Anyone who lives in Washington, D.C., or has ever been to D.C. knows that one of the best things about the city is that we keep our monuments close. In fact, everyone who lives here already knows not to go anywhere near that traffic during the summer months because tourists are going to tour.
So it didn’t take long for me to call bullshit on the story of white women accidentally falling onto Howard University’s campus clad in red “Make America Great Again” racism hats.
Howard isn’t near anything but hood shit. If you said that you were trying to buy weed and you ended up on Howard’s campus, then I’d believe you. If you said that you were on a real black-Washington historical tour that included the CVS at the intersection of Seventh Street and Florida Avenue that also served as a late-night airbrushed photo booth and you stumbled onto Howard’s campus, then I’d believe you. If you said that you had to stop by the 24-hour McDonald’s on Georgia Avenue because you’re working to create a dating app for black men who love to post up next to their motorcycles and the women who love them, then I would believe that you accidentally fell onto Howard’s campus.
But going on a sightseeing tour of Washington and ending up at one of America’s most prestigious HBCUs that, until gentrification, was one of the most hood-adjacent schools in America’s history? I say, nah, nigga.
So in their original story, the two young white teens from Union City High School in Pennsylvania claimed they were just looking for a good place to have lunch when they stumbled into Howard University’s food court. But now Allie Vandee, 16, is telling BuzzFeed News that the pair were part of a group of 30 teenagers on an organized trip to see sites in Washington and, get this, they were led to Howard by their school chaperones.
Umm, so let’s get this straight: A school takes 30 teens on a sightseeing trip to Washington, D.C., and you decide to bring the whole group to a historically black college for lunch without first speaking to the university. The school chaperone was also fully aware that some students were wearing “MAGA” shit, and at no point did said chaperone think that this might be a problem? Yeah, this was trolling to a severe degree, and it could’ve ended really badly.
“We were not even through the front door to get through the cafeteria, and a man, a black man, walked, had walked through and took my friend Sarah’s hat right off her head,” Vandee said in a phone interview with BuzzFeed News.
I think what Vandee meant to say is, “We’re lucky that the black man only took the hat right off her head.”
One Howard student, Essence Dalton, told BuzzFeed News that she blames the adults for putting these teens in harm’s way.
“My personal concern isn’t the young girls; it’s the adults who should have better informed the girls of the history of our university and why the Trump paraphernalia might be inappropriate in light of recent racial tensions, especially coming from non-POCs [people of color],” she said. “Tensions are extremely heavy between POC and non-POCs, and Trump is much to blame for that.”
Those “adult” chaperones knew what they were doing, and luckily for all involved, this incident didn’t end as badly as it could have. But needless to say, I feel triggered.
Read more at BuzzFeed News.