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Wendy Williams makes surprising statements about HBCUs and NAACP

Photo Credit: Instagram - @wendyshow

Photo credit: Instagram – @wendyshow

Wendy Williams has always had a knack for stirring up controversy when it comes to her comments about the personal lives of Hollywood celebrities. But this week, the controversy wasn’t about any particular celebrity. Instead, it was about Williams’ comments on race, specifically HBCUs and the NAACP, which she claimed could be offensive to White people.

The drama all began yesterday during her “Hot Topics” segment on her talk show. Williams addressed the backlash that actor Jesse Williams was experiencing from White audiences over his poignant and powerful speech at the 2016 BET Awards where he attacked White supremacy and spoke words of empowerment to Black people.

While discussing the speech, Williams claimed his speech was “poignant on one hand” and then she turned around and said that she understands why White people would be offended by Black establishments like HBCUs and the NAACP.

“On the other hand, I would be really offended if there was a school that was known as a historically White college. We have historically Black colleges,” she said.

She continued, “What if there was a national organization for White people only? There’s the NAACP. By the way, what is the ‘C’ for? Colored? Are we still using colored?”

Although Williams’ in-studio audience is typically responsive to her rants, this time around even she noted that they were dead silent as she spoke about her thoughts on these pillars of the Black community. However, that didn’t stop Williams from continuing her rant.

“What I’m saying is racism sucks and we can all do better in our own households, educating ourselves, teaching our children to make it better. National speeches like this will always rub people the wrong way, just like White people might be offended because Spelman College is an historically Black college for women,” Williams said.

It’s sad that Williams criticized the existence of these Black institutions without acknowledging that they were created and still exist in response to the racism and White supremacy that has kept Black people from having access to the same education, justice and resources that White people have access to.

We can think of a lot of things about this rant and the current climate of race in this culture that are offensive, but Black people creating and maintaining institutions and safe spaces in response to White supremacy isn’t one of them.

What do you think of Williams’ rant? Let us know in the comments.


  1. D rock on July 7, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Wendy is a gossip talk show host, not an intelligent educator or orator. She is irrevelant…

    • Erica C on July 10, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      She is relevant to you. Fact that you read AND commented on an article about her proves it.

  2. zuzu petals on July 8, 2016 at 1:24 am

    You do know that Spelman College was funded by a rich white man who was a supporter of abolition and wanted to allow freed black women to get an education don’t you? You do understand that hundreds of thousands of white men died so blacks could be freed from slavery, right? You realize Wendy Williams has a right to her opinion because millions of white and black men and women have died for that freedom, right? I was offended by Jesse’s comments because he’s a rich, half white, successful actor who has made his money off the very white people he seems to disdain. He can have his opinion, but it sure doesn’t help the issue of racial problems in the country that are happening right now.

    • US citizen on July 10, 2016 at 1:28 am

      Amen to the knowledge. Well written

    • Dunit on July 13, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      He was speaking for the African Americans who are not rich, half white, successful actors who do not have the platform to do so. Poor Whites have greatly benefited from the civil rights movement and will continue to do so. So instead of being offended by the truth, why don’t you help change it, so you’re not so uncomfortable when the subject is brought up! And Anyone can bring awareness to and fight against injustice. Especially successful, rich half white actors.

      • zuzu petals on July 17, 2016 at 10:38 pm

        There is no injustice, what he spoke isn’t the truth, and I’m not uncomfortable with the subject. My black friends are very offended by people like Williams comments and people like him who think they’ve been treated unfairly. They believe this is a country where everyone has similar opportunities and, like me, understand that not everyone gets the same breaks in life.

        • Dunit on July 17, 2016 at 10:51 pm

          So it’s okay for you to speak for “your black friends”, but you have a problem with Jesse Williams doing the same. And clearly you are unable to tolerate the opinion, perceptions and voices of anyone else. Got it!

          • zuzu petals on July 22, 2016 at 12:41 am

            My original comment was to people who didn’t tolerate the voice of Wendy W. who didn’t agree with J. Williams, so I can’t win this discussion, don’t you see. As for the Dent video, I watched it. If you believe that no white guy has never been beaten by cops you are mistaken, and THAT white cop went to jail, so he was rightly punished for his illegal behavior, while charges against Dent were dropped. That says to me the justice system worked. If everyone gets offended so easily by comments, then no one will be able to have a dialog that will solve these issues. I commented on Wendy and the misinformation in the comment before mine. Jesse can say what he wants, but I can disagree with him also, as you can disagree with me. I can tolerate his opinions, perceptions, but that doesn’t make them truth, and his fame also makes him more responsible for what he says and how he says things, and that night his rhetoric was quite inflammatory, which was what Wendy was addressing. That’s all, and nothing more should be read into my or her comments.

