CultureLetter

Dear Morehouse, You get a side-eye

You’ve probably heard the new dress code that Morehouse College, an all-male HBCU (Historically Black College/University), has given its students. They’ve released 11 stipulations that students must follow, or risk being suspended from school. They are more than deserving of this week’s sternly-worded letter.

Dear Morehouse,

You know you’re kind of full of sh*t, right? When I first saw the new dress code you released for your students, I surely thought it was some kind of random joke or satirical piece. Surely, a place of higher learning did not just make an extensive list of things that are unacceptable to rock on a campus. Is the school so on point that the most pressing matter is its students’ way of dress? Yeah, NAW I don’t think so. Word on the street is that your enrollment rate is down, as well as your retention and graduation rates. I doubt that this will be helping either. I guess that in whatever struggles you may be having, the most important thing is that the men on your campus maintain their segzy and moisturize their situations in the most conservative way possible.

So here’s the thing though. You might as well have kept that long extensive list to yourself and did this instead:

*Clears throat* *taps mic*
“No gays or thugs allowed. Thank you. Management.”
*drops mic*

The list you made is very specific in what it is not going to tolerate, and it is clear that one of those is the way a lot of gay men will choose to dress.

“No wearing of clothing associated with women’s garb (dresses, tops, tunics, purses, pumps, etc.) on the Morehouse campus or at College-sponsored events.”

Even if I didn’t heart the gays as much as I do, I’d find something wrong with this. The man who came to Morehouse looking fierce in his tunics now has to go get a new wardrobe, otherwise he won’t be allowed in class. THEM is some bald-headed games right there. Imagine someone forcing B. Scott into some sensible tasseled loafers and double-breasted blazer. That would be the day fierceness ended. Morehouse, why won’t you let the gays be great??? *WALL SLIDE*

Shoot, some metrosexuals who like to carry murses (man purses) will be outta luck too. Bet a bunch of folks had to go out to buy a sensible samsonite case for their books now. See, Morehouse? RUDE.

Also on the list is the banning of sagging pants and grills. Given, I give the urban youths disapproving glances and side-eyes because the do dress foolishly. That isn’t the point though. It’s the principalities (yes, principalities) that matter. I hate sagging pants with the intensity of 1,000 Dereon jumpsuits but sheesh! To be mandated to rock your pants high is a bit extreme in my book. And grills are obnoxious as all to be, but they are some folks’ way of self-expression. I also usually O__o when I see them. But still…

But most importantly, the rule of no pajamas is what I oppose the most. Y’all are just straight tweaking with that. Half the fun of college is being able to rock pajamas to class because you woke up 15 minutes into your exam and all you had time to do was brush your teeth (or so I’ve heard O__O). College wouldn’t be college if you couldn’t be on the Quad in some plaid pants with a hoodie and houseshoes AT LEAST once. Come on, Morehouse!!! *kicks trash can* The Big Ten University that I went to even had school-branded PJs. They enabled our comfort. You some haters, Morehouse.

I’m also against the “no caps” rule. For someone like me, who rocks a hat 70% of the time, I’d be picketing, talmbout “No justice, no peace.”

Morehouse, I understand that you’re a private school and can, by right, govern your students with an iron fist. However, that doesn’t mean that you exercising this right in such a manner is best. I wish I WOULD pay over $30,000 a year to be at a place that forces me into some ridiculous constrains. I was raised for 18 years by my mama. What do I look like PAYING someone to do it for 4 more years? Methinks NOT.

Yes, I get it. You want the image of your students to be upstanding and professional, but in the grand scheme of things, what’s the point? Aren’t you supposed to prepare these folks for the real world? Forcing them into these strict dresscodes that they won’t do naturally is hardly the way to do it. Clothes don’t make the man, especially not when he is being forced into them.

If you REALLY want to get your image up, get a Top 10 nationally-ranked program, instead of being stuck on upholding some Morehouse legacy that few but yourself gibbadamb about. Get to the point where people see a “Morehouse resume” and pull it out the bunch as an elite. You’re worrying about the wrong things.

Take a bite from that apple that came in the “Fool Saddown” gift basket I sent you. And air yourself out with the “Anti-pompous” Deodorant I included too. It’s mighty stuffy around you.

Yours in side-eyedom o__O,

Luvvie

Luv Bulletins
——————
I gots an announcement to make on Monday about something I’m starting. Y’all come back now, ya hear?

52 Comments

  1. @Inkognegro
    October 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm — Reply

    There is someting intensely tone deaf about this. It smacks of Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic.

    If this keeps up, folks will be speaking of Morehouse in the Past Tense.

