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Betsy DeVos Just ENRAGED Many Advocates With Her Comments About Historically Black Colleges

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Betsy DeVos Just ENRAGED Many Advocates With Her Comments About Historically Black Colleges

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a statement on Monday that has many advocates for historically black colleges infuriated. The statement came while multiple leaders of black colleges were meeting in the White House looking for help from Republican Congressional leaders.

Devon stated that, “[r]ather than focus solely on funding, we must be willing to make the tangible, structural reforms that will allow students to reach their full potential.” And she notes that black colleges were created when “there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education.”

But what angered Historically Black Colleges & University(HBCU) advocates is that DeVos said black colleges is an issue of choice.

“HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” she said. “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.”

This statement by DeVos is certainly untrue as many supporters of black colleges noted that the institutions were founded because black students had, in many respects, no choice. The states created historically black colleges to meet “separate but equal” requirements, although they didn’t take the “equal” part seriously.

Historically black colleges were created with a percentage of the budget that was used for white colleges. Even educators there constantly decried the lack of resources (and many maintain that continues to this day).

People took to Twitter and slammed DeVos for her statement:

HBCU-tweets

Another person who took notice of DeVos’ statement was Marybeth Gasman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has written numerous books about the history of black colleges and who is director of the Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions.

She took to Facebook to express her anger:

“Take a look at this ahistorical and inaccurate depiction of HBCUs by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. See how HBCUs and their creation are described — ‘they saw that the system wasn’t working.’ I’m talking to the media about this right now.

And then folks are wondering why I don’t advocate for kowtowing with Trump and his White Supremacist friends. They are trying to pretend that a vast system of oppression, slavery, Jim Crow, and discrimination never existed. And then using HBCUs to promote their school choice agenda … give me a break. Stop falling for the okie doke people! You can’t negotiate with White supremacists for Black rights and opportunities. #WhitewashingHBCUhistory”

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