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Drum major's death echoes beyond revered band
Parents and officlas are scrutinizing black college marching bands after the death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion.
November 26th, 2011
07:52 AM ET

Drum major's death echoes beyond revered band

By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

(CNN) - Knees fly high. Hips swivel. Trombones sway. Bass drums thump. Tubas bellow. Cymbals crash.

The scene - with its electrifying soundtrack - is a major draw at many historically black colleges and universities, where throngs of students turn out for marching band performances.

"The bands are so entertaining that people attend these games for the halftime show. ... People sit in their seats at halftime. They leave in the third quarter. It's just big," said Christy Walker, 36, who runs a website dedicated to black college marching band culture.

For the past week, the message boards on Walker's website have been buzzing with passionate posts about the situation at Florida A&M University (FAMU). The school fired the band director and stopped all performances of its famous "Marching 100" after authorities said they suspect hazing caused the death of a 26-year-old drum major.

As authorities investigate the student's death, the accusations surrounding the widely revered and imitated band could have an impact far beyond the Florida university's campus.

"There are a lot of great bands, over 50 or so, but FAMU is definitely the most well-known out there. ... They have set a lot of trends throughout the years," said Walker, who played clarinet in the band at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. "They're just very innovative in a lot of the concepts that they do, and a lot of that has spread to other bands."

For decades, the band has been adored by many who never even joined its ranks, said Lawrence Patrick III, 36, the CEO of a technology start-up in San Francisco who played bass drum in the Marching 100 for two years.

"It's not just something people from FAMU are proud of. It's something that black people in general are really proud of," he said.

'It was magic'

Bill Maxwell watched FAMU's Marching 100 perform for the first time when he was in middle school. Decades later, the memory remains as crisp as their bright orange and green uniforms.

"It was the most thrilling thing I'd ever seen," said Maxwell, now 66. "I didn't know anyone could really move their legs that fast. When they were marching, you could barely see their legs move. It was magic."

Opinion: What I learned from the FAMU marching band

Back home, Maxwell marched with his friends in a recently plowed field. They carried sticks that they pretended were instruments. He carried a beat-up bugle that he had found in a nearby landfill.

"I don't know of a single black kid growing up who had any interest in music who didn't want to be in FAMU's Marching 100," said Maxwell, who wrote in a 2010 column for the St. Petersburg Times that the success of the band and its leader inspired him during the Jim Crow-era Florida of the 1950s.

The band's reputation for an innovative style incorporating popular music and elaborate dance formations into its routines earned it a following and near-celebrity status on campus. And as students who graduated from the university went on to lead other bands, their reputation gained a wider reach.

"We were able to build this network of other important institutions based on this one successful institution," Patrick said. "Black people are really proud of our bands. We're proud of the difference of style and the flavor and the flair and the flamboyance."

Worries about a wider impact

After a game in Orlando on November 19, members of the Marching 100 returned to their hotel, where drum major Robert Champion "reportedly threw up in the parking lot and started complaining of not being able to breathe," the sheriff's office said. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said this week that hazing was involved, but added that authorities were trying to determine an official cause of death.

Word spread rapidly through student and alumni networks at historically black college and universities, where marching bands are among the most prestigious institutions.

"It's one of those things, when the bad news hits one, all of the schools feel it. Of course, it magnifies everything about the black schools," said Maxwell, who attended Wiley College and Bethune-Cookman University. "We all cringe when it happens to one."

Patrick, the Marching 100 alum, said he was devastated by the news.

"It's incredibly tragic. It's a huge loss, and it's felt by all alumni of FAMU, not just people who were in the band," he said. "The band is the most beloved institution associated with the school, period."

Walker, who runs the website dedicated to black college marching bands, said she was worried programs at other schools would be put "under the microscope" by the hazing allegations.

"It just puts a big black eye over all black college bands. I think maybe presidents will be holding band staff more accountable for what goes on. I think that this will impact recruiting. ... It also might impact the amount of money and budget that are set aside for these programs," she said. "It's at the highest profile school, so I think it will make everybody look and see what their programs are doing."

Misael Garzon, 23, said he was shocked when he heard the news about a program many view as "immortal."

"I was just obviously praying for the family, praying for the (Marching) 100, even though we're rivals," said Garzon, who played saxophone in South Carolina State University's band. "Hazing is an issue that has to be stopped in many areas of college. But still, I had friends who marched for the (Marching) 100. It's just that family bond. It saddens me to see a great program have to go through this."

'It becomes a passion inside you'

Walker described the hazing allegations at FAMU as an "anomaly" among bands at black colleges.

"There are thousands of students that go through these programs that have a very pleasurable experience," said Walker, whose parents met while playing in the band at North Carolina A&T. "I remember seeing bands (when I was) 5 years old, growing up and saying, 'I can't wait until I get to march in a band like that.' ... You see it, and then it makes you want to be a musician, to be a part of something bigger than yourself, part of something good."

Garzon said the power and intensity of the bands from FAMU and Bethune-Cookman mesmerized him when he watched them square off at the Florida Classic in Orlando.

"You fall in love with it and you grow with it," he said. "It becomes a passion inside you."

Jimmy Hernandez, 27, said he was "head over heels" when he first heard Bethune-Cookman's band play in 2001. He played oboe and piccolo at the university - an experience he said gave him a work ethic and discipline that helped him do well in school and establish a successful career.

"I consider it the best decision I've made in my life," he said.

But parents of students considering joining bands at historically black colleges and universities may be hesitant in light of the allegations at FAMU, he said.

Parents should take the time to talk with band directors about their concerns, Hernandez said, rather than steering their children away from organizations that could help them achieve success.

But Maxwell said universities must do more to respond to hazing problems.

"If I were a parent right now of a kid who wanted to go to school for the purpose of being in one of those bands, I would think twice," Maxwell said.

Anyone connected with hazing at FAMU must be held accountable and face punishment, he said.

"Some good may come out of it," he said. "It may teach other schools to stop it."

soundoff (595 Responses)
  1. Charlie

    I wish I could unread this article and regain some respect for CNN. I read the Fox version of this story and found it too be much more clear and succinct. I have to say that I've wasted too much time reading poorly written, over politicized articles at CNN.com. This unfortunate incident has nothing to do about race, and everything to due about hazing which transcends cultural and economic boundaries. CNN owes the Champion Family an apology for using their son's death to generate page views, rather than to inform the public about a serious issue.

    November 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • mc

      I hate to break it to you, but FOX is exactly the same. You just agree with their message. I assume you are a Republican. Republicans flock to FOX. Democrats and Independents flock to CNN. Most people figure this out a little quicker. Maybe you are a little slow.

      November 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Fast Fred

        "Flock to CNN?" Your comment doesn't square with the facts. Independents and Democrats far outnumber Republicans, but Fox stomps CNN in the ratings. Explain please.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • cleareye1

        Fox wins only the cable ratings. The networks bury Fox. That's why there is no Fox Evening News at 6!

        November 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Fast Fred

        mc was comparing CNN to Fox News. Those are both cable outlets. The networks have nothing to do with the point made.

        November 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Unless you were there, how could you possibly know this had nothing to do with hazing? Also, nowhere in this article did it say that it had anything to do with the people being black. That is just one of the facts of the incident.

      November 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    Right of passage for the band? Hazing for band? Always thought right of passage was for real organizations! Band????

    November 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluesky

      If you don't think bands are "real" organizations, then you are simply unaware of a hugely rich tradition, not only of black colleges, but of many American colleges.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • cleareye1

      Bands are just as important as football teams, and maybe more worthwhile for educating young people, but all hazing is an admission of failure. If the word of a person joining an existing group is not worth believing then they shouldn't be asked to join. Simple. Have some kind of torture ritual is disgusting.

      November 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      People like you criticize out of ignorance. Why don't you learn about these bands before you mouth off?

      November 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      A band is much more than an "organization". It's a team sport without the steroids and special academic help to get through college. It requires physical and aerobic stamina, a lot of brains, and excellent cooperation. A band may have stars within it, but everyone must work together for the band to be good. Anybody can learn to chase a ball around, but not everybody can march and play an instrument at the same time.

      November 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andrew

    Even the headline screams the question of a mainstream racist society. Why would only black drum majors be under the microscope otherwise? I think the salient point that anyone in college, regardless of their race, should crush dangerous hazing is lost in that infantile premise. Fail.

    November 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • PJ

      Nope. No undertones, no overtones, no tones at all.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • MisterPL

      Agreed. There's definitely something racist about this. Not to mention the fact that a white marching band would be considered inherently racist, but that's nothing new.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You need to explain WHY you think this has anything to do with racism.

