The group of students thrown out of a Donald Trump rally on the Valdosta State campus on February 29—most of whom were people of color—has decided to let the world know what went down.
Eleven of the 30 students appear in the video—nine black students and the two white students who were also part of the group—which was posted on YouTube on March 2.
The students were vehement in asserting that they attended the rally not to protest, but to “educate [themselves]” about Trump. According to the clip, the students wore black “as a sign of unity,” and declared themselves a “neutral party” to the other attendees, i.e., as a measure of “counter-attendance.”
“This was not a protest at all,” one student says in the clip.
“There was no intention of disrupting the rally,” states another.
The group continues saying that less than 30 seconds into the rally, they were approached by police and asked to leave, even though the members of the group were standing quietly and were being non-disruptive. When they asked the police offices why they were being removed, they were simply told, “You just have to go.”
A verbal altercation between one of the students and a white woman, which the students allege was started by the Trump supporter, caught the attention of a Secret Service agent. When the student’s friend came over to lead her away, the agent took the second student’s arm and asked her, “Do you want to go to jail today, too?”
The agent proceeded to cuff the first student, to which the crowd reacted to by erupting into cheers.
The rally attendees began to throw racial slurs at the group as they were lead off of the premises. As a sign of solidarity, the students raised their hands in a fist, which was returned by one attendee. The students took it as an agreement that “yes, we agree that this is messed up.”
As Colorlines pointed out, the police chief has gone on record to tell a very different tale. He told The Valdosta Daily Times, the students were removed “because they were loud and disruptive and dropping the F bomb,” which counters the testimonies of the 11 people featured in the clip.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via YouTube.