Racists Threaten HBCUs Because Black Excellence Threatens Racists

 

White supremacists are far from supreme, and at some level, I suspect they know it.

Surely they must be able to see, as the rest of us do, that those who most loudly proclaim the superiority of the white race are always first-rate losers who have never accomplished anything.

Truly superior people, whatever we take that to mean, don’t need to tell you how special they are. And they definitely wouldn’t attribute their greatness (however defined) to something as absurd as skin color or ancestral lineage.

Only losers do that.

These are the kind of people who haven’t ever accomplished anything, for instance, in the realm of science but figure that since Stephen Hawking was white, there’s still hope for them.

These are the kind of people who couldn’t write a play to save their lives but figure that since their family came from England, and Shakespeare and Marlowe were Brits, that’s good enough.

It’s as if they looked at their history of unemployment, mediocre academic performance, and busted personal relationships, noticed the utter humiliation of it all, but then opened up their Ancestry.com wall, pointed to some French nobleman from the 18th century — who’s like their 12th cousin six times removed — and said, “ah, how sweet to have the blood of Versailles traveling through my veins.”

It’s precious hearing folks like this talk about how inadequate and inferior Black people are.

Because that isn’t what they really think at all.

They’re worried about the exact opposite.

I mean, if you really thought Black people were inferior, you would want to compete directly against them just to rack up some easy wins, right? But no, segregationists didn’t want to take the chance. They tried to keep Black people out of their workplaces and schools.

Why?

So they would only have to compete against the best and most challenging competition?

Really?

Do you think white baseball players didn’t want to face Satchel Paige because they were afraid they might make him look bad?

Mmm-k.

Bomb threats to HBCUs: What’s the real motivation?

But now, we see that white fears of our inadequacy aren’t just behind the desire to racially separate. They manifest even in how we respond to Black excellence when it takes place in spaces where we’re rarely found.

So, for instance, this past week, there have been dozens of bomb threats phoned in against Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country — just in time for Black History Month.

Oh sure, maybe the callers were just “socially-awkward” pissants who got tired of making stupid memes with their friends on message boards or fapping to anime porn. The FBI says they appear to be “tech-savvy juveniles,” which is another way of saying pasty, sunken-eyed white boys with a Twitch account, a video game addiction, and an endless supply of Hot Pockets left lovingly outside their bedroom door by mom.

Perhaps their actions don’t tell us much about them, except that they had trash parents who were too busy with their own lives to provide proper home training to their pathetic progeny.

Could be.

But I suspect it’s more than that.

When you target those educational institutions that produce around 1 in 5 Black graduates and a quarter of Black STEM grads, despite enrolling only 10 percent of Black college students, you aren’t doing it randomly.

Nor are you targeting them because you’re worried about the inferiority of the students there.

According to the Department of Education, 75 percent of Black Americans holding a doctorate went to an HBCU for undergrad, as did three-fourths of Black officers in the military and 8 of 10 Black federal judges. When you target the schools from which these folks graduated before going on to achieve excellence at higher levels, you aren’t doing it to demonstrate your superiority.

You’re doing it because you know you’re a washout who couldn’t hold an intellectual candle to most any of the Black folks in those spaces. Or at least you fear that might be the case.

This wave of bomb threats is the ultimate tell, in gambling terms.

What it tells us, beyond confirming the ongoing problem of white racist terrorism — and that we need to be prosecuting these people in numbers sufficient to crush their movement and ruin their lives permanently — is that racists don’t even believe their own hype.

HBCUs are the ultimate threat to the notion of white supremacy — at the institutional level

I’m not the first to say it, not even this week, but it needs to be said anyway.

They attack HBCUs because these institutions uplift the fullness of Black humanity. They are places where, most of the time, Black folks can congregate, learn, teach, love, and express joy, without having to worry about what white folks think about any of it.

Nothing scares white supremacists more than Black people ignoring them, learning and teaching and loving and being joyful despite racism, despite a system they know was built for their destruction.

And with the bomb threats, small, neurotic, and fearful white man-boys are saying how dare they.

How dare they live a life not defined and controlled by what the man-boys say and think about them.

Oh, and how dare they choose colleges like that to attend.

The same people who tell Black folks they don’t belong at Harvard get especially upset about Black folks saying, in effect, we didn’t want to go there any damned way.

When Black folks were restricted to HBCUs, white folks didn’t have to pay them much mind, but now, when they could go to any institution in the country, and they still pick an HBCU, it’s like the ultimate insult.

It’s as if Black folks have sized up white people’s shit and decided it’s not all that impressive after all.

What Black folks know (and some white folks do too)

Those of us who have spent time on HBCU campuses know the deal.

My first educational experience in pre-school was at an HBCU (Tennessee State), and I saw how the Black women who ran that program prepared us all — the three white kids and the 20 Black ones — to succeed.

At an early age, I saw proud and ambitious Black students traversing that campus, which clarified for me that no matter what most white Americans had been led to believe, Blackness and educational excellence were not oppositional variables but overlapping sets on a Venn diagram. And that even in a society filled with racism, Black folks refused to fold.

When I served on the Board of the Fisk University Race Relations Institute, or when I’ve spoken on HBCU campuses, I’ve been reminded of this time and again.

. . .

Ultimately, puny and miserable white losers will continue to threaten Black spaces, hiding behind their number-spoofing apps like the cowards they are. And yet, the Black people they sought to intimidate will overwhelmingly succeed anyway.

But as for the white men?

Suffering under the weight of their own inadequacies they will remain stuck where they have always been. On the sofa, with a game controller in hand, complaining about Mexicans taking their jobs or Black people taking their slots in law school.

This, even though none of them ever had a job for any Mexican to “take” in the first place, and the closest they’ve been to law school is a DUI.

Black humanity will win every time.

Count on it.

This post was previously published on Tim Wise’s blog.

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