Concerning JD Jean-Jacques’ article titled, “Howard Awarded $90 Million Research Contract With The Pentagon,” The Claudia Jones Club at Howard University, on behalf of the concerned student body, questions the continuously fostered relationship between HBCUs and the U.S. military. Howard University has accrued an outstanding relationship with several institutions directly linked to the U.S. military-industrial complex, and its newest partnership with the Department of Air Force adds to this disturbing tradition of imperialism.
We question the underlying cost of this partnership, as Howard University has become the first Historically Black College to lead a university-affiliated research center for the Air Force and Department of Defense. This move on the part of the administration comes at an interesting time of increasing tuition costs, which are coinciding with a much larger social and economic crisis. We must acknowledge the increasingly desperate moves on the part of the administration to turn our university into a site of corporate power.
Thus, this exposes the reality of the “two” Howard Universities – one that is in the interests of the student body, faculty, and community members and another that is in the interests of corporate monopolies and administration.
Accordingly, we have undertaken to explain how the corporate-militarist interest is to our overall disadvantage. It is because of the undue influence of corporate monopolies that universities across the country, including Howard University, are being transformed away from academic institutions that serve the public good into approximating as closely as possible the characteristics of private corporations.
For this reason, we have concluded it is necessary to explain our contentions with the ever-expanding corporate-militarist influence on our university’s campus. We conclude that contracts with corporate-militarist interests are incompatible for an institution that claims to uphold genuine intellectual curiosity and academic scholarship as well as claiming to function in the interests of the masses of Black people domestically and abroad.
Additionally, we urge other student organizations on campus to honor and continue the long tradition of student resistance to institutions that are antithetical to the well-being of students, faculty and community members. We must continue to unveil the pseudo-liberatory aims that the administration of Howard University seeks to perpetuate time after time. We must recommit ourselves to the truth of our struggle.
The Claudia Jones Club at Howard University
The Claudia Jones School for Political Education is an education organization aiming to build the political consciousness of the Washington, D.C. working-class community.
Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee