Student gov. member: Trump graffiti a 'hate crime'
All images via Elijah Pantoja's Facebook page.
Yesterday, the phrase “Make America” (presumably the beginning of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again”) appeared in faint letters on a mural at Pitzer College. Additionally, the word “Trump” was spray painted on Pitzer’s clock tower.
In a widely shared Facebook post, Pitzer College Student Senate Executive Board member Elijah Pantoja described the statement as a “hate crime,” and called for the individual who painted it to be prosecuted. Pitzer College joins Scripps, Emory, Michigan, and other schools in protesting recent pro-Trump messages.
"[W]e face hate crimes like this across the nation and in high frequency."
“A ‘post-racial America’ is far from what we have,” the Pantoja writes. “Instead, we face hate crimes like this across the nation and in high frequency. This isn’t simply vandalism. And, in case it’s too difficult to read, the mural with the flag and faces has, ‘Make America’ scrawled on it. This is a clear attempt to intimidate students of color at Pitzer College. I’m honestly in disbelief at how light the response has been.”
“We are a community with a core value of ‘social responsibility,’” the statement continues. “Yet the perpetrators most likely committed these acts in broad daylight? I have seen campuses across the country deal with similar attacks, and felt a great anger, but the proximity of these atrocious acts shake me to the core. This isn’t a lighthearted joke we can simply laugh away, this isn’t a drunken mishap that can be solved with a sheepish apology. Under California law, this is a hate crime and I hope the individual/s responsible are dealt with not only by the institution, but by the law of the state as well.”
Pantoja does not state which California law he thinks writing part of the likely Republican nominee’s slogan violates.
Other Student government representatives expressed opposition to the Trump phrases as well. “Whoever wrote ‘Make America Great Again’ on a permanent Pitzer art piece – you are a f*cking piece of sh*t, lower than filth,” noted a Pitzer Student Senator in an email to the student body.
Some students were more concerned by the outrage in response to the Trump postings than by the actual postings themselves.
“Many students today do not want to see their thoughts and opinions challenged by the opposition,” Patricio Aguilar told the Claremont Independent. “In many cases they call out the opposition by saying it is ‘offensive’ and ‘unsafe.’ Instead of embracing the opposition as what it is, students now want to silence others for beliefs that are different from what they agree with and with what is considered PC.”
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This article was originally published in The Claremont Independent, a conservative student newspaper affiliated with the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program. Its articles are republished here with permission.