  2. @biglilkim
    October 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm — Reply

    Great post. Morehouse is dead wrong for this for the amount that most people pay in tuition they outta atleast be able to dress the way they want..just an attempt to maintain some kinda reputation..let the gays be great! For Gays and God

  3. Me Fail English?
    October 16, 2009 at 3:39 pm — Reply

    Mi luh ya like cooked food! This isht was excellent. No more to say.

    c/s Inkognegro. A waste of time and resources at an institution in real need of change.

  4. LoudPen
    October 16, 2009 at 3:53 pm — Reply

    I have no idea how to feel about Morehouse imposing this dress code. Mainly, cause I just feel numb. I went to Hampton and we had a very similar if not stricter dress code. I'll try to find an opinion and come back with it.

    Luvvie, your letter was hilarious and so true tho.

  5. @BabylonSista
    October 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm — Reply

    I do understand what they're trying to do: they want to define what a Morehouse Man is. But I think the students should have the right to do that for themselves. And, yes, they are wrong as hell for both the "women's attire" section and the pajamas. I didn't live on campus in undergrad and would go to class in houseshoes.

  6. Tea
    October 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm — Reply

    I don't agree with your whole note. Since I've met a bunch of brothers from Morehouse, I can say they truly are stand-up and standout guys and I can only imagine Morehouse had something to do with that… BUT

    The pajama thing is OUTRAGEOUS. Oh my lime green mickey-mouse slip-ons sandals/houseshoes got me ALL over campus. Yessir! Big 10 all day baby!

  7. Nice Letter
    October 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm — Reply

    So, gays can't be gay and still be men at the same time? I agree, this dresscode may have been a bit overboard. But to tell men to dress like men on an all-male campus of an all-male school seems reasonable to me. And to tell a young at your intsitution (who's obviously there to pursue something bigger than being on the block) to pull his pants up and be professional doesn't seem too drastic. There's a time and place for everything.

  8. the uppity negro
    October 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm — Reply

    I think the problem is that this type of policy reeks of the "us vs. them" dichotomy; the black vs. white mentality and not dealing with the shades of gray that most of us always have lived in, but societal norms always deemed us to pick sides. Essentially what I heard was what you said "No gays and thugs allowed."

    I think it's sad that it's 2009 and we still can't even have an open dialogue to discuss what would be the appropriate course of action. I'd be willing to bet that administration didn't have a full and open dialogue (not a speech where admin. talks and student are forced to listen) with the students before moving forward with this.

  9. @ObaBreezie
    October 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm — Reply

    @NiceLetter –

    I understand what you are saying to some degree, but the point is, the beauty of the black intellegencia allows us the both the opportunity and the knowledge to when and how to code switch. In my mind, if they have pursued a private institution and are paying THIRTY THOUSAND dollars to be at a university to get an education it is obvious that there is something already instilled in them to know that there is a time and a place for everything. Yes, an institute of higher learning is supposed to prepare you for the real world, and while that preparation comes with discipline it should also come with the ACCEPTACE of diversity. It has always amazed me at how these institutions that were born out of racism and ostracism, at the end of the day assimilate and gravitate towards the very same standards that are the reasons for their exclusion. However, I guess if you can't beat them join them. #kanyeshrug

  10. @ObaBreezie
    October 16, 2009 at 4:44 pm — Reply

    "I think the problem is that this type of policy reeks of the "us vs. them" dichotomy; the black vs. white mentality and not dealing with the shades of gray that most of us always have lived in, but societal norms always deemed us to pick sides. "

    Beautifully said.

  11. true2me
    October 16, 2009 at 5:09 pm — Reply

    Yup, that is was my main point while debating. While Im not a fan of some of those obnoxious forms of expression, I still think it is our right as humans to express ourselves in whatever fashion sense we want. if you dont get a job from it, or get riduculed..thats YOUR BUSINESS to deal w that…

    This is an US vs. Them policy. Its very contradictory to be all pro equality and pro Black and what not but then turn around and be "european" in your damn dress code.

    Instead of sayin "No gays and thugs" you might as well say "Dont dress in any way that will automatically identify you with being Black NOR Gay, Let's not stand out or be different so that we dont draw any more attention to ourselves. Let us make sho that us Black folk don't look much different from White folk in attire and mannersism, oh and by the way ….BLACK POWER"

    FML..I hate this ish

  12. @NaturallyAlise
    October 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm — Reply

    Dresscodes like this (not just Morehouse) lead to a slippery slope of Big Brother-like policies down the line… Big Brother is watching with a side-eye o_0

  13. true2me
    October 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm — Reply

    I fully understand asking them to be mindful of their attire in the classroom..but the CAFETERIA…I caneem EAT MY FOOD w my DO RAG on..WTF….Forget this world

  14. Cheekie
    October 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm — Reply

    "I wish I WOULD pay over $30,000 a year to be at a place that forces me into some ridiculous constrains. I was raised for 18 years by my mama. What do I look like PAYING someone to do it for 4 more years? Methinks NOT."