      November 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. carolineB

    Wow I thought all the ignorant boneheads in this country watched Fox News. Had no idea so many thought they were capable of reading a follow up story on an awful incident. Hey morons, this is not a story about how the child died, no autopsy yet. This is a story about a part of American culture that does and has existed for a long time. Please go back to watching the news, obviously most of you can't hande reading and dissemenating information obtained via the written word.

    November 26, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fast Fred

      Funny how it's the dumb one who can spell disseminating.

      November 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tex Gritter

      "This is not a story about how the CHILD(?) died...." The "child" was 26 years old. Of course, in this part of the Country, Black "children" up to 18 still go out trick or treatin'.

      November 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Matt

        You don't have to take everything as literal...he had parents, correct? Therefore, someone's child died. Get it?

        November 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. youreallydumb

    your comment had nothing to do with story. your dumb. stop posting thanks.

    November 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatwhome

      Coming from someone using "your" when they should be using "you're". Repeat your third grade grammar class and then come back to this board or should I have used "bored"?

      November 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steve Lyons

    After witnessing the level of slave labor my own kid was subjected to as a member of the band this year I am of a mind to suggest that schools be forced to pay by the hour for the time the kids are practicing and performing so they have real costs involved to the income stream the band and the football programs create.

    November 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You kid signed up willingly correct?

      November 26, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jessica

    I'm sorry, but to say that hazing is an 'anamoly' in black band culture is a complete lie. It is the norm. I know this from experience.

    November 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sarah

    How does this have anything to do with marching band? Hazing is something that happens without regard to the establishments or groups of which the hazers and victims are members. The article should be about "hazing", not "marching bands needs to be reconsidered".

    November 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Whatwhome

    This senseless waste of lige has to stop! When will marching bands be banned?

    November 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatwhome

      When will they quit moving the "f" on the keypad!

      November 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mare Smith

        So darn funny, Whatwhome!!

        November 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hali

    There won't be any racial accusations for a change . Whew! What a relief.

    November 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      I agree–very refreshing to not see this become a racial issue-can't 'play the race card' on this one!

      November 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tex Gritter

        I am sure that CNN will find some means to play the race card. They seldom miss even a half-baked oppertunity. At any rate, my heart definitely goes out to the young man and his family. This awful waste of a promising young life has to be heart-rending for the young man's folks. RIP, Sir.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • J.I.

        What is a race card? And how come I haven't seen any decks at my local Dollar store or game store? Do they have them in Vegas or Atlantic City? Do Poker stars play with race cars? Or regular cards...(sarcasm)...I HATE those two words...RACE CARD..One of the dumbest terms ever made....Thanks O.J.!! Big-headed fool! (Sidenote: There were no "race cards" made when Dr. King, Medgar Evers and Emmett Till were done in....Imagine that)...Now back to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress!

        November 27, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. cathy rhodes

    Hazing used to be a right of passage that was embarassing or silly - like making someone wear underwear on their head or something. It's turned into games of life and death. I don't understand why kids can't stand up and say "wait, this is stupid, or....mean'. Where is the self confidence of our youth? Are they all in such a hurry to be a member of the pack that they will put their lives at risk by agreeing to be beaten? I have a teenage son - and I try to be vigilant about how he responds to his friends in a group...and feel like I have a good grasp on how far he will go to fit in. Parents should know this about their kids and advise accordingly. Remind them it's ok to say 'no' to bullies - no matter where they come from – fraternities or elsewhere.

    November 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dale

      Well stated. I would add the leaders and administration to the list of people who need to learn how to stand up against this kind of treatment towards kids. How does an adult simply stand by knowing that kids are being subjected to assault?

      November 26, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Frank!

    Was there any actual research done for this article??? The hazing in black fraternities and marching bands is real (and at times quite brutal), but CNN doesn't REALLY want to talk about it. Maybe they are afraid of offending someone. Come on CNN, do your job. That means DO SOME ACTUAL RESEARCH.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Hali

      Of course, everyone is afraid of blacks, walking around them on tiptoes. Don't you see it?

      November 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • smitvict

      Dear Readers,

      Because we here at CNN believe in the color of someone's skin, not the content of their character.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bud

      The hazing in predominently white schools is brutal; especially with football teams.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bennycat

    I'm so glad to see that CNN didn't delayll this critically important speculation and pickle smoke until after the final M.E. results were in. I mean, what the heck, then there might not be anything to pontificate about.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. anomoly

    why is he 26 and in college?

    November 26, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • beady

      Not all can afford University after High school. I was 25 years old when started to I attended University. I spent eight years in the military before. I'm a Computer Scientist now. We just take different paths is all.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • CRj

      His age doesn't matter! What happened is horrible.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I also just started school this year-at 25. I spent the first 7 years after high school as a wildland firefighter and a disaster first responder, saving money so I could focus on school without needing to take any loans out. Education is important. Never fault or shame anyone when they do decide to pursue it, no matter how late in life that happens.

      November 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Keymaster

    As a band member of a Big Ten band in the '90's, not to the extent of death, but this happens all the time under the watch of Universities employes. Why is no one recalling what happened to Wisconsin band? Why is no one mentioning what happened with what happens at hotels where the band stays at during bowl games? This is said that a death needed to bring this to the attentioned that it did.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  16. UpstateNYgal

    I read it a couple of times. I still couldn't figure out what happened to this poor guy.
    But I read alot about how well known this marching band is. Was that the real point of the story?

    November 26, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  17. Joe

    Just go to Google and search on this: skin graft, hazing

    The first 10 results are not black colleges. But you get the idea of what goes on enough in plenty of these incidents, be they majority black or majority whatever.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  18. swohio

    I read part of this article, and then skimmed over it a bit. Then read some more, and skimmed some more further down. I was looking for something that told me exactly what happened to this guy, other than the fact that he threw up in a parking lot and said he couldn't breathe. So what was the hazing incident all about?

    November 26, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      I wish I could unread this article and regain some respect for CNN. I read the Fox story and found it too be much more clear and succinct. I have to say that I've wasted too much time reading poorly written, over politicized articles at CNN.com. This unfortunate incident has nothing to do about race, and everything to due about hazing which transcends cultural and economic boundaries. CNN owes the Champion Family an apology for using their son's death to generate page views, rather than to inform the public about a serious issue.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vince

      He may have been beaten. The Orlando Sentinel interviewed a parent who was told by her child of a ritual that required the victim to go from the rear of the bus to the front while being pummeled. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/os-famu-hazing-probe-robert-champion-20111122,0,6708845.story?page=2

      November 26, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  19. simon

    this article was horribly written.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank!

      I agree wholeheartedly!

      November 26, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  20. Azrayne

    Lots of people upset this morning about this article and the fact that it is so racially stated. I live in an, have almost all my life, played in the marching band through high school and college. Black college marching bands, are amazing to watch. Their shows are so much fun and even now that I'm in my 40's, I still love watching their shows. The black colleges perform like no other college I've seen.

    This article was bringing to light other schools with the same strong marching tradition their chances of being held accountable for hazing. As I said, I participated in marching band, as a white girl, I was hazed, but not in a hurtful.

    Stop crying about it being a racial story, it's not. It just happens these black marching bands, historically have awesome showmanship, as a group.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Card-fan

      Give me the Stanford band any day!

      November 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Bread

    In a twisted perspective, it's probably good this happened to FAMU rather than a lesser known hbcu band program. If this had happened at Clark Atlanta University, it wouldn't have drawn nearly as much attention. Then programs that practice hazing, would continue. There is probably no other marching band more known and respected than FAMU. When they get a black-eye, everyone knows and responds. Maybe there will be more substantial solutions to band hazing, now that national attention has been drawn to the problem.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  22. Doug

    Here it is folks, the difference is here right before your eyes.

    To every Republican, this is about the tragic death of a young man named Robert Champion, to every Democrat this is about a black person. The klan starting Democrats will never be able to look at a person as an individual, it goes against the core of their National Socialism. We all must be grouped up by things that have nothing to do with defining us as a person.

    Yeah the Republicans have their own major issues, but really this grouping and desire to erase the individual of their own idenity is an evil un-equaled on the right, take a stand, don't vote for these hate filled National Socialists known as the Democrats, thank you.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Sahhd

      amen – the Christians want to treat everyone the same, Obama wants more slaves to keep voting for his socialism and his racist POS AG holder

      November 26, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Doug

        The hate of the Democrat is more so based upon ideology than skin color. While it is true that they seem to hate Conservatives who have dark skin a bit more than those who are light skined, in the end they want everyone who is not a National Socialist to be exterminated, this is the very fabric of the soul of every Democrat, you must never forget that.

