(Photo Credit: Todd A. Smith)

People who like to deny that anti-Black racism exists love to say that it is the 21st century, not the 1950s or 1960s.

But I ask, what’s the difference?

Several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have received bomb threats over recent days, on top of HBCUs receiving similar threats during the first week of this year.

Unfortunately, the outward racism in 2022 might be worse because at least generations past can claim ignorance.

What excuse does this generation of racists and White supremacists have to lean on?

This generation of racists and White supremacists had generations of learning from the past mistakes.

They learned about American racism in History class from elementary to high school and beyond.

Those bigots learned about the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963 in which four Black girls attending Sunday School lost their lives.

Those ignorant and misguided humans learned about the bombings and death threats that civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. had to deal with.

Nevertheless, those people still choose to take us backwards and make the same mistakes that their forefathers made.

Combine that with the fact that many White parents are trying to remove that history from classrooms and America has a nasty and indigestible recipe for disaster.

CNN reported, “A growing number of historically Black colleges and universities have had to lock down or postpone classes due to bomb threats on the first day of Black History Month.

“At least 13 HBCUs reported bomb threats Tuesday. At least one of them, Howard University, also received a bomb threat Monday.”

The 13 HBCUs that received bomb threats on Feb. 1 include: Jackson State University, Coppin State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Morgan State University, Alcorn State University, Tougaloo College, Kentucky State University, Fort Valley State University, Howard University, Xavier University in New Orleans, University of the District of Columbia, Spelman College and Edward Waters University.

Some of the HBCUs that received bomb threats on Jan. 31 include Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., Bowie State University, Delaware State University, Albany State University, Howard University and Bethune-Cookman University.

On Jan. 5, HBCUs Prairie View A&M University, Howard University, Norfolk State University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Florida Memorial University, North Carolina Central University and Xavier University in New Orleans received bomb threats.

During the 1960s, the bombing that killed innocent Black schoolgirls happened, no doubt, to send a warning and strike fear in the Civil Rights Movement, which was inching towards integration and equal rights.

But what those bigots did not realize was every time the Black community suffered a loss at the hands of White rage and violence, it strengthened the movement.

It never stopped the movement.

Emmett Till’s grisly murder galvanized the movement for equal rights in 1955.

George Zimmerman killing Trayvon Martin for no reason other than Zimmerman’s own ignorance, woke up a generation of Black people that might have become comfortable and apathetic to the Black liberation struggle.

The murders of people like George Floyd and Botham Jean motivated this generation of Black activists to push for police reform.

And while the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act has not passed, YET, each day it does not pass motivates the Black community to keep fighting for justice so the martyrs of our community will not have died in vain.

We did not let the four little Sunday School students die in vain.

We did not let Till die in vain.

We did not let King, Medgar Evers or Malcolm X die in vain either, so White racists must realize we ain’t stopping the momentum now.

We did not fear you when the law was on your side, so there is no way on God’s green Earth that we will fear you now.

Racists and hate-filled people could not stop the Civil Rights Movement.

Racists and hate-filled people could not stop the abolition of slavery.

Therefore, racists and hate-filled people will not stop this movement for Black liberation which has renewed efforts for building wealth and supporting our own in the Black community.

If anything, this hatred that is on full display for all young Black kids to see, will make them more determined to do for themselves and to use their talents and brilliance to build wealth for HBCUs and the Black communities that surround them, instead of building wealth for people who want to see them perish by way of the brutal blast of a bomb.

And the young generation has begun a movement that should have begun decades ago but did not because previous generations had gotten too comfortable by falling for the fake news known as a post-racial America.

Now, you have some of the brightest minds choosing to go to HBCUs.

Many HBCUs have experienced a record-shattering number of applications after the murder of Floyd and the subsequent marches and protests led by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Five-star football athlete Travis Hunter chose Jackson State over Florida State, a predominantly White institution (PWI).

After facing discrimination in the National Football League and from PWIs, NFL veterans like Hugh Jackson, Eddie George and Bubba McDowell have taken their coaching talents to HBCUs, which has led many top high school and junior college recruits to do the same.

Schools like Grambling State have negotiated groundbreaking name, image and likeness (NIL) deals in which all scholarship athletes, male and female, will receive endorsement money.

And top NFL prospects from HBCUs like Tytus Howard from Alabama State have realized that professional teams like the Houston Texans will still find them at HBCUs and will still draft them in the first round.

No wonder racists want to stop the momentum with bomb threats.

But HBCUs will continue to figuratively blow up and no amount of real dynamite will stop the movement because this new generation is the bomb just like previous generations and past movements.

Todd A. Smith
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