          • Dunit on July 22, 2016 at 12:55 am

            I understand what you’re saying. But I respectfully, but strongly disagree. And here’s why. After the civil war the confederate soldiers formed white supremacists organizations and not only picked up the pen to rewrite history, but also have infiltrated law enforcement, the judicial system and other decision making parts of the government. It was realeased in an unclassified FBI document as late as 2006. Jesse Owens and other civil rights activists are taking a stand against the institutionalized and organized racism this has lead to such as stop and frisk, racial profiling and police quotas that unfairly target blacks based on the sick logic of white supremacists.

          • zuzu petals on July 22, 2016 at 5:14 am

            Ok, now you’re on a topic I can talk about with some kind of knowledge. I live in the South, but didn’t grow up here. I grew up in California and moved to North Carolina when I was 23. I was shocked at the difference as to how whites related to blacks here. Growing up in CA I really never thought about different races, I grew up with latinos, blacks, japanese, chinese, mexicans, filipinos, everyone was different. People were more open, free, accepting of others. When I came here in 1978 blacks and whites were separated more clearly, the neighborhoods were more defined, and they rarely talked to each other. I had moved to a small town outside Greensboro (that is significant, later), and became a volunteer firefighter. The poverty I saw in the community, in the county around me, was incredible, but the poor were black, mexican migrant workers and whites in the rural areas. There’s been a change in that, so that it seems more latinos/mexicans have settled here, instead of following the crops since tobacco left the area. So blacks have moved to more lower and middle class jobs, and we’re a college town, so many black families have been able to send their kids to college, and those kids have now been able to get good jobs and send their kids to college. Anyway, there was a lot more separation 40 years ago when I came here than now.

            The first time I went into the home of a black family in our rural area where we had been called because the father wasn’t breathing I started CPR, and did it for about 40 minutes until an ambulance arrived. Other firemen got there, and only one other helped by doing compressions, so I did mouth to mouth (this was 35 years ago). The man actually survived. People talked behind my back for months, because no one expected a white girl to do something like that, and I was puzzled because I never thought twice about it. There were people in our neighborhood and in the fire department that I knew were KKK, they didn’t advertise it, but the news was around. I knew by the way they talked, and it made me uncomfortable to be around them. I did speak up when people used the “n” word, or said other inappropriate stuff, and I’d like to think that over time I changed the way people thought. I know some of those people made it into the police force, into the paid fire department and city and county jobs, and that’s not right. I personally know policemen who are like the ones in these videos, but it’s not just blacks they will beat, they will bully anyone they don’t agree with. I’ve encountered them myself, so I am cautious around town, and comply if pulled over or one wants to talk with me. They have guns and clubs, I don’t. I do know some of them have changed their minds as they’ve met black people and become friends for the first time, but I know some haven’t, and those kind of people I don’t associate with because they are filled with hate, are closed minded, and refuse to listen. I avoid them as much as possible.

            Growing up in both places I’ve also been around angry, hate filled, radical blacks who want to destroy whites just because they are white. They don’t want to know them as people, they just want revenge for the past, for things that happened generations ago. They don’t want to ever really work things out, they want to maintain disorder, chaos, unrest so that as a group we never get along. That’s to their advantage. They want me to be afraid of you and you to be afraid of me. The report you shared doesn’t actually say much, it’s all redacted. It says that KKK infiltration is a concern, and that possibly a few did at sometim infiltrate the police department. But I’m sure there’s a report that the Black Panthers infiltrated too, or the Communist Worker’s Party, or any other radical group, because what you saw was propaganda to make you suspicious of all police and government. It’s distracting you from the real issue.

