Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Indy Star: KIDS ON WINNING ROBOTICS TEAM TOLD 'GO BACK TO MEXICO

Since the election of president-elect and now President Donald Trump, states across the country have reported increased incidents of racism, death threats, physical assaults, intimidation, and anti-semantic vandalism directly attributed to President Trump’s hateful rhetoric toward Muslims and Mexicans.

One such incident occurred last month at Plainfield Indiana High School’s robotics challenge. Pleasant Run elementary’s PantherBots won the robotics competition.

The team of fourth graders, two African American and three Latino, became the target of racism when their competitors saw them in the parking lot and yelled to them, “Go back to Mexico!”

“They were pointing at us and saying, ‘Oh my God, they are champions of the city all because they are Mexican. They are Mexican and they are ruining our country,’” said Diocelina Herrera, mother of one of the Panther Bot students.

Some might say “. . . two or three anonymous people yelled out and in the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal. Almost every kid at some point early in their lives experiences some sort of hostile situation.” But in Trump’s America it is happening too many times, in too many cities and small towns across America. Two or three people here, two or three people there, infects a nation with fear, hatred and intolerance. Here we are not talking about kids picking on other kids. The difference here is that it’s consistent with Trump’s rhetoric, that is “they are champions of the city all because they are Mexican. They are Mexican and they are ruining our country.”

Courtesy of Pleasant Run Elementary School 
The PantherBots of Pleasant Run Elementary
in Indianapolis -- Elijah Goodwin, 10;
Angel Herrera-Sanchez, 9; Jose Verastegui, 10;
Manuel Mendez, 9; and Devilyn Bolyard, 9
By Suzette Hackney

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