In the fancy journalism schools that all of us in the media are required to attend, at some point before we’re taught to subliminally and disproportionately criticize Republicans but after we’ve all given our allegiance to the socialist cause, many of us are introduced to the concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy.

It’s what happens when people expect something to be true and so it is, no matter the facts on the ground.

Over the weekend known in Greensboro as the Greatest Homecoming on Earth — the biggest of the year for NC A&T Aggies who come from far and wide to celebrate their time at school in Greensboro — a nasty notion of this type took hold in the city, most prominently on social media threads, but also whispered about in some of the less enlightened corners of town.

A shooting spree in the northeast corner of town. A body count. A pile of wounded.

One Facebook post put the number of shootings over GHOE at 40, and was quickly affirmed by the first few commenters who made connections between Aggies — most of whom are black — and murder.

It happens every year in Greensboro — twice a year, actually, if you count SuperJam: insinuations of crimes yet to be committed, assumptions of danger, prophecies that fulfill themselves.

The truth: There was one fatal shooting in Greensboro over the weekend. The victim, 22-year-old John Cook, was a former A&T student, attending a private party miles away from campus. There were three other shootings in Greensboro, none of them at a GHOE event and, frankly, not too bad for any given weekend in Greensboro, where there was a fatal shooting at a Waffle House the weekend previous.

The facts are, to say the least, unfortunate. But they’re hardly enough to fuel a rumor based on a vicious stereotype and perpetuated by people who are all too eager to believe.

A Facebook comment from an A&T grad expressed the lament all too well:

“I would prefer the associated perception of the thousands of engineers that put men and women on the moon, build the homes and buildings we frequent, and those thousands of graduates that make advances in agriculture. The Greensboro 4 and items of the sort offer a better depiction of what A&T is and has been.

“Hopefully at some point that will become the narrative.”

Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.

We believe that reporting can save the world.

The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.

All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.

⚡ Join The Society ⚡