When it comes to dashing the hopes of thousands of college-bound African Americans, you’d hardly think of President Obama as a culprit. Maybe the right-wing-dominated Supreme Court. But not Obama, the black Harvard law grad who likes to cite higher education as a path into the middle class and who pledges to make student loans more accessible to black scholars.
And yet, in what United Negro College Fund President Michael Lomax calls “a nasty surprise,” the Obama administration has begun denying student loans to disproportionately large numbers of black parents because of blemished credit histories.
Talk about audacity. Obama blames malfeasance by big banks for plunging the nation into a recession, then bails them out — and proceeds to punish black people for not making it through the economic maelstrom unscathed.
An angry-sounding Obama actually called Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling against a key part of the Voting Rights Act a “setback” for blacks. You want to know what a real setback is, Mr. President? It’s using some bureaucratic fiat to prevent black students from going to college.
Obama declared that he will press for restoration of the portion of the Voting Rights Act the justices ruled on. But let’s face it: He’s a lame duck. Why not leave as part of his legacy tens of thousands of newly minted black college graduates to carry on what is sure to be a decades-long struggle?
“We’re getting calls and e-mails from parents, at least two and three a day, saying the denial of their student loans is a disaster,” said Johnny Taylor, president of the Washington-based Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “You have black students from low-income households about to enter college or already there and pressing towards graduation, persisting just as Obama urged them to do, only to have his administration pull the rug out from under them.”