A week ago, Bethune-Cookman University, an HBCU located in Florida and named after Mary McLeod Bethune, announced that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos would be the school’s commencement speaker, and the news went over like a lead balloon.
DeVos, a leader in “school choice” with no qualifications for her position besides being a rich white woman who has a friendship with the president, goes together with HBCUs like peanut butter and sewage water. She once claimed that HBCUs were the real pioneers in school choice, totally ignoring that African Americans weren’t allowed to attend white colleges or universities and so, out of necessity, they created their own.
Nevertheless, DeVos showed up and was met by a raucous crowd shouting, “Go home,” and surrounded by a beautiful chorus of boos. Then the president of BCU, Edison Jackson, the one who wanted DeVos there despite petitions asking that she not speak, stopped DeVos’ speech and told the students that their degrees would be mailed to them if their disruptive behavior continued.