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Hundreds gathered at the University of Kentucky to stand up against racism following an on-campus attack.
Students and supporters cried “justice” while at the March Against Racism on Monday evening at the Lexington, Kentucky school, according to ABC Louisville affiliate WHAS-TV. The gathering comes in response to a white student, Sophia Rosing, 22, allegedly attacking freshman and student employee Kylah Spring — who is Black — in a racist assault over the weekend that was captured on video.
Clips of video have gone viral on the internet, drawing attention to topics of racism and white privilege.
Spring was stationed as a student desk clerk during the overnight shift at the UK dormitory Boyd Hall early Sunday morning. At around 1:00 a.m., Rosing allegedly stumbled into the building, seemingly intoxicated.
Spring asked Rosing if she was alright, to which Rosing allegedly responded by biting her, punching her and calling her words such as “b***h*” and “n****r.”
Spring has been praised for remaining calm as Rosing allegedly continued to try and inflict physical harm on Spring while repeating racial slurs.
The UK’s Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, a Black student organization, led the march on Monday, which began at the William T. Young Library and ended near the Gatton Student Center, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Participants chanted “Protect Black Women” and “Speak Up, UK” during the rally.
Addressing marchers, a tearful Spring thanked the many who have offered their support since the attack made national news, as reported by the Lexington outlet.
“This is a recurring issue in and across American school systems, no matter what age,” Spring stated. “I am deeply sad about the events that took place, but I am grateful for justice that is to come.”
“You will not break my spirit, and you will be held accountable for your actions,” Spring continued, seemingly addressing Rosing. “I only pray that you open your heart to love and try to experience life differently and more positively after this.”
Spring’s parents were also at the gathering, according to WHAS-TV.
“Do not let it stop here,” Spring’s mother said. “It is uncomfortable to sit in silence and watch and feel helpless, but it is more uncomfortable to watch it happen again and again and again.”
Rosing was arrested on Sunday morning and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, assault and assault against a police officer, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
In arrest records cited by the Herald-Leader and the Enquirer, Rosing allegedly “stated that she had lots of money and (gets) special treatment.” At the time, she refused to give her identity.
“When I told her to sit back in the chair, she kicked me and bit my hand,” wrote the arresting officer.
Rosing pleaded not guilty to the charges, the Enquirer reported, and was released from the Fayette County jail on Monday evening after a $10,000 cash bond was posted on her behalf. She was ordered to stay away from Boyd Hall and prohibited from alcohol use as part of the conditions attached to her release, according to the Herald-Leader.
UK president Eli Capilouto released a statement on Monday, addressing the “repulsive and violent video” showing Spring’s attack.
“The sting and strike of a racist act is felt by the victims, to be sure. But it also is felt by all of us,” Capilouto stated. “Failure to identify racism — and directly speak out against it — prevents us from living up to our promise and potential.
“We must, therefore, be accountable. We must never shrink from our responsibility to shine a light on racism and hate where it exists,” he continued.
Students at the rally addressed their concerns that the school wasn’t doing enough in light of the event, citing the fact that Rosing was still apparently enrolled as a student, according to WHAS-TV.
On Tuesday, Rosing’s lawyer, Fred Peters, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that his client has decided to step away from her studies to admit herself into a rehabilitation program. Peters added that Rosing and her family were “embarrassed and humiliated.”
Citing social media, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Rosing was terminated from two jobs, including her position with Dillard’s department store and as a College Fashionista influencer.
School president Capilouto said they would release updates as they become available.
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