Wendy Williams found herself in a social media firestorm after questioning the need for institutions like the NAACP and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
During a “Hot Topic” segment of her talk show, the daytime diva discussed Jesse Williams’ BET Awards speech and criticized his messages of racial empowerment. Williams even went on to say that she would be “offended” that HWCU (Historically White colleges and Universities) existed.
“I would be really offended if there was a school that was known as a historically White college,” the TV host said. “We have historically Black colleges. What if there was the National Organization for White People, only? There’s the NAACP.”
Umm…Wendy? “Historically White colleges” make up the majority of institutions in our country, considering Black folks weren’t able to attend most until they were desegregated.
Once Roland Martin caught wind of Williams’ rhetoric, he went all the way in.
“When you’re on TV and have no idea what you’re talking about, shut the hell up,” Martin said in a fiery critique. “Don’t open your mouth. Don’t embarrass yourself. Because you sound silly.”
Thankfully, Martin’s fierce criticism led to the talk show host to extend an invitation to her show.
Martin accepted, and class began.
What followed was a history lesson on race in America, police brutality, inequality, and why HBCUs are still very necessary.
To her credit, a teary-eyed Williams admitted she was wrong and apologized for her comments. So maybe there’s hope for others too.
Watch the exchange below.
LaToya (Toi) Cross is a writer and editor for EBONY.com and social media manager for the JETmag.com platform. Catch her sharing work, thoughts, music, art and capturing life via @ToizStory on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.