NYU Students Allege Racial Profiling at Rubio Event

Written by Megan Moore

Megan Moore
BU News Service

A black professor and two students from New York University’s journalism program say they were racially profiled during a Marco Rubio campaign event Sunday afternoon in New Hampshire.

Professor Yvonne Latty and graduate students Ugonma Ubani-Ebere and Taisha Henry were covering the Rubio event for a school publication.

Ubani-Ebere said she and Henry were asked by Rubio staffers to put away their cameras while they were setting up equipment on the risers in the press area because they didn’t have press credentials. Their white classmates were able to set up on the risers without any questions from Rubio staff.

While they complied and stopped setting up, they were approached a second time and warned not to film.

“We got really upset because we had classmates just like us filming,” Ubani-Ebere said.

A spokesperson for the Rubio campaign could not be reached for comment. Michael Zona, New Hampshire communications director for the Rubio campaign, told Wired that the student reporters were asked to move because first priority on the risers goes to media who have RSVP’d. After that, the space is first-come, first served, Zona told Wired. However, Latty and the students felt targeted by the way that they were treated.

“They were watched from the moment they walked in,” Latty said. “They weren’t allowed to shoot while white counterparts were.”

Ubani-Ebere said she noticed staff members staring at her and Henry when they were told for the second time that they could not film the event. Feeling targeted, the students left the event crying. A white male classmate entered the event to gather the items Ubani-Ebere and Henry left behind after exiting and addressed Rubio staff about the situation.

The students were able to reenter and obtain footage needed for their coverage.

“We ended up going back in, but everything about the whole thing was wrong,” Ubani-Ebere said.

Latty took to Twitter after the incident to describe her version of the events.

Henry and Ubani-Ebere also tweeted about the incident.

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