WASHINGTON (WUSA) - The American University student at the center of a racist display on campus spoke out on Thursday.
Taylor Dumpson said she does not want anyone to have to feel the same discrimination and bigotry she faced earlier in the week when bananas were hung from nooses on the same day she took office as student government president.
Several congresswomen and leaders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated stood shoulder to shoulder with Dumpson to push for change.
“Absolutely. I was concerned but not just for myself, but for the members of our AU community because this is not the first time this has happened this year. It kind of caught me off guard,” Dumpson told WUSA9.
Dumpson believed the incident was backlash to her being the first black woman to serve as student government president at AU.
“I was concerned as any parent would be,” Kimberly Dumpson, Taylor’s mother, said.
The student’s mother said she prepared her daughter for racist encounters like this -- especially in today's times -- but always hoped it would never become a reality.
“Taylor has grown up. She's a very mature young lady and I know that she's well positioned to handle these circumstances,” Kimberly Dumpson said. “You don't have a playbook when you're parenting and so the best that you can do is to give everything that you have within you and pour it into your children.”
“Though the FBI is working, I am asking for the US Department of Education to investigate the civil rights violation of anyone who thinks that they can recklessly challenge those people of color and the US Department of Justice to have a full investigation,” Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said.
Lawmakers also called for mandatory audits across the country to force schools to report race-related incidents.
“It's just inspiring to see so many people and see that this one incident impacted thousands -- literally thousands of people across the country,” Dumpson said.
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