UNGRATEFUL: Historic Black College Bans Sen. Cornyn, Who Sought Funding For Black Colleges, From Giving Commencement Speech
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Talk about ungrateful.
Texas Southern University in Houston canceled a scheduled commencement address Saturday by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate.
TSU is a historically black college; a student petition had demanded the invitation to Cornyn be rescinded. The petition encouraged graduates to “express their discontent” if Cornyn showed up; over 800 people had signed it by Friday morning.
Some 830 people had signed the petition by Friday morning on change.org, an online activist petition network.
A Cornyn spokesman said, “Sen. Cornyn was honored to be invited to address TSU’s graduates, but he respects the administration’s decision and looks forward to continuing to engage with the University in the future.”
TSU released a statement asserting, “Every consideration is made to ensure that our student’s graduation day is a celebratory occasion and one they will remember positively for years to come. We asked Senator Cornyn to instead visit with our students again at a future date in order to keep the focus on graduates and their families.”
Rebecca Trevino, a 2017 graduate who sponsored the petition, said, “What I want people to realize is that this is our commencement. This is something we’ve worked hard for and we want someone who represents us and our values.” She pointed out that Cornyn voted for Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, and he had supported voter ID law.
Ironically, Cornyn’s invitation to commencement was reportedly issued because of his help securing federal funding for historically black colleges. In February, Cornyn praised an executive order from President Trump to prioritize federal support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.