Bombings and Aftermath
The February bombings at Pomona College and Scripps College shocked the whole community. All Black students and faculty evacuated campus following threats of violence from white students. Members of the Black Student Union performed a campus sweep to make sure the environment was safe before returning to class.
This article documents the suspicion and fearmongering against the BSU that continued to mount as the community panicked over the possibility of further violence. The Pomona and Scripps campus bombs were compared to other bombings and incidents of violence from California and around the country. The environment of suspicion hardly seemed conducive to progress, but the Black Student Union persisted in their activism for a Black Studies Center.
The title of this article affirms that the Black Student Union "fled" campus after the Pomona and Scripps campus bombings: a loaded phrasing. The wording captures the tension on campus, and implies that the BSU students feared reprisals against them for the bombings. A casual reader might also infer that by their departure, the BSU acknowledged responsibility for the bombs, which was not the case. This trend of suggestive reporting was common in newspapers around California in the weeks after the bombs.
The press coverage surrounding the February bombings continued to focus on the Black Student Union, the month following the Claremont campus bombings. The BSU members stayed calm in the face of suspicion and continued advocating for Black spaces on campus, although things looked bleak in early March. In a world rocked by the 1968 Paris protests, Black Panther demonstrations, and US anti-war agitation, the bombings engendered paranoia about how student activism might turn to violence.