Frat Brothers Build A Mock ‘Border Wall’ In Honor Of Donald Trump
A group of fraternity brothers at Tulane University are taking some heat for building a mock “border wall” around their frat house emblazoned with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s name and his oft-cited slogan “Make America Great Again.”
The Kappa Alpha brothers insist the wall, which was constructed out of sandbags, was meant as a joke. But many of their fellow students found it offensive and disrespectful to people of color on campus. And it’s become just the latest example in a string of incidents invoking Trump’s name as somewhat of a racial slur that connotes xenophobia, particularly against Muslims and immigrants.
The KA chapter at Tulane said in a statement that the wall was meant to “mock the ideologies of a political candidate.”
“Our chapter takes KA’s values of gentlemanly conduct very seriously,” KA’s statement read. “This respect extends to every student of Tulane and every member of the broader community. A comment was written on a makeshift wall on our private property, normally used for a game of capture the flag, to mock the ideologies of a political candidate. This had a unintended negative effect and as such it has been dismantled.”
But other students didn’t think the sentiment came across as a joke. According to The Tab, a news site produced by university students, the Tulane football team took down the sandbags as one fraternity brother shouted that they should stop disturbing private property.
An online petition quickly began circulating to “stand in solidarity” with the individuals who dismantled the wall and has generated 622 signatures in the past 12 hours. The petition argues that Trump’s name and his “Make America Great Again” slogan have “connotations that reverberate beyond this campus and into the larger xenophobic and racist discourse that has surrounded this general election.”
“By writing ‘TRUMP’ in large, red letters across their ‘wall,’ KA changed what was a tradition of building a wall into a tradition of constructing a border, symbolizing separation and xenophobia,” Khristyan Anthonee Trejo, a Tulane University student, wrote in a public Facebook post about the sandbag ‘border wall.’ “This issue not only affects Latinos but all other marginalized immigrant groups in this country.”
“This really pushed it overboard for students of color on campus,” Trejo told USA Today College. “It’s one thing to see an endorsement of Trump on campus — that’s freedom of speech — but it’s another to see the wall when it’s a symbol of racism and oppression. As someone with family across the (Mexico-United States) border and knowing people are murdered at the border every day, for (KA) to treat it as a joke and try to justify their actions with satire — well, it’s not a joke to students of color.”
It’s understandable why students like Trejo are upset by the mock border wall. Trump has built his presidential campaign on the promise that he would make America great by building a border wall that would keep out undocumented immigrants, a category of people that he has broadly condemned as criminals and drug dealers. And just as commonplace as his broad generalization of undocumented immigrants are his slurs surrounding Muslims and other people of color. Since Trump’s campaign began, his xenophobic rhetoric has injected itself in everyday life, with an uptick in the number of violent incidents against immigrants, Latinos, Muslims, and blacks.
At Trump rallies, the candidate’s supporters have behaved violently toward peaceful protesters, including punching, screaming, dragging, hurling insults, and spitting on people who disagree with his policy plans. Trump has failed to condemn his more violent supporters. Rather, he has argued that a Black Lives Matter protester deserved to be roughed up, and even told a crowd that he wanted to punch a protester in the face.