Out of all of the members of the Trump administration’s leadership, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos may be the closest to the top of black people’s sh*t list outside of Agent Orange and Attorney General Keebler. A large part of this goes back to her ill-advised comments in reference historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
DeVos’ main misstep was claiming that HBCU’s were created to give black people options for their education, when the reality is they were created because there were no other options at the time. Then, for some reasons I’ll never understand, she got the opportunity to deliver the commencement at an HBCU graduation ceremony and was almost booed off the stage.
Now, DeVos wishes that she would’ve done more to denounce racism and its role in the United State’s education system.
“My intention was to say they were pioneering on behalf of students that didn’t have another choice. This was their only choice,” DeVos told the Associated Press. “At the same time I should have decried much more forcefully the ravages of racism in this country.”
She continued to explain her thinking when she made her inaccurate claim about HBCUs and attempted to reference her past work as an example of how she’s always worked for students of color. This is despite what many of us may think of the Republican billionaire who was criticized for being severely under-qualified for her position.
“At the time she made the comments about school choice, I am certain she was trying to promote her school choice agenda,” Marybeth Gasman, a professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania, said in an e-mail. “I am glad she realizes the comments were offensive. That’s important.”