Trump Rocks the Hill – The Johnsonian
by MiKayla Catoe January 9, 2016
GOP front-runner Donald Trump brought thousands of supporters – and many protesters – out to Winthrop Coliseum Friday evening. Hundreds of people waited for several hours in the cold before they were allowed to enter the rally.
Vietnam veteran Jim Yates was waiting for Trump at 10 a.m., even though the event did not start for another nine hours.
“I waited because we have somebody here who supports what we actually need,” Yates said. “The people in office now are not doing what they should, and America needs somebody who can run a straight show.”
Susan Rieger of Chester was also one of those hundreds of supporters who were willing to wait in the cold to get a good seat.
“If it were snowing out I would still be standing here,” Rieger said. “I just love him and his beliefs on how he wants everyone to come into the United States legally.”
Supporters of Donald Trump showed up to the Winthrop Coliseum to hear the former businessman discuss why he should be the next President of the United States. Jacob Hallex/ The Johnsonian. SUPPORTERS OF DONALD TRUMP SHOWED UP TO THE WINTHROP COLISEUM TO HEAR THE FORMER BUSINESSMAN DISCUSS WHY HE SHOULD BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. JACOB HALLEX/ THE JOHNSONIAN.
However, several “hecklers” or attendees not in support of Trump’s campaign, were removed from the event during Trump’s speech.
The audience was instructed to chant “Trump” if they saw any sign of protest, which they did when Trump spoke on more serious matters including foreign policy.
A Muslim woman, Rose Hamid, from Charlotte was forced to leave the rally after people “Trumped” her into the spotlight. Hamid was wearing a Hijab, a religious headwrap, and a T-shirt with “I come in peace” printed on it and a yellow button with “Muslim” printed on it as well. She was videotaped in the audience silently standing while Trump suggested that Syrian refugees fleeing war in Syria were affiliated with ISIS.
Even though Hamid was not yelling or chanting, this was enough to have her ejected from the event. And while she was escorted from the event, many Trump supporters got in her face and were yelling offensive remarks as she quietly left the coliseum, according to an interview with Hamid on CNN.
Many Winthrop alumni, students and faculty expressed their “disappointment” and “embarrassment” on Facebook following the rally.
Winthrop alumna Raven Brown posted a link to a story about Hamid’s exit. Brown wrote, “I’m in disbelief and disappointment that Winthrop, which prides itself on diversity and embracing different cultures (so much that attending cultural events is required in order to graduate), would allow this man to use our coliseum as a platform to spout/promote his ignorance.”
University of South Carolina freshman and Rock Hill native Pamela Benavente said she was not happy with all that transpired at the Trump event.
“He doesn’t know politics, and he doesn’t love all people,” Benavente said. “If he loved all people, that Muslim woman wouldn’t have been kicked out. Or the other people who simply had on ‘End Islamaphobia’ buttons and stood up.”
The Republican presidential candidate and businessman spoke on the “immigration problem” in America, which he hopes to solve by “building a big wall” and making Mexico pay for it.
“We have to be strong on immigration and we have to build a big, beautiful wall,” Trump said.
Following this statement, he had the crowd chant back “Mexico” three times when he asked who would pay for the wall.
The Second Amendment was also a hot topic due to the recent executive order from the Obama Administration concerning gun laws.
Trump promised that he would protect the Second Amendment, because he sees the value in the right to bear arms, especially the right belonging to servicemen and women.
The idea of having gun-free military zones, simply put, is “stupid,” according to Trump.
“You know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That’s bait,” Trump said.
Executive Search Firm Owner of Charlotte Bill Mitchell has followed the Trump campaign since it began and said he agrees with almost all of his beliefs.
“It is madness, pure madness to have a group of trained and able-bodied men that serve to protect American citizens without guns,” Mitchell said.
Trump also said he sees the value in self-protection. Trump referred to the Paris Terrorist Attacks late last year and how he believes that 130 innocent lives would not have been lost if people would have had the arm power to protect themselves against the ISIS attackers.
“In France, generally, you can’t get a gun in unless you’re a bad guy. If somebody in Paris had guns, during the attack, it would have been a whole different story, folks. There would have been bullets going two ways,” Trump said.
Council of Student Leaders Chair Ray McKetty said he was interested in learning more about the businessman’s approach to foreign policy and dealing with ISIS.
“I would really like to hear him go more in-depth about foreign policy,” McKetty said. “I know he has a lot of big ideas concerning how to deal with ISIS – some that not many people agree with.”
Trump also took a hit at President Obama when he started to talk about ISIS.
“Obama doesn’t understand the game. He doesn’t know radical Islamic terrorism. He refuses to say the name. If you can’t even say the name, then you can’t solve the problem. I know the game,” Trump said.
Winthrop Coliseum has not come close to holding as many people as it did Friday night with over 6,000 people in attendance. This is the most that has turned out for a single presidential candidate yet.
Winthrop Political Science Professor Dr. John Holder said he sees the value in hosting large scale events such as the Trump rally.
“It is good publicity for the university,” Holder said. “The attendance does not ever get like this for games or even graduation.”
Editor’s Note: A statement in the eighth graph was changed from, “She was videotaped in the audience silently standing while Trump started speaking about ISIS,” to “She was videotaped in the audience silently standing while Trump suggested that Syrian refugees fleeing war in Syria were affiliated with ISIS.”