‘There’s a lot of hateful people’: Charlotte-area students react after at least 7 HBCUs received bomb threats

According to the school, they received a call regarding the threat of a bomb on campus at approximately 5:30 p.m.
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 10:16 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2022 at 4:14 PM EST
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DURHAM, N.C. (WBTV) - At least seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities were the target of bomb threats Tuesday, including North Carolina Central University in Durham.

People attending a local HBCU school told WBTV that a threat against one is a threat against all.

North Carolina Central, Howard, Spelman, Norfolk State and Florida A&M University were just a few to receive these threats that prompted lockdowns.

These schools sent out alerts and evacuated students on campus until all clears were given later Tuesday night.

Some students and school officials believe these threats were racially motivated given the demographics and history of these schools.

WBTV’s Lowell Rose talked to a student at Livingstone College who has friends at North Carolina Central.

“I’m shocked, but I’m not shocked, but the way that history does repeat itself, I’m really not surprised,” said Livingstone College student Keyvana Resper-Robinson. “There’s a lot of hateful people out there, sad to say, and it shouldn’t happen, but it’s going to happen considering the world we live in.”

Officials at both Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte and Livingstone College in Salisbury said there were no threats made there, but but school leaders say it’s still a concern for all HBCUs. Additionally, students are still on break at both schools.

“I think that when one of our institutions are attacked we all feel it, in a post-George Floyd era, there was this awareness, there was this awakening, but then there’s also this awkwardness and it gave people who were opposed to all of the great things that are happening in the name of diversity and inclusion to raise their hand of hatred, and so we feel it across the HBCU community,” said Dr. Anthony Davis, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Livingstone College.

Students and school leaders believe the threats were racially motivated.

“I do feel like it was racially motivated in a way I do see a lot of students choosing HBCUs over other schools, especially really, really good athletes,” Resper-Robinson said. “Kids of color are going towards HBCUs as a whole. And most people don’t like that, considering they never got the recognition that they did before as they’re doing now.”

“Whenever someone tries to interject fear, it is a hate crime,” Dr. Davis said. “When you think about HBCUs and the population that we serve, ultimately, yes, you have to say that that is a hate crime.”

Classes are not in session until February at Livingstone College because of COVID safety protocols, but one student on campus still finds the threats unsettling.

“It’s just weird because considering the fact HBCUs were made to educate Black Americans considering they couldn’t go to the other colleges. It’s weird. You’re coming between a safe space,” Resper-Robinson said.

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