Yesterday, a student wrote the phrase “Make America” (presumably the beginning of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again”) 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, one student government representative described the statement as a “hate crime,” and calls for the student who painted it to be prosecuted. Pitzer College joins Scripps, Emory, Michigan, and other schools in protesting recent pro-Trump messages.
“A ‘post-racial America’ is far from what we have,” the student 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.”
The student does not state which California law he thinks defines writing part of the likely Republican nominee’s slogan as a hate crime.
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.”
Update: April 3, 2016 at 2:01pm
An earlier version of the story said the “Make America” slogan was written on Pitzer’s Free Wall. We’ve been informed that it was written on a permanent mural, and updated the story accordingly.
Image Source: Facebook