It was “Joe Time” at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on Tuesday and audience members believe the popular television judge lived up to his billing.
Judge Joe Brown put his trademark “from-the-streets upbringing” and “tough-love approach” to work in delivering the keynote address at UAPB’s Men’s Day program in the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Center.
“I’m here because I’m alarmed with what is happening to manhood in our country,” said the 64-year-old Brown, a former Tennessee State Criminal Courts judge in Memphis.“There’s a severe drought in men.”
With the nationally-syndicated “Judge Joe Brown” show since 1998, Brown – who now divides his time between Memphis and Los Angeles – said manhood isn’t for the meek.
“Being a man is the hardest job on the planet,” he said. “It’s not about what you want, but what you ought to do.”
Brown said that today’s young males have been hampered by “too many puny ‘role models’” in society, including “primadonna” college and professional athletes, “uninformed” television journalists, “self-serving” politicians, homosexuals in the entertainment industry, and “misguided” single mothers.
He said a lot of athletes are obviously spoiled and act as if they desire to be “treated like flowers.” Brown said that what is presented as television news is too often “gossip column, tabloid entertainment, not news.”
He opined that many national elected officials have degraded into “simplistic bozos.”
Brown charged that the entertainment industry is overwhelmingly homosexual and the gay agenda is pushed within the business. And he bemoaned single mothers who treat their sons “too sweetly” or neglect them while failing to ready them for the responsibilities of manhood.
“Fathers need to teach their sons to be men,” he said. “Mothers can’t.”
“One of the obligations of a man is to raise up the next generation of boys to be men,” Brown said as several women in the audience cheered in agreement. “It’s time for our males to man up. Don’t act inept so some woman somewhere might want to take care of you.”
The judge warned that it’s a myth that women want a non-masculine man.
“You can’t let a woman run over you,” he said. “Women don’t really want a man who isn’t ready to act like a man.”
He added that a man should be sensitive to the needs and desires of a woman, but that’s inclusive of a woman’s want for a man who isn’t afraid to accept and act upon his obligations.
“Women don’t want you to be weak,” he said. “They want you to be strong.”
Brown stressed that education is a key to a man’s success.
“Why should you get a college education?” he asked. “So that you can be a leader. To get a higher education means you can lead, that many others won’t have the knowledge you have.
“Gangbangers and would-be thugs are really nothing but girls, not men,” he continued. “Boys with bling don’t have jobs because they think some woman somewhere will be silly enough to support them. It requires moral and physical courage to be a real man, and that’s why you need an education. People need your leadership. We have to have your leadership to turn things around.”
He noted that nearly 67 percent of those currently graduating from college are females, as are 64 percent of those completing graduate school.
“What the hell happened to the men?” he asked.
Brown asserted that manhood is not about skin color.
“You can’t blame other races for your problems,” he said. “It’s about all humanity. It’s about obligation, honor and integrity. It’s about being logical, reasonable, rational, well-informed and able to understand. When you bang-out, drug-out or drop-out, you’re essentially unemployable, and that leads you to jail or prison.
“Leadership starts in your own home, in your own neighborhood,” he concluded. “You can’t bow to a drug dealer, gang member or pimp. It’s a man’s job to keep a neighborhood safe. Your neighborhood will be hellish only if you allow it to be.”
Men’s Day was started at UAPB to honor men for their contributions to community, education and family according to Ralph Owens, chair of the event and associate Dean for Student Activities in the office of Student Involvement and Leadership.