Nathan Deal Hits Us With the Rare ‘Colored People’ Macroaggression

Albany State, Fort Valley State and Savannah State couldn’t be happier.

Albany State, Fort Valley State and Savannah State couldn’t be happier.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal had everything going for him when it came to education in the state. Georgia had flown relatively off the grid for its aggressive stance on merging and consolidating schools in the last several years, and even positioned itself as a leader for the south with a consolidation of Albany State University and Darton State College, with ASU surviving and keeping important HBCU culture in the southwest.

And while everyone knows that a wicked racial undercurrent powers Georgia’s lawmaking, criminal justice system and educational policies, that move brought a glimpse of faith from the state’s black constituency. Despite Deal’s weird habit of the worst kind of coding for the word “nigger,” people generally gave him a pass.

We let him slide with ‘ghetto grandmothers.’

But then Deal took his personal racist threat level from Jerry Springer fans to the next notch up, somewhere between Donald Trump and Uncle Ruckus.

Deal was angry about pushback on a state plan to takeover failing secondary schools in the state, and specifically the racial implications and biases it could promote. But his latest faux pas tie-dyed in GOP red will serve the interests of the state’s public HBCUs.

Fort Valley State and Savannah State University have been long-dogged by rumors of merger with Middle Georgia State University and Armstrong State University, respectively. With this foolishness, added to heightened racial tensions throughout the country and the legitimate threat of federal litigation against southern states for illegal treatment of HBCUs, the University System of Georgia may have to think twice before pushing through any plans to marginalize historically black higher ed access to students and communities.

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And it doesn’t help when Albany State pokes at the irony of this story, having been named recently among a national consortium of colleges which will partner with local secondary school districts to help train principals for stronger teaching and learning outcomes in underserved areas.

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Ignorant rhetoric from Georgia’s governor and Trumpmania running wild through the rural south will not insulate HBCUs from legislative maltreatment. But it does force the issue for the state and its higher ed proxies to move more covertly and deliberately in trying to kill off black colleges.

And that borrowes time should raise the stakes for HBCU students, alumni and supporters throughout Georgia to press the issue on the USG and state lawmakers to abandon hope of marginalizing HBCUs, and instead, working to make them stronger.