The president of Dillard University took to Twitter to debunk disinformation being spread about the Biden administration’s commitment to funding HBCUs. Walter M. Kimbrough, known on Twitter as @HipHopPrez, highlighted several accounts spreading the lie that the Biden administration cut $30 Billion from HBCUs.
Holding elected officials accountable is a part of the Democratic system. But part of the accountability process is getting the facts straight. The current issue involving HBCU funding has to do with implementing Biden’s Build Back Better Plan and the reconciliation budget process making its way through Congress. During the process of creating a bill that is consistent with the Biden plan, Congress earmarked less money for HBCUs than the Biden proposal.
But people intentionally spreading disinformation don’t care about facts or context. Sowing discord or causing confusion is often the goal.
President Joe Biden has advanced an ambitious budget proposal known as the Build Back Better Agenda, an interrelated set of policy proposals that are expected to improve conditions for millions of Americans. Along with increased HBCU funding, the Biden budget proposal includes unprecedented funding for free community college, early childhood initiatives and climate change efforts among other things.
If you have seen news reports of a handful of conservative Democrat holdouts refusing to move on the president’s plan, the HBCU funding is tied to that same process. This should be a wake-up call that the issues and programs affecting our communities are tied up in these battles.
Want more funding for HBCUs? Follow the actions of the advocates pushing for the full passage of Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda.
As Dillard’s president pointed out in his informative thread, there is not currently a bipartisan effort to expand HBCUs’ funding. But UNCF affiliated presidents have been pushing the House Education Committee to boost funding in the upcoming budget.
“Never before has any president put HBCUs central to such transformative plans,” said Lodriguez Murray, senior vice president for public policy and government affairs at UNCF, in an interview with Diverse Issues in Higher Education. “However, the U.S. House bill departs from the Administration’s plans dramatically. HBCUs are standing with President Biden and HBCU Caucus chairwoman Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) in asking for like institutions to compete against their own kind—apples to apples—just as in the three major COVID-19 stimulus packages.” (Read the full article here).
The incident is a good reminder to take a pause and review the allegedly outrageous information before repeating it. It also might mean reading more than just one article to get an understanding of what’s going on.
Pastor Jamal Bryant went live Saturday evening retracting his previous comments concerning the Biden administration allegedly defunding HBCUs. While Bryant is correct that there is a bit more nuance at what is happening, simply saying the Associated Press and U.S. News & World Report aren’t credible doesn’t address the underlying issue. It’s also unclear what particular articles he is referencing.
The Associated Press published a report last week on the current funding battle as it pertains to HBCUs. And U.S. News & World Report republished the piece.
It’s true the reporting could’ve been more precise about what is happening in Congress and not just framing it as a Democrat budget issue. But according to the Associated Press report, Rep. Bobby Scott acknowledged the “unprecedented levels of federal funding over the past two years, more than they have in the past decade combined.” He continued to note the $1.6 billion included under the American Rescue Plan passed earlier this year.
The additional funding has allowed HBCUs to bless students with debt cancellation and wipe clean student account balances. But the schools still need more funding for things like infrastructure investments and supporting research opportunities.
50 Books Every Black Teen Should Read
1. “Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur1 of 49
2. “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison2 of 49
3. “Visions for Black Men” by Na’im Akbar3 of 49
4. “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah4 of 49
5. “Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama5 of 49
6. “Sag Harbor” by Colson Whitehead6 of 49
7. “Monster” by Walter Dean Myers7 of 49
8. “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe8 of 49
9. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston9 of 49
10. “When Chickenheads Come Home To Roost” by Joan Morgan10 of 49
11. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told to Alex Haley11 of 49
12. “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison12 of 49
13. “Interiors: A Black Woman’s Healing…in Progress” by Iyanla Vanzant13 of 49
14. “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison14 of 49
15. “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker15 of 49
16. “Blues People” by Amiri Baraka16 of 49
17. “Our Kind of People” by Lawrence Otis Graham17 of 49
18. “Picking Cotton” by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino18 of 49
19. “What is the What” by Dave Eggers19 of 49
20. “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center” by bell hooks20 of 49
21. “Soledad Brother” by George Jackson21 of 49
22. “Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America” by Nathan McCall22 of 49
23. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz23 of 49
24. “Good To Great” by Jim Collins24 of 49
25. “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin25 of 49
26. “Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas26 of 49
27. “Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree27 of 49
28. “Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene28 of 49
29. “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry29 of 49
30. “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn30 of 49
31. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou31 of 49
32. “Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis32 of 49
33. “Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris33 of 49
34. “Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane34 of 49
35. “Kindred” by Octavia Butler35 of 49
36. “Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou36 of 49
37. “Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown37 of 49
38. “Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodsen38 of 49
39. “If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin39 of 49
40. “Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder40 of 49
41. “I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett41 of 49
42. “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell42 of 49
43. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki43 of 49
44. “Roots” by Alex Haley44 of 49
45. “Sula” by Toni Morrison45 of 49
46. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho46 of 49
47. “Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake47 of 49
48. “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup48 of 49
49. “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” by Bebe Moore Campbell49 of 49
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