'Trump supporters may pose a serious risk,' flyers warn students
Flyers have appeared at Saint Mary’s College claiming that Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and their supporters “condone and encourage” violence against people of color, LGBT people, Muslims, and Jews.
“If you or someone you love is...black, Muslim, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, Jewish, Latinx, brown, [or] gay,” the anonymously-posted flyer warns ominously that “Trump supporters may pose a serious risk.”
“Donald Trump is an unapologetic champion of white nationalism, xeno- and Islamophobia,” and “his running mate, Michael Pence[,] used state funds to support so-called ‘conversion camps’ that torture LGB children, often to the point of suicide,” the poster claims.
Even more provocatively, it asserts that “both Trump and Pence condone and encourage violence against people of color, LGBT people, Muslims, and Jews...And so do their supporters.”
The author’s full motivation becomes clear at the end of the message, which accuses Trump of deceiving “the working class” by secretly supporting the capitalist system.
“The working class deserves better than a fascist whose policies isolate and divide us against each other,” the flyer states. “Our anger should be directed at them, their party, and their system: Capitalism.”
At the bottom of the flyer is a QR barcode that directs people to a pro-Communism tumblr page containing links to documents with titles like The Principles of Communism, Why Marx was Right, and the Manifesto of the Communist Party.
There was no stamp on the flyers either identifying the party responsible for posting or signaling approval from the Student Involvement Office or other college administrators, suggesting that they were posted without approval from the school.
The Saint Mary’s College Democrats group was approached about the flyers, but denied any involvement or knowledge.
Several anti-Trump protests took place on the Catholic, all-female campus prior to the appearance of the flyers, which prompted the administration to offer safe spaces to discuss the election and distribute safety pins in the school costume shop to show “solidarity for all who are different and to show that you do not discriminate against those unlike you.”
“I think that this incident has come from the idea that all expression and all emotions are valid,” Clare McKinney, an executive board member of the Notre Dame/Saint Mary’s Young Americans for Freedom Chapter, told Campus Reform.
“Saint Mary’s safe spaces created an environment that promoted and allowed all thought, including radical thought—and that’s what it is, radical,” she explained. “Communism should not be a practice that is supported, because in all cases it leads to massive human rights violations.”
McKinney met with Saint Mary’s administrators to ask that they issue a statement condemning the flyers, and rejecting communism more generally, but only received an apology and was told that administrators do not know how to respond to the situation.
McKinney and other conservative students eventually removed the unauthorized posters.
In response to the anti-Trump protests earlier this month, Saint Mary’s President Jan Cervelli said that she was proud of her students who were speaking out against Trump.
“I am so proud of our students for expressing what we are at Saint Mary’s,” Cervelli said. “This is a place where we show respect for all opinions, beliefs—and we work together to make that environment. We learn from each other and that’s what’s going to heal our country.”
Cervelli has not made any formal statement to the school community regarding the flyers or the pro-communism message, however, and spokespersons for Saint Mary’s College could not be reached for comment in time for publication.
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