Kellyanne Disses HBCU Presidents

February 28, 2017 Off By Michael

Kellyanne Conway in a provocative pose during photo op with Black college Presidents
Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski, AFP/Getty

Kellyanne, if my grandmother, a proud Spelman College woman, had been in the Oval Office yesterday when you knelt down to have your picture taken with Presidents of our leading Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), she would have politely whispered in your ear: “Girl close your legs.”

She probably would have had you quickly and quietly escorted out of the room so those college presidents could have a picture taken with the full solemnity a picture with the nation’s President deserves.

Unfortunately, she could only look down from eternity, shake her head, and perhaps sigh, “Somebody needs to teach Kelly Anne some manners.”

Someone should, although it is doubtful that you would accept the lesson or adhere to it, but somebody should encourage you to have a little self-respect. Not to mention respect for the men and women who run Black colleges and universities in this country.

From the beginning, the job of a Black college president has been a difficult task, one finding the financial resources needed to keep the doors open and to house and educate primarily the progenies of people this country once enslaved. In 2017, the quest for money is still the mission of Black college presidents.

None of those men have time to fulfill your fancies or engage you in afternoon delights in the style of Clinton-Lewinsky. Your provocative pose seems to be crying out for such an outcome.

What other way can you spin it, Kelly Anne? To paraphase Bubba’s mom speaking to Forest Gump: “Is you a tramp or what?”

Black men are accustomed to white women thrusting their sexuality upon them, when white men are unaware. White women have been striking that pose in front of Black men since the days of enslavement. I for one am highly offended for every Black man in the Oval Office yesterday.

Perhaps, Trump offered you – a poster child for the dizzy blondes of America – as red meat to the Black college presidents, a Trump ruse of sorts, to divert attention away from the reality that his much anticipated executive order on HBCUs turned out to be merely aspirational in nature. Trump’s HBCU executive order carries with it none of the money those institution desperately need to meet their mission of educating descendants of the people who built this nation without benefit of wages, health care or the right to marry the person they loved absent the interference from the boys living in the big house.

We in the Black community, especially those of us who graduated from an HBCU, detest your flippant presentment in the presence of the men and women who are charged with sustaining our beloved HBCUs throughout this century. Money is what they came for and it is only money that will turn their heads.


Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round, Easier to obtain Than to Maintain: The Globalization of Civil Rights by Charles Steele, Jr.; and the host of Beyond the Law with Harold Michael Harvey. He can be contacted at