There was a false claim that surfaced on the internet about funding for HBCUs being cut by the Biden Administration. The post stated, “HBCU funding will be cut from $45 billion to $2 billion.” Little did people know that President Biden proposed a $3.5 trillion spending plan which includes $45 billion in new funding for HBCUs. The plan is being debated by Democrats in the House of Representatives currently. Moreover, the $2 billion will be an increase to the existing funds, not a cut.
According to PolitiFact, President Biden proposed $3.5 trillion in his budget proposal. But $45 billion is for new funding for HBCUs to help better research programs and to help innovate. Even if the amount is reduced, it would be an increase and not a cut in funding.
I saw this as a moment for everyone to learn how to fact check before spreading false information. I personally first saw the post on Instagram. I instantly thought, ‘Wait, why is President Biden cutting our funding? I thought part of his campaign plan was to increase HBCUs federal grants to do research.’
Then I thought about Vice President Kamala Harris and our shared expectation that she is supposed to be a major voice in changes being made for us in the black community. This isn’t even mentioning the fact that she attended Howard University herself.
After doing a bit more research and actually reading the articles that surfaced online, I found that the story was fake news. Yes, I am a victim of reading things and believing that they are true without reading the full story. I’m certain that we are all victims of doing this.
In this present age, we are quick to read a headline and think it's true without doing additional research or plainly reading the full post in order to find out if what was said is factually true. Before we spread false news by sharing, reposting, or retweeting false information, we should make sure it’s true.
For me, this time is enough. As individuals, we have to make an effort to take our time and read thoroughly before expressing potentially incorrect news and disseminating it to the masses. I was fluently expressing to others how upset I was with President Biden and Vice President Harris, I was genuinely upset over an issue that was based on a false narrative. The fact that this happens so often is not surprising though.
We’re quick to judge or cancel a person by reading an Instagram or a Twitter post with no factual evidence of whether what the person did was true. That shows how society easily judges people from the outside with no proof of why they are judging a person. It’s all based on what he or she said or read.
Generally speaking, we take social media’s word for it and run with it. We need no facts of what happened, just someone posting it on social media will suffice. That is mind blowing, yet it is something we all suffer with doing and have experienced.
Will society ever take the time to read before judging others or pointing the finger? Maybe we will never know for sure. But I honestly believe we all should thoroughly read into things, before we become quick to gather an opinion.
Ultimately however, HBCU funding is not being cut. It most likely won’t be a cut for us, but rather an increase in what we already have. However, the proposal for increasing funding for HBCUs is still being debated by Congress with much deliberation to still be done.