            After the Civil War history wasn’t rewritten until around the 1970s. The rewriting began when they wanted people to think the Civil War was about something besides slavery as an economic structure and a state’s rights issue. No one was willing to admit our government didn’t care enough to want to free slaves because it was the right thing to do, their biggest worry was that if the Southern states left it would be the end of the US and an end to their economy. They needed the Southern states, they needed their tax money, they needed their goods, they needed their products. So when new states were joining the country and there was a debate as to whether they would be allowed to have slaves, the Northern states said no, and the Southern states said yes, and the new ones on the border said that it wasn’t fair not to be allowed to have them, and the Southern states said if ours run away you have to give them back, and the new states said no, and the North said no, and now you have a big fight over which laws are more important – the laws of the states, or the laws of the Federal government. Just like the question we had last year, can the Federal government tell all the states they have to allow same sex couples to marry, or does each state have the right to decide that for themselves? We had a Civil War, and some people were bad losers, so we had/have the KKK. We also have the White Supremacists and Neo-Nazi groups (and you realize we are now being watched by every alphabet government agency), but we also have groups through the years run by Malcolm X, Farrakhan, Chavez, Che’, and others that people join who have very violent and radical ideas, and now the BLM movement is going down that road. Encouraging violence, tearing up businesses, homes, burning stuff, killing people, beating and punching, throwing rocks and bottles, setting cars or crosses on fire, stomping stuff, none of that is acceptable. None. It doesn’t get your message across, it doesn’t get people to listen to you, it doesn’t open up another’s mind. Fear does not bring change, it shuts people down, it divides, it turns the oppressed into the oppressor. How does that solve a problem?

            That’s why I don’t like what J. Williams said. You change minds by being Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by being Dr. Ben Carson, not Eldridge Cleaver. I’d like this violence to end so that no person being arrested is hurt and no police officer is killed, and no protester is harmed, and no business is burned, and no person walking down the street is randomly attacked, and no old man in his home is beat up by some punk, and no woman is afraid to be alone. Life is never totally safe, but it was much calmer 10 years ago, and people got along better and weren’t as angry as each other. I’m not trying to make you angry or discount what you are saying, I just know that my friends and I are sad and feel discouraged that things are so messed up, and being both black and white, we just don’t agree that it’s all a racial thing. Maybe it’s because we’re older, maybe it’s because we’re more like parents. I don’t know, but we want a better place for the younger people to be growing up in, because we remember how messed up things were when we were kids and know it could be so much better.

          • Dunit on July 22, 2016 at 6:50 am

            I appreciate that. But social interactions between individual people is not racism. I’m specifically speaking about money and power, or lawmakers, policy makers and decision makers. People (and organizations) who disrupt entire lives based on institutionalized racism that target a group of people. For example the “Discretion” allotted to judges and police offers that lawfully allow them to legally discriminate based on whatever ramifications they choose rather than having a uniform penalty for all perpetrators.

          • zuzu petals on July 27, 2016 at 2:37 am

            I see your point. Most states started mandatory sentencing for crimes for those reasons, but I think it’s backfired by not allowing good judges to be able to change sentencing to fit the crime, whether to make the sentences shorter and less dramatic, or to make them harsher because of the nature of the crime.

            I guess I remember when schools, colleges, military, jobs, movie houses, and such were segregated, and now they’re not, and don’t understand why you feel there’s still a problem. (I so wish we were talking in person so you could hear the tone of my voice, it’s kind, not accusatory or sarcastic, really). Since I was in high school things like having to meet quotas in hiring, college scholarships and student ratios, laws protecting every kind of minority group imaginable, and the fact that many, many federal, state, county and city leaders now are black should translate into you seeing that it’s not racism that keeps people from succeeding. I think I don’t understand what more it is that you want to be done specifically. There have been programs to help with blacks getting jobs, getting a better college education, getting the housing and food they need so they can concentrate on school, getting early education, getting after school programs for their kids to attend, special tutoring programs, building low income housing, offering transportation and day care – and still it’s not enough. What is it that would solve the problem?

            Just like you mention institutionalized racism then talk about judges making their own sentencing, what other places have that embedded system that hasn’t been changed and how do we change it? Or police officers, honestly the departments are not filled with racist KKK members (in fact here our department is mostly controlled by black officers who have great power in decision making, our city has a very strong black voice in politics and all areas of life, not something that would have been seen 40 years ago).

            I agree that ignoring racism doesn’t help, and it’s wrong. I think that what has been stirred up in the last 8 years has brought increased the issue and caused more problem than there was before. The more people are encouraged to be angry at each other, to look at their differences and at what one has and another doesn’t, the more groups feel different and begin to distrust, dislike, hate and stop communicating with each other. And that’s my point I think, that you will find white and black families who do well and prosper, you will find ones who don’t. Constantly blaming whatever it is – history, another race, educators, government, your parents or family, neighbors, society and culture – for where you are right now keeps you from moving forward to where you want to be with your life. If you stay stuck in the same place all the time you can’t move forward, proving to everyone that you won’t let all the stuff from the past that “says” you should fail, cause you to fail. A person once said that, “The best revenge is living well,” and he was right (yep, probably a white dude), but if you are successful you prove to anyone trying to keep you back that they have lost the battle.

