UK grad students host day-long anti-Trump teach-in

Graduate students at the University of Kentucky dedicated a full day this week to warning the campus community about the “threatening” consequences of a Trump presidency.

Funded by the UK Student Government Association, the “Teach-In on the Trump Presidency” featured a series of presentations from student groups and faculty members in the Blazer Dining Hall between noon and 7:30 Wednesday evening.

“The election was emotional and polarizing. Fake news and campaigns of disinformation are manipulating our ability to make sense of complex political situations,” a Facebook event page for the teach-in states. “This event is an effort to cut through the confusion and disinformation to understand the current moment.”

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“The consequences of a Trump presidency are at once unclear and threatening, especially for our society’s most vulnerable populations," the description adds, saying, “these consequences clearly extend to our campus, our classrooms, and ourselves.”

Organizers insist that the event was not about politics, asserting that “we are non-partisan and dedicated to diverse participation by the public in the political process,” yet the titles of many of the sessions held during the teach-in suggest that they were inspired by animus toward Trump.

“Climate Denial and the Trump Administration: A Field Guide” was the name of one early session, which was followed later in the day by a discussion of “Trump’s Radical Right Wing Populism in Comparative Perspective.” Toward the end of the day, students were able to attend discussions titled, “We Lost the House: Kentucky General Assembly and State Government in the Trump/Bevin Climate” and “Immigration ‘Reform’ in Trump’s America.”

Even those sessions that did not mention Trump by name either hinted strongly at opposition to his policies or evoked scandalous claims made about him, such as “DACA: Futures at Risk” “We Ain’t Goin’ Back in the Closet: How to Safely Remain Visible,” and “Normalization of Overt Racism and Discrimination through Islamophobia.”

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The UK teach-in is the latest in a wave of anti-Trump protest surrounding the inauguration, which include teach-ins at Georgetown and American University, UCSC’s “people’s inauguration,” and anti-Trump protesters invading classrooms at Georgetown.

Neither the organizers of the event nor the University of Kentucky Student Government returned comment in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ChrisNuelle