Connect with us

Op-Ed

Is Obama Trying to Kill Black Colleges? (Part II)

Published

on

George E. Curry
By George E. Curry
NNPA Columnist

 

Few things irk me more than hearing someone say or imply that now that we have a Black president, perhaps the time has come to abolish Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). I have zero tolerance for such ignorance.

HBCUs are being held to a different standard than other universities that target certain communities. Because Jews and Catholics were refused admission or subjected to quotas at major universities, they established their own institutions. That’s why we have the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., the College of the Holly Cross in Worcester, Mass. and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. for Catholics.

Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. says on its website that it was “founded in 1948 by members of the American Jewish community.” Like HBCUS, these schools did not restrict enrollment to Catholics or Jews. HBCUs have always welcomed White students and faculty members on campus.

The belief that we should pay our respect, have a proper funeral and send our Black colleges off to a graveyard for relics simply because Barack Obama is president is preposterous. In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected president amid questions of whether America was ready to elect its first Catholic president.

JFK won but no one declared that it ushered in an era of post-religious bigotry. No one said, “Now that we have elected a Catholic as president, Notre Dame and Holly Cross have outlived their usefulness.” If universities established because of religious bigotry have not outlived their usefulness, why should HBCUs be put out to pasture?

There are 106 accredited HBCUs, 47 of them public. According the White House Initiative on HBCUs, Black colleges award more than 35,000 degrees each year. In Mississippi, HBCUs handed out 37 percent of the degrees awarded to African Americans in the state, followed by Louisiana (36 percent), North Carolina (34 percent), Arkansas (31 percent), Maryland (25 percent) Alabama and South Carolina (23 percent each), Tennessee (19 percent), Georgia (18 percent), Texas (13 percent) and Florida (9 percent).

As Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a speech last September, “Too many Americans are unfamiliar with the staggering accomplishments of HBCUs. Most of America’s civil rights giants were educated at HBCUs – Dr. King, W.E.B. DuBois, Rosa Parks, Booker T. Washington, and Thurgood Marshall.

“In our time, Jesse Jackson, Andy Young, Barbara Jordan, Congressman John Lewis, Marian Wright Edelman, and Doug Wilder all earned their degrees at HBCUs. Legendary artists and authors came out of HBCUs – Ralph Ellison, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison.

“Yet what is most impressive about the HBCU record is not just your famous alumni. It is that HBCUs, working with meager resources, almost single-handedly created an African-American professional class in the face of decades of Jim Crow discrimination.”

Duncan continued, “Even, more than a half-century after the demise of Jim Crow laws, HBCUs continue to have an outsized impact in educating Black professionals. We have over 7,000 institutions of higher education across the country, 106 of which are HBCUs. But in 2010, HBCUs still awarded a sixth of all bachelor degrees and professional degrees earned by African Americans in the U.S.”

At a time, when its projected that we won’t have enough college graduates to meet our future needs, it would be foolhardy to diminish a pool of institutions that have proven their value over the years.

While the Obama administration is saying the right things, HBCUs are approaching death by a thousand cuts.

Pell grants were reduced by Congress in 2011, making students eligible for 12 semesters instead of 18. That will hurt Black students who, on average, take longer to complete their undergraduate education.

Without consulting HBCUs, the Obama administration made changes in the Parent PLUS loans three years ago that made it more difficult for parents with less than stellar credit to obtain a loan. By some estimates, that change, which has since been modified, caused up to 20 percent drop in enrollment at HBCUs.

And now the proposal for the federal government to pay for the first two years of community college, a move that is certain to harm HBCUs. It would have been better to offer to pick up the tab for the first two years at any public university.

Some Black college presidents are reluctant to criticize the proposal publicly for fear of falling in disfavor with the White House. The head of some higher ed organization are carefully picking their words because they represent community colleges as well as HBCUs. And some people are hiding behind the time-worn excuse, “the devil is in the details.” In this case, the community college proposal represents the devil for the continued existence of HBCUs. And because we have our first Black president or have other conflict of interests, not too many people have the temerity to say it.

As one educator told me privately, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. must be rolling over in his grave.

Is Obama Trying to Kill Black Colleges? (Part I)

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge and George E. Curry Fan Page on Facebook.

###

Bay Area

Opinion: A Strange Tale of Two Political Fights: Sheng Thao and Donald Trump

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao must be wondering how can a convicted felon with 34 guilty verdicts be riding high, while she, an uncharged elected official, fights for her political life? That’s how strange politics is in America today.

Published

on

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao and Presidential Candidate Donald Trump.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao and Presidential Candidate Donald Trump.

