse the power of human intervention?

Are we part of the reason why Generation Y (1980-1995) and Generation Z (1996-2010) IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY are so messed up?

Have we ever looked in the mirror and asked ourselves that question?

How did this disease of tattoos, expensive cars, AIDS, Bling-Bling, Gun Violence, Young Jeezy, Air Force Ones, Baggy Pants and Dreadlocks spiral out of control producing something 100 times worst than hurricane Katrina?

Were we too much of progressive thinkers?
Are we too concerned about “getting ours” at any cost?
Do we even care what happens to our children or children’s children?
Are we a community or a whole bunch of suburbs split into 50 states?
Was Generation X the start of the demise of what our ancestors fought for all those years?

To be honest with you, it is a tough question because we all see it and collectively, we are not doing shit to stop it.

Everlasting Days and Exasperating Nights
By Dario K. Mobley

Every moment brings Everlasting Days and Exasperating Nights
Where We Look Straight Ahead Only Stopping For Red Lights
Forever Slaying the Battles of Our Inner Beast
Believing and Assuring One Self of Absolute Mental Peace

Defeating My Own Demons is All I have to Fear
But you Look up in the Mirror and Always See the Devil in the Rear
This is it, We Are Done, Let’s Move On
Drive home, Go to Sleep and it all Starts Again at the Crack of Dawn

The Battle is won but the War is never Done
Our Predecessors Fought When there was Absence of the Sun
We should fighting endlessly for those in the Rear
Instead of letting them get Flashed by the headlights like a Deer

Close Your Eyes and Envision that Thought
As you see the Innocence and Vulnerability of That Animals Heart
Press on the Brakes and Stop As Fast As You Can
Open the Door, Get out the Car and Proceed to Scan

What You See Is Something You Won’t Like
I am positive I pressed the brakes and avoided the strike
However, when I saw the Corpse, I Did Not Understand
The Reason the deer did not move with a look so bland

When I thought About It, My Mind Began to Itch
I could have turned my wheel an inch and swerved into the ditch
Surely I would have been hurt and possibly crying
But just a mere inch would have prevented this deer from dying