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The HBCU As a Campaign Tool

Neither Bernie or Hillary has much of a depth of understanding about HBCUs. On the good side, HBCUs graduate a outsized number of black students in the STEM Fields. The bad news, is the bulk of those graduates actually only come from 3 schools. The worse news is that in all but the elite 3 HBCUs, the graduation rate is equal to or worse than that of even modest non-HBCU Schools.

If they really cared…or understood – what I think should be done is to finance the top 10 producing schools in terms of graduation rate. Give them the funding, grants, student of merchant loans to develop or expand curricula in the fields the country needs, and some mandates to reach certain goals such as graduation rate, acceptance to post-grad studies rates, and numbers enrolled in specific programs such as the STEM fields.

Governor Terry McAliffe of my state recently tried to attract high tech into the Norfolk area of the state by offering state incentives o Va Tech, Christopher Newport University, and UVa blindingly missing the fact that Norfolk is 53% minority, of which 42% is black, and one of the better HBCU’s with programs in the STEM Fields, Hampton University is located a stones throw away from the proposed new headquarters. And Hampton’s Engineering and Technology Department making Hampton is the first and only HBCU to have 100% control of a NASA Mission.

Would like to see something besides the usual smoke-and-mirrors here.

Misusing HBCUs as a Carrot for Black Voters

In a Democratic primary contest that hinges in part on black voters, the funding of historically black colleges and universities has become a major campaign issue. But, while both campaigns are talking about HBCUs, one is using them as a line of attack. Surrogates for Hillary Clinton have suggested that her higher-education plan is better for black students and HBCUs than that of her opponent Bernie Sanders. Not only are those surrogates wrong in their misuse of the schools, but they’re also wrong about the facts.

“By focusing exclusively on making public college free, Sanders’s plan wouldn’t spend a dime on private HBCUs and threatens roughly 50 percent of HBCUs that are not public,” said Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, in a statement issued by Clinton’s campaign weeks ago. Richmond continued in his criticism that Sanders’s higher-education plan leaves HBCUs “out in the cold.”

“As Senator Sanders promotes his HBCU tour, he owes it to the students to explain why half the HBCUs in the country aren’t worth any investment,” Richmond said.

James Clyburn, a Democratic Representative from South Carolina and a Clinton backer, doubled down on Richmond’s comments days before the South Carolina primary. “If you say that you’re going to have college—free two-year college—among public institutions, why would a student go to an HBCU? And most of which are private institutions,” Clyburn told NewsOne Now. “What will happen is these HBCUs will all close down all across America because they would not be able to afford to stay open.”

With both statements, Clyburn and Richmond leverage just how sacred HBCUs are to black voters while obscuring important context. HBCUs are indeed critical to the education of black students. Despite enrolling just 8 percent of black undergraduates, they award 15 percent of the bachelor’s degrees earned by black Americans. And as the congressmen suggest, HBCUs are grossly underfunded, operating on about an eighth of the average endowment of other institutions. The arguments made by the Clinton surrogates break down, however, with a close look at the composition of HBCUs and where they fit in the black education landscape.

There are an estimated 2,872,000 black students enrolled nationally at degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Of them, only 8 percent are enrolled at historically black colleges and universities. And of all the black students at HBCUs, only about a quarter are enrolled at private HBCUs. In all, a little more than 2 percent of all black college students are enrolled at private HBCUs. It is this small percentage of students that the Clinton surrogates have made the focus of their attacks on Sanders.

Then there are the details of both higher-education plans. Both Clinton and Sanders pledge to lower student-loan interest rates and allow those with existing debt to refinance their loans. That’s where the similarities end. The Sanders plan is marked by its proposal to make public colleges and universities free. In addition to that, Sanders proposes a dramatic increase to student aid, and the candidate recently stated his backing for a dedicated $30 billion fund to support private HBCUs and other “minority-serving institutions.”

The Clinton plan also has its distinctions. It proposes extending a popular higher-education tax credit, limiting student-loan repayment to just 10 percent of monthly income and increasing federal and state investment in public schools that serve low- and middle-income students. In addition, Clinton’s higher-education plan proposes that Pell grants be expanded to cover student living expenses. It also explicitly calls for a dedicated $25 billion fund to provide support to private nonprofit schools that serve low- and middle-income students.

