EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Alma Adams calls on Congress to honor resolution against HBCU bomb threats with action
“Terrorism and racism have no place on college campuses — or anywhere else,” the Democratic congresswoman and chair of the HBCU Caucus said in a statement first provided to Supercreator.
The US House of Representatives on Tuesday evening passed a resolution condemning recent bomb threats against Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and reaffirming support for the institutions and their students.
“I’m proud of the house for passing a resolution that condemns the despicable, cowardly bomb threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities on multiple days this year,” Democratic Rep. Alma Adams of North Carolina and founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus said in a statement first provided to Supercreator. “These threats were hate crimes. They were acts of terror.”
The vote was 418-0.
At least 10 HBCUs received bomb threats on Feb. 1, the first day of Black History month and one day after six others reported threats to their campuses, which marked the second time within a month that HBCUs were threatened.
The FBI said last month in a statement to Supercreator that the threats targeted 57 institutions in total from Jan. 4 to Feb. 16 and were made in phone calls, email, instant messages and anonymous online posts.
FBI agents from multiple field offices have conducted hundreds of interviews and gathered a variety of electronic evidence for analysis. The FBI is investigating these cases as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes.
“This investigation is of the highest priority for the Bureau and involves 31 FBI field offices that are actively working with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to identify those involved,” the FBI said in a statement. “We recognize the fear and disruption this has caused across the country and we will continue our work to make sure people feel safe in their communities, schools, and places of worship.”
The investigation is still ongoing.
The passage of the resolution follows an announcement on Monday from the Biden administration of over $2.7 billion in funding for HBCUs from the American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed into law a year ago this week.
“Our HBCUs, their faculty, their staff, and especially their students are strong,” Rep. Adams said in a floor speech ahead of the vote. “They are resilient and brilliant. Paragons of academic excellence. But they shouldn’t have to respond to threats and secure their campuses on shoestring budgets.”
The resolution is co-sponsored by over 100 House members and is supported by numerous organizations including the United Negro College Fund, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. Read the full text of the resolution.
While celebrating the passage of the resolution, Rep. Adams also called on Congress to pass legislation to help safeguard HBCU campuses.
One proposal would allow HBCUs to apply for grants to improve their campus infrastructure, including the installation of necessary security features that would keep students and faculty safe.
“As a proud HBCU alumnae and professor, I know HBCUs can overcome any challenge, but those challenges shouldn’t include violence,” Adams said. “Terrorism and racism have no place on college campuses — or anywhere else.”