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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet.......As Long As The Other Name Isn't "Chanequa"

This next story would be tragic if it didn't represent the cyclical enculturated standard that a generation of youth (irrespective of race but concentrated amongst the lower tier set) continue to uphold even if their lives and future prospects are lost in the process. I have caught quite a few barbs since this blog's creation for critiquing the penchant that some within underclass communities of color have for giving their children speculative ghettoized (and pseudo Afrocentric) names. Before there was a Barack Obama, Jr there was a Kenyan economist who bore the name since 1936. It is truly an authentic name of African origin. I mention this because some will try to make a false connection between a "Jayquan" and a "Barack." Of course someone can not wholeheartedly condemn someone for his or her name but suffice it say, I was not exactly shocked when a young Harlemite and prospective Harvard grad named Chanequa has been tied to a murder that allegedly took place on the famed Ivy League campus. Here we have a young lady that was given the opportunity to beat the odds and still (allegedly....I hope that I am found wrong on this matter) managed to mar her future because of an absolute refusal to dismantle her hood connections. But let's get into the specifics. Check out this excerpt from the NY Post for further edification:

A brilliant scholar from Brooklyn is being eyed as the possible link between a slain pot dealer and three men who killed him in her Harvard dorm last week, sources said.

Chanequa Campbell, 21, has been banned from the campus and told she won't be graduating with her class next month as authorities continue to investigate the murder of Justin Cosby, her lawyer said.

"I'm hurt and I'm confused," Campbell told The Post last night. "For me not to be graduating is frustrating.

"Harvard is doing this to me because I'm black, I'm poor and I'm from Brooklyn."

Investigators suspect Campbell used her swipe card to help Cosby -- who lived in Cambridge but did not attend the university -- gain access to the locked dorm to sell drugs on campus, the sources said.

But Campbell insisted she doesn't know Cosby.

"I've never seen him before," she said.

A second Harvard senior who has been questioned in the case, Brittany Smith, 22, will be allowed to graduate June 4 as planned.

Smith is the longtime girlfriend of accused killer Jabrai Jordan Copney, 20, a Harlem musician and son of a retired NYPD cop, who turned himself in on Thursday.

"This is incredibly hurtful to know it's only me that has been kicked off campus," Campbell said. "I'm feeling I'm being scapegoated and I can't defend myself."

She admitted to knowing Copney, but only through Smith.

Campbell, who suffers from the autoimmune disease lupus, is a sociology major and National Merit Scholar. She has won scholarships from Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola and The New York Times.

She was a star student at Brooklyn's Packer Collegiate Institute and is a member of the National Honor Society.

"I've been practicing law for almost 17 years and have rarely come across someone as highly educated and articulate as Chanequa," said her lawyer, Jeffrey Karp.

He said his client worked four jobs to pay for her education.

"Harvard is being cold and callous," the lawyer said. "What they have done to Chanequa is equivalent to having your house foreclosed and losing your job on the same day."

Karp said the school did not give a reason for barring Campbell from graduating, but he's still hopeful that something can be worked out to let her participate in the ceremony.

What do our readers have to say about this incident? Am I reading into this correctly? Or is this a matter of unfortunate circumstances that have very little to do with a (sub)cultural paradigm? But then again, I am not the only blogger brave enough (or is the operative word, "tired") to say what many others are thinking and feeling when these hood connection stories occur. Click on the link below to get the Nat Turner's Revenge entry pertaining to the Jennifer Hudson tragedy:

Jennifer Hudson: the hood closes in

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