*Content Warning: NSFW language and hate speech
Yale PhD student Kathryn Graves, 27, was walking through Midtown Manhattan with her #BlackLivesMatter shirt on when she was verbally assaulted by a woman.
Among several other vile words, called her an “ape.”
Graves shared video of the incident to Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
TW: HELLA RACISM/RACIAL EPITHETS — 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. I silently recorded up to the very end. Can y’all share this pls, I’m fine with being tagged #blm #nyc #blacklivesmatter @theshaderoom @thisistheread @blklivesmatter @shaunking @grassrootslaw @thejasminebrand @theneighborhoodtalk2 @karensgoingwilds @unwinewithtashak @the.root #karen #karens
It was also shared on Twitter.
This happen to 🎥: Kat_gravez (IG) for more context. pic.twitter.com/DX9WtgXShb
— Jimmy ✊🏾 (@Jwheels_74) June 21, 2020
Graves took out her phone and started recording, upon which the woman made monkey noises at her and hurled so many expletives her way that it would be unbecoming to reproduce the speech in this article.
Graves told the New York Post:
“I have never had someone just spew hatred in my face.”
“Before I even started to emotionally process what was going on, I just knew I had to record it—try and figure out what to do if she tries to attack me.”
Black girls wears #BLM shirt on the streets of NYC’s Upper East Side Saturday 6/20/2020 — runs into racist ranting woman headed home with her beer stash. She’s drunk, obviously, but this is some racist rant! (Still obsessing over Michelle Obama) pic.twitter.com/mXAsqyWGtJ
— Jim Clancy (@ClancyReports) June 21, 2020
— Sherri Drake (@Shizra41) June 21, 2020
This woman is unwell.
— Queen of CA (@LizzyAlvarez20) June 21, 2020
With all that beer? Is that Karen Gaetz, Matt’s wife?
— Chatelaine (@AppleRiverBnB) June 22, 2020
According to Graves, people walked by and did nothing to help.
“She was speaking pretty loudly, it was very clear what she was saying, and the idea that … no one felt the need to intervene at all — that really bothers me a lot.”
Online, people hoped the woman’s employer would see the video.
You about to lose your J-O-B
— Faralyn Padilla (@FaralynPadilla) June 21, 2020
what makes anyone think this person is employed???
— Stephany Evans (@firerooster) June 21, 2020
Boy, she is hugging that booze as if her life depends on it.
— GeeDawg (@GeeDawgHunt) June 21, 2020
— Donna Tomasula (@DonnaTomasula) June 21, 2020
I see pure ignorance.
— Robin jewell (@rjewell379) June 21, 2020
Graves contacted the NYPD and has also come across another victim of the same woman, but fears this woman is a danger to more than just herself.
“If nothing happens, this woman could be dangerous.”
The lowest form of humanity….
— Michael Bryant (@mikeskype1) June 21, 2020
That is so disgusting….wow
— Peggy Pashen (@peggy9798) June 22, 2020
Though Graves believes the woman is likely homeless or in need of mental health help, she says “racism is not a symptom of either of those things.” She did advocate for the woman to receive help however.
“I have no desire to see this woman, like, locked up.”
As cameras allow these moments to be captured, some people are seeing the racist underbelly for the first time. It’s important to remember this level of hatred in the United States is not a revelation for everyone.
Just because you see it for the first time, doesn’t mean it wasn’t always there.