INSIDE THE HOUSE
Celebrating Our A HOUSE UNITED Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ‘79 , President, Morehouse College Excerpts from Opening Convocation Address, September 15, 2016 AS WE BEGIN THIS 149th academic year in the life of this great institution, and in my fourth year as president, I want you to know how excited we are about our great potential. Our vision for this place is drawn from what our forefathers envisioned for it. …And now, we honor all of them by pursuing a new kind of wholeness. We are after the kind of character and capital preeminence that will make Morehouse “the world of our dreams!”
On Character Preeminence …You all know about the 65-second controversy. Just before the San Francisco 49ers started their [first] preseason game, Colin Kaepernick sat down. I call it the 65-second controversy, because that is the average time it takes to sing our national anthem. You all know that, based in part on this past summer of strife, Colin Kaepernick decided to sit down for those 65 seconds. What he did provoked an outcry – he was called unpatriotic! Disgraceful! Dishonorable! You heard it. Many were confused by it. And even when President Obama weighed in, saying it is Kaepernick’s constitutional right to sit during the anthem, many folks stayed confused, insulted or outraged. In fact, folk seemed far more outraged by what Kaepernick did than by the outrageous injustices that provoked him to do what he did in the first place! Was that a Morehouse thing to do? You know, I don’t think what he did is that complicated. Really. …Colin Kaepernick sat for those 65 seconds to make a wordless statement! …As a matter of fact, let me tell you about a Morehouse way to spend those 65 seconds. Line up four Morehouse Men for those 65 seconds of the NEXT anthem and do this: ONE will sit, because we have sat-in and struggled for justice in this country; ONE will take a knee, because we have prayed for this country; ONE will stand with hand on heart, because we have loved this country; And ONE will stand in a military salute, because we have defended this country!
6 WINTER 2017