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Betsy DeVos Says HBCUs are Pioneers of School Choice. She Is A Fucking Idiot. You Know This. But Still.

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

You know how you know somebody is batshit crazy based on what you already know or what they’ve been convicted of, but then they level up, just to prove it to you? Betsy DeVos just did that. Nothing about this woman screams “let her lead the children to the promised land” but yet and still here we are. And since she’s here, she’s like, “hey, fuck it, let’s go ahead and rewrite history and talk about HBCUs, you know, since we have an extra 13 minutes…yo, dictator…dictate this…”


From the Department of Education website:

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released the following statement after meeting with presidents and chancellors of Historically Black Colleges and Universities at the White House:

A key priority for this administration is to help develop opportunities for communities that are often the most underserved. Rather than focus solely on funding, we must be willing to make the tangible, structural reforms that will allow students to reach their full potential.

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.

Their counsel and guidance will be crucial in addressing the current inequities we face in education. I look forward to working with the White House to elevate the role of HBCUs in this administration and to solve the problems we face in education today.


Oh, for fuck’s sake.

I don’t even know where to start. Even by Trumpian standards, this is some next level shit. To discuss the founding and inception of HBCU’s without mentioning segregation…I mean, I’m speechless. It’s why I’m writing this; I literally can’t speak. To imply that HBCUs started because a bunch of Black students were basically waiting on schools to take them off the waitlist is fucking unconscionable. And I’ve never used that word before. I’ve never been in a position to use it before. So black students were all chillin, refreshing their computers for acceptance letters all the live long day, and somebody was like…yo…let’s just start our own schools. There’s too many of us and not enough schools to educate us, equally, silly. It had noooooothing to do with the fact that white schools really weren’t fucking with The Blacks like that at all. For like, for real. Nope.


School choice? Really? School choice implies OPTIONS. HBCUs weren’t filled with a bunch of students who made the choice we can make today of Harvard versus Howard. Nawl. My God what an irresponsible statement. Pioneers? They were pioneers in education for Blacks, but in school choice????? We ain’t have any options, b. It was pretty much read and die. Education? Folks died for less. Black schools were borne out of necessity and included (largely) white folks who had money and probably felt like, sure, give them their own schools, THAT WAY we don’t all have to go to school together. They decided that while a white education was probably not in the cards, educating Black students might not be so bad, too. So, many HBCUs grew out of this desire to keep shit “separate, but equal” though that term wouldn’t even exist formally until well after many HBCUs were established. And even then, that doctrine is rooted in racism because equality means equal access to resources, and we all know access to resources has never been high on America’s list of priorities for minorities.


But how is that even choice as its being described, anyway? Comparing HBCUs to the current school choice political environment is about as idiotic as one can get. The CURRENT battle is rooted in what provision of an entitlement to K-12 education looks like. Meanwhile, back in slavery days and even AFTER the Civil War, it was you either don’t go to college or you go to an HBCU. Sure, some Black people managed to attend and graduate from some of the upper echelon schools. But if you’ll recall from the Book of The South, large scale integration in the public sphere only happened, by law/force, in the 1950s. There are reasons why we know the names of individuals who attempted to integrate PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES, like James Meredith. That’s not exercising options, it’s availing yourself of the only option you have. We’re comparing apples and Black power fists, here. HOW IT HAPPEN? WHY IT HAPPEN?

I’m actually dumbfounded that she’s using HBCU’s as a justification for school choice in America’s public K-12 education. Dumb. Founded.


I have to give a handclap to Mrs. DeVos for teaching us not to underestimate the shear insanity of white folks who are out here whitefolkin’. Also, you know for a FACT that there were no Black people involved in the creation of that press release because even the MOST conservative Black cat on the planet would have to raise a flag on that statement.

I hope.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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School choice, is me choosing to attend one of the best HBCUs in the land, when my housing at the PWI I was attending was "lost", but the check was cashed.

I was one of those kids who thought that going to a PWI would serve me well post college. I look at everyone, who attended those "top tier" universities doing average. I am like where ya connections bruh?. I can state that CHOOSING to attend an HBCU was the best decision I ever made. And has served me well post graduation.

And I would do it again.