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Debate at Reagan Library Activates Locals

September 14, 2015

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One of my Ventura College colleagues, Veronica Valadez who teaches Ethnic and Chicano Studies, writes that “In class we’ve talked about the historical subjugation, marginalization, colonization, and oppression of the Chicana/o people and their ancestors. This struggle still exists today and it’s very real and very ugly. As you know, Donald Trump has made some very racist comments against Mexicans, and due to his racist hate speech, discrimination and violent acts against Mexicans and Chicanos are on the rise. In fact, those who have committed such hateful acts against Mexicans have even quoted Donald Trump to validate their actions. Many of you have asked what you can do, and well, an opportunity has presented itself.”

She continues that “This Wednesday, September 16 (which happens to be Mexican Independence Day), CNN is hosting a debate with GOP Presedential candidates, including Donald Trump, to take place at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley. There is a grassroots effort currently underway that is organizing a peaceful protest to take a stand against Donald Trump’s racist hate speech. All are invted and encouraged to participate from 3:00-5:00pm on Olsen Rd (leading up towards the Reagan Library). Students, educators, community members, and Aztec Dancers will be present. The debate starts at 5:00pm but CNN and GOP candidates will be arriving at 3:00pm so the organizers are asking the public to be there by 3:00 to ensure that we get camera coverage and that the GOP candidates see us.”

Link to the Event post on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/700736266696239/

I can imagine that it is nearly impossible to get tickets in to see the debate, and regardless of where students stand on this issue, (whether they agree with me or Professor Valadez), I see the value in going to the Reagan Library to be a participant at the scene rather than simply a spectator watching on television, so I am offering to my students the option of going to the Reagan Library for three hours (any 2.5 hours from 230-7pm) and then writing about the experience. I would like students to interview at least two people about why they are there, and to incorporate what they learned in the interviews into their papers.

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