5 Facts About Rini Sampath & Her Response to Racism

Rini Sampath

Being at the receiving end of any kind of discrimination is a distasteful experience. In spite of the world now being in the new millennia, some bad habits have still not left us alone. Migrant populace residing in developed countries has oft had to encounter discrimination. While most succumb to the humiliation and give up, few others put their foot down in and let their steely resolve take charge. Rini Sampath’s story is an example of the latter.

Not Any Walkover

Sampath, 21, took the call of running for student body president at her university – that is University of Southern California. Some of her peers and other fellow collegians hardly favored her decision and already judged her as a ‘no winner.’ Reason being, Sampath was a minority and contesting the election with another young woman – named Jordan Fowler – who belonged to minority as well. Sampath let the words to wind and went ahead regardless. And it turned out that Sampath and Fowler won and now both serve as President and Vice President respectively of the USC’s Undergraduate Student Government.

The D-Card

Originally a native of Theni, Tamil Nadu, Sampath says that she’s been played out the D-card too often ever since her family migrated to the US when was just six. When it was early days in the US, her classmates were curious if her mother was from Mars. “Others told me I could not play with them”, she recalls.

The Incident

Walking back from a friend’s apartment, Sampath was subjected to slurring by a fellow-student. The student even hurled a drink at her. She was obviously shaken, and the aspect that shocks her most even now is that people pay attention to skin color and not the person.

Going Public

Sampath took to her Facebook page and came out about the incident. She did so because she wanted people to be aware of what’s happening on campus, and also encouraging others similarly victimized to come forward with their stories.

Showing Support

As soon as Sampath’s story caught eyeballs on the Internet, and the university got wind of the events, the officials and other students reached out to her showing support. Also the student who had displayed distasteful behavior came forward and apologized.  She hopes “it becomes a learning experience.”

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