Donald Trump rallies have lost their mystique. We have come to know what to expect – audience-baiting hatred, xenophobia, racism, and violence toward any minority, especially those of color who choose to attend his rallies. We cannot ignore the stark reality that a man seeking to be president of the United States foments hatred and violence toward black Americans at rallies held across the country. True to form, this week Trump had a group of black college students, who say they were standing silently at the top of the bleachers planning a silent protest, removed from his campaign rally in Georgia.
Talking Points Memo reports that “about 30 students had planned to sit in silent protest during the rally on the Valdosta State University campus, but police said they were directed to remove them at the specific request of a Trump staffer.” There was initially some confusion as to who initiated the students’ removal, as they claimed federal agents led them out of the building. However, the Secret Service denies being involved. Captain Stryde Jones of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office told MSNBC that “a member of the [Trump] event staff approached a member of our agency and requested that the group be asked to leave.” Jones’s statement was confirmed by Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress, who says he personally spoke with Trump staff members and law enforcement officers helping with security, and it was Trump’s staff who initiated the action. “I spoke to a Trump staffer, whose name I do not have, she told us that they needed to leave. Not only did I talk to a Trump staffer, so did the University police, and we were told over the radio by the Sheriff’s office that Trump staff wanted them out.”
Cue the spin doctors. Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said: “the campaign had no knowledge of the incident until after reading these false reports.” Trump himself, took a slightly different tack – he did not deny the incident. “I had nothing to do with it!” he said. So it appears these students were removed at the behest of the Trump campaign – for allegedly “shouting profanity” – which the campaign denies any knowledge of, and for which Donald Trump denies any involvement.
usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/02/29/donald-trump-georgia-rally-valdosta/81129964/”>Trump staff said “the F-bomb is one word that was used. You can’t be in there using profanity. That violates Georgia law.” This coming from a presidential candidate who builds his campaign rallies upon the belief systems of white supremacist groups. And who, during a recent CNN interview, refused to disavow former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke. He pinned his reluctance to disavow Duke on CNN on “a bad earpiece…I could hardly hear what he’s saying.” Trump’s display of concern for alleged profanity stands in stark contrast to his own comments last night, witnessed during a nationally televised presidential debate, in which he defended his penis size. This is the same man who bragged about his coveted endorsement from Vladimir Putin, the world’s worst strongman, and a fascist.
The Republican front-runner for president enjoys the support of a broad coalition of racists, from Duke to Paul LePage, Maine governor. Trump cares nothing about the First Amendment to the Constitution, which gives people the right to attend his rallies even if they don’t agree with him. His views are inexorably entwined with a fascist authoritarian view of the world. This is the man who would be our next president.