    Tell 'em (no soulja boy….please for the love of God, no soulja boy)!!!

    Like, my mama (and grandma) did it for FREE. Hell, the government paid HER to raise me (in tax refunds). How am I gonna pay a nicca's salary for you to tell me what to wear? Like you laying out my clothes on the bed for school in the morning. Puh-lease miss me with that.

  15. Shawn.Smith
    October 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm — Reply

    I cosign.

  16. @SoulPSuperstar
    October 16, 2009 at 5:26 pm — Reply

    On one hand I can understand the point of a collage taking a stand to try to prepare their students to enter the workplace by letting them know what will be expected of them when they get there. One the other hand it's college, a place for ideas and free thinking, who are you to quell free thinking. by stifling ideas and making everyone fit into a cookie cutter frame you stifle innovation. that's all i have to say

  17. BrownEyedPanther
    October 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm — Reply

    This was so hilarious but definitely true. I hope other universities don't see it fit to enforce this craziness. I hope the student body pulls together and has this overturned and soon.

  18. @g_twitty
    October 16, 2009 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    For the most part, I see no problem with this. I am actually slightly troubled at the amount of people screaming "this is the worst thing ever." #9 goes a little too far and maybe other points are taken too far, but what is the issue with making young black men dress in an approriate way? Are we naive to think there is no correlation between dressing this way and then struggling to get a job?

    Aside from that, Morehouse is a private school and has the right to do this. Ill assume 70% of parents will be on board. Time for the kids to grow up.

  19. Me Fail English?
    October 16, 2009 at 6:18 pm — Reply

    Prec-xactly! Why all these smart and powerful (and historically SUBJUGATED)black males insist on being overseers rather than masters of their own domains. Sickens me. Ol' step-and-fetchit a*holes. This assimilation argument is the most loathsome of ALL.

  20. true2me
    October 16, 2009 at 6:20 pm — Reply

    self expression is a form of growing up…gotta find yourself..how are you goin to do that if you have someone constantly telling you what to do..after college you get paid to act and look a certain way..then dudes at morehouse can't even have COLLEGE as a time to be free..GEEZ..I TRULY HATE IT

  21. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:22 pm — Reply

    HA @ "Rearranging the deck chairs". Loving that phrase. I also don't see how this could encourage students to go to Morehouse. But we shall see, won't we?

  22. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:23 pm — Reply

    OK! Folks are paying an arm and leg but getting told what to have in their closets. NO SAH!!! Not sure how them instituting this dress code ups their rep.

  23. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:24 pm — Reply

    YESSS!!! Could I be your fave bowl of rice?

  24. elbie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:25 pm — Reply

    great effin post. i live for your writing. yeeess.

  25. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:25 pm — Reply

    Wow @ Hampton. What was the dress code, and did you find it cumbersome?

  26. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    I can see them trying to define a Morehouse Man by recommending things. But to forcefully impose on their students is ridiculous.

    Glad u feel me on the PJs tip though. Just wrong!

  27. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:28 pm — Reply

    LMAO @ lime green mickey mouse slip ons. O I'da loved to see those. WOO HOO, Big 10!

  28. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:29 pm — Reply

    I agree that to tell them and suggest isn't bad. But to say that if you're dressed in a woman's tunic is punishable by suspension? A bit more than much. There is a time and place for everything but to deny someone from learning because of it? Nah son!

  29. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm — Reply

    You're very right, uppity one. VERY well said.

  30. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:37 pm — Reply

    "It has always amazed me at how these institutions that were born out of racism and ostracism, at the end of the day assimilate and gravitate towards the very same standards that are the reasons for their exclusion."

    THIS is the way, the light and the truth.

  31. that black girl
    October 16, 2009 at 6:37 pm — Reply

    Rant on my sister and keep on rufflin' feathers. Me thinks this dress code errs on the side of ridiculousness too. But that won't stop me from loving the kind of men Morehouse turns out.

  32. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:37 pm — Reply

    Big Brother is a peeping Tom. He got his good eye on all of us.

  33. Luvvie
    October 16, 2009 at 6:38 pm — Reply

    LMAO @ "Please for the love of God, no soulja boy!"

    EXACTLY. They telling folks what they can or cant buy at the sto'. PSHT!

