DeVos’ invitation to speak at black college draws criticism

Posted at 4:32 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 16:32:29-04

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A granddaughter of Bethune-Cookman University’s founder says Education Secretary Betsy DeVos shouldn’t speak at the historically black college’s graduation next week as scheduled. Evelyn Bethune says DeVos will bring controversy to what should be a sacred moment for students and their families.

DeVos was criticized in February when she said historically black colleges were pioneers of school choice. Her comments seemed to ignore the fact that they were founded to give African-Americans educational opportunities denied them because of discrimination and racial segregation.

She later backtracked on those comments.

But Evelyn Bethune, granddaughter of school founder Mary McLeod Bethune, said a commencement is the wrong forum for DeVos because it should be a “very sacred ceremony.”

Florida NAACP leader Adora Obi Nweze has called the invitation a “slap in the face.”