Maybe one day people will learn to not come for the number one HBCU, the illustrious Spelman College. Last week a journalist and Bennett College alumna, Aziza Jackson released an article on Communities Digital News (you can read it here) expressing her opinion as to why she feels Bennett should end their relationship with Morehouse. While I thought this foolishness would end with this article, I was obviously wrong. Earlier today, Johnelle Revell, a current student at Bennett also released an article, on the same host site (you can read this one here) where she plays the victim and goes on a rant about how Spelman women, "bullied" and "bashed" them (as if Spelmanites began this dialogue) *insert eye rolling emoji*.
Quite frankly, you all could have and you really, really should have kept Spelman College out of this conversation. First, since Aziza has graduated from Bennett, it really makes me wonder how long she's been hanging on to this hurt. She didn't include a timeline, she only stated that she first visited SpelHouse's Homecoming her sophomore year. So, with that information, I'm just going to conclude that it's been a while. Second, Spelman College and Morehouse College are not the same institution. Sure, we are a hop, skip, and a jump away from one another, we have the option to cross register, and yes, we share a Homecoming, but we are still very much separate. With that being said, if you have something to say about Morehouse and your relationship with them, talk to them.
Now I can't relate, but I get why they're frustrated. I definitely understand that making the trip from North Carolina to Georgia only to feel as if you're being ignored by the people your school tells you you have a relationship with is insulting. But, that's still no reason to blame an entire school for your negative experiences. Beggars can't be choosers. Aziza states, "...by welcomed I don’t mean being greeted with rehearsed lines and wooden dialogue because you are a member of the SGA or because you are obligated to because of your membership in some lame campus organization." So.....what did you all really want? Did you want a red carpet rolled out for you? Did you want "real" students? Are members of SGA (who also have the right to enjoy their homecoming) not good enough to greet you? Are you not aware that the students you met were probably extremely intoxicated? Or maybe it really is just you Bennett Belles, I mean, even Aziza's cousin didn't want to link up with her... Anyway, it's funny to me that these women have so many negative things to say about the Men of Morehouse and the way they were treated because prior to Aziza's article, I have never heard someone from Morehouse speak negatively about Bennett. In fact, Morehouse sponsors a trip to Bennett every school year. Morehouse students quite often speak about how much they love their Bennett sisters and how much they look forward to visiting them. Even going as far as saying they would prefer a "BelleHouse" marriage to a "SpelHouse" marriage. So, maybe, Bennett (but mostly Aziza and Johnelle) should have sought out those students, rather than bashing Morehouse in its entirety.
Now, let's talk about this Twitter fiasco. Once the article was released, SpelHouse Twitter erupted. In Aziza's article, she refers to Spelman students as, wait for it, "low-hanging fruit". How sisterly of her. But had she done her research, she would have known that Spelmanites are experts in the art of clapping back. It's as if we have to take a required workshop called Don't Come For Us Unless We Send For You: 101 during New Student Orientation. We have jokes and memes for days, emphasis on jokes. Quite often, we take to Twitter to laugh, and as Johnelle put it, "keke" with one another. But every now and then, it gets serious. This was one of those times. Twitter quickly turned this argument from "spelman standing up for themselves" to "Spelman is mad that Bennett is Morehouse's REAL sister school!" Pause. I promise you, not a soul at Spelman College is upset because Bennett is Morehouse's "real" sister school. But since we're on the topic, Bennett keeps bringing up the "fact" that Morehouse and Bennett are constitutionally-bound... well, in the words of the late, great Whitney Houston, I want to see the receipts. But no, for real, Spelman Women don't care about Morehouse having an official sister school because, in reality, we spend four years of our lives with these men and we aren't competing for their attention with another college because we don't have to. But, since it seems to me that you young ladies are lacking the male attention that you so truly desire, I can see why you would be so adamant about your relationship with Morehouse. I see why your Homecoming visits mean so much to you.
My overall issue with both articles is that the authors are being very hypocritical. How can you disrespect Spelmanites (in an article that wasn't even about us) and then paint us as bullies for sticking up for ourselves? In fact, Johnelle even stated, "[Spelmanites] were also upset that they were labeled as women who can be obtained with little effort." So yeah, we're the bullies. How can you say we need to uplift and encourage other black women, when you've blantantly disrespected us and our institution, suggesting that we're all easy? Rather than actually offering constructive criticism that could have possibly sparked dialogue on how Bennett and Morehouse can begin to mend broken relationships, and maybe even foster new ones, you degrade an entire institution. Instead of trying to figure out how you can make connections and network with the only other all black women's college in America, you opt to cry and moan about a homecoming trip that you didn't enjoy.
All "my name is Bennett and I ain't in it" jokes aside, all rankings aside, all rivalries aside, you aren't entitled to respect that you don't earn. Bennett Belles, let this be a lesson to all of you, if you beg for a reaction, you'll eventually get one and it probably won't be the one you are looking for.