President Trump and VP Pence, met with dozens of presidents and chancellors of HBCU’s from around the country on Monday to discuss a possible executive order that will benefit the schools. The order is suppose to be signed Tuesday by Trump. We can assume the meeting was to discuss exactly how the Trump Administration could contribute to the work of HBCU’s.
Trump and his VP told the leaders that they admire the contribution of HBCU’s, how they transform lives through education and held lead our country to a more perfect union. The meeting itself was skeptic to many of the leaders in the black community.
“It is unprecedented,” said Johnny Taylor, president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which supports HBCUs. “It’s really, really bizarre, is the only thing I can say. It’s so counterintuitive you can’t make it up. People said, ‘What’s this about?” he continues, “‘Is it just a photo op? … Is this some sort of a planned effort to convert our campuses to support the Republican Party?’”
But looking back in history, Trump may just be following the lead of those before him. Every president since Jimmy Carter has lent a helping hand to HBCUs, signing executive orders.
The United Negro College Fund is asking Trump, in an executive order, to move the White House initiative on HBCUs from the hands of the Education Department and to the White House to be led by some “who reports to a senior adviser to the president.” They are also asking Trump to “commit to an aspirational goal that HBCUs be awarded five percent of total federal grant, internship and cooperative agreement funding; and 10 percent of total federal contract funding awarded to colleges and universities, which would nearly double federal support to HBCUs.”
The organization does not feel that equal opportunity learning is not yet being offered to minorities. Supporting their beliefs with the stats of “only 6% of African American children are graduating from high school college-ready, and only 22% of African American young adults have earned bachelor’s degrees.”
In order for Trump to show HBCUs he is here to help, he must put his money where his mouth is, even thought federal documents show that more than $320 million is spent by the government each year to help strengthen HBCUs.
So is this meeting a good thing? Bad thing? Photo Op? Does Trump really want to help?
Should the HBCU presidents be shunned for meeting with the president?