Smith college is investigating after police were called on a black student who was eating lunch in a common room.
“This shouldn’t happen to anyone at all,” Oumou Kanoute said through tears to CBS Boston.
Kanoute is a rising sophomore at the college. She was reading in the dining hall at a dormitory on July 31, reports CBS Boston.
“Next thing you know, I see the cop walk in with a Smith employee whom I’ve never seen before and the man said, ‘We were wondering why you’re here?”‘ Kanoute told CBS Boston.
According to CBS Boston, Police told her that an employee called to report a suspicious black man. She recorded the incident on her phone and shared her experience on Facebook.
“It just still upsets me to just talk about it because I don’t even feel safe on my own campus and I’m away from home. I’m the first in my family to go to college. I’m doing this not only for me but for my family, for my ancestors,” Kanoute told CBS Boston.
Smith’s president sent a statement apologizing and assuring her that “she belongs in all Smith spaces. This painful incident reminds us of the ongoing legacy of racism and bias in which people of color are targeted while simply going about the business of their daily lives. … Building an inclusive, diverse and sustainable community is urgent and ongoing work.”
Kanoute appreciates the apology but wants the name of the caller to be released.
According to CBS Boston, Smith’s administration says privacy laws prevent them from releasing the name, so Kanoute has turned to social media with a plea for help.
“I tried to like shake it off. I didn’t even want to speak up and speak out because I know not everyone’s going to agree with what you need to say. Not everyone’s going to listen to you,” Kanoute told CBS Boston. “I’m just so upset.”