A Black college student, who was working on campus as a teaching assistant and residential adviser, was eating her lunch in a common room when a white, Smith College employee called the police.
According to reports, Oumoi Kanoute, a rising sophomore at the university wrote about her experience on Facebook getting mistaken as a trespasser on Tuesday based off her looks. She detailed the event of a campus worker calling the police to report someone who “seemed out of place,” in a building that is used for the school’s summer program.
“I did nothing wrong, I wasn’t making any noise or bothering anyone,” Kanoute wrote. “I was very nervous, and had a complete meltdown after this incident. It’s just wrong and uncalled for. No student of color should have to explain why they belong at prestigious white institutions. I worked my hardest to get into Smith, and I deserve to feel safe on my campus.”
Furthermore, the employee reported the student to the police as a “suspicious black male,” according to the Boston Globe.
The school released an apology statement that read “nothing was suspicious about the student’s presence.”
“All I did was be Black,” said Kanoute. “It’s outrageous that some people question my being at Smith College, and my existence overall as a woman of color.”