by Dr. Boyce Watkins
Alexis Simpson, a student at Bowie State University, has been found not guilty after being charged with murdering her roommate, Dominique Frazier. Simpson said that she was just trying to defend herself when the incident took place.
“I had to defend myself. I was scared,” she said on the stand.
She said that she’d been getting bullied by Frazier and knew that she owned a knife. The night of the killing, the two got into a fight over music, leading the two women to confront one another. Simpson said that she pulled out a pocket knife and swung it, with Frazier being hit in the neck.
A friend of Simpson’s, Keaira Johnson, took the stand on behalf of her friend. She said that she saw the fight on the night it took place.
“Dominique hit her when the girl had the knife in her hand. I think it just happened. I don’t think the girl meant to cut her,” Johnson said.
Simpson says that the attack happened in self-defense.
The stabbing incident at Bowie State reminds me of a fight that one of my daughters had with her roommate. Like a lot of young women, they were fighting over clothes, iPods or some other meaningless material possession. My daughter called and gave me her version of events and I just listened. I then assessed the situation, asked if she was OK and helped her to formulate a strategy on how to deal with the problem (I let my kids solve their own problems, and I merely serve as an adviser).
I reminded my daughter that college is a place to learn and build your life. It’s not a place to fight or get arrested, and it’s certainly not a good place to die. I also reminded my daughter that when two black people get into a fight on campus, the authorities have no problem seeing BOTH of the students expelled and/or sent to jail. You must be strategic and intelligent when resolving disputes, and not just resort to “taking it back to the hood.”
When I hear this story about what happened at Bowie State, I get sad. You start with two promising young black women who could have gone on to do anything. Now, you’ve got one woman dead and another that could have spent the rest of her life in prison. The fact that this nonsense occurred over music is even more irritating.
The point is that when you send your kids to college, teach them to avoid confrontation and make smart decisions. If they are being bullied, they should tell the authorities, administrators or even the police. An institution of higher learning is no place for this kind of nonsense.