An anonymous threat to Howard University circulated on social media Wednesday night, with the author saying that anyone on the historically black university’s campus after 10 a.m. Thursday would “be the first to go” and closing with: “After all, it’s not murder if they’re black.”
The message included a photo of Tim Wolfe, the president of the University of Missouri system, who was forced to resign Monday after escalating protests over racial and other bias issues on campus. The threat at Howard — which is in Washington, D.C. — said that “good people like this guy have to suffer for it” when black people complain.
“I left MU yesterday because I couldn’t put up with it anymore,” the message continues, but expresses frustration about seeing the same issues in Maryland, alleging that black people are causing trouble everywhere. “Turn on the news and it’s always the [racial slur deleted] causing trouble everywhere.
“So I’ve decided. Any [n-word] left at Howard University after 10 tomorrow will be the first to go.” Any that try to escape on the Metro will regret that, the message continues. “I’ll go out a hero knowing I made the world better. I just hope at least someone else can see it too and continue the fight…
“After all, it’s not murder if they’re black.”
On Thursday, Howard University released a statement:
“We are aware of the threat made against the University and its students and are working with campus, local, and federal law enforcement on this serious matter. This is an ongoing investigation. However, in an abundance of caution, the University has increased security on campus and at area Metro stations. We strongly encourage the campus community and our neighbors to stay vigilant and to report any suspicious activity.”
But many students and parents were upset that the university wasn’t locked down.
Amber Cook said her daughter, a sophomore there, has been staying in her room today. Like many students, she had dressed in black to show her support for Mizzou, but a security guard stopped her on her way out and urged her to be careful. She hadn’t heard about the threat, and when she got to class, her professor told her it had been canceled.
Cook said she is very worried but is staying in constant communication with her daughter from their home in California. “I’m outraged that the university has not been proactive in making sure that students feel safe,” she said.
Howard University needs to be closed today. You have to take proper safety precautions before something tragic happens.
— Dabb Daddy Mal (@MicManMal) November 12, 2015
God cover me as well as my fellow members of the Howard community with your blessings and protection
— ZACH/FREEBANDZ (@SadLifeZach) November 12, 2015
A protest leader at Mizzou, graduate student Jonathan Butler, who staged a hunger strike to demand Wolfe’s resignation, posted about the threat as word spread.
— JB. (@_JonathanButler) November 12, 2015
black folks at Howard University in DC will gather to affirm & reclaim black space following threats to the campus pic.twitter.com/6XUPb2sVdm
— BlackOUT Collective (@blackoutcollect) November 12, 2015