Harrowing footage of Black Valdosta State University students being ejected from a Monday (February 29) rally for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on their Georgia campus went viral earlier this week. Now, 11 of the nearly 30 people thrown out tell their side of the story.
“This was not a protest at all,” says one of the 11 students—nine of whom are Black, two of whom are White—in a new video (which you can see above) explaining their side of what happened at the Monday rally. Other students further explained that they attended not to cause disruptions but to simply hear a presidential candidate speak. They say they dressed in all black to identify themselves as a “neutral party” that nobody could claim them as Trump supporters. They say it was a matter of time before police came to initially move them to a stairwell and, later, escort them out. Two of the students described an altercation with a Secret Service agent who cuffed them while Trump supporters shouted racist slurs and booed them
Valdosta’s police chief told The Valdosta Daily Times that those ejected were not targeted for their race but “because they were loud and disruptive and dropping the F bomb”—a statement that contradicts the students’ accounts.
The students’ description echoes increasingly frequent accounts of intimidation and violence at Trump rallies. Salon reported that a White man who shouted down a Black woman at a Kentucky Trump rally this week is a noted White supremacist.