Donald Trump has the loudest voice in politics right now, but for those listening, the now-infamous Chicago rally for the Republican frontrunner delivered another, more hopeful message. The event was not just an example of the hate and racism that still pervades this country, but of three marginalized groups — Blacks, Latinos and Muslims — coming together in an unprecedented way.
When student activists at the University of Illinois at Chicago heard last week that Donald Trump was planning a rally on campus, they took to social media to try to have the rally cancelled. When that didn't work, they organized a coordinated protest to #StopTrump from bringing his hate speech to their school.
"We felt so strongly that Donald Trump and his bigotry and racism wasn’t welcome here," Casandra Robledo, a second-year student who helped organize the protest, tells the Los Angeles Times. The paper reports that the various student activists groups coordinated over Facebook to petition for a boycott, and, when that didn't work, banded together for the protest.
Tensions ran so high between protesters and Trump supporters that the candidate was forced to call off the rally after all. News ifootage of the melee captivated the country on Friday night. Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning and called the protesters “thugs,” racially coded language, while defending his own supporters despite their numerous displays of violence and bigotry.
“The organized group of people, many of them thugs, who shut down our First Amendment rights in Chicago, have totally energized America!” he wrote.
Protesters are energized, too, to #StopTrump using every legally-sound mean at their disposal. We can count Friday's display of unity as the one good thing to come out of Trump's rallies.