VIDEO: Trump supporter hijacks 'People's Inauguration' at UConn
- A “People’s Inauguration” event Friday at the University of Connecticut was hijacked by a Donald Trump supporter whose “affirming” statement ended with “make America great again.”
- Sean Chilson ended his speech by donning a red MAGA hat and exiting the stage as supporters in the audience emulated the gesture while chanting the slogan.
A “People’s Inauguration” event Friday at the University of Connecticut was hijacked by a Donald Trump supporter whose “affirming” statement ended with “make America great again.”
Though the event was open for all who wished to attend, the majority of the performances had a liberal bent, with many lamenting Trump’s inauguration as a sign of struggle for themselves and for various minority groups.
“Together, we will mark the inauguration of the next chapter in American history by embodying the kind of community we aspire to be–inclusive, indivisible, equitable, and democratic–and share the words, poems, thoughts, performances, and insights that will sustain us as we work together,” an online event description states.
The invitation advises participants to “keep it short” because they will be limited to five minutes—suggesting topics such as a short excerpt from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Langston Hughes poem Let America Be America Again—and asks that all submissions be “affirming on this day of new beginnings.”
Most of the entries expressed a predictably hostile attitude toward Trump, describing his election in foreboding terms as a threat to minorities.
In reference to race relations, one speaker asserted that Trump was elected “to publicly demonize and condone [the questioning of minorities’ humanity],” while another performer sang a version of the song “This Little Light of Mine” with lyrics referencing an “evil cloud of darkness spreading ‘cross our land” and how we can “end the darkness.”
Sean Chilson, a UConn student, then took the stage to give his own speech.
After alluding to the fear he felt before the election, Chilson shocked his audience by expressing relief that he is “safe and sound” because “we won, and Donald Trump is about to become our 45th President.”
He then ended his poem by declaring that Trump “will make America great again” while putting on his red “MAGA” hat and exiting the stage while other students in attendance put on their own “MAGA” hats and repeated his closing phrase while giving a standing ovation.
“I did it because I wanted to give a voice to conservatives on campus," Chilson told Campus Reform, explaining that “in [its] attempts to become more inclusive and more statistically diverse, the university has fostered a campus environment that is anything but inclusive in regards to political orientation and opinions."
An announcer at the event did allow the Trump supporters to remain in the audience following Chilson's speech, but then asked, "Or are you done?"
Campus Reform contacted the office in charge of this event for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Cam_Westbrook