Young Black girls called 'N-word' by white Berkeley resident, climbing coach says

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- A climbing coach is going viral after she recorded a video explaining how two of her young black students were called the "N-word" by a white woman in Berkeley.

With tears in her eyes, Emily Taylor the founder of Black Girls Climbing describes the incident.

"I'm just doing this the best way I know how. Trying to build this bridge and hold these girls in place. These are four little girls who were impacted on the summer camp by this one woman who comes and calls them an 'N-word'," said Taylor.

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In the video, Taylor reflects about what her ten and seven-year-old students faced at Indian Rock Park in Berkeley. The 10-year-old students ran to Taylor in shock after a white woman allegedly called them the "N-word" and asked them to leave the park.

"That's what systematic racism does to black people. It numbs us to those words to say, yeah you are going to hear that again," says Taylor.

The video has been viewed over 12,000 times.

Still in shock, Taylor is turning this hurtful experience into a learning opportunity to help the younger black generation of climbers.

"I tap in and use Harriet Tubman who is our pioneer to the outdoors who has been erased through white culture and consciousness as far as outdoor space means. But Harriet Tubman freed the slaves," said Taylor.

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The community has come together to support Coach Taylor who opened a GoFundMe account to buy a van for her students.

"Money is nice and doing the accountability work is what helps us feel safe and helps us feel like we are being seen," said Taylor.

Jesse Arreguin, Berkeley's Mayor says this behavior is unacceptable.

"It was horrifying," said Arreguin. "Berkeley is not immune sadly from the racism that exists around our country. Even in a city that is so progressive and very committed to racial and social equity."

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Taylor says it's ironic to see this behavior at a park where the Black Lives Matter signs are prevalent at the entrance. She urges families to have conversations about inclusion and diversity at the dinner table and for more businesses to hire black talent.

To donate: Black Girls Climbing.
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