Benedict College, an HBCU, invites Donald Trump to campus

by Chelsea Burwell

As the 2020 presidential election inches closer and talks of a possible impeachment continue to circulate, one historically Black college is taking an audacious step by inviting Donald Trump to its campus.

Benedict College recently announced Trump as its guest speaker for their event titled, “The Conservative Case for Criminal Justice Reform,” set to take place on Friday. As one of eight historically Black colleges and universities in the 2020 battleground state of South Carolina, Benedict is hosting a three-day forum centered on the upcoming presidential election.

“We are excited for our students who will witness, first-hand, this historical bipartisan engagement,” Benedict College President Roslyn Artis wrote in a statement.

She said the event will show students “how the diversity of thought and positive social action work together in the democracy of our country.”

According to The State, the college held off on announcing Trump’s tie-in with the three-day forum in fear of pullout from event stakeholders and attendees.

“Soon after learning the news that Trump planned to participate in the event as well, candidates were making it clear that they would also be using the venue to draw contrast between, and directly attack, Trump,” The State reported.

Following Trump’s outburst on Twitter juxtaposing his impeachment inquiry to “a lynching,” White House deputy spokesman Hogan Gidley attempted to backpedal Trump’s statement. Gidley argued that the commander-in-chief didn’t mean to compare his impeachment inquiry to one of America’s “darkest moments.” Instead, he decided to pivot the focus on Trump’s contributions to the Black community.

“HBCU funding is at historic levels,” he explained on Fox News. “This president has also set up opportunity zones in inner cities that have gone to lift all boats, especially those of African Americans whose wages have now increased.”

In spite of Gidley’s argument, national polls still show Trump carrying the support of only 4% of African Americans.

The State reported that Trump’s appearance will not fall in conjunction with his 2020 campaign, but instead as his role as the current occupant of the White House.

On Saturday and Sunday of Benedict College’s event, several 2020 Democratic candidates will arrive on campus for events.

The expected presidential hopefuls include Joe Biden, John Delaney, Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sander, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

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