Want to know how you know you’re on the wrong side of history if you’re an HBCU president?
First you agree for your school, Talladega College, to play at the incoming president’s inauguration—a gig so despised, the lineup includes a 16-year-old second-place reality-show contestant, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (because nothing says hotness like a tabernacle choir) and the Rockettes (and rumor has it that some of them don’t even want to perform).
Then you appear on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor and mention that the band hasn’t raised the funds needed to participate in the inauguration event. And shortly after that appearance on Fox News, whose demographic doesn’t look anything like the students who attend your school, your GoFundMe page runneth over. Before the appearance, you barely had the $75,000 to make the trip; now you’re swimming in $280,000 and counting.
Such is life for Talladega College President Billy Hawkins, who not only wants his band to play for a demagogue’s celebration but also believes that it will be a learning experience.
“As many of those who chose to participate in the parade have said, we feel the inauguration of a new president is not a political event but a civil ceremony celebrating the transfer of power,” he said in a statement, according to Fox News.
It’s worth noting that two former slaves started the Alabama college in 1865.