Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. is deeply troubled by the recent bomb threats targeting some of our nation's historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). As an organization founded on the campus of one of our nation's oldest Black institutions, Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, we are outraged that students on our beloved campus and other HBCUs have been targeted in this way. We applaud the quick response of state law enforcement agencies that mobilized to protect these students and we commend the administrations of these institutions for their quick response to these heinous threats.
It is our understanding that the United States Department of Justice has deemed these incidents 'hate crimes' and has mobilized the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces to apprehend those responsible. We consider these threats acts of domestic terrorism and want the individual(s) or group(s) responsible to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. It is not lost upon us that the latest incidents occurred on the first day of Black History Month and are part of a growing trend of retro-racism aimed at reversing the gains Black people have made in America. Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. was founded at the height of the civil rights movement, just days after four little Black girls were killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, so we are well aware of the cowardice behind the hate.
We know what these threats represent. Racial resentment is at post-Civil War levels and there are some in this country that want to suppress the aspirations of Black students. This is occurring in our K-12 schools with the irrational wave of book banning and attempts to whitewash American history, and the wave of hate sweeping across college campuses. This fraternity will do everything within its power and reach to affirm that Black lives matter and protect our youth.
We stand behind all of our students and Brothers on the campuses of our nation's HBCUs. We encourage them to stay focused on their academic goals but vigilant in their daily routine. If you see something amiss on your campus, such as a stranger walking the campus or in a building, or an unattended package, please report it to your campus security. If you receive a strange package or a parcel with no identification, do not open it. Stay observant. The best advice we can offer is if you see something, say something.
We will not allow racism and hate to interfere with the aspirations of Black youth. Iota will work with its undergraduate chapters to make certain our Brothers are safe and that they are doing their part to keep their campus safe. We encourage Black college alumni around the nation to check on their Alma mater and offer moral support during this time of great anxiety. Our children and their families need to be assured that we are all doing our part in keeping our students safe. Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. calls upon our federal government and state governments to provide the resources to historically Black colleges and universities to secure and protect their campuses.
If you are aware of a threat against a historically Black college or university, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., one of America's 'Divine 9' National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities was established on September 19, 1963, on the campus of one of the nation's great historically Black Colleges and Universities, Morgan State University (nee College) in Baltimore, Maryland.