Santa Clara University Professor Unpacks the Surrealness of Being Racially Profiled on Campus

The interaction eventually drew more campus police—four cars in total, she said—who followed Fuentes back to Morgan’s doorstep. There, officers questioned Morgan and asked her to show her campus ID to prove that she was, in fact, a Santa Clara professor—despite her answering the door in a designated faculty housing building. “I wasn’t surprised that it was happening to me,” Morgan told The Root over the phone earlier this week. (Full disclosure: Morgan and I have been acquainted for several years.) “It all just felt very surreal because you never wake up thinking, Today’s the day it’s going to happen.” She described the officer being very aggressive to her, demanding proof that she belonged on campus and in her own home. It wasn’t until her husband, who is white, got involved that the officer’s demeanor toward her changed, she says. Morgan thinks what defused the situation, ultimately, was the presence of five neighbors—all of whom were white—standing by, observing her interaction with the campus officers and vouching for her. Morgan’s husband did most of the talking with the officers, she noted, because he was aware his race and gender made him safer and more credible in the eye

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