Let The HBCU Lying Begin

Walter M. Kimbrough
4 min readMar 7, 2023

Former President Trump has announced that he will run for office again in 2024. He has successfully held together his base, giving him a great advantage against any potential challengers. In fact, it seems that most potential challengers are afraid to take him on (ask Nikki Haley after being heckled at CPAC recently).

As Trump gears up, his minions begin to build a narrative about how great he was. Part of this group includes Black folks who really have no real connections with the Black community or Black institutions, who then parrot his claims of being the best president ever for Black people.

Enter Lynne Patton. She’s not an educator. She’s never worked in higher education. She has no HBCU bona fides. But in a recent op-ed she wrote the following:

President Trump gave more money to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) than any President in United States history.

Period.

Let me get back into the habit of fact checking this foolishness. Anytime you see anyone write or say this, know these simple facts:

  1. Congress appropriates funds, not Presidents. So the premise that Trump GAVE more money to HBCUs is incorrect. President Trump did however submit a budget which included funding for HBCUs. So the real question I always ask when I hear this is, “What did Trump request for HBCUs?”
  2. In his first year, Trump requested LESS for HBCUs. I summed this up in one tweet a few years ago.

Here is a closer look at that budget:

The 2017 appropriation is what was given the previous year. His budget is his request. Comparing the 2 columns can show where he asked for more, and where he asked for less. The 2018 appropriation column is what the schools received, which was higher most of the time. Trump didn’t give that money. You can see the recommendations by the House and Senate committees and that is where the increases were made.

3. In his second year, Trump requested LESS for HBCUs.

Same thing. The bottom 6 categories are funds for HBCUs and PBIs. This is roughly a $60M proposed CUT by Trump. The final was an increase of about $4M. No one ever mentions this, because Trump is so good selling a narrative.

4. In his third year, Trump requested LESS for HBCUs.

Same song. Again, looking at the same six categories and notice that THREE of them have been zeroed out. But this time Trump proposes a $105M CUT.

5. In his fourth and final year, Trump had a flat HBCU budget request, but requested cuts for PBIs.

He proposed a $27M cut for PBIs by zeroing them out again (after he tried the previous year). He does ask for the maximum $85M for the mandatory HBCU funding (this is the FUTURE Act that in the previous year he zeroed out to let it expire).

Therefore, over the course of four budget proposals, Donald Trump attempted to cut almost $200M from HBCUs and PBIs. In spite of his attempts, each year Congress INCREASED HBCU and PBI funding, not Trump. Giving him credit for the work of Congress that remedied what he tried to harm is wrong.

It’s like giving Pontius Pilate credit for the resurrection when he was the one who ordered Jesus to be crucified.

The fact that HBCU funding increased while Trump was president has nothing to do with him- because he never asked for the funding to be increased. People like Lynne Patton have never looked at the Department of Education budget tables like I have, and she simply serves as a puppet to say what she has been told to say.

Lynne Patton lied. Period.

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Walter M. Kimbrough

12th president of Philander Smith College. 7th president of Dillard University. Now in an Intermission.