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10 December 2008

A Rare Moment Of Agreement Between The GOP & Cynthia Tucker

Last week, Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Seth Harp (R - Midland) touched off an interesting debate when he proposed merging some of the state's historically white and black colleges.

Harp, in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, said his idea would save money for the state in these tough economic times while also eliminating the last remnants of segregation in Georgia [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Senator: Merge black, white colleges", December 2, 2008].

State Senator Vincent Fort (D - Atlanta) called Harp's idea a bad one. And Michael Lomax, President & CEO of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), said that even now in 2008, there's still a marketplace for traditionally black public colleges and universities in the state [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Q&A: UNCF president: Don’t close historically black colleges, December 7, 2008]

Well, the debate over whether to merge Georgia's historically black and white colleges took an interesting turn today with Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Cynthia Tucker weighing in on the issue.

Tucker, who is black, writes in her column today that state Sen. Seth Harp has the "right idea."

There is no good reason to maintain separate but equal public facilities in close proximity. There is no longer good reason for public colleges that are all-white or all-black. Use the opportunity to remove the last vestiges of Jim Crow from the University System. [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Don’t waste opportunity to merge black, white colleges", December 10, 2008]

"Institutions supported by taxpayers should be diverse, educating men and women of all colors and creeds," Tucker concludes.