By Emil Guillermo

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao must be wondering how can a convicted felon with 34 guilty verdicts be riding high, while she, an uncharged elected official, fights for her political life?

That’s how strange politics is in America today.

On the national stage, President Joe Biden made an historic ask of Americans this week. It’s summer, and everyone is a “low information” voter now. But for the sake of the country, and the future of democracy, it’s time to pay attention. Get nerdy now.

Biden is essentially tied with Trump, a newly convicted felon, which tells you how cockeyed political values are in America.

Instead of policy, Trump is all bluster talking about a pre-debate drug test because he’s sure Biden is going to be “jacked up” on some kind of performance enhancing drug.

That kind of thing gets attention. Not whether you’re going to things to improve people’s lives.

But rest assured, if Donald Trump is elected for a second time, the blueprint is already out. The Heritage Foundation’s plan calls for a “Department of Life,” and a theocratic-based world view where abortion is illegal, and minorities of all stripes are disempowered.

A vote for Trump represents a radical reformatting of democracy.

POLITICS IN OAKLAND

In the meantime, local Oakland politics is slightly different, but no less confounding.

Sheng Thao, 18 months into her tenure as the first Hmong American to be mayor of a major U.S. city, is recovering from the worst week in her life.

First, a group of Oakland citizens qualified enough signatures to hold a recall election of Thao. Then, on Wednesday, 15 people were shot at an unauthorized Juneteenth celebration in the city’s Lake Merritt area. The topper came Thursday, when the FBI executed a pre-dawn raid of a number of houses including Thao’s, all connected to a case reportedly involving improper campaign donations from Andy Duong, a Vietnamese American businessman whose company, CalWaste, won the contract to run the city’s recycling program. No arrests were made, just boxes and computers hauled from the various homes. Not a good look.

 

THAO: “I AM INNOCENT”

For five days, Thao was silent, but on Monday, she came out firing her best shot.

“I have done nothing wrong,” Thao said at a news conference. “I can tell you with confidence that this investigation is not about me. I have not been charged with a crime and I am confident that I will not be charged because I am innocent.”

Thao said she was seeking answers from the U.S. attorney as to why she wasn’t “offered the opportunity to cooperate voluntarily.”

Good question. Unless they thought she was hiding something.

Thao addressed the shootings last week first with care, then said she won’t be distracted from the real issues of Oakland. Like safety or the selling of the Oakland Coliseum to a Black-owned group.

But she went back to questioning the timing of last week.

“I want to know more about the handful of billionaires from San Francisco and Piedmont who are hell bent on running me out of office,” she said, questioning how the recall announcement and the raid seemed orchestrated with the media “to fan the flames and bend the facts to shape a narrative.”

Trump, the convicted felon, overcomes reality and is propelled by “friends” who see him as a winner. Thao was voted in through RCV, rank-choice-voting. She was the most people’s No. 2, not No. 1.

Maybe that’s why few allies are standing up behind her now. The Oakland NAACP, and even one Asian group is calling for her to resign.

For Thao, this will be the test if her story can overcome it all, again.

About the Author

Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. See him at www.amok.com

Continue Reading

Community

Opinion: What about Joe? Follow Kamala’s Lead

Big Dem donors and media are keeping alive a troubling narrative about last week’s debate: that Joe Biden isn’t fit to be president and should step aside. Biden may have had a lousy debate night, but for our democracy and for all people of color, he’s still the best possible choice.

Published

on

Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris
Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris

By Emil Guillermo

Big Dem donors and media are keeping alive a troubling narrative about last week’s debate: that Joe Biden isn’t fit to be president and should step aside.

Biden may have had a lousy debate night, but for our democracy and for all people of color, he’s still the best possible choice.

But now newspaper editorial boards, like the New York Times, have warned: For Dems to win, Joe must go.

What do they know? They aren’t doctors.

More irksome is that few are willing to say what should be obvious. If you replace Biden this late in the game, there should be no other person but his No. 2.

Oakland’s Kamala Harris.

They will mention Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom while too often overlooking Harris who was the best thing going for the Biden-Harris ticket on debate night.

When Biden was down, Harris had his back.

“What we saw tonight is the President making a very clear contrast with Donald Trump on all the issues that matter to the American people,” Harris said on CNN. “Yes, there was a slow start, but it was a strong finish. And what became very clear through the course of the night is that Joe Biden is fighting on behalf of the American people on substance, on policy, on performance. Joe Biden is extraordinarily strong.”

Harris also looked strong. She was filled with an appealing youthful political vigor.

It was everything Joe Biden wasn’t on debate night.

She acknowledged the rough parts, which included a moment where Biden seemed to lose his thoughts. Was he talking about Covid? Medicare?

