Black graduate student target of racist rant while walking in New York

A Black graduate student said she was the target of a white woman’s racist tirade that she silently recorded Saturday afternoon in New York City. She is asking the public’s help in identifying the woman.

The student, Kathryn Graves, uploaded video of the encounter to her Facebook and Instagram accounts Sunday.

“So this just happened to me…in NYC of all places…for context I was walking down the street with my headphones in and a BLM shirt on, and didn’t even realize she was yelling at me until I stopped my music,” Graves captioned her Instagram post. “I silently recorded up to the very end.”

Graves, who attends Yale University and lives in New Haven, Connecticut, said that she was walking to her partner’s apartment when she was approached by the woman at about 5:15 p.m. on 47th Street and Third Avenue. She said the woman “got in her face.”

The woman repeatedly used the N-word and other profanities.

“I have never experienced something that was that belligerent and blatant,” Graves said Monday. “My mindset was ‘Keep recording and brace yourself in case she gets violent.'”

The woman was carrying what appeared to be an opened 15-pack of Natural Ice beer and an opened can.

Graves, 27, said she is conflicted as to what justice would look like in this case because she realizes it is possible that the woman may be homeless or mentally ill and in need of support.

“However, the reality is neither of those things causes racism or excuses racism, while they may exacerbate it,” she said.

She wrote on Instagram, “and for that reason there needs to be repercussions.”