A pair of white teens thought it a good idea to visit the campus of historically Black Howard University this weekend sporting “Make America Great Again” hats and other paraphernalia supporting President Donald Trump.
Naturally, things went downhill from there, sparking backlash from students and the university as well.
The incident unfolded Saturday, Aug. 19, when Allie Vandee, a high school student from Pennsylvania, was on a tour of D.C. with her classmates. Of all the dining options in the city, the group chose to stop by the Howard University cafeteria for lunch.
Immediate outrage from the HBCU students prompted Vandee to detail her experience on Twitter, claiming she was “harassed continuously” alongside her friend Sarah. Both teens were wearing the infamous “MAGA” hats while Vandee said she was also sporting a Trump shirt that she’d recently purchased.
Things went awry as soon as the girls stepped foot inside the packed dining hall. The 16-year-old recalled a man yelling “Fuck ya’ll” in their direction and another student running up and grabbing Sarah’s hat as they waited in line.
In her recount of the “pathetic” encounter, Vandee claimed she was oblivious to the fact that “HU is a predominately Black school — which either way SHOULDN’T MATTER.” She said she and her friend were confronted by students “who took videos and pictures of us, saying WE were being ‘disrespectful’ and that ‘us being Caucasian, we should know better.'”
Eventually, the school supervisors got the hint and decided on another place for the visiting teens in an an effort to “keep the peace.” But the backlash didn’t stop there. Vandee wrote that when they boarded the bus, a student from another group on the tour told the girls to remove their hats “because [they’re] racist.”
“This is America. These are the people who are being racist and disrespectful,” the teen responded. “It’s unfortunate that Trump supporters have to fear going places that others. I will never be embarrassed for supporting Donald Trump. #MAGA”
Vandee’s Twitter rant was met with a barrage of bitter responses, including one from Howard University defending its students.
“Though this is an institution where freedom of thought, choice, and expression are ever-present, we will never compromise our values or allow others to convince us to do so,” the university said. “We will remain committed to truth and service and boldly affirm who we are and what we stand for.”
Other users were a bit more blunt.
You came to an HBCU, one of the few places Black people have historically been relatively safe from racism, and openly supported a racist.
— Rene Rose | OnlyFans.com/ReneXXX (@DCReneRose) August 19, 2017
We as historically black colleges and institutions are under attack from the outside already we don't need folks entering our spaces
— Fellatrix Kiddo (@FleurDeLaDay) August 19, 2017
16 yr olds should stay in their lane. Take off the bullsh*t hat and go find some Miley Cyrus tickets!!! No one feels sorry for you pic.twitter.com/7hD8IllohY
— 🦄 (@MizzCreme) August 20, 2017
You said, It's unfortunate that Trump supporters have more fear when going places than others, tell me, how could this possibly be true?
— allory (@alloryshmallory) August 20, 2017