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Updated: May 27, 2022

Bomb Threats Against Historically Black Colleges & Universities Are Acts of Domestic Terrorism

The National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) joins with others in decrying the numerous recent threats to bomb Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the United States. These bomb threats are reminiscent of past acts of domestic terrorism on African descendants perpetrated by whites embracing the myth of White Supremacy.

These are the lived experiences of Black people since being kidnapped from Africa and enslaved in the colonies that became the United States, until today. These acts continue, in part, because the United States government has failed to mount an aggressive response.

This failure of the United States colludes with the perpetrators’ goal to force Black people to live in and be accepting of a subordinated status in this country. These threats are subjecting Black people to not only the possibility of violence for merely being Black and seeking to advance themselves; they also subject them to the fear that the threats will materialize into action as they have so many times, for example, the September 15th, 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

HBCUs matter.

Despite the fact that they are only 3% of the nation’s colleges and universities, HBCUs produce 20% of all Black graduates. They are a critical and reliable source of new generations of Black intellectuals, professionals, and leaders. It is this development of Black excellence that makes HBCUs targets of racial terrorism today.

The bomb threats are even more alarming because they are occurring amidst a national upsurge in acts to maintain and continue the subordination of full Black engagement in the United States democratic processes.

Since the 2020 elections there has been an enhanced effort by state legislators to suppress the vote, and therefore the voices, of Black people and other groups of color in shaping this democracy. There has been an attempt to stop the teaching of Black history in the schools by a knowing mischaracterization of Critical Race Theory and a misguided formulation that teaching about race in the schools from the perspective of those who have been victims of White Supremacy would endanger white children.

NCBL stands with others in saying No!

NCBL will continue to defend and support those attacked because it says NO to those who dare to threaten Black freedom. NCBL will continue to call out those who want to impose a human-created hierarchy of value on people based on the color of someone’s skin or national identification.

These efforts to continue the subordination of Black people provide concrete evidence that the White Supremacist project has failed because Black people remain on the rise. This angers those who are hanging on to the myth of White Supremacy because they have placed their own value on the attempted destruction of Black people and other people of color’s ability to thrive.

NCBL, the legal arm of the Movement for Black Liberation, will continue to defend and protect Black people, their institutions, and their leaders as they continue seeking and securing their rightful place in the United States and the world, a place merited by their ambitions, talents, skills, and achievements.

NCBL was disheartened by President Biden’s press secretary’s weak statement on February 1, 2022.

These bomb threats are more than disturbing - they are acts of terror.

NCBL calls upon President Biden to:

1.) Ensure that the FBI and Homeland Security thoroughly investigate these threats.

2.) Identify those responsible.

3.) Publish a full report.

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