"Black people have always been underestimated. The Black college experience is still an exceptional way to train young people," said Senator Art Haywood, a Morehouse Graduate.
What Kamala Harris, Alma Adams, Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams all have in common, in addition to being influential in U.S. politics, is they're graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities ( HBCUs) — Howard University, North Carolina A&T, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, and Spelman College.
Approximately 40 percent of the members of Congress are HBCU graduates, according to the Network Journal, a Black professional and small business magazine. And recipients of The United Negro College Fund and Thurgood Marshall Foundation scholarships graduate from college at rates well above the national average.
"We're producing outstanding leaders in all of the major professions," said Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and former Delaware State president.
"Anytime you can look at (HBCU) success stories, it just enhances their relevancy and continues to move them forward in a positive way."
This year, a record 38 women of color were elected to Congress. Many of them are HBCU graduates.
The prospect of so many Black-college graduates being elected to statewide office in the same year is unprecedented, Keneshia Grant, an assistant professor of political science at Howard University, said.
And they are touting their HBCU training. Abrams expressed her disapproval of legislation plans for education that did not include those institutions.
As a Spelman alumna, I share the concern raised by @RepRichmond. HBCUs are vital for economic independence. https://t.co/C5DtYKPukP
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) February 16, 2016
Gillum responded to President Trump's tweet attacking him about his lack of Ivy League education:
Mr. @realDonaldTrump, I am a graduate of THE Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) — an HBCU founded on October 3, 1887. Google it. 🐍 https://t.co/I8uOokptJA
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) October 30, 2018
Art Haywood is one of four Black state senators in Pennsylvania, and one of two from Morehouse.
"If the two Black state senators had come from Harvard or Yale, then those schools would get all the credit," Haywood said.
"Black people have always been underestimated," Haywood said. "I don't think there's any more validation required. The Black college experience is still an exceptional way to train young people."
Of politicians like Abrams and Gillum, the president of HBCU Dillard University Walter Kimbrough said they are sending a message: "It's a reaffirmation, not only for students but for families, that you can go to an HBCU and compete with anyone."
Approximately 13 percent of HBCU graduates are CEOS, 40 percent are engineers and 50 percent are professors at non-HBCUs, according to the Network Journal.
The HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities study shows how the United States economy benefits from HBCUs: $14.8 billion in economic impact. In addition, graduates predominantly come from low-income areas, giving them and the communities the opportunity to break cycles of poverty and open doors to successful and lucrative careers. Individual graduates can earn $927,000 within their lifetime, $130 billion collectively over their lifetime.
"The American public was more likely to elect a person of color to the House than House members were to hire top staff of color," according to a Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies report.
As a result of Tuesday's midterm elections, Democrats have won a majority in the House of Representatives, and Republicans will remain in control of the Senate, but Congress, as a whole, needs to make diversity a priority when it comes to hiring top staff members.
'Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation': Racist Republican Says of Democrat Running for Congress
The bigot resigned with no apology Sharice Davids.
Republican precinct committeeman Michael Kalny of Shawnee sent a Facebook message about Democratic congressional candidate Sharice Davids, who is running against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep Kevin Yoder for the 3rd congressional district seat in Kansas.
Emily's List posted on Twitter in response: "This racist, homophobic language is totally unacceptable. We're proud to stand with her & to help elect her." They've since promoted her, and another Native American candidate Deb Haaland of New Mexico.
A Kansas GOP official called @sharicedavids a “radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian" who would "be sent back packing to the reservation." This racist, homophobic language is totally unacceptable. We're proud to stand with her & to help elect her. https://t.co/j7OuenwiHs
— EMILY's List (@emilyslist) October 10, 2018
Davids responded that the message "doesn't represent Kansas values, and it doesn't represent the values of the Republicans we know, many who support this campaign."
