Higher Education is Essential To All Peoples’ Development—Especially Those with a Past History
Where Opportunities Were Limited By Structural Injustice
by Matthew Fogg — President, Blacks In Government Heritage Chapter
Over the last few years, one hears more and more about the financial difficulties being faced by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and it is the responsibility of those of us that have attended, worked for, had children or loved ones attend or understand and respect the mission of these vital institutions to the advancement and development of African American people to help these colleges and universities that have produced Dr. Martin Luther King and countless other notable persons. Sadly, some states and the federal government have either denied funding or implemented policies that are uniquely harmful to HBCUs. How committed our federal government and some of the Southern states are to HBCUs can be debated, but the immediate need for necessary funds for their operation and for student financial aid is not debatable.
We must marshal our resources to rescue these critical institutions for the sake of the young people who dream to attend college or a university—even those not born. I appeal to African Americans and all persons that believe in opportunity and in the redemptive powers of an educated mind to dig deep into their wallets and purses and financially intervene on behalf of those who will benefit personally and make a contribution to our nation and world.
I speak as a retired Chief deputy US marshal who challenged and won a landmark Title VII discrimination claim against the US Marshals Service and US Department of Justice that proved race discrimination was a part of the federal government internal policy and procedures.
We arrested a large disproportionate number of black and brown people in the war-on-drugs who, did not have the resources or opportunities to obtain a higher education. Closing colleges or letting them faced hardships while private and publicly building prisons sends a sad and troubling historical racially insensitive message to the black & brown youth of America and the world at large. A recent national statistic depicted in a book authored by Michelle Alexander, “The New Jim Crow” indicates, there are more black citizens documented in the American criminal justice system today then, were slaves at the time of Civil War.
We can do better in 2015 and henceforth. Remember, the youth of tomorrow who will have to care for an increasingly aging population and make key decisions on the growth or failure of this nation. Today, we can make sure that our youth have every possible means to obtain as much of a higher education as possible, instead of curtailing that opportunity with the steady closure of HBCU’s.