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Republican Senator in PA Says “College is Not For Black Students”

By Victor Trammell

Many people believe that the opportunity to receive a quality education is a human right fit for all regardless of their race, creed, or socioeconomic status.

However, there are private and public figures in the American power structure who do not agree with that notion. In fact, a senator in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania believes that black students, in particular, are better fits for vocational schools than they are for college or university attendance.

This Republican state senator’s name is John Eichelberger (pictured). Eichelberger is also the chairman of the Senate Education Committee of Pennsylvania. Very recently, Eichelberger was a speaker at a town hall meeting when a very controversial statement came out of his mouth.

An opinion-editorial about this hot-button issue, which was republished this past Tuesday (March 7th) by the Pittsburgh Courier partially reads as follows:

“[Sen. John Eichelberger] is being rightly criticized for saying minority students from “inner-city” public schools would do better in vocational careers than in college. [Eichelberger] said during a town hall that minority students are being pushed toward college and are dropping out. He says they’d succeed in a less-intensive track.” (The Pittsburgh Courier)

Democratic Sen. Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has called for Eichelberger to step down from his position as chairman of Pennsylvania’s Senate Education Committee. “[I am] repulsed by [Eichelberger’s] statement,” Hughes said in a media interview.

“Let’s be clear, this issue about the stereotyping of Black and Brown children needing less-intensive tracks to succeed has been around for generations, maybe even centuries,” Hughes continued.

If Eichelberger did not want his statement to end up convoluted by the media, he should have firstly taken responsibility for the lack of resources that are inside the public schools of Pennsylvania’s poorest minority neighborhoods. As the chairman of the Senate Education Committee of his state, Eichelberger has an onus on him to help correct such problems.

Instead of prescribing what the worst victims of public education should be doing with their careers after the K-12 level, leaders like Eichelberger should more concerned with fixing the system so that more minorities can be truly prepared should they choose higher education as an option after graduating high school.

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48 thoughts on “Republican Senator in PA Says “College is Not For Black Students”

  1. Dathniel Chery

    Black people continue to believe the white man is confused about what he has been telling us for over 400 years he has been very clear in their actions towards people of color from the so called Education system to Mass Incarceration!!Why do we as adults continue to re refuse to believe him and turn to each other to rectify the problem? The Jews the Asians the Asian Indians all understand they can not trust the American so called Justice or Education systems for anything.

    • Judith Guilbeaux

      There are plenty of all these ethnicities and races in public schools who are thriving and have earned college degrees. Black students are doing the same thing. I could provide you with a long of students I know from varied, including impoverished, backgrounds who have thrived in public schools. The problem really is that the message you just sent is seen, heard and felt by inner-city black children from birth. They begin to believe it is true, and perception is everything. My mission for over 50 years has been to help them refute the lies told to them and excel.

  2. Charlemagne

    let me say that i recognize that eichekburgs statement was made in the spirit of white supremacy. but:

    in every population there are those that are better suited to become plumbers, carpenters or mechanics, rather than physicians, accountants and attorneys. there is nothing wrong with that. that we force upon all students the idea that college is the penultimate, does some students a disfavor. My plumber is always busy. my lawyer cousin is struggling to make ends meet. #ijs

    • Derrick

      True, but cannot paint a picture of every ethnic or race to choose this or that. That’s like saying, if you live in the country part of Pennsylvania you should go to farm training (agricultural) school. How can a Joker, who is a Senator and the head of our education department make a statement like that. He should step down immediately, or be removed. Drugs that’s what they are on!

      • Luna's3rdGirl

        My pediatrician was a black woman, the best teacher I had was a black woman, and the best President this country has had in decades is a black man…Constitutional Scholar…college educated, as was his black wife.

    • Nola Saint

      Yes…there are always going to be some people who are better suited to certain occupations than others, as everyone learns different and has different interests and abilities; just as there will always be a fluctuation in the occupations that are in demand at any given time

      As the person who helps to oversee the funding and resources for the public educational system for ALL K-12 school aged children this rep has failed in his responsibility to the children to make sure that those who do choose to go to college are prepared for it and that those who choose a vocational education have the same resources available. Instead of doing his job and fighting for the children of his district – which he has failed – he has chosen to blame the very students whom he failed instead of taking responsibility for his own actions and seems to have added racial stereotypes in just for “good measure”.