While the Clinton plan creates and increases funding for which black students and HBCUs are eligible, it falls short of the kind of targeted investment the candidate’s surrogates suggest it has in their criticism of Sanders. And although the Sanders plan does not include institutional support for private HBCUs, it arguably does as much as Clinton’s to support their students while also proposing tuition-free education for the vast majority of black students—at public HBCUs (73 percent) and predominately white institutions (66 percent). To be sure, the private HBCU blind spot in Sanders’s higher-education plan is frustrating. Still, for black voters questioning the candidate’s commitment to black schools and higher education for black students more broadly, it’s worth considering the potential impact.

HBCUs have proven vital in educating black students and deserve the nation’s investment. They also warrant careful discussion. Painting HBCUs with broad strokes may make for an effective line of attack, but doing so obfuscates the multiple ways black students access education and the variety of support they require.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2016 in Democrat Primary

 

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The White Right Strikes Back

Just this week, we have had 3 towheaded troglodyte racists threaten to kill students at Mizzou, a threat to do the same to students at Howard University, a swastika painted onto Bowie State University’s, MLK Student Center, death threats against black students at Michigan Technological University

Obviously, the protests which caught fire at Mizzou, and are now spreading around the country have the bigot set worried. So worried in fact, that bigot in chief, Donald Trump has denounced the demonstrations

Trump said the  demonstrations are “disgusting,” especially after the resignation of “weak, ineffective” campus officials, whom he believes caved to the “crazy” student demands. “Trump should have been the chancellor of that university,” he said. “Believe me, there would have been no resignations.”

Carson told Fox News late Wednesday that “we’re being a little bit too tolerant, I guess you might say, accepting infantile behavior.” He added: “To say that I have the right to violate your civil rights because you’re offending me is un-American. It is unconstitutional,” referring to the communications professor who infamously requested “muscle” to block reporters from accessing protests.

And the right wing press is scurrying to find “dirt”

Breitbart –  VIDEO SHOWS UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI ACTIVIST JONATHAN BUTLER FALSIFIED KEY CLAIM AGAINST PRESIDENT

Faux News – Missouri assistant professor resigns from courtesy appointment after confrontation with journalist

WND, formerly WorldNet Daily – 1ST AMENDMENT UNDER FIRE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI PROTESTERS THREATEN MEDIA

“Black Mob Violence”Colin Flaherty who also frequents WND

Faux News Megan Kelly on “Hate Speech” – That shouting racial perjoratives (and death threats) is …Free Speech.

Let’s look at what these folks are enabling –

For the fourth time this week, a racist threatened to massacre black college students — this time in Michigan

Another person has been arrested for making racist threats against black college students — this time in Michigan.

Police said they took a suspect into custody Thursday afternoon in connection with an anonymous threat posted on social media directed at students at Michigan Technological University, reported The Detroit News.

The university’s Department of Public Safety and Police Services spotted a message posted about noon Thursday on the Yik Yak social media platform and increased security on the Houghton campus.

The person who made the threat vowed he or she was “going to kill all black people,” authorities said.

Police immediately launched an investigation and alerted students of the threat by email.

No information was released about the suspect who was taken into custody several hours later.

The threat is at least the fourth made against black college students this week, after protests over campus racism at the University of Missouri ousted the university president.

Three Missouri men have been arrested and charged with terrorist threats, and authorities are investigating a racist threat made Wednesday against students at the historically black Howard University.

The threats follow two separate strings of suspicious fires earlier this year at mostly black churches in the southeast and then in the St. Louis area, following the shooting deaths of nine black worshipers at a historic black church in South Carolina by a white supremacist and the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson.

Michigan Tech is a research university located in the Upper Peninsula, and only about 1.3 percent of the school’s nearly 7,000 students are black, according to Forbes.

“It’s important to remember that we are a community and will not tolerate threats to any member of our family,” said Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz. “It’s time we watch out for one another.”

Yik Yak, an anonymous, geographically oriented social media network, has grown popular as a message board for college students — but the company turns over user information without a subpoena, court order or search warrant during investigations of violence or threats.

 

 

 

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