Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos Backtracks On Remarks About HBCUs Being ‘Pioneers’ Of ‘School Choice’

by Zahara Hill, August 9, 2017

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Betsy DeVos

Backtracking seems to be a crucial component of company culture in the Trump White House.

In late February, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos attended a really strange and awkward meeting with HBCU administrators. Following the gathering, DeVos made one of her signature ignorant remarks when she said HBCUs were “real pioneers when it comes to school choice.”

Yep, that comment.

Someone must have tried to correct DeVos’ understanding of race relations in the U.S. because she’s now retracted the statement.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the grossly under-qualified secretary sounded slightly more enlightened than she did six months ago.

“When I talked about it being a pioneer in choice it was because I acknowledge that racism was rampant and there were no choices,” DeVos told AP. “These HBCUs provided choices for black students that they didn’t have.”

DeVos also pointed out she “should have decried much more forcefully the ravages of racism in this country.”

But of course she knew what she’d been talking about all along. She did then claim she’s been dedicated to minority children.

“That’s where my heart has been for three decades is to really empower and allow all families the same kind of opportunities I’ve had for my kids,” she told the outlet.

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But her alleged thirty year devotion to little black and brown children didn’t save her from a barrage of boos during her commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University in May.

The HBCU made a contested decision when they selected DeVos as the commencement speaker for their 2017 graduation ceremony. The university even threatened to withhold diplomas from the students for vocalizing their indignation during the event.

But DeVos was tight-lipped when asked about whether race should be a factor in the college admissions process. Last week, reports began circulating about the Trump administration’s investigation into affirmative action.

“Well, they are looking at that, that is a factor today,” DeVos said of colleges and universities. “I am not going to debate that, I am not going to discuss that.”

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