CABINET/EDUCATION/PROTESTS/TRUMP PEOPLE/BETSY DEVOS: “A week after President Donald Trump suggested his administration might cut $25 million in capital funding to historically black colleges and universities, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told Bethune-Cookman University’s class of 2017 that she ‘is fully committed to your success’ — a line that was met by deafening boos from the students and guests.
DeVos’s commencement address for the Daytona Beach, Florida, school underlined the complicated relationship between the Trump administration and HBCUs, which educate roughly one in five black undergraduates. Her speech, in which she urged students to ’embrace serving others with grace,’ was repeatedly interrupted by loud booing; at one point, students turned their backs on the secretary. Omarosa Manigault, the former star of ‘The Apprentice’ who has become Trump’s ambassador to black communities, was also jeered.
After last week’s threat of a funding cut, both the White House and DeVos issued statements reaffirming their commitment to HBCUs, and the school defended its choice by noting that it receives $4 million from the Education Department. In announcing DeVos as commencement speaker last week, the school compared her to its founder, civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune, saying that DeVos’s ‘mission to empower parents and students resonates with the history and legacy of Dr. Bethune.’
Students appeared to reject the comparison, booing loudly every time DeVos referenced Bethune, which awarded her an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Thousands of people around the country had signed a petition asking the school to rescind its invitation, calling it an ‘insult’ to the graduating class. Dozens of protesters stood outside the off-campus graduation venue holding placards reading ‘Grads Yes, DeVos No.’ “

-Laura Colby, “DeVos Booed Loudly by Graduates at Historically Black College,” Bloomberg, May 10, 2017 11:35am