Pro-Trump Montclair student posted pic of tacos. Now she’s being bullied
This may be one of the most polarizing and contentious presidential elections ever. Another example of that comes from Montclair State University, where a student named Lauren is under fire because of a comment and photo she posted on social media.
(I became aware of the situation because Lauren's a family friend. She asked that I not use her last name.)
Lauren watched the recent presidential debate with friends. When it was over, she posted a picture on her personal Facebook page that depicts her holding a Donald Trump sign, along with another picture in the same post of some tacos. The caption on her photos read: “Mexican, in honor of the wall were going to build.”
Here's where it gets ugly.
”Someone took a screen shot and posted it on their own personal account with a purpose to get people to bash me," Lauren said in an email. "More and more people started to post it and refused to take it down. It got so bad that I was getting private messages from students at my university bullying, harassing and threatening me.
"I felt victimized and unsafe on my campus so I called university police, and they came to me. I filed a police report and was told that a detective would get in touch with me but no one form law enforcement did. They basically took my file and threw it out."
Lauren then spoke with the dean of students Margaree Coleman-Carter. Lauren says Carter “claimed that I was insensitive and hurtful to the Latin community."
"I politely agreed to disagree on the fact that I said anything to justify me 'making the Latin community feel hurt,'" Lauren said. She said the dean also said the Latin community "wanted to understand why I posted that."
"This of course lead to the dean being very surprised to hear that these same people who were 'hurt and just wanted to understand,' were also the ones bashing me on the internet."
A colleague of mine at New Jersey 101.5 reached out to Carter with questions regarding her response to Lauren's post, and whether the university has a policy regarding what its students post and how they interact on social media. A media spokesperson responded on her behalf, and said the school takes safety concerns seriously.
"When a student comes to us for counseling, we maintain confidentiality and do not make details public," the spokesperson said. "Rest assured, if a student reports concerns about safety, we take those concerns very seriously and investigate appropriately. Discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying are addressed in the University's Student Code of Conduct."
Lauren's Facebook post went viral, gaining over 150 shares, which each have their own private comments — many of them bashing and threatening her. She has printed more than 40 pages of comments from the original post, which included threats, insults, bullying and people "ignorantly accusing me of being racist.”
“Not only do I receive threats but they also have been messaging my family to harass them for being related to me," Lauren said. "I am being accused of being 'racist' for my support (of) Trump's plan to stop illegal immigration. As I walk around my university now, I get looked at and even hear people talking about me. I am a victim of cyber bullying and harassment over my support for our US Republican candidate and his plans to stop illegal immigration."
Despite the reaction, Lauren says, she "still stands behind Trumps plans to stop illegal immigration.”
Lauren maintains she "said nothing towards the Mexican race and I don't feel any type of racism towards others that are not of my nationality or ethnicity'
"Through it all, I will continue to give my full support to Mr. Trump," she said. “I said nothing towards the Mexican race and I don't feel any type of racism towards others that are not of my nationality or ethnicity."
"But it's gotten way out of hand," she said.
“Now I feel worried for my safety but still stand behind my political stance. The school is fully aware of the threats and harassment I have been receiving through cyber bullying and they have not been proactive in helping it stop," she said. "The school system was more concerned on educating me of 'how I'm being insensitive and being seen as racist' rather than understanding that I am being harassed for my beliefs and I am concerned for my safety. I was also told by the school that 'white privilege is real.'"
The privilege all of us have regardless of color is to state our opinions among them, being able to back presidential candidates' stance on immigration. Lauren used humor to make her point, but her fellow students are so tight-lipped — among other things — that they resort to cyber-bullying and threats.
Maybe this is why more and more comedians like Jerry Seinfeld are refusing to play colleges.
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