WILDER: Why Are VA’s HBCUs Discriminated Against?

L. Douglas Wilder | Wilder Visions

The inequities relative to Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Virginia continue in 2021.

Little, if anything, has EVER been done by the state for Virginia Union, Hampton, and Virginia University of Lynchburg.

Jim Dyke, my Secretary of Education, and I wrote a letter to Ralph Northam and a bipartisan group of legislative leaders in June 2021. The letter, which can be read here, requested the Special Session of the General Assembly to allocate $50 million to each of Virginia’s HBCUs from the American Rescue Plan Act to address the deliberate denial and underfunding of HBCUs.

Governor Northam and the General Assembly did not allocate a dime of the $4.3 billion to HBCUs, not a penny.

I also inquired of Congressman Bobby Scott, Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, whether he could furnish me with anything showing that Virginia had ever complied with the court’s ruling in the Adams case that Virginia discriminated against HBCUs.

His staff has not provided him with anything showing that it has.

When I watched Glenn Youngkin last evening commit to provide funding for all five of our HBCUs in any budget he submitted to the legislature if he were Governor, it was historical. This is the first time any candidate for Governor has made this public commitment.

Our HBCUs are subjected to disparate conditions and they deserve better. As I’ve stated, no Democrat can win a statewide election in Virginia without massive support from the black community; however, their needs continue to be ignored by those who purport to represent them.

The people are not stupid; they are voting on issues and for those who speak to the issues that impact their lives.

Maybe Northam and McAuliffe will tell us why they have not supported our HBCUs.

Stay tuned.

L. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat, served as Governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994. To learn more, visit his website, WilderVisions.com.

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