By Megan Rule | Staff Writer
Students are planning to gather at Tidwell Bible Building to walk to the Baylor Sciences Building at 9:55 a.m. today in solidarity with Dallas sophomore Natasha Nkhama after she was reportedly pushed off the sidewalk and victim to a racial slur Wednesday afternoon.
In a video she posted on Facebook, Nkhama said she was forced off the sidewalk by a male who said “No n—–s allowed on the sidewalk.”
In her video, Nkhama said she was walking to class from Tidwell to the BSB when a male bumped into her and shoved her off the sidewalk, demeaning her with a racial slur.
When a bystander intervened on her behalf and asked the male what he was doing, Nkhama quoted him saying, “I’m just trying to make America great again.”
“We walk because no one should have to face racism in this day and age,” said San Benito junior Sarah Barrientos. “This is something that happened on our campus and we want to show support for Natasha while voicing our outrage at the situation.”
Her video has received widespread attention on social media.
“After watching her video, I felt infuriated. I wanted to cry out of anger,” said Harlingen sophomore Jaileene Maite Garza. “The fact that certain people feel entitled to hurt others using racial slurs and then justifying them with Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan is just horrific.”
The video posted by Nkhama was then linked to Garza’s Twitter account, with a tweet saying: “This is my friend Natasha, and this happened today 11/9 @Baylor.”
About two hours later, Baylor responded to the tweet saying, “@ijaileene That’s awful…Please make sure your friend files an official report so we can look into this,” with a link to the Bias Motivated Incident Support Team webpage.
The tweet had many other replies from both friends and alumni of Baylor reacting to the incident.
“Natasha had originally posted her video on Facebook, but I asked her if I could post it on Twitter,” Garza said. “I felt like it would be the best way to get everyone’s attention quick, including Baylor’s.”
On Thursday, Baylor released a press statement in response to the incident. Baylor said the behavior is disturbing and does not coincide with Baylor’s values, and they condemn the behavior. It stated that Baylor has connected with Nkhama and work with her to ensure that she feels safe and supported, and commended the bystander who defended Nkhama.
“We are a caring, Christian community in which acts of violence and insensitivity have no place. As Baylor Bears, it is our responsibility to care for and treat each other with love, compassion and dignity. Any behavior short of this demands our full attention so that we can hold each other accountable while seeking to reconcile and restore damaged relationships,” Dr. Kevin P. Jackson, vice president for student life, said in the press release.