Two black graduate students at New York University accused Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) campaign of racially profiling them during a recent event, Buzzfeed reported.
The students, Taisha Henry and Ugonma Ubani-Ebere, said they were approached by campaign staffers during a town hall on Sunday in Bedford, New Hampshire. Ubani-Ebere and Henry, along with their professor Yvonne Latty, were the only black members of the 16-person group from the school attending the event.
Both students said that a campaign worker approached them as they were setting up cameras to film Rubio’s speech and told them they lacked the necessary press credential.
But according to Wired magazine, the unidentified staff member “kept an eye on them” and dispatched another worker to tell them — again — that they could not film there, even though the students had complied with the original order.
A spokesperson for Rubio’s campaign in New Hampshire, Michael Zona, said he would have to “gather more information” regarding the second warning levied toward Henry and Ubani-Ebere.
“We were picked on,” Henry stated on Twitter. “We pointed out our white classmate who didn’t have the ‘right credentials.’ #Rubio worker didn’t care. Focused on us.”
Latty corroborated Henry’s account on Twitter, saying that white students who were part of the same group were allowed to keep filming.
“It was relentless,” she said of the admonishments the black students received.
Latty also stated that she was not allowed into the event after she received a press pass.
Think Progress reported that the women were later allowed into the event with press credentials after a white professor spoke to a campaign staffer.
“It wasn’t a good feeling,” Ubani-Ebere said. “It was like, gosh, here goes those African Americans crying again so let’s give them what they want. That’s what it felt like to us.”