As for the reason why I was in Fort Collins. Two teenagers (happen to be Native American) on a CSU campus tour had the police called on them by a parent on the tour because she felt “nervous about the presence of two young men.” We hear from one of those young men at 9 on @KDVR pic.twitter.com/c9VJ4LsCJU— Zora Stephenson (@ZoraStephenson) May 4, 2018
Colorado State University has apologized to the Native American brothers who were taken aside and patted down by the campus police after a white mother complained they made her “nervous” during a college tour.
“We deeply regret the unwelcoming and concerning experience they had while guests on our campus,” the university stated, offering to not only reimburse the teenager’s travel expenses but also providing a VIP campus tour.
Thomas Kanewakeron Gray and Lloyd Skanahwati Gray had traveled all the way from Santa Cruz, New Mexico, to attend the tour in hopes of figuring out if the university was a good fit for them.
Their mother claimed the teenagers were a victim of “racial profiling.”
“I was concerned for my sons’ safety and advised them to return home immediately,” mother Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray told radio station KUNC. “Our family is shocked and saddened over this incident of racial profiling, and disappointed that the school didn’t take a more proactive stand in protecting my boys from being shamed in this hostile way.”
According to the reports, the seemingly racist incident took place after a mother called 911 to complain about two young men who were being very quiet and had clothing with “dark stuff on it, like dark things.”
One of the students was reportedly wearing a T-shirt while the other was dressed a sweatshirt with different band logos.
Upon their arrival, the police pulled them aside and patted them down. By the time this ordeal was over, the brothers deemed it was too late to join the tour and decided to return.
“I think it’s pretty discriminatory,” said Thomas, according to The Associated Press. “Me and my brother just stayed to ourselves the whole time. I guess that was scaring people, that we were just quiet.”
A much-awaited campus tour turned into one of the most distressing experiences for two Native American students when a parent called campus police on them.
Two brothers, Thomas Kanewakeron Gray, 19, and Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, 17, reportedly had saved money to travel all the way to Colorado State University from their home in Santa Cruz, New Mexico.
However, they couldn't complete their tour of the campus because a parent got "nervous" when they joined the group and called the campus police.
Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, the teens' mother, shared details of the incident in a Facebook post:
She told the Associated Press her sons were subjected to racial profiling.
“I don’t think they even grasped the magnitude of what happened to them until we talked," she said.
While CSU officials said they understood the concerns of the students, they maintained they had responded to the complaint of the parent "appropriately."
“This incident is sad and frustrating from nearly every angle, particularly the experience of two students who were here to see if this was a good fit for them,” CSU stated in an email sent out to students.
“As a university community, we deeply regret the experience of these students while they were guests on our campus,” the statement continued.
According to a November 2017 NPR poll, "more than a third of Native Americans say someone has made negative assumptions or offensive comments about their race."
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