Founder’s Day 2006

i received the following email yesterday from Brother Todd le Bon. it had a distribution list which included former and current regional/national officers, including Bro. Greville French (Eastern Regional Director), Bro. Brandon Wallace (International 2nd Vice President), and Bro. Paul Griffin (32nd International President). it’s an eye-opening, honest look at the current state of our organization.

My Brothers,

Today should be a day of celebration for 92 years of “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”. A day to champion the wonderful work the international organization of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. has done over the past year. To reflect on the strides made over close to 100 years of hard work and monumental contributions to those communities we promised to serve back in 1914. Don’t believe the hype.

When it gets down to it, we have nothing to rejoice about this year, or for the past few decades. The Fraternity is crippled by those wanting titles to feel important and feed their egos. They are willing to sacrifice the principles of this Fraternity to reach their personal goals. The cancer existing within Sigma has continued to grow and tear down that which our beloved Founders, and a host of others, have built. The Sigma once standing on a solid foundation and making a difference against astronomical odds is dead. In its place is a mess of an organization on shaky ground and not far from total destruction.

We have totally abandoned the communities we were founded to SERVE. They once depended on Sigma to reach back and share the knowledge obtained on college campuses across this country and abroad. Today we have become an elitist, irrelevant organization without a clue. We continue to throw money away trying to hold elaborate conferences in expensive venues beyond our means. The money we drop in these locations does not go back into the communities we should serve. Where is the economic wisdom in that? We gather every two years in a city for a week and nobody even knows we are there. While there we do nothing for our communities and contribute nothing to their well being. However, we do drop a mint on the hotels, restaurants and other venues we frequent. These conferences should be used as a means to impact the community in a major way during our presence, and to continue that effort after we depart.

Our elected officers, and many of our members for that matter, are clueless as to the role they play within Sigma. We do not need them to function as an organization. They are not there to dictate our course of action, but to act on the wishes of the Body, or the Conclave. However, we have allowed them to destroy the Fraternity with their ill advised decisions and their personal agendas. Elected officers are not and were never intended to be our leaders, they are our representatives. They are elected to serve us as we serve the community.

Elected officers have come to believe they are “more important” than the general membership. We have too many former elected officers that continue to influence the weak minded brothers into fulfilling their personal agendas. It is time for the membership to stand up and tell them to sit down. You have done enough harm to Sigma and it is time to set things right.

The lack of the true meaning of BROTHERHOOD has been lost by many over the years. The way our own brothers are treated by this Fraternity is deplorable. One of the major reasons for the low financial numbers we have, year in and year out, is the way we continue to disrespect our own. How do expect a brother to come back to the fold when you treat him like an outcast if he is; a) not in the right clique, b) voting for your guy, c) kissing the right. . ., d) does not belong to the correct chapter or club, e) not financial, etc.? The butt kissing and deal making has done nothing for Sigma but destroy its spirit from within. The groups and clubs they continue to create to isolate brothers in nothing more than another cancer within Sigma. If you continue to keep those non-financial brothers out of the loop how do you expect them to want to return to Sigma?

Some will read this and see my views as negative and unproductive. They are part of the problem. Others will see it for what it is, the truth.

The next time we will be able to really celebrate and enjoy a Founder’s Day is when we rid Sigma of the dead weight. The day when we can say Sigma reborn in the image our Founders envisioned. Hopefully 2006 will be the spring board to that day. We will once again rise from the ashes like a phoenix.

To our BELOVED FOUNDERS: “We salute you on this day, and every day, for your vision. Without your LOVE, COMMITMENT and COURAGE we would not be celebrating this day. We will work hard to see Sigma through these rough days and return her to your vision. We apologize for those who have chosen to distort your vision for personal gain. We will work diligently to derail their efforts.”

To my Frat. Brothers: “Happy Founder’s Day! I appreciate the LOVE and well wishes on this day. Continue to work in the trenches for a better Sigma we can take to new heights. I will support your effort in full as we move forward to rid Sigma of its many cancers. It is time to recruit those who share the vision of our beloved Founders as we move forward. Continue your work on the local level as we correct the ills of the past.”

To the Community: “We apologize for our neglect over the last few decades as we have strayed off course. We will soon return to our roots and proudly serve you as Sigma once did.”

To all you sigmas: “Whatever. . .! There are too may of you feeding on the Fraternity like parasites, but your days are numbered”

* (Notice the distinction between sigmas and Frat. Brother. We have many sigmas around the world, but to be called Frat you must earn it through your actions. Titles, cliques and club memberships mean nothing here.)

Carry on for SIGMA, until we meet again. . .
W. F. Vincent 1917

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