Black Professor Ask To Show Proof Of Residency In Her Own Home
Photo: Matt Morgan

A Santa Clara University professor is speaking out after she says she and her brother were racially profiled and questioned by police while on the college campus where she works. 

Danielle Morgan outlined the series of events on Twitter, sharing that a weekend that was supposed to be spent enjoying her brother’s company quickly turned into a painful ordeal that has since left her reeling. According to her, on Saturday morning her brother, who was visiting her after months of separation due to the coronavirus pandemic, was on a business call somewhere on campus when he was approached by campus police and asked to move. Carlos Fuentes obliged, deciding to shift to another area outdoors that he believed to be off campus. 

After Fuentes moved locations, more police appeared. Eventually, four campus security cars followed him back to the residence where Morgan lives with her husband and kids. When they arrived, Fuentes asked Morgan to confirm to security that he was, in fact, her brother. That’s when a security officer demanded that Morgan show proof that she lived in her home. 

“I asked what the issue was and he said my brother was ‘in the bushes’ and it was ‘suspicious’ and they thought he may have been homeless,” Morgan shared on Twitter. “I asked why I needed to show ID at my own home. He said ‘Well, it’s not your home. The university owns it.’”

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Assistant English professor Danielle Morgan outlined the frustrating ordeal with campus security in a string of tweets.

Morgan asked her husband, who is White, to come to the door as she and her brother were questioned. Her husband advised her not to show ID and questioned the officer’s decision to act in a manner that appeared to have been heavily motivated by race. The couple also appealed to a neighbor who had stepped outside his home to confirm that they are his neighbors. In the midst of the exchange, the English professor and her husband both pointed out that the officers’ actions clearly pointed to racial discrimination.

“I am so angry,” Morgan said in a tweet. “Academia proves over and over that it doesn’t love me. I don’t think I love it back anymore.” 

Morgan’s 32-year-old brother is a pianist, composer and music teacher who has performed at Carnegie Hall. Still she notes that Black people’s accomplishments can not save them from harassment. She’s told multiple outlets that she’s happy that their lives didn’t end in a hashtag, given that she witnesses what happens to Black people in America every day.

In a letter to Santa Clara students and staff, the president of the university expressed deep regret over the incident. On Twitter he said, “No work is more important than our efforts to realize a more inclusive, welcoming and safe campus where all are respected and valued.”