        One more thing, I know Conservative Muslims in America and they have the same love in their hearts as every other Conservative, they certainly don't see a person as a color or a nationality as every Democrat does, they want to get to know the individual just like every other Republican in this county. One more thing, again lol, I don't hold it against anyone who has never met a Muslim and is conditioned by the media to see them as one thing, ignorance is not evil, but hate is.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • exfl

      All that I would ask is who is it that is simplistically trying to categorize the reaction to this story of everyone in the nation based upon the political party in which they are registered? Those who live in glass houses......

      November 26, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Doug

        Your vote is yours to do with it what ever you want. However you have shown an ignorance of what each party stands for, I would hope that this is what it is, but with many Democrats it really is deception.

        Judge the person by the content of their charecter, not their skin color, one of my favorite Republicans said this, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it does make me proud of my nation that at least half of us are living up to his dream, and I don't think that it is racism on the part of most Democrats, they just have been brainwashed by the socialist propaganda that at its very core must define us by our skin color, religion, or nationality, that is against everything I believe in so even though I may support gay marriage and a womans right to choose, I will never cast a vote for a National Socialist aka Democrat.

        Robert should be defined by his passions, his beliefs, the impact he had on society as an individual, however to every Democrat he will forever just be a "black man".

        November 26, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  23. Victoria

    No matter what CNN's racist commentators have to say, they cannot diminish the experience of attending an HBCU. The time spent on the campus of ANY of our schools is beneficial. My daughter will not only be attending an HBCU next year, she will be a band member. In fact, FAMU was one of her choices. My sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Champion, the Marching 100 and the rest of the FAMU family.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
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      November 26, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  24. kaediac

    Christy Walker, 36, who runs a website dedicated to black college marching band culture. This woman was quoted in the article using the term "black eye" Just try to comprehend what you read

    November 26, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  25. Ryan

    Congrats Catherine Shoichet, you just wrote the worst article I've ever read!

    November 26, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • skippy

      Amen!!! This chic (author is an overstatement) really missed the point.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • nyob

      This article is terribly written and researched. Hazing happens at many colleges and universities. It is not an HBCU thing.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Marcus

      If by "hard news," you mean "Hard to believe," then yes. You'll get that from Faux News. There's no race baiting, here...just people looking for a reason to be offended.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Fox News is a network that respects Dr. King's dream, rather than the leftist media who are in direct contradiction of it with every story, newscast, and article.

      Obviously Fox News is the enemy of the Democrat, they report the truth and facts, judging a person as an individual and telling the truth are the two things that every Democrat in America is completely against, and their wishes for those of us who care about being honest and defining each indivdual by their character is identical to what their National Socialist cousins in Germany pulled off in the 1930s.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Highclass

    Dont worry everyone I found out what happened to this kid on FOXNEWS.com. BTW thanks Catherine Shoich for giving us no info http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/25/attorney-says-suit-planned-in-famu-band-death/

    November 26, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Help is on the Way'!!

      ...finally some god reporting.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • skippy

      Uhhhhhhhhh, so what's the story about the kid? The article simply talks about the "rich" history of bands at black colleges. What?? Am I mistaken, or has a child lost his life? The real story is abut the young man! This is written in such a Penn State fashion. Shame on you, CNN.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
      • Chrissy

        did a child lose his life? Ummm....no, he was 26.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Budd

      I thought it was just me. Too long article, lacking any pertinent facts. We care about why the young man died, not about the history of black college bands. Geeze!

      November 26, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  27. Carla

    Just one quick question... uh mmm.... WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED TO THE YOUNG MAN?!

    November 26, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • sammy zoso

      Yes excellent question. After all that background, what the heck happened to the young man. Though this is a terrible incident – even if we're not sure of the details – the good thing to come out of this story is there is life beyond sports. Playing music is an awesome experience and being part of these bands seem like a life changing experience – all for the good. As for hazing, it's border line criminal. It should be banned on all sports teams and activities. What a shame.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  28. Brian

    I must say that I am so incredibly happy I do not live in the US. Every single story, good, bad, whatever, is always focused on black and white. What an absolutely crappy way for a nation to exist. Thank you for enlightening the rest of the world on how not to live. I have honestly stopped allowing my kids to watch anything to do with US news.
    No, I am not black, but my wife is. We have 2 great kids, 13 and 8, and not once in all their lives has the black and white thing come up. I am sickened by the state of the US, truly sickened hat people count based on black vote or white vote. I do not remember once in all my life (44) in Canada remember votes, schools, TV stations, magazines, etc., so racially divided. Man I hope this idiotic mentally stays south of the border. It is like a disease that the US cannot shake.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  29. joel

    He must have been weak to allow himself to be hazed at 26. Acceptance is a powerful motivator. Sad story for sure.

    RIP

    November 26, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Would'nt go thath far to call him weak. Its a part of HBCU culture. However,whats meant to be something to promote brother and sisterhood has been polluted and as a result we have stoires such as this...Again he was not a weak individual.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • sammy zoso

      Everything is black and white on CNN, literally and figuratively. It's not about race. None of it. A young man who was part of something special and who happened to be black died for no apparent reason. The perpetrators need to go to jail. that part is simple.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • beady

      Although your sentiments appear kind. Attacking someones character especially when they're diseased isn't gonna win you any points.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • joel

        Who said anything about winning points? LOL.

        Idiot!

        November 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • arlybest

      Since we don't know what happened to him; we can't say he didn't stand up to anything. Maybe he did and they slipped something in his drink as retaliation...we don't know anything yet; so, don't jump to conclusions.

      November 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  30. EddyJ

    There are white members of the Marching 100, so it's not a black only band.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • GLORIA L. MANN-HARRINGTON

      YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!! I AM FEELING SOME KIND OF WAY THAT HAZING IS BEING FOCUSED ONLY 'HBCU's. HAZING IS DONE ON ALL COLLEGE CAMPUSES. JUST ANOTHER PLOY TO SET BACK 'AFRICAN AMERICANS'. REAL TALK!!

      November 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Doug

        The great society is a clever game played by those who used to wear hoods and burn crosses. The Democrats have committed genocide in more than a couple dozen American cities over the last 40 years that obviously have been under complete Democrat control and rule.

        THe Democrats of today are just more clever than those of the past, but their beliefs and their core values have remained unchanged over time.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  31. lifeisgood

    ok get your act together guys yes there's racists and im seeing alot of it in these comments what the heck god is the one we should care about

    November 26, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  32. AMG

    People are asking why black colleges exist.

    Remember segregation? Blacks weren't allowed to go to "white colleges". They had to start their own universities, and many of them still stand today. Many of the college were built right after the Civil War, and because they are so old, they are historical buildings. Those buildings are protected by law because they are historical.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      You are preaching to brick walls incapable of even beginning to comprehend.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
      • AMG

        I know! Thanks Steve. I guess some people don't remember studying history in school.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
      • joel

        Move on. It's an old story.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
      • Victoria

        Thank you!

        November 26, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Help is on the Way'!!

      ....so is my Manhattan brownstone. What does that have to do with anything?

      November 26, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • joel

      I'm too young to remember. It was a very long time ago. My grandmother was forced to work in a coal mine around the turn of the century. Am I carrying it around like a billboard?

      Time to move on maybe?

      November 26, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
      • Help is on the Way'!!

        ...you mean you're not out complaining all day and trying to get reparations from the big coal companies? I suggest you sit around and wait for your gov't cheese to show up at your doorstep and bemoan how the man is keeping you down...

        November 26, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  33. tim

    I am so far against racism I'm colorblind...but you sir are correct. Who care's if it's a "black school", it's the tragic death of this young man......in which the article doesn't tell us a clue about!!!!! He was in a parking lot and couldn't breathe.....that's it? Oh, he was pronounced dead. Okay, besides how proud everyone is about the school and program where's the story about the guy????

