Cummings Statement on President Trump’s HBCU Executive Order

February 28, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 28, 2017)— Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) issued the following statement after President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Historically Black Colleges and Universities: 
“As a proud Howard University graduate, a member of Morgan State University’s Board of Regents and father of two Howard alumni, I know the vital role Historically Black Colleges and Universities play in preparing young people to become leaders in their communities.  I also know that HBCUs need more than empty rhetoric and photo-ops.
“While President Trump was posing for photos, his Secretary of Education was appropriating the rich history of these institutions to forward her crusade against public schools.  She called them ‘pioneers when it comes to school choice,’ ignoring the fact that for most of this nation’s history, HBCUs were the only choice for African Americans.
“HBCUs were created because racist admission policies refused to admit African American students.  While segregation has ended, structural racism still exists in society today.  That is why HBCUs still matter.  If President Trump is serious about helping HBCUs, he must also be serious about removing the structural barriers African Americans still face, and he should put his money where his pen is by urging his colleagues in Congress to increase federal funding to HBCUs.”