Community, I’ve made it my business to demand accountability from the leaders who represent our community. My goal has always been to shine a light on people and organizations so the public can see what’s really going on. It’s been about a year since I’ve written about one of my favorite universities, Texas Southern, so I thought I’d take a peek into third ward and see what’s happening. President Lane has hit the ground running. He put on a hell of a homecoming celebration for the alumnae and the community. He and the first lady looked like royalty in that classic Benz during the parade. Lord, I miss the Obamas. Enrollment is up and students are happy. But as they say on Scooby Doo, “the fun didn’t last for long.”
I’m told a group of “Rudley Renegades” are not happy with all of the changes made by the new administration over the last 10 months. Take a look at TSU for yourself and you will see the improvements. Almost everyone in leadership 12 months ago is gone. Some of them sponsored the culture of mismanagement during Dr. Rudley’s tenure. Now ya’ll know I don’t just rely on rumors, so I started digging. After all of my research here’s what I found. I was live streaming a board meeting on March 22 and saw a hint of dysfunction on the board. Regent Wesley Terrell made some really rude comments to Regent Mitchell. I got to hand it to Regent Mitchell, he handled the situation very professionally, which is not the way I would have responded. I would have torn Regent Terrell a new you know what. Regent Mitchell was elected Chair in 2015. By all who count, he has done a good job keeping the University on solid ground while they were looking for a new president. Some say he walks around campus with a shotgun like Wyatt Earp rooting out evil doers. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I did see him at the rodeo wearing a cowboy hat and some cowboy boots and we are in Texas! Either way, the facts are simple; the University has flourished under his leadership. So why are the Rudley Renegades so upset?
Based on talking to others and a review of the videos of the board meetings over the past year, here’s what I found. Let’s start with Regent Wesley Terrell. He’s from South Park. He has a great resume. He graduated from Yale undergrad and Columbia law. Based on that I would think he’d be a super lawyer by now. He did short stints at two large firms in Houston. Typically, the only reason you leave firms like those is if you can’t cut it. I’m just saying. Today he is an average lawyer with AT&T in Dallas, just above a legal assistant. Maybe that’s why Regent Terrell is so disrespectful to Regent Mitchell. I think the young folks call that “light weight hating.” Check out the video of the board meeting in March. Regent Terrell got issues. From what I’ve seen on the videos, he doesn’t seem to like Dr. Lane either. Why are you on the board? I’m watching you son.
Now on to Regent Marilyn Rose. Regent Rose works in the audit department at Harris County. The word on her is she’s only on the board to get handouts for herself, her kids and her husband, Lyndon Rose. Let me remind you about our friend Lyndon. Lyndon is the brutha who walks around town licking republicans’ boots. The man begs for favors more than the panhandlers on Westheimer. Ya’ll have heard of handkerchief head Negros, well, Lyndon is the posterchild. He was on the Board of Regents at UH and let me just put it this way, the staff was very uncomfortable with some of his request for freebies.
On to Regent Erik Salwin. Ten out of ten said the same thing about him, “He aint his daddy.” His daddy was appointed by Governor Perry. Unfortunately, he had some health challenges so he resigned from the board. I suppose part of the deal was his son, little E, had to replace him. Now daddy Salwin was the former general counsel at Dell Computers. He was a good board member, very engaged. He gave money to the University and he had a strong personality. After looking at the videos of Erik, I saw just the opposite. This guy seems as weak as that boy on Friday, who cried out “my grandmama gave me that chain.” He whines about everything and he’s such a do gooder. Everyone say it with me, “Mama’s Boy.” And I’m told he set Eva Pickens up to fail. Regent Mitchell did you take his chain or something? I almost died laughing when he told the sad story of Regent Mitchell not informing the board that someone had passed in his family. He’s mentioned it several times, so he’s clearly holding grudge.
I would talk about a few other board members, but some of their terms have expired and the others are like simple sheep looking for a shepherd, not worth the ink.
Enough about the board, let’s talk about the ultimate Rudely Renegader, Jodie Lynn Jiles. Jodie, that hit piece you put out was flat out wrong. I heard you tried to hide behind Sonny’s coattails and deny it, but everybody in town knows it was you. Why would you stoop so low and do other people’s evil deeds. Just spreading lies. You did the same thing to Sylvester Turner in 1991. Ya’ll put on your memory caps. The election for mayor was heating up. Sylvester was leading in the polls against Bob Lanier. Houston was on the cusp of electing its first African American mayor. Then all of a sudden, Jodie dropped a hit piece about Sylvester and the race was over. Sylvester lost by a slim margin in part due to Jody’s efforts. JJ why so much hate for folks who have potential to succeed? Is it because you got fired from RBC? Is it how you were raised? I know you don’t think you are better than the rest of us. I remember when you used to be the look-out at your daddy’s gambling shack. He paid the kids with chicken and soda pop. Bet you didn’t know I remembered that one. You and I are old now, our job is to counsel the youth, not do things to bring them down. You are no longer the gatekeeper to the white community. The young African American leaders these days have money and power and they don’t go around bowing down to white folks. Speaking of bowing, ya’ll got to forgive me but I have to tell this story. Me and the Mrs. were at a luncheon downtown. We were just within earshot of Jodie when we saw and heard something that sent chills through my spine and tore a hole in my sole. First, Jodie bowed down on one knee and kissed a white man’s hand. Then as if that wasn’t enough, he called him boss man and called the woman boss lady. Good gracious Father in heaven!!! I was so embarrassed for our entire race. Here we have a brutha supposed to be one of our community leaders, brown nosing like that. I firmly took my wife’s hand and we walked out. I still get angry when I think about that day. I think I should have sent Jodie a broom stick and some duct tape to help him stand upright…. acting like Stephen (played by Samuel L. Jackson) in Django! Don’t you just hear him singing, “in the sweet by and by.”
In conclusion, I go back to what I said before, our leaders have to be accountable to our community. Rudely Renegades, our community will all be watching you. Regent Mitchell and other board members we will be watching you too. I expect the board to work well with the administration to continue the transformation of Texas Southern. Dr. Lane, keep up the good work and for God sakes, don’t take no wooden nickels. Governor Abbott, if this type of stuff continues, I will be paying you a visit. If UT can get nine quality board members, so should Texas Southern.