Earlier in the month, a video went viral of Alexander McNab being harassed by six campus cops at Barnard College, an all-women’s school affiliated with Columbia University in New York City. But while the video caused outrage from staff and faculty, one student went out of her way to claim that McNab appearing to be racially profiled had nothing to do with his brown skin.
The student, who described herself as a “(very) light-skinned Jewish woman” named Morgan Raum, defended campus security in a piece she recently authored for the Columbia Beacon, an alternative campus publication.
“I would much prefer Barnard Public Safety officers prioritize safety rather than political correctness,” Raum wrote. “The fact of the matter is an adult male entered a closed women’s college campus after 11 p.m. and repeatedly refused to show his identification to Public Safety officers, despite admitting that he knew about the rule. To be honest, I’m upset he was allowed to get as far as Milstein before the officers took action.”
Raum went on to say McNab was stopped simply because of his gender, an excuse that rings hollow since there are always male students from Columbia on Barnard’s campus.
“For context: Columbia students have access to Barnard libraries. After 11 p.m., students are supposed to show their IDs to public safety before entering campus. But this rule is loosely enforced and hardly followed. I have always just nodded to the officer. Nothing like this,” Andrew Wang, who identified himself as a Columbia student, wrote in his tweet below that includes a video of the incident.
“I can’t help but feel that while Alexander McNab may have been ‘profiled,’ in all likelihood it was due to his being a male student on a women’s college campus after 11PM who repeatedly refused to show his identification,” she wrote.
In case you missed it, McNab refused to show his ID to security officers who the same demands for identification from students of color. Officers eventually physically assaulted McNab inside a campus building even after he handed them his identification, another fact the “very light-skinned” Raum failed to acknowledge.
“I didn’t violate anybody. Get your hands off of me,” McNab says to the security officers.
After looking at McNab’s ID card, one of the officers responded, “Let’s walk outside.”
McNab said he feared going outside with the officers and wanted to stay inside the building where there were witnesses.
Instead of examining his ID and allowing him to go, the officers confiscated McNab’s card, saying they needed to verify that he was an “active” Columbia student.
As of Tuesday morning, the security officers were reportedly still on leave and Barnard was hiring an independent investigator.