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Students at Bethune-Cookman University’s graduation ceremony protested Betsy Devos’ commencement speech on Wednesday by turning their backs and booing.

For nearly the entire speech, students used their voices to make their disapproval known. During her speech, the U.S. Secretary of Education voiced commitment to HBCU’s and the communities they serve, but under the barrage of boos her statements were hard to decipher.

“Let’s chose to hear each other out,” DeVos said as the crowd roared with disapproval. “I want to reaffirm this administration’s commitment to and support for HBCU’s and the students they serve. Please know this, we support you and we will continue to support you,” she continued.

Students erupted again when DeVos mentioned she would pay homage to university’s founder, Mary McLeod Bethune, by visiting her grave site.

At one point University President Edison Jackson took hold of the mic, warning students to settle down. “Choose which way you want to go,” he said as students continued shouting.

For weeks, tensions percolated on campus between officials and students critical of Secretary DeVos and President Trump’s administration’s awkward attempts to reach out, including an Oval Office meeting with selected HBCU presidents.

Students and supporters of Bethune-Cookman, founded by educator and activist Mary McLeod Bethune, found Jackson’s invitation disheartening. Thousands signed petitions advocating for a new commencement speaker, while others called for Jackson’s resignation.

Most importantly, opponents find it hard to forget the education secretary’s off-mark statement that HBCU’s were pioneers of school choice–void of key historical context regarding the creation of HBCU’s, born out of segregation laws that barred African-Americans from attaining higher-education. This week, Trump back-peddled from a controversial statement where he questioned the constitutionality of funding HBCU’s.

Jackson defended DeVos’ appearance last week in an op-ed for the Orlando Sentinel.

“If our students are robbed of the opportunity to experience and interact with views that may be different from their own, then they will be tremendously less equipped for the demands of democratic citizenship,” he wrote.

But at Wednesday’s ceremony, Jackson’s call to unite in favor of DeVos went unheard.

SOURCE: The Washington PostOrlando Sentinel

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Bethune Cookman Welcomes Betsy DeVos With Boos & Turned Backs was originally published on

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25 thoughts on “Bethune Cookman Welcomes Betsy DeVos With Boos & Turned Backs

  1. FallMornings on said:

    True stand for something but do it with class. They didn’t have to go to the commencement. Why do we always have to act like fools in public. Why not keep quiet, what’s wrong with silence. We don’t always need to make a statement.

  2. Most likely the president of that institution has talked with her privately and is wanting a favor such as finances.
    Remind me of our black church when white politicians runs for office and you would usually see those mean behind ushers escorting them to the front pews and after election you never see them again. It’s usually is a I was your hands and you wash mine thing financially. Black folks are hilarious.The pastor wanting something for his church just like the president of BCU wanting finances for his school

  3. SheCat54 on said:

    She knew she wasn’t wanted there but she came anyway so she deserved to be booed. Peckerwoods always in our business that’s why we can’t get any where and some negr** still think they are good for us. When will we LEARN

    • You are a black piece of excrement and nobody in this country likes you and the other ni$$ERS THAT ACT LIKE YOU.

  4. SheCat54 on said:

    The nig** bit** jackson must have got a hundred dollars to allow this dirty peckerwood to come to this HBCU to give a speech. Maybe she let him smell her rotten pus** these are just two reason nig** men will sell out for, for one these nasty bit**es.

    • Congratulations on the low IQ way you talk you stupid black dummy. It’s almost like anything a stupid black person says is the exact opposite of the truth. You do know that out of all the races and genders black men have the lowest average IQ’s followed by black women second to the lowest. That’s why it’s hilarious to come here and read what you dumb dumbs type. You are a joke to every other race.

      • Amber on said:

        Rob Well, you bring your #$$ on a black site so that mean your ID is low as well fool. Get out of here INTERNET TROLL.

  5. Patricia on said:

    Didn’t take long for Larry the troll to show up

    Whoever invited DeVos need to be slapped. She knew she wasn’t welcome but came anyway to disrupt the ceremony. Slimy and sleazy just like that ass wipe she works for/with.

    • Amber on said:

      Larry, Peter, and new Rob is the SAME person typing just changing their font. Internet Troll. Just ignore that person.

  6. specialt757 on said:

    Oh and the threat of their degrees being mailed was an empty one, they are always mailed once all debts are obligations are met. Just because you walk on that day doesn’t mean you are handed a degree. The walk is significant because your family and friends are there to see you graduate. Jackson should have known that. He should have made a more real threat, which still would have been to his detriment.

  7. specialt757 on said:

    I can’t imagine what the administrators at this school thought. The students clearly demonstrated and voiced their opinions on who they DID NOT want as their commencement speaker. The school should have listened. They put in the work and they even made a suggestion of who they wanted to give the speech. They didn’t respect these students and the students honored DeVos by showing her & them their (back sides) so to speak.

  8. Straightnochaser on said:

    Wow, that threat really worked didn’t it? He looked like a new fool when they continued to boo, while his overseer stood there as if thinking ‘we have conquered and the divide is working.’

  9. Those grads should have all pulled down their pants and mooned DeVos !!!!!!!!
    She was only there for a photo-op-she could care less about African American students!!!!!!!

  10. dcbrother4u on said:

    They should have boycotted their commencement. YOU don’t have to show up and still get your degree. I guess no one told them you don’t act like you not civilized or educated b/c I know how brutal the establishment can be. They accomplished absolutely nothing. Remember the Obama administration did not start to speak at HBCUs until later on; now I can see why!!!

    • SheCat54 on said:

      Why don’t you heartless fools stay off this site and why did that peckerwood have to speak at the HBCU? Fu** boycotting this is 2017 we need to learn to take stronger measure to keep you MF out of our business! Just leave us alone. I know we can figure it out and that’s what you dirty MF’s are afraid of. Talk all the crap you want but it’s time you know that we’re tired of you evil MF’s and we have put up with your lies and bullsh** long enough!!!

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