Hispanic student harassed for calling out liberal 'bigotry'
A freshman orientation retreat at Texas A&M University devolved into a debate over diversity after a student complained that there were too many white students in a group photo.
According to its mission statement, Fish Camp “strives to welcome freshmen into the Aggie family by sharing the traditions and values of Texas A&M University and creating a universally accepting support system that allows them to build relationships and embody the Aggie spirit.”
"I tweeted that because I am sick and tired of people judging each other based on the color of their skin."
Despite this welcoming message, some students feel that the camp is not diverse enough, and one student made those feelings known with a sneering post on social media.
“LOOK AT ALL THIS DIVERSITY,” Hispanic TAMU student Cynthia Mendiola sneeringly captioned a tweet featuring group photos of this year’s Fish Camp participants, quickly garnering hundreds of likes and retweets and subsequently sparking a large online debate.
“This organization is mainly white. What makes you think a minority would like to join when there’s so many?” Mendiola continued in another tweet, although the pictures featured white, black, Hispanic, and Asian-American students.
Andrea Argenal, a fellow Latina TAMU student who describes herself as the, “loudest and proudest member of the Aggie Class of 2020,” took exception to Mendiola’s tweet.
“It is this kind of bigotry that I hope to keep out of A&M,” she wrote. “She doesn’t deserve to be an Aggie, we stand for our core values, not skin color.”
Mendiola responded by attacking Argenal’s ethnicity, accusing her of being “whitewashed” because she is a Donald Trump supporter.
“How are you an immigrant AND a minority (in both sex and ethnicity) and somehow STILL whitewashed?????? LMAOOOOO,” Mendiola mocked. “If y’all think I’m about to let a Trump supporting wannabe-white Latina make me feel bad about myself? Y’all really thought.”
The exchange soon attracted notice from other students, many of whom weighed in with their own criticisms of Argenal.
“Lmfaooo why are some republicans such douches?” one comment asked, while another speculated, “bet money if you look at the demographic of her friends you’ll see a trend.” Still another reply was even more succinct, saying simply, “shut up white.”
“I tweeted that because I am sick and tired of people judging each other based on the color of their skin,” Argenal told Campus Reform. “I look white, but I was born and raised in Nicaragua, and up until this past year, lived almost on the border with Mexico.”
Argenal remarked that her antagonists “are being no better than the people they claim are ‘excluding’ them” by “judging me on the color of my skin,” pointing out that they almost immediately began “calling me ‘white’ as if...that was some kind of insult.”
Others, however, came to Argenal’s defense, scolding Mendiola for attacking “something that is trying to create a loving and supporting environment for freshmen no matter what they look like” and pointing out that Fish Camp is far from an ethnically-monolithic group.
“Y’all can try again,” one user taunted, attaching a group photo taken at Fish Camp. “This is Camp Fish Frye proudly representing TAMU from all walks of life.”
“Texas A&M [students] are majority white, but it doesn’t make it a racist school,” another user proclaimed. “Who are you to boldly state it as a racist school?”
Mendiola initially refused to speak with Campus Reform for this story, but eventually offered a brief insight into her motivations.
“All I was doing was pointing out the lack of diversity. PoC [people of color] are poorly represented in this organization,” she explained. “I know of people who have felt they were turned down because they were PoC.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @RobertMGunter