Catholic University Students Show Solidarity with Howard University Amid Threats


By Paige Wearmouth

An anonymous threat to the black students of Howard University was made through social media causing unrest across the University’s campus.

On Wednesday November 11th, the racist post was published on the website 4chan, and quickly drew attention and responses.

The post, laced with profanities, was a discourse several paragraphs in length covering everything from the writer’s complaints against and hatred towards the black community in America to a direct threat made to students at Howard University.

The message was also written in support of University of Missouri President, Tim Wolfe, who stepped down from his position following protests led by the student organization, ConcernedStudent1950. The organization called for Wolfe’s resignation after several cases of racism at the University that it did not feel were properly handled by the President.

The post, accompanied by a photograph of Wolfe, stated “Good people like this guy have to suffer for it,” referring to issues the writer claimed to have against black Americans.

The message closed by directly threatening the lives of black students at Howard University, stating that any at the University after ten o’clock the following day would be “the first to go.”

The post quickly circulated the internet to other social media sites, sparking responses from the Howard University President, students, local and federal police, and news broadcasting stations in D.C.

Howard University President, Wayne A. I. Frederick, sent a notice to students acknowledging the threat and assuring them that there would be an increase in law enforcement presence on campus and at the nearby metro stop.

The University did not cancel classes on the day the writer threatened to attack the campus, however, there was an increase in police presence, as President Frederick stated there would be. The Howard University Department of Public Safety worked with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the Metro Transit Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to protect the Howard community and investigate the threat.

The threat was not acted upon, but it did incite responses from beyond Howard University, which is less than two miles away from The Catholic University of America.

When asked if she thinks security at Catholic University needs to be heightened in light of the Howard University threat, Erin Hall, a junior Music and Anthropology double major said she did believe so.

“Yes, I think it should be just to take precautions,” said Hall. “Better safe than sorry.”

Hall also stated that the idea of violence and threats at Catholic University is a concern of hers due to recent events, especially at Howard.

“Yes, I do worry about it because it’s becoming such a big issue,” said Hall. “People are really starting to express racism again. It’s being verbalized and acted upon a lot more frequently.”

The Black Student Alliance (BSA) at Catholic University, which works closely with similar organizations at other universities around D.C., showed their support of protests on college campuses by having a Blackout last Friday which encourages all students to wear black in support of the recent threats.

According to Terrence Britt, a member of the Black Student Alliance, participants wore all black “in solidarity with Mizzou, Yale, and Ithaca.”

Britt said that the organization aims to support awareness of social issues, especially regarding race, across college campuses.

These types of events, like the Blackout, “show students as a whole how it is important to embrace all cultures on campuses,” said Britt.

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