Hundreds gather to support student following report of racist incident

Posted at 7:32 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:32-04

Hundreds of people gathered on Friday to support an African-American Baylor University student who claims a man on campus pushed her off a sidewalk and called her a racial slur.

Natasha Nkhama, who recounted the incident on social media, said another man who saw the incident confronted her attacker to which he replied "I’m just trying to make America great again." That is the slogan President-elect Donald Trump used during his campaign.

"I think racism is not something that Donald Trump caused but I feel like people, like, they have an open door to be that way now,” Nkhama said.

On Friday, students and staff prayed and walked with Nkhama to class to condemn racism and show that every student is welcome at Baylor.

“I walked with her because I wanted to support her and show we are not going to stand for racism and we are not going to stand for hate. No matter what your political views are, hate is not the answer,” Baylor student and Nkhama’s friend Mackenzie Barnard said.

Some students who joined the walk, like Savannah Cooper, had never met Nkhama but saw her video online.

"I started tearing up a bit. It was really sobering to see that it happened, hitting so close to my home and that could've easily been me,” Cooper said.

Cooper was happy to see the support from the community.

“It was coming out here this morning and seeing so many people supporting her and letting her know she is not alone,” Cooper said.

Faculty members also joined the walk, including Sociology Visiting Lecturer Todd Ferguson.

"I walked because I wanted to show support for all of our students to say that at a Christian University, all students are welcome,” Ferguson said. "I also wanted to show support for all Americans, that regardless of their racial group, their religion, their gender, that they are welcome in America and we're glad they're here."

Ferguson hopes the walk helps other students on campus.

"I hope our students, who are fearful because of the result of the election, know that Baylor loves them, as a community, and we are walking alongside with them," Ferguson said. "I want the people who feel anger toward racial minorities and feel they have the freedom to express hateful speech, that they think twice about that."

Baylor Interim President David E. Garland who also participated in the event posted online the walk was an amazing experience for him.

"Walking with our brothers and sisters must become a daily walk on and off this campus," Garland said.

Baylor University issued a statement on Thursday condemning the incident Nkhama reported. 

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