Tuesday marked the third set of such bomb threats against HBCUs — and second in as many days — since Jan. 4, leaving at least 19 different Black colleges facing at least 21 separate bomb threats in the past 35 days.
U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a high-ranking member of Congress, renewed those calls on Tuesday after at least 12 more bomb threats were made against the same number of HBCUs, including but not limited to the iconic Spelman College and Howard University, the latter of which has been the target of three different bomb threats in recent weeks.
“Each institution should be a safe place for students to grow and learn,” Thompson, who is also chairman of the Jan. 6 Commission, said in a tweet Tuesday morning. “The bomb threats to the HBCUs deserve a full investigation, particularly given the dynamic terrorism threat. Students and staff members should feel safe on campus and not subjected to violence and fear.”
Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., called for federal intervention and described the “recurring threats” in the context of terrorism.
“Ending the repeated targeting of Black spaces and terrorization of its occupants must be an immediate priority of the Department of Justice and this administration,” Nelson tweeted Tuesday. “These recurring threats to HBCUs are highly disruptive and damaging.”
Dr. David Kwabena Wilson, the president of Morgan State University, also demanded the FBI handle the case and said the threats won’t affect the mission of HBCUs.
“We will not be deterred from ‘Growing the Future and Leading the World,'” Wilson tweeted. “I’m calling on the FBI to vigorously investigate this threat to our National Treasure, and to our other sister HBCUs across the nation.”
It was unclear how many bomb threats are needed in order to prompt a federal investigation.
A call from NewsOne to the FBI for comment was not immediately returned.
The fact that Tuesday’s wave of bomb threats aimed at HBCUs came on the first day of Black History Month is likely not a coincidence, cynics said on social media.
It’s important to note that despite the nearly two dozen bomb threats since the beginning of last month, no explosive devices have been found in any of the instances. However, in many cases, the threats have successfully disrupted classes and campus life as local authorities work in concert with school security forces to address the bomb threats.