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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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TAMU Anti-Racism holds event to promote racial justice and pro-immigration

The+Trump+Pinata+being+held+by+Emilio+Bernal
Photo by Photo by Brian Okosun

The Trump Pinata being held by Emilio Bernal

With a miniature Donald Trump piñata in tow, TAMU Anti-Racism set up shop in Academic Plaza to speak on immigration and diversity Thursday.

 

TAMU Anti-Racism is a student organization formed in the spring in response to the Feb. 9 incident, in which a group of visiting high school students were reportedly verbally attacked with racist comments. The organization has staged several demonstrations since it was founded, including a hunger strike in front of the Jack K. Williams Administration Building and a silent demonstration in front of the statue of Sullivan Ross addressing the former A&M president’s alleged affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan.

 

On Thursday, TAMU Anti-Racism held a demonstration to protest against racism and advocate pro-immigration policies.

 

According to TAMU Anti-Racism member Emilio Bernal, sociology senior, the purpose of the piñata was not to smash it, as that would evoke violence, but to raise awareness of race and immigration issues related to the 2016 presidential election.

 

“We’re using the negativity of this political campaign to encourage Aggies to develop pro-immigrant and anti-racism attitudes on campus,” Bernal said. “We are promoting equality, justice and unity. We will not be silent.”  

 

Students at the demonstration were invited to place examples of racist quotes inside the piñata to raise awareness of alleged racism on campus. As Bernal yelled “viva la raza,” or “long live my people,” to the passerby students on campus, many students stopped to observe the event.

 

Students with contradicting opinions towards the protest, like university studies junior Josh Miller, said the demonstration was exclusionary.

 

“What I’m against is someone standing out here screaming everything they can think of such as, it’s okay to be a Muslim, it’s okay to be a Christian, it’s okay to be brown, ” Miller said. “If you want to give a proper message, then [say] it’s okay to be a person, it’s okay to be a human being, everybody is created equally.”

 

The Aggies for Trump organization did not make an appearance at the protest, but president Zach Russell said if his organization had held a protest like TAMU Anti-Racism’s, it wouldn’t have been well-received.

 

“As a student organization, we support their right to freedom of speech. However, it’s hard to imagine there being no backlash from the student body if we were to run a similar protest,” Russell said. “We feel that it’s a double standard. At the end of the day, we’re all Aggies, and need to remember A&M’s core values.”

 

Lino Anunciacion, English senior and speaker at the event, said it’s the students’ right to express themselves.

 

“They deserve to feel included, they deserve to feel like Aggies, and that this is a place for them to be safe,” Anunciacion said. “As members of the Aggie family, this is their university and their home, and we want to make sure they feel that.”

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