Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Black Colleges Beef Up Security after Receiving Hate Mail

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Black Colleges Beef Up Security after Receiving Hate Mail

Article excerpt

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Southern University was one of several historically Black colleges and universities that kicked off the year 2000 by tightening security after receiving a threatening racist hate letter.

"I've been in this business for 30-something years, and this is the first time that I've ever seen anything like this, even in the '60s," says Dr. Edward Jackson, chancellor of Southern University's Baton Rouge campus.

The unsigned one-page letter, embellished with a confederate flag and filled with grammatical errors, began with the words: "We hope you're getting all of the education you can in your so called historic n--r colleges. And universities. You're just waisting (sic) precious time."

Harrison Baptiste, a member of the Southern University Board of Supervisors who previously served as police chief of the Baton Rouge campus, says he had never seen anything resembling the hate letter.

The letter also attacks civil rights leader Jesse Jackson for his protest of the expulsion of six Decatur, Ill., high school students allegedly involved in a fight at a football game last fall.

Like identical letters received by other predominantly Black institutions, the missive was postmarked in Fayetteville, N.C. Southern's Jackson says he is taking the letter very seriously, especially after the racially motivated bombings that occurred last fall at Florida A&M University.

No one was injured in either of the small explosions at FAMU, but racist calls accompanied both incidents, fanning the flames of fear on the 12,000-student campus. …

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