Saturday, May 13, 2017

Did DeVos bring a check with her to the speaker's podium? For the school, that is.

How did she ever come to speak after playing politics with African American lives. The students are correct and I strongly object to any coercion to stop them from protesting.

May 13, 2017
By Anya Kamenetz

...Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' (click here) first commencement address since taking office was interrupted by persistent boos when she addressed graduates at a private, Christian, historically black university in Florida. About half the graduates turned their backs on the secretary in protest. At one point the school's president, Edison O. Jackson, warned students he'd mail them their diplomas if the jeering continued. That led to only a brief pause.

DeVos has made missteps when it comes to historically black colleges, as we reported:

"Earlier this year, DeVos called HBCUs 'real pioneers when it comes to school choice,' a remark she was forced to walk back after protests; in fact, these colleges were founded as the only option for students when other colleges were still legally segregated. Just this week, DeVos found herself clarifying comments by President Trump that seemed to suggest that a key form of funding for HBCUs might be unconstitutional."...   

I didn't check this reference well, but, it seems to have the correct focus. It is called racism.

The First HBCUs (click here) 

Before the Civil War, higher education for African American students was virtually nonexistent. The few who did receive schooling, such as Fredrick Douglass, often studied in informal and sometimes hostile settings. Some were forced to teach themselves entirely. Some schools for elementary and secondary training existed, such as the Institute for Colored Youth, a school started in the early 1830s by a group of Philadelphia Quakers. A college education was also available to a limited number of students at schools like Oberlin College in Ohio and Berea College in Kentucky....

Additionally, Ms. DeVos must not have heard of Brown v. Board of Education (click here). See, the African American population was never sincerely embraced by many Whites, primarily in the South. Separate but equal. Thurgood Marshall.

The African American community has a proud heritage of valuing education and having scholars, but, it wasn't because of a choice to exclude Caucasians from their schools as the focus. These weren't charter schools to experiment with segregation.

Ms. DeVos needs to apologize to the African American community and grow a little humility in her obvious racism included in her politics.