Hundreds of Baylor students, faculty, staff and others from Waco gathered in a display of solidarity after a student said she’d been subjected to a racist taunt while going to class the day after Donald Trump was elected president. Among those participating was interim Baylor President David E. Garland.
In a video she posted on Facebook on Wednesday, Natasha Nkhama, a sophomore psychology student from Dallas, described what happened.
“On my way to class, this guy went out of his way to bump into me and sort of shove me off the sidewalk, and he said, um, he said, ‘No n------ allowed on the sidewalk.’”
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She told The Washington Post she’s never experienced racial prejudice before at Baylor.
“I was just shocked, like I had no words,” she says in the video. “And this other guy behind me — both of them, neither of them I knew — and the other one said, ‘Dude, like what are you doing, like that’s not cool.’ And the guy said, ‘Dude, like what?’ And he was like ‘I’m just trying to make America great again.’”
Nkhama, a native of Lusaka, Zambia, who moved to Texas when she was 3 and grew up in Dallas, told the Post she stewed about the comment all through her class.
She ends the Facebook video saying, “So, if you voted for Donald Trump, I hope you understand what that means, from someone else’s point of view.”
The video was reposted on Twitter by Nkhama’s friend Jaileene Maite and spread across campus. Soon a plan was organized via the Twitter hashtag #IWalkWithNatasha to escort Nkhama to her Friday morning class, according to the media website Mashable.
Nkhama was encouraged by the support, and proud: “Today’s walk with me was not ONLY FOR me,” she posted afterward on Facebook. “It was for anyone who has/does/will or knows someone who has experienced discrimination or oppression.”
The university issued a response the day after the initial incident saying that the offending student’s behavior “is deeple disturbing and does not in any way reflect Baylor’s faith or values. We wholeheartedly condemn the behavior.”
It added that it had been in contact with Nkhama and is “working with her to ensure she feels safe and supported by the Baylor community.”
Nkhama told the Post she has filed a report with the university but has not decided whether to file a police report.