President Donald Trump announced this week that his administration will lift a ban that had prevented federal funds from going to faith-based black colleges and universities, as his Department of Justice (DOJ) reviewed the rule and found it to be unconstitutional.
“Today, I’m thrilled to announce another major action we’re taking to protect HBCUs,” Trump said on Tuesday to commemorate National Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) Week at a conference in Washington, D.C.
“Previously, federal law restricted more than 40 faith-based HBCUs and seminaries from fully accessing federal support for capital improvement projects. This meant that your faith-based institutions, which have made such extraordinary contributions to America, were unfairly punished for their religious beliefs,” Trump added.
Faith-based universities will no longer be discriminated against because of the actions of the Trump administration, as an antiquated federal rule will be reversed.
“This week, our Department of Justice has published an opinion declaring such discriminatory restrictions as unconstitutional. It was a big step. And from now on, faith-based HBCUs will enjoy equal access to federal support,” Trump said.
The DOJ made a determination issued on Aug. 15 that restricting the Department of Education’s “authority to guarantee loans for capital improvements at historically black colleges and universities ‘in which a substantial portion of its functions is subsumed in a religious mission’ violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.”
They cited established case law to make their point, as the DOJ referenced Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer and Locke v. Davey in their decision. They claim that those Supreme Court rulings “establish that the government may not deny generally available funding to a sectarian institution because of its religious character.” The government ultimately has the “discretion to choose what activities to fund” as long as their behavior is non-discriminatory.
This announcement coincidentally coincides with the release of an article from Jemele Hill in The Atlantic in which she argued that more must be done by the black athletic community to help HBCUs. Hill, the serial race baiter who once called Trump a white supremacist before she was forced out of ESPN, will not likely be giving any credit to Trump for his push on behalf of HBCUs.
Despite being widely maligned as a racist by Democratic Party officials and the fake news media, Trump continues to look out for the interests of African-Americans and other minority voters. He is making a strong case for minority voters to abandon the Democrats and vote Republican in 2020.
“The fierce dedication to strengthening HBCUs is a core part of my administration’s unwavering focus on the project of national renewal,” Trump said at the conference.
Trump also noted that he has invalidated “ruinous trade policies that devastated millions of hard-working families and inflicted deep economic pain on many African-American communities.”
Right now, Trump has approval from roughly 10 percent of the African-American electorate, and he hopes that moves such as increasing funding for HBCUs will raise that number substantially before the 2020 presidential election rolls around.
Endangered California Condor Seen in Sequoia National Park for the First Time in 50 Years
It’s the largest bird in North America.
One of the most endangered animals in the United States has been observed in a national park that is part of its historical range. The National Park and U.S. Fish and Wildlife services confirmed in a joint statement that six California Condors have been seeing flying above the Sequoia National Park in Eastern California.
The birds were also photographed by park personnel.
A biologist of the Santa Barbara Zoo confirmed that specimens being GPS-tracked by the zoo had been geolocated in the national park.
“We use GPS transmitters to track the birds’ movement, which can be over hundreds of miles on a single day,” said Dave Meyer. “On this particular day we documented the birds’ signals around Giant Forest, and we are excited that park employees observed the birds and confirmed their use of this important historic habitat.”
The Sequoia National Park consists of more then 400,000 acres in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The rare vultures, which feed upon carrion, had once been known to nest in the great Sequoia trees of the park, before disappearing from the habitat around the 1970’s.
The California Condor is a New World vulture, and an exceptionally large bird, the largest native to North America. It range once broadly consisted of the entire western United States, spanning from Canada to Baja California in Mexico.
It had been declared to be extinct in the wild in 1987, but a preservation program to save the species has proved successful in reintroducing captive individuals to the wild in northern Arizona and Utah. Poaching, habitat destruction, and poisoning from manmade chemicals have severely eroded the population of the birds in the wild, and it’s currently listed as critically endangered. Preservation efforts have increased the wild population of the California Condor from merely 22 animals to more than 400 today.
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