      This disgusting piece of garbage is a disgrace and is one of many who believe this way. The quicker these ignorant people are removed from public office the better our country will be which is why voting in EVERY election is a life and death necessity. I know sometimes it is difficult to see the reason but We, the People, MUST do better in getting out and voting. When almost half the eligible voters couldn’t be bothered to vote or were not allowed to vote in the last presidential election – we know we must do better.

      There are many more of us (those who believe in equality and justice regardless of a person’s race, religion, class, etc.) And if we were to stand together against people like this waste of oxygen and taxpayer money there is no telling what we could accomplish for tbe good of all in our Country. This is why the “powers that be” keep us divided and fighting amongst ourselves for the scraps from their plates – instead of coming together to fight for our rightful place at the table.

    • dereka heath

      All they are trying to do is reinforce age old darwin theories that say, that blacks are better suited and built for hard and strenious labors or manual labor. but this understanding does not allow blacks to reach their full potential. some people get more done with their minds than they do with their hands. Ideas come from the brain not your feet or hands. i cant believe that there are black people on here actually cosigning to this mess. im not going to let some white man that knows nothing of me tell me, what he thinks is best for me- and does not know me…. sorry. They think blacks are built for manual labor that isnt true either… Can we depend on a black woman to come to work, clean house, feed and take care of children and etc if she has no arms or legs? Can we depend on a black man that is on O2 (oxygen) with COPD to run a marathon when he cant even move from one to another without being on oxygen and wearing himself out? If those blacks are not built for manual and you cant apply that same application in that situation then i guess just being a person of color makes you a automatic qualified candidate to mow someone’s lawn… Dont yall think?

    • Gwen brown

      Exactly, I told my daughter to sign my grandsons up, for woodshop,,auto mechanics, plumbing, etc., my kids dad, never needed an application job, and we lived dane good!!!

    • Yasmeen

      First of all just last hear Black Women were said to have the most degrees amonst all ethnic groups. This Senator knows that. This is the attempts at a white supremacist to invoke a narrative that ghetto children are stupid and belong as only plumbers and electricians. Its hilarious really. Because again we have denial from white people and all of everything that black people have done here and invented. From the slave who invented whiskey…to the brotha who they wouldnt let into JohnsHopkind but helped with blue baby in late 40s…to just about everytning else that happens, moves, writes. I mean the nerve. We have given everytbing including this country as a superpower and yall are still sooo ungrateful. Butnits all good cause the timd of the Gentiles is coming to an end. Thats why youre really hateful. Cause you know time is running out for yall. Birthrate continues to drop…while yalls sids is rising. While at the same time poc are on the rise…and we just keep having babies….. ijs. How stupid do you sound telling a people thag invented alchemy and science..astronomy and the likes they wont succeed in college. No what you really scared of is more of us graduating. Cause that means yours white supremacy is coming to an end. GD is good.

  3. Jim DeCamp

    It would be useful to present Senator Eichelberger’s own words, rather than just your characterization of them. I suspect that a fair minded person reading Senator Eichelberger ‘s words might be inclined to agree with him. We should treat people as individuals, and allow them to flourish in their way. Attempts by social engineers to force all groups into identical statistical distributions in every imaginable or contrived category only harms individuals and social comity.

    I am highly skeptical of the “value added” by exposure to the academic environment, for anyone, regardless of race. Trying to force square pegs of any race into that academic round hole only harms the individual it is purported to help, while giving the person pounding him with a sledge hammer smug self-satisfaction.

    • Eddie R Thomas

      That is a bunch of BULLCRAP, if anyone who completes the 12th grade, should be allow to farther there education, if they should fail after they have been giving equal opportunity and have done there best, they may need to go in a different direction, know one has the right to predetermine some ones future, that is unconstitutional and unexceptionable!!!

    • Nola Saint

      Even after reading the entirety of what was said, he was not touting the benefits of allowing students to “flourish in their way”. Instead he specifically targeted a group/groups of people. Ammnd then went further to blame “urban schools” (of which he is at least partially to blame for their success/failure as he is the Chairman of the education committee). Instead of taking the responsibility for his failing actions he blames it not only on the children but also “fake news”.

