“There has been a great display of anti-Black hatred in the United States of America. There have been many nooses placed in different cities and in different institutions to let Black people know that there still is a great deal of hatred for us in this society.”

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan shared those words during a message delivered on October 28, 2007, on the topic “Justifiable Homicide,” about increased attacks and wholesale killings of primarily Black, Brown and Indigenous youth in the United States. 

Seventeen years later, despite marching, protesting, and the so-called “racial reckoning” after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, there has been little to no change toward racial healing between Black and White people in America. In Rockford, Illinois, authorities are contemplating hate crime charges for a White male suspect who was arrested for the fatal stabbing of a young, Black Walmart employee. 

According to the Rockford Register Star, Rockford Police Department officers arrested Timothy Carter on charges of first-degree murder. They say Mr. Carter stabbed 18-year-old Jason Jenkins on March 24 with one of two knives he had picked up while walking through the aisles of the store. “Surveillance footage appeared to show Carter, a White man, ‘wandering around the store and giving all the African American people dirty looks,’ a police officer wrote in a probable cause statement,” the news outlet reported. Mr. Carter also reportedly uttered a “racial slur” before stabbing the teenager.   


Other incidents—some violent, some non-violent—that occurred during this year’s Black History Month and beyond have again manifested the levels of racial tension present in American society and the unpeeling of the mask of White civility. 

Racism in schools

Several of the recent racialized incidents occurred within the school system. A White teacher in metro Atlanta came under fire for using the N-word in what was supposed to be a “funny” TikTok video on interracial friendships. 

“I think that there’s been a resurgence of racial animus and the use of the word since the election in 2016. I think we’re in a very difficult racial climate right now, and people are trying to adjust. Some are trying to use humor. Others are just being outright racist,” attorney Gerald Griggs, president of the Georgia NAACP and the Atlanta branch, said to The Final Call. “We as melanated people need to be aware that these things are very much still alive, and that there’s a constant battle to make sure we don’t go back to either the 1860s or the 1960s.”

Atty. Griggs spoke on the importance of young Black children being vigilant and standing up for themselves.

“If you’re in elementary school, if you’re in middle school, high school, of course talk to the administration. If they don’t want to do anything, talk to the school board. They don’t want to do anything, then it’s time to go to court,” he said. “Because we cannot settle for a time when it’s being normalized, this attack on Blackness, so we have to stand up, and it’s incumbent upon the next generation to understand that now it’s their time to stand up like their ancestors did.”

In Massachusetts, six middle school students have been criminally charged for racial bullying. The students allegedly held mock slave auctions on Snapchat, allowing White students to bid on their two Black classmates. At another middle school in Kentucky, White students allegedly used racial slurs and participated in targeted bullying of non-White students.

Dr. LaGarrett King, an associate professor in social studies education at the University of Buffalo and director of the Center for K-12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education, shared with The Final Call the long history of anti-Black classroom activities. He cited an example of a 2010 incident where a Black elementary school student was “sold” in a mock auction as part of a history lesson. For Dr. King, these examples speak to the rise in what he called “anti-Black history legislation,” or attacks against critical race theory (CRT).

“Schools have no idea what Black history is. They know little about Black people. They know little about Black people’s history. Typically, the Black history that we learn is not necessarily Black history,” he said. “For Black history to be Black history, that history has to come from a Black person’s perspective. And many times, the ‘Black history’ that we learn is coming from a White person’s lens of looking at Black people through their history.”

He commented on how history teaches that “White people are the most historically important people in the world,” how Europeanism is embedded in every aspect of history, and how White people are looked at as the “cultivators of civilization,” establishing in White people a level of superiority.

DEI rollbacks

The present-day assaults against Black people include the false promises of “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI) and the rollbacks of DEI positions within businesses and institutions due to a recent wave by state legislators.

According to a “DEI Legislation Tracker” by The Chronicle of Higher Education, updated on March 22, 81 bills in 28 states have been introduced that would prohibit colleges from having DEI offices or staff, ban mandatory diversity training, prohibit institutions from using diversity statements in hiring and promotion or prohibit colleges from using race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in admissions or employment.

Anti-DEI legislation has more than doubled since June 2023. Just two months shy of one year ago, the tracker recorded 37 bills in 21 states. Alabama recently joined the list of states that have passed legislation prohibiting public schools and universities from maintaining and funding DEI programs.

