May. 10, 2017
Write The Apology Dr. Jackson
I believe that Dr. Edwin O Jackson owes each and every participating graduate as well as each parent of those participating graduates a personal letter of apology. One of the highlights of a young adults life is his/her graduation from his/her institution of higher learning. It doesn't matter if it's the conferring of a BS, BA, MA, or Ph.D. degree it a day of celebration, a day of high academic honor. Why would this individual steal this day away from those graduates confounds me to the deepest depths of my soul?
This day of celebration turned into a day of embarrassment for the Bethune-Cookman University, a university whose historical heritage in the black community is on par with any HBCU currently operating. I know that the spirit of Mary McLeod Bethune is twisting restlessly in her grave tonight as the school that she founded paid homage to Betsy Devos. Betsy Devos is the most underqualified Secretary of Education and possibly the most underqualified cabinet official ever to receive approval from the United States Senate.
President Jackson invited Devos to give the commencement speech to this year's 2017 graduating class. This invitation should have been immediately rescinded when the student body and community leaders of Daytona Beach objected when it was initially announced. They told Dr. Jackson in no uncertain terms that this decision was without merit and would be vigorously opposed by all the elements of the campus. Yet he felt what? That he could do whatever he wants to do. The hell with those he is supposed to serve. Today, Betsy Devos was booed off the stage by this year's graduates and Dr. Jackson defyingly announced that if they didn't stop booing they could get the degrees they earned in the mail.
Betsy Devos, who during her hearings for confirmation to her current post indicated that teachers needed to be armed to kill grizzlies; who indicated that black colleges were formed as a form of school choice, not Jim Crow, or racial hatred; who has never been in a public school before being nominated to this position; who lived a life of complete racial isolation from the audience she was speaking to this morning; should never have been allowed to speak at this celebratory event at Bethune-Cookman University. Not at the graduation event, oh maybe invite her to do an evening Q/A on her education philosophies in a totally different setting, not at this historic school's May graduation.
So, Dr. Jackson, get out your best stationary not an email and send formal apologies out to each and every graduate and parent of the Class of 2017. They earned the satisfactory of having a memorable and warm celebration and you stole it from them.