      Yes…there are always going to be some people who are better suited to certain occupations than others, as everyone learns different and has different interests and abilities. That is the beauty of humans. However, the senator was not saying that and as the chairperson who helps to oversee the funding and resources for the public educational system for ALL K-12 school aged children this Senator has failed in his responsibility to the children to make sure that those who do choose to go to college are prepared for it and that those who choose a vocational education have the same resources available…regardless of what shape peg/hole.

      To recap.

      He is the Chairman of the Education Committee who is responsible for the education system and in doing so is at least partially responsible for the resources made available to the schools in question.

      Although the exact same thing could be truthfully said regarding rural communities and their lack educational resources (which he has some direct influence over) he calls out a specific group or groups and blames the same education system in “urban areas” (again…at least some influence over) for his own ideas about children of color, specifically, not being college-ready.

      He further blames “fake news” for quoting his own words. Words, that even when read “in context” do nothing to absolve him from being wrong.

      There is no excusing the fact that he made gross, sweeping and racial generalizations and has placed the blame everywhere else besides where it should be – the education committee of which he is chairman, himself, his own actions.

    • Christopher Mobley

      You could say the same thing about trying to plug people into a vocational track. I read at a sixth grade level in kindergarten, skipped second grade, graduated from high school at age sixteen. My college career began five days after my high school graduation. Forcing me into a vocational track would have been a disaster.

  4. Melba J Williams

    How long are these so called want to be white privileged crazy self self serving idiotic fools going to think they are above blacks people? College is for anyone who has the desire, the ability and who can afford to go. This world world don’t belong to whie folks only. it’s not a freaking club, the God is the master of the universe and he decided over two thousand years ago. Do the overgrown moron who thinks he had the monopoly on who belong where needs to sit his ass down somewhere and deal with what he can never change because we’re here, not going anywhere, and deserves just as much as this fool thinks he does or more. He must be feeling inferior and scared, because what we have and have accomplished we did honestly, we didn’t take, manipulate, kill or rob to get it.

  5. Belinda Quinton

    This is not new. Racism. The problem is this man is in charge of making sure our children get a fair and equal education. He is not up to the job. If he was looking at people as everything is not for every body, that is common since there are people of all hues that are suited for all types of professions including inner city people who are not white.I am in us]or of him stepping down

  6. Amber

    Every male in my White Family was an electrician. My Father was an electrician in WW 2. Came home. Got his Journeyman License. Went on the road. Elected to Business Agent. Then tapped for International of I.B.E.W.

    He was a one man war on poverty. He was arrested in Greenville, Mississippi in 1964 for organizing black and white workers.
    POINT………Every one in MY FAMILY…..lived Better than I did, made More money than I did, because they had a SELLABLE Skill. My Oldest brother was a Cable Splicer. He took his life in his hand everytime he climbed a pole to splice huge live wires together, downed by storm or accident. He made……..huge money

    And I taught school in tough inner city schools for decades. I think the Senator is on to something. Too many kids borrow money to go to college and come out with degrees in Communications. Gender Studies. African American Studies. Well, it you want to become a College Professor or write books. Fine. IF not LEARN A SKILL PEOPLE WILL PAY YOU TO DO. People want their electricity on. Their lights fixed. LAYING WIRE FOR COMPUTORS in big businesses…………big money maker. Keep your nose clean. Get on an apprentice program with a CRAFT Union. OR go to TRADE SCHOOL. the PUBLIC kind. NOT the SCAM on line types.
    Live well.
    Love you all
    God Bless
    Male Nurses? make good money. Physical therapists? Huge money. Any thing in Medical Field. many do not go to College or can get 2 year in Community college which will not have you in debt for life..

    • Thyneice

      A physical therapist and​ a male nurse have college degree! Please fact check the educational reguirements for certain professions. They can start the process of these vocations in technical college but the will soon have to go to a 4 year school to get an actual nursing degree or to be a licensed physical therapist and practice they HAVE TO HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE!!

