My previous blog post raised the question of why our state’s “leadership” continues the segregationist practice of inequitable funding of black colleges and universities.
When Dr. William “Fergie” Reid was elected in 1967 to the Virginia General Assembly as the first African American since reconstruction, hopes were raised for expectations. That was followed in 1969 by Dr. William P. Robinson’s election; I was also elected that year as the first African American in the state Senate since reconstruction.
Many things have improved relative to racial inequities. The number of elected officials at state and local levels continually increases. We have had more appointments of African American judges, cabinet and administration officials and department heads. My election as Lieutenant Governor and Governor was a further attestation to the people of Virginia’s commitment to equality in Government.
Today’s state leadership is comprised of African Americans in finance, appropriations, education and legislative seniority to recognize and end the continuing discrimination. The people will not acquiesce in this overt benign neglect and will demand what is right. The Adam’s case in 1977 rendered Virginia not in conformity with the law of the land relative to HBCUs. $4.3 billion from the federal government, and those purporting to represent the interests of HBCUs don’t provide a dime? This continuing disregard and disrespect is inexcusable. These colleges and universities fulfill a crucial need and continue to be the incubators for the leadership and success of African American professionals and business members in today’s society.
I ask the current leadership in Virginia to tell the people, who put them in office, what reasons they have for doing nothing. Those currently seeking to lead need to specifically point to what they have done or propose to do relative to funding of HBCUs as ordered by the court.