Schools report racially charged incidents after election
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, reports of racially charged incidents are emerging from the nation’s schools and universities, including students who chanted “white power” and called black classmates “cotton pickers.”
Reporting by The Associated Press and local media outlets has identified more than 20 such encounters beginning on Election Day, many involving people too young to cast a ballot.
At the University of New Mexico, a Muslim engineering student said a man attempted to snatch off her hijab Tuesday while she was studying.
“I turned around and there’s a really buff guy wearing a Trump shirt,” freshman Leena Aggad said Friday. “He reaches his hand out to my forehead and attempts to pull my scarf off.”
Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League office that monitors extremism, said young people “were watching and observing this presidential campaign as closely as anyone else.” Now that the campaign is over, “the impact of what they have seen is not just going to go away.”
On Wednesday, minority students at a high school in Gurnee, Illinois, organized a meeting and protest after a “whites only” message was found scrawled on a bathroom door. The same day in Michigan, students at Royal Oak Middle school were filmed chanting “build a wall” in the cafeteria.
At Trump’s alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, black freshmen were added to a group chat in which one post read “daily lynching,” and one participant was called a “dumb slave.” School officials are meeting with students groups to respond.
Also in Pennsylvania, two students at the York County School of Technology held a Donald Trump sign in a hallway as someone shouted “white power,” an incident captured on video and widely shared on Facebook.
The president of the local NAACP said the video showed a hallway full of loud students so any teacher or administrator who was monitoring would have known what was happening. Sandra Thompson added that the parents of black children in local schools have been told to “go back to Africa.”
School administrators in Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s hometown of Columbus, Indiana, called for civility and respect after reports of Hispanic students being taunted. Felipe Martinez told The Indianapolis Star that his two sons were twice intimidated with chants of “build that wall,” including on Election Day. The chant was common at Trump campaign rallies.
The morning after the election, leaflets from the Ku Klux Klan showed up in a neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama. At Central Texas University in San Marcos, police were investigating who posted fliers Thursday around campus urging the formation of “tar and feather vigilante squads” and threatening to “arrest and torture” campus diversity advocates.