    • Tmoe

      Shouldn’t they have the same choice that you had? You didn’t become an electrician or cable splicer, you became a teacher. And, as a retired teacher I know that you didn’t make as much money as they did. So, it’s not all about the money! Is it just Black kids that should go after these skilled jobs or all kids? If so, I guess we don’t need doctor, lawyer, and TEACHERS!

  7. Doug in Jax

    This isn’t a racist statement, it’s a condemnation of the urban school systems and a recognition that jobs are more important than diplomas. Too many people of all races are being pushed to borrow money for diplomas that are ultimately extremely poor investments.

    Academia sucks in money and Uncle Sam gets lifetime debtors.

    • Thyneice

      This is racists!! There are plenty young people who come e out of those same “inner city school systems” that go to college. Anytime a white person talks about inner city the really mean brown or black people. Who is considered to be “minority” which was the statement that came out of his mouth.

  8. Loretta

    What is wrong with this man,he has made a statement that concerns me deeply.It is a well known fact that white folk have keep Education between the Black and colored races separate from the beginning due to the fact that Blacks are known to be smarter than they are genetically. Not do to any other reason than that! We come from a history older and more agresive than most we retain more in knowledge than any of our white counter parts,that is the reason we have been treated in the manner we have been subjected to in this country! Black males can precieve and idea and make it a reality before a white man can even see it or understand it as a possibility! Too keep the Black man in an domesticated and manufacturing labor position makes them more dependent on wealthy white men that want all of the wealth and control ! Your continued fear and separation of blacks in this country will be the force that will consume the white race!

    • Reason

      LOL Racism is so cute when it comes in the form of “Don’t those racist white people know how genetically inferior they are”

  9. Kenneth

    You put the words “college is not for black students” in quotation marks, yet those words were never said. Do you not know understand the usage of that punctuation. Or are you being deceptive on purpose?

  10. Pingback: Republican Senator in PA Says “College is Not For Black Students” – Trendee Talk

  11. Denver

    If we were honest we would intuitively understand that when the Republican Senator in PA Says “College is Not For Black Students”, he isn’t concerned with race, creed, or socioeconomic status. It has to do with the mathematically and statistically correct results shown in the Bell Curve by Herrnstein and Murray.

    University should be set aside for the top 10% of students
    College should be set aside for the to 20% of students
    Jr. College is for the top 40% of students
    The rest should consider joining the military or going to trade school.

  12. Vanessa

    My Niece has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree and is going g to school in May for her Ph.D. My Son-in-Law was born and raised in one of the worst projects here in Philly and has never been to ja. By the way, he also has his Ph.D. and is a successful Attorney.

  13. Thyneice

    Same here! We are a people of the greatest minds that built this country no matter where or how we grew up.

  14. Nathaniel Deckard, Jr

    The US Constitution actually prohibits this worm from being a senator. For him to utter such blatantly racist sentiment is marked proof that he cannot effectively represent the interests of the black constituency of Pennsylvania!!!

  15. Eileen Rossi

    I don’t know when this guy spewed this tripe but the depth and breath of of moronic statements like this across our history is disgusting. If this is recent, he must be sent packing. If this is not, he must acknowledge saying it, retract and apologize and we must watch to see if future actions prove sincere. I know this is the black homeschool site and I am a white grandmother, so you must decide if it is best to take these next thoughts with a grain of salt. I have noticed more and more white evangelical home schooling where I recently moved, but I understand it is prevalent. I fear this trend will weaken our tenuous policy of separation of church and state and strengthen our separation of people and cultures. If we could find a way to change our public school system, invigorate it with instruction of world culture, the ebb and flow of global dominance and how it has shaped this country in its deficits and advancements, its cruelty and idealism, then we would not need home schooling..I know- Utopian dreams with no bearing on today’s reality. Somehow there must be the chance for a bridge where home school curriculum, with the exception of religion, IS public school curriculum and Home School becomes the place outside of school where parents and guardians instill their view of god, politics, activism, community. Is their an avenue for the black home school community to inform and influence local and state school boards? Maybe that would be a start.

  16. Tobic Nomhone

    opportunities and success is about fg resources! It is not color or race!! Stop with stupid narrative!

  17. Rasmus Gjesdal

    Such comments make me ashamed to be descended from Neanderthal (White).