    November 26, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  34. Harry Baung

    I did not know that hazing occurred in marching bands. I thought that was only college fraternities [and sororities]. I think hazing in general should be banned. If they want to test how much peer pressure and stress a person can take before he or she breaks, they should do it under controlled conditions (say, a laboratory monitored by psychologists) so permanent damage and fatalities don't occur. This is another example of mob/tribal behavior. Group and team activities will bring this out of people. Being part of a [cohesive] group is nice, but there are downsides also. In a sense, peer pressure killed this man.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      The hazing at Black fraternities and especially at Black Universities is far worse than non-black universities. Bryant Gumbel had a special on his other a year ago demonstrating the horrible and deadly things that occur in the band programs at the Black universities. The universities President's know this goes on but they do nothing about it. It is unacceptable for this to go on and these Presidents should shoulder most of the blame. I hope the family of this drum major goes after this university and makes them pay criminally and financially for what happened to their son. Furthermore, any parent out there that sends their child into a band program at these universities is crazy.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
      • nyob

        Hazing is worst at black fraternities? That is total bs. I have plenty of friends who graduated from Virginia Tech, George Washington University and the University of Maryland. The things they have either witnessed or participated in any of those universities' fraternities or sororities would certainly raise many eyebrows. What rock do you live under?

        November 26, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Bud

        That is pure BULLCHIT!

        November 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Marie

    Well said!!! Racism is alive and well.. I think stopping the performances is extreme. I can think of colleges where athletes died and the games were not stopped. Of course once the perps are caught then expel them from the MARCHING 100.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Cuervo Jones

      hopefully contributing to someones' death carrys more penalty than getting kicked out of the band.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  36. AMG

    Remember when schools were segregated? Blacks weren't allowed to go to "white colleges". They were always denied, so they started their own colleges. Many of those universities are still around today.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Help is on the Way'!!

      Ok.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  37. confused

    Ok I am confused I read the Articl and read all the post is this about his deat or IS IT ABOUT RACE I thought th article would tell how he died but I quess no one cares all they care about is the Race thing this is very sad I read the news to get news not to listen to a bunch of uneducated raceist

    November 26, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Help is on the Way'!!

      ....This is just a small preview of how CNN is going to cover the upcomming election. Injecting race into every story and article they CNN. Don't come to CNN for news.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
      • Steve in St. Louis

        Thanks. And how long have you been employed as a troll for Fox?

        November 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      1. "A cause of death has yet to be determined"
      2. Several all black universities are more known within inner circles for their performing marching bands than their football programs. Now, one of the more storied marching band programs within that circle has a fatality linked to hazing resulting in termination of its storied program and immediate cessation of the program.

      It's not too difficult, you just have to try and follow along with a predetermined mindset. If you do, you will find your reading comprehension will improve by leaps and bounds.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • martini

      That's just it, blacks make everything about race. Alway have, always will. Until they stop, I'll keep ignoring them.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
      • jad

        I didn't get that. What class of people makes everything about race?

        November 26, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
      • sammy zoso

        CNN makes eveything about race. They manipulate people into reading articles with little to no substance so they can sell online ads. Get it?

        November 26, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Cuervo Jones

      wth the article can only have one fact in it? i think it's called context. maybe a news service on twitter would suit better?

      November 26, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  38. les

    In this entire article...WHAT HAPPENED? No mention of what happened to this guy? W get point that it's a black college, not what happened? This is so poorly written.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • zapper45701

      I agree. The article notes that the student became ill in the parking lot, but that was it. How is this hazing? I'm sure that somewhere the important paragraph was deleted that filled in the substance of report, but proofing should have caught that. As far as colleges, what does it matter what color the students are who attend? I realize there are some historical references, but what does this have to do with the death of the drum major. If this is an article about "black" colleges, then that's what the article should have been about. If this is an article about a hazing death, then I would think that this is what would be written. It sounds like two separate articles got mixed together, and whatever came out, that's what go printed. Very poor journalism.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • zapper45701

      I agree. The article notes that the student became ill in the parking lot, but that was it. How is this hazing? I'm sure that somewhere the important paragraph was deleted that filled in the substance of report, but proofing should have caught that. As far as colleges, what does it matter what color the students are who attend? I realize there are some historical references, but what does this have to do with the death of the drum major. If this is an article about "black" colleges, then that's what the article should have been about. If this is an article about a hazing death, then I would think that this is what would be written. It sounds like two separate articles got mixed together, and whatever came out, that's what got printed. Very poor journalism.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  39. Ken C

    Um...how about an article that EXPLAINS what happened to this guy!!?? I skipped down several paragraphs past the BORING stuff and still I'm unclear about WHY this guy died? Incidentally...people go to a football game to see the halftime show!!? Are these the same losers who watch the super bowl "for the commercials (aka, losers)?

    November 26, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Highclass

      Where's the "LIKE" button when you need it!

      November 26, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Victoria

      Apparently, you have never had the pleasure of attending a halftime show at an HBCU. Let's just leave it at your lily, white-washed halftime show does not compare to the greatness of our shows. It's a culture that you can never understand because of your refusal to take the hood off, dear. Why not just move on to those things you understand? Isn't there a story about some white guy flipping and killing a bunch of people somewhere on this site?

      November 26, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Thayer

        Guess who's the real racist in these posts? That would be you Victoria. When did the guy you repsonded to ever mention race? He just thinks people who go to a football game to watch a band play are losers. Same with people that watch the Super Bowl to watch commercials. I agree with him. But never once did he mention race. But of course, you did. Looking for racist? Go look at your own ugly mug in the mirror.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • anon

        Why so angry? I agree with white Floridian and am tired of racism issues–slavery has been no over and done, reparations made, opportunities made equal to all-look at OBama-what more is wanted?

        November 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  40. waycist

    I find it amusing that when Black educators advocate for segregated schools they're hailed as innovators who think outside the box while white educators who even mention it will be branded a racist and have their career destroyed.
    The double standard has become The Standard.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Where do you ever see them being hailed as innovators? Certainly not in this article. There is no double standard, anyone wanting segregation is definitely racist and should not be involved in education.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
      • waycist

        ""There is no double standard, anyone wanting segregation is definitely racist and should not be involved in education.""
        You may want to have a look at the praise being heaped upon Tim King, founder of Chicagos all Black (and all male) Urban Prep Academy.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  41. What? Whites only....?

    Nice job taking down the posts CNN censors...... Are you using the Sat. morning intern censor crew again? Go work for a real network.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  42. DR

    From brief description of symptoms – sounds like pulmonary embolism

    November 26, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  43. jk

    Hazing will never stop because: 1) colleges are run by people who were hazed; entrance exams are themselves a form of irrational hazing; and 2) people enjoy forming cults, which always demand sacrifices; groups like this are cults.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  44. Andy

    Lets answer the pin heads on this board: Historical Black College Universities (HBCU) where created right after the civil war when African Americans could not attend the universities all ready established. Can white students attend. Of course. Do they? Typically? No
    This is a story about marching bands on HBCU and hazing which again is not a typical story associated with this activity or HBCU.

    Of course, if some of you racist pinheads every bothered to learn anything about any other culture instead of blaming your general failures in life on other races, you would know this. Hell, if you watched the movie drum line you might know this.

    TO CNN: Did you get a child to write this article? For goodness sake, who the hell are your editors. I've seen better writing from 4th graders!

    November 26, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • S. Biscuit

      "For goodness sake, who the hell are your editors." This sentence should end with a question mark, not a period. "...(HBCU) where created..." Don't you mean WERE created? I just find it funny that you criticize the editor of the story...and yet you didn't edit/proofread your own post for mistakes! Holding others to higher standards than yourself!

      November 26, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Cuervo Jones

        and i know first aid but i expect a doctor ( professional ) to deliver quality care. internet grammar/spelling/punctuation police apparently are "with us always."

        November 26, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • theferrit32

      I agree with you, the "black" colleges are only called that because the vast majority of the students have been and are black. They were created soon after the civil war because they would ALLOW blacks to attend, so naturally it just evolved into being a mostly black student body over the years.
      Also, this article is very poorly written

      November 26, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • martini

      Listen Andy ole' boy ( yikes, guess that one will be taken as racist ),

      You may have read better from a fourth grader but you sure as hell can not WRITE better than one. You're a goose of the first order.
      Here, give these a try before you try to write anymore.....
      How about:
      "Were", not "where" you lunkhead.
      Oh, how about "Civil War" instead of "civil war" you ingrate.
      It's "ever", not "every". Lawd.
      And try "Drum Roll" you dodo instead of "drum roll".
      Did you go to school at all?

      November 26, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
      • bobabooskie

        Hey Martini, you left out "all ready established", instead of already established!

        duh

        November 26, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
      • martini

        And you forgot to put "already established" in quotes....Duh.

