Clemson faculty sign up for anti-Trump protest group
Faculty members and students at Clemson University, inspired by a trending anti-Trump manifesto, are amping up their political boycotts of the country’s new president.
The protest group, known as “Indivisible Clemson,” explicitly purports to be an outlet for Clemson students and staff to “fight the Trump agenda,” basing its protest tactics on the success of the Tea Party.
In fact, Clemson’s anti-Trump organization takes its inspiration from an increasingly-popular political manifesto called “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda,” a strategic primer composed by former congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party.
“We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress. We saw them organize locally and convince their own MoCs [Members of Congress] to reject President Obama’s agenda. Their ideas were wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism—and they won,” the guide contends, criticizing Trump for being “the biggest popular-vote loser in history to ever call himself President” and warning that he will “attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image.”
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“If a small minority in the Tea Party could stop President Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump,” it continues, noting that “the following chapters offer a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success.”
Energized by the guide’s message, faculty members and students at Clemson have spawned their own “Indivisible Clemson” group, and Campus Reform has identified nearly 50 Clemson employees, including at least 23 professors and an associate dean, among its members.
Since the group’s inception, it has participated in several counter-Trump actions, including a recent “Fast Against Silence,” where professors Chenjerai Kumanyika, Mike Sears, and Todd May went on a week-long hunger strike against Trump’s controversial executive order, calling the strike an act of “solidarity” with those “who will be forced to go hungry because they will not be accepted as refugees into the United States.”
Meanwhile, a large cohort from “Indivisible Clemson” traveled to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Pendleton, South Carolina office in January to protest the nomination of Betsy DeVos to Secretary of Education, urging Graham to vote in opposition to her.
Additionally, the protest group’s leaders penned a letter to their school administrators in which they liken Trump’s immigration ban to Nazi Germany.
“Are we going to standby [sic] as members of the Clemson family, both students and faculty, are discriminated against in a situation that is reminiscent of the expulsion of academics from universities in 1930s Germany? We need to make it clear that we are better than that,” the letter signed by Kumanyika, Sears, and May states, adding that other university administrators have already issued denunciations of the executive order.
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Some of the group’s tactics also appear to be based off of suggestions from MoveOn.org, the protest organization with alleged ties to infamous Democratic operative and billionaire George Soros.
In fact, members of the group recently participated in a conference call with MoveOn, during which they were encouraged to “embody progressive values in all that we do” and participate in “Resist Trump Tuesdays,” an apparent weekly tradition of organizing protests against Trump.
“As a state institution, Clemson complies with the free speech requirements of the U.S. Constitution,” Vice President for University Relations Mark Land told Campus Reform. “As such, Clemson University respects the rights of its employees and students to voice their personal views in an appropriate matter.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski