In the conservative-but-diverse agricultural center of Fresno, California, student journalists of The Collegian have opined that the politics of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump are racist and fascist — like Hitler.
Collegian editor Troy Pope responded by defending the editorial with yet-to-be-disputed facts.
“Trump is railing against Muslims, Mexicans – basically people who aren’t white, and he’s becoming popular because of that. That’s what’s dangerous,” Pope said. “That’s no different than Hitler rallying the German people against the Jews.”
Locals disagreed with the decision to permit publication of the editorial.
Jerry Duncan, former Fresno city councilman, posted a comment on The Collegian’s website and said, “With garbage like this, obviously our education system has seriously failed us.”
The students replied by emphasizing concerns raised by Trump’s politics.
The article was riddled with hyperbole. This was intentional.
Although the words were inflammatory, we fully understand that not every person who supports Trump is a murderer, or any in actuality. But there are extremists out there that will take Trump’s sentiment to a level higher than even he wants. Trump, though, is capitalizing on the racial tension for votes.
He has said that he could “shoot somebody and” he wouldn’t lose voters. This is not OK.
. . . [T]he traffic caused our site to go down more than once.
They also appealed for continued public discussion via their editorial page and Twitter.
Fresno State President Castro is the first Latino president in the university’s history and is standing firm.
Fresno State President Joseph Castro said that the editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian’s editorial board, pointing to “freedom of the press.” He was fielding complaints on Twitter Monday, urging others to write letters to the editor to express their views.
In past election years, Fresno County voters chose President Bush and, in the last election, President Obama.
It’s unknown how many working families in Fresno County would be impacted if Trump’s proposal to detain and remove undocumented persons was implemented.
2/24/16 UPDATE: Reports say that Fresno State is distancing itself from the students and The Collegian.
On Tuesday, Fresno State issued a press release pointing to The Collegian’s “clarifying statement” and stressing the newspaper is a student-financed, student-run publication “but does not represent the views of the university.”