        November 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      thank you Andy. the ignorance on the comments section is just dreadfully awful.
      and you were close, actually CNN hires the winners of that show are you smarter than a 4th grader?
      you know budget cuts and all.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  45. Joel

    Why would a 26 year old grown man allow himself to be hazed? Hazing is for 18-21 year olds. Who cares if he is still in college.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      That's what I was wondering. I attended college later than most (25-28) and I can't imagine being hazed at that age. After all I'd been through by that point, it would have been laughable if some 20-21-year old had tried to haze me.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  46. buildmeister

    How is race a factor in this at all? It's a hazing incident. It happens with people of all races. If there is something noble for Jesse Jackson and Sharpton to rally against having this incident attached to their race. If I was black, I would be really mad about this.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Al

      If it was a primarily white college, me and Jesse J would be busing in the protesters "demanding" justice. AKA – holding the school up for some payola to avoid an ugly boycott and picketing. But since this is a black school, I'm going to let it slide this time. Big Al S.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • John Breedlove

      I fully agree. Black has nothing to do with this issue and the fact that this article focuses so heavily on the race rather than the act or tragedy strikes me as racist. The predominantly white military is perhaps the best known for illegal hazing. I have read stories about white cheerleaders and football players dying from hazing. One Year, n Boulder CO several white students died in hazing incidents pledging sororities or fraternities in just the first couple weeks of school. Hazing is what this article should focus on and not the race of the hazers.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  47. malcolm

    Dumb whites and dumb blacks just keep the race ball rolling.A young black man died...That is the tragedy not some of these dumb comments....Hazing is done by dumb people and the tragedy there is they had the smarts to get into college in the first place......

    November 26, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • White Floridian

      Malcolm, you don't get it either. A young man died. Who cares if the man is black or white? CNN cares. Media loves these stories. Grow up Malcolm. We are all men. Men and women die all the time from hazing along with other criminal acts. Jeeze........... Have me please................. Morons................

      November 26, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      "White Floridian". You could save a lot of time if you reduced your monicker to a simple "KKK". The two are pretty much interchangeable.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  48. john

    CNN doesn't provide any perspective in its reports and leaves you searching elsewhere for the complete story. Note:

    One of the worst cases occurred in 2001 and involved former FAMU band member Marcus Parker, who suffered kidney damage because of a beating with a paddle. Three years earlier, Ivery Luckey, a clarinet player from Ocala, Fla., said he was paddled around 300 times, sending him to the hospital and leaving him physically and emotionally scarred.
    Some 20 band members were suspended and Luckey eventually wound up filing a lawsuit against the state Board of Regents. According to reports, Luckey settled for $50,000 for his injuries.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  49. What? Whites only....

    ...Start a whites only marching band and watch every liberal's head explode. All over the news for weeks. CNN and MSNBg (g for garbage) would lead the story for days. The double standard here want to make me puke.....

    November 26, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • DIG

      you do know that the only reason black collages exist is because whites did not want to attend school with blacks right. black collages are a response to white racism. it is poor judgment for you to act as if you did not know that this was a huge problem in are country. and by the way most black collages have a large white, latino and native population. get over your hang ups, no ones buying it.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
      • What? Whites only....

        ...so I guess we should continue to live in the past and have black only marching bands, frats and colleges? That sounds a little racist.....? Also, you're living in la la land if you think black colleges have large white and hispanic populations.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
      • Dub

        In reply to: What? Whites only....

        I agree, the white, latino, and asain population in these schools is not large, but some do attend. Ask yourself why don't more attend? Is it because they don't feel comfortable in a majority black environment? No it's because they feel more comfortable in an environment where the majority look and act like they do. That's all it is. It's not like anyone is protesting their presence, or the National Guard has to escort them to class like they did blacks back in the 60's.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
      • Old Sparky

        black collages ?? Really???

        November 26, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Sheesh

        Historically black colleges were established because most colleges didn't accept black students. Do people really not know this?

        November 26, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
      • wabina

        I think people know this but we are talking about today...,not 40 years ago......look up the population of black students at a major university.....the university of md for example...is very diverse...about half the students are "white" ....and most of the rest are asian, black and hispanic......but no one even thinks that way....they are all just students....

        November 26, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
      • Dub

        Wabina, your reference to the university of Maryland is great. And that's what makes America great, anyone can go to any school they want to. Just accept that SOME white and SOME black kids WANT to go to a Historically black college and university.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
      • Dub

        No they don't. Why would they? Their parents and grandparents were allowed to attend big white universities and colleges with no problem. I grew up with my parents and grandparents telling me about FAMU, Tuskegee, Morehouse, Howard, etc...because that's the only place they were ALLOWED to attend.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
      • AMG

        Did you go to "collage"?

        November 26, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Marty

      You can't do that! It would be racist!!!!!

      November 26, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      You do realize that the only reason black colleges exist is because when blacks were denied admission into white colleges when our society was still segregated blacks needed an alternative. If you want to blame someone for the existence of black colleges then blame your white male grandfathers and the fact that most non-HBCU colleges today are almost always at least 80% white.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  50. katie

    I absolutly love how if they were to say a white college it would be racist but a black college is ok.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      For those of you complaining about racism, it's called a black college because black people were not allowed to go to regular colleges. Yeah, you didn't call them white colleges but that is what they were and no, a black college is not just for black students. Anyone of any race can enroll. Of course, if you went to any college at all you'd already know that...

      November 26, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • AMG

      Do you remember segregation? At the time, blacks were NOT allowed to go to "white colleges". Blacks had to start their own after the Civil War and many of them are still standing today.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • anon

      Agree with Katie also–there are no so called white colleges or white miss america pageants of National White History Month

      November 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  51. FedUpwithLA

    Man, you guys handle this one. I am sure it will keep everyone talking for a long time. Where's Jerry Sandusky on this one? Is he still alive? All of this demonstrates how much we need college football and professional sports in this country. Talk about NO CULTURE! And then crap like this happens. We still remain a BEACON FOR THE WHOLE WORLD, don't we?

    November 26, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  52. KayDee

    Personal responsibility? This young man was 26! Who can HAZE someone who is mature enough to say "forget that!" I remember college hazing well. One does NOT have to take part. Let's start teaching our young people to have a backbone to stand up to pressure. He was already well integrated into this group to be a drum major so hazing just makes no real sense to me in this situation. Maybe if the article had gone into more detail about THAT aspect of this case, it could be clearer.

    Bullying is a hot topic right now in grade schools and high schools, but hazing is really just a legitimized form of bullying. That needs to be addressed and students need to be encouraged to stand up against people who try to push an aggressive agenda. Come on young people, don't cave to pressure! Stand up against it and stand up for yourself!

    November 26, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • White Floridian

      Kudos to KD, you didn't mention Black once in your post. CNN could learn from you.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • jackie

      well said.....

      November 26, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      White Floridian, with all due respect, you could well be the dumbest man/woman on the face of the earth.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  53. Joe

    This story should have been about the tragic death of a young man through an act (hazing) that time and time impacts kids, college and high school without discrimination. It seems CNN's goal in this story was to create a black vs. white divide, which by reading the comments, I guess CNN achieved their goal.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  54. Norm

    Seems the comments here are more concerned with CNN giving special attention to black people rather than the story itself.
    This just proves how racist this country still is, no matter what anyone says.
    Just give people a nice, safe, annonymous place to spew their ignorance and you can see the real mental state of the nation.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • White Floridian

      Norm, you don't get it do you? The post on this article are not racist. CNN is behaving poorly by mentioning race. Not the bloggers. What rock did you crawl out of?

      November 26, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
      • Insmalle

        the sad fact is the hellhole JOKES of colleges need to be SHUT down
        they are a disgrace and JOKE
        if you cannot get into a real school, then DONT GO

        November 26, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  55. em bee

    ummm, how did he die? i thought the story was about his death... not the extended history of some guy who dreamed of being in a marching band. thanks for wasting my time, again... ccn.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Ivonne.

      i agree with you. what was very important here is the death of the student, very sad.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  56. average american

    It is sad that any young man lost his life, no matter what the reason.

    Why is this a Black college? Are there White colleges?

    November 26, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      No because that would be racists

      November 26, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
      • White Floridian

        I'll pound on that drum. I agree, that would be racist. LOL........

