A collision of free speech at a commencement

We can only imagine what the faculty of Bethune-Cookman University was thinking when they stood up as the booing began during Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ speech at commencement today.

But perhaps they were asking themselves if they failed in their goal of educating the next generation over the last four years or succeeded?

“While we will undoubtedly disagree at times, I hope we can do so respectfully,” DeVos said at the beginning of her speech. “Let’s choose to hear one another out.”

There was no chance that was going to happen in 2017.

“I want to reaffirm this administration’s commitment to, and support for, HBCUs and the students they serve. Please know this. We support you and will continue to support you,” DeVos said.

But the students says she was unfit for the task given what they say is the Trump administration’s lack of respect for HBCUs — historically black colleges and universities.

Earlier this year, DeVos praised HBCUs as “real pioneers when it comes to school choice.” HBCUs didn’t start by choice; black students weren’t allowed to attend white colleges and universities.