Education Secretary Betsy DeVos praised the nation's historically black colleges and universities on Monday, as President Trump met with many of their leaders.
However, DeVos' wording angered many supporters of the school. She said they were "real pioneers when it comes to school choice."
But, as many pointed out, HBCUs were often created because they were the only choice for black students during the era of segregated schools.
I like how Betsy DeVos calls HBCUs "pioneers of school choice" when they actually exist because a people were given no school choice.— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) February 28, 2017
Many people were stunned by her choice of words.
Betsy DeVos said HBCUS were a "school choice". I have no words for the ignorance and the stupidity that we have to deal with for 4 years. 🙄— GeAndra ✨ (@geandraimani) February 28, 2017
It's as if Betsy Devos said "what is the most wrong takeaway I could have from meeting with HBCUs" and put that in a press release.— Aaron Levie (@levie) February 28, 2017
DeVos saying HBCUs are examples of school choice is like saying the underground railroad is an example of social mobility.— Major Beige (@MajorBeige) February 28, 2017
this is an actual serious question. Does Betsy DeVos know that Jim Crow happened?— Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) February 28, 2017
Some questioned DeVos' memory of U.S. history.
I'm about to go off on Betsy DeVos. I'm gonna try to keep it to 750 words.— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) February 28, 2017
Maybe 1000 or 1500 if necessary.
DeVos and her Department of Education has already faced criticism for a racially charged incident. A tweet honoring famed black author and activist W.E.B. Du Bois misspelled his name.
Betsy DeVos's HBCU statement is reason no. 379 that she should not be secretary of education.— D'Challa (@IAmDavidShelton) February 28, 2017
Many mocked her comments by comparing "school choice" to segregated water fountains.
DeVos said school choice would be a priority after she took over the Department of Education, arguing that students and families deserve flexibility. But critics have argued her policies will leave floundering public schools with no options.
DeVos was the first Cabinet nominee to require a tiebreaker vote from the Vice President to be confirmed. Democrats pulled an all-nighter on the Senate floor to protest her nomination.
Trump's meeting with HBCU leaders also drew fire for aide Kellyanne Conway's relaxed pose on an Oval Office couch. Some took this as a sign of disrespect for the HBCU presidents in attendance.
WATCH | For more news you need, check out our 60 Second Circa.