Baylor Students and Faculty Band Together Under #IWalkWithNatasha After Student Shoved, Called N-Word

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image via Twitter
image via Twitter

Some instances of racism are so quick that they hardly register until later. That is what happened to Baylor University sophomore Natasha Nkhama.

The morning after Donald Trump won the presidential election, the 19-year-old student was walking to her morning neuroscience class when a male student bumped into her.

“He sort of shoved me off the sidewalk and he said . . . ‘No n-ggers allowed on the sidewalk,’” Nkhama recounted in a video posted to social media. “And I was just shocked.”

Nkhama waited until after her class to make a video about her experience. It was shared by her friend on Twitter and promptly went viral.

In the video, Nkhama says a different male student, whom she did not know, intervened, saying to the first student, “Dude, what are you doing? That’s not cool.”

Nkhama says the first man, the racist, then said, “Dude, like what? … I’m just trying to make America great again.”

“So, if you voted for Donald Trump, I hope you understand what that means from someone else’s point of view,” Nkhama says in the video.

Two days after her encounter, 300 friends, faculty members and students waited for Nkhama to get out of class to walk with her in a demonstration meant to show that Baylor University will not stand for racism.

Nkhama cried when she saw everyone but had words for all of her supporters:

““I just wanted to thank everyone for being here, and I want everyone who sees this to know that Baylor is a campus of love,” she said. “… That one person is not a reflection of us, they’re a reflection of themselves. We look out for each other out here. And I want everyone to just continue to not allow things like that on our campus … because not on our campus.”

And with that, everyone walked with Nkhama to class.

In a statement, Baylor University officials said they were aware “of a student who was pushed and subjected to racially offensive language from another student yesterday while on campus.”

The university condemned the first male student, saying his racist behavior was “deeply disturbing.” Additionally, they said they have touched bases with Nkhama “to ensure she feels safe and supported by the Baylor community.”

The university also commended the second man, “who intervened and defended the female student during this encounter.”

Nkhama thanked him as well.

“To whoever defended me that day, I don’t know who you are, but I thank you for being an example to everyone on campus,” she said to the crowd.

However, despite the overwhelming positivity Nkhama expressed and experienced after the incident, she said she still fears that her incident and the many like it (the Southern Poverty Law Center is keeping a running tally of hate crimes since election night, and other experts say incidents have spiked higher than they did post-9/11) are the start of a long, hateful period: “I am scared that they will keep happening,” she said to The Washington Post. “Not everybody will have 300 people to walk them to class or to stand behind them.”

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