        November 26, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • DIG

      BLACK COLLAGES WHERE ESTABLISHED IN BECOUSE WHITES DID NOT WANT BLACKS TO ATTEND THERE SCHOOLS.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
      • blackie

        Its "their" not "there". "there" is the place where you learned grammar

        November 26, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
      • White Floridian

        Not this White guy. I just want to be thought of as a person and respected by blacks and whites. I don't care who I sit next to or who sits next to me. Just shower first, keep your pants pulled up, and use no profanity. It is called respect for others and yourself. Black or White.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • RobertC

      Southern states used to have colleges set up exclusively for blacks. Although it is no longer legal and they accept students of all races at all colleges, the formerly all-black colleges are still mostly black, primarily because most whites don't want to go there. The historically all-white colleges do have black students, but most are more comfortable going to the historically black colleges. Because racism is illegal does not mean it does not still happen.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
      • AMG

        In the south, blacks weren't allowed to go to "white colleges". Remember segregation? They had to start their own universities in order to get an education. Many of them are still around today.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • OnePeople

      IIf you folks can read – it is a HISTORICALLY BLACK college, where all races are welcome now. The historic black colleges are hold overs from a historically (maybe not so far back) racist segregated south.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  57. retta

    It won't stop until these young adults stop being willing participates. Nothing is worth being hazed for, say no. A band needs people and if the people are unwilling to participate in hazing there will be either a band with no hazing or no band!

    November 26, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • White Floridian

      According to this article, "No Black Band." What a joke. Black or White, who cares? Give me a break. Haze me.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
      • retta

        I nevermade a reference to ANY color

        November 26, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
      • White Floridian

        Kudos to you too Retta. I was commenting on the article using black, not you. Thank you for seeing through this. This article is a joke, not your post.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  58. Rose

    First of all, this article is really poorly written. It was very segmented and didn't flow at all. Second, I found the strong emphasis on 'black' colleges to be incredibly awkward. Hazing happens regardless of race, I'm not sure why it matters that the drum major was black.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      I agree. No matter the colour, it is a wasted life and that is a terrible thing to lose.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • toad

      yeah..Catherine is probably white...the nerve of CNN posting an article that represents a black college in a poor light,

      November 26, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  59. White Floridian

    Why do we have a "Black" band to begin with?

    November 26, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  60. lovethedifferentcommentsystemsCNN

    i dont have a problem with this

    November 26, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  61. fcranews.com

    Wednesday, the Florida Civil Rights Association called for further action by asking the governor and FAMU Board of Trustees to fire Ammons, assistants to Dr. White and the entire leadership of the Marching 100 program.

    The organization said in a statement:

    The current administration within the University and in the Florida A&M Marching 100 has created a culture of corruption that tacitly approves of the persistent and deadly hazing that occures within the Marching 100 and Florida A&M University.

    FCRA likened the situation to the scandal with the coaching staff and administrators at Penn State University.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  62. Mike M

    Hello. Ignoring race is ignoring the fact that color DOES matter in society. You hippies who want to see everybody as divine beings are way too blind. African Americans DO have many issues in their community affected by the "majority." That's wh their race matters. As a white man who attended an HBCU, and played in a band, I do realize these situations are very real. As a freshman, I wasn't allowed to wear my school's colors until I "earned" that privilege. It was all in fun and love. Being able to wear my uniform meant so much to me and all of the band members felt like my brothers and sisters. No one physically harmed me, however. The schools aren't giving the OK to these hazing tactics. These are students, who are adults nonetheless. They are responsible for themselves and these schools shouldn't be blamed for students BREAKING THE LAW of the school and the state. My heart goes out to the marching 100 and the family who lost a son, brother, nephew etc.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Dub

      So he's a race traitor because he isn't scared to be around a majority of blacks, go to college, and have a good time? Wow. How ignorant is that?

      November 26, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  63. TK

    Very poorly written article CNN. How many times can you say the same things? I get it, the marching bands are prestigious. But, the point is this guy died by an alleged hazing. Hazing by whom? He threw up and died. What are the facts? You devote about two sentences to the real subject matter. Sorry Catherine, go back to school and learn how to write; you failed bigtime on this one.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  64. alice

    I don't see how "putting the bands under a microscope" will negatively impact recruiting and the performance.

    Do you seriously think that a kid WON'T go to FAMU because the band hazing is LESS vicious? Will the performances be duller because some kids WON'T get punched? Will the music be less innovative because the band directors will be responsible for creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and support?

    In other words, why is it assumed that coming down on hazing will make the programs or the bands worse? That's as weird an assumption as anything I can think of.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Cuervo Jones

      right. like the cops here who said they won't be able to do their job unless there is no redress if they beat the doo-doo out of some one not resisting

      November 26, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  65. Joeymom

    Why just bands in "black" colleges? Shouldn't this put all band practices under the microscope, at every college?

    November 26, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  66. WhiteInAmerica

    Damn proud of it!

    November 26, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  67. dc

    I do not like the references to 'black colleges'. I don't think the incident should/could make the future of potential students interested have a negative impact. Something happened whether it was hazing or not. If there is anything out of the norm for what happened then yes, someone needs to be held accountable, black or not and college associated or band or not. If it had nothing to do with hazing then this article is detrimental and almost accusatory in regards to black colleges. PRAY for the family of this person and for all who witnessed and/or was associated with this tragic incident, all of their lives will be forever changed.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      Thank you for those words of common sense. I too would hate to see a teen not attend a well respected university because of this. All universities suffer from kids making bad decisions. Instead of focusing on the negative, talk to you kids before the enroll and share with them the dangers that could happen but that it is their choice to get involved. Education is the key in all aspects of university life. Don't leave it to chance that your kids won't fall victim to what might happen. Some very fine things happen at almost ALL universities. Lets focus on that too please.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  68. Scott

    This article hardly merits front page (though the topic does). There is no information in there about what happened at all. It looks like a copy and paste of a human interest piece on the Marching 100, with one sentence in there about what happened. CNN, go get some information and write a real story about this.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      You're right; I have close to no idea what happened. A man threw up in a parking lot and died later? That's all I got out of it.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  69. Craig

    Isn't the real question: "How is a 26 year old still in college ?"

    November 26, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • dextermorganreturns

      You really that dumb? Do you honestly think EVERYONE goes to college at 18? What if he took some time off of school to travel the world and enrolled at age 23?

      November 26, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      I'm 30 and returned to college last year. What's wrong with that? Maybe he had to work f2 jobs to help support himself and his family, and didn't have the opportunity to go into college right out of high school. Also, I have classmates who were his age who have changed there major a couple times, or are going for their 3rd or 4th degree, maybe he is too. Think before you type anything next time Craig.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Justin

        Apparently Craig who I responded to deleted his post.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Joeymom

      I know a lot of folks who get started in college at 26. and 35. Hey, my alma mater graduated a lady in her 90s not long ago- she finally got to go to college at 90, so she went!

      November 26, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Bodo

      26 years old has nothing to do with it. I didn't start college until I was 27 and after serving in the USAF for eight years. Not everyone goes to college right out of high school. Now, if this guy had been in college since he graduated from high school, then I might wonder what's going on.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • newleaf73

      A man died. Did you see that part of the article? An education and pursuing of dreams is honorable at any age but that is likely something you are too ignorant to understand.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
      • joel

        I think he was wondering why a "26 year old" grown man allowed himself to be hazed. Maybe?

        November 26, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      That's just idiotic – I'm a 27 year old college student. It's called 6 years in the United States Marine Corp.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
      • joel

        Do you enjoy being hazed too?

        November 26, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  70. truth

    what will black band nerds do now!!!

    November 26, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Cam

      Go to regular, non HBCU colleges.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  71. Keylolo

    Not sure why this 1 incident would put all historically black marching programs under a microscope. FIrst of all they dont even know the cause of death yet, and hazing is nothing new to colleges period. You see stories like this all the time with white fraternities, all white fraternities dont automatically go under a microscope. Stupid article, not well thought out or investigated. Better article would have been to focus on the act of hazing itself instead of trying to single out black programs when it happens in MANY schools.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitchell Munden

      Come on CNN. Hazing happens in a great deal more than just black marching bands. Your throwing the light in the wrong place on this story.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • TOM

      I agree 100%. The article makes no sense. Hazing is a normal thing at all colleges. Not a very well thought out or investigated article. Sounds like somebody just wanted to write something to fill space and create a story using race as
      the bait.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Actually, I'm not sure that 'all white' fraternities are even permitted.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
      • AMG

        Back in the segregation/Cilvil Rights Era, blacks weren't allowed to join "white fraternities and sororities". Blacks had to start their own, and many of them still exist today. Greats such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks belonged to black fraternities and sororities, and it's an honor to be accepted into those respected groups.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • toad

      "hazing at white fraternities dosnt put them under the microcope"....what rock did you crawl out from under...and anyway whats your point? white folk do it so we can too?

