Shocked U.K. Student Films Racist Chanting Outside Her Dorm Room

Two 18-year-old men have been arrested after a student at Nottingham Trent University posted footage of them yelling racist chants and other invectives outside her dorm room.

Rufaro Chisango tweeted video of the incident Wednesday, March 7, as it unfolded outside her bedroom at a Nottingham residence hall. In the minute-long clip, male voices can be heard chanting “we hate the blacks” and “blacks and whites will never be together” on the other side of her door.

“Yoo I’m fuming, the way people in the same uni halls as me are chanting ‘we hate the blacks’ outside my bedroom door,” Chisango wrote. “Words can’t describe how sad this makes me feel. In this 2018, people still think this is acceptable.”

A police investigation is underway, but the university has been criticized for failing to act swiftly after the incident was reported earlier in the week, according to The Independent. NTU confirmed it has suspended the “suspected perpetrators” pending the outcome of an investigation. Both men were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order violations.

In a series of tweets, Chisango said the taunts began Monday night, noting her footage  wasn’t able to catch the other things the men said, like “Blacks would go back to picking cotton.” Chisango emphasized the fact that she’s the only Black student on her floor.

She said she took her concerns to reception, who told her the matter would be dealt with by Tuesday and jotted down her information. By Wednesday, however, Chisango still hadn’t heard back from them.

“It shouldn’t have [taken] such a long delay when I reported something like this,” she told the BBC, saying she felt “shocked, isolated and uncomfortable” after being subjected to the racist jeers. “I just want the appropriate action to be taken.”

Video of the incident spurred messages of support from fellow students, friends and even government leaders.

“Please contact the Police and your member of Parliament and cc me in,” British politician David Lammy wrote. All my love and solidarity … my heart breaks for this young woman and I have the utmost respect for her bravery in speaking out.”

Lilian Greenwood, the Labour MP for Nottingham South, said she was “appalled” by the footage while Jess Phillips, another MP who sits on the women and equalities committee, said she hoped the situation “gets sorted.”

In a statement, NTU said it has launched an “urgent” investigation into the matter and is working to determine why the university was only made aware of the incident Wednesday when it happened early Monday.

“We’ve contacted the student who made the complaint and are providing support to her and others affected,” it said. “And we’re liaising with the police about this incident. We value being a diverse global community, with staff and students from across the world.”

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