This past Tuesday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos decided to release a tone-deaf statement after she met with several presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs.
In a statement, DeVos said, “Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have done this since their founding. They started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education.
They saw that the system wasn’t working, that there was an absence of opportunity, so they took it upon themselves to provide the solution.
HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice.
They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality.
Their success has shown that more options help students flourish.”
After this ill-informed statement was released, social media reacted in a rightful uproar.
Besides being completely oblivious and insensitive towards exactly what HBCUs were created for, DeVos is just completely wrong. HBCUs were not formed as “A school of choice” they were created because African Americans were not even ALLOWED to attended Predominately White Institutions, or PWIs. Point blank period.
As the Secretary of Education, I would think that you would be a little bit more familiar with exactly the letters in HBCU stand for.
Also, I would expect for you to be knowledgeable with the arguably the most important secondary education that has given us some of the greatest African American minds who otherwise would have never had a chance to learn and achieve had not been for HBCUs.
To ignore the history of HBCUs is to completely ignore Black history as a whole. We have always been told,” If you don’t like the way we do it so much, how about you make your own?”, well we did and now you won’t acknowledge the importance it.
DeVos’s comments once again showed how ill-equipped and inept she is for her job title. I typically try not to publicly comment on politics, but this blatant ignorance of HBCU’s and their importance and impact I could not ignore. While I chose to not attend a HBCU, I understand their importance and their value that paved the way to what I am able to achieve today.
Civil Rights leaders, inventors and Supreme Court Justices were almost all educated and molded by HBCUs. Attending an HBCU can give you a unique look into our history and a sense of empowerment of where you came from that you may not experience at another institution that may be predominately white.
All I’m saying is, do better girl, my education is riding on it.