In an upcoming series of executive orders signed today, President Donald Trump will “bolster historically black colleges and universities” and “instruct a review of the Waters of the U.S. Rule” by the EPA, CBS News reports. Before you get excited that our presidential administration might be acknowledging the truth of climate change, the second order is not what it seems—I’ll get to that later.
As for the support of HBCUs? Does this strike anyone else as odd? Given Trump’s history with communities of color (the rise in hate crimes after the election, Trump’s cabinet, his KKK fanboys and Steve Bannon, to name just a few examples), he’s likely trying to do damage control. It’s not unreasonable to presume that Donald Trump thinks he can solve America’s problems of systemic and insidious racism with moves like these, either.
Trump’s upcoming order will reposition the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which was started under the Carter administration, at the White House, rather than the Department of Education.
This will give the initiative more “visibility,” which will apparently urge other interested groups to partner with it. I’m not sure that’s accurate, especially under this White House, but okay. According to a senior White House official, the HBCU order is also an attempt to “[boost] Trump’s ‘urban agenda.’” Um. Let me know what y’all think of that one.
— President Trump (@POTUS) February 28, 2017
The EPA review is, you guessed it, too good to be true. This order calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to go over the Waters of the U.S. Rule, which is legislation modified under former President Obama that sought to protect, maintain and clean water in the U.S. “By reviewing the regulation, the administration can begin to pick it apart and weaken it,” according to a CNN report.
This isn’t surprising, given Trump’s views on climate change and other environmental threats like the Dakota Access Pipeline. I can only hope that someone in government sees reason and has the power to harness the checks and balances system to ensure that these changes are for everyone’s benefit (including the environment’s).