Zooming While Black: Racists hack, disrupt GHBC meeting
GHBC member Sherifat Lawal Price during an Oct 2020 online presentation for the Defender's State of Black Houston. Photo by Aswad Walker.

Amid a major increase in violent racist hate crimes aimed at Blacks, along with the disturbing trend of bomb threats of HBCUs across the nation, add online Zoom meetings to the list of places where believers in the myth of white supremacy seek to minister to their inferiority complex by demeaning and attacking Blacks.

Recently, the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce (GHBC) hosted a Zoom meeting that took a shocking turn after someone hacked into the meeting and started shouting racial slurs, and showing racist and reportedly pornograhic images.

The GHBC Zoom meeting in question served as a public service event as the group hosted a COVID town hall. Additionally, the Zoom gathering agenda included the swearing in of GHBC board of directors.

There were 150 guests on the Zoom meeting when attackers hacked into the gathering and put up some very offensive images including distorted African American figures and pornography in the meeting’s chat.

According to attendees, a meeting meant to be not only positive but purposeful in terms of educating attendees on the COVID pandemic, and a celebration of the new board of directors, turned into a nightmare of hateful language and imagery.

The disruption went on for at least two minutes before meeting facilitators were able to restore order by disabling the chat. Amazingly, the GHBC was abe to finish their meeting in spite of racist attempts to bring the gathering to a hault.

KHOU 11’s Mia Gradney talked to the chairwoman, Tiko Reynolds-Hausman, about the incident. She said leaders were totally caught off guard.

“For a moment we were polarized. But we grabbed hold of the situation and were able to continue the swearing-in ceremony despite the occasional visuals of pornography, people shooting their finger, these very derogatory images,” she said.

The GHBC says they are now looking at other options to host their meetings.

The attackers have yet to be identified.