  34. biggrev
    October 16, 2009 at 6:47 pm — Reply

    1 of 2

    You mentioned that the institution was to prepare the student for the real world. From my perspective the real world is the issue. Could it be that this is not a matter of screening out gays and thugs, but their attempt to change the real world and the perception the real world has on blacks in general?
    I live in California, and as I commute from Orange County to Los Angeles (west LA, east LA, south and central LA) I see it all day. Black women (16-28) with blue, red, orange, purple hair, pants so tight they can’t sit down, and riding so low you can see what they ate for breakfast. Black men, same age wearing t-shirts so big they SHOULD be considered dressed, oversized hats and pants, it is a mess. Then while I am on the train I see them men and women doing the same things. Listening to iPods, trying to get hooked up with the opposite sex, and almost none of them are reading books.

  35. Nice Letter
    October 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm — Reply

    I feel you one thousand percent! But you have to keep in mind that when these institutions were established, dresscode wasn't an issue. Being at an institution of higher learning back then was a luxury that wasn't taken lightly. They wore suits and ties and were extremely clean-cut. I fully understand that when you're paying your money, you should have the freedom to express yourself as you see fit. And acceptance is very important as well. I went to CAU so I know how ridiculous it can get on the yard. Realistically, I'm not a fan of dresscodes period. But I also understand the purpose of them (in most cases). As a man, taking your hat and du-rag off in once you enter a building is common courtesy. So, while there are extremes, some of that stuff should really go without saying.

  36. Lite Bread
    October 16, 2009 at 8:00 pm — Reply

    Miss Most High Awesomelynessis,

    I Shave my legs so I'm OK, right?

    Skinny-runner shaven whiteboy legs.
    I'm bringin' Segzy Back!
    (But not Justin, OK?)

  37. Renee
    October 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm — Reply

    Funny as usual. I don't think I have a problem with the dress code. I am an old school Spelmanite and we had a curfew that people balk at nowadays. I see no problem with requiring folks to dress well. As long as it is not cost prohibitive.

  38. @bigDEElight
    October 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm — Reply

    I'm more outraged at people proposing this as modern slavery and oppression. Honestly, it's no different than the dress codes on the jobs they hope to attain with their Morehouse degrees.

    Secondly, this is a private institution, much like private primary school where you're subject to uniforms. If dress codes are anti-gay, then surely we need to go on a crusade at every place of employment in America.

    Let's get real. College is 4 (or more) years to prepare you for the real world. The real world usually entails dress codes at places of employment. The real world also is full of prejudices based on appearance so why no PREPARE them for the best presentation they can offer? Like it or not, they are representatives of Morehouse College when they are on campus or at events. Welcome to the adult world where you must express your liberal individuality on the weekends.

  39. Lite Bread
    October 17, 2009 at 12:15 am — Reply

    Miss Yer Most Progressive Awesomelynessis,
    Actually … the more I thought about it … CLOTHES are a biased, historically oppressive form of bigotry and Denial of Individual (insert favorite Oppression here) of Choice! (I tried to work in the “R” word, but, I ain’t that clever).
    See, I’m a …NUDIST. It’s MY choice of “expressing” MY sexuality to the world (or scarin’ the daylights outta folks; both seem to happen for me). It’s My Gender Expression (considering it’s hangin’ out there for the world to see, you can’t argue that one …) and it MUST be Accepted by all liberal, clear-thinking, unbiased, anti-discrimination, non-racist, un-Clothes-a-Phobic, progressive individuals.
    (con't. Of Coarse – pun)

  40. Lite Bread
    October 17, 2009 at 12:16 am — Reply

    Certainly my “male-form”, as something I was Born with (i.e. “I was born this way. And I’ll never forgive my parents”) Can Not be Discriminated Against. If people have a problem with my little “pinky” swingin’ in the wind, well, that’s just a reflection of THEIR small-minded Bigotry! (Please don’t say nothin’ about my “small… uh …minded … pinky” though … that’s Rude. Whiteboy’s can’t help it). __I Demand my Gender Equity be SEEN! Is “it” a threat to your Manhood?! Then you sir have “Penis-phobia” issues. (Though I’d be really, really surprised my “manhood” threatens Anybody). Are you a Black Nationalist Girl sneekin’ around Morehouse? Surely I poses no threat of Arousal then to you (Wow, just the thought of THAT one oughta scare the nap outta her fro’ fer sur!). A Whiteboy Cannot ‘turn on’ a girl properly schooled at a PBI. Or is that HBCU. I forget. Anyway, that would be against the Rules for her

  41. Lite Bread
    October 17, 2009 at 12:18 am — Reply

    White People don’t count anyway. Ever. F’in to them. So forget ‘em …
    Next digital pic KindredSmile gets of me and puts on her website, it won’t be see-thru boxers. I’m throwing off the Chains of Oppression! I’ll be fully Expressing (and Revealing!) My Gender Choice … er … Genetics! (All she’ll get now is hairy man-butt cheeks. I don’t think even I could look at that…).
    Let Freedom Rain!
    Or was that – Purple Rain! (Hummm, wonder if HE’D like my …)
    Disclaimer: If this Offended anyone … Too Bad.
    OK Luvvie, I go wash my brain out with soap now. No holdin’ my head too long under the faucet this time, ok girl?