      November 26, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  72. Kacey

    I suppose it doesn't matter to anyone that hazing happens regardless of color, especially in organizations like the marching band and fraternity/sorority. I don't really understand why they had to emphasize its occurrence at all-black schools when it's a problem everywhere.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  73. gcj

    How did the man die? What caused it? Hazing is a broad term. The reporter just mentions the man once or twice. The rest of the article is about how great the school is and means to people. Thought the real focus should be him.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Zack

      The real story is about him, this is just a side article explaining the relation between band and school. Most people might not realize that the band is just as popular if not more so then the football team.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Cuervo Jones

      how can they report the cause of death without the death certifcate/autopsy report? guessing is looked down on jounalistically and could result in a later slander/libel suit.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  74. Rozelle

    In light of the Penn State scandal, I think iconic programs connected with sports are coming under press scrutiny. The "black marching band" is an iconic program at FAMU. It's not whether the school is historically black or white. It's the iconic nature of the program that makes the news. CNN's writer should have made this clear.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  75. Jonathan Bowen

    I think the most tragic part of this story is that a twenty-six year old guy is still in college. And he's being hazed at twenty-six years old?!

    November 26, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Keylolo

      Good point, hes too old for that crap.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • LSD

      How is that tragic Jonathan Bowen? People of all ages attend college...**crickets** What's more, you must have read another version of this sorely-lacking article.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Bloganista

      Did it ever occur to you that maybe he didn't go to college right after high school? Or that he had to quit for a few years in order to work and save money in order to return? There are a lot of things that could have happened to either cause him to get a late start, or have to stop for awhile.

      While inquiring minds do naturally want to know, the truth is that his family doesn't owe anybody an explanation as to why he was "still" in college at 26 years old. Frankly, it's nobody's business, and his age doesn't lessen the tragedy of his death. So, stop judging.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  76. killmenow

    He got sick,puked, choked and died. That's hazing in Florida.
    Well, he got them publicity.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  77. DS

    A man is dead and we are worried about the impact on future marching band performances. I wouldn't put the band or for that matter after Penn State any college football in general under the microscope - I'd just throw the whole corrupt mess of college football and the bands in the trash where they belong. I suppose it is critical that our tax dollars continue to subsidize pedarastic coaches and murderous marching bands.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      concur

      November 26, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      Whole heartily agree. A life has been taken

      November 26, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  78. Rufus

    Why is 26-year-old in a college band? I can't wait for the media to blame this on Joe Paterno.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • HZ

      Some people take time off from school to work and pay off school loans as they go. In that case it takes more than 4 years to get a 4 year degree. Or he may have had a gap between High School and university.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • amanda

      because 26 year olds can be in college.

      November 26, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Cuervo Jones

      Dufus he is in college and joined the band. My son is in his first year of college at 27 after getting his time in the military to earn 48 months of education. what a snob

      November 26, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  79. Alyssa

    This is the least thorough and most disjointed article I have ever read from CNN.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Howie

      My thoughts exactly.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • FOne

      I agree, I came out of the article thinking....Huh?

      November 26, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  80. steeve-o

    Yeah, what's the deal by saying only black college marching bands have hazing incidents? Couldn't you focus on hazing in college sports in general?

    November 26, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • wabina

      the article never said only black college marching bands have hazing incidents.....

      November 26, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  81. Mick Woodhams

    I'm sick of the double standards. Repeated references to "Black Colleges". What would be the reaction if you spoke about "white" colleges? Enough already.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • michael

      ummm... there are no white colleges, that is illiegal.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Regina

        HMMM.... Sounds a bit uneducated. Do your research and see how many WHITE students attend HBCU's and then do your research on why HBCU's are Historical!

        November 26, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Keylolo

        Sure there are, its called Yale.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Laura

        Interesting that double standard, no?

        November 26, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
      • GoFaster58

        Exactly. It's legal to have black colleges, black clubs, black churches, black organizations, black holiday, black this, black that. But whites? That's illegal. We're fast becoming the minority. Now i know how the indians felt 'Scuse me, I mean red man. I sure wouldn't want to be politically incorrect.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
      • HZ

        White students do attend black schools, silly. They are historically black because they originated back when black people were FORCED to go to all black schools. Get a clue.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Dub

        No white colleges really? Back in 1887 when FAMU was founded try telling a black kid wanting to go to college, to simply TRY and walk into the administration building of UF, or UGA, or UT, or Alabama, Auburn, etc, etc. I could go on for days....he would have been beaten and killed on the spot. Bottom line is YES You DID and still do have WHITE COLLEGES for WHITE people only. Fast forward to 2011, white kids, asians, latinos...anyone can attend these Historically Black Colleges and Universities. They may choose not to because it's majority black, which might scare them. It's funny when the shoe is on other foot, you guys can't comprehend it.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • datruth82

      Black colleges had to be established when white colleges denied blacks their civil right to an education. So, most, if not all colleges, in the United States are historically 'white' colleges, except for HBCUs. If you don't like it, then be upset with your nation's history of segregation, not those who took the inhumanity of segregation and made opportunities for their community to excel beyond it.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
      • Regina

        Well said!

        November 26, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Keylolo

        THANK YOU!

        November 26, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
      • nigel

        that was THEN. You are talking about the PAST. Are you trying to keep the PAST alive then? Just curious here...are there white students in this band? Surely they don't discriminate on skin color, correct?

        November 26, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
      • Ryan

        Then explain BET to me. What would you say if I started a White Entertainment Television channel? Was the FCC segregating White and Black television in 1980 when BET was founded? Racisim still lives because of differences in "Historically Black Colleges" You are segregating yourself so you've got no one to blame but yourself. Get over it.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
      • guest

        Blah Blah Blah.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
      • Joe

        White students can go if they wish to. However, how many white students do you know apply to historically black colleges? It is not discrimination if they choose not to apply. There are quite a few people with European backgrounds who choose to go and get accepeted to Historically black colleges. There are also quite a few colleges that are known for a higher than average caucasian population. I think this is besides the point. Hazing is hazing is hazing. It is wrong. We need try our best to stop it everywhere. This comes from making strict rules in colleges Nation wide.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Whiteboy from Howard

        BET is owned and operated by caucasians. HBCUs do not discriminate based upon race, they're just proud of the history they come from in strengthening a community that was being oppressed, much the way of HB Fraternities and sororities at other schools. The reason it is okay for that and not for caucasians in the general public view is because of the history of oppression. The school doesn't claim to be fighting oppression currently, just proud of its roots in doing so. The article actually does a pretty good job of painting the importance of the band to the community and the further implications of such a terrible incident, and the NEWS article published the day of this incident addresses the actual story, while this is an opinion piece and a backstory to provide more insight into the culture for people who might not be as understanding of the importance of the band.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Dub

        Ryan, before BET white TV was called ABC, CBS, and NBC.....you can't possibly understand what's it's like to be a minority because you've always been in the majority. You've never been the only white kid in any situation or scenario. Until BET, television was catered TO and FOR a WHITE "Happy Days" world. The problem is that's not reality, this country is made up of people from all different cultures and backgrounds. By the way, you don't seem to have a problem with Telemundo or Univision.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
      • brandi

        @ryan, i'll explain BET. it was founded because MTV didn't want to put black perfomers in regular rotation on their station, that is other than tina turner, and donna summers. Up until 1983, the king of pop himself had a hard time appearing on MTV. That is why we have BLACK entertainment tv. I can defend the mess they air now, but...there you have it

        November 26, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
      • AMG

        THANK YOU!

        November 26, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
      • Bob

        Because nobody is responsible for anything because of slavery. This gets a certain people a free pass forever.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  82. Tom

    Why don’t all schools have a 0 hazing policies? It’s so stupid that young adults participate in any type of hazing. This young man died for what? Grow up people! I hope FAMU addresses the risk of hazing with a 0 tolerance policy!

    November 26, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • chris

      They do. Trust me...

      November 26, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • chester

      This young man was 26. 26 [eople that is a good 4 years older than most college seniors. He willingy participated in this debauchery. Really, is this grown ass man going to take crap from a bunch of young blerds? his own damn fault

      November 26, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
      • Courtey

        WOW!

        November 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Sean

    I'm not sure I get it; what does this have to do with being black? Hazing is hazing. Presumably if he was hazed, it was by his peers, thus it had nothing to do with his race but rather the notion that the older members of a group feel they should require the youngest members to "earn" their way in by doing something, typically stupid.

