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).
Bethune-Cookman University in Florida has been swirling in controversy over the past week. After the initial announcement that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos would be delivering the commencement address, there was vocal disapproval from both current and former students. The tension came to a head during the actual ceremony when graduates turned their back to DeVos and students booed her as soon as she began to speak.
Despite all of this, Bethune-Cookman officials have maintained their position to support DeVos’ appearance. As a result, the Florida NAACP has called for President Eddie Jackson to resign from his post, according to a press release.
Graduating students at Bethune-Cookman University were as shocked as everyone else when it was announced Betsy DeVos would be speaking at their graduation. Probably more so. While many people expressed their disapproval of the school’s decision to invite her on social media and through online petitions, the graduates took the opportunity to do so in the flesh.
As DeVos attempted to preach to all in attendance to “hear each other out,” she was met with constant heckling and the turned backs of many of the graduates who clearly didn’t approve of her presence.
HBCUs already have a very complicated relationship with the Trump administration. And it’s only getting worse.
For many people, Upward Bound stepped in and helped them prepare for a future they may not have even imagined yet. Through tutoring, mentoring and many other activities, the program has helped students from low-income families prepare for and succeed in college and beyond.
Unfortunately, a focus on grammatical errors may be inhibiting the program from its important work.
HBCUs were started because there wasn’t anywhere else for Black students to enroll due to segregation and racism. This is a commonly known fact among the general public. Unfortunately, the new Secretary of Education, who’s often criticized for being unqualified, wasn’t aware of this.
It appears that all of President Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments are going to be confirmed, despite clear splits down party lines and issues with the preparedness for the jobs.
The latest example of just how divided the country is came as Betsy DeVos was voted in as the newest Secretary of Education, a position she’s sorely unqualified for with practically no experience with public schools.
By: Imani J. Jackson
“Make America Think Again,” several protestors’ signs read at a Jacksonville, Florida Sister March to the historic Women’s March on Washington. So far, 673 solidarity marches have been recorded and nearly five million people participated worldwide. The signs, a play on President Donald Trump’s co-opted Ronald Reagan catchphrase, and several Plural-led speeches against Trump’s lengthy “isms” history, reminded me that American anti-intellectualism breeds high human costs. I also remembered that teenagers of color care about and deserve to learn about the history, present and future of their nation.