The Outrageous War on ‘Minority’ Scholarships: How Republicans Are Stifling the Dreams of Black Students

Over 130 scholarships have been put on hold in Texas.

In a stunning and bold assault on educational equity, Republican lawmakers have unleashed a war against minority scholarships, striking a devastating blow to the aspirations and futures of Black students. This malevolent campaign, cloaked in the rhetoric of equality, is a systematic effort to dismantle the programs designed to uplift various communities, betraying the ideals of diversity and inclusion that form the bedrock of a just society.

A Sinister Agenda: The Assault on Minority Scholarships

This insidious agenda is playing out in Texas due to Senate Bill 17, where public colleges have frozen or amended over 130 scholarships for Black students and other minorities. These scholarships, intended to level the playing field and provide opportunities in historically white-dominated jobs, are now under attack, swept away by SB17, which bans spending on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. 

The Devin Oliver and Aubree Butts Memorial Scholarship, established to honor two basketball players from Texas A&M University at Commerce who tragically lost their lives in a car crash in June 2014, is now on hold. The scholarship was specifically aimed at supporting Black women in college sports, reflecting the legacy and aspirations of Devin and Aubree. Sam Butts, Aubree’s father, expressed his frustration to The Dallas Morning News, saying, “The scholarships do not have anything to do with that diversity program or the state law. We’re disappointed because that scholarship was set up to help minorities.”

The Fearless Fund And the Threat to Civil Rights: The Dangers of Weaponizing History

This makes  SB17 so treacherous; what is considered DEI is unclear, paving the way for scholarships to be put on hold and even faculty members to lose their jobs

The Impact on Black Students

The consequences of these actions are profound and far-reaching. Black students, who have historically been underrepresented in higher education and professional fields, are being systematically stripped of the financial support that enables them to break through barriers and achieve their full potential. The freezing of scholarships in Texas is just one example of a nationwide trend, as other states like Missouri are following suit, eliminating minority scholarships in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action. Political analyst Ameshia Cross told BET about the true intention behind these laws, "It’s no secret that Black women are the most degreed population in America; they are also the largest portion of small business owners. The anti-DEIi militants are attacking a cornerstone of Black progress in an effort to eliminate the growth of Black leaders in the workforce.”

Cross also added, "Attacks on scholarships aimed at limiting Black access are driven by racism and create insurmountable obstacles for Black people to enter college. This has reverberating effects that will limit Black doctors, lawyers, teachers, and other professionals.”

Moreover, donors – not the local or federal government – funded many of these scholarships specifically intended to support students from marginalized backgrounds. 

The Fight Continues

The attack on minority scholarships is a stark reminder of the broader battle for racial and economic justice in America. Whether it is suing the Fearless Fund, a Black women entrepreneur program that has been sued and is now temporarily disabled, or freezing scholarships, it’s not just an assault on educational equity; it is an attack on the very soul of our society. 

If this infuriates you, let that fire drive you to the polls, not to rescue a political party, but to protect your future. The Republican Party’s agenda is crystal clear: dismantle any policies that tackle racial inequities, all under the guise of a “colorblind” society. But make no mistake, this is nothing more than Jim Crow 2.0. Their mantra of “Race doesn’t matter” is a thin mask, barely hiding their true intention: to propagate a deeply racial and racist agenda.

Clay Cane is a SiriusXM radio host and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Grift: The Downward Spiral of Black Republicans From the Party of Lincoln to the Cult of Trump.

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