Students unite to escort classmate to class after she’s harassed
In the days following the election of Donald Trump, there have been may reports of racial violence and harassment, including an incident at Baylor University in which a student was pushed and called the n-word while walking around campus.
In a show of solidarity that should both give us hope and point the way forward, the next day, fellow students made it clear that this won’t be tolerated, banding together to escort Natasha Nkhama to class.
Video of Nkhama describing what happened was posted to Twitter following the incident.
“On my way to class, this guy went out of his way to bump into me and … shove me off the sidewalk,” she said. “He said ‘no n*ggers allowed on the sidewalk’.” He then told her he was “trying to make America great again.” Prompting Nkhama to warn her followers: “So if you voted for Donald Trump, I hope you realize what that means from someone else’s point of view.”
— Jaileene Maite (@ijaileene) November 9, 2016
News of the incident spread on social media and around campus, and students quickly reacted. They created a hashtag – #IWalkWithNatasha – and gathered together to accompany Nkhama to class the next day.
— Cassie L. Smith (@SmithCassie) November 12, 2016
Hundreds of students participated, some with permission from their professors.
— Cassie L. Smith (@SmithCassie) November 11, 2016
(All it takes is a look at the first comment underneath that tweet to understand the divisions we’re dealing with.)
This is one of many stories circulating on social media that seem to indicate the darkest ramifications of Donald Trump’s victory on election night. His most deplorable followers are suddenly emboldened, clearly feeling that by electing Trump, who’s campaign rhetoric was hateful and exclusionary from day one, they’ve been given license to act out their own hateful and racist views.
That’s why it’s heartening to see that more than 300 students flocked to their classmate’s side, some of them singing “Amazing Grace” as they walked, showing the rest of us how to respond when someone else goes low.
And we are grateful for other similar displays we’re seeing across the country, the non-violent demonstrations that show that regardless of the fact that the country is sharply divided, regardless of the fact that a man many of us fear has been elected President, we won’t stop defending the things we believe in. We won’t stop banding together against the forces of intolerance and hate, and we won’t stop fighting for each other.