We are pleased to learn that the FBI has made some progress in identifying the individuals behind a string of bomb threats targeting HBCUs across the country. With three separate incidents in less than 30 days, we questioned whether the authorities were taking this seriously enough.
But we aren’t ready to celebrate yet. In some media reports, the suspects have been described “tech-savvy” juveniles. Tech-savvy juveniles, huh? Interesting description. Nonetheless, we say this cannot and must not be dismissed as a case of kids just messing around. Remember that Kyle Rittenhouse was just 17 years old when he killed two men and wounded another in Kenosha, Wisc. And Dylann Roof was barely an adult at 19 when he killed nine Black worshippers in a South Carolina church. In fact, it seems these domestic terrorists are getting younger and younger.
As we previously stated, these threats are disrupting learning on these campuses. They are striking fear in the hearts of students, parents, faculty and staff at these schools. And they remind us that in America, Black institutions—our schools, our churches, our very existence—are always under attack by those filled with vitriol, hate and prejudice.
Juveniles or not and regardless of how tech-savvy are, we expect authorities to investigate and bring those responsible to justice by charging and prosecuting them to the fullest and appropriate extents of the law. The message that hate crimes will not be tolerated must be sent loudly and clearly.