            Any change that happens needs to be done through legal legislation, voting, changes in people in office, in areas of influence like teachers, police officers, city leaders, heads of companies. That’s why living well, getting your education, finding your place in life and using it to make change for the betterment of the people you care about is the best thing you can do. Violence, hateful speech, anger may bring change, but I think it takes longer and leaves many bad feelings behind that are difficult to overcome and allow the animosity to continue. It’s very sad to see so many people so very distressed, to see people being harmed physically and emotionally, to see people being killed, and feel that it is the attitude and sentiment of our president and administration that has fueled a fire they could have put out by dealing with the issues in a more honest and truthful manner. Changing minds through dialogue is sometimes better than forced change through violence (the Civil War and aftermath is an example, v MLK and changes he brought about). I think I prefer the changing minds way.

            You are a very intelligent person and I appreciate the polite dialogue we’ve had on this subject. Like I said, I wish we were talking in person. I honestly want the feelings of racism you and others feel to be lessened by actions you think others are doing to address your complaints. I know what it’s like to see people you love mistreated, have hardship, be unable to have the things they need and want, and to fight hard to help them and others in the same situation. I admire your passion for your cause.

          • Dunit on July 22, 2016 at 11:52 am

            “But I’m sure there’s a report that the Black Panthers infiltrated too, ”

            The black panther party was not a hate group. They were formed to protect black men and women from state-sanctioned violence. The group was dissolved in 1982. There’s really no comparison to white supremacists groups. There’s no FBI document warning against their infiltration. That’s rediculous. It seems to me as you prefer blacks to allow racism and just shut up and take it. You want to pretend it doesn’t exist. Even though you stated you received backlash for saving a black man’s life using mouth to mouth. This is the exact thing the FBI warned against. Professional decisions being made that result in the life or death of an individual based on their race. It’s not ethical and it’s not fair. And it does exist. Ignoring racism hasn’t helped.

        • Dunit on July 17, 2016 at 11:44 pm
  3. Msnega on July 9, 2016 at 7:15 am

    I can’t respond to Jesse Williams comments because I did not hear them, as for Wendy, she is just doing her job, and that’s running her mouth. She is entitled to her opinion, but as I always tell my kids, don’t look to “celebs” for guidance. They really don’t live in our world.

  4. Afram Asmar on July 9, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    all i can say she nailed it on the head,and all alone, comments absolutely correct ,she spoke the truth black peoples have to get educated starting from home by the educated parent not about white and black color ,it’s about humanity and love /kindness

  5. US citizen on July 10, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Wendy speaks true knowledge that the NAACP hates to hear. Heaven forbid someone talk about right is right and wrong is wrong. People choose to not accept todays world and live solely on history. “Trail of Tears” there is some history for folks. But of course it isn’t their history, so they careless. All Lives Matter, not just NAACP’s. True story

    • soctal on July 11, 2016 at 8:08 am

      IDIOT! Half of NAACP’s co founders were white.

  6. soctal on July 11, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Stupid woman! Does she not know that around half of NAACP’s co-founders were white? That a number of the HBCU are majority white???

  7. tondia2002 . on July 11, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Why do we keep talking about black people not having access to what white people have. Where was Barack eductated? How did he get to hold the highest office in this land as A BLACK MAN? Someone answer me! We need to forgive each other and utilize the resources we have access to to excel. We hold ourselves back with the I a minority mantra. I am not a minority, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Wendy is saying what a lot others would like to say. Stop the infighting. A house divided by itself can’t stand. There will always be white racist and black racist. Its called the ignorance of man wallowing in sin. When you stir up hate, you get chaos.

  8. Victoria C. A. on July 15, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I think the difference is that neither the NAACP nor HBCUs exclude white people. Both the NAACP and HBCUs are open to all races and do not exclude anyone based on skin color. On the other hand, BLM has a website that specifically says they often will exclude participation by whites based on lack of melanin. That is a different animal and also a racial problem. The NAACP and the HBCUs are fully inclusive organizations that promote equality and an end to the inherent racism in our society. Both the NAACP and HBCUs openly invite anyone who wants to join them to please join and show support. I have no problem with either the NAACP or HBCUs … However, I do have a problem with some other groups that want to divide people up based on race. I also think that any group which seeks to impose a modern day apartheid and actually publishes propaganda explaining that they want to enforce a twisted form of social miscegenation *bullying and defaming anyone involved in an interracial relationship) should be labeled a hate group. Anyone and any organization that advocated for apartheid and / or miscegenation is a hate group. There is a lot of hate and exclusion out there but its certainly not coming from the NAACP or HBCUs.