Terrance Sullivan, former executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, penned an opinion piece for The Courier-Journal on how Kentucky lawmakers are hiding their racism behind anti-DEI and CRT laws.

“To many, DEI is another acronym that means the Black people are getting too close to us, we have to remind them of their place. And as a result of this nonsense, jobs are being cut and some kids are at risk of losing scholarships—all because universities are running scared instead of being bold and fighting back,” he writes. 

He concludes the article with the statement: “There are many people who want to remind us that they don’t want us here. That we are not welcome in these spaces, but the acronyms and misnomers are getting old.”

In a new social media trend, White people have redefined “DEI” to mean “didn’t earn it.”

Human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid posted a response about the new label on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“MAGAs are labeling DEI as ‘Didn’t Earn It,’ which is wild because in reality, generating historic wealth through 2 billion acres of stolen land from Native Americans, enslaving Black people for 300 years, banning Asian immigration until 1965, and banning women from financial access til 1974—all without paying a single red cent in reparations or restitution—is the living breathing example not earning it,” he shared.

Others on the platform have been calling out White privilege and how White people continue to benefit from the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the vestiges of the Jim Crow era.

Dr. King explained the connection between DEI rollbacks and racialized incidents in the school system concerning Black history. “They have this anti-Black sentiment based on the history they have learned about Blackness,” he said.

He described that most DEI programs are just “multicultural celebrations” and are not accomplishing what people think they are.

“What people are thinking is happening in DEI is not happening. There’s not this big takeover or this notion of blaming White people for different things,” he said. “They’re not necessarily getting at systemic oppression within those institutions. They’re not getting at trying to understand racialized experiences of Black people and other people of color.”

Black progress and excellence

Dr. King noted that the reason racist incidents continue to occur is because American society, which was founded on racism, slavery and lynching, is still suffering from racial trauma.

“The racial trauma continues because we continuously fight over the truth of history. Where we can’t tell the truth of history, we will never heal as a nation,” he said. “There’s always people that don’t want us to heal for their benefits, so they can still obtain power.”

Atty. Griggs wants Black people to realize that “we’re not the minority.”

“Once we recognize our collective power and stand up, the world will take notice. I think we’re in the middle of a third backlash to the advancement of African Americans, and we have to do what we did in the first two, that being, reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement,” he said. “We have to stand up and push back in real-time and make people recognize that we are so proud of being Black. It is a wonderful existence, and if you feel intimidated about that, that’s your problem, not mine.”

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has been a longtime proponent of Black excellence. In a speech delivered in 2014 on education, he questioned, “Do you know how to end White racism?” He answered, “Black excellence ends White racism.” 

Minister Farrakhan has also shared wisdom on how Black progress equals White intimidation. During his “Justifiable Homicide” message, he explained the tremendous progress Black people made during the Reconstruction era and how “if the so-called Negro was set free and given the material to build an independent existence, he could become a serious challenge to White superiority.”

“… those that would challenge their former slave master by wanting to vote, purchase land, pursue education or striving to do anything but plantation labor—these kinds of Black brothers and sisters would be dealt with harshly by the former slave-masters, and there was no deliberative body that would judge our affairs with justice,” he said.

“Therefore, every killing of a Black man or woman; every lynching of a Black man or woman was excusable,” he added. “… anything that was done to us to maintain White supremacy was in fact an unwritten law. The killing of every Black human being during the 300 years of chattel slavery and even now, 150 years up from slavery, at the hands of White people is generally considered ‘excusable.’”

“Now, this atmosphere is beginning to spread again in America. I want to really make it clear to you today what we are going to face, what we are facing, as it will increase in the days ahead,” Minister Farrakhan warned.

Since then, he has further warned about how the “hatred of Black is manifesting” all over the planet and how the White race’s “mask of civility” is slowly being peeled back, like the layers of an onion, due to the rise of the darker people of the earth.

“Now you see an enemy that hates our shadow. And like Abraham Lincoln said, ‘you suffer from being here with us and we suffer from your presence among us,’” the Minister said in a Final Call newspaper year-end interview for 2016. “This is going to come to a head and the Will of God will be carried out, which is that the Black and the Brown and the Red, we must go free in a land of our own; not under White supremacy but ruled under our own wisdom, knowledge, understanding and the guidance of God.”