Clinton Ally Challenges Sanders on Black Colleges

February 17, 2016

As Senator Bernie Sanders visits historically black colleges in the buildup to the South Carolina primary, an ally of Hillary Clinton has questioned whether the Sanders college affordability plan -- which would make public higher education free -- would help or hurt students at historically black colleges. Tuesday Sanders was at Morehouse College, where he spoke about his college plan but also about institutional racism and the criminal justice system.

But also on Tuesday, U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat who is backing Clinton, issued a statement noting that her college affordability plan includes measures that would support private historically black colleges and other private colleges that serve many low-income students. “By focusing exclusively on making public college free, Sanders’s plan wouldn’t spend a dime on private HBCUs and threatens roughly 50 percent of HBCUs that are not public,” said a statement that The Advocate reported was circulated by the Clinton campaign. “As a graduate of Morehouse College, I know the importance of protecting and strengthening the many private HBCUs that are educating the next generation of black leaders. As Senator Sanders promotes his HBCU tour, he owes it to the students to explain why half the HBCUs in the country aren’t worth the investment.”

The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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