- The Washington Times - Monday, October 25, 2021

One former Virginia Democratic governor is not happy with the Democrats who followed him in that office. But he has a kind word about Glenn Youngkin, the Republican hopeful now running for governor of the commonwealth.

“The inequities relative to Historically Black Colleges and Universities — HBCUs — in Virginia continue in 2021. Little, if anything, has ever been done by the state for Virginia Union, Hampton, and Virginia University of Lynchburg,” L. Douglas Wilder wrote in an essay published Saturday on his personal website.

Mr. Wilder, in office from 1990 to 1994, said he previously had contacted Rep. Bobby Scott, Virginia Democrat, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and a bipartisan group of legislative leaders in Richmond. He requested they allocate $50 million to each of the HBCUs from funds the commonwealth received through the American Rescue Plan Act.

There was no response. The campuses did not receive any portion of the $4.3 billion available to Virginia.

“Not a penny,” Mr. Wilder wrote.

Then he saw a campaign speech Mr. Youngkin made Friday.

“When I watched Glenn Youngkin last evening commit to provide funding for all five of our HBCUs in any budget he submitted to the legislature if he were governor, it was historical. This is the first time any candidate for governor has made this public commitment,” Mr. Wilder wrote in his essay.

“Our HBCUs are subjected to disparate conditions and they deserve better. As I’ve stated, no Democrat can win a statewide election in Virginia without massive support from the black community; however, their needs continue to be ignored by those who purport to represent them,” the former governor said.

“The people are not stupid; they are voting on issues and for those who speak to the issues that impact their lives. Maybe Northam and McAuliffe will tell us why they have not supported our HBCUs. Stay tuned,” Mr. Wilder concluded.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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