The University of Memphis’ Black Student Association staged a protest Wednesday in response to a racist note that was left on a student athlete’s car two weeks ago, the Daily Helmsman reports.
Members of the BSA silently gathered in front of the university center wearing all black, holding signs that push back against common African-American stereotypes. The sings said things like, "I am not fatherless,""I am not here because of affirmative action," and "I am black and proud."
The protests were in response to an incident on Sept. 23, when Nicole Lawson, a sophomore track-and-field athlete at University of Memphis, woke up to find her car keyed and a racist note on her windshield. The note said, “You dumb n*****s,” and the words, “F**k North Carolina,” she told the Daily Helmsman.
Lawson is from Charlotte, N.C., where citizens have been protesting since the Sept. 20 killing of Keith Lamont Scott by Charlotte police. “Just because my license plate says Charlotte don’t mean anything,” Lawson said on Instagram. “Whoever wrote it knows about the things that are happening in my home city, so it makes their actions seem corrupt,” she told the Daily Helmsman.
According to WMC, Lawson received an outpouring of support after she shared her story, with strangers offering her money to fix the damage on her car. Due to restrictions that come with her position as a student-athlete, she couldn’t accept the money. Instead, she told WMC that she plans on donating the money to charities in her hometown.
Lawson isn’t planning on letting the person who did this get to her, she told WMC, saying, "I want them to see me walking with a smile on my face.”