Betsy DeVos Got All The Boos While Giving A Commencement Speech

At a historically black university no less

File this one under: “Yeah, no shit.” Betsy DeVos, invited to give the commencement address at the historically black Bethune-Cookman University, was booed by the crowd of graduating students, with a large portion of them turning their backs on the embattled Education Secretary (approximately 380 backs were turned, according to the Washington Post). DeVos’ invitation was part of the Trump administration’s outreach to historically black universities, a politically motivated gesture that students at the school saw right through.

From the moment DeVos’ invitation was announced, the Florida school faced widespread protests from its student body, including a petition to prevent her appearance that was thousands of signatures deep. Bethune-Cookman president, Edison Jackson, refused to budge, and even stood up during the chorus of boos to admonish his students. "If this behavior continues, your degrees will be mailed to you," he told them. "Choose which way you want to go."

In a surreal scene, Devos, who has been accused of making racist remarks in the past, kept her composure during the protests and spoke about the need for unity during the such a divided time. “We can focus on differences that might divide us or we can choose to listen, be receptive, and learn from other experiences and perspectives," DeVos said. "In my life, I have endeavored to do the latter." 

The boos began when Jackson introduced Trump advisor and Apprentice runner-up Omarosa Manigault, which prompted Jackson to tell the crowd, “You don’t know her. You don’t know her story.” What Jackson had wrong is that they know her story very well. To most, she is a close advisor to Donald Trump. That’s not only her story, but it’s the end of it. And it’s the same with DeVos, who, on top of her profound shortcomings as Education Secretary, is guilty by association with the President of the Unites States. Watch video of the fiasco, below.