“It’s scary,” said the Administrative Specialist for Scholarship Enterprises at York Julissa Contreras. “I didn’t really hear about it but it’s scary to think they have access to send a letter like that to the college.” Contreras also thinks the organization targeted York College specifically because of its diversity.
Dr. George White, the chairman to the History Department, said he received a copy of the letter along with a few other professors. He found their message disturbing.
“I definitely think this is something to be taken seriously,” said White. “I think this is something that’s definitely been on the rise since the 2016 elections.” Dr. White added that the college should still remain vigilant although campus officials make sure to protect students.“Giving the nature of the klan they are pretty much cowards. I don’t think they would come here to Southeast Queens trying to start trouble,” said White.
Trump’s speeches about building a wall on the Mexico border and encouraging supporters to hit those who protested against him were reported by various news outlets. CNN listed a number of hate crimes spawning from Trump’s election win including the Brooklyn park with “Go Trump” and swastikas graffitied on the playground. Swastikas, vandalized cars and buildings all appeared after Trump’s victory, although he denied fueling hate inspired groups.
His response to the Charlottesville protests two days after demonstrations began fueled further controversy. He said “there is blame on both sides” in a news conference held at his Manhattan home.
Republican leaders like Senator Orrin Hatch told Trump to “call evil by its name” and disagreed with Trump’s lack of specificity.
David Tobo, the York College student government president, said administration should always address these sorts of issues to the student community and continuously advocate for racial equality.
“What some people want to do is divide as opposed to bringing people together. People want to pick fights with you when there’s actually an underlying issue,” said Tobo. “Why do we have to feed into peoples hate instead of building a community? You don’t really feed into a bully, you try to move past it. It’s really about understanding that love conquers bigotry.”