It’s pretty obvious that a lot of people are losing their sh*t after finding out Trump won the election. At the University of New Mexico on Wednesday, students and faculty members took part in a campus-wide “walk out” to stand out against the presidential-elect, his controversial rhetoric, and “hateful right wing forces.” The demonstrators conveyed their messages loud and clear, clearly angry about the current political climate in our country.
About 100 students and community members showed up for the demonstration, shouting slogans and holding up signs. What were some of the phrases shouted at this demonstration? “No Trump, no KKK, no racists, USA,” “f*ck your wall, f*ck Donald Trump!” and “f*ck Trump, f*ck that puto!”
Clearly, many people in this collective are hostile towards Donald Trump. They feel that his presence in the political arena is a clear threat to their quality of life. “Donald Trump does not represent the United States. He doesn’t represent the majority,” said one student, Derek Jarner. However, Jarner would then say that he was “not informed enough on what Trump’s stance is” in regards to the LGBT community, as the President-elect has shown his support for gay marriage in the past (there is a photo making the rounds of Trump holding up the LGBT rainbow flag.)
Reportedly, this walk out was a response to “at least two reported attacks against Muslim women on campus, in addition to the racist graffiti spotted around campus,” and this incident has been described as “a clear indication that right wing forces and individuals feel emboldened enough to attack LBGTQ2+, Muslims, Undocumented individuals, women, and students of color on campus.”
President of the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, Samia Assed is also “outraged” by the reality of a Trump presidency. She is particularly alarmed by Trump’s suggestion of creating a Muslim registry. She said, “I hope our allies will stand out to say ‘no’ to these efforts.”
During the “walk out,” organizers boomed their messages through megaphones, expressing their support for people of color, Palestinians, and Black Lives Matter. They also told the crowd that they are against America’s history of “capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy.”
“This is a call to action to mobilize against those who wish to do us harm at a time when we feel fractured and disempowered,” their Facebook event page states. “We will show strength in unity and show these hateful right-wing forces that the violent rhetoric of Trump will not suppress our resistance.”
The issue regarding racist graffiti comes in the form of buildings being tagged with Trump’s name, a swastika, and a German phrase commonly used as a Nazi salute. UNM President Robert Frank condemned the defacing or destruction of the property, but didn’t specifically comment about the alarming symbols or rhetoric. Instead, he said that “freedom of expression is a precious right. Property damage is not an expression of that right, but is a potential crime, and we will not tolerate it on our campus,” KRQE reports. Nevertheless, there are students who feel threatened, and they are coming together to vocalize their concerns.
Professor Rebecca Blum Martinez attended the protest to show “solidarity” with her students. The event page suggested that “all instructors (should) participate in this action as well because we are trying to make a statement to the university that our safety matters.”
But not everybody was happy with canceling class and walking out to protest the “orange fear” that appears to be sweeping many areas of the nation. One poster on the event page offered a complaint, “shouldn’t instructors … I don’t know … INSTRUCT their students in their scheduled class during this time? Not all students will be walking out… The ones who stay, who have paid for their education, should be given their class time instruction and counted in attendance!”
Many people want change, but many people also want access to a college education (especially if they had to pay for it). Regarding the emotionally-fueled, profanity-laced slogans, UNM student Ana Carla Passos-Morgan said that “people do need to show how dissatisfied they are” and “it’s valid as long as there is no violence.”
Tensions are definitely high at the University of New Mexico.