US: Hostilities against minorities rise

Updated: Nov 12, 2016, 10:53 IST | Agencies

The fliers depicting men in camouflage, wielding guns and an American flag, appeared in men’s restrooms throughout Texas State University: “Now that our man Trump is elected,” they said, “Time to organize tar and feather vigilante squads and go arrest and torture those deviant university leaders spouting off that diversity garbage"

Protesters march on I-94 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, against President-elect Donald Trump. Pic/AFP
Protesters march on I-94 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, against President-elect Donald Trump. Pic/AFP

New York: The fliers depicting men in camouflage, wielding guns and an American flag, appeared in men’s restrooms throughout Texas State University: “Now that our man Trump is elected,” they said, “Time to organize tar and feather vigilante squads and go arrest and torture those deviant university leaders spouting off that diversity garbage.”

A year after students at campuses nationwide pushed for greater sensitivity toward cultural differences, the distribution of the Texas State fliers was just one of several episodes this week suggesting that the surprise election of Donald Trump is provoking a round of backlash on campuses.

At the same time, universities are trying to address more generalised fears about the country’s future, organising campus meetings and counselling sessions and sending messages to students urging calm.

“A lot of Muslim students are scared,” said Abdalla Husain (21), a linguistics major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who is of Palestinian ancestry. He said some Muslim students on campus were afraid to go outside.
“They’re scared that Trump has empowered people who have hate and would be hostile to them.”

At San Jose State University in California, a Muslim woman complained that she had been grabbed by her hijab and choked. The police are investigating.

At Wellesley College in Massachusetts, alma mater of Hillary Clinton, two male students from nearby Babson College drove through campus in a pickup truck adorned with a large Trump flag, parked outside a meeting house for black students, and spat at a black female student, according to campus black student organisations.

After being ejected by the campus police, the two students bragged in a video that was widely viewed over social media.

Reports of hostility toward minorities were not limited to university campuses. In Durham, N.C., walls facing a busy intersection were painted with graffiti Tuesday night with the message, “Black lives don’t matter and neither does your votes,” according to local news reports.

Incidents were also reported at several high schools. Throughout the week, threatening messages on social media against racial and religious minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have spiked.

Trump’s Muslim ban message plays hide and seek
One of President-elect Donald Trump’s most divisive promises — to ban Muslims from entering America — disappeared from his campaign website before reappearing. Trump’s campaign staff told the media that text of the pledge, posted in December following terror attacks in San Bernardino, California, vanished because of a technical glitch. It reappeared after journalists questioned the disappearance on Thursday.

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