A 22-year-old Black Lehigh University student was assaulted by two white men while walking off campus, per Lehigh Valley Live. Bethlehem police say the two attackers hurled racial slurs at the student. Authorities are working with the campus police and have asked the public for help in identifying the two assailants.
In the past few weeks, students around the entire country have been subject to deadly, senseless violence. A University of Kentucky student was racially assaulted. Three University of Virginia student athletes were fatally shot. Four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death in their sleep. Just days ago, a New Mexico State basketball player was shot and killed.
Racially motivated or not, these incidents paint a frightening image of the dangers students face nowadays.
The report says a 22-year-old Lehigh University student was walking off campus near South New and Morton street when two men “called out to him using offensive and malicious language concerning his race.” The Bethlehem police didn’t specify what the alleged slurs were, but considering the recent string of racist attacks, perpetrators don’t get any more creative than the n-word. The student said they were cornered and the two suspects began hitting him, resulting in a swollen lip and face laceration.
Read the school president’s response from The Morning Call:
Lehigh President Joseph Helble sent a statement to the Lehigh community Saturday evening that said Lehigh police and staff are in contact with the student, who is recovering.
“Many will understandably feel unsettled following this incident,” Helble said in his statement. “I want to assure all of our students, especially our students of color, of our commitment to your safety and well-being. I am committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for you.
“Racism, hate, verbal and physical violence have no place at Lehigh,” he said. “As a community that welcomes and supports every member, this is a stark reminder that in a challenging world we have work to do, and it is up to all of us to stand up and speak out.”
The student described the person who assaulted him as a white male, between 20-25 years old, dark colored hair and around 5 feet and 8 inches tall. The second suspect has not yet been identified.
Witnesses are encouraged to call the Bethlehem Police Department at (610) 865-7000 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.