Two Arrests Were Made After a Student in the UK Filmed Racist Chanting Outside Her Dorm

Imagine you’re just chilling in your dorm room and minding your business when, all of a sudden, people are chanting abusive language at you from the hallway. This is the nightmare that Rufaro Chisango lived through in the Sandby Hall residence building at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in Nottingham, England, on Monday night. Chisango captured video of the encounter on Monday night from her room and tweeted about the abuse.

According to BBC News, Chisango reported the chants to her hall’s front desk on Tuesday morning. Although officials at the university said that they would take care of it, she still hadn’t heard anything by Wednesday night, detailing the slow progress on Twitter:

"It was a big impact obviously, when it happened," Chisango said on a BBC News program. "It shouldn't be tolerated at all. It shouldn't have [taken] such a long delay when I reported something like this. I just want the appropriate action to be taken."

It really took the power of social media to get the university’s attention, but after Chisango's messages on Twitter spread, support was coming from left and right. Supporters of Chisango included the student union's president, as well as politicians recommending that she contact the member of Parliament (MP) assigned to the area of NTU. 

Once local MP Chris Leslie was informed of the incident, NTU publicly responded to Chisango's case, saying that officials were trying to understand why there was a delayed response to the reports. 

Since the university began its investigation of the case, it has suspended "suspected perpetrators" pending further questioning of them. Police have arrested two 18-year-old men "on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offenses" and are still questioning them. 

Unfortunately, without the interference of greater forces on social media, racism is common at this university and often goes untreated. Ilyas Nagdee, a National Union of Students officer who represents minority students at the university, told the BBC, “These are just the stories that go viral over social media. But unfortunately this is the day-to-day experience of students of color across the country and it has been going on for decades. I'm contacted at least a couple of times a week by students asking me for help after experiencing racism."

As for Chisango, she is staying true to herself and trying to fight this negativity with positivity. She thanked everyone for their support and tweeted out a MLK quote, writing, "I just want to thank everyone for their kind messages and all the support. ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.'"