Still compare that one senior moment with Trump, who showed off his strength as a functioning pathological liar.

No. 45 sounded louder with a clearer voice than No.46, but that doesn’t mean with all his lies and 34 guilty verdicts he deserves to be No. 47.

Undaunted, Biden said last Friday in North Carolina, he intends to stay in the race, pointing out he knows how to do the job and that unlike Trump, he knows how to tell the truth.

But the media continues to question whether Biden can do the job. A CBS poll found that only 27% of voters believe he has the mental health to be president.

If more negative polling data comes in, Biden may be forced to decide whether this is the time to bow out and retire from public life.

I’m keeping my eyes on Harris. Think Biden must go? Remember, Harris is on the ticket that’s raised millions of dollars to fight Trump.

With reproductive rights of women one of the strongest issues the Democrats have, leaning in on the first female African American/Asian American vice president, may be the Democrats’ best, if not only, answer.

About the Author

Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. He’s covered politics from Hawaii, California, to Washington, DC when he hosted NPR’s “All Things Considered.” See him on www.amok.com

Continue Reading

Commentary

Opinion: Will Verdicts Help Black Voters See the Truth?

The news of Trump’s historic 34 guilty verdicts are about a week old. Has it sunk in that the man who insists on being the Republican nominee for president is the former president known officially as CFDT34? If the name sounds like a dangerous radioactive isotope, it is — to our democracy.

Published

on

CFDT34 is my coinage of a new acronym that we all should adopt. It’s shorthand for “Convicted Felon Donald Trump,” with 34 being the number of criminal counts of guilt.
CFDT34 is my coinage of a new acronym that we all should adopt. It’s shorthand for “Convicted Felon Donald Trump,” with 34 being the number of criminal counts of guilt.

By Emil Guillermo

The news of Trump’s historic 34 guilty verdicts are about a week old.

Has it sunk in that the man who insists on being the Republican nominee for president is the former president known officially as CFDT34?  If the name sounds like a dangerous radioactive isotope, it is — to our democracy.

CFDT34 is my coinage of a new acronym that we all should adopt. It’s shorthand for “Convicted Felon Donald Trump,” with 34 being the number of criminal counts of guilt.

We need to say CFDT34 aloud as a constant reminder. Too many Americans are in denial. Or just lying.

Especially, CFDT34 himself.

Trump insists it’s all a “fascist” witch hunt, but the verdicts were based on an avalanche of evidence. The defense failed to refute the statements of the National Enquirer’s David Pecker who admitted his role in the Trump campaign to catch, then kill, stories that threatened Trump’s candidacy.

The defense didn’t even attempt to explain Hope Hicks, an ally who delivered the damning testimony that Trump knew about the arrangement to pay off Daniels. Hicks was in tears telling the truth. The defense never countered.

And then there were the checks and invoices and ledger entries, that spelled out the whole scheme. The payments were lies, called “lawyer fees” but they really were reimbursements to attorney Michael Cohen who had used his own money to pay off Daniels.

Minor stuff? Not when done with the intent to violate election law. The payoff was intended to influence the election and it became an illegal campaign contribution as well.

And the hero is New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the African American man who led the prosecution. Bragg got justice for all voters denied the truth in 2016.

Contrast Bragg with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla). the key African Americans lying for CFDT34.

Scott and Donalds lack the courage to honor the rule of law. Rigged case, they say.  Never should have been prosecuted. Where was the crime?

All of it baloney.

Prior to the historic verdicts, there was some historic polling.

Black voters were seen as abandoning Democrats, with Biden scoring just 70% of the vote. Four years ago, Biden was at 81%.

CNN called the pre-verdict polling the best results for the GOP among Black voters since Nixon.

The age breakdown is more telling. Black voters aged 50 and up were about 85% for Biden. Those who recalled civil rights battles were holding steady for Democrats.

Among Black voters under age 50, a new divide was revealed.  A reported average of polls showed young Blacks were 27% for Trump, with Biden at 64%.

Nearly a third of young Blacks were for Trump prior to the verdicts. But what would young Blacks think now? Would they back a person like Trump, a man who comes with racist baggage like the Central Park 5 saga, and is now a convicted felon?

I haven’t seen new data yet. But with Biden and Harris stepping up their attention on the Black community, talking about economics and pocketbook issues, I’d expect a turnaround when young Blacks hear the lies and the overall hypocrisy among the GOP.

About the Author

Emil Guillermo, an award-winning journalist, and commentator has covered race and politics in Hawaii, California, and Washington, DC. He has worked in newspapers, TV and on radio was host of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending

Copyright ©2021 Post News Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.