  42. Lite Bread
    October 17, 2009 at 12:21 am — Reply

    And how come the 2nd of the 3 posts gets hung up for …

    "Your comment must be approved by the site admins before it will appear publicly."

    I don't like yer new setup. Challenges my ineptness

  43. Lite Bread
    October 17, 2009 at 1:28 am — Reply

    Certainly my “male-form”, as something I was Born with (i.e. “I was born this way. And I’ll never forgive my parents”) Can Not be Discriminated Against. If people have a problem with my little “pinky”, well, that’s just a reflection of THEIR small-minded Bigotry! (Please don’t say nothin’ about my “small… uh …minded … pinky” though … that’s Rude. Whiteboy’s can’t help it).
    I Demand my Gender Equity be SEEN! Is “it” a threat to your Manhood?! Then you sir have “Penis-phobia” issues. (Though I’d be really, really surprised my “manhood” threatens Anybody). Are you a Black Nationalist Girl? Surely I poses no threat of Arousal then to you (Wow, just the thought of THAT one oughta scare the nap outta her fro’ fer sur!). A Whiteboy Cannot ‘turn on’ a girl properly schooled at a PBI. Or is that HBCU. I forget. Anyway, that would be against the Rules for her; huge problematic ideological something-or-other …
    so she’s Exempt from my Individual Right of Expression.

  44. Lite Bread
    October 17, 2009 at 1:36 am — Reply

    Yer Most Awesomelynessie,
    I have just experienced THE greatest form of Oppression yet:

    Yer Line-Count DISCRIMINATOR!

    On yer Comments.
    “Yer Friggin’ post is TOO LONG. Reduce line count”

    Shut the H@ll Up!.Tryin’ to limit my “Write-ness”!!!
    I’m stagin’ a web-in or e-march (that’d be shuffle to the watercooler)!
    I’m gonna sit at yer e-Commenter Counter until I get Served!
    I’m holdin’ the High Moral Ground!

  45. RiPPa
    October 17, 2009 at 2:25 pm — Reply

    Personally I think this is foolish. Even more asinine are the Black people who are applauding this move by Morehouse. You would think that this decision by Morehouse would impact their lives, bring DOWN the unemployment rate for Black folks, or maybe even serve to be the much needed cure for HIV/AIDS that ravages the Black community.

    But Negroes are fickle like that.

    Hell, last year a city in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta was proposing a city ordinance that would issue fines to saggy pants wearing individuals (read: thugged out criminal minded youth), and Black people raised hell. Enough so that the proposal was abandoned. But now from what I've seen, they're applauding this move?

    Black men are graduating from HBCUs at or around 30% these days, and when they do it takes most of them 6yrs to do it. Lemme guess, this is so because they don't dress properly?

  46. bogart4017
    October 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm — Reply

    Luv you are too crazy!!
    "no justice no peace"
    *dead*

  47. Mark
    October 17, 2009 at 9:50 pm — Reply

    What most of the people who post comments don't realize or acknowledge is that Morehouse as a private institution can and should adopt a dress code if that is what the institution feels is needed to promote the ideals that attract students.
    If more institutions and parents in our community insisted on standards that were the norm when I was in school in the 60s and 70s, our community wouldn't be in the situation many of us are in.

  48. Mark
    October 17, 2009 at 9:53 pm — Reply

    Morehouse is a private institution. Freedom of speech and or expression is not a right of students. If students want to dress contrary to the dress code, TRANSFER.

  49. Reggie
    October 18, 2009 at 2:59 am — Reply

    I honestly don't have a problem with this dress code. I think that it's a step in the right direction.

  50. @Miss_Mielle
    October 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm — Reply

    As usual you have hit the nail on the head (rather hilariously, also as usual)

  51. shugaverypee
    June 1, 2010 at 12:58 am — Reply

    Thank you God for this!

  52. [...] *Dear Morehouse – Had to write a sternly-worded letter to Morehouse for their ridiculous new rules. [...]

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