Members of the Kappa Alpha fraternity at Tulane University erected a sandbag wall on their own property, and spray painted TRUMP and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN on it. A group of black men — allegedly members of the Tulane football team — tore it down. Look:
And a group of Latino students, according to the Times-Picayune, backs them:
To support the dismantlers, Tulane’s Latino student group GENTE petitioned the university. It called the Kappa Alpha tradition “a source of aggression towards students of colour on this campus.”
However, students like freshman Khristyan Trejo, a member of student Latino organization GENTE, say it was offensive.
“This really pushed it overboard for students of color on campus,” says Trejo. “It’s one thing to see an endorsement of Trump on campus — that’s freedom of speech — but it’s another to see the wall when it’s a symbol of racism and oppression. As someone with family across the (Mexico-United States) border and knowing people are murdered at the border every day, for (KA) to treat it as a joke and try to justify their actions with satire — well, it’s not a joke to students of color.”
“It’s all just plain disgusting to see this happening in the U.S., the ‘melting pot’ of the world,” Tulane freshman Claire Cruz tells USA TODAY College. “As a Latina on a mostly all-white campus, I am constantly seeing little acts of racism and white privilege, but this huge act was a slap in my face. Not only do I feel as if my safety has been threatened, but also my humanity is being completely written off.”
So fragile is Claire Cruz’s sense of safety and humanity that the word TRUMP spray-painted on sandbags in front of a fraternity house sends her into the fetal position.
Naturally the Tulane administration condemned this act of trespassing and silencing of free speech — particularly insofar as the speech that was silenced was expressing nothing more than support for a Republican presidential candidate.
Haha! Wrong! Actually, the Tulane administration faulted the fraternity for provoking everyone else via their intolerable expression of support for the Republican GOP candidate who actually won the Louisiana primary:
Dear Tulane Community,
Many members of the university community have expressed concern over the words “Trump” and “Make America Great Again” that appeared on a wall of sandbags at the off campus chapter house of the Tulane Kappa Alpha Order (KA) on Thursday, April 7.
Tulane encourages and supports the free exchange of ideas and opinions including any expression of support for or opposition to political candidates. We also understand that while members of KA said they intended the words as satire, it sparked a visceral reaction in the context of a very heated and divisive political season.
The Division of Student affairs is working with students and community members in a comprehensive approach to addressing these issues. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority programs is working with the KA chapter leadership, members and national headquarters. The Office of Multicultural Affairs is working with various multicultural groups and students who feel impacted by this incident.
Furthermore, the Office of Student conduct is reviewing the various reports submitted through the http://tulane.edu/concerns website and are gathering additional information in order to follow up on these reports.
As an institution of higher education and learning, we are committed to exploring ways to facilitate learning opportunities from this incident. We remain committed to our values of free speech and inclusion in a learning environment that thrives on the expression of multiple perspectives and viewpoints. Simultaneously we remain committed to supporting all our students in alleviating anything that detracts from the educational environment.
Dr. Dusty Porter
Vice President of Student Affairs
What a steaming pile of dreck. Dr. Dusty Porter and those he represents are mewling cowards. They in no way support free speech impartially on campus. Whether or not the KA members intended Trump support as satire or not does not matter. If the administration of Tulane University cannot unambiguously support the right of its own students to express political speech on their own, off-campus property without it being attacked and destroyed, reportedly by other Tulane students, they ought to resign, because they have no business running an actual university.
I am not a big fan of either fraternities or Donald Trump, but I am a huge fan of free speech. If those men filmed trespassing on private property and tearing down that sandbag wall are identified, I hope the fraternity files charges against them. And if they are identified as Tulane students, I hope the university finds a spine and comes down clearly and forcefully on the side of protecting free speech — and teaching its lawless Social Justice Warrior contingent what it means to live in a free country.
I wish Donald Trump would go to New Orleans and hold a rally on the steps of that fraternity house, just to remind people that this is America, a country where people have free speech and property rights, even if some of the students and the administration at Tulane University have forgotten.
(Oh, and by the way, if those trespassing thugs were members of the Tulane football squad, shouldn’t they have been practicing, given, you know...)