More than 30 black students wearing mostly-black attire were escorted out of a Donald Trump rally by authorities in Valdosta, Georgia on Monday evening. The students claim that they were sitting atop the bleachers with no intention to disrupt the rally as a form of silent protest.
While no one has claimed responsibility for calling for the students to be ejected, a finger has been pointed in pretty much every direction. Trump’s campaign, local authorities and the Secret Service have all managed to deflect the blame to one another, according to USA Today.
“These folks were told to leave the PE complex by the Trump detail,” Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress said to USA Today.
“He had the right to tell folks he didn’t want to be there, that they had to leave,” he continued to say. “I’m not campaigning for anyone. That’s not what I do. But in this case, I support them.”
The sight of a group of more than 30 comprised mostly of black students being walked out of a political rally on their own campus understandably gave people the suspicion that the move was racially charged.
“We didn’t plan to do anything,” said Tahjila Davis, a 19-year-old mass media major at Valdosta State University. “They said, ‘This is Trump’s property; it’s a private event.’ But I paid my tuition to be here.”
After the story of the incident broke, a Trump spokesperson reached out to deny that the campaign had any knowledge of it at all. On the other hand, a Secret Service spokesman stated that they would’ve had no reason to get involved with the ejection because that wouldn’t have been one of their responsibilities.
This incident came after Donald Trump has taken what’s become a circus of a political campaign to new heights by not condemning former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke’s endorsement. Many viewed this as the boldest statement – or lack thereof – that Trump has made after months of racist and oppressive rhetoric that appears to only be supported by votes.
Due to his divisive platform, Trump’s rallies have seen a growing list of disruptions. Whoever made the call likely anticipated that the students were going to be one of them. One of the many problems there is that the sight of 30 black students sitting silently shouldn’t be intimidating enough for them to have to be escorted out of a building on their own college campus.
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