    Imagine a world where we had only people like Pence, Trump, Ham, Bush and such scum instead of people like Obama, Tyson (Neil). The quality of a person has nothing to do with skin color; its about environment!

  18. Richard Moten Sr

    People (especially white) who make comments like this will say they know what’s best for Black People. But in essence they are speaking from fear of losing control over the future of Black people in their area. You see, once a black person dares to follow his or her dream as oppose to their conditioning and training, it means they become equals on the playing field of life and better equipped education wise to live up to their fullest potential which would push all lies perpetrated against them as a whole be destroyed and make for a far better society. Poverty for them would come to an end. Depending on whites to supply them with their most basic needs would come to a grinding halt, making poor people of those (now wealthy and rich) who purposely stand in their way of their progress. As for those whites who look forward to blacks becoming Captains of industry are concerned,this would be the relief they’ve been looking for quite a long time. The truth would finally be told and the nation would finally be on the road to healing. Make no mistake; there will still be pockets of individuals who have nothing better to do than try and get attention for themselves by spreading rumors and gossip. Some will even go as far as to commit crimes (just as they do today) and put the blame on Black people. The issue of small mindedness doesn’t solely exist among white though. Black People have their fair share trouble makers from the inside too. After all, there are many shades of black People, that range from midnight blue to light, bright to damn near white! And this alone makes it very difficult for even Black People to get along because they’ve been taught the brighter you skin, the better off you are than even your own dark skinned mother.This is why education in all areas is most important. It fully includes Real Black History. Not the tidbits supplied to pacify. Common sense is what I’m talking about.

  19. Joyce

    Well, if that is true which i dont believe. Why there is no blacks standing up saying im not college materia. Why is it always the fucking smart ass white man whom have never lived a day being black saying whats good for blacks. I am a college graduate and so are my kids. Good jobs are family owned and opertated by family members. What scares you all so bad that you want the black man to thank less for himself. I know. You scare to take the back seat. Well get ready its coming. Blacks do not believel anything you white man say about us anymore. It just makes us stronger

    • Michelle Boyd

      So true! There time is coming, “…say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” “…and worship before they feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 Share and pass along!

  20. Judi Duvall

    I know many African Americans who not only went to college, but achieved their Masters and Ph. D.’s, many on academic excellence scholarships and I know many Caucasians who opted for vocational schools, either because they didn’t want to go to college or didn’t make the grades and SAT/ACT scores to qualify. This man’s statement is an affront to the entire African American community. Education begins at kindergarten and it is imperative that k-12 have the funding and qualified educators able to prepare every student to achieve their best possible outcomes, regardless of the locations of the schools. The public school in which I worked, demanded the best from every student. It had a predominantly African American student population and we had many who received full ride academic scholarships, appointments to to the US Naval Academy and West Point and I would challenge every school to work toward that end and prepare the students for college and the life beyond.

  21. CAD

    Believe me, this is terrible and the senator is totally out of line, but the headline of this article is perpetuating the “fake news” trends. Putting “College is not for black students” in quotes makes it seem as though those are his direct words and they are not. This is a click bait headline. I am not denying that his words are discriminatory or inappropriate, but I think we need to use some critical thinking skills here and realize that the headline is incorrect.

    I would also like to add that it’s terrible that we think of the trades as inferior to often useless liberal arts degrees. The fact that we have so many un(der)employed and indebted college grads is proof that college is not imperative, and that we should not look down upon people who choose vocations. We need plumbers, electricians, architects, etc. more than we need another unemployed art-history major.

  22. Dave O'Reilly

    The are people of every race that are better suited for vocational skills. College is forced on everyone. You are constantly told that if you don’t go to college you won’t be successful. That guy is full of shit if he thinks that is only the case for nonwhite people. That’s the case for a lot of white people. In Europe people go to school for a number of years and then when they reach high school they are given a choice of vocational school or college. That’s considered high school. So maybe we should look into doing that. Our educational system here is really fucking subpar. Maybe if schools in minority areas were given the same fucking funding that schools in white areas get, you would see more success. Fucknut there of course left that out of the conversation. About how schools in minority areas get shafted. He also forgot to mention that a lot of white people can’t hack college. Maybe the guy needs to get a damn clue before he opens his stupid mouth.


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