Up & Coming Weekly

March 01, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MARCH 2 - 8, 2022 UCW 5 OPINION Something ominous and ugly is active in our nation once again, and it is vicious. It is not new. In fact, it was birthed before we were a nation and stems from our nation's origi- nal sin, slavery. It is something we have been loath to talk about publicly for nearly half a century. However, events and personali- ties in recent years have loosened tongues, and now some among us are once again showcasing America's hideous underbelly. ey are demonstrating — and in some instances with great pride — American racism. Some people — we know not who—have kicked off 2022 by making bomb threats to histori- cally black colleges and universi- ties in at least 11 states and Wash- ington, DC. Just last month, both Fayetteville State and Winston- Salem State Universities received bomb threats on the same day. No explosive devices were found on either campus, though FSU did suspend operations while officers from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies investi- gated. It is important to remember that these colleges and universities operate to educate students with the same purpose as all other insti- tutions of higher learning. Bomb threats against HBCUs are hardly the only racist behaviors currently directed at minorities in the United States. Hate crimes against Black people have in- creased by 40% since 2019, accord- ing to FBI data and by a horrify- ing 70% against people of Asian heritage over the same period. Anti-Semitic hate crimes have also risen, though not as dramati- cally; such offenses account for nearly 60% of religiously motivated hate crimes. If this is not shock- ing enough, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland says that many hate crimes are never reported at all, so hate crimes are under- counted. Historians have yet to define this hateful period in our history. Still, chances are they will eventually write about segments of the Amer- ican population that fear change from life as they have known it. After the American Civil War, el- ements against change expressed themselves through the Ku Klux Klan and other fear-mongering organizations, through Jim Crow laws intended to disenfranchise African Americans, and, more recently, through private schools known as segregation academies and the John Birch Society and other such organizations. Such groups promote a highly sanitized version of American history in which our darker behaviors and beliefs were and are rarely men- tioned. If some aspect of our past or current reality does not jive with their worldview, it did not exist. We live in a pluralistic society with a highly mobile population, which is not going to change. Like all history, it will continue to evolve, whether some of us like it or not. e America that some people idealize never really exist- ed, so there is nothing to which to return. We can only move forward. When FSU shut down for the bomb scare, leaving its men's and women's basketball teams adrift with nowhere to play their visit- ing Claflin University opponents that evening on Senior Night, FSU Chancellor Darrell Allison reached out to Methodist University. With- in hours, the Broncos and their visitors and fans of both teams were in the MU arena playing ball and cheering on the teams. Said Allison to those in the arena, "If the motive [of the bomb threat] was to send a message of hate based on race, those responsible lost, they lost in a big way. What evil and hatred would like to do to cause division only made us stron- ger in greater unity." MARGARET DICKSON, Columnist. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Talking about the 'R' Word by MARGARET DICKSON This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. www.NCArts.org.

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