Dear Bethune-Cookman 2017 Grads, Thank You For Telling Betsy Devos “Nah”
Everything is stupid and nothing makes sense. Betsy Devos was the commencement speaker at Bethune-Cookman University today. Bethune-Cookman, a Historically-Black College/University, chose the Education Secretary none of us wanted, Betsy “What are public schools?” DeVos, to send their graduates off. In return, the students met her with boos, jeers and backs turned. To them, I say thank you.
Dear Bethune-Cookman 2017 Graduates,
Y’all are the real MVPs. Really and truly. I am applauding you with the fervor I’d use during praise and worship right now. You know the kind of clapping that’s heavy-handed, and leaves your palms red and burning? The one your Grandma can keep going for 30 good minutes, and you wonder if she had an Apple Watch, how many steps it’d give her for that? That praise clap. You deserve the props, because today, you showed courage. You showed integrity. And you showed that you are more principled than the administration of people who are the ones supposed to show you what all those things are.
Before I can truly thank you, I need to apologize to you on behalf of people with sense, and people who saw what you’d have to be in presence with and scratched our heads. You were not supposed to be placed in the position to have to defy your school president and administration. You were not supposed to be asked to watch an idiot who would fail the curriculum you had to take, and applaud her. You were not supposed to have to cheer on the woman who is about to flush our kids’ futures down the river. NO YOU WERE NOT. But your GOOFASS administration decided that it was a good idea to have Betsy DeVos, in all her ignoramus glory, on your stage. The woman who always looks like in quiet moments, slow jazz plays in her head. The lady who probably still says “colored people” when she’s at High Tea with her girls, the other Miss Annes. It defied all logic but it must have been led by stupidity and greed.
The disrespect shown to y’all in that choice was Kilimanjaro high, because it wasn’t a decision made based on what was best for you. Why would Miss Daisy be the special guest at this HBCU’s graduation, talkless of the fact she’s Darth Miss Daisy? WHAT SENSE DID IT MAKE?
Of all the Black people who are doing amazing shit in the world. They went with a white woman whose entire life of mediocrity has been made possible thanks to her affluent caucasoid privilege. FOR AN HBCU GRADUATION. THAT was the woman they thought would be great to come give you words of wisdom as you take on the real world? That was the woman they awarded and honorary doctorate. Chei! See me see wahala (trouble). I know y’all did a collective WTF when that was announced. The rest of us were doing it with you. Was Auntie Maxine Waters busy?? Couldn’t they have invited her?
So on today, when that useless nonentity took the stage, y’all showed out by drowning her words out in boos then turning your backs on her. Y’all Dikembe Mutombo’ed her by blocking her shot. And the ancestors smiled upon you, for your gesture of GTFOH. Harriet, Sojourner, and Mary McLeod Bethune herself, did a dance from the great beyond.
Because in these acts of defiance, you showed that you are more brave than the rubber-backed people who run your school and placed a stamp of approval on one of Cheeto Satan’s collaborators.
“If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves. We should, therefore, protest openly everything … that smacks of discrimination or slander.” – Mary McLeod Bethune
I’m so embarrassed for Bethune-Cookman’s president Edison Jackson, because he showed himself to be gutless. He fixed his mouth to tell y’all “If this behavior continues, your degrees will be mailed to you. Choose which way you want to go.” GET TO LICKING STAMPS, BRO. My address is 123 GimmeMyShit Lane. Willacoochee, GA. Send me my shit. Y’all paid too much money and ate too much shitty food for you to have to take this. MAIL MY DAMB DIPLOMA THEN! I already got pics of me smizing in my cap and gown for the Gram anyway. Talk about adding insult to injury. That threat had me even more heated.
THEY GAVE THIS WOMAN AN HONORARY DOCTORATE. I just… the fact that y’all didn’t bumrush the stage is a testament to your level of chill. Or that you didn’t pelt her with rotten tomatoes.
Anywho, I’m just here to tell y’all I’m proud of you for taking that stand.
Please keep this fight in you as you go out unto the world. Don’t let the Edison Jacksons of the world threaten it out of you. Keep calling bullshit on the things that require it. And know that many of us are giving your high fives from afar. We won’t let people call you “hecklers.” Y’all are gahtdamb patriots.
HAPPY GRADUATING, CLASS OF 2017! May the Republic not burn down before you get your first bonus.
P.S. I’ve been told that Bethune-Cookman doesn’t have doctorate programs. SOOOO they gave Betsy Devos an honorary Ph.D. in Air?? Nice. Very nice.
P.P.S. A group of Black professors wrote a love letter to the Bethune-Cookman grads too. Shoutout to Yaba Blay for #WeAllWeGot! 215 Black academics signed it. LOVE!
Have you bought my debut book I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual. Haven’t ordered it yet? Now’s your chance. You’ll love it. Amazon. Barnes & Nobles. iBooks. Audible (I narrated the audiobook myself). Kobo. Books-A-Million.