Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Friday, July 01, 2022 — Houston, TX

Trump’s toxic rhetoric is taking its toll

lila-greiner-and-luke-cantu-channing-wang-web

By Lila Greiner and Luke Cantu     9/3/19 3:09pm

Many of our fellow students reached out to let us know they were deeply saddened to see our campus vandalized with racist posters shortly before O-Week. In addition, almost 400 people liked McMurtry College sophomore Cordero Lopez’s tweet denouncing the posters’ message. We hope these students are also angry: angry at whoever decided it was okay to put up these posters, angry at the way our society treats those they deem outsiders and most of all, angry at President Donald Trump. His despicable, disgusting and dangerous rhetoric spits in the face of tolerance and has given hostility and violence an opportunity to grow in America. We should all be angry that it has begun to thrive. 

The impact of Trump’s racist rhetoric goes far beyond the posters we recently saw on campus, though they should serve as a signal to our community that it is well past time to take action against the president’s hate speech. We need only look to the deadly shooting in El Paso to see how Trump’s rhetoric inspires actions. The perpetrator told police he was “targeting Mexicans” and spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Another man, recently arrested for making threats in Maryland, declared "I thank God everyday President Donald John Trump is [p]resident and that he will launch a [r]acial [w]ar and [c]rusade." These statements did not come out of the blue. Trump has made countless racist remarks characterizing Latinx people as criminals, tweeting “[Democrats] want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our country, like MS-13.” This language rouses White supremacists and so-called patriots, those who claim to love America yet openly despise the ideals of equality our country stands for. The same xenophobia that has lead him to disparage immigrants was his reason for saying that four congresswomen, three of whom were born in America, should be “sent back” to their countries. As horrible as that sentiment was, and as upsetting as it was to see these words plastered on our campus, we at Rice should count ourselves lucky. We have seen that our campus is not immune to Trump’s influence, but we must hope that we can fight it.

Those posters were not the beginning of the effects of Trump’s rhetoric, nor will they be the end. America has always been a country of immigrants, and its president cannot continue to disparage everyone that has worked so hard to make this country great. Every single American is entitled to a world where they are appreciated for who they are and welcome in their country, no matter where they were born. Even more importantly, every human being has the right to be treated with decency and to live without fear of hatred, especially when all they want is a better life for their families. 



As a country, we need to stand up to the president and stand with all those he has hurt, from the children of the world to the congresswomen we saw disparaged in racist posters on our campus. That starts with us here at Rice engaging in our community and acting on the atrocities we see around us, like so many Houstonians have by protesting detention centers. We hope you join the efforts to mobilize against Trump’s rhetoric organized by campus groups like the Rice University Young Democrats, Mi Familia Vota, Civic Duty Rice and others. Come next November, the country needs to be prepared to say enough is enough and remove Trump and his vile rhetoric from office before our country is further poisoned with hate. 



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 5/12/22 4:05pm
The Wellbeing Center should be transparent about its true confidentiality policies

Before you attend a counseling session at the Rice counseling center, you will be told that “the RCC maintains strict standards regarding privacy.” You will find statements from the university that your mental health record will not be shared with anyone outside of extreme situations of imminent harm, and only then that your information will be shared with only the necessary officials. This sounds great, except that these assurances bear no teeth whatsoever — no enforcement agency ensures that Rice follows its public confidentiality promises, and there are no penalties for Rice if they break them. The Wellbeing and Counseling Centers should more directly communicate the limits of their confidentiality policies when compared to unaffiliated counseling centers, and students in sensitive situations should take the necessary precautions to protect their information.

OPINION 4/19/22 11:11pm
We’re in student media to learn

This week marks the last issue of the Thresher for the year, and for the seniors like myself, our last issue ever. I have been a part of the Thresher since freshman year. And it would not be an exaggeration to say it has defined my Rice experience. As someone pursuing a career in journalism after graduation, there has been no better place to learn than at this paper.

OPINION 4/19/22 11:02pm
Philanthropy doesn’t excuse slavery

In January, the Rice Board of Trustees announced plans to move the Founder’s memorial to another area of the academic quad as part of a whole redesign, adding additional context of his “entanglement” with slavery. This comes despite continual calls from the student body to not have the enslaver displayed in the quad regardless of the context provided. It would be just for these calls to action and the majority of the Task Force Committee who voted to not keep it there that the Board of Trustees decide to not keep the memorial prominently displayed in the quad at all.


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.