On 2/1, the first day of Black History Month, at least 14 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were reported to have received bomb threats. These threats naturally caused campus lockdowns and a nationwide wave of fear.

"I'm just tired of being terrorized like how my grandparents were,” reads a quote from a Spelman College student in this report.

We do not know who was behind these threats, though it is reasonable to assume that they were coordinated. What we do know is that they are consistent with a pattern of escalating racist violence and intimidation that is traceable to the Trumpification of the Republican party and the American far right (which are rapidly becoming mirror images of one another).

In many ways this pattern resembles the fear and chaos of the ’60s, during which centuries of segregation began to be pulled down by force of sustained, peaceful protest and—haltingly—the force of law.

It is hard to feel hopeful with such malevolence holding the threat of bloodshed over us all, but it might help to bear the following in mind.

As in the ’60s, the white-power types are terrified of change; they see the inspiring advance of Black culture in America and resort to violence reflexively. They hope to spread fear in others to mask their own.

The right wing is morally and intellectually bankrupt. It has nothing to galvanize its “base” and maintain its power, ultimately, other than a culture war that is, at its root, premised on the threadbare lie of white supremacy.

HBCUs are a conspicuous example of Black excellence, Black achievement, Black creativity. Every success story, every career arc, every launched enterprise, every song and poem and essay and painting pulls a few more threads out of the moribund fantasy of white dominion that the segregationists’ ideological descendants clutch to their bosoms.

What the right fears most is losing its power. This is an election year, and its results will depend to a very great extent on Black participation. Consider the events of 2/1 a measure not just of the gravity of this moment but of the possibility for yet more change.

The marchers of the civil rights era endured bombs, guns, tear gas, attack dogs and a relentless climate of withering hatred. They stood strong and moved mountains.

It is time, once again, to mobilize.