    I was in marching band and yes, the hazing mentality exists. It requires the band director's attention to let the band know it is not acceptable. But, again, this has nothing to do with being black and everything to do with being in a student group that feels it's ok to haze. This happens at every type of school everywhere. Yes it should be stopped, but it requires solid communication from staff and relentless attention to the members to see that no hazing occurs.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  84. Joel

    Pretty comical that it's "black school" this and "black school" that. CNN must get off on playing the race card at every turn. Fcing Liberals. It's a SCHOOL, just like any other SCHOOL.

    Sad story!

    November 26, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      ...what's even more sad is that you see this as a partisan issue. A kid dies, and all you can scream is "liberals!" Both juvenile and pathetic. Cheers.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
      • Joel

        Sensitive Liberal. Comprehension deficiency! Wish I could spell it out for you in person!

        November 26, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
      • Joel

        Think about all those deaths at the white, brown and yellow schools. It's a school where a kid died. Period! No need to point out that he was black, or attended a black school, unless your CNN.

        Get a grip, Ret

        November 26, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Zack

      Have you ever heard of HBCs before? Its not a CNN thing, its what they are called.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Or just let it go because it has nothing to do with the topic-at-hand. But you're too obsessed to ever do anything but scream. Poor you. Good luck.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Joel

        You click your mouse and then prance around in delight. "I told him"......LOL

        Cheers Sally

        November 26, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
      • David

        Uh, Ok? Good debate...

        November 26, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Yeah, they drop the term too often in this article, but mentioning it is pertinent only in that it's a basic aspect of reporting the "where" of the story. And maybe nobody ever refers to them as "white schools" because there aren't any all-white schools in America? At least, not by design. Just not sure why you're throwing such a tantrum about it. How is this article hurting you because of it?

      November 26, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  85. Corey

    Yes.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  86. Roscoe Bailey

    So what the he!! caused this kids death?? Maybe CNN could locate a reporter to investigate.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      CNN to busy typing "black school".

      November 26, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Corey

      hazing incident on the bus fool. he ran a gauntlet of fists on the band bus. pretty clever concept if you ask me.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  87. Kevin

    And let's quickly move next to the hazing that occurs much worse in black fraternities than in non-black fraternities. Alpha Kappa Psi, as an example, brands...yes, brands the Greek letters on the arms of its brothers. For a people who have suffered as slaves and don't want to be treated as animals, Black men and women need to rise up and insist that these traditions stop forever; no one should be or should be allowed to be branded like cattle or horses.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      We ALL need to rise up and insist that the terms "black", "white", "brown", etc. be banished from the language when referring to PEOPLE!

      November 26, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
      • Zack

        Its called a Historically Black College, its part of a conference of HBCUs. Not that hard to figure out.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • TD

      Kevin it sounds like you do not know anything about frat or sorer. Branding is voluntary. Branding was down on animals, but it was also done among tribes in west africa. Most frats and soror, although covered with an allegory of greek symbology, actually base their customs and symbology on African symbols and traditions. If brands should be illegal so should tattooing. Slaves have worn tattoos throughout human history

      November 26, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
      • TD

        Also kevin, there are more deaths, more injuries in White fraternities than black. More attention is drawn on black hazing because of schools and organizations scrutiny. Also because of the type of hazing. If you respond ill send you my research.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Ron

        Oh, so branding is optional. That makes it all better, then, right? What a stupid, foolish, inhumane thing to even consider, much less do, to a young person. Hacing, branding, excessive drinking–why, oh why, do otherwise intelligent people allow themselves to be subjected to crap like this? It baffled me the first time I saw hazing in action, and it still does. If anyone ever tried doing something like that to me, they'd be very, very sorry. Any organization that advocates or engages in hazing is not worth belonging to, and anyone who allows themselves to be subjected to such degradation is in need of mental help. The hell with fraternities, sororities, bands, football teams, etc.–surrendering your human dignity just to belong to some juvenile group is a silly, moronic thing to do, and one would hope that reasonable, thinking people would agree. Life is full of wonderful opportunities and things to do. Engaging in or allowing oneself to be subjected to hazing is not among them.

        November 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  88. tcp

    SERIOUSLY? I had never noticed that "black" people even get "their" own page on CNN until today. This is so utterly racist. And placing "black" marching bands under a microscope shows just how far we have come (about three miles BACK by my estimation). What a shame...

    November 26, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      tcp, You need to read CNN more often; it is the most pro-Black news organization that exists. Are you trying to race bait to shame CNN from covering this tragedy? Shame on you....you're the bigot.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      Kevin, I REFUSE to acknowledge "black" or "white" when referring to fellow human beings. If THAT makes me a racist bigot I must be living in bizarro world...

      November 26, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Zack

        That is just dumb, we shouldn't hide from our White or Black or Asian or Hispanic or w/e culture that makes us unique, embrace it, but don't judge others based on it.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
      • txrbt

        You can't win – one minute you're told not to notice skin color and the next you have to defer to skin color. You are going to get ripped no matter what you do.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  89. Chuck

    Sorry to hear about this tragic death. But I have to ask, aren't all black colleges racists? If there were all white colleges you know who would be putting up a fit.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      These universities get around that whole racist thing by calling themselves "Historically Black" and admitting a few token "whites"...it is a national shame if you ask me...

      November 26, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Just so you guys know, these colleges were originally established because black students were not allowed at white colleges at all. Go back and read your history before you come out with ignorant statements like that.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
      • Ryan

        And now it is time to desegregate.....oh wait I thought that had already been done............

        November 26, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Zack

      Anyone can choose to attend a HBCU, just that white people tend to not like being surrounded by a lot of black people so they don't go there. If it bothers you that much send your kid there.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
      • HZ

        LOL. Good point.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
      • Dub

        Exactly Zack, agree 100%...can you image what life was like for the first black kid attending UGA, or UT, or Alamba? Now since there is no segregation of discrimination, the HBCUs are supposed to just close down an erase over 100 years of tradition and pride? No way. I went to an HBCU and there were white kids there, not a lot, but the ones that attended enjoyed their college experience and received 4 year accredited college degrees....and guess what there were no daily protests over them attending and national guard didn't have to escort them to class. You clowns on here have completely forgotten the history of the 50's and 60's....sad.

        November 26, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • datruth82

      As stated above: black colleges had to be established when white colleges denied blacks their civil right to an education. So, most, if not all colleges, in the United States are historically 'white' colleges, except for HBCUs. If you don't like it, then be upset with your nation's history of segregation, not those who took the inhumanity of segregation and made opportunities for their community to excel beyond it. Everything in America is 'white' – it's always a struggle, if not, downright war, for any other race or ethnicity to gain acceptance.

      Again, if you're upset about blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, etc. having to make versions of things just for themselves, be upset at America for being this way. Don't be upset at the people who have to experience the racism, exclusion, and bigotry every day of their lives – and try to make a better opportunity for themselves.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Joel

        Pity party starts promptly at 3pm.

        Cry me a river.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Keylolo

        Joel, has nothing to do with pity. Facts are facts. Dont get mad at others because of the consequences due to the actions of your nation. Read a history book, open your point of view, stop being so biased. In other words, grow up.

        November 26, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • thrixdog

      Everytime there's a story about historically black colleges some white person makes a statement like this, so let me inform you. Historically black colleges came into being because there were virtually no white colleges that accepted black students, especially in the south. Some of these schools now have a significant population of white students drawn by the relative affordability of these schools, which is part of the reason for the word "historically" being added to their designation.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
      • toad

        "some of these colleges have a significant population of white students".....please tell me where i can verify that statement because i dont believe it

        November 26, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
      • Dub

        I'll agree with you that the population is not significant. But the bottom line is anyone can attend. The question you need to ask yourself is why don't more attend? You'll know the answer once you think about it. I'll even help you out...it's because whites are not comfortable in any environment where they are not the majority. It's the truth.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
      • TD

        Try the statistics for state schools because they have to do demographics. You can use my university for example NC Central University

        November 26, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
      • twindsu

        Being someone that works in the Financial Aid Office at a HBCU, I can tell you that there are a lot of whites that go to my school. We offer grants and scholarships to diversified groups to attend. Whites and other authenticities march in our band and are part of our band family. It's no big deal to us and we enjoy their comradeship.

        Please look on the website of any of the HBCU you choose and I'm sure you can see the ratio of whites and others that attend.

        November 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • cleareye1

        Do you mean ethnicities?

        November 26, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Steve M

    Does Penn state put White college coaches under the microscope?

    November 26, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Blue_Oasis

      Touche!

      November 26, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • wabina

      ...we aren't talking about the colleges putting them under the microscope...we are talking about cnn....who did put them under the microscope....where have you been?????

      November 26, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
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