On Wednesday, Kalny resigned. "He reflected an apologetic attitude and didn't want to bring negative attention on the party or candidates running in this area," Johnson County Republican Party Chairman Mike Jones said.No word on an official apology from Kalny to Davids yet. The hateful message was sent to Anne Pritchett, president of the Johnson County Democratic Women's north chapter, who had posted "hostile" messages on candidate Yoder's page in this fiery election race.
Davids, a LGBT lawyer and amateur mixed-martial arts fighter, could become the first ever openly gay member of the Kansas Congressional delegation, if she wins, as well as the first female Native American lawmaker in Washington.
Kalny, when questioned about his message by local media, said he needed to talk to his attorney and hung up the phone.
He also resigned from his position on the board of directors for the Kansas City Barbecue Society citing "personal reasons."
C.J. Grover, a spokesman for Yoder, denounced Kalny's comments:
"Kevin (Yoder) doesn't believe this type of rhetoric is appropriate at all. It's unacceptable," Grover said. "These kind of nasty personal attacks are all too prevalent in politics these days, and it needs to stop."
Davids has shown up in pre-election polls as leading Yoder by as much as 8 percent. She also faces Chris Clemmons, a libertarian candidate, on Nov. 6. Voter registration ends on Oct. 17, less than one week away.
Kiah Morris said the racism she endured for years was taking a toll on her husband's health. She chose her family over politics.
Kiah Morris is a former state representative in Vermont — a nearly all-white state. Morris recently stepped down because she had endured years of racially motivated harassment and threats — even local teens targeting her home.
Michael Drejka's "Stand Your Ground" defense in the shooting of Markeis McGlockton buckles.
Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted, according to jurors on the basis of Florida's Stand Your Ground law. It seems the same law will not work in shooter Michael Drejka's favor.
The IBLC wants to meet with Huntington Senator, Andy Zay, to "talk more about his remarks" after private Facebook messages revealed bigotry statements.
Indiana's Black Legislative Caucus wants to teach Huntington Senator, Andy Zay, a thing or two about what it really means to experience racism as a Black person living in America.
Members of the organization have invited the politician to sit down and explain his recently surfaced Facebook messages, which included a baseless comment that read, "racism is not real," according to the Journal Gazette.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Claps Back at GOP Rep. Who Calls Her ‘Whatever She Is’ — ‘I Am a Puerto Rican Woman’
"I am a Puerto Rican woman. It's strange you don't know what that is, given that ~75,000 Puerto Ricans have relocated to Florida in the 10 mos since María," 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis (Fla.).
The leaders expressed "profound indignation and deep disappointment" with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over failure to protect Waters from the Trump administration's attacks.
Top Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, are under fire for their lack of support for Rep. Maxine Waters, who spoke "truth to power in challenging the Trump Administration to do the right thing by ending a 'zero tolerance' immigration policy," according to more than 150 Black women leaders.
Seth Grossman once said, "I do know of many Africans who wish their ancestors had been taken to America as slaves, and who are now risking their lives on flimsy boats every day to come to America."
In a room of among many of his peers — white, male conservatives — Seth Grossman pleaded his case that diversity threatens the "traditional ways that made America great" and is a "bunch of crap" supported by Democrats and communists.
A Black man pulled over under a tree has no rights in Kansas.
Maxine Waters Attacked in Congress as she Sought to Protect People from Predators in the Auto Loan Industry
Racist smears and whitesplaining from "men." What's behind the vitriol? If racism is ignored by victims, does it go away?
On Friday, Reps. Mike Kelly and Maxine Waters debated over the House voting to roll back a Consumer Financial Protections Bureau rule meant to limit discrimination in distributing auto loans. Studies have shown Blacks and Latinos have systemically been charged a higher markup on auto loans than white borrowers, and class action lawsuits were brought against auto lenders as a result. Waters advocated for another look at how this vote would impact auto loan practices with people of color. But those on the right insist talk of discrimination is steering away from the country being unified.
The race for the seat in Southern California is starting to heat up.
Stacey Dash, an actress and former Fox News contributor who has argued that both Black History Month and BET should not exist and has referred to actor Jesse Williams as a "Hollywood plantation slave," is running for Congress in Southern California.