The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community at Baylor University marched in protest against race-based discrimination after a student was reportedly assaulted near campus.
More than 100 students, faculty, and administrators came together to stand against the recent incident and the rising tide of verbal and physical assault of Asian-Americans around the country.
Students marched across campus holding picket signs to demand the end of racial inequality and violence. Baylor President Linda Livingstone, Provost Nancy Brickhouse, and Student Life Vice President Kevin Jackson joined the demonstration and listened to students who spoke about their personal experiences with racism.
Asian Americans came together peacefully tonight for what professors call the first demonstration of its kind at Baylor after a student was assaulted. They were joined by Dr. Linda Livingstone and other Baylor leaders. Thank you to @Little_Nikkie for the interview on @kwtx pic.twitter.com/7AdpXtFi7O
— Lauren Westbrook (@LaurenWestbrook) April 28, 2021
The hate crime that’s being brought to light involved an Asian-American Baylor student who was abused by four unidentified men near the campus at the intersection of South 3rd Street and Gurley Lane last Sunday.
A student newspaper reported on the attack and published the student’s account. Baylor also released an official statement, asserting that the reported assault is under investigation by the university’s Equity Office.
“We grieve with our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) neighbors, brothers and sisters in the midst of what has been an intense year of anti-Asian sentiment and violence… As fellow bearers of the image of God, our AAPI students are part of our Baylor Family, and we especially will not stand for such sentiment, bias or violence within our community,” the statement read.
Josie Pooler, a Baylor sophomore and the co-organizer of the demonstration, said that racism both on and off-campus started before the pandemic.
“Having to defend my own humanity, my own personhood, is extremely difficult. Having to assert that I matter, that my presence matters along with all of yours and this community I care about,” Pooler remarked to the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Joshua Nyung, a fraternity brother and friend of the victim, expressed that he wants to think of Baylor as his home, but the fear of being the next target of a similar assault prevents him from doing so.
“It’s upsetting that it had to happen at Baylor University. I don’t want to fault Baylor. I want to fault the students who did the thing,” he said.