Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Mixed Response Greets Gov. Bush at FAMU

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Mixed Response Greets Gov. Bush at FAMU

Article excerpt

TALLAHASSEE, FLA..

About a dozen students walked out last month before Florida Gov. Jeb Bush gave a Martin Luther King Jr. day address at historically Black Florida A&M University.

The 150-seat auditorium classroom was filled to capacity when the group, identified only as "students of FAMU," handed out a one-page statement describing Bush's holiday visit as disrespectful to King's legacy and Black students.

They contrasted Bush's position with King's on affirmative action, racism and antiwar sentiments and chastised the governor for not restoring the voting rights to Black voters who were erroneously purged from the rolls prior to the 2000 presidential election.

Bush said he had been unaware of the walkout, but said such demonstrations are "an important element of our free society."

"They have every right to do it. It doesn't bother me a bit," said Bush, who had been invited by the school to speak.

"I have great admiration for the students here and for their success," Bush said. "I wanted to make the link that the success of this university could not have occurred without the struggles that Dr. King and many others a generation ago undertook. …

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