Certain Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been embracing the Trump administration early in his presidency, primarily for funding, and now one student is speaking up on how much “progress” he’s made.
Chrichanni Watson of Florida A&M University has even tipped all the way to the conservative side. In an interview with the far-right SiriusXM show “Breitbart News Daily”, Watson said Trump was “making progress” for HBCUs.
“In Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to work with a Republican representative, this is my first experience with the conservative movement, and I was just blown away,” said Watson. “So I had the idea to bring that same energy back to my university in Tallahassee.”
Watson went on to say that she hosted a debate with college Democrats, college Republicans, the NAACP and the conservative group Turning Point USA (TPUSA), and “it was a great turnout.” Watson even said she was working to open the first TPUSA chapter at Florida A&M University.
When talking about Trump, Watson had glowing reviews. “I personally think he’s making progress,” she said. “The first thing that I looked into, especially at my university, is how he recently signed for HBCU’s to be permanently funded.”
“That directly impacts us, as HBCU students, and that’s something that cannot be said for the last administration,” she continued. “I mean, you’ve got to give the man some credit.” Watson further said Trump has done a lot for the Black community, but if someone utters Trump’s name on campus, “all ears are shut off.”
“They’re not receptive to it,” Watson said. “If you’re trying to get their attention, the last thing you want to mention is the president.” As a conservative, Watson said she’s been attacked by classmates on Twitter. “This summer, I said something about this president on Twitter and my school definitely was not receptive of it,” she said. “They were calling me sell out, they were saying I was brainwashed, they were saying all these things, and the tweets just would not end.”
Watson then naively stated, “I find, when people know who you are, and people know what you stand for, and when people know what good you’re doing, I feel like your political stance, or your political side doesn’t really matter.”
Watson isn’t by herself when aligning with Trump or his administration.
In February, Vice President Mike Pence visited Hampton University, another HBCU, at their Proton Therapy Institute. While there, he “support the University’s efforts in providing state-of-the-art cancer research and delivering advanced cancer treatment to military veterans and their families,” according to HU News. He also met with Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey.
“It was an honor for Hampton University to host the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos at the Hampton University Proton Beam Cancer Treatment Institute,” said Dr. Harvey. “This life saving treatment and research center is seeing an average of 50 patients per day while easing human misery and saving lives.”
Vice President Pence also praised Dr. Harvey on his role pertaining to the federal funding that HBCU’s now get under Trump. “Dr. Harvey, you played a leading role when the President of the United States signed a measure to make federal funding for HBCUs permanent in this country. And the increases, the investment, all are a reflection of the quality of education, and the importance of this educational tradition in our country,” Pence said.
Despite the funds Trump’s administration has provided to HBCU’s, it’s rare that the institutions of education ever firmly call him out on his racism and harmful rhetoric that impacts Black people across America.
But unfortunately, as this current election should teach us, money talks.