Amanda Gorman Says Security Guard Racially Profiled Her—'I'm a Threat to Injustice'

Poet Amanda Gorman has said she was racially profiled by a security guard near her apartment in Los Angeles on Friday.

The 22-year-old, who became the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration when Joe Biden was sworn in on January 20, took to Twitter to report the incident and struck a defiant tone, drawing on the experience to highlight injustice and discrimination.

"A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight. He demanded if I lived there because 'you look suspicious.' I showed my keys & buzzed myself into my building. He left, no apology," Gorman wrote.

"This is the reality of black girls: One day you're called an icon, the next day, a threat."

Gorman was widely praised for performing her original poem "The Hill We Climb" at Biden's inauguration.

She was also the first National Youth Poet Laureate, winning the post in 2017 at the age of just 19.

Gorman later added to her tweet, writing that in one way she is a threat because of her determination to combat injustice.

"In a sense, he was right. I AM A THREAT: a threat to injustice, to inequality, to ignorance," she said. "Anyone who speaks the truth and walks with hope is an obvious and fatal danger to the powers that be."

In a sense, he was right. I AM A THREAT: a threat to injustice, to inequality, to ignorance. Anyone who speaks the truth and walks with hope is an obvious and fatal danger to the powers that be. https://t.co/hY9miR0b6J

— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) March 6, 2021

Gorman's first tweet also linked to a post of hers from February 14 where she highlighted an article from The Washington Post about her. In that post, she also focused on the issue of racial injustice.

"We live in a contradictory society that can celebrate a black girl poet & also pepper spray a 9 yr old," she said. "Yes see me, but also see all other black girls who've been made invisible. I can not, will not, rise alone."

This appears to be a reference to an incident in Rochester, New York, where a police officer was seen on video pepper spraying a handcuffed 9-yer-old girl in the face.

Other social media users were broadly supportive of Gorman, expressing solidarity with her and praising her for her stated determination.

Some also shared their own stories of similar experiences and expressed the hop that discriminatory treatment based on race would end.

Gorman's inauguration poem won praise and media attention across the globe and even resulted in job offers. She has also gained significant social media reach, with more than 1.5 million users following her on Twitter.

"It was really daunting to begin the poem because you don't even really know the entry point in which to step into the murk," Gorman told NPR about being asked to write the poem for Biden's inauguration.

Poet Amanda Gorman Reads at Biden's Inauguration
Poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the the 59th inaugural ceremony on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. Gorman says she was racially profiled by a security guard on Friday, Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images