On February 29, tangerine nightmare Donald Trump held an evening rally at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. But before he addressed the crowd, he instructed Secret Service agents to remove 30 black students standing silently at the top of the bleachers.
According to USA Today the sight of African American students being escorted en masse from the rally unsettled the campus. Those directed to leave “were visibly upset, [and] being led outside by law enforcement officials created a stir at a university that was a whites-only campus until 1963.”
Trump has recently come under fire for his latest waltz with bigotry —unwillingness to condemn a Ku Klux Klan leader (he later attributed his refusal to a “very bad earpiece”). Earlier on Monday, black students were removed after chanting “No more hate! No more hate! Let’s be equal, let’s be great!” during a Trump rally at Radford University in Virginia.
But Valdosta State student Tahjila Davis told USA Today that she and her classmates had no intention of disrupting the GOP candidate’s speech. “We didn’t plan to do anything,” she explained, in tears. “They said, ‘This is Trump’s property; it’s a private event.’ But I paid my tuition to be here.”
However, the students followed orders from the Secret Service without loud demonstration. When they “argued with Valdosta police officers,” the latter “politely, but firmly, told them they needed to leave the grounds of the Trump event.”