our view

Exactly one week ago, President Donald Trump visited East Carolina’s University campus for a reelection campaign rally where he primarily spoke about domestic issues such as tax cuts and unemployment rates along with several comments made to Democratic political affiliates.

Trump’s visit to ECU’s Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum was not sponsored or endorsed by the university as the facility was fully rented out for the event. The capacity of Minges Arena is 8,000, but the rally went over capacity and contained 10,000 people while more were waiting outside unable to enter the rally.

During the rally, upon the mention of Minnesota’s Democratic Representative, Ilhan Omar, a “send her back” chant erupted from the crowd, both inside and outside of the arena. The indeed racist chant which took place on the Pirates’ campus was not reflective of the student body the university represents.

We, the editorial staff of The East Carolinian, denounce the racist chants which took place in our own Minges Coliseum and recognize the majority of the crowd consisted not of ECU students but people who traveled to campus to see Trump speak.

The rally took place in the middle of summer, a time when many students are off campus. In fact, the majority of students left the city limits of Greenville for the duration of the May through August months.

People from all over the state of North Carolina, and beyond state lines, traveled explicitly to ECU’s campus to see Trump speak in Minges Coliseum. The majority of the rally-goers were middle-aged adults and not specifically students who are enrolled at ECU.

(4) comments

Amanda Robles

Yes. Thank you.

jeffmitchell

I disagree with your assessment that the chants were racist. They were not. The chants were an expression of someone saying "if you don't like your job, get a new one", "if you don't like your friend, get a new one", "if you don't like your country, get a new one.", it was based on attitude, not race.....

ECU80

The posted response from Mr. Mitchell reflects a failure to recognize racism in it's various forms. The chant was clearly racist even if he fails to recognize it. Anyone who advocates and supports diversity understands the background and history of such chants and I would encourage those who deny the chant was racist to seek a better understanding of how to recognize all signs and symbols of racist behavior. The comparison used in his comment was not valid. A more appropriate comparison reflecting the "attitude" of the chanters would be "you don't deserve a good job because of your family heritage or religious views", "I don't want you to live in my neighborhood or to associate with you because of your political views", "we don't want you in our country because you don't support Mr. Trump, so let's deport you even though you are a US citizen." I am an ECU grad and grew up in Gville. I recall when a cross was burned in Mr. Harold Creech's front yard. Mr Creech was the leader of the Gville Chamber of Commerce and no one had to explain to me that such behavior was intentional, hurtful, and wrong because it was obvious and overtly supporting racism. I have learned through my 62 years of engaging relationships with others who do not look or think like me to not be afraid of diverse views and opinions. This doesn't mean I have to like or agree with every challenging thought I encounter however I strive to seek understanding and perspective with all people I meet and encounter. The chanter's view at the recent rally seems to support exclusion/division and is a cry to deport (send them back) citizens who do not agree with their view. Burning crosses and racist chanting is extremist behavior and all Americans, ECU students/Alumni, and citizens of Gville who truly love their country, school, and community should loudly and publicly denounce the chants as racist behavior even if such chanting is protected under the constitution and through freedom of speech.

Parrish

Thanks for sharing the post. I agree with it.

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