by WorldTribune Staff, August 31, 2016
A Sudanese refugee and LGBT activist at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington plans to sue the college after the Secret Service paid her a visit regarding a Facebook post in which she wrote: “Expect to see me at the Trump rally … Y’all are not prepared for what I’m about to do”.
With the help of the ACLU, 19-year-old Nada Merghani plans to sue UNC-Wilmington after it refused to provide her with a full-time armed guard after what she claims were threats from Trump supporters.
Merghani’s Facebook post, referring to Trump’s Aug. 9 rally at the university, noted the GOP candidate would make his “Second Amendment people” remark.
“All I can say is pray I make it out of this alive,” she wrote.
In audio of her Secret Service visit on Aug. 8 obtained by The College Fix, Merghani became increasingly upset as the agents asked about her agenda for the next day’s Trump rally.
“Considering that Trump protesters have gotten shot, journalists have been removed violently and there are a lot of circumstances that can [put] any person who’s going to a Trump rally … in a violent situation, it makes a lot of sense that I say ‘pray I don’t get shot,’ ” Merghani told the agents. “I was actually looking for legitimate prayers.”
“But can you imagine what we thought when we read that?” an agent who went by “Kelly,” according to Merghani, asks her.
“No, I can’t because I can’t imagine what sense of fear you guys got from a 19-year-old who’s a junior in college who’s a pacifist,” replies Merghani.
“Your statements are that of someone who could be wanting to commit suicide by law enforcement,” a Secret Service agent who did not give his name tells Merghani.
Merghani said the agents left 12-minute meeting satisfied that she was not a threat, but they discouraged her from attending the rally Trump rally.
After her “Y’all are not prepared” post, Merghani said she and her fellow activists received violent threats on social media.
Merghani told The Fix she hasn’t felt safe to attend classes after her request for a security escort from the university was turned down.
On Aug. 19, The Fix reported that “Merghani and her ACLU advocate met with Vice Chancellor Patricia Leonard, Chief Diversity Officer Kent Guion, and Chief of Staff Bradley Ballou to speak about Merghani’s safety concerns as a black woman.”
“[T]he vice chancellor really lost her cool when the ACLU advocate made her aware she had white privilege,” Merghani told The Fix.
Leonard said the university was unwilling to provide Merghani with a full-time campus police escort.
“[W]ith no specific direct threat to you personally by another individual, they do not see appropriate cause to approve your request for an armed escort to all classes,” Leonard said.
“I made a request for armed security to escort me from class to class which they denied because ‘it would make the university look bad’ if their only black, gay, muslim, refugee student was so targeted and unsafe she needed security to escort her from place to place,” Merghani wrote in a Facebook post Aug. 16.
Merghani said she plans to sue the university, likely for “breach of university policy” and “emotional trauma,” but will also appeal the university’s decision to Chancellor José Sartarelli.
“I keep trying to tell myself it’s not personal but it’s clearly personal,” said Merghani.