Boyce Watkins Defends Mentee Gavin long
Boyce Watkins, PhD. in finance and Director of the Black Wealth Boot Camp, took to YouTube to defend his mentorship of Gavin Long. On Sunday, July 17, 2016, Long is alleged to have ambushed several Baton Rouge Police Officers, killing three and seriously injuring another one.
Initial news reports indicated that Gavin Long was a follower of several Black Nationalists groups. The logical conclusion of this report was that Gavin Long was radicalized by Black Nationalists, which led to the assassination of Baton Rouge Police Officers.
News reports displayed a picture of Long wearing traditional African garb and not a photograph of him wearing the military uniform he recently wore during a tour of duty in Iraq, where he protected his country from foreign terrorists.
When I saw this report, I was curious to know who these Black Nationalist groups were and where were they located. Surely, if in fact, such groups existed, I would know of their existence. I was baffled until I realized that the obligatory FBI background sweep done on shooters in these types of situations turned up Long’s reading list of progressive Black empowerment literature and his online visits to websites of national Black leaders like Louis Farrakhan and self-described “people’s philosopher,” Dr. Boyce Watkins.
Dr. Watkins, was called by the New York Times and CNN to explain how he came to radicalize Gavin long.
Watkins took exception to somehow being called a Black Separatist because he teaches a course that encourages young Black people to start businesses and to use their wealth to build up Black communities in this country. I applaud his righteous indignation!
The irony in the position Watkins finds himself is that Watkins is known to find untenable the explanation of brothers who are being beaten up by the system, like Bill Cosby and Tiger Wood, along with an assortment of other athletes and entertainers.
A year ago, I responded to one of his posts where he questioned the plausibility of some brother’s (I can’t remember who) position and where he suggested that it was not the system that caused the problem; it was the brother’s own behavior.
I retorted to his post: “You don’t really think that Marcus Garvey was a crook do you? If you are successful in developing real economic independence in the Black community, and the system comes after you, do you think the system will laud you for teaching Black people how to achieve economic independence? Or will your Wealth School be another get rich quick scheme by a brother taking advantage of another brother? What will you have me believe when they come after you?
Sadly, we are about to find out.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.