Last Tuesday President Trump signed an executive order to raise funding for the the Historically Black Colleges of the United States up to $25 billion. This a major victory for Civil Rights and a step in the right direction, as they say, for the entire nation. How can this be, however? Is President Trump not the racist animal we all perceive him to be? And by ‘all’ I mean maybe half the country, maybe just the Millennials, possibly more. Who knows? Well, it would seem, at the surface, that our new president may be keeping his promise to help all Americans and specifically black Americans here. It’s about time someone did.
Established in 1981, Ronald Reagan wrote-in the HBCU in his Executive Order 12320 which he authorized the Secretary of Education to supervise, keeping this matter within the very living room of Federal jurisdiction. However, reports of the HBCU’s success would only be collected biannually by the Secretary of Education and thus, the agnecy drifted away from the status of priority it once had. To further the descent of the order upon the pecking order of Federal important,
The HBCU was passed down to a mere department and has been more or less underfunded ever since. Even President Obama had only ever granted $4 billion to the HBCU over seven years.
When I brought this up with a colleague of mine, an avid Obama supporter, he argued that President Obama did not fund the HBCU as much because he would prefer the integration of white and black students alike and that raising the money would only sanctify segregation among universities.
Those good intentions of racial integration could have been achieved in other ways, apart from a lack of funding, as many of these historically black schools rely heavily on federal aid to function, at least, to par with the rest of the country. Which is more important, integration or education? Well, first off, those two should never be mutually exclusive, and secondly, higher funding or not the animosity and segregation of a national community comes down to each individual making a choice to oppose another person based on their skin color, not the federal aid of an underfunded non-profit agency.
Many supporters of both former president Obama and the HBCU have mixed feelings on the whole situation. With the left media screaming, “Trump’s a Racist!” and the President bulking the national budget for our black citizens to achieve, I would be too. Alas, we are a country of many ethnicities and few remember that in this day and age, you cannot ignore our diversity.
Whether a positive outcome is to sprout from the intended budget increase or not, the HBCU would definitely agree that the Obama Administration lacked in this area as released in their recent article.
The Obama administration was a disaster as it relates to black colleges, but this reality seems to thrive in the short memories of some supporters. John Wilson’s troubled tenure, along with President Obama’s bizarre relationship with HBCUs, shows that if indeed the Trump administration wanted to “play” HBCUs, it has plenty of lessons to learn from the Obama administration.
Like I said, this is but a step in the right direction if anything. Civil Rights have another victory under their belt. No one can speak for tomorrow, but today? Some might say it was a good day.